UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 8 | Aug.
IN THE NEWS
Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in July 2003
Compiled by Brian Lin
Oldest planet found
A group of U.S. and Canadian astronomers have found the oldest
known planet. The huge gaseous object is almost three times
as old as Earth and nearly as old as the universe itself.
UBC astronomy professor Harvey Richer told The New York Times
it was tremendously encouraging that planets are probably
abundant in globular star clusters.
We have been talking about a single planet from a single
globular cluster, said Richer, who is a member of the
team that made the discovery. We ought not to extrapolate
from a sample of one, and first look more closely to see if
there are planets in other clusters.
Thanks to double-cohort paranoia, UBC received
twice as many applications from Ontario this year, UBC assistant
registrar Rosalie Phillips told the Toronto Star.
The double cohort had kids scared, so on Mom and Dads
advice they sent out a lot of insurance applications
in case they didnt get into any Ontario university,
As it turns out, 46 per cent of Ontario students did get
their first choice within the province, so UBC expects to
register only 50 to 75 per cent more than usual.
Still Time to Save Fisheries
In an editorial in the Taipei Times, UBC fisheries professor
Daniel Pauly says the decline of global marine catches will
be difficult to halt.
The rapid depletion of fish stocks is the inevitable
outcome of sophisticated industrial technology being thrown
at dwindling marine populations as demand rises, fueled by
growth in human population and incomes, said Pauly.
There is still time to save our fisheries, but only
if they are reinvented not as the source of an endlessly growing
supply of fish for an endlessly growing human population,
but as a provider of a healthy complement to grain-based diets.
Stonehenge Mystery Solved?
UBC researcher Anthony Perks told the UK Observer that he
has uncovered Stonehenges true meaning: it is a giant
fertility symbol, constructed in the shape of the female sexual
There was a concept in Neolithic times of a great goddess
or Earth Mother, said Perks. Stonehenge could
represent the opening by which the Earth Mother gave birth
to the plants and animals on which ancient people so depended.
Perkss analysis was published in the Journal of
the Royal Society of Medicine.