What’s left to salvage is shrinking before our eyes. At last count, the NHL had cancelled the entire pre-season and the first two weeks of the regular season. But as the lockout drags on, a glimmer of hope remains. The billionaire owners and millionaire players have agreed to sit down and continue talking, and although the “core economic issues” will not be part of those discussions, the mere fact that both sides are speaking is promising. A deal can’t come soon enough: to fill the Saturday night void, CBC is broadcasting reruns of long-ago games.
Two strokes of progress
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but for stroke prevention, tomatoes should be the fruit of choice. According to researchers in Finland, a regular dose of lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, could lower a man’s risk of stroke by up to 55 per cent. In other encouraging news, Canadian doctors say they are close to developing a drug that can limit brain damage caused by strokes. Hundreds of other substances have been tested over the years, but the latest—NA-1—is the first to show promise in clinical trials.
Room for everyone
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is standing by a housing affordability task force’s controversial recommendations for the city, the country’s most expensive place to live. They range from more townhouses along transit routes to asking residents to consider the “thinning” of some streets to make room for more lots. “A lack of affordability imposes a burden on everyone,” Robertson wrote in a recent op-ed. Finding a workable solution won’t be easy or popular among current taxpaying homeowners, but doing nothing is not an option in a city where buying a modest bungalow can set you back more than $1 million.
Bald is better
Struggling to climb the corporate ladder? Try shaving your noggin. A study out of the University of Pennsylvania has found that men who shave their heads bald to the bone (à la Bruce Willis and Michael Jordan) are actually viewed as more powerful and confident than their Samson-esque counterparts. “How you’re perceived effects how people treat you,” says the lead researcher. No wonder so many people trust Mr. Clean.
Where’s the Ritz?
The XL Foods beef recall has stretched across the country, into the U.S. and as far away as Hong Kong. And yet the minister in charge of the file—Gerry Ritz—has been all but absent, staying away from the House of Commons and avoiding reporters (perhaps to avoid contracting a case of foot-in-mouth disease, as was the case in 2008 when he made a joke about death by a thousand “cold cuts” in reference to a deadly recall by Maple Leaf Foods). Canadians expect much more from their leaders, particularly in times of crisis and uncertainty.
The International Monetary Fund raised some serious concerns about Canada’s economy, forecasting it will grow just 1.9 per cent this year and two per cent next year. That’s less than the Bank of Canada’s estimates and too anemic to drop the unemployment rate below 7.3 per cent. Along with long-standing concerns about Canada’s household debt levels, the IMF pointed to external risks posed by the still fragile U.S. economy and Europe’s debt woes. Trouble extends far beyond Canada and its trading partners, too. The IMF said the potential for a steep global slowdown is “alarmingly high.”
Tweet, tweet love
A new poll has confirmed the obvious: when it comes to addictions, sex and drugs have nothing on Facebook and Twitter. Researchers at the University of Chicago asked 250 participants, ranging in age from 18 to 85, to log their wants and desires over a seven-day period. The result? The urge to interact online was much stronger than sexual urges. (Memo to all addicts: if you’re online anyway, be sure to check out @macleansmag and facebook.com/MacleansMagazine.)
RoboSnub, Part II
Detroit likes RoboCop, but the partially mechanized crime fighter doesn’t feel the same way about Motown. A “reboot” of the 1987 sci-fi classic, set in a crime-ridden Detroit of the future, is being filmed in Toronto and Hamilton, despite Detroit’s best efforts to lure big Hollywood productions to offset a declining manufacturing industry. But if it’s any comfort to local fans, the original wasn’t filmed in Detroit, either. It was shot in Dallas.