The intelligent life of the city raccoon

Suzanne MacDonald, a comparative psychologist who studies raccoon behaviour at York University in Toronto, has compared the problem-solving skills of rural and city raccoons. The result? Urbanites trump their country cousins in both intelligence and ability, reported Nautilus Oct. 9…. “We’ve devised all sorts of ways of protecting our garbage, which all fail,” says York University psychology Professor Michael Pettit. Read full story.

Horror and heartbreak of war revealed through letters
“I just about fainted,” said Mary Loucks, the daughter-in-law of Sadie Arbuckle, at the opening of the Dear Sadie – Love, Lives and Remembrance from Ontario’s First World War exhibit at the Archives of Ontario at York University, held in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the First World War. “After the story was published, this really took off. Sadie would have loved it,” Loucks said in the North York Mirror Oct. 8. Read full story.

Gale Cup a rite of passage in many legal careers
While most “mooters” don’t end up on the high court, such simulated courtroom appeal hearings have become a rite of passage in many successful legal careers, reported University Affairs Oct. 8. “A high proportion of Supreme Court law clerks have demonstrated excellence in mooting,” says Marilyn Pilkington, professor emeritus and former dean of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School who won the Gale in its first year. “It’s the difference between studying anatomy in class and actually doing surgery.” Read full story.

Toronto votes: Debate in ‘condo capital’ focuses on development impacts
The debate Oct. 7 in the North York Civic Centre council chambers featured incumbent Councillor John Filion, his main rival David Mousavi and candidates Kun-Won Park and Carmen Kedzior, reported the North York Mirror Oct. 8…. Mousavi proposes to create an “incubator,” an organization geared to speeding up the growth of start-up companies. The initiative would capitalize on the community’s prime transportation links such as Hwy. 401 and educational institutions such as York University and Seneca College, he said. Read full story.

Simulated disaster tests community’s response
Last month, York University students Shiuhao Zhang and Naimig Lee, who are interning with the Brantford Fire Department as a component of their graduate degrees in disaster management, designed and staged a simulated disaster to test the community’s preparedness, reported the Brantford Expositor Oct. 9. Read full story.