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                                   University of King’s College School of Journalism                            February 5 — 11, 2010

                                                                                        ‘Perfect storm’ of
                                                                                        risk factors looms
                                                                                        for heart health
                                                                                        Heart and Stroke Foundation says Maritimers’ lifestyles leading
                                                                                        to heart disease — even young adults at considerable risk
                                                                                        James Whitehead                                    Health Science Centre, says Eastern Canada
                                                                                                            carries some of the highest risk in the country
                                                                                                                                           for cardiovascular disease.
                                                                                           Chris Handforth is one of the captains of the      “We have the highest rates of obesity,
                                                                                        University of King’s College rugby team and he     highest rates of inactivity,” he said.
                                                                                        is at risk for heart disease.                         Giacomantonio says the original Scottish
                                                                                           “Personally (heart disease) is something        and Irish settlers had a genetic predisposition
                                                                                        that I am very aware of,” he said.                 to cardiovascular disease but they didn’t see as
                                                                                           “I try to stay active because I know that my    many effects because of their lifestyle.
                                                                                        family is predisposed to have larger people in        “Physical activity was high, obesity was low
                                                                                        it.”                                               and what you ate was a survival to do the work
                                                                                           The 22-year-old history and biology student     you needed to do,” he said.
                                                                                        says he is also involved in martial arts and          He says over the years, industrialization and
                                                                                        tries to eat right.                                advanced technology changed the lifestyle of
                                                                                           The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s annual        Maritimers leaving a legacy of heart disease.
                                                                                        heart health report card gave 20- to 30-year-old      According to the foundation’s report card,
                                                                                        Canadians a failing grade in heart health.         only 38.4 per cent of Nova Scotians now are
                                                                                           “We have a lot of people in the province        at a healthy weight and only 47.6 per cent are
                                                                                        who are at risk for heart disease,” says Elaine    getting enough exercise.
                                                                                        Shelton, director of health promotion for the         “Soon enough, we will see more and more
                                                                                        foundation.                                        people presenting with heart disease and
                                                                                           Handforth says he didn’t know about the         stroke,” said Shelton.
                                                                                        report but can see its relevance.                     The foundation’s report card warns there is
                                                                                           “You’d think that we’d be the fittest people    a “perfect storm” of risk factors looming on the
                                                                                        but ... let’s be honest, a lot of university       horizon.
                                                                                        students just don’t eat well.”                        “Our three bad systems are aging popula-
                                                                                           Handforth’s family is not the only one with     tion, living longer with the disease, and youth
                                                                                        a genetic predisposition to cardiovascular         getting more risk factors,” said Giacomantonio.
                                                                      KATHLEEN HUNTER   disease risk factors.
  The Italian Stallion teases the crowd at last weekend’s Everything                       Nick Giacomantonio, a cardiologist at QEII               See ‘Changing lifestyles’ page 2 >>
  to do with Sex Show. Check out the photo essay on pages 8 — 9.

This week’s focus – Body, Mind & Spirit, pages 1 - 9

Dance away the pounds with Zumba classes >> p. 7       Little works of art raising money for mental health >> p. 5             Stressed? Find out how some people cope >> p. 3
2      foCus: Body, mind & sPirit                                                                                                                                             February 5 – 11, 2010

It’s up to all of us to shape a healthier future
                        editorial                                     more asthma and more cancer than the national average.               the lackadaisical lifestyle I’ve lived.
                                                                         Nova Scotians also smoke and drink to excess more than the           Yes, I know soft drinks are not the healthiest choice, but I
                                                                      rest of the country, while they exercise less and eat fewer fruits   drink them anyway and I can’t explain why. As a generation we
                        Peter Clarke                                  and vegetables each day.                                             just fill our bodies with this kind of stuff.
                                            That can be backed up by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp.                It’s time to reexamine this on societal level.
                                                                      continually showing record profits. It’s almost needless to say         This week, The Commoner looks into some of the finer points
                                                                      that Nova Scotia also has a lower life expectancy than the rest      of living healthy such as limiting stress, keeping a healthy heart
                                                                      of the country.                                                      and living more actively.
                                                                         A couple of weeks ago, CBC’s The National ran a segment              Lots of health organizations have perked up and are actively
  The word is out that Nova Scotia is the most overweight              telling young Canadians that they are now just as at risk for       trying to make Nova Scotians healthier.
province in the country.                                              heart disease and problems as their baby boomer parents.                But ultimately it’s up to individuals to do what they can to
  Shockingly enough, the bad news doesn’t end there.                     The Heart and Stroke Foundation is calling it the “perfect        shape up.
  According to Statistics Canada, more than 20 per cent of            storm” of heart problems                                                Eating healthy can be expensive so if you can’t afford to fill
Nova Scotians suffer from high blood pressure compared to the            As I take a swig of my non-diet cola, I realize that it may be    your pantry with healthiest stuff then you should at least try to
national average of 16.4 per cent.                                    time that we changed our habits a little. I mean, my parents’        get out and be active.
  They also have more pain, more arthritis, more diabetes,            generation likely has a longer life expectancy than me due to           Go for a walk, jog or shovel your driveway.

 Changing lifestyles
  From Page 1 >>

   He says it’s vital we focus on reducing common risk factors
that drive cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, high
cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, inactivity and smoking.
   “Recognize it and admit to it and then, you’re well on the way
to changing it,” he said.
   Giacomantonio also said that while most of the risk factors
are preventable, the only way reverse the trend is to change our
society’s lifestyle.
   Shelton says that is what this report is all about.
   “What we are looking for is the funding and implementation
(from the government) of the heart health strategy and action
plan,” she said.
   “That plan was released almost a year ago and it’s just kind
of sitting on a shelf because there’s no funding attached to it.”
   The plan outlines several policies designed to help make
healthy choices easier.
   In the meantime, both Shelton and Giacomantonio are urging
Canadians to exercise more and choose healthier foods.
   Handforth says he is trying his best but it is difficult.
   “I try to eat healthy but it’s hard, it’s not cheap to do that,”
he said.
   “Some of us don’t have a lot of money.”
                                                                                                                                                                                               JAMES WHITEHEAD

                                                                      Chris Handforth (far right) plays rugby and tries to eat right to avoid heart disease.

                         halifax Commoner                                                                                                     Clarification
                                      Volume 12 #9
                                                                                                                                              In “Long distance mourning: the future of the funeral
                                                                                                                                              business” appearing in our January 29 - February 4
  The Halifax Commoner is published ten                                                                                                       edition, we referred to Dale Moses as a programmer and
  times a year — five weeks in October/              Issue Editor                                                                             technician for the Worker’s Compensation Board of Nova
  November and five weeks in January/                Peter Clarke                                                                             Scotia. He no longer holds the position of programmer.
  February.                                          Assignment Editor
    It is written, edited and designed by            Kristy Hutter
  students in the Newspaper Workshop at              Photo Editors
  School of Journalism, University of King’s         Casey Dorrell | Kathleen Hunter                                                                            CHECK US OUT ONLINE
  College, Halifax, N.S., B3H 2A1.
                                                     Faculty Advisors & Instructors
                                                     Dean Jobb                                                                                      TWITTER @HALIFAXCOMMONER
    P: (902) 422-1271 (ext. 143)                     Reporting, writing, editing
    F: (902) 423-3357                                Kate Ross
    E:                      Production/Design
                                                     Michael Creagen
                                                                                layout Pages   1, 2: monika WarzeCha
February 5 – 11, 2010                                                                                                                                                          Body, mind & sPirit         3
Stress levels on rise for young Canadians
StatsCan reports one in four women consider themselves extremely stressed — a higher number than men
mark teo                                  can lead to high blood pressure,                           heightened cholesterol levels and
                                          heart disease.
  Like plenty of sleep-deprived, cof-        Chiasson’s not alone. According
fee-fuelled undergrads, fourth-year       to a 2009 Statistics Canada report,
Dalhousie University political sci-       nearly one quarter of women
ence student Sophie Chiasson is no        between the ages of 20 and 34 con-
stranger to stress.                       sider themselves extremely stressed
  But when she broke out into a rash      on a daily basis. By comparison, 20
on her legs last week – something         per cent of men considered them-
she’d never experienced before – she      selves equally stressed.
knew something was wrong.                    In Canada, those numbers are
  “I had just gotten home from being      rising. The Canadian Mental Health
at the library all day,” she recounted.   Association, a non-profit mental
“I was late with the next chapter for     health organization, says the
my thesis and behind on preparing         number of Canadians reporting
for the Model U.N.”                       stress has risen 30 per cent between
                                          2008 and 2009.
                                             For students like Chiasson, there

                                          are plenty of contributing factors.
      Stress isn’t just related           Day says a combination of financial
to life circumstances, but                worries, roommate stresses, aca-
how people think about their              demic deadlines and family and per-
                                          sonal problems can be worrisome.
life circumstances .... Some
                                             And along with her daily responsi-
people are stressed because               bilities, Chiasson also holds herself
they think ‘I should be doing             up to high personal standards.
better.’                                     “I psych myself out,” she said.
                    Dr. Victor Day        “Normally, it’s in my head, some-
           Director of Counseling         times I build things up to be worse
               services, Dalhousie
                                          than they are.”
                                             Day says that even successful stu-
  It didn’t help that she had to travel   dents – with active social lives, good
to Montreal last weekend for her          grades and no financial burdens –
Model United Nations duties, com-         can feel stressed.
pressing her schedule.                       “Stress isn’t just related to life cir-                                                                                                                     MARK TEO
  The 21-year-old said she’s never        cumstances, but how people think             Dalhousie student Sophie Chiasson broke out into a rash last week — a by-product of stress.
experienced a physical – or such an       about their life circumstances,”
“intense” – reaction to stress before.    said Day. “Some people are stressed
  Dr. Victor Day, director of counsel-    because they think ‘I should be              short-term solution for tense minds.      techniques are helpful, they don’t      completing tasks and assignments
ing services at Dalhousie, says it’s      doing better.’                                  Canada’s Public Health Agency          address the immediate factors that      – and refining organizational
not uncommon to have a physical              “Worrisome thoughts can dis-              recommends eating a balanced diet         cause stress.                           techniques are solutions to solving
reaction to stress.                       rupt concentration,” he continued.           filled with grain, fruit and vegeta-        “Distraction and avoidance don’t      anxiety.
  “It’s related to all physical prob-     “That can affect relationships with          bles and a full night’s sleep as stress   work very well,” he said, adding that      For Chiasson, self-awareness –
lems humans have – all the major          other people and when students are           mitigators.                               some can turn to more destructive       and being realistic with her goals –
and minor diseases,” he said. “It’s       stressed, they may be less produc-              Others turn to physical activi-        habits – like excessive drinking – as   is part of her plan.
bad for all your body’s systems.”         tive academically.”                          ties, such as yoga or mindfulness         escapism.                                  “I try to stay calm and realize what
  Day says sleeplessness, head-              Day says stress reduction and             meditation, an exercise Day                 Stress management, on the other       I can and can’t do, what I can and
aches and indigestion are the most        stress management are two ways               describes a “way to quiet your            hand, is the most effective way to      can’t accomplish,” she said.
common side-effects of stress. The        people can cope with anxiety.                mind.”                                    solve anxiety problems. Solving
long-term effects of chronic stress          Stress reduction techniques are a            While he acknowledges that these       stressful situations directly – like

