While I was in a mall parking lot one day, I noticed a McGill University bumper sticker on another car. This prompted me to scrawl a hurried note (“Hi! I went to McGill, too! We should be friends! Find me on Facebook!”) and tuck it under her windshield wiper. This led to a series of amusing coffee dates with one Canadian resident of Illinois. (Since several Canadians have asked me, “Isn’t Illinois in Chicago?” I’ll go ahead and clarify that—despite occasional inclinations to the contrary—Chicago is in fact in Illinois.)
My mom has a McGill University bumper sticker on her car. Rather than encouraging coffee dates, it has elicited several blank stares from her Chicago area acquaintances, most of whom are a bit unclear on the concept of Canada (to say nothing of my field as a Canadian Studies major!).
Once she explains the notion of Montreal, people usually . . . → Read More: Fighting Ignorance, one bumper sticker at a time
Growing up, I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t the target of some sort of advertising—whether it be for Barbies, Tamagotchi pets, or iPods. As a kid, commercials were distinctly aimed at me, and it was my job to find a way to acquire whatever the product du jour was. According to a new joint study from Concordia University and the University of Texas, this adolescent-directed consumerism was likely the result of where I grew up: Canada. The study found distinct differences in the consumer patterns of adolescents in Canada and China.
Dr. Michel Laroche (Credit: Concordia)
Teenagers are prime consumers, and understanding the cultural differences that influence how and where they spend their money could be of great importance to marketers. The study, which used data from 1,289 Chinese and 305 Canadian teenagers, found that—when it comes to spending—Canadian teens tend to make their own decisions . . . → Read More: Marketing to Mom? Study compares Canadian and Chinese teen consumer patterns
Dr. Roger Mitchell, Professor Emeritus at Lakehead University, has been awarded with a truly organic honour—he has a newly-discovered mineral named after him.
Structural view of mineral "rogermitchellite." (Credit: Lakehead University)
“Rogermitchellite” is a transparent mineral species discovered at Mont Saint-Hilaire, Québec by Laurentian University Professor of Mineralogy Dr. Andrew McDonald. Dr. McDonald proposed Dr. Mitchell’s name for the mineral to the International Mineralogical Association (IMA) to honour Mitchell’s work in the field.
“There are only about 5,000 named minerals in existence,” says Mitchell. “The naming of new minerals is quite a complex process that involves several stages of approval by international committees. While there are several other Canadian mineralogists who have minerals named after them, names are not given on an ad hoc basis. They have to be approved and there are a lot of rules. I am honoured that my work in mineralogy and petrology has . . . → Read More: Recognizing Research: New Mineral Named After Lakehead Professor
Arcade Fire burning up the music industry: Montreal indie band Arcade Fire—which counts three Concordia University graduates as members—have made waves in the music scene with recent high-profile award wins including an Album of the Year Grammy award and a Best International Album BRIT award. Alumni from the band include Régine Chassagne (BA Communication Studies ’98), Richard Reed Parry (BFA Electroacoustic Studies ’03) and Sarah Neufeld (BFA Electroacoustic Studies ’03). [Concordia University] Dalhousie University alumnus and former Olympic gymnast David Kikuchi recently shared his experience as the head
Dalhousie Alum David Kikuchi (Credit: Dalhousie University)
coach of the Nova Scotia men’s gymnastics team at the Canada Games held in Halifax from February 11-27, 2011. Two of Kikuchi’s athletes earned medals at the games. [Dalhousie . . . → Read More: Alumni Updates: Concordia Alumni in Arcade Fire Burn up Music Scene
Photo Credit: Concordia University
Many Canadians suffer from health concerns regarding their weight, especially the growing concerns around obesity. New research now shows that obesity can contribute majorly to other illnesses, with asthma being just one on a list of many.
A new Canadian study looks into what effects obesity can have on asthma, specifically focusing on exercise-induced asthma. Exercise-induced asthma, commonly known as EIA, is a specific type of asthma that induces an asthma attack specifically when exercising. It can happen to people who experience asthma on a regular basis, as well as those who don’t. EIA is generally triggered because of the different ways we breathe when exercising and when at rest. When exercising, we breathe through our mouth—which causes cold, dry air to hit our lungs, thus triggering the attack.
The study—a collaborative effort between Concordia University, Université du Québec à Montréal and Hôpital du Sacre-Coeur de Montréal—examines the high . . . → Read More: Which comes first: exercise-induced asthma or obesity? Concordia researchers ask the classic question
The next time you’re looking to kill some time with a good game, consider leaving the Wii remote in its cradle—choose a different game your pastime could be helping humankind.
Phylo – A Human Computing Framework for Comparative Genomics is a new interactive game developed by researchers at McGill University as a way to harness people’s spare time to help decipher genetic sequences.
Genetic Code (Credit: RambergMediaImages)
In order to better understand the structure of genes, researchers compare genetic sequences to each other to try to identify common regions. This comparison, called multiple sequence alignment, is traditionally carried out through complex computer algorithms. However, because people are naturally inclined to solve puzzles, they are to recognize and correct gaps in patterns more efficiently than computers.
Capitalizing on human abilities to optimize genetic sequences, McGill researchers—led by researcher Dr. Jérôme Waldispuhl—have developed the Phylo game.
People who play the . . . → Read More: This Ain’t No Atari: McGill Researchers Want You to Play Genetic Games