Historic Philae comet landing has Canadian connection

Jakub Urbanek, a Rosetta operations engineer, is a Canadian connection to the team that successfully landed a probe on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. He has been with the flight control team for the last two years working on the project. Urbanek said he was in the main control room when the lander descended onto the comet, reported CBC News Nov. 12. “We weren’t so much nervous that we were going to miss, (but wondered if) the landing was going to be nice and soft,” he said. “We obviously didn’t want a crash landing.” Urbanek immigrated with his family to Canada from Poland as a young child, and attended high school in Windsor, Ont. He then completed an undergraduate degree in space engineering at York University in Toronto. Read full story.

Rail carriers keep emergency response plans secret from resident
Mark Winfield, a professor at York University who studies public safety regulation, said the secrecy surrounding emergency plans is “very problematic” because it prevents the public from seeing if they are adequate or up-to-date, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 11. “The issue again goes to basic issues of accountability and the balance between the economic interests of the railways and the safety interests of the public being struck in the plans,” said Winfield. Read full story.

New book makes controversial claims about Jesus
Canadian-Israeli filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici’s latest project – a 544-page book co-authored with York University history and religion Professor Barrie Wilson, published Wednesday, and a soon-to-air documentary TV film – seems likely to stir a gale-force wind of fresh criticism, reported the Globe and Mail and others Nov. 11. Based on a new translation of a sixth-century Gnostic manuscript stored for 150 years in the British Library, The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Sacred Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary Magdalene makes a series of intriguing claims that have already inflamed some of Mr. Jacobovici’s detractors. Read full story.

Running ballistics on the Dragons’ eight silver bullets
“To date, angel investors are the most important source of risk capital for early-stage ventures,” wrote Yuval Deutsch, Certified General Accountants of Ontario Chair in International Entrepreneurship at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in the Globe and Mail Nov. 12. “Because venture capitalists often prefer to invest during later stages of a new venture, angel investors are often the only outside source of capital to drive the growth and survival of young ventures. How angel investors decide which project to finance – and more importantly, which venture proposals to immediately nix – is of utmost interest for aspiring entrepreneurs.” Read full story.

Dreschel: Hamilton – democracy or oligarchy?
York University political scientist Robert MacDermid notes the strong relationship between income and voting at the municipal level, with homeowners being far more motivated than renters, reported the Hamilton Spectator Nov. 12. Renters don’t see a tax bill because it’s buried in their rents. Homeowners not only see their tax bills, they’re aware that many municipal services relate to home ownership. Read full story.

How SAS is enhancing its visual and cloud analytics solutions
The data science skills gap is something that SAS has been fighting through its educational initiatives. It offers free software and course material to students, teachers and adult learners, as well as partnering with schools such as Queen’s School of Business and York University’s Schulich School of Business to develop and offer master’s programs in analytics, reported the Financial Post Nov. 12. Read full story.

Immigrant nurses face new hurdles with Ontario’s licensing changes
Nurses who have taken the College of Nurses of Ontario’s objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) say the college offers limited information about the exam, and there is no course or textbook to prepare for it. Due to high demand, some must wait as long as nine months to sit for the test, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 11…. And worse, they say, those who fail and don’t want to repeat their entire education in Canada have only one choice: compete for one of 50 spots at York University’s 20-month-long bachelor of science in nursing program designed for internationally trained nurses. Read full story.

Three things we can do to fix our welfare system
Dennis Raphael, professor of Health Policy and Management at York University, explains the theories and realities of welfare in Ontario and what can done to fix the system, reported the Globe and Mail Nov. 6. Watch full interview.

Mississauga doctor only allowed to treat men switches to new clinic
In 2013, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario found Dr. Sastri Maharajh guilty of professional misconduct after he admitted to either resting his cheek or placing his mouth on the breast of as many as 13 female patients. The college suspended his licence for eight months and restricted his practice to male patients only…. On Tuesday, Progressive Conservative MPP Laurie Scott said the college should be required to report instances of sexual harassment or assault by doctors to police. Scott wasn’t alone. “Right now, the college is protecting [its members],” said Mary Wiktorowicz, associate dean in York University’s Faculty of Health, in Metro Nov. 6. Read full story.