New Maps, New Paths,
New Vistas –
Concepts, Creations, Actions
for Positive Change
Conference at UBC
Friday, March 16th, 3:00-7:00 pm
Program & Abstracts
Creating a Happier, Healthier Life
~ Aesthetics, Music, Nutrition,
Alternative Health, Technology & Medicine ~
Alternative Health, Technology & Medicine ~
Jasmine Bassi & Puneet Brar
Unveiling True Beauty: the Change of Ideals in North America
What is it that defines beauty in present day North America? The 21st century came, and brought with it, advancements in technology, science, medicine, and even beauty. It can be argued both ways, but we feel that the advancements in beauty brought about a change in the very definition of beauty and its ideals. The media-influenced images, which we have all become accustomed to, have slowly lowered the self esteem of women both young and old, giving beauty a new and distorted “face”.
Beauty has played an influential role in the lives of humans since the beginning of mankind, but it’s the changes that have been made and the ideals created and accepted that we will discuss in this paper.
Electronic Music: What Is "Real" Music?
Merriam-Webster defines music as: "the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity." Science defines music as collection of mechanical waves through a medium. How do you define music?
Music plays a big role in my life. I enjoy all genres of music and listen to music every day. One of my favourite genres of music is electronic music. Electronic music consists mostly of beats and tones from computer devices, and, occasionally, includes vocals.
Most of today's music, such as pop and rap, although not of the electronic genre, also contains a significant amount of electronic-music components. As technology progresses, it is also changing the way music is produced. With "classic" instruments, such as guitars and drums, being replaced with digital alternatives, how do we define today’s music? As subjective as musical entertainment is, can music produced on a computer be considered an art? Will these electronic devices entirely replace physical instruments in the future? My research paper will explore these changes and questions, as well as the birth of these musical blips and blops.
Music as a Global Way of Communication:
Can Music Improve Our Lives and Society?
There are many ways of communicating: words, pictures, sounds, etc, but it is really hard to find one way of communication that speaks to all - all the people, no matter what their cultural backgrounds. However, research has shown that such a universal language exist: the language music. No matter what our age, color, education level or sex, we all feel almost exactly the same way after listening to the same melody.
We often listen to music to boost our moods walking to class or riding a bus to school. It is a rather simple action that brightens our lives. The question now is: can we reach every single person out there with this magical tool? Could it be possible to use music to improve societies?
This research project examines different studies on the impact of music on people, and then uses the fact that music is a universal language to propose a way to improve not only individuals' lives but also societies by using this unique language.
Becca Tsai, Tessa Lawson, Jessica Kwok
Bettering Health One Laugh at a Time
Everyone has heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine” and there is now plenty of research to support this overused cliche. Dr. Madan Katari, founder of Laughter Yoga, states that “when you start laughing, your chemistry changes, your physiology changes, and your chances to experience happiness are much greater" (Samuels 53). Parallel to Dr. Kataria’s statement, studies show that Laughter Yoga is able to help reduce depression (Mahvash et al. 322-327), lower blood pressure and blood glucose levels (Suraj-Narayan et al.) as well as reduce the severity of symptoms which arise from serious mental illnesses (Mesidor). Although the first Laughter Club was initiated in 1995, Laughter Yoga is still a relatively new concept to the world and has opened everyone’s eyes to the benefits of laughter (Laughter Yoga International). Given that it is a cheap
alternative to other forms of exercise, since no equipment or resources are needed, Laughter Yoga will likely expand in the future and eventually become just as popular as Hot Yoga or Hatha Yoga.
Starting a Food Revolution –
Because You Are What You Eat
Recently I have watched and been inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and his Ministry of Food, which both document his crusade on the current British and American public schools meal plan and his attempt to find healthier alternatives. Although the Canadian school system does not include a government school lunch system, parents and students alike often still make poor decisions through misconceptions of what are healthy versus unhealthy food items.
In this research report, I would first of all like to explain – by referring to a variety of research studies that have been conducted in this field - why eating a wide range of foods can be so important in leading a fulfilling life. In addition, I will explain how making wholesome home-cooked meals can be easy and affordable on a college student budget. Lastly, I wish to present some ideas from psychology to explain why food has us in its grasp and how to help people who are struggling make healthier choices. Today’s generation of students can and should be the generation who can become educated on the issues of nutrition and food security and who can therefore become able to enjoy food to the fullest.
