Mandarin-language classes growing in popularity in metro

The Vancouver Sun Thu Jan 14 2016 By: Chuck Chiang

Vancouver schools say Mandarin is a top choice for students looking to learn a foreign language, according to a new article in the Vancouver Sun.

UBC Continuing Studies program leader Nina Parr said Mandarin is second only to French in popularity among the school’s foreign language courses.

At the undergrad level, students are taking Mandarin mostly because they’re interested in studying a foreign language and culture, said Ross King, head of UBC’s Department of Asian Studies.

Infrastructure spending isn’t a quick fix for sluggish economy

The Globe and Mail Thu Jan 14 2016 By: John Ibbitson

A Globe and Mail column on Canada’s sluggish economy quotes UBC economist and former Liberal Party adviser Kevin Milligan.

Milligan was quoted as saying that while infrastructure spending is helpful, it’s not a quick fix for one or two quarters of weak economic growth.

Artist explores images of indigenous women in new exhibition

CBC News Thu Jan 14 2016 By: Leah Collins

CBC News highlighted an exhibition by visual artist Dana Claxton, who teaches in the department of art history, visual art and theory at UBC.

The exhibit runs at Vancouver’s Audain Gallery through March 12.

Do YOU have the happiness gene?

Mail on Sunday Thu Jan 14 2016 By: Fiona MacRae

A UBC study that measured happiness was the focus of a new article in Mail on Sunday.

The study suggests that buying material goods makes people happier over a longer period than purchasing an experience.

While memories of experiences can be intense, the feelings eventually fade. But material objects remind people of how they felt when they first received it, the researchers said.

The disease theory of xenophobia

The Atlantic Thu Jan 14 2016 By: Olga Khazan

An Atlantic article looking at the origins of prejudice mentioned a review paper published this week by psychologists Damian R. Murray, from Tulane University, and Mark Schaller, from UBC.

The paper suggested that historically, subconscious fear of disease could be behind wariness toward anything “foreign.” However, this effect does get filtered through other lenses, such as more recent events. For example, the effect of the Ebola outbreak is probably not what’s fuelling anti-immigrant sentiment, Schaller said. The fear likely stems from seeing terrorist attacks reported in the media.

The ‘gaytrification’ effect

The Guardian Wed Jan 13 2016 By: Feargus O'Sullivan

UBC sociology professor Amin Ghaziani is quoted in a Guardian story on the gentrification of certain neighbourhoods, a process thought to be led by members of LGBT community looking for welcoming, affordable places to live.

Amin Ghaziani, author of the book “There Goes the Gayborhood?” said there is some evidence that LGBT residents boost property prices in North America.

“We know that areas that have large concentrations of gays and lesbians experience greater increases in housing prices compared to the US national average,” said Ghaziani.

BC was the first province to allow betting on US politics

News 1130 Tue Jan 12 2016 By: Simon Druker

B.C. was the first province in Canada to allow betting on the U.S. presidential election, according to News 1130.

The article also quoted Luke Clark, the director of the centre for gambling research at UBC.

Clark believes such novel forms of gambling aren’t cause for concern as the most popular forms are still lotto and casino-based games.

DFO cracks down on illegal seafood sales on Facebook

CFNR Tue Jan 12 2016 By: Gene Law

Canada’s First Nations Radio (CFNR) spoke with UBC anthropology professor Charles Menzies on the subject of illegal food sales.

Menzies disputed the government’s position that there were no commercial markets in the past before Europeans settled in Canada.

Time is more important for happiness than money: study

Huffington Post Tue Jan 12 2016

Huffington Post and Yahoo featured new UBC research that showed people were happier if they could spend their time on meaningful pursuits rather than on making money.

“It appears that people have a stable preference for valuing their time over making more money, and prioritizing time is associated with greater happiness,” said lead researcher Ashley Whillans, a PhD student in social psychology at UBC.

How to track a brutal cereal killer

National Geographic Tue Jan 12 2016 By: Rachel Becker

National Geographic featured a UBC study of weather data and crop production which showed that droughts and extreme heat reduced cereal production by 9 to 10 percent. However, extreme cold or floods didn’t produce as significant an effect.

The team, led by global food security professor Navin Ramankutty, also discovered that the damage due to drought was worse in developed countries than in developing regions. Ramankutty said monoculture agriculture makes developed countries more vulnerable when extreme weather events occur.

Century Song presents Canada’s black female history

The Globe and Mail Mon Jan 11 2016 By: J. Kelly Nestruck

The Globe and Mail featured a new performance from soprano Neema Bickersteth about 100 years of black female experience in Canada.

Bickersteth earned a master’s degree in opera in 2004 at UBC.

Trans Mountain pipeline isn’t dead yet: Kinder Morgan

National Post Tue Jan 12 2016 By: Kelly Sinoski

Kinder Morgan Canada isn’t fazed by B.C.’s opposition to its pipeline expansion and expects to satisfy B.C.’s demands by August, according to a Postmedia report.

The article also quoted UBC political science professor Richard Johnston, who said the province’s submission increases the importance of the federal pipeline review.

This story ran in the National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Calgary HeraldRegina Leader Post, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, The Province and other publications.

Why you should prioritize free time instead of money

Fast Co. Tue Jan 12 2016 By: Charlie Sorrel

A new Fast Co. article highlights a UBC study that showed it’s important to place greater value on time over money if you want to be happy.

The paper, authored by UBC researchers Ashley Whillans, Aaron Weidman and Elizabeth Dunn, found that those who value their time feel happier.

“It would also be interesting to explore whether time–money preferences shift in response to major life changes such as after having children, following a traumatic life event, or after retirement,” said Whillans.

A similar article appeared in the Huffington Post.

Money can buy happiness, especially when you invest it in others

PBS News Hour Thu Jan 7 2016 By: Paul Solman

UBC psychology professor Elizabeth Dunn and marketing professor Michael Norton spoke to PBS News Hour about their recent book, “Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending.”

Dunn and Norton’s main theme is that money can buy happiness, provided it’s used to “buy experiences, buy time, make it a treat, pay now and consume later, and invest in others.”

Interns eyed as Vancouver school psychologists

24 Hours Sun Jan 10 2016 By: Michael Mui

The Vancouver School Board is considering taking on UBC master’s students as school psychologists–position that have been hard to fill, reports 24 Hours.

The students would still be supervised during their time in the schools.