Will the left turn to George?

With Joe Mihevc publicly dissing his longtime friend and political bedfellow, deputy mayor Joe Pantalone, the path is clear for other left-wing councillors to follow his lead, wrote the Toronto Star Oct. 7.

“Mihevc’s decision is a strategic decision, not a principled one,” said Fred Fletcher, University professor emeritus of political science in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. “In itself it’s not a big deal. It’s the start of a process of moving strategically, which will benefit Smitherman. It helps frame Smitherman as the only alternative to Ford. And that is significant if he can make that the ballot question.”

  • Alan Middleton, marketing professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, spoke about the effect of Mayor David Miller’s endorsement of mayoralty candidate Joe Pantalone on his chances, on 680 News Oct. 6.

Guys, want more fans? Try some lipstick

When American Idol star Adam Lambert was still in the closet, he skirted direct questions about his sexuality, coyly hinting that he was gay. That won him a strong gay following, wrote The Globe and Mail Oct. 7 in an article about changing trends in how and why celebrities speak about their sexuality. “Some audiences may in fact be drawn to cultural figures precisely because their styles of sexual presentation are ambiguous,” says Marc Stein, professor of sexuality studies in York’s School of Women’s Studies and the Department of History, in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, in an e- mail.

Stein notes that not all those who project a non-straight identity have exclusively career-minded motivations. “How about pride in doing the right thing? Satisfaction in promoting good causes?” he asks.

York, United Way team up

With the resources of Canada’s third-largest university, Change Inc. marshals policy makers, business and social service professionals to deliver solutions designed to improve daycare, seniors’ lives and more, said Stan Shapson, York’s vice-president, research & innovation, in a story about the launch of Change Inc. on YorkRegion.com Oct. 7.

Defining the program as transformative, the University will lend research, graduate students and powerful technology to support the program, he said. “This approach advances and broadens York University’s innovation agenda, builds on a strong partnership with United Way and engages York Region’s corporate leaders, which is a persistent gap in Canada’s innovation agenda,” Shapson said.

Change Inc. will work with its Innovation Advisory Board, established in June. Members include regional business and community leaders. Shapson and Daniele Zanotti, United Way of York Region chief executive officer, will serve as co-chairpersons.

Companies tap expertise of academia

Digital media companies struggle to find ways to marry artistic ideas and content with technological innovation, wrote CTV News online Oct. 7.

Historically, disciplines such as computer science and fine arts never mixed, but universities have recently responded to the emerging need for multidisciplinary expertise by creating cross-discipline faculties. Examples can be found at the University of Waterloo Stratford campus, or York University’s Digital Media program.