McGill headliners: Sex, lies and vocal apes

McGill headliners: Sex, lies and vocal apes McGill University

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McGill Reporter
March 2, 2006 - Volume 38 Number 12
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Home > McGill Reporter > Volume 38: 2005-2006 > March 2, 2006 > McGill headliners: Sex, lies and vocal apes

McGill Headliners

Sex, lies and vocal apes

It's well known that sex and sports sells, so it should come as no surprise that Ian Shrier, from the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Community Studies, was the go-to guy for the New York Times, CNN and National Geographic.com during the Turin Olympics. All three venerable media outlets quizzed Shrier on the age-old question of whether sex too soon before on athletic competition could have an adverse effect on performance. Frustrated spouses of top athletes can breathe easier (or shallower, as the case may be) as Shrier, former president of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine, reiterated that normal intercourse expends no more energy than walking up two flights of stairs. Gentlemen, start your engines.


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MISC's Jack Jedwab
Courtesy of ICCS

Poor Wayne Gretzky. Fresh off the Canadian men's hockey team Olympic debacle, the Great One has returned home to face further scrutiny regarding his alleged involvement in a sports gambling ring. While he has denied any wrongdoing, a number of commentators have brought his integrity into question. Subsequently, Gretzky (or "Betzky" as the New York Post has dubbed him), has been subjected to unparalleled - by Canadian standards - media scrutiny. In an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jack Jedwab, lecturer at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, says this is not so surprising in a country where hockey is a "metaphor for life." Jedwab went on to link l'affaire Gretzky with the recent rousting of the federal Liberals, saying that these days jaded Canadians are increasingly cynical about leadership.


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Psychology professor Athena Vouloumanos

It's enough to break a parent's heart. MSNBC.com is running an article about the recent findings of Athena Vouloumanos, assistant professor in the Department of Pyschology, that demonstrate how very young children respond just as favourably to a chattering chimp as to a murmuring mom. It would appear that newborns' interest can be measured by the frequency and intensity with which they suck on pacifiers. Vouloumanos' study group (infants between 10 and 96 hours old) worked their pacifiers with equal gusto when listening to the recorded sounds of human speech as with the calls of rhesus monkeys. Crestfallen parents take heart - by three months, infants were more aroused by the voices of parents than those of primates.

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