By Skyler Wang

We’re all mortals living with a due date

Every single day, we deal with our own evils

Some days we make it through, some days we surrender to temptations

We all have heartaches

We all cry sometimes

And no matter how many times we tell ourselves to be strong

The haunting will return

And the great torment will repeat

Sometimes we tell ourselves to isolate ourselves

And kiss the concept of solitariness

A beautiful manifestation

That brings about no cool grandeur

We are made to propagate in another’s soul

With victory materializing only with the presence of evil

Sometimes we do things without thinking about the repercussions

And end up with ramifications we have no intent to clean up

We then strip ourselves defenceless

Permitting the world to judge In the end, we will hold hands

And find ourselves lying motionlessly in the crater of all creations

Amongst piles and piles of decayed memories

And in the midst of this timeless disintegration

We will fight to hold on to that one important memory

Of how this unwavering beauty began


Ways to brighten up your Dorm Room

By Marta Biernacki

                  Is your space your favourite place?  The Gage Dorms tend to all look the same, but with a little effort you can add some flair to your bedroom and living room.  Here are some cheap and easy ideas.

  1. Holiday lights

This isn’t a novel idea, and hanging holiday lights is a pretty common in residence, but this doesn’t make it any less effective in making your living space more welcoming.  Lights add brightness and warmth to a room, and considering that it’s January, they’re probably on sale.

  1. Candles

Like holiday lights, candles are not a novel idea, but they’re still a good one.  They also add light, and have the added bonus of smelling nice.

  1. Cool Posters, Wrapping Paper, or Wall Stencils

You can decorate your walls with cool posters, but if you don’t have the money to buy one from the SUB or a fancy poster store, you can always get some pretty wallpaper and use it to line the top of your walls (like crown molding, but much cheaper).  Alternatives to this are getting some cheap old records which can be put on the wall, photographs of loved ones, or your own original artwork.  Just make sure to hang your decorations with some poster mounts!

  1. Flowers or Plants (fake is okay)

Adding life to a room – literally – is one of the best ways to make it more welcoming.  Cacti often have cool colours, and are hard to kill.  You can also get plastic plants, for which that task is even more difficult.

  1. Add Colour

Adding a brightly coloured rug, throw pillow(s) or duvet is an easy way to dramatically transform a room, and to make it look more comfy and welcoming.  Getting a big blanket with a cool pattern on it (for example, I have a tiger on my blanket) or an interestingly patterned pillow is a good way of adding some personal flair without too much monetary commitment.

  1. Organize and be Clean

Having a clean living space often is what makes a space look most welcoming.  The way that you place your books on a shelf can have a big impact, and even something as simple as making your bed in the morning can add a sort of calm to a room.  Taking a couple minutes every night just to tidy up, or putting away one thing before you leave the room, can help jump start neat habits.


Quick and Easy Avocado Recipes

By Amanda Kettler

Although avocados are sometimes known as a high fat food, the fats that they contain are what we call ‘good fats’.  Meaning that they are monounsaturated which help to maintain good heart health and lower blood pressure.  Alongside this they are packed with other good for you nutrients like folate, vitamin A and even contain a significant amount of fiber.

Nutrition for 1 avocado:

Calories: 250

Total Fat: 23g

Saturated Fat: 3g

Potassium: 760mg

Dietary Fiber: 10g

Sugars: 0g

Protein: 3g


Basically, they are a great addition to any meal….so now what to make?


Baked Avocado & Egg

Ingredients: Avocado, Small or Medium Eggs, Salt, Pepper, and any other seasonings you’d like.  I’d suggest a splash of chili flakes or some fresh green onion sprinkled on top.

Step 1: Cut avocado in half and remove pit.

Step 2: Scoop out some avocado to make room for the eggs.  This is super important because no one wants to have raw egg dripping everywhere.  Put excess to the side-this can be used as an extra topping once they have been cooked.

Step 3: Season with salt + pepper, and any other toppings you want.

Step 4: Bake at 425degrees for about 15 minutes, or until desired consistency.

Step 5: ENJOY!

Avocado Alfredo

Ingredients: Avocado, 2 garlic cloves, juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper, water.

Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a blender.  If you don’t have a blender you can also do this by hand so long as you chop your garlic into teeny tiny pieces.

Step 2: Use as a sauce over pasta! You can also try this as a dip or as a spread on sandwiches.

