Evans Theatre Update

With the start of the New Year, many organizations are looking ahead. The Evans Theatre on the university campus is no exception. The Evans Theatre is put on and organized by the Brandon Film Festival Inc. Throughout the school year, from September to April, the Evans Theatre presents a variety of movies for students to enjoy. Movies take place, generally, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Movies begin at 7:30 p.m. and cost $6.00 to attend. The Evans Theatre also has a concession stand on site. Here, attendees can purchase popcorn, drinks and candy bars for $2.00.

The Evans Theatre has now released their film schedule for January and February 2019. First on the list is a movie titled “What They Had”. The movie stars  Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon and was directed by Elizabeth Chomko. The film centers around how a woman must return back to her home community after her Alzheimer stricken mom gets lost in a blizzard. The women must also confront and come to terms with everything she left behind in her hometown as well as deal with her rebellious daughter. “What They Had” will be screened on January 18th, 19th and 20th. On January 25th, 26th and 27th the Evans Theatre will be showing a movie titled “The Happy Prince”. The film is a dramatic biography and tells the last days of the life of Oscar Wilde. While on his last breaths, Oscar's past come back to haunt him and he evaluates his life decisions. He continuously is taken back to thoughts of his suffering wife and his love affair. Oscar Wilde is portrayed by Rupert Everett, who also directed the movie. Other stars in the film include Colin Firth, Colin Morgan and Emily Watson. To end off the month of January, the Evans Theatre is showing the film “Reunion of Giants” on Sunday, January 27th at 2:00 p.m. An older film that hit screens in 2015, the Reunion of Giants is a documentary that was directed by Morgan Elliot. The movie shows the tale of the last two airworthy Lancaster World War 2 bombers meeting for a final time in 2014. The two aircraft took to the English skies one last time.

Moving into February, the line up at the Evans Theatre doesn't disappoint. Kicking off the first weekend in February is the film titled “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” The movie stars Melissa McCarthy, Richard Grant and Dolly Wells and is directed by Marielle Heller. McCarthy plays Lee Israel who falls from current tastes and turns to a new art, deception. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” will be showing February 1st, 2nd and 3rd starting at 7:30 p.m. each day. Next in line is the film titled “Shoplifters”. This film follows the story of a family who is surviving poverty by shoplifting. A Japanese drama movie, “Shoplifters” is directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. The groundbreaking film is showing at the Evans Theatre on February 8th, 9th and the 10th. Finally playing February 15th, 16th and 17th is the movie “Ben is Back”. “Ben is Back” stars Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges. It was directed by Peter Hedges. The film tells the tale of Ben Burns, a drug addicted teen, unexpectedly returning home at Christmas. Ben's family soon learns he is in grave danger because of his drug problems. This puts an ultimate challenge on Ben's mother to try and hold her family together against Ben's worst enemy, himself.

Looking Ahead, there is no shortage of quality films at the Evans Theatre. The best part, it’s right here on campus. The Evans Theatre is located inside the George T Richardson building, beside the Library. For $6.00, it’s an easy and affordable way to have a night out. Better yet, grab some friends and head to the movies this weekend.

On Instagram, Everyone Is Perfect - Except for You

A few months ago, while moving back from Winnipeg to Brandon for my last year of school, I found myself apartment hunting again. I dug through online ads for spaces that accommodated both my student budget and my need for peace and quiet. After sending of a few emails, I received an email back from one prospective landlord with the phrase “Hi Lisa, you definitely seem like a good fit for this home.” Confused at how this man had already made that judgement without having even spoken to me, I later realized through a phone interview that this landlord had taken my name of my email and done a background check of me through google and social media. So, first, I will mention that as a journalist I do make sure to google myself often and maintain a good and clean online presence on all my platforms, which is why he might have found me impressive. However, I am also very keenly aware of the fact, especially because I vigorously put out my best on these platforms, that my internet persona is absolutely not a good manner to make a good and wholesome judgement of who I am as a person. I did end up getting the place, without any references or criminal background checks, solely based on my professional outlook on my Facebook and Instagram accounts. And that really got me thinking..... 

In a world consumed by digital activity, popularity analytics, and neon screens, it is not entirely irrational to make a judgement of a person through their social platforms; after all, what we consciously decide to put out there is in itself a reflection of who we are, but it starts to become a blurry line when people begin confusing your curated Instagram feed with what skills you may bring as a prospective employee. For myself, I have especially detested the charm of Instagram. Mine is highly curated with mostly professional pictures I have taken with my camera or one of me taken by others. It shows a glamorous life of an artist and model who travels enough and has tons of friends. But how much of that is something I do day to day? Would I put my mental breakdowns, failures, and insecurities into my feed for the world to see? Answers: Very little, and No. What makes Instagram so successful is also exactly what makes it toxic: it is for beautiful and visually appealing content only. The result is billions of photos being uploaded everyday, each trying to leave its mark in a tsunami of colours and words, making us both admire and envy each other. “Is their life better than mine?” , “Why can’t I have what they have?” These are age old desires, but now amplified and brought down to a rapid touch under your fingers. 

