Video games help us

Researchers are finding that video games have many benefits, reported the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Nov. 29. neuroscientist Lauren Sergio of York University examined what parts of the brain are used when playing video games. Sophisticated gamers, she finds through functional magnetic resonance imaging, use brain regions specializing in planning, attention and multi-tasking, while non-gamers used different areas of the brain that do not boost these skills. Children who spend more time playing video games get higher scores on tests of creativity. Read full story.

McKinney early education programs focus on second-language learning
An ever increasing mountain of evidence suggests that learning a second language at an early age has a positive effect on intellectual growth.…According to Dr. Ellen Bialystok who led a study from Canada’s York University, “The knowledge of two languages is greater than the sum of its parts.” In other words, learning a second language also aids in learning one’s native language, reported the McKinney Courier-Gazette Nov. 29. Read full story.

Colantoni and Mozas share their inspiration at INSPIRE-UofT (St. Michael’s College)
On the evening of Thursday, Nov. 22, John Mozas, president & chief operating officer of Medcan Clinic, and Enrico Colantoni, lead actor on the hit show “Flashpoint”, shared their advice with the next generation at St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto for INSPIRE-UofT.…At the event, the INSPIRE steering committee presented the winners of the Z103.5 bursaries, including Nicoleta Micle of York University, reported Yahoo! Nov. 30. Read full story.

2012 Federal NDP Socialist Caucus Convention
The New Democratic Party (NDP) Socialist Caucus (SC) was founded in Toronto in 1998 by NDP activists who were concerned about the right-wing drift of the party leadership. The SC holds an annual convention including panel discussions, debates and preparations for the NDP federal convention. This year, York University PhD student in environmental studies Jen Mills will be a guest speaker, discussing pipelines and trade deals, reported Nov. 29. Read full story.

Mining saps a thirsty desert
The Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in the southern Gobi desert in Mongolia has attracted major investors over the years. Now, local communities fear that returns on investments will take precedence over their own subsistence, reported Inter Press Service Nov. 30. Herders, whose voices have been almost completely silenced in the rush to develop the region’s mining sector, simply expressed disbelief at the scale and possible impact of the projects. Sara Jackson, a PhD candidate in geography at York University, who is researching the impact of the Oyu Tolgoi, told ITP, “One of the herders told me ‘the mining companies are telling us to have fewer animals, so basically they are telling us to be poor’.” Read full story.

Master Arabic to improve your brain
Scientific news headlines are all around regarding exactly how getting to know a language is great for mental performance as well as good for well-being…”As the human body begins its natural decline in old age, bilinguals seem to maintain better cognitive function,” said Ellen Bialystok of York University in Zimbio Nov. 29. “This is the case even for people with dementia. Bialystok and colleagues have analyzed many Alzheimer’s patients, both monolinguals and bilinguals. They found that bilinguals were typically four to five years older than monolinguals at comparable points of neurological impairment.” Read full story.

Haskayne students take first place in annual MBA competition
Financial Executives International Canada awarded the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary the first-place ranking in the 7th Annual Best in Class Invitational MBA Case Competition held at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University. The teams from Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, and the Schulich School of Business, York University, placed second and third respectively, reported the Ottawa Citizen, Nov. 30. Read full story.

York University students allege racial profiling
Following yet another string of assaults at York University, attempts to quell concerns over campus security have backfired, with some students alleging racial profiling at the hands of Toronto police, reported the Toronto Star, Nov. 29. Read full story.

Air Canada expands flight schedule to Asia
Air Canada is expanding its service across the Pacific to include more flights to China, Japan and South Korea, starting next summer. It also plans to start a non-stop Toronto to Istanbul route, beginning on June 4, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 29.…York University business Professor Fred Lazar calls Istanbul a smart move, because travellers can get to other destinations in the Middle East and Asia without going through Frankfurt, Munich on Lufthansa. Read full story.

NHL lockout: Season ticket holders leave money with teams
There is palpable fan anger and hints at fan apathy toward the National Hockey League for its third lockout in 18 years. But fans — loyal to the end — may be their own worst enemies in terms of dragging out the lockout.…“Fans have come to realize that this is essentially just the nature of the business,” said Vijay Setlur, a lecturer in sports marketing in the Schulich School of Business at York University, in the Toronto Star Nov. 29. “Given the frequency of these work stoppages and the fact these leagues do come back and start playing, you’re seeing a lot less of any form of backlash against teams and leagues. They know ultimately the leagues will come back.” Read full story.