Ministers, parliamentarians at Taiwan event anger China

Hill Times Wed Apr 20 2016 By: Chelsea Nash

Canadian parliamentarians and cabinet ministers are under fire from the Chinese embassy for attending a Taiwanese dinner reception and for calling Taiwan a country, reports Hill Times.

“As the Conservative party’s foreign affairs critic, it is wonderful as well to celebrate all things Taiwanese,” said Conservative MP Tony Clement at the event.

Yves Tiberghien, director of the Institute of Asian Research at UBC, said Clement would probably not have made these remarks had he still been in government, because Canada follows a one-China policy.

One Belt, One Road raise hopes

China Daily Wed Apr 20 2016 By: Hua Shengdun

China Daily discussed a talk on China’s One Belt One Road initiative and China-US relations held in Washington on Monday.

“I see the One Belt One Road as low hanging fruit for US-China cooperation, because there is no conflict of interest,” said Yves Tiberghien, director of the Institute of Asian Research at UBC. “If anything, it’s going to help stabilize Afghanistan and the Middle East.”

Does marriage make you happier?

Business Insider Thu Apr 7 2016 By: Erin Brodwin

Business Insider article looks at studies suggesting that married people are happier than single people, and concludes that it’s not the act of marriage itself that makes people happier; it’s the quality of the relationship itself.

The article cites a 2014 study led by UBC economics professor John Helliwell, which found that couples who were best friends and lived together were just as happy as couples who were best friends and married.

“Maybe what is really important is friendship, and to never forget that in the push and pull of daily life,” said Helliwell.

Similar articles appeared on YahooThe Independent and Tech Insider.

The inequality of happiness

The Atlantic Thu Apr 7 2016 By: Julie Beck

The World Happiness Report–an annual ranking of the world happiest countries–added inequality to the equation this year, reports The Atlantic.

Report editor and UBC economics professor John Helliwell said there are two types of inequalities: in some regions, like the Caribbean, people can be happy but not equally so; in another scenario, you could have some very unhappy people and some very happy ones within the same region. The latter is something that’s been observed in the Middle East and North Africa.

The ‘darker link’ between human sacrifice and our modern world

Psychology Today Wed Apr 6 2016 By: Nick Tasler

More media outlets reported on a new analysis of more than seven dozen Austronesian cultures, which revealed that ritual human sacrifice gave rise to strict class systems.

However, UBC psychologist Joseph Henrich, who wasn’t involved in the study, was skeptical about its conclusions. The researchers used a method that assumed social strata and religious rituals are passed down in the same manner as languages, and Henrich doubted that this is the case.

This story appeared in The IndependentMSNNational PostMontreal GazetteCalgary HeraldRegina leader PostOttawa Citizen, and The Province.

The surprisingly easy way to reduce your anxiety

Washington Post Thu Apr 7 2016 By: Amy Ellis Nutt

Washington Post article highlighted an experiment by UBC psychologists Jennifer Trew and Lynn Alden on whether acts of kindness could also help reduce social anxiety. Previous research has already shown that kind acts make people happier.

The researchers found that people who engaged in acts of kindness had fewer instances of avoiding social situations because of their fear of rejection or conflict.

Nanitch reflects B.C. history through Langmann collection

Georgia Straight Wed Apr 6 2016 By: Robin Laurence

The Georgia Straight highlighted a survey of historical photographs of B.C. on view at Presentation House Gallery. The show spans a 60-year period from the 1860s to the early 1920s and features daguerreotypes, silver gelatin prints, postcards, and other photographs. The collection is borrowed from the Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs, donated to the UBC Library.

A stronger relationship with China’s despotic regime

National Post Wed Apr 6 2016 By: Terry Glavin

A National Post article criticized the Liberal government’s China policy and the public relations effort being done to make it acceptable to Canadians. The article quoted Paul Evans, a China specialist and professor of international relations at UBC who co-authored a paper urging a rewrite of the “narrative for deeper engagement” with China. “The most difficult part is explaining the necessity of living with China rather than expecting or requiring major changes in its basic institutions, even as we try to advance concepts like the rule of law and good governance and protect Canadian values and institutions at home,” wrote Evans and his colleague.

Tax haven crackdown could boost Liberal books by billions

Yahoo Canada Wed Apr 6 2016 By: Simon Doyle

The Liberal government hopes to crack down on tax avoidance to help balance its budget, reports Yahoo. The Canada Revenue Agency said they are looking into the leaked Panama Papers to build on the work the agency is already doing to find taxpayers who are concealing money offshore in Panama and other jurisdictions. “This brings new attention to it,” said Kevin Milligan, an economics professor at UBC. “I hope that Canada will show leadership at the OECD and other international forums where we try to set these international tax rules.”

The Kafka Effect

Psychology Today Wed Apr 6 2016 By: Nick Tasler

Unexpected change, or encountering something that doesn’t make sense, can spur the brain into creative heights, says a Psychology Today article. The writer described a UBC study which found that participants who read a confusing story did better at a pattern recognition test after they’d finished reading, than participants who read a more logical story. The reason for this is that the brain, when it encounters something that doesn’t make sense, starts firing on all cylinders with great intensity and ability.

Why does happiness inequality matter?

Huffington Post Wed Apr 6 2016 By: Kira Newman

Happiness inequality, like income inequality, is on the rise, according to this year’s World Happiness Report, The Huffington Post reported.

The World Happiness Report is co-authored by UBC researchers.

Take the ‘mean girls’ test

Daily Mail Wed Apr 6 2016 By: Stacey Liberatore

A UBC study on the role genes play in our emotions is mentioned in a UK Daily Mail article about how being a drama queen could possibly be a biological trait.

‘People really do see the world differently,’ said psychology professor Rebecca Todd, author of the UBC study.

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.