Awesome on Facebook, awesome in real life? Self-concept in the digital age

We’re not only our own best publicists online, we also believe our own hype. So concludes new research by noted Schulich School of Business Professor Russell Belk, who has published an update of his seminal 1988 paper on “the extended self” – the idea that possessions strongly contribute to self-identity. Though the basic concept remains the same, Belk said a retrofit was needed to reflect the powerful digital influence over the past 25 years….“Essentially, what we do online is a circle: it reflects who we are but it also reflects who we would like to be, which in turn shapes who we are. Those things are feeding into one another,” said Belk in the Montreal Gazette July 30. Read full story.

Public safety must trump red-tape cutting
“While no one argues that corporations are indifferent to public safety, a more subtle perspective on the politics and economics of regulation has been provided by York University political science Professor Leo Panitch,” wrote Andrew Jackson, York University Packer Professor of Social Justice, in The Globe and Mail July 30. “He reasons that regulation bites into business profits and ratchets up the pressure on politicians to back off when highly competitive markets place regulated companies at a cost disadvantage compared with non- or lightly regulated companies.” Read full story.

Stricter tank car rules sought
A major derailment of a train carrying large quantities of oil is what disaster experts call a low-probability, high-consequence event. In other words, it’s not likely to happen, but if it does the fallout may well be devastating. “These are totally different from other types of train crashes,” said York University emergency management Professor Ali Asgary in the Chronicle Herald July 29. Read full story.

Harper helped push world toward austerity: McQuaig
While members of the public are guilted into believing they’re living beyond their means and must tighten their belts, they’ve been distracted from noticing the transfer of income and wealth to the rich. Thaddeus Hwong, a professor of tax policy at York University, has calculated just how much inequality has increased in Canada. Using the model developed by University of California professor Emmanel Sáez, one of the world’s leading experts in income inequality, Hwong found that between 1982 and 2010, the top-earning 1 per cent of Canadians captured fully 60.3 per cent of all the income growth in Canada, reported the Toronto Star July 30. Read full story.

Taking it to the next level
The subject of law department management specific to staff and succession planning along with issues around regulatory matters were the topics discussed at the annual roundtable organized by Canadian Lawyer InHouse in co-operation with the Association of Corporate Counsel, reported Canadian Lawyer’s July 2013 issue. The eighth annual InHouse/ACC General Counsel Roundtable included legal department leaders from a variety of sectors, all with varying issues to consider within their organizations, including Harriet Lewis, university secretary and general counsel, York University. Read full story.

Toronto woman wants to go to Mars
According to Paul Delaney, a professor in York University’s astronomy department, the one-way trip is the only feasible way to ensure exploration and cultivation can begin within the next ten years. “We have the technology to get a group of people there, but we don’t have the technology to get them there and back. If we realistically want to get to Mars anytime soon, it can only be done through a one-way trip,” said Delaney in the Toronto Sun July 27. Read full story.

Author humbled by honour
A local author said he’s “humbled” that a copy of his 2002 children’s book Alphabeasts will soon be in royal company. The book, which features hand-painted illustrations by local author Wallace Edwards, was among 11 books chosen to be included in Canada’s official gift to Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, born on July 21 to Prince William and wife, Kate….Currently, Edwards said he is working on two books. In the fall, he plans to do research at York University’s Augmented Reality Lab in the Faculty of Fine Arts, reported the Kingston Whig-Standard July 28. Read full story.

Artfully using stained glass to capture solar energy
A collection of eye-catching stained glass installations by Toronto artist Sarah Hall is generating solar power in three provinces, and one of them is in the process of being hooked up to the Saskatchewan grid, reported CBC News July 29….Her other installations include: Leaves of Light at York University in Toronto; True North/Lux Nova at Regent College, University of British Columbia in Vancouver; Waterglass at the Enwave Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto; and The Science of Light at Grass Valley Elementary School in Camas, Wash. Each one incorporates solar cells of different colours, intended to match with the accompanying artwork and the facade of the building. Read full story.

Unionville native inducted with greats at Rogers Cup
Derek Strang, Tennis Canada’s chief operating officer, certainly could hold his own off the court. Especially when it comes to organizing the annual Rogers Cup tennis championships in Toronto and Montreal, and helping enhance the profile of tennis Canada-wide. Strang’s ongoing contributions, along with what Billie Jean King and Pete Sampras have accomplished on the court, will be recognized when the trio is inducted into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame at the Rexall Centre at York University Aug. 3 to 11, reported the Markham Economist & Sun July 26. Read full story.

Shelly Glover, the CBC and accountability
“The Friends of Canadian Broadcasting watchdog group has released another of its periodic polls showing overwhelming public support for the notion of independent public broadcasting in general and CBC/Radio-Canada in particular,” wrote York University communications Professor Wade Rowland in the Toronto Star July 26. “The poll was taken in response to the passage of Bill C-60, which the watchdog group interprets as, in part, a deliberate scheme to muzzle the public broadcaster and bring it to heel. In giving the federal cabinet the power (via the Treasury Board) to demand a place at the table in wage and salary negotiations for all CBC employees, including journalists, the group insists that the bill threatens to turn the public broadcaster into a state mouthpiece, subservient to political authority.” Read full story.

Simcoe water centre could make area tourist mecca: experts
The Splash floating water festival is a tidal wave of family entertainment and education in its own right. But it, as well as an iconic water centre on the shores of the lake its activity promotes, also represents a good investment in terms of community-building, economic strategy and future prosperity, according to many involved.…To immerse people in the idea of Lake Simcoe becoming a hub for water innovation, research and learning, 23 master of architecture students at Ryerson University designed travelling “pop-up” exhibition spaces, thanks to a partnership with the Chippewas of Georgina Island and York University’s Faculty of Education, reported the Georgina Advocate July 25. Read full story.