Kevan La Guardia
Kevan La Guardia
Caffeine and Stress: The Effects of Caffeine on Stress
Stress is everywhere in our lives. Whether we choose to eliminate the stress or ignore it and live with it, we can never fully escape the influence of stress in our lives. Many people will cope with their tensions by indulging in multiple cups of coffee or tea. With the arrival of stress, multiple cups of coffee are the answer for some people. Whether it is cramming for a test, finishing a paper the night before or just needing to wake up, combining stress with caffeine has an increasingly negative effect on the body. Caffeine consumption is correlated to sleeping disorders, insomnia, increased blood pressure, hyperactivity, and anxiety. Each symptom of caffeine consumption is directly related to the way that we respond to a stressor in our life. Caffeine also has a direct effect on the way our body responds to stress, where it will stimulate the fall of hormones and increase the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. In other words, caffeine will intensify and increase the longevity of the stress response you experience. Stress, in relation to caffeine and how it influences health will be explored and discussed in this research report.
Choromotherapy, more commonly known as colour therapy, is an ancient technique that is now beginning to play a prominent role in modern medicine. It originated in Eastern-Asia and Eygpt and has been practiced for thousands of years. Colour therapy in a non-invasive treatment that works by balancing the body’s energies in order to combat ailments. It has been proven that different diseases have different frequencies. When the
correct colour is matched to the disease, a treatment can be found. I will be doing research on how specific colours correspond to specific ailments, the scientific research behind colour therapy, and the origin and
history behind this alternative healing method.
The Eye Writer: The Past, the Present and the Future
The eye writer project is a story of how the passion of a small group of people can create a revolutionary wave of change in medical technology. Constructed by a small international team in someone’s private home on a dining room table in only two weeks time using scavenged materials from the beach and a PS3, the eye writer has become the first eye-tracking digital based painting tool designed for use by paralyzed individuals who can move almost nothing except their eyes. How could such a breakthrough have come about under such incredulous conditions?
Well, as Mick Ebeling, one of the founding members, puts it: "We had no idea if this was going to work." What is important here is that they tried. They were doing this project at the expense of Mick and his company for the sake of a friend, a street artist who had lost the ability to draw in 2003 when the onset of ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease, completely paralyzed him save for the movement of his eyes. The eye writer was a promise from Mick and others to the friend to help him draw again.
What I wish to take from this story, is the type of spirit that causes a person to make such a commitment - not knowing the outcome - in the hope that positive change can be brought into the world. I also wish to examine the kinds of change it has led to in the two short years since its creation. Finally, I would like to point out why this project, which is still ongoing, is a model of development by collaboration that many of us can learn from.
The Future of Medicine: Mobile Technologies in Healthcare
The purpose of this research project is to identify and evaluate the most promising opportunities for integrating mobile technologies with the delivery or monitoring of healthcare services. Mobile technologies, such as Short Message Service (also known as SMS, or simply ‘text messaging’), are already transforming how healthcare is being delivered in all parts of the world. As powerful mobile devices and technology become more prevalent, especially in under-developed nations, there is enormous potential to improve the health outcomes of patients. This research study will look at a variety of medical and technological resources to formulate a collection of actionable opportunities that have so far been overlooked or underutilized.
3:55 to 4:00
~ Short Break ~
Who We Are & What Works for Us
~ Psychology, Mythology, Education,
History, Sociology, Politics ~
History, Sociology, Politics ~
What Motivates Altruism Among Human Beings?
No matter whether implanted into the human DNA or based upon religious beliefs, altruism and compassion seem to be intrinsic characteristics of the human race. However, what exactly it is that has caused humanity to develop these feelings of compassion towards others is far from obvious and has therefore given rise to quite a bit speculation and discussion.
Some feel the answer can be found exclusively in our genes: according to them, compassion is something that has been engraved in our genetic makeup,
and has thus become a part of our bodies. Others feel that altruism and compassion are feelings brought about and developed in situations that
require us to help those in need. In either case, compassion is part of every human being, and we are all capable of delving into this noble attitude. Altruism is deeply rooted in the brain, and draws on the beliefs and morals that mankind has held dear. Everyone is capable of acting on the feeling of compassion that is aroused in certain situations.
However, compassion and altruism are not equally developed in all human beings. There are those who have been placed in situations and lifestyles that hinder the development of compassion. On the other hand, compassion is something innate, an autonomic function within the human body; it can be brought about when the body is simply placed in a “fright of flight” state. It can also be motivated through nurture, religion and morals taught to individuals within their families and communities. Altruism is what allows people to go beyond their comfort zones and realize what greatness human beings are capable of. It teaches those who are in need to move forward in the toughest situations.
