Exchange program with China pays off for UBC School of Music

Georgia Straight Mon Nov 30 2015 By: Alexander Varty

The best of the Beijing Central Conservatory’s opera talents are going up onstage with their UBC Opera Ensemble peers on December 2 and 3 at the Chan Centre.

Nancy Hermiston, chair of the UBC School of Music’s voice and opera divisions, talked to Georgia Straight about the growth of opera in China. According to Hermiston, many opera houses are being built across China and opera is one of the country’s fastest-growing art forms. Given the strong reputation of the Beiing conservatory, the exchange program is highly positive for both the UBC and Beijing musicians and for audiences in Canada and China, Hermiston said.

Is Canada behind other countries in the clean energy game?

CKNW Mon Nov 30 2015 By: Anna Kalfa

Canada is lagging other countries in clean energy development and climate change policies, UBC political scientist Kathryn Harrison told CKNW.

“Canada’s been talking a mean game for about 25 years in these international meetings, committing to deep reductions and then not delivering,” said Harrison. “It doesn’t mean we can’t start to make progress…but we’re behind at this point.”

‘Fresh start’ for China-Canada relations

China Daily Fri Nov 27 2015 By: David Hou

UBC political scientist Yves Tiberghien believes closer relations with China could develop with the new Liberal government now in place.

“The Liberal government has not yet decided its core approach to China…but we know that the Trudeau government will fit in the traditional Liberal approach, which is multilateralist in nature and in favour of global engagement,” said Tiberghien, director of the Institute of Asian Research at UBC.

B.C.’s seniors falling prey to predatory scams

The Province Sun Nov 29 2015 By: Nick Eagland

Elder abuse and scams targeting older people is a growing concern as the population ages. Experts say there are a number of ways to prevent this abuse from happening.

UBC social work professor Deborah O’Connor says family can take an older adult for a comprehensive assessment if they’re concerned about their relative’s mental capacity. But she cautioned that concern over their mental capacity should be balanced by a respect for their right to live their lives and make their own decisions.

How Justin Trudeau can handle climate change expectations

Toronto Star Sun Nov 29 2015 By: Joanna Smith

The new Liberal government has vowed to lead Canada into a low-carbon economy, pledging $2-billion for a Low Carbon Economy Trust and promising to devote $125 billion over the next decade to infrastructure investments.

These investments “could result in a major transformation in terms of the Canadian economy and its relationship to climate change,” said Michael Byers, the Canada Research Chair in global politics and international law at UBC.

Canada should re-ratify Kyoto, says Elizabeth May

National Observer Sun Nov 29 2015 By: Mychaylo Prystupa

Green party leader Elizabeth May believes Ottawa should re-ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which committed nations to reduction goals for greenhouse gases and to a carbon trading agreement.

UBC climate policy specialist Kathryn Harrison is more cautious, and says Canadians may not agree to their tax dollars going to purchase credits in a carbon trading system.

“The second issue is that the more we rely on international credits, the less we’re investing in transitioning to cleaner energy at home,” Harrison said.

Happiness is a vague study

National Post Fri Nov 27 2015 By: Robert Fulford

A National Post article discussing the credibility and value of “happiness research” quotes the UN-backed World Happiness Report, co-edited by John F. Helliwell, an emeritus economics professor at UBC. The report studied 106 countries and says that cities are adding happiness to their political-social priorities. Switzerland is the happiest, followed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada.

900-year-old ‘Parrot Lady’ statue just a ‘nice knock-off’

CBC News Mon Nov 30 2015 By: Emily Chung

A 900-year-old statue presented by then-prime minister Stephen Harper to his Indian counterpart as a gift is just a knock-off and not a stolen artifact, insists the woman who first bought the statue.

The article mentions an assessment made in 2010 by UBC art history professor Katherine Hacker.

Hacker said at the time that it’s possible that the artwork is not a copy.

“Even though the face is surprisingly intact, the more I looked at the sculpture the less convinced I was of it as a recent copy,” Hacker wrote.

Measuring CO2 and other greenhouse gases

CBC News Mon Nov 30 2015 By: Emily Chung

A CBC News series on climate change issues tackles the difficulties of measuring carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Researchers say there are ways to prevent deception in reporting. UBC scientist Andreas Christen measures greenhouse gases from campus, in the City of Vancouver and at a local wetland, and uses the results to compare calculated versus measured emissions.

“Some of the studies we have done in the past show we come relatively close, within 10 per cent,” he said.

Yahoo News also ran this story.

Five ways to give better gifts

Wall Street Journal Mon Nov 30 2015 By: Dana Wechsler Linden

A Wall Street Journal article suggests a few ways to give better gifts, all based on research. The results of a UBC study suggest that when choosing presents for the men they’re dating, women should look for a gift that builds on an area of similarity. As for women, their outlook on the future of a romantic relationship aren’t affected by receiving a “bad” versus “good” gift.

7 things to know about UN climate change talks in Paris

Yahoo News Fri Nov 27 2015 By: Dene Moore

Commenting on Canada’s climate change policies on the eve of the U.N. climate summit in Paris, UBC political science professor Kathryn Harrison says many other countries have been doing more in this area.

“There will be pressure on Canada to do more,” Harrison said. “Other countries will need some convincing that we’re actually serious this time, and that will not be easy given the domestic political challenges that remain.”

(In)visible: The Spiritual World of Taiwan

Georgia Straight Tue Nov 24 2015 By: Robin Laurence

The Straight reviewed “(In)visible: The Spiritual World of Taiwan Through Contemporary Art,” a contemporary Taiwanese art exhibition at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology.

The review went: “It’s a truly captivating installation, immersive and, in many ways, overwhelming—and impossible to see or comprehend in one visit. Given the theme of this exhibition, this is as it should be.”

Early Native Americans raised turkeys, but not to eat

Discovery News Wed Nov 25 2015 By: Jennifer Viegas

New research suggests that Native Americans at a Utah site called Turkey Pen Ruins raised turkeys for their feathers, not for food.

The researchers analysed human hair for the American Southwest to look for amino acid signatures resulting from diet.

Native Americans from the area obtained around 80 percent of their calories and protein from maize, said study co-author and UBC anthropologist R.G. Matson.

Trudeau to gain where provinces lose on taxing 1%: adviser

Bloomberg Wed Nov 25 2015 By: Greg Quinn

An analysis by Kevin Milligan, a UBC professor and occasional Liberal adviser, and the University of Toronto’s Michael Smart shows that taxing the “one percenters” may not bring in as much revenue as expected since wealthy families could move provinces.

But since it’s harder to move countries, by coordinating their tax efforts, the federal and provincial governments could achieve the results they want, the analysts said.

B.C. readies for arrival of Syrian refugees

Global BC Mon Nov 23 2015 By: Jon Azpiri

Thousands of Syrian refugees are expected to settle in B.C.

UBC geography professor Dan Hiebert says traditionally refugees have been sent to the big cities, because they have extensive support networks, but there have also been a few attempts to send refugees to more mid-level or smaller cities.

“They have two models to choose from and we’ll see what they do,” Hiebert said.