                                                                                           Covering DAL, SMU, MSVU, NSCAD, KING’s, AST and NSCC

                                                                                             Page layout:   JessiCa ilse
4    Body, mind & sPirit                                                                                                                                                              February 5 – 11, 2010

Winter weather hinders fitness in N.S.
No simple solutions seen for rising obesity rates
kristy hutter                             federal and municipal governments,           moving now, but it should make                    communities, businesses in the               physical activity a goal for the
                                          private sector, and non-governmen-           long-term, he said.
   As the cold weather begins to          tal organizations.                              “It’s an uphill battle, for sure. But
settle in, so does sluggishness.            “We need to work with the                  you have to engage young people
   Halifax Regional Municipality          whole range of partners we have,             early so that you build the love for
spokesperson Dustin O’Leary said          and implement evidence-based                 physical activity from the begin-
the winter season is tough – people       solutions,” said Strang.                     ning.”
tend to be less active because they                                                       The Halifax Regional School Board

would rather stay indoors.                                                             is also doing its part to coach its
   “Sledding, snowshoeing, skiing                                                      students to live healthier lives.
                                               It’s an uphill battle,
and, of course, there is always                                                           Schools      within      HRM      are
shoveling,” said O’Leary, the city’s
                                          for sure. But you have to                    currently trying to follow the food
promotions and research coordina-         engage young people early                    and nutrition policy – a program
tor. “There is no shortage of things to   so that you build the love                   established three years ago by which
do, it’s just a matter of getting moti-   for physical activity from the               every student must have access to
vated to do it.”                          beginning.                                   healthy food options at school – and
   This lack of motivation reflects a                                                  most recently, Halifax high schools
Statistics Canada report released last                     Dustin O’Leary              have made a physical education
week. It indicates that Canadians            Halifax Regional Municipality             credit a requirement to graduate.
have become far too heavy for their                                                       “Schools are supposed to
height over the past 25 to 30 years,        Although many private businesses           have been implementing all the
reflecting a trend occurring in both      offer extra-curricular programs,             directives to get their kids
developed and developing countries        Halifax Regional Municipality                healthy,” said Diana Dibblee, the
around the world.                         provides additional opportunities            school board’s health promotions
   Now the Nova Scotia govern-            for residents to be physically active,       facilitator. “For example, in the first
ment is encouraging organizations         especially where communities may             six months (of the policy), schools
province-wide to help fight this          be lacking variety.                          took out all their fat fryers, got rid of
problem.                                     O’Leary said the department of            all the pop.”
   “Part of our message is that we        recreational services acts as a “gap            But Strang said unhealthy lifestyle
need to go far beyond just telling        filler” – if a service is not offered pri-   is a problem that has accumulated
people they need to be more active        vately within a community, it is the         over the past few decades and will
and that they need to eat better,”        municipal government’s job to pro-           be difficult to reverse.
said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s     vide those services.                            “Regardless of weight, we should
chief public health officer.                 Nova Scotia Recreation and the            be working with all Canadians and
   “The solutions are far more            Department of Health Promotion               Nova Scotians to ensure that they
complex than that and they                and Protection initiated a campaign          can be physically active in their daily
range from how we develop our             for staying healthy in the wintry            lives and are able to eat a healthy
communities.”                             weather called Take the Roof off             diet on a daily basis.”
   The report also indicated that         Winter – a website filled with tips on          He said current societal norms
adults have higher body mass              staying physically active during the         are preventing this – for example,
index numbers – a measure of an           cold months. It has been running for         car culture. He said people feel the
individual’s weight in relation to        three years.                                 need to drive everywhere when
his or her height – than ever before         “The goal is to give people               municipalities should be promoting
and that children have become             opportunities to be physically active        different ways of getting around the
increasingly sedentary, thus height-      and perhaps opportunities that               city.
ening the ever-growing chances of         wouldn’t be available if we weren’t             “These are both very complex
developing childhood obesity.             there in their community,” O’Leary           problems that have gotten to the                                                                                    KRISTY HUTTER
   Strang said the way to implement       said.                                        point where they’re at over a number        Halifax university student Christina Turner walks to the grocery store instead
the solutions for this health dilemma        Not only should Nova Scotia               of decades,” he said. “So there are no      of driving a car. More Nova Scotians should rethink their use of cars, said Dr.
is by working closely with the            Recreation try to get people                 easy, short fixes here.”                    Robert Strang.

                            Statistics Canada figures unflattering to Canadians
     •      According to Statistics Canada, in 2004 23.1 per cent of Canadians aged 18 or older — an estimated 5.5 million adults — had a body mass index of 30 or more,
            indicating that they were obese
     •      Another 8.6 million, or 36.1 per cent, were overweight
     •      The percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds who were obese has more than doubled, rising from 8.5 per cent in 1978/79 to 20.5 per cent
     •      The average BMI of adults rose from 25.1 in 1978/79 to 27.
     •      In Nova Scotia, 63.2 per cent of people are overweight or obese, compared to 51.1 per cent for all of Canada
     •      38.3 per cent of Nova Scotians are overweight, while 24.8 per cent are obese

                                                                                         Page layout:   Jonathan Charlton
February 5 – 11, 2010                                                                                                                                                       Body, mind & sPirit      5
                                                                                                                                                  tWits and tWeets: getting fitter on tWitter

                                                                                                                                                  James Whitehead

                                                                                                                                    Finding time to do your own research on health and medical issues
                                                                                                                                  can be a chore, but following healthy tweeters lets other people do the
                                                                                                                                  work while you reap the benefits. Canadians are unhealthier than ever,
                                                                                                                                  but if you look at the numbers, we’re more concerned about what time
                                                                                                                                  @ParisHilton is going to bed.
                                                                                                                                    Here are a few healthy tweeters for your consideration, in 140
                                                                                                                                  characters or less.

                                                                                                                                   Name: Dr. Mehmet Oz
                                                                                                                                   Twitter name: @DrOz
                                                                                                                                   Followers: 116,929 since May 7, 2009
                                                                                                                                   Re-tweetable tweet: Love the taste of salt? If everyone had just 1/2
                                                                                                                                   tsp less per day, we’d prevent up to *99,000* heart attacks each
                                                                                                                                   Oprah loves him. He’s got his own show. Lots of good medical and
                                                                                                                                   healthy-living tweets. You have questions, @DrOz has answers.

                                                                                                                MONIKA WARZECHA     Name: Tara Parker-Pope
The Canadian Mental Health Association’s Barb MacDuff displays a contribution to the Mosaic for Mental Health.                      Twitter name: @nytimeswell

Mosaic: Mental health masterpieces
                                                                                                                                    Followers: 4,491 since Oct. 27, 2008
                                                                                                                                    Re-tweetable tweet: Play, Then Eat: Shift May Bring Gains at School
                                                                                                                                    Her tweets are short and ... well, short. She writes some good ar-
monika WarzeCha                            are passionate about that area of          anyone who wanted to contribute,”             ticles and then tweets a link to them. Efficiently unexciting.                     health or our organization,” she says.     McNeil says.
                                             One in five Canadians will experi-           “We have people who are fairly
Greg Brumwell doesn’t have to wait         ence a mental illness in their lifetime.   well-known artists contributing and
around for inspiration. He says the        This 2002 Health Canada statistic          people who are just doing it for the         Name: Health Habits
act of painting inspires him enough.       has even sparked a website run by          first time.”                                 Twitter name: @HealthHabits
  “I don’t really have anything in         Dalhousie University’s Department             The tiles sell for $25 a piece and the    Followers: 10,250 since March 11, 2009
mind before I start,” Brumwell says.       of Psychiatry,               exhibit, and they help keep the event        Re-tweetable tweet: Nintendo Wii ‘Walk It Out’ helps beat childhood
“It always comes out abstract – that’s       The website points out that almost       “accessible financially,” Cadham             #obesity - Is this what we’ve come to? Human beings are de-volving
the most free form it can take.”           200,000 Nova Scotians will experi-         says.                                        A lean, mean tweeter machine. With fat trimming workouts and for all
  A      Dartmouth-based         artist,   ence a mental illness, though less            “Even people who are on a                 ages and sizes, @HealthHabits is a fitness dictionary with biceps.
Brumwell has been contributing to          than five per cent of the health care      restricted budget at least have an
the Mosaic for Mental Health for its       budget in Nova Scotia goes towards         opportunity to purchase a piece of
past three exhibits.                       the treatment of mental health             art.”
  Since 1999, the Canadian Mental          issues.                                       In recent years, the exhibit               Name: Jackie
Health      Association’s     Halifax-       Mosaic for Mental Health acts as a       has also included less-expensive              Twitter name: @girlwithnoname
Dartmouth branch’s annual exhibit          fundraiser for the Halifax-Dartmouth       alternatives to the tiles, including          Followers: 46,418 since May 1, 2008
and sale at the Craig Gallery at           branch and also helps raise aware-         $5 posters of the mosaic of contribu-         Re-tweetable tweet: dinner: some lean pepper crusted roastbeef
Alderney Landing has displayed a           ness about mental illness.                 tions and $3 cards with images from           and a HUGE kale & brocolli & sesame dressing salad. holy yum.
broad range of work.                         Though the 2010 show doesn’t             the tiles.                                    Conversational and motivating, @girlwithnoname is like having
  The Mosaic for Mental Health is          happen until Oct. 14, the branch              Last year, the suggested theme for         your own personal trainer in your pocket. Healthy recipe and blog
made up of painted tiles contributed       accepts submissions all year round         the pieces was “sharing the spirit,”          links, too.
by professional artists, students and      and already has tiles available for        while this year, the branch has
amateurs, some of whom have expe-          pick-up at its Agricola Street office.     decided to focus on the theme of
rienced mental health issues person-         Kim Farmer, the coordinator of the       hope.                                         Name: Zuzana Light
ally.                                      Craig Gallery, says response keeps            Artists are not obliged to follow          Twitter name: @BodyRockTv
  An increasingly popular exhibit,         growing every year.                        the theme, and Cadham says they               Followers: 2,608 since Feb. 5, 2009
the annual show and sale provides a          “People are actually lining up out-      always get a range of pieces.                 Re-tweetable tweet: What to call today’s workout video ... hmm ... I
space for people interested in art and     side the gallery before it opens,” she        Brumwell thinks the Mosaic helps           think that the sexy monkey is back ...
people interested in mental health to      says.                                      create awareness of mental health             A constant stream of workout video links. Who needs a gym mem-
meet.                                        When the exhibit first began,            issues and can act as a “catalyst or          bership? And you’ll always know when @BodyRockTv gets new
  The artists use six-inch-by-six-inch     75 people donated more than 170            icebreaker” for people who might              Lululemon pants.
masonite boards or tiles as a base         panels. Last year, about 800 tiles         have difficulty discussing mental
and can work in any medium: paint-         were contributed to the show, which        health issues.
ing, drawing, textiles, photography,       helped raise $20,000 for the branch.           “If people still aren’t ready to talk     Name: Project Swole
collage or prints.                           Gerard McNeil, who helped curate         about it, they can at least look at           Twitter name: @projectswole
  Though the mosaic is made up             the first exhibit, thinks the tiles are    these images,” he says.                       Followers: 4,673 since Apr. 7, 2008
of many diverse elements, Bev              behind the exhibit’s longevity. He            “Some (tiles) come out depressing          Re-tweetable tweet: Werewolf Training 2: A Weightlifting Routine to
Cadham, the co-manager of the              calls it an egalitarian program and        and sad-looking, some come angry              Gain Strength Project Swole
Halifax-Dartmouth branch, thinks           process.                                   and frustrated. So if people are still        @projectswole builds websites and muscles. Following tweets
the artists all have something in            “It wasn’t just open to people who       unwilling to talk about these issues          could lead to being able to bench-press the whole Internet ...
common.                                    have experienced mental health             they can at least look at the pieces
  “All of the artists that contribute      issues or illness – it was open to         and talk about it through art.”
                                                                                            Page layout:   mark teo
6     Body, mind & sPirit                                                                                                                                                    February 5 – 11, 2010

