There’s an ape for that: Toronto Zoo orangutans may get iPad

The Toronto Zoo is at “the top of the list’’ to get a donated iPad from Orangutan Outreach, a conservation group spearheading an Apps for Apes program, wrote the Toronto Star Feb. 28. Zoo staff have been working with York University animal behaviour expert Professor Suzanne MacDonald, chair of psychology in York’s Faculty of Health, to line up suitable primate-friendly apps. Once a number of zoos have iPads, Orangutan Outreach founder Richard Zimmerman hopes orangutans can get to “know each other’’ via a video chat app. He has no doubt orangutans can recognize other orangutans when they see their images. Read full story.

Orangutans and gorillas go bananas for tablet computers
York University’s Suzanne MacDonald, who studies animal behaviour and cognition, was interviewed by Maclean’s for its Feb. 23 story on the Apps for Apes program. MacDonald has been using touchscreen computers with the Toronto Zoo’s orangutans for more than 15 years. “Orangutans can use computers, so we can ask them questions about how things look to a different brain. It’s hard to do that with an antelope,” she said. Read full story.

Mayor Ford perfect candidate for OHIP-covered weight management, says specialist
Experts say Mayor Rob Ford’s quick results on his pledge to lose weight show he’s going about it the wrong way and could be endangering his health, wrote the Toronto Star Feb. 27. Obesity expert Jennifer Kuk, a professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science in York’s Faculty of Health, said a slower approach, instead of what she calls “yo-yo dieting”, that nets a five per cent weight loss is sufficient to gain significant health benefits. “This weight going up and down actually puts you at a higher risk of dying than someone who’s never tried to lose weight at all,” she said. Read full story.

Canadian banks play “O Canada” card to grow abroad
“There’s more confidence that the Canadian brand name is now an asset,” said Alan Middleton, marketing professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, in a story by Reuters Canada Feb. 27 about Canadian banks’ international marketing strategies. Middleton sees the shift as part of a general increase in Canada’s profile within the global banking industry. Read full story.

Learning by doing
Lorne Sossin,
dean of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, advocates more hands-on learning in legal education, wrote Canadian Lawyer 4Students in its Spring issue. Whether it’s participating in one of the law school’s clinics or one of its various intensive programs, he says it breaks down the barriers between the classroom and community, effectively creating better learning opportunities for students. Read full story.

Alternative options
Conrad Seaman
works on mergers and acquisitions, licensing, and investments as it relates to Research In Motion Ltd.’s mobile devices, wrote Canadian Lawyer 4Students in its Spring issue. He enrolled at Osgoode Hall Law School because he wanted to get to the “boardroom phase of technology analysis,” which he figured he could achieve through getting a law degree. Read full story.

Miss India Worldwide meets President Ramotar
After copping the Miss India Worldwide 2012 crown, Alana Seebarran recorded another proud moment yesterday when she met Guyana President Donald Ramotar, wrote the Guyana Chronicle online Feb. 27. The elegantly dressed York University student said in a brief interview that the discourse with the head of state made her feel “proud to be a Guyanese”. Read full story.
See also Guyana’s Alana Seebaran wins Miss India Worldwide.

What Hong Kong showed a Canadian EMBA
Sandra Dias
, a student in York’s Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program who is writing about her experience for The Globe and Mail‘s Careers section, described her choice of international placement at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in her latest dispatch Feb. 27: “This program is such a privilege: To be seated at a table with an entrepreneur from Germany, a junior mining executive from Canada, a financial adviser from Asia, an executive recruiter from Korea and an operations executive from Italy is daunting. However… it’s through these conversations that I began to understand my own capabilities and capacity to move my career forward.” Read full story.

Filmmaker looking for actors
Shehrezade Mian is an international student enrolled at York University’s prestigious film program, wrote Toronto’s The Weekly Voice Feb. 27. An aspiring Pakistani female filmmaker from Islamabad, Mian, based in the Faculty of Fine Arts, said, “Being a woman in Pakistan can be difficult at times, but being an aspiring female filmmaker is even tougher.”  Read full story

Citizen awareness key to long-lasting change for Aboriginal peoples
“The problems faced by Aboriginal peoples are tied to misperceptions held by many Canadians,” wrote York Professor Jennifer Dalton, a faculty member in the Department of Political Science, in The Hill Times Feb. 27. “The simple fact is that Canadians tend to be, by and large, neither aware of the plethora of problems faced by Aboriginal individuals in this country nor cognizant of the extent of the crises faced by so many Aboriginal communities.” Read full story.

…And all that jazz
Jazz musician and York instructor Steve Koven (BFA Spec. Hons. ’97) started playing piano at a very young age and studied music at York University. He’s proof that many things come full circle – he now teaches many of the same courses he studied at York, but he still likes to play. “There’s nothing like playing in front of an audience,” he said. “Because that audience performer relationship is part of the magic; you work off each other.” Read full story.

New Toronto car wash service comes to you
For drivers who are too busy to wash their car, York University students Karan Walia and Aysar Khalid have come up with a plan — a business, rather — where the car wash comes to you, wrote Feb. 25. Washly is the proliferation of that idea. The on-the-spot car wash service has launched in Mississauga and is poised to hit Toronto in the spring, offering eco-friendly washes wherever you park your car. Read full story.