One of the many reasons I LOVE anime:

by: Sarah Louadi

Some of them carry a deeper message than you would

A Review of “Wolf’s Rain”

Favourite quotes:

Kiba: They say there’s no such place… as Paradise. Even if you search to the ends of

the Earth, there’s nothing there. No matter how far you walk, it’s always the same road.

It just goes on and on. But, in spite of that… Why am I so driven to find it? A voice calls

to me… It says, “Search for Paradise.”

Kiba: Why? Why do humans always look to the sky? Why do you try so hard to fly when

you don’t have any wings? We’ll run on our own legs.

First of all, for me this anime was difficult to follow, because of the very slow

pace, the lack of action and the absence of character development. The last

episode of “Wolf ‘s Rain ” left me quite unsatisfied , with more questions than

answers. Although watching this anime did not fill me with the usual excitement

and thrill (like with Code Geass or the D.Gray Man), I cannot deny the profound

existential malaise in which it threw me… Before you go any further, please note

than I will be discussing the significance of some events from different points in

the story, so you have been warned, there are some spoilers…

To begin with a superficial analysis, I found the animations / drawings rather

old-fashioned, but not necessarily “has been”. I could not help but to make the

connection with ” Princess Mononoke “ , maybe because of the speaking animals

and the shape of Hige’s nose .. . Anyways, I loved the music, especially that of the

ending and opening.

Maybe I tend to establish a connection between the ending and the state in

which the cliff-hanger left me (although this anime did not have much of those).

In my eyes, the wolf running indefinitely symbolizes the endless pursuit of the

protagonists, along with the repetition of a single note of music…

Otherwise, to be a little less biased, I think that some aspects of the anime could

be explored in more depth, such as the relationship between Tsume and human,

and the disgust they inspire him, in contrast with the validation that Toboe seeks

in them. I would have liked to learn more about Toboe’s past with the old lady

who raised him or how Tsume ended up playing “Robin Hood ” with the Nobles .

Perhaps these details are to remain obscure in order to maintain this feeling of

bewilderment. Indeed, at the end we realize that the world is destroyed to make

way for the new world, or 4 Wolves reborn, and who knows, maybe they will

resume their adventure.

“Wolf’s Rain” is the story of four wolves who seek paradise in a world where

their race is endangered. They learned to blend in society through a human

appearance. It is interesting that they conserve only the appearance of a human

being, which means that they cannot touch you the way a human does… For

example, if they want to grab your arm, you would feel a bite instead of a touch…

The facts that take place throughout the 30 episodes seem to be part of a link

in an endless cycle, where these four wolves die and then are born again. I think

it is this discovery that disturbed me the most … and if our life was a cycle , and

if our soul was condemned to be reborn after each Apocalypse ( assuming that

the world is reborn from its ashes every time … ) with no memory of our previous

life … grr … Goosebumps … the city of Jagara also puzzled me … its inhabitants

followed the course of their lives without asking questions, and seemed anything

but human … pawns … robots that have no idea of the issue that surrounded

them, nor the nobles’ ploys… While politicians and high-ranking country play a

game of thrones, we, insignificant people try to earn a living and to satisfy our

basic needs….

Which brings us to the meaning of the quest of the wolves … their goal is to find

paradise, a world ruled by wolves. But does this utopian place really exist?

At one point, Kiba , the leader of the pack , falls asleep under the influence of a

powerful poison and dreams of paradise. He feels happy and serene. Why did he

not feel content in this heaven though?

And I wonder if happiness is real? I have long lingered on the issue in the past,

and I am content with this conclusion: happiness is a state of mind , accept

life with optimism. But Kiba’s adventure threw me off… should we settle for an

illusory happiness or constantly ask for more? Kiba could have lived happily in

his dream and never look back to what he had left behind. Hige and Blue could

have run away and live in peace, but she chose to go in search of the unknown

paradise, where all would be perfection. They wanted “more.” This is what kept

them alive, this is what gives them the courage to move forward, and that’s what

gave them hope. It is true that the pursuit of a goal gives us the strength to move

forward and meet the challenges, but what if what we wanted was a myth ? The

old man who has spent his life hunting wolves to avenge the death of his wife and

his son eventually learns that Jagara guards were responsible for the massacre

of his city , not beasts. He chose to deny the truth and continue to despise the

wolves rather than to admit that his quest was not relevant. After all, to kill all the

wolves was his goal, and this goal gave meaning to his existence.