Student finds fame for weightloss fight
Guest appearance on Rachael Ray culmination of road to fit lifestyle
JessiCa ilse                            books, mostly for meals ready in less    Arsenault was on a plane to New                         than 30 minutes.                         York City.
                                           Arsenault was drawn to the              Arsenault flew down on Dec. 7,
  One day last fall, Halifax student    way Ray presents her cooking             and was in New York for four days.
Shari Arsenault was surfing televi-     methods.                                 She stayed at the same hotel as
sion chef and talk-show host Rachael       “She made it more of a hobby and      another guest on the Rachael Ray
Ray’s website.                          less of a chore … I see it as a good     Show, a plastic surgeon named Dr.
  She read a prompt for an upcoming     thing to do instead of something I       Tony Youn, who would be talking
show, “Have you lost a significant      have to do.”                             about red-carpet secrets.
amount of weight using Rachael’s           Arsenault bought her first Rachael
recipes?” and wrote a reply.            Ray cookbook, and has received

  Two weeks later, Arsenault was        others as gifts. Ray updates reci-
in New York City, filming for the       pes and posts them to her website,           I’ve lost 95 pounds
Rachael Ray Show.                       another source for meal ideas.           because Rachael makes
  Arsenault, 22, is studying human         Arsenault started losing weight in    cooking fun.
resource management at the              April 2008, by combining Ray’s reci-                         Shari Arsenault
Nova Scotia Community College –         pes, counting calories, and buying a                           NSCC Student
Waterfront Campus. She completed        treadmill. She went online to find the
her undergrad degree at Mount Saint     healthy calorie intake for someone
Vincent University, with a bachelor     her age and height, and made sure to       Just before Arsenault stepped onto
of science in biology.                  eat only that amount each day.           the set, a back-story of her weight
  Sitting in the common-area of the        In July, Arsenault finished her       struggle played for the audience.
college campus, snow-squalls just       15-month weight-loss regime; losing      The tape, shot four days before, fea-
outside the floor-to-ceiling windows,   95 pounds, and going from a size 18      tured pictures of Arsenault before
Arsenault reminisces about her          to a size 2. She’s been the same size    the weight-loss, when she weighed
weight-loss struggle.                   ever since.                              210 pounds at her heaviest.
  “I was a bigger child,” says             “The difference with this one was       When Arsenault stepped out from
Arsenault, “but you wouldn’t call me    that I saw it as a lifestyle change.”    behind a blown-up before image,
overweight until junior high.”             Cue the Rachael Ray Show.             Ray’s jaw dropped; then she envel-
  Arsenault tried dieting in high       Arsenault sent an email to the pro-      oped Arsenault in a bear hug.
school, with little success, by cut-    ducers after reading through the           “To meet someone that inspired
ting out fat and eating Lean Cuisine    upcoming shows.                          you to do something like that,”
frozen dinners.                            “I wrote a paragraph that said,       Arsenault trails off, looking for
  “(The weight) wouldn’t stay off       ‘I’ve lost 95 pounds because Rachael     the right words. “She’s really
because, once you’re on a diet, as      makes cooking fun,’” says Arsenault.     friendly.”
soon as you’re done, you’re like,       Two days later, her cellphone rang in      Arsenault’s segment lasted only                                                                                  JESSICA ILSE
‘Okay, done the diet,’ and you’re       class – with a New York area code –      seven minutes, but in that time, the    Arsenault credits Ray’s diet-centric recipes for helping her get fit and healthy.
back to food.”                          from producers of the show.              two talked about her weight-loss,
  Then, two years ago, Arsenault           The producers told her that they’d    cooking with fresh ingredients, and        And as for teenagers trying to           need to be eating instead of all the
discovered Ray’s television show.       read her email and wanted before-        cooking as a way to be healthy.         be healthier, Arsenault says being          garbage and deep-fried stuff – it
  Ray hosts a daytime talk-show         and-after pictures. She sent the           Arsenault says her family is proud    mindful of food intake is important.        may be a fast way to get food, but it’s
aimed at women’s lifestyle, as well     pictures, and got another phone          of her, and now she cooks for them         “Follow Canada’s food guide              not good for you.”
as three cooking shows on the Food      call asking for more pictures. After     because they’re starting to eat         because, as cheesy as that sounds,            “If you see it as a lifestyle change
Network. She’s the author of 17 cook-   completing a few phone interviews,       healthier, too.                         it really does break down what you          instead of a diet, you can do it.”

               Street Level
               Cabin fever have you bouncing
               off the walls? We hit the streets to
               find out how Haligonians address
               their seasonal stress.
                                                                             Snowboarding, skiing – that kind        A lot of reading and cooking.               I walk.
                                                                             of stuff. You can’t relax in the
               How do you decompress during                                  winter.
               the winter?                                                                           Sally Peters
                                                                                      Nursing Student at St. FX
                                                                                                                                         Arthur Kidston
                                                                                                                                                                                   Stanley Van Dyke
                                                                                                                                                                             Retired Archaeologist

                                                                                      Page layout:   mike gorman
February 5 – 11, 2010                                                                                                                                                      Body, mind & sPirit           7
‘Exercise in disguise’ heats up Halifax
VinCenzo raVina                                       “It was a more intense workout than I                                   expected but it was as much fun as I expected.”
                                                      Oake says she’ll be attending classes at least
   Eighteen women in a community centre flail       once a week.
around, mime riding motorcyles and pretend            Melissa Bennett has been going to Manning’s
to play bongo drums, dancing it out.                classes for three weeks. She says the first class
   The instructor, Johneen Manning, shouts out      was tough.
directions such as, “Shake those bums.”               “Learning the steps the first time was very
   After the class is over, one woman comments      difficult but (Manning) just says, ‘Keep moving,
to another, “We lived through it.”                  keep your energy going and you’ll do fine.’ And
   This was the scene last Sunday at the Zumba      the second class, it was like a refresher and you
class at the North Woodside Community Centre        just catch on right away.”
in Dartmouth.                                         Bennett says Zumba isn’t like other exercise
   Manning says Zumba is a Latin dance-             programs.
inspired cardiovascular fitness class.                “It’s really high energy and I really like to
   “It’s a fun workout. They call it exercise in    dance, so it’s a fun way to dance with a bunch
disguise.”                                          of people three nights a week.”
   She has been a Zumba instructor since              Manning says she gets these reactions a lot.
November, and she says her class sizes are            “I had a student actually before class come
growing steadily.                                   up to me and she said it was a life-changing
   “I’m feeling like this room might not do it in   class for her, because she hates to exercise
a couple weeks,” she says. “Every class I have      and she hates to sweat but she loves this class
new people but I also have people coming            because it doesn’t feel like exercise.”
back.”                                                Still, Manning says a person can burn
   Zumba classes are offered at Nubodys, the        between 500 and 1,000 calories in a class.
YMCA, the Mount Fitness Centre at Mount               She says she has yet to have a man come to
Saint Vincent University, and at the Tower at       a class.
Saint Mary’s University.
   The official Zumba Fitness website says that

Zumba has been taught in Colombia since the
mid-’90s, but hadn’t really taken off interna-          Keep moving, keep your energy
tionally until recent years.                        going and you’ll do fine.
   Now, Zumba Fitness has sold millions of                                     Johneen Manning
DVDs and the website says five million people                                  Dance Instructor
around the world attend Zumba classes each
   Manning teaches three classes a week – two
at the North Woodside Community Centre and             “A lot of the time aerobics classes tend to be
one at DANSpace in downtown Halifax.                dominated by women,” she says. “Men are wel-
   Cherly Oake went to her first Zumba class        come to attend. In fact, somebody said at the
last Sunday. She says she hasn’t had much           last class, if men were smart, they would come
time to exercise since the birth of her daughter    out to more.
nine years ago.                                        “Single men, if they were trying to meet
   “Now she’s old enough that I can start doing     women, they’d come to Zumba and every other
some things.”                                       fitness class they could find because the odds
   A friend told her Zumba was a fun way to         are pretty good.”                                                                                                                           VINCENZO RAVINA
exercise, so she dropped into Manning’s class.                                                           Instructor Johneen Manning’s Zumba classes are a great way to dance the pounds away.

I don’t really relax at all.             I like to take pictures, actually –       Go south.                                I read books and sometimes I go         Probably read, and I also go
                                         that usually helps – and I just like                                               to the spa.                             snowshoeing
                                         to stay inside.
                Kyle Nicholson                                Sydney Mackay                        Erich Feldbauer                           Khaldoun Halasa                          Emma Squires
 Dal Dance teacher and Stars of               Citadel High School Student             Retired Construction Worker                                   Engineer              Psychology student at SMU
      Tomorrow Dance Academy

                                                                                        Page layout:    mike gorman
8    Body, mind & sPirit                                                                                                                                                                     February 5

Strippers, body paint, fishnets — oh my!
The Everything to do with Sex Show returns to Halifax
                                                                                                                    Photo essay by Casey Dorrell and Kathleen Hunter


                                                                                                                     Showgoers paid $5 to paint in a flower in support of breast cancer research.


James Courchene, a Halifax contractor, failed to defend his title as pole-dancing champion.

