How email made you less productive

Forbes Wed Apr 6 2016 By: David Burkus

A UBC study that found people were less stressed when they limited access to their emails is mentioned in a new Forbes article on how email can affect productivity. “Email increases multitasking,” said Kostadin Kushlev, the lead author of the UBC study. “It fragments our attention and contributes to our feeling that there is too much to do and not enough time to do it.”

Will you sprint, stroll or stumble into a career?

New York Times Tue Apr 5 2016 By: Jeffrey J. Selingo

For many young people, the path to full adulthood is not as clear-cut as it was for their parents, according to a New York Times article, with some young adults changing occupations multiple times in their 20s and others struggling to find a focus for their life. But job hopping isn’t all bad, says UBC economist Henry E. Siu, who has studied more than three decades of U.S. unemployment data. He and his colleagues found that increased mobility in one’s 20s leads to higher income in later life. Siu believes colleges should prepare their students to be “occupationally footloose” to better equip them for a more complex society.

Report raises alarm over aging coast guard fleet

The Globe and Mail Mon Apr 4 2016 By: Murray Brewster

A report submitted to the Trudeau government last December highlights the problems faced by Canada’s aging coast guard fleet, according to the Globe and Mail. UBC professor and defence expert Michael Byers says the report should nudge the government into questioning Canada’s shipbuilding strategy, which currently involves just two shipyards. “The government needs to question following the two-shipyard model,” said Byers. “They recently reaffirmed that commitment, but I think it was a mistake.” Similar articles appeared on CTV News, Global News, Toronto Sun, Ottawa Sun, Times Colonist and other outlets.

Ancient human sacrifice and our modern world

Washington Post Tue Apr 5 2016 By: Sarah Kaplan

The Washington Post and New Scientist highlighted new research which showed that ritual human sacrifice played a big role in the development of inherited class systems. However, a few experts questioned the study’s conclusions. According to UBC’s Joseph Henrich, the researchers used phylogenetic analysis–which assumes that social strata and religious rituals are inherited and evolve in the same way as languages. But there’s evidence that culture doesn’t necessarily develop that way. He pointed to two aspects of culture in the region that played out differently: human sacrifice, which has largely disappeared, and languages, which are still being passed down through generations.

Arctic rescue fears loom

CBC News Sun Apr 3 2016

A large cruise ship will sail the Northwest Passage in August with 1,000 passengers and more than 600 crew on board, and experts like UBC’s Michael Byers are concerned that Canada doesn’t have the capability to mount a rescue mission if the ship runs into trouble. Byers, a Canada research chair in global politics and international law at UBC, told CBC that the Canadian Coast Guard isn’t properly equipped “to get to those people and retrieve them in time.” A similar article appeared on Yahoo.

Space junk: a clear and present danger

The Globe and Mail Sat Apr 2 2016 By: Michael Byers

Space junk–the debris produced by 5,000 orbital-rocket launches since 1957–is a growing problem that endangers communication satellites and could potentially trap humanity on earth under clouds of floating debris, wrote UBC’s Michael Byers in a Globe and Mail op-ed. Byers, the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at UBC, believes Canada should lead efforts to address the problem as the country has the advantage of being a non-partisan player in space.

How did evil evolve, and why did it persist?

BBC Mon Apr 4 2016 By: Lucy Jones

A BBC article focused on the origins of evil — actions that cause intentional suffering, destruction or damage to someone for the benefit of the doer. The article mentioned research by UBC’s Del Paulhus, who proposed four categories of evil: Machiavellianism (manipulative), psychopathy (antisocial, remorseless), narcissism (proud, lacking empathy) and everyday sadism.

Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks

The Vancouver Sun Wed Mar 30 2016 By: David Gordon Duke

The Vancouver Sun highlighted an upcoming performance by Early Music Vancouver and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra at the Chan Centre. The event will recreate Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks and will feature players from the UBC Baroque Mentorship Orchestra program.

