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McGill Reporter
November 10, 2005 - Volume 38 Number 06
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Around campus

Black holes, big bangs and the superstring that holds 'em together


The Washington Post calls Brian Greene "the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today," and he'd better be, judging by the topics he'll be covering in the Anna I. McPherson Lectures in Physics.

In his public lecture, "Einstein's dream: an elegant universe," the groundbreaking theoretical physicist and best-selling author will look at how the apparent conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics can be reconciled in superstring theory — a theory of everything.

If that sounds a little too fluffy, maybe you should take in Greene's scientific lecture, "The state of string theory," which will outline, well, the state of string theory.

Greene, a competitive judoka, has performed in musicals and appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. He also helped John Lithgow with scientific dialogue for the TV series Third Rock from the Sun.

"The state of string theory;" Tuesday, November 15 at 3:00 pm, room M1, Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building. Open to the scientific community only. "Einstein's dream: An elegant universe;" Tuesday, November 15 at 7:00 pm, Ballroom A, New Rez. Open to the public.

Master of your domain

The future
Jack Ruttan

So, the magic McGill genie has just armed you with three wishes with which you can improve the university's physical campuses. Go crazy. An underground tunnel linking McGill to the metro? Narrowing Dr. Penfield to make it less harrowing for pedestrians to cross? Consolidating libraries to reduce time spent scuttling back and forth in the rain? Wonderful ideas all — and all suggestions posited in the recently released Master Plan Explorations Working Paper.

The document, prepared by a pair of outside consulting agencies, is another milestone in the process of creating a comprehensive vision of the physical development of both the downtown and Macdonald campuses — better known as the master plan.

The Explorations Working Paper and the various proposals it puts forth will be the focus of three open forums on November 15 and 16. All members of the McGill community are invited to familiarize themselves with the document (available online at and to attend one of the forums to weigh in on the proposals or suggest some of their own.

"Nothing in this paper is final," stresses John Gruzleski, chair of the master plan task force. "What direction the master plan takes will depend entirely on the feedback at these forums. It really is crucial that people come out and voice their opinions."

Public forum schedule: November 15, at 9:30 am in Amphitheatre M1 in Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building (downtown campus) November 15 at 3:00 pm in the Centennial Hall Ballroom (Mac campus). November 16, at 9:30 am in Leacock 232 (downtown).

Christ Church Cathedral lamentations and requiems

Church window
Courtesy of Religious Heritage/D. Stiebeling

Patrick Wedd, teacher at the McGill Summer Organ Academy, is also one of Canada's finest choral conductors. He's the artistic director of Musica Orbium, whose season begins with a dramatic concert of the Lamentations, juxtaposing 20th century and 16th century expressions of the same texts, including works by White, de Lassus, Ginastera and Nystedt. The program also showcases Herbert Howells' Requiem.

And to commemorate Remembrance Day, Simply Sweetly Women's Choir is performing Songs for a Requiem by Kenneth Leaper at downtown's prettiest church. All 22 singers are students at McGill, led by Alexander Cann.

Musica Orbium: Sunday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 pm, also at Christ Church Cathedral. Tickets $15/$25, 20 percent off for subscribers. For more info, call (450) 671-3548 or see

Simply Sweetly: Nov. 11, 8 pm, at Christ Church Cathedral, 635 Ste. Catherine St. W. Tickets $8/$15. For more info call 398 3001 ext. 09078 or see

Last Five Years runs nine days

Unhappy couple

Ethel Merman may be gone, but McGill is doing its part to make sure the musical genre is alive and well. For nine days in November, the Players' Theatre will ring with the sounds of music when it presents The Last Five Years by Tony Award-winner Jason Robert Brown.

The one-act musical looks at a relationship from the perspective of both the man and the woman, from their first date, through wedded bliss and ending with their eventual divorce. Standard fare, right? Not quite. While the husband's story progresses chronologically from the time of their first meeting to their painful breakup, the wife's perspective plays backwards, moving from the end of their relationship to its first hopeful moments. Great theatre, wonderful singing and a marriage gone sour — as Ethel would have belted "There's no business like show business!"

November 10-13 and November 17-20 at 8:00 pm, Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm, at Players' Theatre (3480 McTavish St., 3rd floor). $8 for adults, $6 for students and seniors. To reserve call 398-6813.

Concert aims to raise funds, foster goodwill

Caption follows
A survivor of the powerful quake rests. Aid workers fear the death toll could pass 100,000 people when winter hits the region.

On October 8, the Kashmir region straddling Pakistan and India was devastated by a massive earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale. One month later, casualties of the horrific quake stand at more than 75,000 dead, 70,000 wounded and in excess of 3.3 million left homeless. With the bitter Himalayan winter fast approaching, the need for relief is enormous.

Montreal community and cultural groups have answered the call by organizing the India-Pakistan Music and Dance Show to raise relief funds. The concert brings together musicians, vocalists and dancers renowned for their interpretation of the region's performing arts. While fund-raising is of primary importance, the concert will also serve as a model of cooperation and goodwill between the people of Pakistan and India.

Tickets are $15. The event takes place November 11, 7:00 pm in Leacock 132.

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