                                                                   Page layout:   kathleen hunter & Casey dorrell
 – 11, 2010                                                                                                                                                                            Body, mind & sPirit   9

alifax has been pretty conservative so far, but we’ll see what happens tonight,” says Peter Labelle,
ner of Creative Body Casting, which produces metal casts of different shapes and sizes.

                                                                                                           ARKAngel, a body painter, displays her talent in the exhibition area on Saturday.

 Assassin’s burlesque performance was one of the highlights of the weekend.

                                                                                                        Show manager Mikey Singer says the sex show is not just about pornography.

                                                                               Page layout:   Casey dorrell & kathleen hunter
10       neWs                                                                                                                                                                 February 5 – 11, 2010

Beloved rodent makes annual appearance
mike gorman                              Centre before the big reveal outside,     Groundhog Day. It has no purpose                          Raoul, dressed not-too-warmly in          other than the celebration of life.”
                                         ceremonial tartan and kilt, revealed        Newly elected to the riding, this
   Forget the mild days of January,      that though he’d rather see an early      was Burrill’s first Groundhog Day
and don’t even think about pulling       start to spring,                          ceremony.
out the shorts and tees yet; there’s       “(Sam)’s the prognosticator, not          “We always had a groundhog
six more weeks of winter yet for Nova    me, I just go by his judgment,”           party at home. We love Groundhog
Scotians.                                  For the dozens gathered around          Day, but I didn’t know this many
   That was the word from                the groundhog pen at Shubenacadie         people came here,” he exclaimed,
Shubenacadie Sam, Nova Scotia’s          Provincial Wildlife Park, shiver-         then laughed. “It’s beautiful!”
famous groundhog, Tuesday morn-          ing in the double-digit-below-zero          Michelle Smith of Shubenacadie
ing, as he emerged from hibernation      temperature, Sam’s decision did not       brought her two pre-school daugh-
just long enough to decide it was a      come as a surprise.                       ters with her.                                                                                                  MIKE GORMAN
bad idea.                                  While the audience of young chil-          “I love to keep them involved in      A park worker motions toward Shubenacadie Sam outside his burrow.
   “Shubenacadie Sam’s prediction        dren, parents and teachers looked         the extra activities in the commu-
is official, this rodent’s news can be   on, the freshly awoken groundhog          nity, and show them how fun it can       Sam’s prediction, but also World          through the centre’s exhibits.
beneficial,” pontificated East Hants     quickly ducked under the cover of         be,” she said.                           Wetlands Day.                               According to a press release from
town crier Bob Raoul.                    a crop of short spruce trees, escap-        She has been bringing them,              Face painting and crafts were           the Department of Natural Resources,
   “This Feb. 2, 2010, his prophecy is   ing not only the cold, but the early      starting with her oldest, Cassandra,     available for the younger set, while      which maintains the provincial park
noted, and now we know this means        morning trumpeting of a bagpipe, a        for the last five years. Though, she     Tony Kelly and other members of           and cares for Shubenacadie Sam,
spring-time may soon rather be           phalanx of assembled press and, of        joked, “I can’t remember it to be this   Clean Nova Scotia stood by to answer      the tradition of relying on a ground-
slow. When he bares in his den, not      course, his shadow.                       cold.”                                   any questions about the wetlands.         hog for seasonal predictions can
making a stir, it seems it is time, to     Local New Democrat MLA Gary               While the ceremony lasted only a         “We’re going to talk about climate      be traced back to German settlers
embrace the winter.”                     Burrill was ecstatic, despite the early   few minutes in the open wind, the        change and climate change effects         and the Candlemas ceremony, who
   Camped inside the warm                hour and biting chill.                    wildlife park organized a full day of    on wetlands,” he said, preparing to       used a hedgehog for much the same
Greenwing Legacy Interpretive              “It’s beautiful. I believe in           activities to commemorate not only       lead a few elementary school classes      purpose.

Commuters get a little taste of Nova Scotia’s finest
Jonathan Charlton                                                                                                                                                     industry isn’t facing any challenges,                                                                                                                                              said Stephen VanMeekeren, owner
                                                                                                                                                                      of Wink Apples, a farming and pack-
  It’s not every day that commut-                                                                                                                                     ing operation near Kentville.
ers at the Alderney ferry terminal                                                                                                                                       There’s lots of competition from
in Dartmouth are greeted by a both                                                                                                                                    cheap apples shipped from countries
cheerful, giant red apple and pro-                                                                                                                                    with low labour costs, such as Chile
vincial Minister of Agriculture John                                                                                                                                  and China.
MacDonell, giving away apples to                                                                                                                                         He added that there could be food
anybody who wants one.                                                                                                                                                safety issues with those apples –
  That’s what happened Monday                                                                                                                                         pesticide use, for example, may not
morning. Some commuters passed                                                                                                                                        be as heavily regulated as it is in
on the opportunity, but many took                                                                                                                                     Nova Scotia.
advantage of the free fruit.                                                                                                                                             February is one of the best months
  At times there were dozens of                                                                                                                                       for sales because there isn’t as much
people munching on McIntoshes                                                                                                                                         fresh, local competition on store
and mingling with the minister, fruit                                                                                                                                 shelves, he said. But he added it’s
growers and giant red apple, named                                                                                                                JONATHAN CHARLTON   been hard to keep people’s attention
Dandee.                                 Agriculture Minister John MacDonell and Dandee Apple handed out apples to commuters on Monday morning.                        on apples.
  They were there to kick off Apple                                                                                                                                      February is also a great month for
Month, a campaign the provincial ers really pay attention,” MacDonell government is calling An IncrEDIBLE                 The apple industry is one of the            quality, he said, because producers
government hopes will increase said.                                              February. During the month 24 com- strongest agricultural industries in             are opening up controlled-atmo-
awareness of locally grown apples.         According the the Department of munities will be putting on break- the province, said MacDonell. It con-                   sphere warehouses that store some
  It may seem odd to schedule Apple Agriculture, Nova Scotia apples take fasts and dinners that use as much tributes about $50 million to Nova                        of the province’s highest-quality
Month in the middle of winter, up between 50 per cent and 60 per local produce as possible.                            Scotia’s economy annually. That’s              apples.
but there’s a good reason, said cent of retail shelf space in the prov-                                                roughly 250 million apples.                       Those warehouses have tightly

MacDonell.                               ince.                                                                            There are about 70 growers who              controlled oxygen and carbon diox-
  Traditionally, the government            The campaign may already be                 I think it’s something          make more than $10,000 per year                ide levels that slow the ripening pro-
does a lot of promotion of local pro- making a difference. Bob Green,                                                  in the province, said Dela Erith               cess.
                                                                                  that we can toil at for
duce during the harvest season. It one commuter who took an apple, is                                                  of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers                  VanMeekeren said he enjoys the
                                                                                  12 months of the year,               Association. According to Statistics
wanted to continue this during the originally from Charlottetown and                                                                                                  year-round activity involved in run-
winter, he said, adding that apples now works with the Department of
                                                                                  practically, and you really          Canada, apple farms generated rev-             ning an apple farm.
store well through the winter.           Energy.                                  see the fruit of your labour in enues of about $12.1 million in 2008.                  “We’re starting to prune our trees
  He noted that provincial trade           Apple Month was new to him, and he the fall.                                That’s less than blueberry farms               right now. It’s a year round event, it’s
agreements make it hard to set local said the giveaway at the terminal made                  Stephen VanMeekeren ($26.6 million) but more than potato                 not like you’re in and out in a month
quotas in supermarkets – only the him more aware of local produce.                                    Apple Grower farms ($5.4 million).                              or two, like vegetables or strawber-
wine industry has legislated quotas        “I like to try to buy more local, if                                           MacDonell added that the industry           ries or something like that. I think
about including local grapes.            possible … just to support local busi-     The program will promote dif- is becoming more profitable, as it has              it’s something that we can toil at for
  So this program is meant to build nesses, obviously. Put money back ferent kinds of Nova Scotia food, replaced older varieties with newer,                          12 months of the year, practically,
grassroots support instead.              into our own economy.”                   including meat, dairy, fruits, veg- more popular ones like Honey Crisp.             and you really see the fruit of your
  “If the consumer drives this, retail-    Apple Month is part of what the etables and drinks.                            That’s not all to say that the apple        labour in the fall.”
                                                                                        Page layout:   Peter Clarke
February 5 – 11, 2010                                                                                                                                                                        neWs   11
Forum deals with daunting budget deficit
mike gorman                                                                                                                   office of Premier Darrell Dexter, said   services came together and used                                                                                                               she thinks more has to be done to        their community stakeholders, I
                                                                                                                              keep up with the larger provinces by     think the savings can be found.”
   The province is asking Nova                                                                                                offering enticements and rewards,           After 45 minutes of discussion, the
Scotians what they think should be                                                                                            like living bonuses,        to skilled   groups were asked to quickly present
done to deal with a projected $1.4 bil-                                                                                       labourers and professionals.             their answers to the finance minister
lion deficit.                                                                                                                    Sitting opposite Doman, retiree       and to each other. Some ideas, such
   More than 100 concerned                                                                                                    Norman Henley said he thinks cut-        as increased “sin taxes” on alco-
Haligonians, including educators                                                                                              ting the number of representatives       hol and tobacco and a timeline that
and local business owners, gathered                                                                                           and constituency offices could help      would see the problem finalized by
at the Dartmouth North Community                                                                                              clear up not only the budget prob-       the end of the current government’s
Centre Monday to brainstorm                                                                                                   lems, but also redundancies in the       mandate, were met with room-wide
ideas and possible solutions to the                                                                                           political system. His suggestion is to   support.
province’s fiscal woes.                                                                                                       halve the current number of repre-          The groups were far from reaching
   “Nova Scotia has a pretty simple                                                                                           sentatives in the Legislature.           a consensus, although most were in
financial problem; we’re spending                                                                                                “We don’t need fifty two,” he said.   agreement that a slight raise to the
more money than we’re taking in,”                                                                               MIKE GORMAN      He said that between working          13 per cent HST should be imple-
began Minister of Finance Graham          Bev Doman, left, says that the province should offer incentives for businesses.     costs, office costs and benefits,        mented.
Steele.                                                                                                                       reducing the number of positions            Ideas for saving the provincial
   “In order to get back balance, it’s    providing services such as health         who had been gathered around more         in the Legislature could save the        economy will be collected and pub-
important that we find a path that is     care, education and transporta-           than a dozen long tables, seated in       province in the short and long-term,     lished online at
most acceptable to the people of the      tion, the more interest they have to      groups of fives and sixes.                although this would require a major      finance/backtobalance, along with
province.”                                pay back. The cost of offering these         “Most of the work today is going       shift in work load for the representa-   the contributions from thousands of
   The NDP government expects a           bonds, and the interest from paying       to be done by you, talking to your        tives and their departments.             other Nova Scotians attending the
$1.4 billion deficit by 2013 if nothing   those back, continues to pile up.         neighbours and your community                Wendy Fraser said she agrees that     24 similar community discussions
is done to greatly reduce spending or        According to Steele, the defi-         members on ways that you think we         redundancies are a problem, but          across the province, and gathered
increase provincial revenue, Steele       cit is on course to become the            should get back to balance.”              that it’s the doubling up on available   from feedback on their website.
said in his presentation.                 fourth-largest expense in the provin-        Bev Doman said she believes the        services that is weighing down the          After Dartmouth, Steele will visits
   The province is running a $12.3        cial budget.                              province should offer more incen-         province.                                Kentville and Wolfville on Feb. 8,
billion debt, at a deficit of $600 mil-      “This is not going to be the kind      tives for commerce and youth.                Fraser, a housing development         followed by further consultations in
lion. That is expect to increase to       of session that you may have seen            “Business has to want to come to       manager, said she thinks commu-          Lower Sackville and down the south
$700 million in 2010-2011, and jump       before where I stand up front and         Nova Scotia, so you have to have the      nities should be partnered with the      shore by the end of the month.
to $1.1 billion by 2011-2012.             give a speech to you, and then a          tax breaks, the tax credits, the tax      province more often to provide better       The results of this public consulta-
   As Nova Scotia is forced to borrow     series of people stand at a micro-        system, the incentives that will drive    service at a lower cost.                 tion will be made public when Steele
more money from the market –              phone giving speeches back to me,”        business to this province.”                  “Realistically, there’s a lot of      presents the provincial budget in the
through bond sales – to continue          Steele explained to the audience             Doman, who works in the MLA            duplication government, so if those      spring.

