Hunger Games frenzy set to eclipse Twilight, fans’ appetites insatiable

There are no wizards or vampires in the film version of The Hunger Games, but the phenomenon surrounding the novel series is poised to reach mass hysteria, reported the Toronto Star March 16. Set in a future dystopian North America, Suzanne Collins’ dark book trilogy is being hailed by critics as the next big franchise since Harry Potter or Twilight, fuelled by the hype surrounding the March 23 release of the first film adaption. Cheryl Cowdy-Crawford, a professor in York University’s Children’s Studies Program, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, agrees that the writing is pivotal to the trilogy’s success. “It answers that hunger that young people can have, to have books that are not talking down to them,” she said. Read full story.

Smart early calls launch race to save ‘sickest living child’
Laura Harris
and her husband Brad Walchuk, who are both PhD students at York University, are experts in political science, not baby care or health, reported March 16. So they were very thankful when a routine call to a hospital help line helped save their infant son Andrew’s life, who a doctor described as the “sickest living child” he’d ever seen. Read full story.

Canada pulls out of NATO airborne surveillance programs to save $90M
The Canadian Forces hope to save $90 million a year by pulling out of NATO programs operating unmanned aerial vehicles as well as airborne early warning planes, reported the National Post March 17. York University strategic studies Professor Martin Shadwick  of the York Centre for International & Security Studies pointed out that the withdrawal from both programs further distances Canada from NATO. Read full story.

Why Liberal, NDP candidates want riding that Jack built
One of the most left-leaning ridings in Canada goes to the polls Monday in a by-election that is expected to come down to a battle of Liberal versus New Democrat, reported The Globe and Mail March 18. Craig Scott is a professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University. “I am grounded in the riding. It’s my home. I have been living here and contributing to it for 22 years,” said Scott. “I have the experience and the skill set that can really make a difference in Parliament.” Read full story.

On the centenary of his birth, poet Irving Layton’s reputation lives on
Former York Professor Irving Layton once described himself as a “hot-blooded Jew cavorting in the Canadian drawing room, kicking out the windows to allow fresh air to enter,” reported the Toronto Star March 16. He wasn’t exaggerating. He could be a pain in the derrière, but he was a talented, unique voice and this week, during the centenary of his birth, events are being held across the nation to celebrate his place in Canadian writing. Read full story.

How much risk can you manage?
As Moshe Milevsky, a finance professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, puts it, you need to determine if your job is bond-like, with steady earnings, or stock-like, with earnings that fluctuate, reported the Wall Street Journal in its Investing Basics blog March 17. In the latter category, he includes investment bankers and anyone else whose job and bonus would be in jeopardy if the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index took a nose dive. Read full story.

Chantal Sutherland’s ride from catwalk to parade ring lands her in Dubai
York grad Chantal Sutherland (BA ’99) will become the first woman to ride in the world’s richest race when she partners Game On Dude in the US$10 million Dubai World Cup, wrote The National (United Arab Emirates) March 16, in a story that noted her studies in York’s Faculty of Health in occupational psychology and mass communication. Read full story.

Farinha feeling jazzed for show
Jazz vocalist Maria Farinha and her husband applied to immigrate to Canada from Brazil and moved to Toronto at the end of 2007, reported the Barrie Examiner in a feature story March 17. Farinha is now working on her doctorate in music at York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, where she also teaches. “Teaching is (vital) for me,” Farinha said. “I’m very happy being a teacher. It’s a time in my life where it’s really fulfilling me.” Read full story.

Can’t take T.O. out of Lions coach
“The west has been special to my family and we do see ourselves as supplanted west coasters,” said former York Lions football player and coach Mike Benevides, reported the Toronto Sun March 16, in a story about the new head coach of the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions. “But I still consider myself a Toronto boy and I don’t understand why everybody has such a hate on for the city.” Read full story.

Photographer finds her niche in boudoir
For most of Scarlet O’Neill‘s life, photography was just a side project, but it didn’t take her long to make a big splash after diving in full time, wrote the Windsor Star March 19. O’Neill (BA Spec. Hons. ’07) moved to Toronto to pursue a theatre degree at York’s Faculty of Fine Arts and recently took the professional leap from being in front of an audience to behind the lens. Her business, which focuses on wedding, engagement and boudoir shoots, has brought early success, with her work featured on Glamour magazine’s website in February. Read full story.

Annual stewardship conference features strategies to live with nature
Andrew Watson
, a graduate student at York University, is the keynote speaker for the 2012 Muskoka Stewardship Conference April 28 at Nipissing University in Bracebridge, wrote March 16. He will discuss the ways in which the human footprint along the shoreline has changed over the last 100 years. Read full story.