Avocado Caprese Salad

Ingredients: Avocado, Tomato, Basil, Salt & Pepper, Balsamic Vinegar.

Step 1: Chop avocado and tomato into slices.

Step 2: Place avocado and tomato, alternating on a plate.

Step 3: Season with Salt & Pepper, drizzle with balsamic and top with some fresh basil.

Step 4: Serve & Enjoy!


*This is great if you have guests or if you are avoiding dairy-it gives you a similar dish but accommodates those who don’t eat dairy!


Grant Snider

By Anna Murynka

Today I’d like to highlight my favourite comic artist, Grant Snider. And, because of the nature of his cartoons, I also appreciate Snider as a writer, designer, and teacher. He has a particular ability to take complicated sets of information and reduce them into an amusing visual narrative, which, as a student, is something I aspire to. Here are some examples of what I mean:

A lot of his work is posted on Google and Tumblr, and is highly worth checking out (if you’ve got a lot of time to kill; reading his comics is highly addictive).

Agora Café: Laid Back and Tasty

By: Tori Pollins

In the lower level of MacMillan there is a small vegetarian café called Agora. The coolest thing about this spot is the pastries, sandwiches and lasagnas all rock the casbah, yet the prices are surprisingly reasonable. The laid back atmosphere makes it the ideal space to collaborate on group projects while getting some quality eats that wont break the bank. Another plus, if you’re into saving the planet… the establishment is sustainable. They offer classically quaint dishware made of porcelain and silver on site, and if you decide to take your food to go all of the utensils and containers they offer are compostable. Good job Agora!  But let me stop myself before a start speaking too highly, one of my issues with the otherwise awesome joint is that it’s cash only, which can be a tad inconvenient. Also, they are without a bagel supplier at the moment L which means for all you bagel lovers out there might have to spread your smear somewhere else. But wait! Hope is on the horizon, Agora is looking to secure a new bagel supplier who can turn out bagels that are up to their standards. If you or someone you know has a bagel supplier contact in your phone book, give Angora a call at 604-822-4651. Check the place out anyway, its got Tori’s four thumbs out of five thumbs up. Good deal.



Energy Drinks: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By Robyn Turner

Energy drinks, they seem like a quick and , easy solution to pulling an all-nighter, but depending on the amount and how it is consumed, theyit can negatively impact your health depending on the amount consumed as well as how it is consumed.

The Ugly
The ugliest thing you could do with an energy drink is combine it with alcohol. Energy drinks mixed with alcohol are not permitted to be sold in Canada, and for a good reason. Energy drinks even sport the mandatory statement, “do not mix with alcohol,” because of Health Canada recommendations. This is due to the high level of caffeine that is found in energy drinks. It is also because caffeine is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant and they are not to be mixed! Research is currently determining the consequences of mixing caffeine and alcohol. One study found that those who combined the two beverages drank more alcohol then they would normally. That might sound great, but the negative after effects are the same or even worse, and often result in the involvement of health professionals and hospitals.

The Bad
Now the bad part about energy these drinks. Health Canada issues warnings to everybody when consuming caffeine. There have been because there have been reports of irregular heartbeat and nervousness as a result from drinking one of these highly caffinated beverages. The recommended intake of caffeine is a maximum ofup to 400 mg/day, which is the equivalent ofto three 8oz (237mL) cups of coffee, that which is three tall coffees from Starbucks or three coffees from the dining hall. In just one energy In these energy drinks, you can consume the maximum recommended level of caffeinejust as high of a dosage all in one go, which is where the concern arises. There are other negative consequences to drinking caffeine. For example, it such as it impairs calcium absorption. Calcium is an important mineral for the body that helps our bone health, prevents certain diseases, and keeps our overall body functioning (if you are in Science or LFS you will learn about calcium and its vital importance in upper year courses).

The Good
The good part about caffeine is that it can increase alertness or the ability to concentrate, but that depends on your tolerance level. Some individuals can consume minimal caffeine and get headaches, insomnia, irritableness or nervousness.

Ultimately, if you are a regular consumer of caffeine, be mindful of the risks. Consider taking a caffeine supplement if you drink it excessively. Also, be aware that the caffeine in energy drinks comes from herbs, like guarana and yerba mate. This will show in the ingredients list, but the caffeine content will not be listed. This is a potential issue and that is the problem as you do not know how much you are consuming. Because of this, so it may out- weigh any potential benefits may be outweighed. Be careful when choosing what to drink. The tTake home message is to drink caffeine in moderation and to not mix it with alcohol.