I can not help but to put myself in the place of Kiba, Tsume, Hige and Toboe,

because I have faith in a better future, even if this satisfies me . Should we be

satisfied with what we have? Should I be satisfied with the comfort provided by

my distractions and forget those existential questions that have long troubled

Thoughts about this anime? Suggestions for other anime reviews? Let me

know!!! slouadi@hotmail.ca



by: Sarah Ens


With midterm exams now in effect, we as students have an obligation to take care of ourselves.

One important aspect of our well-being is SLEEP!

Sleep is prompted by natural cycles of activity in the brain and consists of two basic states:

1. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep

2. Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (NREM) which has 4 stages.

During sleep your body will cycle between non-REM sleep and REM sleep.

Each stage on NREM can last between 5-15 minutes and 4 cycles must occur before REM sleep is


NREM is very important because this is when the body repairs itself, and also strengths your immune


REM sleep occurs 90 minutes after sleep onset.

This is when all of your dreaming will happen and your brain will be stimulated.

Now that you know a little bit about sleep here are some tips for getting a good night’s sleep

1. Set a regular bedtime: try and go to bed at the same time every night. Pick a time when you will

actually feel tired and try not to break this routine on the weekends.

2. Wake up at the same time every day. (yes even on weekends)

3. Nap to make up for lost sleep: if you need to make up for lost hours, try a daytime nap instead

of sleeping-in. (Be mindful though, napping for too long can disrupt your nighttime routine try

staying around 30minutes)

4. Fight after-dinner drowsiness: If you find yourself getting sleepy right after dinner, get up and

do something mildly stimulating to avoid falling asleep. If you give into sleeping you may wake

up later into the night and have troubles falling back to sleep.


Be A Tourist—Even In Your Own City

by: Yena Kim

I spent most of this past weekend out and about in Vancouver. My sister was out

visiting for Thanksgiving and we decided to enjoy the sunshine and make the most

of her visit. By the time the weekend was over I felt more thankful than ever to be

able to live in such a beautiful city.

But then I asked myself: why don’t you push yourself to spend more time exploring

all that Vancouver has to offer? The obvious answers—wanting to sleep instead,

needing to study, being too cozy in bed and needing to study but watching Youtube

videos—suddenly sounded to me more like excuses than real answers. Yes, studying

and sleeping is important, but getting the most out of my experience here in

Vancouver is important too. Plus, studying is for rainy days, and there are more than

enough rainy days in a Vancouver school year.

So, whether you have lived your whole life in Vancouver or are only here for a

semester on exchange, I encourage you to toss off the cozy blankets and take

advantage of the fact that you get to call Vancouver your home.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas.

Spend a sunny afternoon lying on the beach. Be it Jericho, Kits, or English Bay, there

is nothing quite as lovely as watching happy dogs and dog-walkers go by as you

listen to ocean waves from your blanket on the sand.

Visit Granville Island. Get your friends and family members cool Christmas presents

from the market, go beer tasting at the Granville Island Brewery, and stick around

for an improv show! Oh, and make sure you go sit in a hammock chair from the

hammock store.

Go out to eat. I know—from unfortunate personal experience—that this can be hard

on your wallet. However, Vancouver has some truly delicious and unique places to

eat so if you can, try to budget in a few trips to Sophie’s Cosmic Café, The Naam, or

The Noodle Box. You won’t regret it.

Pay attention to posters! Vancouver has tons of festivals (Hot Chocolate Festival

anyone?), concerts, readings, dance-offs, and other fun happenings going on all the

time. Check out what’s going on, try something new, and make sure you don’t miss



Immortal Hot Dogs, Dead Dirt, and Global Warming: The Dangers of Not Composting

by: Anna Murynka




It’s time to stop talkin’ trash and start talkin’ compost. Residents at Gage have been selected for a special Waste and Recycling Pilot: Sort it Out! Maybe you’ve seen signs about it. Maybe you’ve even said hi to Campus Sustainability (link to http://www.sustain.ubc.ca/) reps at an info booth (some pretty great people). But one way or another, we hope we can get it across to you that this is important.


We have a question. “What’s the best methodology for the food scraps program?” More specifically, and frankly, how the heck do we get residents to sort out there food scraps? Maybe you can help us find the answer.


