October 29, 2009


Toronto-based Business News Network (BNN) is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a great
look back at the top-10 stories of the last decade. It's an informative and thoughtful reflection
on the issues that have defined our world. Check out the special feature here.

October 27, 2009

[UPDATE] Biggest concert, EVER

On Sunday night YouTube streamed the entire "U2 360" concert live from the Rose Bowl. In addition to the record-breaking 97,000 fans in attendance YouTube has confirmed that nearly 10 million streams came into YouTube from 188 countries; the largest streaming event in YouTube history. Wow!!

It was an awesome concert, and you can watch the rebroadcast here. Enjoy!

October 25, 2009

Coming Soon

On Friday Queen's School of Medicine broke ground for a new building, an exciting and much-needed addition to the resources on campus for the teaching of our future physicians.

So far the $77M project is being funded by $28.8M from the Government of Canada, $28.8M from the Government of Canada, and $13.2M from private donations. The School is currently working to raise the $6.2M balance.


The Gaels took a beating yesterday, losing 13-25 at the capable hands of Laurier Golden Hawks. It was the Gaels' first loss in 18 games, and it was a big piece of humble pie to eat on the road.

Still, Queen's finishes at 7-1, atop the OUA, and remains the number-2 ranked team in the nation as they head for the playoffs. QB Brannagan also finished his CIS career with 10,714 yards, the second-highest in CIS Football history (after Western's Faulds).

Hats off (or is that 'Helmets off'?) to Laurier, a team that should never be discounted. Next weekend Queen's will face either McMaster, Guelph, or Ottawa in the quest for the OUA championship, the Yates Cup.

October 22, 2009

Queen's makes the grade

Queen’s received more A+ marks than any other university in the Globe and Mail 2010 Canadian University Report.

The survey of over 38,000 current undergrads at 53 schools gave Queen’s the highest grades in 10 categories, including quality of education, academic reputation, libraries, university atmosphere and diversity of extra-curricular activities. Overall student satisfaction is an "A". You can read the full results for Queen's here.

October 21, 2009

Got Paper?

Starting next week yours truly will be volunteering as a tutor at Queen's Writing Centre. I will be assisting first and second year students with their introductions, thesis statements, conclusions, and outlines. I anticipate that I will also advise them on stylistic and grammatical matters as is necessary. If you happen to be writing a paper and need advice I highly recommend the Centre's online handouts.

October 20, 2009

How long must we sing this song?

On October 18, 27 year-old Christopher Skinner was attacked by a group of men in downtown Toronto as he walked home alone from a party for his sister around 3:00 a.m. He was first physically assaulted and then the men piled in their SUV and ran him over, killing him. While police are reluctant to call the homicide a hate crime Skinner's family and friends believe the fact that Christopher was a gay man contributed to his murder.

I suspect that the police are hesitant to attach "hate" to the crime because it has not been proven that the assailants knew that Christopher was actually gay. However, whether or not the assaulted person is gay is almost beside the point. Assaulting someone because one believes that the person is gay (or Jewish, or Muslim, etc.) is key to establishing a hate crime. In fairness, this could simply, and horribly, be a case of random violence; that Christopher happened to be the dreadfully unfortunate person whose path crossed with a group intent on violence. Perhaps, although it's much more likely that the thugs in their SUV fortress, pumped up on whatever and with bravado fuelling a dangerous machismo, spotted Mr. Skinner on his way home and marked him as a fag worth bashing.

With deepest condolences to the family and friends of Christopher Skinner. May he rest in peace.

October 17, 2009

What a nail biter!

You know all those terrible Hollywood films about sports teams that have that ridiculous slow motion scene in the last minute of the game and the movie's hero somehow manages to save the day? Yeah, I have always loathed those scenes and those schlocky films too. Until today.

