Tiger Mom’s claim that cultures blessed with ‘triple package’ get ahead in America sparks uproar

Amy Chua, the self-professed Tiger Mom who courted controversy with her bestselling book touting the superiority of Chinese mothers, is stirring a much bigger pot this time: Her new book claims that a short list of cultural groups outperform others in America. . . . Categorizing certain groups as superior to others – even if the focus is squared on what the rest of the world might learn from them – is fundamentally racist, said Frances Henry, a professor emerita in the department of anthropology at York University, in the National Post Jan. 6. She calls the ranking “dangerous, in terms of the spread of stereotyping.” Read full story.

Analysis: Blackberry-Keys partnership split highlights complexity of modern celebrity endorsements
When Blackberry announced last week that it would be parting ways with R&B recording sensation Alicia Keys, the news was greeted with predictably muted reaction. . . . Consumers’ cynicism peaks when such relationships lack authenticity, said Robert Kozinets, chair of the Schulich School of Business’s marketing department, in the Financial Post Jan. 6. “I think consumers right now are much more sophisticated than they were when celebrity endorsements started in the twenties and thirties,” he said. “It’s just a whole new realm of critique and criticism, and social media has accelerated that. People pick apart everything and they comment on everything down to a very, very finely grained and nuanced level.” Read full story.

Message in a boozy bottle
In an experiment that gives new meaning to the phrase in vino veritas, researchers have managed to send a text message using nothing more than alcohol molecules and cheap off-the-shelf equipment, reported the Wall Street Journal Jan. 3. Scientists at Canada’s York University, aided by a colleague at Britain’s University of Warwick, texted the phrase “O Canada,” encoded in alcohol spray, over a span of more than 4 yards. The researchers said their experiment appears to be the first of its kind, in contrast to the largely theoretical previous work on molecular communication. Read full story.

A quiet year for Toronto architecture, but good times ahead
The Lassonde School of Engineering at York University should be worth a visit to a campus that doesn’t have a lot to offer, reported the Toronto Star Dec. 27. The “Cloud”, as it’s called, was designed by Toronto’s ZAS Architects as a monument to the contemporary engineer, a “renaissance” man or woman whose interests are as unlimited as the sky in which the building’s namesakes float by. Read full story.

McMaster business students take first in MBA Games
A team of McMaster University business students has taken the top prize in an annual competition. The 40-member DeGroote school team topped 22 other competitors in the annual MBA Games, held this year at York University’s Schulich School of Business, reported the Hamilton Spectator Jan. 7. The event drew more than 700 students from across the country competing in academic, athletic and school spirit categories. Read full story.