So here goes: Top Four Reasons to Compost


1. Immortal Hot Dogs
What’s the big deal? Doesn’t it just decompose in the landfill? No. I used to think that too. If you want more info, check out this post by the University of Washington (http://students.washington.edu/uwseed/waste/) , but the short-and-sweet of it is this: the conditions of a landfill don’t allow much organic waste to decompose. Archeologists analyzing an older landfill found more then half of the waste was composed of organic material. Including a decades-old hot dog. (As if the concept of a hot dog alone isn’t bad enough.)


2. Global Warming
And if the immortal hot dog hasn’t convinced you yet, know that if organic waste does decompose, lack of available oxygen (did you even consider what’s it like to breathe at the bottom of a landfill pile?) means that any food decomposition happens anaerobically, producing methane gas. You know, one of those green house gasses (don’t even get me started on greenhouse gasses). Fun fact! Methane is 20-25 times stronger than CO2. Yup.


On the bright side, putting your organic waste in your food scraps pail and putting that in the compost bins (in the Gage basement) sends it off to the UBC Composting Facility. Which happens to be a very good facility. That decomposes your hot dogs and banana peels and so on and so forth without producing methane gas.
Imagine that.


3. Dirt is Dead

There’s major disconnect between people and the food they eat. (Link to: http://voices.yahoo.com/american-food-disconnect-between-people-plate-10904247.html) This is a growing problem, and there’s no easy fix. We’re talking genetically modified food, preservatives, processing, etc. We’re eating bad food, and we don’t know where it comes from. There is a growing push to overcome this and reconnect with our food: organic produce, whole foods, urban gardening, and composting. Part of the problem is the depletion of soil nutrients.

(embed video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKPcuwOOGqY)

Soil is alive. It is full of microorganisms and nutrients, but dirt, displaced and stripped of its nutrients, is dead. Food grown in starving soil lacks the vital nutritional qualities we need, and creates a negative feedback cycle of fertilization and water pollution. Organic waste in landfills doesn’t end up as living soil. But through composting, it can. By reconnecting with our soil, we are reconnecting with our food.


4. To Behave Like a Responsible Global Citizen

Because I secretly judge people who throw out their banana peels. I’ve been a long time composting enthusiast and to me, throwing food scraps into the garbage is as bad as littering. And that’s a serious comparison! Putting your organics (food scraps) in the trash is like dropping your coffee cup on the middle of the sidewalk. It’s just not a very useful place for such a thing to end up.



Composting Made Easy: Ten Tips


1. Make sure the scrap pail is more accessible than your garbage. This is a good motivator.  Seriously.


2. Take out the compost about as often as you shower. (So like, every two days. Doesn’t that work out nicely? Clean up and then get clean!)


3. Keep your Sort it Out! Guide handy (like on your fridge!), in case you ever need to check something or troubleshoot a problem.

4. Place the Pail Sticker on top of your food scraps pail. If you forget what goes

where, this will tell you what to put in and what you keep out of the pail.


5. If you take the stairs, it counts at exercise. And that’s always a good idea.

6. Work it into your chore schedule. (And if you don’t have one, make one! You will definitely see a decrease in the amount of mold in your suite.) It creates another job, which can make it easier to divide tasks. Ex. In my apartment, I do the composting, one roommate does the recycling, and a third does the garbage.


7. Talk about it!
-If you ever need a conversation starter, consider: “Have you heard about the immortal hot dogs?”
-Unless you’re on a date. In which case you might prefer: “Did you know I take actions to behave like a Responsible Global Citizen?”
-Unless you’re at a noisy party and feeling daring, in which I challenge you to say, “Let’s talk dirt.”


8. If you ever have a question, as your RA. They’re super friendly. (And if you have any really tough waste and recycling questions, ask me, Anna, a.murnka@gmail.com, because I’m definitely a waste and recycling nerd.)


9. Remember the two Ps: Paper goes in, plastic stays out.
That means you can compost any napkins, cardboard take-out containers (unless they’re wax-lined) tea bags, and paper bags, etc. But you can’t compost lastic bags.  If you really feel the need to use bags, empty them into the compost bins and then throw the bags into the garbage. Plastic bags are not compostable (even the ones that are labeled as compostable or biodegradable, which is confusing, I know).

If what does/doesn’t go into your food scraps pail confuses you, make sure you watch this video about the UBC Composting facility:




10. Remember that together, we are all working towards becoming a zero waste campus.



How to Eat Healthier Under the Time Crunch

by: Marta Biernacki

We’ve all been there, two midterms and a paper due this week, with no time to wash our socks let alone cook a healthy meal.  But it IS possible to be healthy under a time crunch!  Here are some tips and tricks that can help.

