What’s next: 5 new goals in space exploration

The robotic, round-trip mission called ExoMars is already on the books at the European Space Agency, though its hoped-for launch date of 2018 has been uncertain. Now, with the successful landing on a comet, there may be more political momentum to take a shot at Mars. “That’s certainly their next expectation: to go to Mars with a sample return,” said York University astronomer Paul Delaney in the Ottawa Citizen Nov. 14. Why come back? “You can bring back a rock here and subject it to much greater scrutiny” than the level of analysis done by robot rovers such as Curiosity. “Nothing better than to bring a piece of rock here and give it to a geologist, give it to a chemist, give it to a biologist and let them go for broke with every possible experiment under the sun.” Read full story.

We must close the wage gap
“There has been much hand-wringing about the divisions that exist in the City of Toronto mingled together with hopes that its new mayor, John Tory, will respond to these challenges,” wrote Dennis Raphael, a professor of health policy and management at York University, in the Hamilton Spectator Nov. 17. “Actually, reducing the greatest divides in Toronto and most other cities in Canada including Hamilton would be rather easy.” Read full story.

Time-starved managers turn to innovative mini-MBAs online
Where MBA degrees are expensive, mini courses cost as little as $5,000 and have relaxed entry requirements, reported BusinessBecause.com Nov. 16. They are targeting middle-managers, according to Alan Middleton, executive director of the Schulich School of Business Executive Education Centre. “The mini-MBA tends to get people later on in their careers,” he says, who want to move into broader responsibilities or more senior roles. “They don’t really have time to go back [to business school] for a year or an 18 month program,” Alan adds. Read full story.

Harper policies undermine deradicalization
“How to prevent radicalization will be elusive until the why is given more attention without caving in to political correctness or blind patriotism. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s belittling of the role played by his hawkish foreign and domestic policies on radicalization as well as Muslim defensiveness and denial are of equal concern,” wrote Faisal Kutty, adjunct professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in the Toronto Star Nov. 12. Read full story.

Bilingual people are like brain ‘bodybuilders’
People who speak two languages may have brains that are more efficient at language processing and other tasks, new research suggests…. The new study goes on to suggest that bilingual people are more efficient at higher-level brain functions such as ignoring other irrelevant information, said Ellen Bialystok in LiveScience.com Nov. 12. Read full story.

‘Housing First’ the focus as homelessness experts meet in Ottawa
Workers from child welfare groups, school boards, hospitals, Youth Services, the John Howard Society and others gathered Monday to discuss support for troubled kids in their homes, and applying a system called “Housing First.” The goal is to find homes for young people fast and work on their other problems later “so that no young person stays homeless for more than a week,” said Stephen Gaetz of York University’s Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, in the Ottawa Citizen Nov. 17. Read full story.

Profiting from Christian credulity
A brand-new book, entitled The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene, is receiving a lot of attention, reported CounterPunch.org Nov. 17. How could it not? The authors of the book declare that it proves that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, with two children. The media eats this stuff up…. Principal profiteers are York University religious studies Professor Barrie Wilson, and his collaborator Simcha Jacobovichi, a Canadian-Israeli filmmaker. Read full story.

Pacific spirit: Kristallnacht anniversary a reminder of horror
On Sunday night, about two dozen elderly survivors of the Holocaust lit candles in memory of the millions of Jews killed in what is known in Hebrew as the Shoah. The occasion was the annual Kristallnacht Memorial Lecture at a Vancouver synagogue, reported the Vancouver Courier Nov. 13…. The lecturer at Sunday’s commemoration was York University Professor Sara Horowitz, who spoke about mothers and daughters in the Holocaust. The narratives she shared were harrowing. Read full story.

Steve Paikin: A very different take from a very different finance minister
For a guy who led a very partisan life for three decades, including his first stint in cabinet at age 39, Greg Sorbara is now 68 years old and completely out of party politics. He was recently appointed chancellor at York University and as such, avoids the partisan limelight, reported the Inside Agenda Blog Nov. 13. Read full story.

Probe bounced 1 km high
York University’s Jesse Rogerson discusses the probe’s landing and says it won’t be moved from its location unless absolutely necessary, reported the Loop Nov. 18. Watch full video.