The amazing promise of Philae and the comet

“It (the Philae landing) is just icing on the cake,” said York University astronomer Paul Delaney in the Toronto Star Nov. 14. “It was always just a component of the mission. If Philae fails, Rosetta can still be a huge success. The fact that it has got there at the moment and has already sent back stunning science and stunning imagery … most people in the European Space Agency would already say the mission has been successful.” And looking forward, Delaney says, Rosetta will provide many more cosmic thrills, including a view from just 30 kilometres up of the comet’s dazzling coma, or head, and its tail unfurling as it closes in on the sun. Read full story.

The great Toronto rebuild
This renovation and rebuilding boom is fuelled by what James McKellar, director of the real estate and infrastructure program at York University’s Schulich School of Business, calls “a major structural shift in the consumer market for housing.” The desire to live downtown – thanks to worsening commutes, the 2006 provincial crackdown on urban sprawl and a generation of young people keen to live close to the core – is turning Toronto’s single-family home market upside-down, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 14. Read full story.

Haiti non-profit plumbs solutions to world’s unmet sanitation needs
“Given basic human physiology, there will always be a demand for sanitation services and, in response, a number of market-based solutions have been developed to serve the Base of the Pyramid (BoP), which refers to the four billion people living in emerging economies, in a financially sustainable manner,” wrote Jonathan Hera, course director of the microfinance and social impact investing course at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in the Globe and Mail Nov. 14. “One such group on the cutting edge of this research is SOIL, a Haiti-based non-profit organization, that tackles sanitation issues by recapturing and reusing nutrients in waste.” Read full story.

Recession sent surge of graduates back to school, Statscan finds
“When I started off, finance was a great field to be in, they were hiring right, left and centre, but by the time I graduated, everything dried up,” said Harivan Jaffer, who graduated with a BA in commerce and a major in finance from the University of Ottawa in the fall of 2009 and is now doing an MBA at York University’s Schulich School of Business…. While many students may have chosen to keep studying because they were discouraged about the jobs open to them, the decision pays off, reported the Globe and Mail Nov. 14. Read full story.

Only bottom line matters in trade
The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) has been around for about 50 years but few states have been dragged by it for claims. In fact, in the past 50 years there have been very few cases and virtually no awards, according to Gus Van Harten, professor of law at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. “Now there are several hundreds. That’s a very large number in the context of international law and international adjudication,” he said in New Straits Times Nov. 16. Read full story.

Scarborough opens the ivory tower
On transportation, the community and the university are in the same bind. There isn’t enough of it. In 2010, University of Toronto Scarborough students voted in favour of a levy toward the just-opened and spectacular aquatic and athletic centre for the 2015 Pan Am Games. That commitment was connected to plans for Transit City and the Scarborough LRT, its lines projected to loop around the expanded North campus. It was a fool’s bet: The LRT was cancelled by Rob Ford. Bruce Kidd said the administration will try to get the project reinstated; if York University can get a subway, he suggested, then surely Scarborough can get an LRT, reported the Globe and Mail Nov. 14. Read full story.

Income inequality focus of talk Tuesday in Vernon
York University tax law Professor Neil Brooks will talk about the growing gap between the rich and poor in Canada, and what he believes has caused it, Tuesday night in Vernon, reported the Daily Courier Nov. 15. Read full story.

TRU hosts rights and title decision forum
The court determined Aboriginal title isn’t limited to the land, but includes the natural resources, said Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Kent McNeil in the Williams Lake Tribune Nov. 14…. “Aboriginal title is territorial in nature and when proven gives property rights,” McNeil added. “It’s an opportunity for the Tsilhqot’in because they now have recognized ownership and can benefit economically.” Read full story.

Miscreants ransack Bhaskar office, destroy 25 lakh property
Around 25 to 30 persons ransacked the office of Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar, which is located on Great Nag Road, on Wednesday evening over an allegedly objectionable news item published in the newspaper about Jesus Christ, reported the Times of India Nov. 13…. The protesters were angry over a report which stated that Jesus married the prostitute Mary Magdalene and had children. The report was based on a 1,500 manuscript, named the Lost Gospel, and translated from the original Aramaic. Barrie Wilson from York University, Toronto, and writer Simcha Jacobovic spent months translating the text. Read full story.