We find ourselves here in this crossroad of endlessly comparing yourself to your peers all behind a veil of self expression, hiding an inherent fakeness. It’s problematic, it’s cancerous, it’s apocalyptic. After my own account with acquiring my rental unit, I became even more hyper aware of what I post on social media. I deleted photos, took my name off publications, unfollowed people that didn’t seem fit to be in my circles, all for the pursuit of making a digital life, beyond my tangible one, that isn’t either genuine nor is it a true reflection of myself. I have in the last few months made attempts at straying away from social media and the negative influence of the digital age; however, as I find myself looking for a post-grad job 

and making new friends and meeting new dates...how well curated my online presence is keeps coming back to haunt me. I am not sure when will the end of this influencer culture be, but I am sure it is not any time soon. 

Why Everyone Should Be An Anthropologist

Even if you’re not an anthropology student and maybe don’t even plan to take a class, the principles of anthropological thinking are still completely relevant. What’s important in anthropology is the approach; our lens is set to panorama, not macro, and these tenants can be applied in everyday life. 

  1. Cross culturalism. The world is an interdependent, interconnected mesh of people and cultures that are unique and similar in their complexity and composition. 

  2. Cultural relativism. The practice of understanding a culture on its own terms, independent of your own perspective. Using the lens of your own background allows moralization or a judgement of ‘strangeness’ of another culture when it differs from your own background. Practicing cultural relativism opens you to accepting other ways of living. Subsequently…

  3. Acknowledge the external forces (i.e., culture) that make differing opinions between two people that don't have anything to do with right or wrong. 

  4. Holism. The world is made of many moving parts that need to be understood together in order to make sense. This means that there are cultural, biological, environmental, and historical foundations for behaviours and beliefs that create similarities, differences, and inequalities between individuals and groups. Nothing and no one is free from external forces that are outside their control. 

  5. Reflexivity. Although through practicing cultural relativism, there is an attempt to separate yourself from how you understand others, it is not completely possible. This is where being aware of how your attitudes and beliefs affects your ability to understand other people comes in. This helps to comprehend how our own thinking is affecting how you view others. 

  6. Do no harm. By not only your own standards, but by the standards of the people around you. 

  7. Use your skills to improve the lives of others where ever possible (by their standards, not yours). 

Defence Against The Dark Arts: Books And The Companies That Ship Them

Blurb: As the cost of books rises, the care that companies take to ship them seems to be declining. How OCD and a love of books has helped me realize that billion-dollar companies are crushing more than corners when they ship your latest literary obsession.  

I love books. I love books so much that even though I have ADHD and struggle to slow my mind for any length of time, I can still sit and read for hours on end. My love of books began in the womb. When my mother was pregnant, the doctor told her that reading to her unborn baby was beneficial and would help to create a bond between parent and child. When asked what she should read, the doctor told her to just read aloud whichever book she was currently enjoying. My mother loves horror, and after nine months of listening to Stephen King and Dean Koontz, I was born into the world an adorer of books. 

photo credit: Pixabay

I also have OCD. When I was child I loved to take my books everywhere I went, but I hated when my books were damaged or bent in any way. So, using the logic of a young child, I decided that the best way to transport my books to and from school would be to wrap them in paper towel and store them in Tupperware containers. I still have an almost complete run of R.L. Stines’ Goosebumps series in immaculate condition.

Fast forward 35 years to 2019, and here we are in a world where countless books can be ordered online and delivered directly to your recently washed hands. But, alas, depending on where you order your books from (cough, Amazon, cough), most books show up looking like they were packed by a toddler with a love for horror –  a single book in a refrigerator-sized box with a crumpled-up piece of packing paper in one corner. Oh, but books are meant to be enjoyed! Books are only made of paper! You paid less online! You can always return the book if it’s damaged! Yup, that’s true – but only three times and then they stop sending you a new book. So, what’s the big deal, besides my obvious obsessive-compulsive tendencies? I already told you, I LOVE BOOKS.

My problem is that books have become more expensive and yet less cared for. Many companies are more than willing to send you a book, but not willing to take the time to pack it properly. Say you walked into a clothing store tomorrow and purchased a shirt that cost the average price of a new release hardcover book (over $30.00). You take the shirt home and noticed that it has a small rip, or a stain, or even that the shirt wasn’t sewn properly. What do you do? Do you keep it because, “shirts are meant to be loved?” No! You return it and get a new shirt that isn’t ripped, stained, or poorly manufactured. 