Nova Scotia schools look to clamp down on class-cutters
Peter Clarke                              almost half of students in the sample     expectations on the student, or a pre-    said Smith.                              said Ken Johnston, a retired English                       were absent from one class 10 per         disposition to not liking education,”        He is cautious because he said he     teacher and vice-principal from
                                          cent of the time without being for-       said Smith. He also pointed out that      feels that each case is different and    Pictou.
   Educators in Nova Scotia are look-     mally excused.                            students’ home life often comes into      should be approached thoroughly.           He said he believes the school
ing to get a message out to students:       It estimated that more than seven       play when dealing with absenteeism           “There’s an onus on everybody to      boards should be playing a more
come to class.                            per cent missed double that amount           At Halifax West, there are a number    track student attendance,” he said,      active role in the schools by enforc-
   “There are lots and lots of reasons    of time.                                  of solutions in place to address the      explaining that it must come from        ing consequences for absenteeism
in 2010 why students don’t go to            Work on the report began last May       lack of attendance.                       parents, teachers, administrators        and try to address the problems in a
class,” said Wade Smith, a vice prin-     and was chaired by former deputy             Smith explained that student meet-     and the students themselves              preventative way to keep students at
cipal at Halifax West High School.        minister Howard Windsor along             ings and student-parent meetings are         He said that for students who miss    school.
   The Department of Education is         with members of the Nova Scotia           used as interventions.                    that kind of time, they know they are      Johnston said he thinks that teach-
looking to find those reasons and         Teacher’s Union, school boards and           Automated phone messages are           likely to not receive credit.            ers have an important role to play in
mend the problem.                         other educational bodies.                 also sent to the parents for every           “We want to push ahead with           keeping students in class.
   Last Wednesday, it released a            “We have concluded that a bal-          class that a student misses.              student information systems,” said         “Demonstrate humour and com-
report on student absenteeism and         anced strategy is needed to address          To try to aid schools in reversing     Peter McLaughlin of the Department       passion in the classroom,” he said.
ways to create a more positive class-     the issue of attendance and student       this trend, 13 major recommenda-          of Education but he warned that it       He said if teachers can show students
room experience.                          engagement,” said Windsor in a            tions are outlined in the absenteeism     will take a few years and would be       their human side more often, it will
   The report, titled Promoting           press release. He concluded that the      report.                                   expensive.                               keep young people more engaged.
Student Engagement, has been pre-         strategy should include supports             Some of the most striking include         Student information systems have        The Department of Education will
sented to Marilyn More, the minister      for students and their parents and        amending the Education Act.               been on the table for some time and      not be acting on the report immedi-
of education.                             also enforced consequences for not           It would make school attendance        are also mentioned in the report.        ately.
   It contains a summary of the 2007      attending class.                          up to Grade 12, or until a person is         The idea is that the schools would       “We’re looking at all of the recom-
and 2008 principals report, which           “It’s probably the number one issue     18, mandatory in order to receive a       collect data on their students, track-   mendations now,” said McLaughlin.
used a sample of 10 high schools in       in most high schools,” said Smith.        credit.                                   ing grades, attendance records and         He said the minister of education
Nova Scotia, representing about 20          He explained that the reasons for          For example, if a student missed       behaviour. This information would        will be taking public input on the rec-
per cent of the total student popula-     students missing class time varies so     20 per cent of class time, that student   be available to parents and all teach-   ommendations until March 12 after
tion. It produced discouraging fig-       much from case to case that it is hard    would not be able to pass.                ers.                                     which time she may implement some
ures.                                     to get a lock on it.                         “You have to be careful when              “I think the schools and the edu-     of the recommendations to address
   The data collected suggested that        “It could be due to academic            you make things too cut and dry,”         cators have become a little soft,”       absenteeism.
                                                                                           Page layout:   mark teo
12       musiC / sPorts                                                                                                                                                      February 5 – 11, 2010

By Divine Right brings Mutant Message
mark teo                                                                                                                                                             from a point of view of discovery. A                                                                                                                                                      lot of the intent is experimental.”
                                                                                                                                                                        And if the trio, rounded out by
   Thanks to memorable times at                                                                                                                                      drummer David Joseph and guitar-
legendary local venues such as                                                                                                                                       ist Michael Milosh, is rusty, it’s not
Ginger’s Tavern and The Khyber,                                                                                                                                      evident. Mutant Message, all chunky
Jose Contreras – the guitarist/lead                                                                                                                                  power chord riffage, psychedelic
singer for Toronto psych-pop institu-                                                                                                                                wandering and bubbly pop, is the
tion By Divine Right – will always                                                                                                                                   act’s most cohesive – and quite hon-
have a tender spot for Halifax.                                                                                                                                      estly, memorable – effort in a decade.
   “It was always cool showing up in                                                                                                                                    Contreras says he spent the five-
Halifax realizing there was a com-                                                                                                                                   year hiatus performing circus acts
munity that cared about us,” he said.                                                                                                                                and international espionage – he’s
                                                                                                                                                                     joking, we think – but he says that
                                                                                                                                                                     he’s taking the next year to focus

                                                                                                                                                                     strictly on music.
     We won’t have Feist                                                                                                                                                How to be a Creature, a five-song
sitting in, but I’ll rip my heart                                                                                                                                    E.P., is slated for release soon, along
open and pour everything.                                                                                                                                            with material from My Divine Light,
                    Jose Contreras                                                                                                                        MARK TEO   Contreras’ solo project.
                     By Divine Right    By Divine Right with The Grass and Janes Party will be at the Seahorse Tavern, on Friday, Feb. 5.                               As for Friday, Contreras says the
                                                                                                                                                                     band will be mixture of material
“Toronto didn’t care for a full eight   playing Friday night at the Seahorse      Scene) and Maritime expat Brian          said. “So many cool bands were rec-       from its six-album career.
years. Toronto couldn’t care unless     Tavern.                                   Borcherdt (Holy Fuck) didn’t hurt,       ognized in Halifax first.”                   That’s good news for the disap-
someone else told them to.”                While Contreras credits the city’s     either.                                    Provincial praise aside, the band       pointed hecklers who repeatedly
  Contreras estimates he’s played       “incredible music scene” for sup-            Reached by the phone prior to a       is touring in support of Mutant           requested the band’s most popular
here 10 times – listing shows with      porting him during his lean years,        gig in Montreal, Contreras is ponder-    Message, the trio’s first album in        single, “5 Dollars,” when they played
Wintersleep and local legends Burnt     it didn’t take long for the rest of the   ing his love handles, donair sauce       a half decade. Released on Hand           last year’s Halifax Pop Explosion. He
Black among his favourites – and        nation to catch on. Bless This Mess,      ingredients and Halifax’s keen eye       Drawn Dracula, Borcherdt’s record         promises they’ll play old favourites
he rattles off local venues past and    released in 1999, secured the group       for music talent.                        label, Contreras describes the album      with gusto.
present with the poise of a lifetime    a place in the Cancon canon; having          “The Halifax Pop Explosion revo-      as “’60s art pop.”                           “We won’t have Feist sitting in,” he
Agricola street-dweller.                star-studded alumni in Leslie Feist,      lutionized music festivals in Canada.      “It’s spontaneous, melodic, noisy       said. “But I’ll rip my heart open and
  And he’ll be back here this week,     Brendan Canning (Broken Social            It wasn’t Toronto, it was Halifax,” he   and cute,” he said. “It was made          pour everything.”