  1. Buy quick and easy to prepare foods, and ones that last a long time

One of the best ways to maintain healthy eating is to make it easy.  When you’re grocery shopping, for fruits and veg especially, buy things that are simple to prepare and have a longer shelf life to prevent buying something you won’t use.   Some of my favourite quick fruits and veggies are apples, bananas, carrot sticks, and anything frozen – frozen chopped spinach is a great source of vitamins, if you want to get those leafy greens in.

Add some protein to give you energy!  Eggs are amazing for the fact that they are a complete protein and super quick to cook!  Have some quinoa (it cooks just like rice), or some tofu.  Nuts are a great source of protein, and canned tuna can be added into salads, pasta sauces, and put on sandwiches.  If you want to get something more substantial in, grab a sweet or regular potato, poke it a couple times with a fork and zap it in the microwave for ten minutes (just don’t put it in tin foil).  Potatoes are super quick to cook and really nutrient dense!  I like topping mine with some avocado and salsa.

  1. Bring a healthy snack with you

Keep yourself from noshing on bakery goods or candy by bringing a snack with you to your study spot.  I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so I like to bring some fruit, like an apple or a banana, and peanut butter (it makes me feel like I’m eating frosting…), Other options include dried fruit or some trail mix,  some veggies and hummus or a cheese stick would be great too if you favour the savoury side.

  1. Drink LOTS of water

If you have a headache, are feeling tired or even feeling hungry, you may be dehydrated.  Try to have a glass of water before you eat a meal, and drink water throughout the day.

  1. But I NEED FOOD

If you do eat out, get something that will keep you full, and aim for lots of nutrients.  Get whole grain bread, and pick things with lots of veggies.  Try to get something with protein (like cheese, tofu, meat, eggs, yogurt, etc.) to keep you full longer.

  1. Add in the good stuff

If you’re making mac and cheese, add in some frozen peas or corn to add a boost of fiber and nutrients.  Make instant noodles more filling by cracking an egg into the broth while it’s cooking in the microwave or on the stove, or add some veggies like green onions or broccoli.

I hope these tips have helped, and good luck to everyone this midterm season!


Top 5 reasons why you should GoGlobal with UBC!

by: Amanda Kettler

Have you ever wanted to study abroad but weren’t sure if it was the right choice for you? Here are my top 5 reasons why you should GoGlobal with UBC!


  1. Learn a New Language

There’s nothing like learning a new language in a country where the language is actually spoken. Going on exchange allows you to practice your skills in an everyday environment.  You’ll probably also get the chance to pick up some fun slang words you wouldn’t otherwise learn too.


  1. Personal Development

The experience of living in a new country is a good mix of terrifying and awesome.  The challenges may seem overwhelming at times, but they will push you to experience new things and further your own personal development.


  1. Travel

Being on exchange gives you a unique opportunity to live in a new place.  Not only this but there are likely a bunch of opportunities to take a weekend, or longer to explore a new city or even a new country! Experiencing new places is also a great way to learn about them.  Spending an afternoon exploring Versailles is a lot more exciting than reading a textbook about it in my books.

  1. Meet new People

One of the most exciting parts about exchange is all of the people you get to meet from all around the world.  Not only does this give you an awesome friend group, and a couch to sleep on in a bunch of different cities around the world it also helps to expand your network which can prove very useful when looking for a job after graduation.

5.Internationalize your degree

Not only does it look good on your resumé to have a wide array of experiences, but going abroad can help you to garner a new understanding and perspective of the world.  Teaching and learning are not the same all over the world and experiencing this variety is a great way to open your eyes to different possibilities.  This is also a great opportunity to take a new to you class.  All of the credits you take on exchange are guaranteed to transfer back to UBC so why not try something you never have before?

5.5 The Food

This isn’t really a top five-er but enjoying all the yummy new food is always a highlight. From eating fermented shark in Iceland to perogies in Poland it is always an adventure!


Where to Go?

Now to decide where to go! This can be overwhelming, especially because UBC has partner universities in 38 different countries on every inhabited continent.  I’d suggest making a list of all the places you are interested in and then slowly narrowing it down.  You can do this by making a separate lists of ‘must-haves’ for your exchange school, like guaranteed housing or class size, and then go from there.

Also, If going far from home sounds like it’s too much of a commitment for you, you can always go on exchange to the University of Washington in Seattle…only a short bus ride away!

Exchange still sound like to much of a commitment? Check out UBC’s short term international programs, like Group Study or International Service Learning offered over the summer!