I’m not saying that books have to be wrapped in paper towel and stored in Tupperware containers. My wife reads books in the bathtub and while eating buttery popcorn. All I’m saying is that books are expensive, fragile, and have the power to change the world. Maybe it’s time that shipping companies start treating books with the respect they deserve and that customers start holding these multi-billion-dollar companies accountable.             

Round Two Of Club Day

On Thursday January 10th Club Day took place in front of Forbidden Flavours. Some groups there were yours truly The Quill, BUGA, The Biological Society of Brandon University, the Dance Club and others. 

photo credit: Carly

Second term is the perfect time to join a club, don’t be held back by any misconceptions that it’s too late in the year. If you attended first term you’ve had the opportunity to adjust to the special brand of suffering that university is and the general anarchy that rules a Brandon University student’s life (though realistically it’s probably an international phenomenon). But now that you’re a well adjusted gremlin living off free food scraps- why not find some allies to aid in your survival? If this is your first time attending Brandon University feel free to jump right in- clubs are a fantastic way to get involved in the community. 

While the turnout for club day was significantly smaller than the one that took place in the beginning of September both in regard to club turnout and potential recruits, BU clubs are still alive and well. Last term I wrote on the benefits of joining a club, how it allows for social connections outside of class (aside from Russian Singles in your area) and how different positions will give you advantages on your resume. For example writing for The Quill is fantastic, nothing quite looks better than “Journalist” on a resume- though maybe not in certain states- but I digress, there are many reasons to join a club. Clubs have been an integral part of many students positive experiences at university and there’s a good reason for it. 

As always, social media is typically a good way to get into contact with your local student cult, though BUSU also has a page dedicated to club listings that has contact information. Or if you’re particularity ambitious, BUSU also has a section where you can learn the details of registering your own club- you can have your own table next Club Day!

Elf... Yes, That Movie

The season is approaching! The Christmas season that is. Although Christmas is still technically weeks away people are already getting into the holiday spirit. Soon there will be Christmas trees going up in living rooms, lights being hung from houses, and ovens in full bake made. One of the best ways to get into the Christmas spirit is by watching Christmas films! Over the next four articles I will be discussing four of my favorite holiday movies that I continuously go back to each year. These movies represent the pinnacle of holiday entertainment.  In order to properly take in all that the Christmas season offers its best to start watching these films as soon as possible, especially if you've never seen them before. Of course, that would be quite hard to believe as the films I'll be discussing are so tightly associated with the holiday season it would be almost impossible for an individual to go through Christmas, year after year, and not watch them. 

The first movie to dive into for this year’s holiday season is Elf. Yes, that same Elf that is consistently on cable TV from the beginning of November until the end of January. Do people still actually have cable TV? Yes, yes they do. It is hard to believe but there was a time, long ago, that people watched movies through their cable provider and not online or on Netflix. It was during these ancient times, back in 2003, that the movie Elf first hit the box office. Ever since then it has remained an important part in many family's holiday traditions, given its family friendly comedy element.

Elf was directed by Jon Favreau and written by David Berenbaum. The "elf" in the movie Elf is named Buddy and is played by Will Ferrell. The film also stars James Caan as Walter Hobbs, Zooey Deschanel as Jovie, Mary Steenburgen as Emily Hobbs, Daniel Tay as Michael Hobbs, Ed Asner as Santa Claus and Bob Newhart as Papa Elf. The movie has seen unprecedented success since its release in 2003 and grossed over $200 million worldwide.  Elf went on to inspire other Christmas films and musicals including Elf: The Musical and Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas.