Tigers dominate Mounties in women’s hockey
Jonathan Charlton                                                                                                          reach before the third period was         work and a little luck.                                                                                                   five minutes old. Mount Allison’s            “We finally got some finish, I
                                                                                                                           Darla Frizzell took a five-minute         think. Tonight was a good night for
  Jocelyn LeBlanc scored five times                                                                                        major penalty and a game miscon-          us because we had Jocelyn LeBlanc
and added two assists Sunday as the                                                                                        duct for cross-checking. LeBlanc          back, which is great, she scored five
Dalhousie Tigers crushed the visit-                                                                                        scored twice on the ensuing power         goals, she’s got great finish. You
ing Mount Allison Mounties 8-1 in                                                                                          play to make the score 6-1.               know, we’ve been working hard
women’s hockey.                                                                                                                From that point the Mount Allison     trying to get those breaks and it just
  LeBlanc became second in the                                                                                             players were like deer in headlights,     seemed like every bounce went our
league in scoring with 13 goals and                                                                                        unable to prevent Dalhousie enter-        way tonight. It was great to see.”
26 points. She set a season record in                                                                                      ing their zone at will and losing one-       This was the first full game
goals and points scored in one game.                                                                                       on-one battles all over the ice.          LeBlanc played since being diag-
The Tigers also set a record with most                                                                                        Overall Dalhousie went three-for-      nosed with mononucleosis just
points among all players, with 22.                                                                                         six on the power play. Mount Allison      before Christmas – it was also the
  Dalhousie improved its record                                                                                            went zero-for-five.                       first game in weeks Dalhousie could
to 9-8, good for fourth place in the                                                                                          A bodycheck by Mount Allison’s         field a full team.
seven-team Atlantic University Sport                                                                                       Lauren Oickle on Lyndsey LeBlanc             Jordan said the team has had as
conference, while Mount Allison fell                                                                                       (no relation to Jocelyn) shocked the      many as eight players out of the
to a last place 1-17. More than 100                                                                JONATHAN CHARLTON       crowd into silence later in the third     lineup with ailments such as pneu-
people came to watch the game – Dal goalie Ashley Boutilier keeps an eye on the Mounties’ attack last Sunday               period. Oickle pinned LeBlanc’s           monia, broken wrists, knee injuries,
the cold, drafty Dalhousie Memorial                                                                                        head into the boards on the play,         ankle sprains and concussions.
Arena was about two-thirds full.       unguarded Allison Dean took a pass     But Mount Allison lost momentum              and LeBlanc lay on the ice for a few         LeBlanc credited her five goals
  The Tigers pressed hard early, and on the doorstep of the Dalhousie when Jenna Briggs took a hooking                     moments before being helped off.          in part to her linemates finding her
LeBlanc was rewarded with her first net and beat goaltender Ashley penalty five-and-a-half minutes in.                     She was still being examined after        with passes.
goal of the game just past the seven- Boutilier.                            During the power play, Boutilier fired         the game, but coach Lesley Jordan            “The puck was following me the
minute mark.                             The first period belonged to a long stretch pass from Dalhousie’s                 said she didn’t appear to be seriously    whole game. A game like that is fun
  She came off the side-boards in Dalhousie, though, as they went to end to Kaitlyn McNutt at the Mount                    hurt.                                     to play, because it seems wherever
Mount Allison’s end, evading the dressing room up 2-1 and having out Allison blueline.                                        Jordan said after the game that        you go the puck is with you, so it
defence and putting in her own shot Mount Allison 16-6.                       McNutt sent LeBlanc on a break-              her team’s dominance surprised            makes it easy.”
rebound past a sprawling Meghan          The Mounties came back hard away, and she buried a backhand                       her, as Mount Allison had led them           This kind of personal performance
Corley-Byrn.                           early in the second period, keeping shot under Corley-Byrn for her third            2-1 at one point in a previous game.      doesn’t happen often, she said.
  Mount Allison evened the the play in the Dalhousie end and goal.                                                         She said the win was due in part to          “Maybe once a season, if you’re
score four minutes later, when an coming within inches of scoring.            Dalhousie put the game out of                Jocelyn LeBlanc, but also to hard         lucky.”
                                                                                       Page layout:   Peter Clarke
February 5 – 11, 2010                                                                                                                                                                 Comment     13
Pick the right toothbrush — you need gums
                 the Curio                  Brushing your teeth after each        their teeth to get them clean,”
                 CaBinet                  meal and flossing before sleep will     Macarone says, “but they end up
                                          help keep your mouth healthy and        brushing really aggressively and
                                          happy. We all know that.                they scrub their enamel off and
                 VinCenzo raVina            But what do you brush with?           then they scrub their gums off.”
               There are electric brushes, manual        Which is not good, you see,
                                          brushes and the vibrating Pulsar        because you need gums.
   Dana Macarone says the first           brush. Is an electric brush better        But back to the Pulsar. What a
patient she ever saw had a condition      than a manual brush? What tooth-        useless toothbrush. It doesn’t have
called “white hairy tongue.”              pastes will get our teeth whitest?      a spinning head or anything! It just
   What’s that?                             Macarone was kind enough to let       shakes around and feels weird.
   “Exactly like it sounds. It’s a        me call her, long distance, to ask.       Hilary Boudreau, a dental hygiene
white, furry coating on the tongue.”        Macarone says a lot of people say     student at Dalhousie University,
   Oh.                                    that the electric toothbrushes make     says the only benefit of a Pulsar is
   Macarone is a dental hygienist,        their head hurt.                        that people might be encouraged to
and she says after dealing with             She says there have been studies      brush more, or for longer periods of
white hairy tongue, she felt she          that show that electric brushes do      time, if their brush is shaking like a
could deal with anything.                 help reduce plaque.                     terrified Irish wolfhound.
   “When people come in with their          “But if you’re using a manual           Or, if someone has arthritis, a
mouth full of disgusting plaque and       toothbrush the right way and using      Pulsar might make brushing less
food debris, it’s more (than) just        the right technique, you can still do   difficult.
annoying. Like, ‘Brush your teeth,        a good job.”                              When it comes to the paste on                                                                             VINCENZO RAVINA
dude.’ I’m not really grossed out by        The Canadian Dental Association       your toothbrush, don’t expect whit-       Brushing and flossing keeps your mouth healthy and happy.
it, it’s just annoying. I can handle a    says you should be brushing your        ening toothpastes to get your teeth
mouth full of blood, no problem.”         teeth with a soft-bristled brush,       whiter.                                   makes them any healthier.                 So, you don’t really need the
   She works at two offices – one in      making gentle, circular motions.          Macarone says, “A toothpaste              “I have no idea when it started,      fancy electric brushes or the
New York and one in New Jersey.           Pay extra attention to the gum line     advertising itself as whitening, it       because even in the '90s and the        expensive toothpastes. You just
   No Halifax-based dental hygien-        and your back teeth.                    usually means that it has an agent        early 2000s, I think, if you watched    need proper brushing technique
ists returned my calls, so I had to         Macarone says one of the most         in it that’s abrasive to polish off       movies and TV, people still had         and to floss more regularly.
look beyond our borders and put the       common mistakes people make             surface stains, but it doesn’t            natural shades of teeth. And then         And for the sake of your hygienist,
call out for hygienists on Twitter.       with their dental hygiene routine is    actually lighten the colour of your       suddenly people just became             brush before going in for a cleaning.
Why didn’t I just give up? Because        brushing too hard.                      teeth.”                                   obsessed with white teeth to a
dental hygiene is important.                “People think they have to scrub        But it isn’t like having white teeth    creepy extent.”

Stolen laptop prompts Commoner reporter to investigate
Laptop theft is more common than you think — Halifax break-ins happen several times a day
                 tsk, tsk, teCh           ered her laptop (and both of our        tion in Georgia.                          record your laptop’s serial number      thievery a blessing in disguise. Take
                                          chargers) missing, I stopped deny-         Halifax Regional Police spokes-        and even mark it up in any way that     my roommate, for example. She is
                                          ing it – we had been robbed.            person Brian Palmeter said student        may make it uniquely identifiable,      ecstatic with her new MacBook Pro.
                 kristy hutter              The police officer who came to        houses are the main targets of these      or else there is no way of telling it   After all, her five-year-old Dell beast
          investigate told me break-ins result-   crimes. He said daylight robberies        is yours.                               was stolen along with my 2 year-old
                                          ing in stolen laptops happen several    may go unnoticed because most                Most of the time, they are not       MacBook. Yes, it is unfortunate that
                                          times a day.                            people are at work or school during       recovered. He said they usually         her pictures and music are being
   Combine an expensive, easily                                                   the day and, even if an onlooker          don’t end up in pawnshops and           emptied into the unknown black
transportable gadget with an                                                      were to see a young person crawling       are typically sold on eBay. He said     hole of computer “recycle bins”

unlocked bay window on the first                                                  through a student house’s window,         computer thieves don’t have to          (probably at this very moment), but
floor and you get a thief’s dream.             Whether it be the                  it may just look like he or she was       worry about the laptop’s resale         she needed a new one anyway.
   Laptops are a growing commodity        Canadian flag in the window             locked out.                               value so they take anything they           Perhaps it was the term
among Halifax robbers, and many           for curtains or the beer                   “It’s not difficult to determine       can get.                                “violated” that really got me think-
of those who suffer at the hands of       bottles on the porch, they              which houses are student houses,”            “They will go for as low as a hun-   ing about being robbed. A stranger
these thieves are students.               are traditionally student               he said. “Whether it be the Canadian      dred bucks because whatever they        entered our home through the only
   Take the most recent victim of         houses, so in a lot of cases,           flag in the window for curtains or        sell it for is pure profit.”            window we forgot to lock that day,
this heinous crime: me, a University      they are easier marks.                  the beer bottles on the porch, they          The most personalized item           lifted my laptop, maybe even taking
of King’s College student living two                        Brian Palmeter        are traditionally student houses.         debt-ridden students own is             a moment to admire pictures of my
blocks away from campus with too                             Spokesperson         So in a lot of cases, they are easier     snatched and sold for $100 and they     friends and family that adorn my
small a bank account to replace the                 Halifax Regional Police       marks.”                                   are then obligated to scrounge up a     dresser on his or her way out, and
most expensive thing she owns.                                                       So what happens to a laptop after      grand, or more, to buy a new one.       left me broke (more so than before)
   After a hard day in The Commoner                                               it has been taken from its rightful          There should be an “I’ve been        and memory-less.
newsroom, I came home to find an             He said criminals typically wipe     owner?                                    robbed” discount at PCPC, the              So please, fellow students living
empty space where the keeper of all       the hard drive clean and then sell         If the police recover a stolen         Dalhousie        University  campus     in this city, lock your windows and
schoolwork, photos, and music sat a       it on the Internet. So I didn’t have    laptop, they take it in and process it    computer store – robbery being          back up your data because some
mere six hours before.                    to worry about my initial reaction      as evidence for the crime. They may       a common reason for new laptop          day, it could all be gone.
   Of course, theft was initially out     – that some mean man was scour-         not even be able to give it back to its   purchases, according to one                And fool the thieves – buy some
of the question, but when I searched      ing pictures of my latest escapades     lawful owner.                             salesperson.                            real curtains.
my roommate’s room and discov-            downtown, or my last beach vaca-           Palmeter said it is important to          Some may consider laptop

                                                                                        Page layout:   JessiCa ilse
14         Commentary                                                                                                                                                        February 5 – 11, 2010