Myths and Folklore in Pop Culture:
An Analysis of the Creatures in the CW Show “Supernatural”
Stories of vampires, werewolves, and other creature of the night have been around for centuries. Each tale is slightly different and may depict the creature in an altered way, give them a new ability, or a previously unknown weakness. The monsters in the CW Show “Supernatural” have also been changed from the traditional horror stories; these changes cause the originally “evil” characters to become more relatable. Through this change the creatures become metaphors for the human condition. Some choose to embrace the dark parts in themselves – the parts that exist in every person - and become intentionally evil, others are born human and then lose themselves in the transition to another form or persona, while others yet are completely unaware of the damage they cause and the people they hurt. These characters become a caution to the audience and a reminder of the consequences of a person’s actions.
Grades: An Effective Incentive?
It is impossible to ignore that grades have a major influence on most high-school, college, and university students. After all, grades determine if we pass a course, if we're eligible for a scholarship, and if we get our dream job - not to mention that sometimes we even need to hide them from our parents…. Although grades seem as intrinsic to our education system as our teachers, I cannot help but wonder if grades really work as an incentive for students and if they are even effective. What I mean by effective is the question of whether we can determine if grades really achieve the intended goals of those who originally proposed them, namely, to motivate students to put more energy and effort into their work and thus to progress faster. The focus of my paper will be on attempting to answer those questions mentioned above, and to look for the underlying thought processes of why grades were proposed as an incentive scheme in the first place.
Skill Beyond Counting: Changing the Way We Teach Math
Education influences all people in some way, no matter whether it is the increased stress students feel when they face the demands and difficulties of higher education or the low living standard that threatens those who lack formal education.
It has always been an important goal in the field of education to improve existing teaching methods in order to make them more suitable for - and attractive to – students, and this goal has been constantly taking on new forms and directions. The teaching of sciences, math in particular, has developed many innovative methods and new ideas to accomplish this goal. Some of these new methods have been put into place already, with varying results, while others will be implemented in the future. The effectiveness of some of these new methods and philosophies will be discussed in this presentation, as well as some interesting differences that exist among various regions, cultures, and age groups.
Scouts Canada: The Foundation of a Successful Life
or Just Another Babysitting Option?
When you hear about Scouts you think about tents, campfires, knots, canoes and all those other good things that have to do with wilderness. While Scouting is mainly focused on supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, the organization also tries to make sure that these young people are ready to play constructive roles in society. Children are encouraged to join at a very young age and can continue to scout until they are much older. In fact, there are very old scouters as well, and all of these different age groups enjoy the benefits of the organization.
However, there are also some people who take advantage of such a great organization. Many parents, according to critics, basically ‘drop’ their kids off at Scouts Canada just to get rid of them: scouting instead of child care…. While some people may think of this as I problem, I think, it is better than leaving the child in front of a TV. My scouting days were – and so far still are - the best time of my life, and I am not the only one who is of that opinion. Scouts Canada has proven over and over again to be a fantastic organization in helping young men and women realize their potential and grow up to be fantastic humans.
Women of Sororities: Female Leaders in the Society
A “sorority” - the word is rooted in the Latin word "soror," meaning ‘sister’ - is a society of female students in a university. Unfortunately, women in a sorority are often misunderstood and dismissed as “irresponsible,” “snobby” or even “dull.” People perceive them this way partly because of the way they have been presented in the media. In the Greek system, fraternities and sororities, became a tool of drama in many TV shows and movies. However, in reality, many leaders in North America are Greek affiliated members.
So who are the real women of sororities? What do they stand for and what is their impact on our society? In my paper I will discuss the history and background of the Greek sorority system, the misconceptions that exist about it in our generation and the impact sororities have on our present-day society.
Who is the Father of the Confederation:
John A. MacDonald or George Brown?
John A. MacDonald (1815-1891) was a witty lawyer and a suave politician. He was also the leader of the Conservative Party and became the first Prime Minister of Canada. George Brown (1818-1880) was a man who served the country with no personal ambition as a politician. He also was the owner of the newspaper company, “The Globe” (1844) as well as a man who defended his values as a journalist. George Brown was the leader of the opposition party, Clear Grit (known today as the Liberals).
