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McGill Reporter
October 25, 2007 - Volume 40 Number 05
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So you wanna design a great city, eh?

View of city


Remember how much fun it was as a kid to sit down and build a massive cityscape with your Lego? While city planners have significantly more expertise than an eight-year-old, the best of them retain that wonderful sense of grandeur. Larry Beasley is one such builder. Professor of Urban Planning at the University of British Columbia and former co-director of Planning, City of Vancouver, Beasley is largely credited with the transformation of Vancouver's downtown core along New Urbanism lines, known as "Vancouverism" or the "Vancouver Model."

On Monday, Oct. 29, the School of Urban Planning presents Beasley as the speaker for the inaugural Brenda and Samuel Gewurz Lecture in Urban Design. Beasley's lecture, titled "Making a Great City by Design: Themes from Recent Vancouver Experience" is open to the public. The lecture series is made possible by the generous gift of the Gewurz Family Foundation with the aim of promoting innovation and best practice in urban design.

"Making a Great City by Design: Themes from Recent Vancouver Experience;" Oct. 29; 6:30 p.m.; MacDonald-Harrington Building, room G10.

MSE greets green guru

House with green symbol

On Thursday, Oct. 25, the McGill School of Environment will present its annual public lecture featuring internationally renowned environmental educator and visionary David Orr. Professor Orr's career as a scholar, educator, writer and entrepreneur spans environment and politics, environmental education, campus greening, green building, ecological design and climate change—basically anything that has to do with how humans can live well on this planet without destroying it. Most recently, in between speaking engagements, writing and his position as Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College, he served as an advisor on the Leonardo DiCaprio documentary film The 11th Hour, in which he also appears.

Oct. 25, 6 p.m., Moyse Hall. For more info contact: Shannon Scott at or at 514-398-5331.

Sunday matinees at the Redpath

Image of field and sun


Movie buffs rejoice! Every Sunday at 4:00 p.m., the Redpath Museum serves up a new celluloid treat as part of its ongoing Super Science Documentaries series. On Oct. 28, the 2006 doc Our Daily Bread will offer viewers a stark glimpse into the world of industrial food production. Nearly wordless, the film is a montage of mesmerizing images including whirring conveyor belts of newly hatched chicks, pesticide-doused fields of sunflowers and the strangely sterile world of big-time pork operations. The Nov. 4 screening of Who Killed the Electric Car is a must-see for conspiracy theorists as it traces the rise and (mysterious) fall of General Motors' EV-1 electric car.

Super Science Documentaries series; every Sunday at 4 p.m.
Admission free with donation to museum. For complete schedule go to

Let your voice be heard at Town Hall

Town Hall
Owen Egan

Over the last several months, the McGill community has been asked what three pressing issues should be the focus of the Wednesday, Nov. 14, Town Hall meeting with Principal Heather Munroe-Blum and the votes are in. Protecting McGill's environment; enhancing the student experience; and Campaign McGill will be the topics of discussion during the Town Hall. The Principal will open the session with a brief talk on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for McGill before ceding the floor to audience members. There will also be a question and answer period at the end to provide a forum for general queries.

Town Hall; Nov 14, 1 p.m.-2:20 p.m.; Moot Court in New Chancellor Day Hall; Faculty of Law; 3644 Peel Street. Information:

Bedside manner, bedside reading


Two decades ago, Dr Rita Charon was looking for a way to make herself a better medical practitioner, so she went back to school and earned her PhD in literature. Though it may sound stranger than fiction, Dr Charon contends that the analytical techniques she learned in her literary studies have made her an infinitely better doctor as she is now capable of better compiling and deciphering the complex, often contradictory, deeply personal stories of her patients. The director and founder of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr Charon will deliver the 31st Osler Lecture "On the Precipice of Illness: The Necessary Perils of Narrative Engagement," during which she will argue that by becoming engaged and informed "readers" of the stories that matter to their patients, doctors will be able to convey to them the knowledge they need, and to accompany them when they confront their illness.

"On the Precipice of Illness: The Necessary Perils of Narrative Engagement;" Wednesday, Nov. 7; 6 p.m.; R. Palmer Howard Amphitheatre; McIntyre Medical Sciences Building; 3655 Promenade Sir William Osler. Information:

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