UBC Reports | Vol. 50 | No. 7 | Jul.
In the News
Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in June 2004
Compiled by Brian Lin
In the latest issue of National Geographic magazine, UBC
anthropologist John Barker explains the reasons why people
“The reason people tattoo are incredibly varied,”
said Barker. “There are different motivations in different
locations at different times.”
For example, in many Polynesian cultures tattooing is extremely
sacred, forging a connection to the ancestors, Barker said.
In Papua New Guinea the Maisin women cover their entire faces
with exotic curvilinear patterns in a puberty ceremony. Until
they are tattooed, they are thought to have “blank”
faces, not yet ready for marriage.
Walk Against Obesity
A new study led by UBC community and regional planning professor
Lawrence Frank provides detailed evidence of the obesity-sprawl
connection. Frank surveyed nearly 11,000 people in Atlanta
and discovered that for every hour people spend in their cars,
they are six per cent more likely to be obese.
For every kilometre they walk in a day, they are five per
cent less likely to be obese, Frank told Time Magazine. People
who live in a mixed-use environment are seven per cent less
likely to be obese -- probably because they walk more.
“The policy implication of this study,” says
Frank, “is that if we’re going to solve our public-health
issues, we’re going to have to address the built environment.”
Ethnic Votes may Sway Election
For the first time in Canada’s history, the Chinese
and South Asian communities are expected to greatly influence
the results of the June 28 federal election, UBC political
scientist Richard Johnston told Agence France Presse English.
The number of Chinese and South Asian Canadians have increased
steadily in the past three decades, representing half of Canada’s
four million visible minorities.
They are also asserting their political clout. “Their
mere presence in Parliament will have a profound change in
how we see ourselves,” said Johnston. “We’re
getting used to seeing Asian faces in prominent places, as
leaders of the community.”
Labour Board Favours Unions
A recent report published by the Coalition of B.C. Businesses
shows the B.C. Labour Relations Board failing to properly
administer the provincial labour code by coming out with decisions
that put the rights of unions ahead of those of individual
In recent months the board has dealt with numerous requests
by employee groups looking to abandon their unions, UBC labour
relations professor Mark Thompson told the National Post.
Thompson said labour legislation put in place in the early
‘90s making it considerably easier for unions to sign
up members caused frustration in the business sector and the
government is still trying to find a balance that is fair
to both sides.