Can’t stop watching the meat parade this Oscar season
                                           Precious, Inglourious Basterds and      envy and laugh at the rich and           innovative, tear-jerking, emotion-
                   aCademy notes           Up in the Air. The other five – The     famous, according to a Newsweek          grabbing, just all together better
                                           Blind Side, District 9, An Education,   article. This may be true, as most       than the typical run-of-the-mill
                                           A Serious Man and Up – weren’t as       of the post-Oscar night news high-       movies.”
                   JessiCa ilse            anticipated.                            lights the best- and worst-dressed         St. Louis has reason to be happy
                    Up is the second animated film –      stars, the highlights and lowlights      this Oscar season – one of her
                                           after Beauty and the Beast – to be      of the ceremony, and whether a par-      favourite actresses, Meryl Streep,
                                           nominated for best picture. It’s also   ticular star made a blunder.             was nominated.
   The glitz, the glam, and the what-      nominated for best animated film.          But on the other hand, some view-       This is Streep’s 16th nomination,
are-you-wearing can only mean one            But why do we feel compelled to       ers watch the Oscars for more than       an Oscar record.
thing: it’s awards season.                 watch the Oscars?                       making quips about the actors and          “She could get an Oscar nod for
   For those who love movies, it’s           Patrick Enright, an American          actresses (even if they sometimes        reading the phone book,” St. Louis
like Christmas all over again.             writer and contributor to MSNBC         do it to each other – Ben Stiller lam-   says.
   But this year’s Oscar nomina-           and Newsweek, wrote a blog post         pooning Joaquin Phoenix last year,         As for me, I’ve been hooked on
tions are like the presents you’ve         for Newsweek’s Pop Vox Blog titled,     anyone?).                                the Oscars since Grade 8, when
snooped through a few days before          “Why I Hate the Oscars (But Can’t          Chasity St. Louis, an Acadia          Halle Berry blubbered through her
the big day: there aren’t many sur-        Stop Watching).”                        University student, has watched the      acceptance speech.
prises.                                      In the post he writes, “Ultimately,   Oscars every year since Grade 9.           But I can’t really explain why I       sweeper from 1975.
   Lead role nominations include:          we’re tuning in not to get a glimpse       “That’s how I know what movies I      love the Oscars.                           This year I’m putting my money
Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side;         of actors and artists we truly          would like to, or in any case, should      Sure, it’s probably a meat parade,     on Sandra Bullock and Jeff Bridges –
Meryl Streep as Julia Child in Julie &     admire, but to gawk at and mock         watch,” she says.                        but I’m excited to hear the speeches,    and I’d bet my tuition that Mo’nique
Julia; George Clooney for Up in the        what George C. Scott once memora-          Before the ceremony, she makes        to see the dresses and to find out       will walk home with the statue for
Air; Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart and      bly referred to as ‘a goddamn meat      sure she watches as many of the          the best-of-the-best each year in        best supporting actress.
Mo’nique for Precious.                     parade.’”                               Oscar-nominated movies and per-          movies.                                    I am a staunch Titanic fan, and
   The main buzz about the Oscar             Scott won an Oscar in 1970 for his    formances as she can.                      The Oscars has definitely helped       even though Avatar is a front-run-
nominations this year was for the          lead role in Patton and refused to         “I’m interested in the Oscars         to expose me to movies I prob-           ner, my loyalties will not be tested
best picture nominees, a category          accept it because of the competitive    because I want to know the best of       ably wouldn’t watch otherwise,           as James Cameron and Avatar battle
of five since the 1944 ceremony that       aspect of the awards – and probably     the best in the film world. I get sick   especially older movies like It          for their nine Oscar nods.
now holds ten nominees.                    because he didn’t want a float in the   of watching the typical chick-flick      Happened One Night, which swept            Titanic was nominated for 14
   Five of the slots went to obvious       “meat parade.”                          movies and want to watch movies          the Oscars in 1934 or One Flew Over      awards and won 11, in case you
choices – Avatar, The Hurt Locker,           We, the non-rich and non-famous,      that are more interesting, original,     the Cuckoo’s Nest, another Oscar-        were wondering.

I h8 teh wai ppl rite: Lamenting the decline of the language
                   the stiCkler                                                    Internet on language.                       But Bennett says that the effect of      Another fault listed is one I cor-
                                                                                      The linguist writes that he’s not     the Internet on language is gener-       rect daily: “irregardless”. Sorry
                                                                                   concerned with the state of lan-         ally positive.                           folks, but I believe the word you’re
                   kathleen hunter                                                 guage.                                      “Crystal’s not talking about gram-    looking for is “regardless.” (And
                                                             “I do not see the Internet being      matical correctness,” she explains.      did you notice how I used “you’re”
                                                                                   the death of languages, but the          “He’s talking about expansion and        to replace “you are”? Look at me,
                                                                                   reverse,” he argues, saying the          variety and its use, and I would def-    applying first-grade principles.)
   I once saw a girl with a tattoo that,                                           Internet promotes a remarkable           initely agree with that.”                   While there is no proof that these
upon seeing it, hurt me physically.                                                growth in the variety and creativity        All right, I will concede that the    errors are due to the use of the
   It said, “Your my angel.” And me?                                               of language.                             Internet does allow for creativity in    Internet, I can’t help but wonder if
I died a little inside.                                                               To my surprise, this is a common      language. And sure, it provides a        it isn’t enabling the public to per-
   The your versus you’re debacle is                                               view.                                    public forum that previously did not     petuate errors exponentially, allow-
one that has concerned me for years.                                                  “The general linguistic consen-       exist, where people can read, learn      ing people to live in some sort of
I frequently quote Friends’ beloved                                                sus is that languages evolve, and        and discuss.                             ignorant language bliss, never to
Ross Geller’s profound exclamation                                                 since languages are tools for com-          It’s educational, and education is    be corrected on their blasphemous
(“Y-o-u-APOSTROPHE-r-e           means                                             munication, their evolving can’t         never a bad thing.                       mistakes.
‘you are.’ Y-o-u-r means ‘YOUR’!”)                                                 be wrong,” says Amanda Noiles, a            In the spirit of its educational         Because I guarantee you, not
and drive my friends and family                                                    fourth-year linguistics student at       purposes, I used my language rival,      everyone is using Google to search
insane with my obsessive dislike of        entrance exam that tests language       Dalhousie University.                    the Internet, to search for common       for ways to save the English lan-
anyone who can’t make the distinc-         skills.                                    “Therefore, the effect of the         errors in English usage. To my           guage.
tion between the two.                        I wasn’t surprised.                   Internet wouldn’t really be consid-      delighted horror (if there is such a        According     to    the     English
   But it doesn’t stop there.                Based on my Facebook news-            ered a ‘decline’ from a linguistic       thing), Washington State University      Language Guide website, English
   Its and it’s. Where and wear. Here      feed, I’d say more than a third of my   standpoint.”                             hosts a page listing more than 1500      is the medium for more than 80 per
and hear. Their, there and they’re.        Internet-dwelling friends could not        OK, but what about from an            common errors, detailing why             cent of the information stored on
   Time and time again, people get         pass such an exam.                      English perspective?                     they’re wrong and how to correct         the world’s computers. Shouldn’t
it wrong and I don’t know why. Not           I’m not just talking about typos         “I think it’s kind of a double-       them.                                    we make sure it’s stored with gram-
only is it an insult to their elemen-      but poor usage in general.              edged sword,” says Lyn Bennett,             Apparently someone in the world       mar intact?
tary school teachers, it’s an insult to      Whether it’s deliberate or just       assistant professor in the English       writes “laundry mat” instead of             Until the Oxford English Dictionary
the English language.                      ignorance, one thing seems clear to     department at Dalhousie.                 “Laundromat.” People are also fond       adds Facebook and Twitter to its
   This week, The Canadian Press           me: the Internet has taken a toll on       “I think there’s a lot of careless-   of “ATM machine” and “LCD dis-           repertoire and accepts all of the
reported that students at Waterloo         our language.                           ness and a lack of accuracy in the       play,” which fit in with a local pet     errors that come with it, I will keep
University are failing basic English         In his book Language and the          kind of writing that gets done that      peeve of mine—“FYP program”—as           on annoying my friends and family
at an alarming rate.                       Internet, David Crystal, one of the     is setting kind of a new standard for    if they just can’t comprehend that       with my own form of education.
   Almost a third of those admitted        world’s foremost authorities on lan-    what constitutes written communi-        the acronym actually stands for             And, yes, I will continue to rant
to the university cannot pass an           guage, examined the effect of the       cation.”                                 something.                               about your versus you’re.
                                                                                       Page layout:   VinCenzo raVina
February 5 – 11, 2010                                                                                                                                                         arts & Culture      15
Battle of the dads: Wahlberg vs. Gibson
Our reviewer sees the latest murder mysteries to hit the big screen. The common theme: men avenging daughters’ deaths
                 Pete’s PiCks            And, after working with someone         father, played by Mark Wahlberg           tractors and the United States gov-       caught up in the reasons why.
                                         like Jackson, you can expect to see     (The Departed, Perfect Storm). She        ernment.                                    With the exception of Jedburgh,
                                         her again.                              has to balance her desire for revenge       It would be interesting to see what     the supporting cast is weak. Nobody
                 Peter Clarke               The way her spirit world is por-     with her love for her family.             scenes were cut from this movie.          seems emotional about anything;
            trayed is imaginative. It goes from       The most impressive thing about         For a loving father, Craven does not      the result is cheesy dialogue and
                                         childish to hauntingly dark and         this movie is how it flows. Every         seem overly emotional about his           meaningless cop-talk.
     Murder mysteries have been a        back again. Almost every aspect         scene builds on the one before it.        daughter’s death. Almost immedi-
genre in all mediums of fiction for      of the world has some kind of sig-      There are no loose ends and every-        ately, he’s on the trail of a conspir-
ages. This week, I looked at a couple
of murder mysteries about vengeful
fathers who want to solve the mys-
                                         nificance to the characters and their
                                                                                 thing happens for a reason. This
                                                                                 is highlighted by two suspenseful
                                                                                 scenes involving the killer and the
                                                                                                                           acy when he learns he was not the
                                                                                                                           intended target of the shooting.
                                                                                                                             The conspirators hire a spy,           “    Instead of trying to
                                                                                                                                                                    find the person who killed
                                                                                                                                                                    his daughter, Gibson’s

teries of their daughters’ deaths.                                               way the movie ties up the story.          Jedburgh, played by Ray Winston
   The Lovely Bones is adapted                                                     Although The Lovely Bones is            (Beowulf, Indiana Jones & the            character is more caught up
                                              The Lovely Bones                                                                                                      in the reasons why.
from the novel of the same name. It                                              sappy at times, it is not a sappy         Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). His
                                         tells the story of a teenage
is hard to fit in any specific genre;                                            movie. It is deeply philosophical,        job is to stop Craven from finding
it isn’t quite a thriller, nor is it a
                                         girl, Susie Salmon, who is              spiritual and often eerie. It’s not       out too much, but he sympathizes            On the other hand, Gibson’s still
drama. But it is good.
                                         murdered by a local creep.              a must-see but it’s the kind of film      with his plight. He gives some valu-      got it. He’s no William Wallace,
   Director Peter Jackson (Lord of                                               whose imagery sticks with you for a       able information and dies a hero in       but he can pull off the cop with a
the Rings, King Kong) is an excellent                                            while.                                    the end.                                  grudge as good as he good in his
storyteller, and in The Lovely Bones       One particularly cool scene             The Edge of Darkness marks the            An extra ten minutes or so of           Lethal Weapon days. He’s in a few
he tells the story of a teenage girl,    involved a fleet of glass bottle        return of Mel Gibson (Mad Max,            explanation would have helped this        really good action scenes with him
Susie Salmon, who is murdered by a       ships crashing on a rocky coast as      Braveheart) to the silver screen. It is   movie as it has pacing problems.          that can leave you grinning.
local creep. Instead of passing on to    Salmon’s father is smashing his         a remake of a mini-series from 1985.      You don’t really get a grasp for what       Edge of Darkness is a good action
the afterlife, she stays behind, still   ship-in-a-bottle-collection in the        The story: Boston detective             kind of person Gibson is playing.         thriller and is probably worth the
attached to her family and a boy she     world of the living.                    Thomas Craven’s daughter is shot in       He goes through most of the movie         price of admission to see Gibson
loves.                                     Ronan’s character must get clo-       front of him and, as he investigates      not really sure what’s going on and       play a cop again. But if that doesn’t
   The girl is played by Saoirse         sure before she passes on. She          the murder himself, he unravels a         instead of trying to find the person      do it for you, save this one for a
Ronan, in her first major film role.     is able to communicate with her         conspiracy involving defence con-         who killed his daughter, he is more       rental.

