Five places in the solar system we should explore next

There’s evidence that Mars once was warmer and wetter than today, which is why John Moores of York University wants to conduct climate studies there similar to those on our planet. “Earth’s ice cores may preserve a record of climate that goes back over a million years, but on Mars there is a record that is far longer and easier to read” due to less dramatic weather, he said in the National Post Nov. 20. Landing a probe on the northern Martian ice cap to use radar or drill down “would tell us about the past five to 10 million years of Mars’ history, and whether the planet periodically comes back to life in a reverse of our ice ages.” Read full story.

York U tops out Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence
With construction of the Spadina Subway extension in full swing, York University students will soon be able to take the train straight to the campus. Students of the Lassonde School of Engineering will have it even sweeter. On Thursday, the University celebrated the official topping out of the $60 million Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, reported Nov. 24. Read full story.

Video links students in bi-campus clinical program
The pilot clinical program, which launched in September, is a joint effort between University of British Columbia Faculty of Law and York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, reported Canadian Lawyer Nov. 24. When Vancouver’s Nicole Barrett, the director of the clinic, approached Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin with the idea for the clinic, she thought she would be flying out to Toronto to teach an Osgoode-only course. It was Sossin who came up with the video link concept for his law students, which Barrett says she thought was “weird and wonderful.” Read full story.

CERN scientists find two new subatomic particles predicted by the standard model
The team leading the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) LHCb experiment at the collider have uncovered the existence of two new subatomic particles in the baryon family – Xi_b’- and Xi_b*-…. This state of affairs was first predicted in a paper published in 2009 by York University Professor Randy Lewis and TRIUMF Lab scientist Richard Woloshyn, using a supercomputer, reported Forbes Nov. 20. Read full story.

Pat Quinn: A leader who ‘was always just hockey’
In an era when NHL players with a high-school diploma stood out, Pat Quinn earned an undergraduate degree at Ontario’s York University in the late 1960s and early 1970s when he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and eventually earned a law degree from Widener University in Delaware (although he never practised), reported the Globe and Mail Nov. 24. Read full story.

ALS chief celebrates Ice Bucket Challenge
After four years of high-level college hockey and the completion of a business degree at York University, Kyle Ruppe was at the pinnacle of athletic talent and academic success. The strapping, playful, six-foot farm kid from just south of Calgary had come back home, his entire future in the palm of his hand. Until one day, he couldn’t close it, reported the Calgary Herald Nov. 19. Read full story.

High-end condos for sale… in occupied Palestinian territories
This vision of a North American suburban bubble in the bucolic vicinity of east Jerusalem seems oblivious to the daily and sometimes deadly clashes between Jews and Arabs over land and the Temple Mount in Israel’s disputed capital…. The larger context here is that Israel has been encircling Palestinian east Jerusalem with Jewish settlements in order to maintain in a geographic stranglehold on a united Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, rather than have the entire city shared with a future Palestinian state, said York University Professor Saeed Rahnema in Nov. 20. Read full story.

Push for fossil fuel divestment gains momentum
“Environmentalists worldwide are pushing investors to stop putting their money into fossil fuel investments, and it looks like that push for divestment is gaining momentum. A case in point: the first Fossil Free Canada convergence,” wrote Jennifer Mills, a PhD student in environmental studies at York University, in Nov. 20. Read full story.

Koffler Orchestra takes its final bow
The musical life of Toronto is a bit quieter this season, with the funding cut off for the Koffler Chamber Orchestra, reported the Canadian Jewish News Nov. 25. Last summer the Koffler Centre of the Arts ended its support for the all-strings orchestra, which since 2005, has been led by Jacques Israelievitch, the respected former concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He is now on the music faculty at York University while maintaining an active schedule as a chamber musician, soloist and recitalist. Read full story.