Elf begins as Buddy, who is human that was raised by elves in the north pole, overhears Papa Elf explaining that he was actually born to Walter Hobbs and Susan Wells of New York. Papa Elf further explains that Susan died, and Walter is unaware of Buddy's existence as a Christmas elf. He tells Buddy that his biological father now works for a publishing company in the Empire State Building in New York City. Buddy then sets out to New York City on his own to find Walter however has considerable trouble adjusting to the basic human lifestyle, such as the food they eat and the clothes they wear. Eventually the giant elf discovers the Empire State Building but is thrown out by security. He then visits Gimbels department store in downtown New York. He is mistaken for an employee with his Christmas elf outfit and subsequently meets Jovie, an employee of the department store that he is immediately fond of. Buddy unfortunately lands himself in jail as he confronts, and pulls the beard off of, a fake Santa visiting the department store. Insistent that Walter Hobbs is his true father Buddy gets Walter to bail him out of jail. Walter, however, is dead set against the idea of Buddy being his long-lost son, especially after witnessing his bizarre behavior. Therefore, he takes Buddy to get a DNA test, which confirms that Buddy the elf is in fact the son of one Walter Hobbs. Walter reluctantly takes Buddy home to meet his new wife Emily and 12-year-old son Michael. Michael is put off by Buddy's odd behavior but Emily insists they have a duty to look after him in his "time of need." After a while Michael warms up to Buddy and encourages him to ask Jovie out on a date. During the get together Jovie realizes that despite Buddy's odd behavior he is a kind and comical person.  Meanwhile Walter is in danger of losing his job and brings in famous children's author Miles Finch as a last-ditch effort. Unfortunately, Buddy interrupts Walter's meeting with Finch and mistakes the children's author for an elf. A fight occurs with Finch storming out and Walter, angry over Buddy's interruption, disowning his elf-like son. On a tight timeline, Walter and his team find a stroke of luck when they discover Miles Finch's notebook. While presenting the new book to his boss, Michael storms in and informs Walter that Buddy has run away from home. Realizing that family is far more important than a damaged job Walter resigns and joins Michael in finding Buddy. While Buddy wanders Central Park on the eve of Christmas Santa's sleigh crashes in the park and it’s up to Buddy to fix it. Eventually, Walter and Michael find Buddy at Santa's sleigh and can hardly believe their eyes. Walter apologizes to Buddy and with the help of Jovie they raise enough Christmas spirit from the citizens of New York to get Santa's sleigh working again. In the end Walter has started his own publishing company and Buddy and Jovie are now happily married and living in the North Pole among fellow elves. 

You would be hard pressed indeed to find someone who has not seen the movie Elf. The Christmas comedy has sealed itself as a holiday classic. Families across the country settle into the couches each year to follow the journey of the elf like human known as Buddy. Whether it’s his hilarious attempts to fit into the norm of human culture or his faithful effort to gain his father’s approval Buddy the elf will leave a lasting impression of holiday spirit within you. 

Op-Ed: Progressive Conservatives And Macleans

This month we were treated to the eye sore of Maclean’s magazine’s cover of various men, in various shades of beige, in various hues of blue, in various postures of nonchalance. The cover, highlighting a new emerging group of progressive conservative leaders including our own Alumni, Brian Pallister, was met with polarizing responses. Without diving deep into any Ford scandals and steering away from any conspiracy theories of Pallister being an almost 7 foot hematophage, one response the public took to the image was to make parodies of it.

Out came duplicates of all women in various skin colours, in various dress sizes and just about the same cup size. To the side, we were greeted with horse faces glued into the headspace (or lack thereof) of the formidable Canadian leaders shaping our conservative landscape. Of course, the “The Welcome to Justin Trudeau’s worst nightmare” headliner could have been replaced with “This is a frat party poster, why is this on the cover of Maclean’s?” However, I’m ready to give Paul Wells, senior writer for Maclean’s, a pass on this as any posh French men’s worst nightmare may be when he is faced by an alliance of anglophones who pronounce tourtière as TOR-TEE-AIR.

In the meantime, the people of the province are finding it increasingly difficult to interest themselves in what Trudeau is dreaming of when their wages are being frozen, emergency care is being cut, and tuition fees are being hiked up. The legislative assembly has given their word to us Manitobans that they will sincerely and honestly give all they have to restore how our egalitarian society worked by backtracking it by two decades. Further, filibusters are being thrown left and right to halt any care for international students who pay their taxes. These discussions are what the Minister of Education thinks will grow Manitoba’s rich history of NOT being a historically English province by cutting funds to francophonie education.

Tensions remain high as cis male councillors debate the future of feminine hygiene.

How to Write That Final Paper

If you have done your work right through the semester, the final week of the term should leave you with 1 paper to write---and it should be the shortest one that needs to be done. After all, if you have written a steady diet of 3000+ papers all semester or term, that 1500-word essay should be a piece of cake to write. There are a couple of things you may work on before putting pen to paper (or in my case) fingers to the laptop.


1. Have as quiet an atmosphere as is possible

This may be a little more difficult to do in some circumstances (sharing a dorm room); but if you have been diligent, you will know places within the school to focus on what you are trying to do. The next point may seem to be a little contradictory, but when you have written as many papers as I have, (in more short notice situations than I will ever  care to admit) this can be done. 

2. Find the right music to help with writing the paper.

I will work to find the right music to help me write that paper. I will not divulge what music I use to write a paper, but whatever music you can use to stimulate your thoughts will make your writing experience far more enjoyable.

3. Make sure the paper is the shortest paper to write and is in a subject you enjoy studying. 

    This would be similar to writing the shortest question with the fewest marks attached to 

it on an exam. You’ve already spent most of your time on the hard stuff and now its time to finish off strong! With most of the marks in your back pocket in the last 15 minutes of the exam, that 3 or 5 mark question should be easy to answer and build up your final grade. If that final paper is in that one class you enjoy every time you come to the university, it will be easy to find a topic to write about, and the words will fly onto the paper (or computer screen) faster than for any other topic. The thoughts will come faster than your pen or fingers can get them down. 

