Toronto student crowned Champion of Americas…in Mandarin

York University student Luc Pokorn, 21, speaks French, English, Spanish and Mandarin, and has friends in each language – one of the secrets to his success, reported the Toronto Star Oct. 1….Pokorn, who grew up in North York and is now studying abroad in Spain, has a knack for language. This summer, he competed in the “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition – a sort of “American Idol” and “Amazing Race” hybrid contest of linguistics for foreigners. Students around the world qualify, and if they keep winning, they go to China. Over the course of a few weeks, people are eliminated through a series of zany events, cultural sketches and speeches, judged by a jury and televised in three installments. Pokorn made the top five and received the title “Champion of the Americas”. He’ll return for his fourth year at York in 2014. Read full story.

The data on teen dating
Boys and girls who start dating at a young age are disrupting the typical pattern of teenage romantic development and may have more school and behavioral problems than their peers, suggests a Canadian study to be published in the December issue of the Journal of Adolescence….The study, by researchers at York University in Toronto, used data collected from 1996 to 2003 on 698 students from 12 local schools, reported the Wall Street Journal Sept. 30. Read full story.

The rise of ‘fiduciary society’
“Society faces increasingly complex governance challenges. We’ve over-promised and it is no longer clear that growth models will bridge the gaps. While there is a growing recognition that we need to take a longer-term view, the incentives for myopic leadership (and action) remain acute,” wrote Edward J. Waitzer, a professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and Schulich School of Business, in the Financial Post Oct. 1. Read full story.

Harper’s nomination continues Supreme Court’s shift to the right
Canada’s newest Supreme Court judge, plucked from the semi-retired list, adds conservative tendencies to a growing conservative tilt on the country’s highest court….“I think an expert in admiralty law is an odd choice, because it’s not a very strong match with the court’s core jurisdiction in public law, the Charter [of Rights and Freedoms] and criminal law,” said Jamie Cameron, a law professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in The Globe and Mail Sept. 30. “It’s really not obvious to me how this person strengthens the court and replaces Justice Fish, who was an eminent and very well-respected jurist with all sorts of expertise in public law and criminal law.” Read full story.

Experimental Lakes benefit Muskoka
Earlier this month, it was announced that the Ontario and Manitoba governments would be working together to keep the Experimental Lake Area open. Ontario has committed $2 million a year for the site, and Manitoba has pledged $900,000 as part of their $6-million, six-year agreement with the International Institute for Sustainable Development, who is taking over operation of the Experimental Lakes. “I am delighted to hear that the Ontario and Manitoba governments have committed to long-term support for the Environmental Lakes Area; it shows true vision on their part,” said York University biology Professor Norman Yan in the Bracebridge Examiner Sept. 30. Read full story.