Mark Gaspar, a master’s student at York University doing research on sexual behaviour and risk, said city councillor Adam Giambrone’s behaviour won’t faze younger people at all, wrote Michael Valpy in his Feb. 10 Globe and Mail column, published before Giambrone dropped out of the Toronto mayoral race. Gaspar said Giambrone had come across as a "real person, a more relatable person," by admitting to what he’d done, and even his dalliance by text-message enhanced his relatability to the age demographic he’s courting.
Infants know when you’re being a jerk
Infants as young as six months old can read and interpret the intentions of people around them, according to a York University study, reported the Toronto Star at ParentCentral.ca Feb. 8.
“For parents and caregivers, it gives you some peace of mind knowing that if you’re trying to be helpful to infants around six months of age, there’s a good chance they can pick up on that and be patient,” said Heidi Marsh (MA ’07), the PhD candidate who was part of the study. The results will be published in the journal Infancy.
The study suggests that six-month-olds know when someone is teasing or manipulating them. But they also understand if someone is trying to help, but can’t because of factors beyond the adult’s control.
- "Babies can tell if you’re teasing or being manipulative, and they let you know it," said Heidi Marsh, in a story about the study published in The Barrie Examiner Feb. 10.
- The study was mentioned on CFRB’s “Live Drive With John Tory” and CKEM-TV’s “Breakfast Television” in Edmonton on Feb. 9, and on CJOB-AM’s “Adler On Line” in Winnipeg on Feb. 8.
Protester-turned-lawyer sues police
A student protester turned Kitchener lawyer took his crusade against police wrongdoing to a Toronto small claims court Tuesday, asking $25,000 in damages for injuries that include being labelled a neo-Nazi in an internal document, reported the Waterloo Region Record Feb. 10. Davin Charney (LLB ’07), who is Jewish, also alleges he was wrongfully arrested and that police broke into his home.
As a student activist, Charney was arrested at least 15 times but never criminally convicted. Now his specialty is taking police to small claims court and says he has won $15,000 in such suits for clients. Waterloo Regional Police also paid him $9,000 in an out-of-court settlement.
Events in the current case began with a stray hat. On Jan. 20, 2005, Charney took part in a protest at York University, where he was going to law school, against then US president George W. Bush’s inauguration. During a scuffle, a Toronto police officer lost his hat.
Charney scooped it up and dropped it at the lost and found. An officer later picked it up, he says. Police lawyer Robin Squires testified in opening remarks that the hat and badge were never recovered. Five days after the protest, then-US ambassador Paul Celluci arrived on campus. Security personnel spotted Charney and arrested him. A police check showed he was on bail facing charges – later dropped – of assaulting a neo-Nazi in Kitchener.
From out of anti-Semitism’s muck, scholarly gold
Anthony Julius is a public figure in England, as well known for literary criticism as for his legal activism against anti-Semitism, wrote the National Post Feb. 10. Julius, who was also Princess Diana’s divorce lawyer, is coming to York University this weekend to talk about his new book, Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England, an exhaustively researched tome (600 pages of text, 200 pages of footnotes) to better understand both anti-Semitism and himself: "The English Jew is what he is in part because of English anti-Semitism."