Dust bowl migration may not have been quite what we thought

Wall Street Journal Thu Mar 31 2016 By: Michael S. Derby

A new working paper by UBC economist Henry Siu and Jason Long of Wheaton College (reported in the Wall Street Journal) says Dust Bowl farmers, contrary to popular belief, largely stayed in place in the Great Depression of the 1930s. The real story, according to the authors, is the rise in people who decided to avoid the affected states of Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and Texas. “Migrants from the Dust Bowl were no more likely to move to California than migrants from any other part of the country,” said Long and Siu. “The depopulation of the Dust Bowl was due largely to a sharp drop in migration inflows.”

The Highest Bidder

The Walrus Wed Mar 30 2016 By: Kerry Gold

A new article in The Walrus highlights how foreign money is not only changing Vancouver housing ownership but also shaping the future of the city. As more average-income residents are priced out of their neighbourhoods, families are moving out and setting roots in the future new urban cores, like Burnaby and Coquitlam. Vancouver is likely to become a resort city in the future, where no one actually lives, according to people interviewed in the article. The article discussed the work around this issue done by UBC researchers Tsur Somerville and David Ley.

To catch someone on Tinder, stretch your arms wide

NPR Wed Mar 30 2016 By: Angus Chen

Your posture can affect your chances on dating apps like Tinder, according to a new U.S. study reported on NPR. Researchers found that open body language and occupying more space can make you more attractive to other people. UBC social psychologist Jessica Tracy, who wasn’t involved in the study, cautions: “Not everyone is going to go for someone showing an expansive posture. We have evidence that sometimes these kinds of open displays lead to problems. It can look arrogant.”

Watch Shadow the dog fly a PLANE

Daily Mail Wed Mar 30 2016 By: Sarah Griffiths

UK broadcaster Sky 1 has shared a video clip proving that dogs are capable of flying a plane, reports the Daily Mail. The clip is part of a TV programme that features rescue dogs attempting incredible feats. Stanley Coren, professor of canine psychology at UBC has previously criticized the show, saying: “Given that we would not expect a human three-year-old to be able to fly a plane, I would not expect that a dog could do so either.”

Federal budget closes a tax loophole

Business in Vancouver Thu Mar 24 2016 By: Jen St. Denis

The first Liberal budget has removed a loophole used by Canadian-controlled private corporations to pay lower taxes on investment income, reports Business in Vancouver. However, UBC economics professor Kevin Milligan said the budget didn’t address the practice of designating spouses as shareholders, which allows them to receive funds they didn’t generate. “Doctors and dentists will make their spouse a shareholder, you can pay them dividends of $40,000 a year before you pay taxes on it,” said Milligan. “There’s an estimate that it costs the government $500 million a year.”

Royal BC Museum puts colonial correspondence online

CBC Vancouver Sat Mar 26 2016 By: Gavin Fisher

Thousands of pages of colonial-era documents housed by the Royal BC Museum are now publicly available online, CBC Vancouver reported.

The collection, which includes letters written by a Victoria police sergeant, was funded by a grant from UBC’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Foreign money continues to be culprit in Vancouver’s affordability problem

Vancouver Courier Tue Mar 22 2016 By: Allen Garr

The work of UBC geographer David Ley is cited in a new Vancouver Courier piece about the impact of foreign money on Vancouver’s housing crisis.

Ley is quoted as saying the conclusion reached by the City of Vancouver in a recent report on vacant homes is “over the top.” The report found that foreign investors weren’t driving up housing prices.

But the piece quotes a peer-reviewed paper by Ley, in which he wrote: “Most important is the claim that the question of foreign ownership had nothing to do with government. Yet it most certainly did, for [Canadian federal, provincial and municipal] governments had for 30 years led trade and investment missions to Asia and had used the tool of business immigration to draw in entrepreneurs and their capital.”

Ley’s work is also mentioned in a Vancouver Sun column.