Lecture hall goes Gangnam

Baffled-looking students laugh and clap as a Korean pop star impersonator gallops across the front of a packed lecture hall, even earning a bit of a sashay from the bemused professor. That’s just one scene from David Kim’s Gangnam Style parody video, which features the York University biology student shaking his thing across campus to the tune of the wildly popular and infectious Korean pop song, reported the Toronto Star and an international cohort of other publications, television and radio stations Sept. 29. The video shows Kim dancing amongst blank-faced students on an escalator and atop the counter of a Tim Hortons. He’s seen approaching bystanders in a cafeteria while gyrating ridiculously, and at one point climbs onto the hood of a car at a stop light. It’s reminiscent of the antics of Party Boy from Jackass, only instead of wearing a glittering thong, Kim dons a suit, bow tie, red shoes and sunglasses — Gangnam style. Read full story. Click here to view the video.

Grandchildren are lucky – and they know it
One segment of the population was scarcely visible in the national family portrait released this month by Statistics Canada. Grandparents received scant attention in the 2011 census. It looked at them only as caregivers, showing that a tiny minority of children — 0.5 per cent — are raised exclusively by their grandparents, reported Toronto Star columnist Carol Goar Sept. 29.  Hungry for more and better intelligence, the Toronto chapter of Canadian Pensioners Concerned, a group of knowledgeable, socially engaged seniors, commissioned its own research. The result was a rich, detailed portrait of grandparents and grandchildren in an era of social upheaval. It is available in the September edition of Viewpoint, the organization’s quarterly magazine. “Contrary to common perceptions, grandparents can have a greater influence on the grandchildren than they did in the past,” wrote the authors, Ben Schlesinger and Rachel Schlesinger, a husband-and-wife team of social researchers. (He is a professor emeritus of social work at the University of Toronto. She is a senior scholar specializing in social gerontology at York University. Both are members of Canadian Pensioners Concerned). Read full story.