High-tech gadgets have become essential equipment, says Schulich prof

In the space of about 45 minutes, more than a half-dozen customers, mostly young and most of them male, turned up at a store on Montreal’s St. Catherine Street to purchase or inquire about iPhones, wrote The Globe and Mail Oct. 29. Ignoring the downturn in the economy, they cited iPhone’s multi-functionality and current "it" status to explain their purchase.

Alan Middleton, professor of marketing in the Schulich School of Business at York University, said this mindset has solidified quickly around such high-tech gadgets. "Things like BlackBerrys and iPhones are now seen as essential equipment," he said. "It’s no longer discretionary spending."

York grad had to conquer real-life fear of water for TV role

On "The Guard," Zoie Palmer (BFA ’01) plays a character who tries to drown her demons, wrote the Brantford Expositor Oct. 29. To play the role, the actor had to face demons that threatened to drown her. As Carly Greig on the adventure series – which starts its second season Wednesday, Oct. 29, on the Global Television Network – Palmer plays a fearless but troubled underwater rescue diver for the Canadian Coast Guard.

Palmer was born in England and grew up north of Toronto in Georgina, Ont., near Lake Simcoe. When she was 10, she swam too far out into the lake – following her older sister – and nearly drowned. If her sister hadn’t turned around, seen her and swam to the rescue, Palmer says, she probably wouldn’t be starring in "The Guard" today.

"I have a fear of the water," Palmer says. "I still do. Once I got the part, I went and got swimming lessons, because I was a basic swimmer. But it has been great for me, because I have had no other option but to face this, and I had a pretty healthy fear of water going into this. Now I’ve spent hours and hours and hours in the water, but I still have a healthy respect for it."

Palmer studied theatre arts in York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts and got her start on TV in a guest spot in the sci-fi series "Odyssey 5" in 2002. She appeared in such series as "Doc", "Adventure Inc." and "Bliss" and such TV movies as The Reagans (in which she played the US president’s daughter Patti). She’s probably best known for her recurring role as punk rocker Patsy Sewer in "Instant Star".

Regent Park student gets help from scholarship

Domanique Grant is a recipient of a scholarship from the Yonge Street Mission, wrote the Toronto Star Oct. 29. She just started her first year at York University, studying theatre and psychology. "The scholarship helps me put a lot more time into studying rather than worrying about work" and how to pay for school, says the singer and actress, who performed at the Luminato Festival last summer. The scholarship, from the Yonge Street Mission, will benefit 30 youths this year who either attend the Yonge Street Mission’s Evergreen Centre for Street Youth or the community centre in Regent Park.

You gotta believe to achieve

The signature deep-throated Charles "Spider" Jones is living that dream as host of his own radio show on CFRB Newstalk 1010 in Toronto, where he regularly speaks out against the violence that rocks Toronto and other North American cities, and reaches out to encourage youth along another path, wrote the Etobicoke Guardian Oct. 28. The former champion boxer and award-winning journalist captivated an audience of Grade 9 and 10 Thistletown Collegiate students Monday afternoon. Students rallied around the men after the hour-long session. "I loved it," said Daryl Abbott, 19, who attends York University. "’If you believe, you can achieve.’ I always say that. (Jones) inspired me to know I’m young, but there is a future."

On air

  • Alan Middleton, marketing professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, spoke about Canadian Tire and its marketing methods on Toronto’s AM640 Radio Oct. 28.
  • Andrea O’Reilly, professor in York’s Atkinson School of Arts & Letters and School of Women’s Studies, spoke about teen parenting on Kitchener’s 570News Radio Oct. 28.
  • Nicholas Rogers, history professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, spoke about the origins of Halloween, on Global TV Oct. 28.
  • David Noble, professor of social and political thought in the Faculty of Arts, spoke about York’s decision to end its practice of not scheduling classes on Jewish holidays, on Toronto’s AM640 Radio Oct. 28. The story was also covered on Toronto radio stations 680News and CFRB Newstalk 1010 Oct. 28.