CD Reviews: Troubadours and twee-pop troublemakers
                 hear here                                           Frank Turner – Poetry of the Deed                                   Bouncing Souls – Ghosts on the Boardwalk
                                                                     kkk                                                                 kkk
                 mark teo                                                                                                                    Punks will listen to Ghosts on the Boardwalk for the same
                                                                         Humble London troubador Frank Turner might never
                                                                                                                                         reason Fox refuses to ax The Simpsons: out of old-fashioned,
                                                                     admit it, but he has become the voice of a generation.
                                                                         A poignant, and often hilarious, storyteller, Turner’s the      Confucian respect for their elders.
 Los Campesinos – Romance is Boring
                                                                     perfect symbol for twenty-something malaise. Adopting the               But unlike plenty of their pension-punk counterparts – I’m
 kkk1/2 (out of 5)                                                   attitude of the funemployed, he’s not worried about shrinking       looking at you, DOA – the Bouncing Souls, who recently lef
                                                                     career options and a swelling beer gut; he’s just here for the      their long-time home at Epitaph records, can still produce a
     If you’ve ever suffered through stretch marks, ill-fitting                                                                          decent record.
                                                                     good times.
 retainers or gym class volleyball, you’ll surely identify with                                                                              They’ve built a 20-year career on carefree odes to baristas
                                                                         Unlike his previous efforts – which largely relied on
 Romance is Boring.                                                                                                                      and BMX bikes and here, it’s business as usual. And although
                                                                     Turner and six strings – he’s recruited a backing band for
     Indeed, barely-legal U.K. collective Los Campesinos                                                                                 Ghosts opens with a tongue-in-cheek reference to U.K. punk
                                                                     Poetry of the Deed. The results are hit-or-miss; although it’s a
 are experiencing growing pains. Their excellent 2007 debut                                                                              legends The Exploited – “sex and violence has lost its charm”
                                                                     definite infusion of folk-punk energy, there’s a certain amount
 demonstrated a whimsical twee-pop group bent on the pursuit                                                                             – the Souls are as vital to the genre as ever.
                                                                     of intimacy that’s missing here.
 of good times. A year later, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed                                                                                In fact, Ghosts may be the New Jersey foursome’s speediest,
                                                                         Like the entirety of his catalogue, Turner’s passionate,
 had the group exploring the darker sides of bubblegum, and                                                                              most upbeat album since 1999’s Hopeless Romantic.
                                                                     self-aware lyrics are central to the album. “Dan’s Song” is a
 with Romance, their lumpy coming of age continues.                                                                                          “We All Sing Along” might be the most self-aware song
                                                                     prototypical Turner buddy-song. Facing the decidedly grown-
     They’re still most comfortable with amped-up shout-a-                                                                               they’ve ever written – it’s an ode to the genre itself, recalling
                                                                     up issues of work, family and life, Turner elects to enjoy beer
 longs like “Plan A,” in which singer Garrett Campesinos,                                                                                the thrill of hearing Black Flag for the first time.
                                                                     in the park with his friends. A wise choice, indeed.
 swaggering like a young Pete Shelley, demands “more post-                                                                                   “When You’re Young” is an anti-aging anthem – it’s reassur-
                                                                         “The Road” is Turner’s travel anthem; it’s about D.C. dive
 coital, less post-rock.”                                                                                                                ing to know the Souls choose circle pits over replacement hips.
                                                                     bars and sleeping on couches. “Sons of Liberty” has Turner
     But Mid-tempo slugfests “In Media Res” and “The Sea is                                                                                 “Mental Bits” might be the album’s most surprising track
                                                                     doing his best Billy Bragg impression; obliquely dropping the
 a Good Place” are equivalent to high school sex ed: awkward,                                                                            – pairing syncopated guitar with a buzzy harmonica, it’s the
                                                                     dates of the Peasants’ Revolt and the Russian Revolutions of
 but a necessary formative experience. “Plan A” is a complete                                                                            Souls’ equivalent of a down-south porch jam.
                                                                     ’05 and ’17, it’s a one-size-fits-all song for armchair
 stunner – pairing squealing, discordant verses with a soar-                                                                                 At the quarter-century
 ing, unforgettable chorus,                                                                                                              mark of their career, the
                                                                         While not the finest
 it’s the U.K.’s answer to                                                                                                               Bouncing Souls have
                                                                     recording of his catalogue
 Nirvana’s “Radio Friendly                                                                                                               become punk’s equivalent
                                                                     – that distinction goes
 Unit Shifter.”                                                                                                                          of venerable former Toronto
                                                                     to 2008’s Love, Ire and
     Romance isn’t the most                                                                                                              Maple Leafs grinder Garry
                                                                     Song – his latest proves
 cohesive album of their                                                                                                                 Valk: never flashy, frequent-
                                                                     he hasn’t lost his sharp
 career, but they’ve got plenty                                                                                                          ly functional and always
                                                                     tongue or keen observa-
 of time to actualize their                                                                                                              likeable.
                                                                     tional abilities.
 Until then, Los Campesinos
 still sound like Welsh art-
 school dropouts cranked on

                                                                                        Page layout:   kristy hutter
February 5 – 11, 2010                                                                                                                                                            the BaCk Page      16
Happy tails a cure for the blues, studies show
Therapy dogs proven to reduce
stress, bring cheer to the elderly
monika WarzeCha                            One of the facilities Grant and Roc                   visit, Northwood, began bringing in
                                         dogs for visits six years ago under
   St. Bernards may be known for         the guidance of veterinarian Dr.
saving struggling travelers in the       Ross Ainslie.
Alps, but they can also help people        The benefits of coming into con-
here in Halifax.                         tact with animals have become the
   Roc, a 17-month-old St. Bernard,      grounds for research by a number of
works as a therapy dog for               doctors and scientists.
Therapeutic Paws of Canada.

   Mark Grant, the publicity direc-
tor for the Halifax Kennel Club, and          When you walk in,
his dog Roc alternate between visit-     the instant smile on the
ing seniors’ residences Northwood
                                         residents face is absolutely
Manor and The Berkeley in Bedford
on Monday evenings.
   “A lot of these people put into                               Jaime Wolfe
                                                       St. John’s Ambulance
these long-term nursing homes and                      Therpy Dog Program
facilities – they don’t see anybody.
We’re their lifeline with the outside
world, if you will,” Grant says.            Researchers at the Department of
   The health and social benefits        Medicine at the University of New
associated with being around             York at Buffalo published a study
pooches have moved organizations         in the 2001 Journal of the American
to help bring dogs to those that could   Heart Association. The study says
benefit from their contact.              the social support associated with
   Grant was first asked to volunteer    pet ownership lowers a person’s
by Therapeutic Paws of roughly           blood pressure response to mental
five years ago because of the sweet      stress.
nature of his former St. Bernard,          But the benefits of animal contact
Hercules.                                also have a social dimension.
   Grant also helps evaluate volun-        Darlene Rogers, the director of
teer teams for Therapeutic Paws,         resident programs and services at
a volunteer-based program where          Northwood, says the visits are “thor-
therapy dog and cats and their han-      oughly enjoyed” by the residents.
dlers visit retirement homes, nursing    The dogs brighten their days and
homes and hospitals.                     give them something to talk about.
                                           “It’s also a nice conversation

                                         starter – often the dog will become
                                         secondary to the conversation hap-
     A lot of these people put
                                         pening between the dog-handler
into these long-term nursing             and the resident.”
homes and facilities – they                Jaime Wolfe, the program coordi-
don’t see anybody. We’re                 nator for St. John’s Ambulance ther-
their lifeline with the outside          apy dog program in Nova Scotia and
world, if you will.                      Prince Edward Island, agrees.
                      Mark Grant           “When you walk in, the instant
              Halifax Kennel Club        smile on the resident’s face is abso-
                                         lutely amazing,” she says. “They
                                         immediately start talking about the                                                                                                                   MONIKA WARZECHA
   The organization conducts back-       dogs that they used to own or dogs          Kathleen Hipwell demonstrates why her furry pal Phi makes such a good therapy dog.
ground checks on the human-half          that they used to see all the time.”
of the team and makes sure the             Volunteers visit hospitals and            Ambulance program does a record           And there could be scientific basis    found that patients who spent as
dogs are healthy, easy-going and         group homes, though the majority            check on volunteers and requires the    for the positive social effects dogs     little as half an hour a week with
obedient.                                of the facilities they visit are seniors’   dogs to be friendly, easy-going and     can have on people.                      therapy dogs were significantly less
  Grant says they also put the dog       residences.                                 up to date on their shots.                In a 2002 study in the Journal         lonely after only six weeks, com-
and volunteer through a number of          St. John Ambulance’s therapy dog            Therapy dogs come in different        of Gerontology: Medical Sciences,        pared to a control group.
tests to simulate the environment of     program has been running for about          shapes and sizes, ranging from          researchers from the Veterans               To Grant, the enjoyment people get
the seniors’ home.                       ten years and Wolfe says the volun-         hulking St. Bernards like Roc, to the   Administration Medical Centre in         out of programs such as Therapeutic
  “Someone drops a bedpan – how          teer teams visit roughly 120 differ-        diminutive Phi, a dachshund that        St. Louis and the St. Louis University   Paws is evident by how much the
would your dog react? If he started      ent facilities across Nova Scotia and       started out as a therapy dog for St.    School of Medicine used the UCLA         residents look forward to visits from
barking, could you quickly get           Prince Edward Island, with about 30         John’s Ambulance program.               Loneliness Scale to study patients       him and his dog.
your dog back under control? How         in the Halifax area.                          “He likes attention,” says Phi’s      before and after visits from therapy        “If we’re not on time, they’re call-
would your dog react to someone on         Much like the Therapeutic Paws            owner Kathleen Hipwell. “He makes       dogs.                                    ing my cellphone,” he says with a
crutches or in a wheelchair?”            screening process, the St. John’s           everybody happy.”                         Using that scientific scale, they      laugh.
                                                                                        Page layout:   James Whitehead

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