Robyn Turner
East Tower Advisor, 15-17


The Power of Negative Thinking

By Maria F.

Colombia, my country of birth, ranks every year as one of the happiest countries in the world. Last year, when it hit number one1, I was interested in finding out why. I mean, everyone knows the social problems this third-world nation has faced and it is by no means wealthy in cash. It is wealthy in happiness though and this is why: people in poor and war laden countries like Colombia always focus on the worst case scenario. What?! How could this be? Weren’t we taught that positive thinking, along with a clear vision of our goals, will help us reach them and make us happy? I know my mom always told me I wasn’t happy because I was too negative…

In a place where so many things go wrong every day… And I don’t mean like when you work on your paper for five hours and forget to save it (like I did yesterday!)… But where job opportunities are scarce and the safety of your loved ones is not a sure thing, people focus on the worst thing that could happen because what does happen (working at McDonald’s), although still bad, is never the worst (not finding a job at all!). In this way, they try to live each day to the fullest and happy, because tomorrow is not a certainty. On the contrary, the best thing that could happen (you get 100% on your twice-written paper!) is almost always not what happens. This could be what lies behind the increased rates of depression in wealthy countries like Canada and the United States, where tomorrow is virtually a certainty.

While I was searching for answers, I came across an interesting read by a controversial author, Oliver Burkeman. His book, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, is a refreshing eye-opener.  Let’s face it. For a nation that is fixated on achieving happiness through positive thinking, we seem remarkably incompetent at the task. He speaks of encounters with people of different religions, occupations and places in the world who have a radically different way of thinking about happiness. Yes, we’ve all heard that being thankful for what we have and not wishing for more could make us happy too. Well that just contradicts the capitalist mentality above! This is different. When you make a mistake or something doesn’t go as planned, think of how it could have gone worse and you’ll instantly start to feel better. You can’t change the past. But you can change how you feel about it to help you move forward. Maybe I forgot to save this paper that’s worth 10% of my grade, but it could have been the longer paper I handed in yesterday that was worth 30%!

Thank you universe!

And far from being productive, chronic negative self-criticism, which is what we do when our positive thoughts don’t manifest in real life every day, is also physically harmful as it manifests through symptoms of depression. Positive reinforcement has been proven to be more efficient than punishment in learning because punishment does not explicitly indicate a desired course of action (Yay PSYC 101!). Similarly, self-criticism leaves us defeated and usually with no plan to move forward for change.

I challenge you to recognize that you do not do your absolute best every single day, but to not use it to sabotage the effort you do put in most days. I challenge you to think that today may not have been your most productive day, but it could have been worse! For example, “I didn’t finish my paper today, but I wrote more than I did yesterday” or “I only went to the gym twice this week, but I could have not gone at all like last week.”  In this way, you will remain happier, healthier and it has been proven that your productivity levels will increase if you reward yourself with these thoughts. Why would that be? Because a lot of us, when faced with three hours of unproductiveness or three days without a work-out, give up on our unrealistic goals such as “I’m going to be productive all day today!” or “I’m going to go to the gym every day this week!” and actually end up not accomplishing anything. Reward yourself for what you do, and you will do more of that one-day-at-a-time.


Here’s a quick intro to Burkeman’s book:


… I promise I have no affiliation to him whatsoever and will make no profit if you buy this book

… Although I do think you, and the world, will benefit from reading it J


Caffè sospeso


by; Ghazaleh EA

“A man’s true wealth is the good he does in this world.”

— Muhammad (570 – 632 CE)


We entered a small coffee shop with a friend and ordered. As we were walking towards a table to sit down, 2 other people entered and ordered: “5 coffees please; 2 to go, and 3 suspended”. They only took 2 coffees and left. I asked my friend: “What is this suspended coffee about?” He smiled and replied: “Just wait and you’ll realize”.


More people entered. Two girls ordered one coffee each and left.


The next order was 7 coffees from 3 lawyers–3 coffees to go and 4 suspended coffees.


As I was thinking about this “suspended coffee” and enjoying the beautiful sunshine, a man with ragged clothes lethargically entered the coffee shop. With kindness, he asked the cashier: “Do you have any suspended coffees today?”