In my research paper, I will determine who was “[t]he man who made union feasible” (Marquis 1998) by focusing on only those two main people, John A. MacDonald and George Brown. In addition, I would like to discuss which man truly made the Canadian Confederation (1867) happen and thus made peace, order and good government (Constitution Act 1867) possible.
Kevin E Xu
Democracies and Republics are by far the most commonly seen forms of government on Earth. However, as history has shown, they are not the most efficient forms of government possible. From the first mentioning of passing a bill to the bill’s actual implementation, usually a copious amount of time is spent deliberating, discussing, going formalities etc. As Winston Churchill once put it, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried." Like many other forms of government, Democracy can work, and does in most scenarios. However, it has clearly not been optimized, nor is entirely corruption-free.
In this research article I will examine the inadequacies of our current world governments and politics and analyze ways in which these forms of government could be improved in an idealized scenario.
~ Short Break ~
Life in Today’s High-Tech World
~ Society, Law, Culture,
Environment and the Earth ~
Environment and the Earth ~
Technology - Useful, Harmful, or Both?
Tablets, cellphones, and laptops are everywhere and anywhere. The society in North America today is filled with people who are constantly using their new gadgets and cannot wait to buy the next big thing. From iphones and ipads, to blackberries and tablets, people desire to have the latest and fastest technology in their hands. Many people cannot even sit down without checking their facebook, twitter, or email at the click of a button. Technology is good, but it is affecting the way we are communicating with our family membes and close friends. When you sit down with a friend, you want him or her to listen to you instead of seeing them check their cell phones every two minutes or hearing their phones vibrate on the table. Are these gadgets really necessary for us to communicate with people across the world or are they just distracting us from the people in front of us?
Technology, its advancements, and how technology influences us will be investigated and discussed in this research project.
The Impact of the Internet and Social Media on Global Culture
With the dawn of the 21st century, the rate of globalization has reached a break-neck speed. Alongside of economic integration on the global scale, cultural globalization is a new trend on the world stage. This exciting exchange of cultural ideas between nations and individuals is being proliferated largely through the internet and social media. In and of itself, the internet has set up its own cultural ideas, values and norms, which can be considered distinct from any previous culture in history. Furthermore, the internet acts as a meeting place for individuals, where they can discuss a plethora of issues from religion to fine arts. In certain circumstances, this exchange of ideas can set up a counter-culture in relation to the culture that an internet user may find his or herself living in.
The question of internet regulations has arisen in global politics and is a point of contention with many organizations having a stake in the debate. Governments often prosecute individuals who upload pornography, pirated material or hateful speech into cyberspace. But in doing so, they may overstep their bounds and establish an Orwellian censorship of global consciousness. As a proposed solution, the idea of global ‘cyber-rights’ has come into play in global conversation. Ultimately, the internet and social media are forging an integral influence in the globalization of culture and liberal ideas, and while governments have the duty to discourage illegal activity through digital channels they also have the duty to protect the freedom of speech and ideas.
Misinforming Their Way to your Wallet: Invisible Children
KONY 2012 covers the city: news about this event is everywhere. You have heard about it, your neighbor has heard about it, even the stray dog that runs past your backyard has heard about it. Why is this so?
Invisible Children has produced a high budget documentary to make the world aware of the plight of children kidnapped and forced to join the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. The documentary is passionate, it is informative, it strings a chord in your heart - and it has instantly been reposted and re-tweeted on social websites by young adults across North America.
The goal of my report is to question the information provided to us by Invisible Children, to make a few allegations, and to defend a few of my opinions. My report aims to do all this, while attempting to be unbiased about this sensitive topic.
Whether it be Facebook, research or even just to procrastinate aimlessly, the internet has become vital to almost every one of us. The topics available on the internet have become endless, ranging from simple Tweets to FBI databases of the darknet. The internet can thus be a sanctuary of peace for some and an abode of sin for others.
Today most people of the Western world who regularly use the internet view it as a freedom. In fact, the UN has even officially claimed Internet Freedom as one of the basic Human Rights. However, acts of censorship are present in many nations. Most famously the Great Firewall of China has prevented Chinese citizens from accessing many websites including YouTube, Wikipedia and Facebook. This kind of information suppression has become more and more relevant to the people of the West, as the passing of bills, such as SOPA, ACTA and the C-11 bill of Canada, suggests. These bills aim to “protect entertainment industries” by monitoring and censoring the Web. The integrity of freedom is at risk when the government attempts to muffle one of the basic human rights.