3. It may be necessary to have a means to stimulate your brain, but not to the point that you 

may have to do a quick turn-around for a morning class. 

I hope that these ideas will help you write that final paper in the last days of the semester. Have a great holiday, and here’s to a great 2019.

N.B. Mr. Nobody is a nom-de-plume for a senior student; whose identity is known only to the Editor.

Studying For Finals

It’s that time again… the snow is falling, the lights are twinkling, the streets are filled with Christmas cheer – which means it’s time! It’s time for you to hole yourself inside the library and stress out about finals. Here’s some tips to make things less traumatic: 

  1. Study in order from definitely, probably, might be. Definitely will be on the test, probably will be on the test and might be on the test. That way the basics are solid and the extras will be if you have the time and patience. Do this while also taking into consideration previous tests and assignments that tell you what you’re less confident in. Then you can prioritize the stuff you’re bad at that will definitely be on the test. 

  2. Study with other people who will give you the opportunity to talk it through. Explaining something to a friend or someone willing to listen will help solidify the concepts in your own head. 

  3. Put all the pertinent information into a format that is the easiest for your reviewing preferences. Ideally, condensing the information to its most important components as you go. For example, outlines or flashcards. But don’t get caught up in the making of study aids and lose valuable time to actually study the aids. 

  4. As you’re going through your notes, ask yourself how the material might appear on the exam. Would this group of facts make a good multiple choice question or short answer question? How would the question be phrased? Not only does this prepare you for what to expect but also gets you to think about the material in a conceptual way that tests your understanding beyond memorization and makes it stick 

  5. Start early. Even if your exams are well spaced out. 15 hours of studying three days before and 15 hours of studying over two weeks is not the same. Studying over a longer period gives your brain time to store the information in long term memory, making recall on test day so much easier. Also, the closer the exam date makes things more stressful, which makes it harder to focus and lowers your ability to retain information. The key to this is being able to manage your time so that you’re able to juggle all classes. Study schedules simplify everything. The academic skills center will even help you make one. Starting to study early also gives you the opportunity to move your focus. Instead of getting burnt out in one subject that you’ve already studied for hours, you can switch your focus to the next subject. Kind of like taking a break. Having a schedule to stick to also means you won’t have to skip out on sleep or other things you need to do to recharge your batteries. Bringing me to my next point…

  6. Make sure you recharge your batteries. Yes, by sleeping, but sleep is not enough. Set aside an hour or so every day to do something for yourself. Work out, watch a movie, go for a walk, read a book, or just do absolutely nothing. 

  7. Take breaks. Most people prefer to have scheduled breaks. Science suggests a 5 minute break every 40 minutes or so. Then you have something to look forward to when things get tough. But if you’re getting really frustrated or stressed, step away for as much time as it takes you to recharge (okay, maximum one day, otherwise it becomes counterproductive). 

  8. Ask for help if you need it. And starting early helps with this because it means you’ll have time to ask for help, you can’t email your professor the night before the exam and expect them to reply or expect yourself to be able to retain what they tell you. But if you approach them a week before, it’s likely they’ll be ecstatic and you’ll have time to make use of what they say. You can also contact the academic skills center. 

  9. Be nice to yourself. School is hard, and we often expect a lot of ourselves. Your mental health is always more important than your grades. 

Now for the ones you hear all the time but maybe still don’t believe: 

  1. Sleep! If you have a good study schedule, this should be a given. And naps are okay, sleeping right after reviewing information improves recall later on. 

  2. Eat good food! No, not the tasty stuff. Nutritious food. Junk food drains the valuable energy that is better used for studying. That means anything you can purchase at school is probably out… it might be time to experiment with meal prep.

  3. Bonus: work out. According to science, just 20 minutes of cardio can improve memory (and also greatly reduce stress). 

The most important study advice is to learn what works for you and stick to it. Ideally, you’ve spent the year taking smaller scale tests where the scores were an indicator of how effective your study strategies are. Finals are not the time to experiment with methods unless you’re sure it’s going to work. Good luck! 

Brandon University Aboriginal Students Collective

As another year gets on the way, that means Brandon University Collectives will be busy planning events and fundraisers for Students of Brandon University – One of the Collectives in particular, is Brandon University Aboriginal Student Collective. Thus far BUASC has been busy planning and organizing a fun filled roster of events that involve community and building relationships within our first term.

Brandon University Aboriginal Student Collective strives to provide support and enrich the social lives of Aboriginal students at Brandon University, while incorporating cultural diversity within the Brandon University community. 

