Mixed-faith families need nurturing

Indo Canadian Voice Tue Dec 15 2015 By: Rattan Mall

A new article in Indo Canadian Voice featured UBC psychology professor Ara Norenzayan’s observations on interreligious marriages. Such marriages face a number of challenges and need to be nurtured, Norenzayan said. Many people still frown upon mixed-faith couples when one of the partners comes from a religion other than Christianity. A second issue is the conflicts that come up when raising children in mixed-faith families.

Conservative politics, business and COP21

Vancouver Observer Wed Dec 16 2015 By: David Tindall

Business leaders at the Paris climate talks announced their commitment to dealing with climate change and appear to be ahead of politicians in this respect, noted UBC sociology professor David Tindall in a Vancouver Observer op-ed.

“Many corporations now see runaway climate change as very bad for business, entailing unpredictable costs,” wrote Tindall. “Not only that, some see the transition to a green, decarbonized economy as a business opportunity — or even, in some cases, as a part of their social responsibility.”

The Paris agreement and Canada’s involvement

Times Colonist Wed Dec 16 2015 By: David Tindall

UBC sociology professor David Tindall offered qualified praise for the Paris climate talks in an op-ed for the Victoria Times Colonist. Canada has succeeded in improving its image as a supporter of climate-change plans but now needs to buckle down and make those plans a reality, Tindall wrote.

“We have now found our geographical bearings. We know roughly, but not exactly, how to get to the meeting. But we are still late, and will have to figure out a way to increase our speed to our destination,” said Tindall.

5 questions for Dr. Wade Davis

Huffington Post Wed Dec 16 2015 By: Tim Ward

UBC anthropology professor Wade Davis highlighted the importance of listening to indigenous community concerns in drawing up climate change policies.

“The voices of indigenous people matter because they can still remind us that there are indeed alternatives, other ways of orienting human beings in social, spiritual, and ecological space,” said Davis in a Q&A with the Huffington Post. “This is not to suggest naively that we abandon everything and attempt to mimic the ways of non-industrial societies, or that any culture be asked to forfeit its right to benefit from the genius of technology.”

10 best university libraries in Canada

Huffington Post Wed Dec 16 2015

UBC’s libraries and study spaces are among the best in Canada, according to a Huffington Post list. The article mentioned the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, the Chapman Learning Commons, and the Law Library in particular.

Acclaimed UBC student inventor goes for quiet Christmas

Montreal Gazette Sun Dec 13 2015 By: Glen Schaefer

Ann Makosinski, a student inventor who attends UBC, was profiled in articles in the Montreal GazetteCalgary HeraldEdmonton JournalRegina Leader PostThe Province, and Times Colonist.

Makosinski is in the Arts One survey course and a first-year chemistry course at UBC.

Experts split on top priority for changes to shipbuilding costing

iPolitics Tue Dec 15 2015 By: Amanda Connolly

A new iPolitics article highlighted the government’s plan to change the way it estimates cost for Canada’s national shipbuilding procurement strategy. UBC professor Michael Byers, a Canadian defence policy specialist, criticised current cost estimates.

“My advice to the government would be to put the brakes on the whole thing and prepare for a tendered competition,” Byers said.

Spending money on others may improve your health

Global News Mon Dec 14 2015 By: Tania Kohut

Research by UBC PhD student Ashley Whillans suggests that sharing the wealth boosts your mood and even lowers your blood pressure. In a Global News article, Whillans described her experiment with 128 people diagnosed with high blood pressure. The participants’ blood pressure levels were lower when they spent money on others.

Similar stories appeared in Huffington PostMetro News and Vancity Buzz.

5 ways Canadians can help reduce climate change

CBC News Tue Dec 15 2015 By: Alexandra Sagan

A few experts suggest ways of actually changing climate change policies in Canada. In a CBC article, UBC climatology professor Simon Donner urges people to write to their local MPs or city council members, saying “The more that your representatives hear about this, the more likely it is that … policies will be put in place.”

He also recommended eating less meat and shopping locally.

Digitization of South Peace archives keeps history alive

Alaska Highway News Mon Dec 14 2015 By: Mike Carter

South Peace residents have volunteered to digitize records of the region to keep their history alive, according to Alaska Highway News.

An $8,000-plus grant from the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC assisted their efforts to set up this digital archive.

CMU’s RoboTutor to teach where resources are sparse

NPR Tue Dec 15 2015 By: Jennifer Szweda Jordan

A school founded by UBC graduate student Joash Gambarage will receive RoboTutor, an Android tablet with software to teach literacy and arithmetic skills, according to an article in NPR.

The school has about 50 students but few resources.

Translation Tuesday: Venus by Chen Xue

Guardian UK Tue Dec 15 2015 By: Chen Xue, Josh Stenberg

The Guardian published an excerpt from Venus, a novel by noted Taiwanese writer Chen Xue. The excerpt was translated by UBC postdoctoral fellow Josh Stenberg and is part of a weekly series of translated works.

We could face challenges moving ahead with Paris deal

News 1130 Mon Dec 14 2015 By: Martin MacMahon

Canada faces great challenges in fulfilling its commitments in the Paris climate treaty, according to UBC political science professor Kathryn Harrison.

“We have an extremely greenhouse-gas intensive economy,” Harrison told News 1130. “If we’re going to phase out our reliance on fossil fuels over say five decades, we’re one of the countries in the world that has the farthest to go.”

Confirmed: Being generous is good for your body, not just your mind

Quartz Mon Dec 14 2015 By: Ashley Whillans

In an article for Quartz, UBC PhD student Ashley Whillans described an experiment she performed to find out if spending money on other people could lower blood pressure.

“Among participants who were previously diagnosed with high blood pressure…spending money on others significantly reduced their blood pressure over the course of the study,” Whillans wrote. “Critically, the magnitude of these effects was comparable to the benefits of interventions such as anti-hypertensive medication and exercise.”

Here’s why they don’t implement basic income

The Globe and Mail Sat Dec 12 2015 By: Kevin Milligan

Guaranteed annual income schemes as currently proposed in countries like Finland, the Netherlands and Switzerland would be impractical and expensive, said UBC economics professor Kevin Milligan in a Globe and Mail op-ed.

Rather than a universal basic income, Milligan said Canada could “provide a modest, targeted transfer that is means-tested through a gradual phase-out as income rises. This way, those who find work don’t immediately lose all their benefits, and so we can balance the desire to help with efficient work incentives. We also can target the benefits where they will do the most good, instead of including high earners in the plan.”