Beyond McGill news
A new survey of active and reserve members of the Canadian Forces suggests many soldiers don't seek help for mental disorders and such problems as alcoholism. The study of 8,441 soldiers was carried out during the last year by McGill, Université de Montréal, Dalhousie and the University of PEI. It was released in Montreal yesterday and will be published in the February edition of the research journal "Medical Care." Lead study author Deniz Fikretoglu says more than half of military members with a mental disorder don't seek treatment.
Examining the nature of star making in Canada will be just one piece of the puzzle when academics, policy makers, media celebrities and industry executives gather at McGill this week for "Are We American?" a conference to discuss culture at the crossroads in the age of globalization, the Internet and the iPod. Will Straw, communications professor and acting director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, said he was curious to see how changing immigration patterns, the North American Free Trade Agreement and globalization are reshaping both the Canadian cultural identity and those of its nearest neighbours. From Feb. 13-15 at the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal, the conference gathers together some heavy hitters in arts, policy making, media, academia and business from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, all of whom are currently involved in Canadian cultural products and their circulation throughout North America.
More than a third of Earth's ice-free land area is now being used for farming. McGill's Navin Ramankutty and colleagues compared agricultural inventories from all countries with satellite land-cover data for the same areas, and wrote a computer program to recognize pasture and crop land. They estimate that 28 million square kilometres (22 per cent) of ice-free land surface is covered in pasture and 15 million square km (12 per cent) is used to grow crops. Their 10-km-resolution maps provide the most detailed and accurate figures to date.
Kids lie early, often and for all sorts of reasons -- to avoid punishment, to bond with friends, to gain a sense of control. But now there's a singular theory for one way this habit develops: They are just copying their parents. New York Magazine interviews Dr. Victoria Talwar, an assistant professor at McGill and a leading expert on children's lying behaviour.
New research by a McGill biologist shows that the bigger the bird brain, the better. Biologist Louis Lefebvre has found ways to distinguish the more intelligent of the species. He showed, for instance, that being an omnivore and having the ability to adapt to new environments are associated with a larger cortex and greater intelligence.