On August 27th the council met for a Team Building, Leadership Workshop that lead into their 1st meeting on August 28th. The team has been working hard and is filled with passionate leaders who are interested in serving their communities. This year’s Council includes – Valerie Sandy as President, Marisa Wood as Vice President, Darcie Cote as Treasure, Chelsea Sinclair as Secretary, Brad Clearsky as Social Coordinator, Justine Hutcheson as Cultural Coordinator and our Student Rep is Allison Wood. 

On September 21st starting at 4:00p.m. until 6:00p.m. right in the front of BU, BUASC hosted a “Back to School Powwow Demonstration” with hotdogs for purchase! Everyone was welcome, and the event ended with a good turnout. We also hold traditional skirt making sessions that run on Tuesday’s from 11:00a.m.-1:00p.m., with supplies and guidance provided. A study group is held every Wednesday evening from 6:45 to 7:15p.m., with snacks and drinks. Both events are held in the Indigenous Peoples Centre. 

To conclude this years and term events, we will be holding an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party December 14th, 2018 at the Double Decker - Guinness Room. There will be prizes, silent auctions, games, and fun. You may see posters around campus but there are limited spots to this Christmas party. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to message the collective email address for further information. 

Concluding, don’t forget to join our FB page to stay up to date with what we are up to around Campus!

See you in the IPC! 

Anthropology Crash Course

I’ll skip this article because I’m not even an Anthropology student, I’ve never even considered taking a class – it’s not relevant to me. Let me ask: are you a human being? If you answered no, you’re excused. If you answered yes, keep reading; I’ll let you in on a little human secret. Content – information, facts, evidence – is the least important part of Anthropology. Although, yes, it uses the scientific method, the key to Anthropology is its perspective. It is a frame of reference for understanding the world beyond what people have told you. Anthropology is driven by the belief that in order for generalizations about human beings, whether characteristics of culture or biology, should be shown to be true of all places and times of human existence. If the generalization is found to not apply (as is the case with most) we should be skeptical about accepting it. Skepticism is our best defence against accepting inaccurate ideas about our fellow humans in the absence of valid evidence. With this perspective, it becomes clear that numerous specialities and disciplines are required to truly understand humans. 

Understanding humans requires explanations that are tested and supported by evidence. But in Anthropology, even your understanding of evidence gets a reality check. Even with extensive testing and acceptance all knowledge, at its root, is uncertain and subject to re-evaluation as new tests and technology is developed. And although the scientific method requires us to be objective, it’s impossible to be completely free of bias. Sure, we studied something objectively and found evidence to support a hypothesis. But the way we studied it affected the results. And our motivations for studying it affected the results. Someone with a different approach and different motivations would likely get different results. So we will never find absolute truth (the limit does not exist). 

Theories help a bit. We can create increasingly reliable understandings if theories are continuously revised and tested. But the concepts and ideas that theories address are not directly observable, so no theory can be proven. A theory may, however, suggest relationships or predications supported by new research. When a theory is supported, it is supported for the time being with available evidence that appears consistent. There is always a possibility that some implication or hypothesis will not be confirmed by future tests. This is true of any discipline, but Anthropology brings it to the forefront of thought as we are constantly reminded through the complex enigma that is being human. 

Don’t give up on us yet though, theories are not useless. And humans love making them because we have a tendency to attempt to make sense of the world. Essentially, anthropological theories encompass what is generally true of humans and how are they capable of varying. Necessarily, anthropology studies the widest range of people humanly possible to ensure that explanations are not restricted to only the culture from which the anthropology originates. Application of these theories on a global scale as well as in everyday life help avoid misunderstandings between people. They help us understand why a group of people might be different than us, giving less reason to denounce their behaviour just because we are unfamiliar with it. These theories help us understand that what’s good for some may not be good for others to stop us from imposing our beliefs on them. In the end, anthropology helps us understand and accept our place in the biological and social world – as primates trying to live our best life.  

Brandon University Foundation: Tripling Donation Sizes

Brandon University received its official university status just over 50 years ago, through the Brandon University Act. It was here when the BU as we know it today really started to take shape. The Education Building, the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium, McMaster Hall would not have taken place until this time and classes were not even held in the Brodie Building until 1971. The university has certainly been through a lot and seen some big changes, one can only be curious what the next 50 years will bring to this place.

Well I’m not saying you are going to have a major affect on this place the way creating the Health Studies building will, but there is a way you can pay your piece into helping the university out. Through this year alone, from Oct. 12, 2017- Oct. 12, 2018, BU received over $370,000 in donations. BU’s Annual Fund tripled last years amount thanks to the generosity of the community and certain individuals. There were three gifts of $50,000 each. One was from an anonymous gift, another from the BU’s President’s Advisory Committee and the third was a donation to the HLC from BU Board of Governors member Kerry Auriat.

Whether it was the 50th anniversary appeal or people were feeling just extra kind this year, more than 40 people donated for the first time, contributing more than $11,000.

