Schulich prof gives the nod to Spider-Man’s new team

Taking over the reins of a US$2.5-billion franchise isn’t a job for the squeamish, and Marc Webb, the 34-year-old director of (500) Days of Summer, has more experience directing music videos for the likes of Green Day and Weezer than competing with Peter Jackson and James Cameron for box office receipts, wrote the National Post Jan. 21 in a story about a forthcoming new series of Spider-Man movies.

However, Yuval Deutsch, a professor of policy in the Schulich School of Business at York University and an expert in corporate expansion, believes Sony is making a smart move by bringing in young blood to take over their tent pole series. Not only will Webb cost the company less money, but he will also bend more readily to headquarters’ demands.

“I think what we’re seeing with Spider-Man is some sort of battle between the wish to monitor and the wish to let go,” says Deutsch, who uses Tim Hortons to illustrate the positive case for careful, exact corporate replication. “With films, too much consistency may create boredom, but you don’t want to bring in a wild card who will suddenly make everything wild. Spider-Man customers don’t want to see Superman on the screen.”

York grad goes from privacy watchdog to BC’s deputy attorney general

BC’s long-serving information and privacy commissioner will soon be its new deputy attorney general, wrote The Canadian Press Jan. 21. David Loukidelis (LLB ’84), who’s been the information commissioner since 1999, will start his new job on Feb. 1 and serve under Attorney General Mike de Jong.

Loukidelis earned his law degree from York’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 1984 and qualified as a lawyer in BC one year later.

Grafton resident a stalwart on York University hockey team

Many young athletes make the mistake of focusing only on their sport, forgetting about their education, wrote Jan. 20. Chris Jones isn’t one of those athletes.

The 24-year-old native of Grafton has played hockey all his life, but he has also dedicated himself to his studies. As a gritty power forward with a penchant for getting on the score sheet, he was approached by York University to play for the Lions varsity hockey team. He’s now in his third year, playing with some of the best athletes in Canadian Interuniversity Sport. It’s a balancing act, but one Jones has learned to excel at over the years.

“I believe hockey gave me more drive to be better at school,” he said. “I’d like to play pro hockey somewhere down the line, but if the hockey door closes I’ve got my degree to fall back on.”

There’s no danger of that door closing any time soon as he has become one of the most valuable players on York’s team. Throughout each of his three seasons with the club, he has been at or near the top of team scoring.

At a cultural crossroads

It was with a symbolic torch in her hand that Maggie MacDonald ventured forth this past summer in search of indie culture worthy of Olympic stature, wrote the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder Jan. 2.

The Cornwall native, who first captured the public eye when she ran in the 1999 provincial election as the NDP candidate, has enjoyed a varied career in Toronto as a successful writer, playwright and musician. Currently completing her master’s degree in social & political thought at York University, she travelled across Canada as a hired wordsmith for Broken Pencil magazine.

The article, which also happened to be the featured cover story, ran in November’s Issue 45. “The topic was to find indie culture in small towns and villages,” explained MacDonald, who had discovered an advertisement searching for a writer on the Broken Pencil Web site. “I know a few people (at Broken Pencil), and I’ve travelled a lot throughout Canada. I wrote back within two minutes saying I’d be interested in doing it.”