A tiny corner of Somerset may have the answer to flooding

We’ve long known, of course, that bees are wonderfully eco-friendly creatures, but it now seems that they are even more virtuous than supposed. For new research shows that they get a buzz out of recycling plastic. . . . Scientists at York University and the University of Guelph – both in Ontario, Canada – report that two species seek out the environmental scourge when building their nests, becoming the first insects ever known to do so, reported the Telegraph Jan. 31. The researchers found that alfafa leafcutter bees, a species imported from Europe, incorporated shreds of plastic bags for, on average, about a quarter of their construction materials – while the Canadian Megachile campanulae, which is partial to pine resin, went for polyurethane-based sealants used on building exteriors. . . . The study, published in the current issue of Ecosphere, adds that they go for it even when natural materials are around, suggesting that they actively choose it. Read full story.

Does cancer fundraising ad go too far?
A new fundraising campaign has left some wondering whether the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation has gone a little too far in hitting up prospective donors for cash. As part of a crowd-funding effort, an email has been sent to hospital donors and supporters saying that $15,000 must be raised by Feb. 4 so that six cancer patients can have surgery. . . . Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University, said the ad is clearly intended to pull at people’s heartstrings and make them reach for their wallets. “Is it overstatement? Yes. Is it stretching the truth? Yes,” he said in the Toronto Star Feb. 3. Middleton said competition for charitable dollars is fierce and that if the hospital simply asked for money for a study, it wouldn’t be very successful. Read full story.

George Clooney WW2 movie has Regina connection
The Oscar-winning star’s latest action film The Monuments Men tells the real-life tale of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFAA) section of the Allied army. It followed the troops into battle in the European theatre during the Second World War. . . . Canadian art expert Theodore Heinrich was one of those MFAA soldiers, although in its post-war version. One might say he picked up where the Clooney character left off. . . . After the war, his reputation as a fine arts administrator led him to the top job at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and then for one year (1964-65) to an arts professorship at Regina College, the precursor of the University of Regina. . . . He left Regina for his arts professorship at York University, where he taught until his death in 1981, reported The Globe and Mail Jan. 31. Read full story.

York Region hockey players all over scoresheet as York beats Ryerson
Woodbridge resident Michael Santini scored three goals and added two assists while Richmond Hill resident Mike Lombardi netted a pair of goals and collected a pair of assists to lead the York University Lions to a 7-5 win over the Ryerson University Rams in Ontario University Athletics men’s ice hockey action in Toronto yesterday, reported the East Gwillimbury Era Feb. 2. Read full story.