Headliners: From Arctic melting to Britney's meltdown

Headliners: From Arctic melting to Britney's meltdown McGill University

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McGill Reporter
September 13, 2007 - Volume 40 Number 02
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Home > McGill Reporter > Volume 40: 2007-2008 > September 13, 2007 > Headliners: From Arctic melting to Britney's meltdown

Headliners

From Arctic melting to Britney's meltdown

Stirring up a hornet's nest

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Buddle: not befuddled by wasps

It seems like Chris Buddle is causing quite the buzz these days. Earlier this summer, the Professor of Forest Insect Ecology was profiled in the Montreal Gazette Careers Section. More recently, McGill's resident bug expert was interviewed in both La Presse and the Gazette about growing concerns over an increase in wasp populations. While Buddle swatted aside any notion of a wasp invasion, he did note that this is the time of year when yellow jackets are at their most abundant—and their hungriest. People crunching down on delicious seasonal apples on campus be warned; sweet foods and drinks will attract wasps like, well, bees to honey.

Quirky Arctic weather

James Ford was a guest on CBC Radio One's popular "Quirks and Quarks" show the other day after a producer read his McGill Reporter "Notes From the Field" dispatch from Igloolik, in Canada's Nunavut Territory. A postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Geography, Ford discussed his ongoing research on Arctic communities with host Bob McDonald. While we've all heard about the kind of impact global warming is having on the Arctic fauna, especially polar bears, Ford also mentioned how erratic weather patterns are "challenging the traditional knowledge of the elders" because they are no longer able to predict the weather.

Physician, heal thyself

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Tamblyn: no knocks on nice docs

A study led by Robyn Tamblyn, Scientific Director, Clinical and Health Informatics Research and published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that low scores in the communication portion of a clinical skills exam given to doctors has a strong co-relation to negative patient/doctor relations. As reported on Time.com, the study also shows that in the US and Canada, when a patient complains, it's usually about a doctor's attitude rather than the quality of service. Tamblyn believes that medical students should undergo the clinical-skills test early on in their studies in order to target those who need to bone up on their bedside manner.

Bloom on withering Britney

Following Britney Spears's disastrous performance at the recent MTV Video Music Awards, entertainment reporters were sounding the death knell for her already struggling career. But the rumours of Britney's demise may have been greatly exaggerated says Gordon Bloom, a professor of sports psychology. In a recent Globe and Mail article, Bloom maintains that a comeback for Spears is far from out of the question—although much will depend on her mental outlook and her love for her profession. "You just have to rechart your goals and start your new path," he said. Although Bloom admits that his friends are having a chuckle about the article, he says that it made sense because the reporter was making a connection between the mindset of a performer like Spears and high-level athletes.

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