Yep, I can be a sentimental sports movie cynic no more, for today Queen's superstar QB Danny Brannagan threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to receiver Blaise Morrison (pictured) in the last 13.5 seconds to win the game 27-26 over Western. Wow! Yep, you read that correctly: 13.5 seconds. And, really, could a guy have a more appropriate name than Blaise? You couldn't write this stuff and get away with it. Oh, and for the record, Brannagan became only the second QB in CIS history to throw a career 10,000 yards.

Western's great QB became the third CIS QB to pass the 10,000 yard mark as well; a rare treat for football fans to have two powerhouse QBs in one game. A generous heap of praise to Western for an awesome match up that certainly met all the pre-game hype. Queen's moves to 7-0 and is the only undefeated university football team in Canada.

October 15, 2009

40 Years of Hilarity

In October 1969 a rather modest sketch show debuted on the BBC. The oddly named "Flying Circus" would go on to do for comedy, many believe, what the Beatles did for music.

For indeed, how can we imagine a world without the Parrot Sketch, the Argument Sketch, the Spam Sketch or, my all time favourite, the Cheese Shop Sketch.

Bravo and thank you to the utterly wonderful Monty Python!!

October 13, 2009

Queen's Football 6-0

The Gaels continued their winning streak this past Saturday, bowling over the Waterloo Warriors with a final score of 43-21.

The result was almost a foregone conclusion as the real anticipation was waiting for QB Danny Brannagan to close in on the OUA passing record, which he did just fine, making him the all-time Ontario passing leader, and just 466 yards shy of the national passing lead. Meanwhile, Brannagan is just 11 yards shy of breaking the 10,000 yard mark, which he will surely do next week, making him only the second player in CIS football history to do so.

The next match up is probably the most anticipated game in Canadian football this season: Queen's will host the mighty Western Mustangs at home on October 17. Go Gaels go!!

October 12, 2009

Do Ask and Do Tell

In an historic speech to the Human Rights Campaign 13th Annual National Dinner on October 10, Barrack Obama made a commitment to ending discrimination against LGBT people in the military, in the workplace, and their families. Some excerpts from his moving speech:

"And I'm here with a simple message: I'm here with you in that fight. For even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot -- and we will not -- put aside issues of basic equality..."

"My expectation is that when you look back on these years, you will see a time in which we put a stop to discrimination against gays and lesbians -- whether in the office or on the battlefield. You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman. You will see a nation that's valuing and cherishing these families as we build a more perfect union -- a union in which gay Americans are an important part. I am committed to these goals. And my administration will continue fighting to achieve them..."

"And that is why -- that's why I support ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country. I believe strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away and passing laws that extend equal rights to gay couples...For while there will be setbacks and bumps along the road, the truth is that our common ideals are a force far stronger than any division that some might sow. These ideals, when voiced by generations of citizens, are what made it possible for me to stand here today. These ideals are what made it possible for the people in this room to live freely and openly when for most of history that would have been inconceivable. That's the promise of America, HRC. That's the promise we're called to fulfill. Day by day, law by law, changing mind by mind, that is the promise we are fulfilling.

October 8, 2009

Top of the Pile

Well, a banner day for Queen's indeed, as the University is named as one of the top-100 employers in Canada by MediaCorp Canada.

Queen's was also just ranked one of the world's top-200 universities by the Times Higher-Education QS World University Rankings. Queen's placed at #118. Considering there are over 30,000 universities in the world a top-200 placement puts Queen's in the top 5% globally. Hats off as well to the other 10 Canadian universities who made the list, proving that Canadian higher education is globally competitive.

October 5, 2009

Queen's Football moves to 5-0

The Football Gaels posted their 15th victory in a row, with a 42-13 defeat over the Windsor Lancers. Special mention goes to kicker Dan Village (pictured). This win moves Queen's to the #4 national ranking.

In other sports, Queen's Men's Rugby remain undefeated as well, with a narrow 13-12 win over the mighty Western Mustangs; Queen's Rowing took home four gold medals at the Head of the Trent regatta in Peterborough; Queen's Swimming took home 12 gold medals at the Trent Invitational, also in Peterborough.

Go Queen's go!