Density Toronto: When disaster strikes, highrise neighbourhoods are a challenge for first responders

“The extent of the damage or loss differs from hazard to hazard, but in most cases you have more problems for densely populated areas than low-density areas,” said Ali Asgary, a professor at York University’s School of Disaster & Emergency Management, in the Toronto Star Nov. 20.…Asgary’s worst-case scenario is a collapse involving many buildings downtown – an unlikely but not impossible situation. Read full story.

Canadian history, heritage at risk from cuts to Libraries & Archives Canada, say academics
The Conservatives are “bleeding Canadian history dry” with cuts to Libraries & Archives Canada outlined in the 2012 budget, said York University Professor Craig Heron in Postmedia News Nov. 20. He is among the growing number of academics denouncing the spending cuts. Read full story.

Haiti, disasters and sovereignty
“Vulnerability depends on many factors, including what kind of shelter people have, whether they live in flood plains, whether there are forested areas to slow runoff, whether the water and power infrastructure can stand the stress, and whether the medical infrastructure can respond quickly. Given how close they are to one another geographically, Haiti and Cuba have often suffered the same storms, including hurricane Sandy, and the different death tolls in the two countries have shown that Haiti is a much more vulnerable society than Cuba,” wrote Justin Podur, professor of environmental studies at York University, in the Chronicle Herald Nov. 21.  Read full story.

What lies ahead for 2013? How will it affect your finances?
Perry Sadorsky, professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, says the beginning of 2013 will not be a great time to buy or sell a home because it looks as though the market is beginning to cool. He recommends a wait-and-see approach for the average Canadian, reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 20. Read full story.

The war of 1812: For natives, resisting American invaders was the ‘only option’
Thousands of native warriors led by such heroic figures as Shawnee Chief Tecumseh fought the Americans….“By 1814, Great Britain had accepted the finality of American independence,” said York University Professor William Wick in the National Post Nov. 20. “As a result, natives became redundant.” Read full story.

The history of boredom
A host of studies have found that people who are easily bored may also be at greater risk for depression.…“One possibility is that boredom causes depression; another is that depression causes boredom; another is that they’re mutually causative; another is that boredom is an epi-phenomenon or another component of depression; and another is that there’s another third variable that causes both boredom and depression,” said Dr. John Eastwood, a clinical psychologist at York University, in Smithsonian Nov. 20. “So we’re at the very beginning stages of trying to figure it out.” Read full story.