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McGill Reporter
February 10, 2005 - Volume 37 Number 10
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Canada in the world

Canada, once known a quiet and peaceful country, is now the wild child of nations. Proposed legalization of gay marriage, relaxed cannabis laws, and taking a pass on the war on Iraq has brought Canada international headlines.

Maple leaf illustration

Our country's changing international profile is being examined this month by the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada during a timely conference entitled, "Canada in the World."

Hosted at the Omni Hotel from Feb. 16 to 18, the event will feature a who's who of politicians such as Paul Cellucci, U.S. ambassador to Canada, Pierre Pettigrew, federal Minister of Foreign Affairs and Bill Graham, Minister of National Defence.

A group of high-profile academics, international policy stakeholders, researchers, NGO representatives, business leaders and concerned citizens will also take part in plenary sessions that will examine the gamut of foreign policy questions: Where in the World is Canada? A Reality Check; Canadians in the World: Making a Difference?; Finding a Place in a World of Extremes; Is Geography Destiny?; and Can the World Be Governed?

For more information or conference program, please consult

Cello fellow at Yellow Door

The New York Times dubbed Matt Haimovitz the "Pizza parlour prodigy," and for good reason. Haimovitz did indeed have the typical prodigy resumé: picked up the cello at age seven, discovered by Itzhak Perlman at age 10, refusing, in a Brian Wilson-esque touch, to release a concerto he recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Caption follows
Music professor Matt Haimovitz
Harry Diorio

That is where the pizza comes in, albeit some years later. Dissatisfied with the limitations of the classical music industry, Haimovitz founded, with his wife, his own music label and started booking himself in performance halls around the U.S. that were more typically associated with rock shows. Beethoven may very well have rolled over, but we doubt he'd have the heart to tell Tchaikovsky the news.

In any case, Haimovitz successfully pulled off a tour of beer gardens and rock clubs with his 18th-century cello. Sometimes the halls were empty, but more often than not he found a crowd eager to hear new music without the suits and mink stole ambiance of a proper concert hall.

Haimovitz is now a professor at McGill, but old habits die hard. He'll be playing shows at The Yellow Door on Friday, February 18, at 7 pm and 9 pm. A night of all six Bach Suites. 3625 Aylmer St., 398-4886. Call ahead; limited seats.

Extreme cold: Extreme research

What do robots, electric snowmobiles and seasonal affective disorder have in common? They are all going to be featured at McGill's Extreme Research: Winter Edition on February 15. This event will showcase McGill's cool research about predicting, understanding and planning for winter weather and northern conditions.

Illustration of fantasy technogies taking on the cold
Jack Ruttan

Held outside, McGill folk will discuss how the cruel face of winter poses many challenges for our buildings, our machines, our bodies and our souls. Researchers will highlight some of its worst casualties and how to best survive the season. Topics include the design of machines for the extreme environment — such as de-icing robots and McGill's electric snowmobile—special considerations for diet and nutrition in a northern climate, and seasonal affective disorder.

Join us on the main campus in front of the Macdonald-Harrington Building, where the event will begin. The venue for the presentations will depend (surprise, surprise...) on the weather, but you can be assured it will be extremely cool! Hot chocolate will be served to assuage the chill.

Tuesday, February 15, starting at 10:30 am, in front of the Macdonald-Harrington Building.

Whole-person medicine

Asclepius had an interesting life: schooled by a centaur, he was killed by Zeus for daring to raise a man from the dead. Zeus didn't stay mad long, promoting the proto-doctor to the level of god, where he took over the pantheon's equivalent of the ministry of health.

Caption follows

With such patronage, McGill's Asclepius Project should do well (provided they don't attempt to raise the dead). Started last year by Adam Hofmann, a McGill medical student, the Asclepius Project seeks to promote the ideals of whole-person medicine, with an emphasis on compassionate care, as opposed to disease-focused and technocratic approaches that the group feels are coming to dominate modern treatment practices. Last year, Hofmann won a Forces Avenir Award for the initiative.

The group sponsors an annual lecture, where speakers are invited to share their concepts of humanistic medicine with local medical professionals and the public. This year the invited speaker is Joseph F. O'Donnell, an oncologist and medical educator from Dartmouth Medical School, who will visit McGill to deliver his lecture, entitled "Bringing Our Wholeness to Our Work in Medicine." O'Donnell's areas of research are palliative care, medical education and quality-of-life issues.

"Joseph F. O'Donnell is a teacher, first and foremost, and what he says during his lecture will have an impact on the training of future generations of doctors practicing humanistic medicine," says Hofman.

Wednesday, February 23, 6 pm, Charles Martin Amphitheatre, 6th floor, McIntyre Medical Building.

Elias grace

The Management Forum Steering Committee wants to turn your winter blahs into winter laughs.

Caption follows
Don't let the the February blues get you down, so have a laugh with the M-Forum Steering Committee

Joey Elias is returning to McGill. The comic has entertained M-Forum crowds here several times before. He's also appeared at the Montreal Comedy Festival gala.

"We feel the February is a pretty glum month, and to liven the spirits and lighten the load of the McGill community, we decided to host a comedy to add a little laughter to people's lives," said M-Forum steering committee member Judy Dear.

The event is open to everyone, not just M-Forum members. Dear said that last year demand for the event was such that people had to be turned away from the 350-person capacity Moyse Hall. This year, the event has moved to Pollack Hall, which seats 500.

M-Forum has also introduced a nominal charge to cover costs, but it's worth the price: Elias often brings fellow comedians along with him to his shows here.

Thursday, February 17, Pollack Hall, 12:30 pm, admission cost of $2.

Launch of Vallum

Cover of Vallum

On the first day of Freedom to Read Week in Canada, the poetry magazine Vallum will launch their latest issue Reality Check, February 20, at Zeke's Gallery. Co-presented by CKUT radio, the event will feature on-site prize draws and readings by local wordsmiths Vince Tinguely, Katia Grubisic, Ian Ferrier, Jon Paul Fiorentino and Joshua Auerbach.

February 20, 7:30 pm, Zeke's Gallery, 3955 St. Laurent Blvd. $5 includes copy of Vallum.

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