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It's that time of year again, when sports fans and McGill alumni alike watch with eagle eyes to see what Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock is wearing. Babcock wears his love of his alma mater around his neck in the form of a McGill tie. The former captain of the Redmen hockey team, Babcock likes to wear the lucky charm behind the bench during important games. He was proudly sporting his McGill colours as his Red Wings dispatched the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 on Tuesday night. As reported by the Hockey News, Babcock also took time out from his busy schedule to drop off a donation cheque at the McConnell Arena and to purchase a trio of McGill sweatshirts for his kids because, as he put it "I'm tired of them wearing the University of Saskatchewan stuff my wife gets them."
One of the world's leading HIV/AIDS researchers, Mark Wainberg is also one of its most vocal activists. Around World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the tireless Director of the McGill AIDS Centre was popping up everywhere. Wainberg penned an op-ed in the Washington Post on the disturbing increase of cancer among AIDS patients and co-authored a Montreal Gazette op-ed with colleague Norbert Gilmore on how it is time to lift the ban on gay blood donors. When the new HIV/AIDS drug raltegravir was approved for the Canadian market, the good doctor gave it glowing reviews in the Globe and Mail and on CTV.ca and was quoted in the Gazette at the unveiling of a new HIV test. Finally, Wainberg did a Q&A with Ägence Science Press in which he said, despite seeing the ravages of this horrible disease firsthand, he remains an optimist.
Some people would say for proof that the Apocalypse is upon us, we need look no further than DVDs of vintage Sesame Street shows in which viewers are warned "these early Sesame Street episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today's preschool child." While it is true that in some early episodes contained such controversial images as Cookie Monster smoking (and later eating) a pipe, have we gone too far in trying to protect our kids? Not really, said Shirley Steinberg in a recent interview in La Presse. While the Professor of Integrated Studies in Education says the story made her raise a skeptical eyebrow when it first broke, she changed her mind upon further scrutiny of the offending videos. Steinberg noted that in the wake of teacher's complaints about unruly children, Cookie Monster's incessant mantra "I want cookie" may not be the best example to follow. Even more serious, she said, was an episode in which children go to a stranger's house to eat ice cream. Thirty years ago, it was a scene of happy innocence but said Steinberg "Today, childhood has lost its innocence. We have to alert children earlier and earlier about the dangers of the modern world. It's really too bad."
First Sesame Street goes PG-13 and now this: highly publicized recalls of toys manufactured in China due to safety concerns have parents in a tizzy. In a recent CanWest poll, some 87 percent of respondents believe the government should introduce more stringent safety standards for toys coming into the country. On the eve of the year's biggest toy bonanza, consumers' flagging confidence in some products made in China could cast a pall over the entire Chinese manufacturing industry, according to Louis Gialloreto, a lecturer in marketing. "Consumers are losing track of how many brand recalls there have been. They just seem to see there's a problem with everything," he said. While the Chinese toy industry has suffered a serious setback, Gialloreto doesn't think it is fatal. "It's not that they can avoid making mistakes," he said, "but at least they can learn from their mistakes."