“The funds so generously donated to the Brandon University Foundation will help us enhance our programs and services to students, increase scholarship and bursary support, and help fund our most important needs as they arise,” said BU Interim President Dr. Robinson. “Your generosity goes a long way in improving the student experience for each and every one of our future graduates and leaders.”

This next year BU is hoping to keep that kind of money flowing through the university to help with all its expenses. Since October when the first direct mail went out $55,000 has been received. 

Now how does this help/affect you as a student at BU? Well every dollar that goes into the school goes towards student travel opportunities, scholarships and bursaries, needs of the faculties and facilities. 

“As tuition and government grants cover only so much, these additional contributions are greatly appreciated,” says BU Development Officer Shawna English. “Our donors help Brandon University build on our foundation as an outstanding academic institution to create a bright future for our students and for all the wider community.”

As students at BU, the expectation you donate at this point of your lives.. probably as slim as your bank account size. However, one day, should you fall into or acquire a boat load of money, donating to the University is easy. You just mail, email, call or check out their site online at the Brandon University Foundation.

Donating to the Brandon University Foundation is easy. You can give online at BrandonU.ca/Give, call 204-727-7374 or visit the Office of Advancement and External Relations in Clark Hall.

Cheques can also be mailed to the BU Foundation at 270–18th Street in Brandon, MB. Donations to the BU Foundation can also be arranged through BU payroll deduction.

Donations received or postmarked before the end of the year are eligible for a 2018 tax receipt.

Home Alone: The Christmas Movie To Own

Home Alone is Christmas comedy film that was made all the way back in 1990. Yes indeed, that is a very long time ago. Did they even have Wi-Fi or cell phones back then? What about Netflix? Nonetheless they did have this gem of a film. Home Alone is a movie that gets watched and discussed every single Christmas season. To some families it’s like a staple in their holiday tradition. Others, such as mine, even watch it when there's no snow on the ground to be found. Why my family likes to watch this particular film in the middle of July still alludes me. On the plus side I pretty much now every line throughout the film.

Home Alone was directed by Chris Columbus (no, not Christopher Columbus). The writer and producer of the film was John Hughes. Although there are certainly a lot of characters in the film, the movie centers around Kevin McCallister, a young boy who gets left behind by his family for the holiday season, played by Macaulay Culkin. The film also features Joe Pesci as Harry, Daniel Stern as Marv, Catherine O'Hara as Kate McCallister and John Heard as Peter McCallister. Home Alone was the highest grossing live action comedy film throughout the entire United States from 1990 until 2011. It still is the highest grossing Christmas movie of all time in North America when inflation is taken into account. Due to the film’s success four sequels were created and the second movie in the franchise, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, had the same original coast as the first movie. 

Home Alone opens with the McCallister family preparing to leave Chicago for their holiday trip to Paris. Kevin does not get along well with his cousins, that are staying over at his house before the big trip, and his other siblings. After fighting with his older brother named Buzz, Kate sends Kevin up to his room for the night. Kevin responds by saying he wishes his family would just disappear. Due to a temporary power outage no one's alarm goes off and in a rush to get out the door to the airport the McCallister family forgets Kevin in his room. When Kevin awakes he finds his house empty and believes his dream has been fulfilled. However, he soon comes to fear the 'wet bandits", two criminals names Harry and Marv who are famous for breaking into people’s homes and leaving the water running, who are planning to target the McCallister household after they discover that Kevin is home alone. Meanwhile Kate realizes that she forgot Kevin and quickly discovers that all flights to Chicago are booked and can only get one as far as Scranton, Pennsylvania. Therefore, upon her arrival in Scranton Kate enlists the help of a traveling polka band to drive her all the way to Chicago. Back at the McCallister household Kevin discovers that Harry and Marv are going to attempt to rob his house on Christmas Eve. Therefore, he bobby traps his entire house and prepares for the inevitable theft attempt. Despite countless, and I do mean countless, injuries and failures the "wet bandits" refuse to give up and chase Kevin out of the house into a neighboring home that is vacant. However, they were unaware that Kevin had already called the authorities and with some help from his neighbor Old Man Marley young Kevin successfully escapes and the police arrest Harry and Marv. In the end Kate, Peter and the rest of the family arrive back at home in Chicago to find Kevin. They are surprised to find the house in such disrepair and that Kevin actually went shopping for groceries. The movie closes out by Buzz yelling at Kevin for the mess he created in his room. 

Home Alone is considered to be the Christmas movies of all Christmas movies by many, and for good reason. It has won countless awards and is still sought each holiday season. Although it’s almost thirty years old it never fails to bring Christmas joy to all the families that watch it, every single year.