It’s simple! You pay the price of two or more, but only pick up one. The rest will be ‘suspended’ at the store as an act of charity.


This tradition started from the city of Naples in Italy, and slowly spread throughout the world.  This summer in Edmonton, an anonymous customer paid for 500 suspended coffees at Tim Hortons.


“How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment; we can start now, start slowly changing the world!” Anne Frank (diary entry, 1944)

By Ghazaleh Alamaki


Take a minute to imagine living in a world with:

by: Brendan Baek

Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, public executions,

extra judicial and arbitrary detention, the absence of due process and the rule of law, imposition

of the death penalty for political reasons, the existence of a large number of prison camps and

the extensive use of forced labour;

Sanctions on citizens to those who have been repatriated from abroad, such as treating their

departure as treason leading to punishments of internment, torture, inhuman or degrading

treatment or the death penalty.

All-pervasive and severe restrictions on the freedoms of thought, conscience, religion, opinion

and expression, peaceful assembly and association and on access of everyone to information,

and limitations imposed on every person who wishes to move freely within the country and

travel abroad.

Continued violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women, in particular the

trafficking of women for prostitution or forced marriage, ethnically motivated forced abortions,

including by labour inducing injection or natural delivery, as well as infanticide of children of

repatriated mothers, including in police detention centres and labour training camps.

Imagine living in a world with:

No Freedom of expression

No Freedom of religion

No Freedom of movement

No Disabled rights

Forced abortion and prostitution

Where do you think this is? Does a place like this even exist? Is it even possible to imagine if a

place like this can exist in the world today?

Now think about your family. You might have a fantastic relationship with your family, and some

not so great, or some may not have a family. Regardless of how close you are family, imagine

killing your own family to be able to eat a few extra grains of rice.

Imagine seeing your own mother being executed in front of your own eyes and feeling

shameless even though her death was entirely your fault.

How can this be? Wasn’t the concept of “family love” a universal and innate to human nature?

Isn’t it a mother’s instinct to embrace her own children, and the child’s instinct to seek comfort

in their mother’s arms? Despite famine and despite poverty, family unity should remain

wherever in the world you are from. What kind of place in the world can possibly annihilate the

most fundamental form of human relationship?

What are some of your guesses so far?

The word famine and poverty is commonly associated with third world countries in the world.

Many countries in Africa, Central America, or South East Asia commonly appear in the media as

places in the world that needs our personal help.

What if I told you the country is incredibly close to a Japan, one of the richest countries in the

modern world? Direct attached to China, one of the world’s forefront economic giants? And

neighbors with South Korea, the most technologically advanced country in the world?

Juxtaposed with these countries enjoying basic fundamental human rights, is North Korea. This

long introduction to what North Korea is like is certainly different from what you expected, am I


Perception is an invisible force, one that lives in our minds. But the effects of our perceptions

are anything but invisible, since they determine what we think, say and how we act. In this way,

this invisible force of perception has influenced the course of history. In the 18th

believed that Africans were less than human and we made them slaves and denied their human

rights. Our perceptions wre wrong, they were based on lies and innocent people paid the price.

In the 20th

century we failed to respond to the need of North Korea because international

politics and the media defined North Korea by high politics, rather than the North Korean

people. Our perception was determined by the political rhetoric of the Cold War and has been

that way ever since.

This perception has allowed the atrocities of the regime to go unnoticed. While we are talking

about nuclear weapons and treating the Kim leadership as tabloid news, the North Korean

people are starving, isolated and denied fundamental human rights in a zero-tolerance system

enforced by a network of political prison camps, reminiscent of the Nazi concentration camps.

This regime aims to isolate its people by trying to control all information going into and out of

the country, and punishes anyone who attempts to learn about the outside world.

This is not history

These are incredible challenges that the North Korea people face today. But the world has

neglected this, instead allowing politics to define North Korea.

We need to be talking about the people of North Korea. This is what the media should be

reporting on and this is what politicians should be focused on. Why? Because more attention on

the nuclear weapon stalemate or the North Korean regime is not going to lead to solutions.

Shifting the way the public thinks about North Korea allows for far more progress to be made.

The North Korean people can be supported, we can help empower their efforts to push for

change and increasing freedoms. And their stories can be told wide and far until North Korea is

defined by its people.

If we in the outside world, shift our focus from the high politics to the people, and come

alongside them in their struggle, then liberty in North Korea will not be impossible.

It will be inevitable.