Labatt Blue made by archrival Molson?

The next time you’re on vacation in the US and grab a familiar-looking bottle of Labatt Blue, it just might surprise you who it’s made by, reported the Toronto Star Aug. 20.

North American Breweries, which owns the rights to sell Labatt in the US, is contracting out production to none other than Labatt archrival MolsonCoors Brewing Company.

While contracting out production may be a common practice, having one of your flagship brands brewed by an archrival poses a long-term danger to the brand, said Alan Middleton, professor of marketing at York University’s Schulich School of Business.

At a time when the difference in taste between the big brands is minimal, any suggestion that it doesn’t matter who makes it or where it’s made is the beginning of a very slippery slope, said Middleton.

"Brands very rarely have a big implosion. It’s more like death by a thousand cuts, and this is one of them," said Middleton, adding that it doesn’t matter that the decision affects only beers destined for the US.

Helping students find the perfect roommate

Connie Wang had two stipulations as she interviewed potential roommates ahead of the school year: They must understand that she is loud – so loud she won loudest frosh at the University of Toronto – and they must also love “Glee”, the hit musical television show, reported The Globe and Mail Aug. 20.

It was a tough slog for Wang. Planning to live off campus this fall, she began her roommate hunt in April only to have two potentials bail, one just a day after leaving her deposit.

That’s when Wang moved her search online, to Roommate Finder. Launched last month on the university’s housing Web site, the app helps students find like-minded people to bunk with off campus by letting them scope each other out, much like they do on Facebook.

Aside from U of T, York University, Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary are all using StarRez, an online program that lets students select their roomies as well as their rooms.

Real and virtual interaction rank equally for the young

For young people, children of a digital age, online chat means as much as in-person communication and developing that online network is becoming an important part of their social development, reported the Brantford Expositor Aug. 20 in a story about social networking. 

"Facebook etc. occupy a strange hinterland between real and virtual communities," says Steve Bailey, graduate program director of the York and Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture. "Users of those technologies do not perceive a paradigmatic break between messaging or cellphone calls and personal conversation between materially proximate humans."

Assault charge against school principal to be dropped

The Crown will withdraw the assault charge against a Scarborough school principal arrested after an incident involving one of his teachers, a court heard Thursday, reported The Ajax News Advertiser Aug. 19. 

Instead, the complainant and Ajax resident Prince Duah, the 41-year-old principal of Golf Road Public School, have agreed to mediation.  

Duah has been a certified public school teacher since 1996, according to his profile on the Ontario College of Teachers Web site. He received three degrees – BA Hons. ’93, BEd ’96, MEd ’01 – from York and completed his principal’s certification in 2002.

Student helps with Thornhill musical

On Aug. 25, York Region’s youth theatre company City Youth Players presents its inaugural summer production, Happily Ever After, reported the Thornhill Liberal Aug. 19.

Assisting the director is Thornhill resident Andrew Ball, 18, a music student at York.

On air

  • Maggie Toplak, a clinical psychologist in York’s Faculty of Health, discussed a new American study that found that attention deficit disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children are commonly misdiagnosed, in a series of interviews aired on CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning” in Toronto, “Ontario Morning” and other CBC morning shows across Canada Aug. 19.