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McGill Reporter
April 8, 2004 - Volume 36 Number 14
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Impoverishment of nature

Illustration of a bear
Jack Ruttan

"If you want to see wild nature," says Steven Sanderson, president and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, "your options are declining."

The international community has dedicated the next decade to a series of ambitious social goals that include halving the number of people living in poverty, with an equal reduction in the number of people living in hunger.

Part of the test of the next decade will be to avoid the environmental degradation that has characterized past development efforts. After all, the natural world has paid a great price for human development - not just in poor countries, but all over the world.

Steven Sanderson, who heads the world's largest international wildlife research and conservation NGO, will deliver the next Beatty Memorial Lecture. He will address concerns about the future of wild nature, suggest contributions conservation can make to rural poverty alleviation and raise difficult questions about the risk of impoverishing wild nature in the service of poverty alleviation.

Steven Sanderson's Beatty Memorial Lecture, "Global Poverty Alleviation and the Impoverishment of Wild Nature" will take place on Thursday, April 22, at 6 pm in the Fieldhouse Auditorium, Leacock 132. The public is welcome and admission is free. For information, call 398-3218.

Mary, Mary, views contrary

Caption follows
Choral ensemble Viva Voce

If God himself sent one of his angels to announce that you were going to be the mother of his child, what would you say? The words had better match the occasion.

Last time this happened, it yielded the Magnificat. This text, which the Gospel of Luke has Mary speaking to Gabriel, has been the inspiration for countless pieces of music over the years.

A sampling of eight of these will be performed by the choral ensemble Viva Voce, whose artistic director is music professor Peter Schubert.

The concert, which features explanatory comments from Schubert, examines how different composers treat the text, from ninth-century Gregorian chants to today's vocal artistry. Schubert points to the passage in which Mary said, "The rich shall be sent empty away and the poor shall be filled with good things."

"Some [composers] don't do anything, and just write good music all the way through, and some of them try to show you poorness or richness in the music somehow," he said.

The concert will also feature a world premiere of a work by professor Brian Cherney, who composed a piece for the Old Testament Song of Hannah, which is in a similar verse form to the Magnificat.

"He didn't want to set the Magnificat, not being Christian," explained Schubert.

"So in addition to musical settings of the regular Magnificat, there's going to be this other piece that will be a - pardon the pun - counterpoint to the Magnificat."

Saturday, April 17, at 8 pm in the Redpath Hall. $25 ($12 students/seniors). For reservations call the box office, 398-4547.

How does your garden grow?

People looking at plants in a greenhouse
David Wees

The snow is receding, the temperatures are slowly creeping upward, and everywhere the words of the great anonymous poet are on people's lips: "Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the flowers is?"

They is at Macdonald Campus, where they have spent the winter being lovingly raised by plant science students. But even as winter turns into spring and hatchlings leave their nests, the flowers too must make their way into the great world beyond the transparent walls of their climate-controlled home. Go to the annual Easter Plant Sale to take one home as your very own.

Faculty lecturer David Wees explained that plant science students have carefully nurtured the plants as part of their class work for Greenhouse Management or Greenhouse Crops. Although many are the result of experimental techniques—roses grown with more light, chrysanthemums raised in special soils—the plants are of a quality at least as good as those of a commercial greenhouse. Or better.

"The students will be on hand to give advice on the plants," said Wees. "Also, we don't use insecticides for safety reasons - we only use natural pest control methods."

Another selling point is that all funds raised will go toward new equipment for the program, such as thermometers and pH meters. Sales from cherry tomatoes - grown especially by students for the purpose - will go toward an end of year class party.

Need one more reason to go? The sale also serves as a chance for Macdonald Campus to show off the newly renovated greenhouses.

A variety of potted plants, cut flowers and gardening plants will be on sale. Prices range from $2 to $10. Call David Wees at 398-7756 for more information. Thursday, April 8, 2004, 11 am to 5 pm, Raymond Greenhouses, south side of the Raymond Building, 21111 Lakeshore Road.

Frugal guru on dressing up

Illustration of a woman wearing a barrel
Sherwin Tija

Until our political leaders see the light of day, the law says we have to wear clothes. But we don't have to like it. Nor, with Sandra Phillips's help, do we have to spend too much doing so. Phillips, the author of the best-selling Smart Shopping Montreal, has been invited by the McGill Women's Networking Group (MWNG) to talk about dressing on a budget. The MWNG provides an opportunity for the women of McGill - academics, students or staff - to meet and enjoy social events and discussions about common concerns.

Phillips is Montreal's guru on stretching a dollar. A consumer consultant for a wide variety of media, she writes a consumer advice column in the Gazette.

"She is the expert for shopping on a budget," said MWNG chairperson Diana Lee.

"Clothes are expensive, and women will have the opportunity to get shopping tips on how to dress fashionably and professionally at an affordable price."

The MWNG hosts a variety of lunch-hour talks. Topics include stress management, financial planning, negotiation skills, fitness, taking care of finances, nutrition, and effective networking.

"Dressing on a Budget", Sandra Phillips, Wednesday, April 28, 12 pm in the Bronfman Building, Rm 620. MWNG members free, non-members $3. Information available at www.mcgill.ca/mwng, or call Diana Lee at 398-6986

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