The best protection against bullying isn’t legislation

Amanda Todd’s story makes your blood boil and your heart break, writes columnist Margaret Wente in The Globe and Mail Oct. 16. At 12, she was lured by a cyberstalker to flash her body on the Internet. The stalker made sure the image followed her for years. Other kids tormented her and called her “porn star.” She killed herself last week. Her legacy is her YouTube video, a desperate plea to make it stop. These days, it’s fashionable to blame bullying for adolescent suicides. But mental illness can also be a factor. As York University bullying expert Debra Pepler points out in an interview, mental illness makes kids more susceptible to bullying and also more likely to bully others. Read full story.

Helmets can prevent fatal head injuries in cyclists, Ontario study shows
Alison Macpherson, professor of kinesiology and health science at York University was quoted in the Fort Francis Times and Macleans On Campus Oct. 16 about a recent study that found that about cyclists who die of head injuries are much less likely to be wearing a helmet than bike riders who die of other injuries. Read full story.  

Calcium deficit robs plankton of vital “armour” in Canadian lakes
York biology Professor Norman Yan, a member of a team of international scientists studying a species of plankton living in a small Ontario lake, was quoted in the Vancouver Sun and others Oct. 15. The team found that low calcium levels can rob plankton of a key defence mechanism — a minuscule “neck spine” that protects plankton against its main predator. Read full story.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Is Not A Big Fan Of ‘Gangnam Style’
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is immune to the charms of Gangnam Style, the K-pop tune that’s been a monster smash online and spawned dozens of covers and tributes, reported the Huffington Post and others Oct. 15. Ford, who was attending a York University football game, was met by a young man doing the song’s now iconic horse dance. York biology student David Kim, dressed in a suit and sporting sunglasses, was met by cheers from the crowds and even Ford’s assistant cracked a smile. Kim even got hoisted by the university’s cheerleading squad. Read full story and see the video.