The End of a Dream:
What the Future Holds for NASA and Space Travel
Apollo 17 launched at 12:33 am EST on December 7th 1972, and it was the last manned mission ever to land a human being onto the surface of the moon. At that time, many people believed that humans would have reached the planet Mars by now, but since then, not a single human has gone past Earth's low orbit. The manned Space Shuttle program was also brought to a close when STS-135 landed safely back on Earth on July 21st 2011. As of right now, there are no future plans to send a human into space.
In my research paper, I will describe the events leading to Apollo 11 (the first moon landing), it's significance, and the significance of the Space Shuttle missions. I will also be discussing why the Apollo & Space Shuttle program ended, why many believe NASA hasn't reached it's goal of landing on Mars, and some future endeavors that NASA may have planned.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?
Nukes are usually frowned upon, obviously, but I wanted to know if there was any benefit from the introduction of nukes to the world. Many lives have been lost due to nukes, but there are other questions worth asking regarding this issue, such as: did the introduction of nukes stop world war 3 from occurring? Did it act as a deterrent?
My paper will give an historical overview over how nuclear weapons have come into existence, how they have impacted our world, and in what way they play a role in the world today. I will examine history and search for examples where nukes were beneficial, as they were in 1946, helping stop a Soviet invasion of Iran. My paper will also investigate how nukes gave a new meaning to the consequences of war and how they introduced a new type of politics.
Transportation and Environmentalism
In this essay I will explore one of the biggest challenges to the environmental movement: solving the transportation issue. We live in an era that is internationally connected like no other time before. It is now more common to possess goods that have been manufactured on the other side of the planet than it is to have something that was made in our hometowns. People and products are constantly in transit throughout the globe, and the toll of powering these journeys is becoming apparent in the changes of our environment.
Sustainable initiatives have been explored to resolve the impact that our societies are having on the environment but many of them have issues of their own. To reduce the affect due to transportation, eco-friendly vehicles have been introduced. However, with parts manufactured in and shipped to different corners of the earth for processing, these vehicles have an environmental impact comparable, if not worse, to those that guzzle gasoline. The research in this paper will attempt to provide true comparisons of the environmental impact and investigate possible solutions.
Global Mapping: The Inside and Outside of the Earth
In the last twenty-five years, humankind has developed technology that has allowed us to see the earth from a totally different and new perspective. Today, viewing the world from a three dimensional perspective has become increasingly popular, in particular compared to using an old paper and road map. The most common three-dimensional mapping technology available comes in the form of GPS (Global Positioning System) software. For example, Google Earth uses GPS technology to map particular locations - and they’re three-dimensional
So far, we have used this technology, most commonly, to map out the surface of the earth so we can see clearly how humans are interacting with the world today. However, I am wondering what would happen if we could map the inside of our earth and maybe even our atmosphere. At the rate technology is improving currently, the activity of geological mapping of the earth has definitely increased. Unlike in the early 1900’s, we can now explore and record all sorts of different data that we would need to know about the earth around us, including mineral locations, how deep inside the earth the mineral cavities or mineral veins are located, tectonic plate movements, magma and crust interactions, and much more. The question now is: is it possible that we collaborate all of this information to create one big three-dimensional map so we can see virtually what is inside the earth? Plus, could we also do this for the atmosphere, while including the non-stop action of changing weather patterns?
In this essay, I will focus my attention on the idea of the possibility creating a three-dimensional map for both the inside and outside of the earth. There will be many questions and topics that will have to be covered, as
well as many parameters taken into account, such as political interactions across the world, the constantly changing earth, and the bare human interaction with the earth. By taking these aspects into consideration, I believe we can determine how possible it would be to create a three dimensional map of the world inside and out without using the math of statistics.
~ Short Break ~
General Discussion of the Topic:
New Maps, New Paths, New Vistas -
Concepts, Creations, and Actions
for Positive Change
Questions for Discussion:
1) Which of the new maps, paths, or vistas you heard about today did you find particularly interesting or inspiring and why?
2) Which New Maps, New Paths, and New Vistas were NOT mentioned in any of the presentations but are important enough to deserve some further thoughts?
3) What do you think YOU can do with your skills and talents to contribute to positive change in today’s world?
Please feel free to post any additional comments and ideas you have about this topic to our conference blog!
Thank you very much for your participation!