Christmas Cookie Cravings

Every day it’s getting closer and closer. No, not exam week, although that’s getting quite close as well, but Christmas. Although the jolly holiday is still many weeks away students and staff alike are getting into the early Christmas spirits. With Christmas lights, old time carols and loads of snow it won't be long before kitchens go into full baking mode. Christmas is, arguably, the busiest season for baking. With everything from cakes, cookies and chocolates the Christmas season certainly doesn’t possess a lack of flavour. With so much baking going on at once there are an absolute abundance of Christmas cookie recipes out there. Throughout the years I have come across two holiday cookie recipes that have really caught my eye.

The first recipe that has stuck with me through many Christmas seasons is that of Chocolate Pecan Sandies. These snowy snacks right away remind you of the time of year and certainly don’t disappoint in the creative department. The Chocolate Pecan Sandies are easy to make and only require 15 minutes for preparation. Best of all this recipe yields 2 dozen cookies, meaning you will have a collection of snacks leading into exam time. 

Chocolate Pecan Sandies 

Ingredients 

1 cup of butter at room temperature

4 tablespoons of white sugar 

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 ¾ cup of sifted all-purpose flour 

1 cup of ground pecans

¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup of sifted confectioners or powdered sugar 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with shortening 

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Beat in the vanilla.

Add the flour, pecans and cocoa powder to the large bowl. Mix well.

Form dough into 1-inch balls and place on the greased cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Cool the cookies then roll them in the confectioners or powdered sugar. Enjoy. 

Another Christmas cookie recipe that I enjoy every holiday season is titled Big Soft Giner Cookies. It can be said the ginger has a very acquired taste to it. However, these cookies provide just enough ginger snap to be tasteful but not overwhelming so that even people who aren’t a real fan of the flavour of ginger can enjoy these delicious delights. With a preparation time of only 15 minutes and a baking time of a mere 10 minutes, these Christmas treats can be ready in no time.

Big Soft Ginger Cookies 

Ingredients 

2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons of ground ginger 

1 teaspoon of baking soda

¾ teaspoon of ground cinnamon 

½ teaspoon of ground cloves 

¼ teaspoon of salt

¾ cup margarine, softened 

1 cup of white sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon of water

¼ cup of molasses

2 tablespoons white sugar 

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Sift together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and salt.

In a large bowl cream together the margarine and 1 cup of white sugar. Then beat in the egg with a fork and stir in the water and molasses. 

Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. 

Shape the cookie dough into walnut sized balls and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of white sugar.

Place the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool and enjoy.

With exam season approaching much faster than most students want it to it is important to bulk up on those early Christmas goodies. These two cookie recipes provide dozens of study snacks when you don’t have time to cook up something larger. Best of all they take under an hour to prepare, bake and enjoy. Christmas might not be here yet, but its cookies sure are!

Autumn Sweet Treats 

Ah yes, the season of autumn. Many things are associated with this time of year. Back to school, Thanksgiving, Halloween and astounding scenery. However, baking can also be associated with fall. While it's true that Christmas takes the cake in terms of baking seasons that doesn't mean fall is out of the picture. There are plenty of seasonings, sugars and spices that are closely tied to the fall season. With cooler temperatures many people are experiencing the urge to fire up their ovens and bake delicious cakes, pies and muffins. Every fall season I have two recipes that serve as my go to for seasonal snacks. 

As students ‘time’ is the singular, most valuable thing imaginable. There is never enough of it and it seems to go by instantaneously. That’s why this Betty Crocker recipe for Easy Caramel Apple Bars is perfect for university students. Preparation time is only 15 minutes and each bar contains a measly 100 calories. Not only is the recipe easy to prepare but the ingredient list is also relatively short. Easy Caramel Apple Bars provide a quick grab and go snack when studying, assignments and projects begin to add up.

Easy Caramel Apple Bars 

Ingredients 

½ cup of cold butter

1 egg

¾ cup of caramel topping

¼ cup of all-purpose flour

1 finely chopped and peeled apple

1 pouch of Betty Crocker oatmeal cookie mix

Directions 

Heat oven to 350 F. Spray the bottom of 13x9 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl cut the butter in to the oatmeal cookie mix using either a fork or pastry blender. Then proceed to still in the egg with a fork.

Set aside 1 ½ cups of the cookie mixture. Press the remaining cookie mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle the apple over the baked crust. Then mix the caramel topping and all-purpose flour in a small bowl. Proceed to drizzle the mixture over the apples. 

Take the 1 ½ cups of reserved cookie mixture and evenly spread it over the apples. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool for 2 hours.

Cut the bars into 9 rows by 4 rows and enjoy. 

Once in a while students realize that they can’t live off of treats and snacks throughout the entire school year. As attractive as cake and cookies are they usually aren’t the most nutritious items to eat. Luckily a recipe I came across a while back offers both nutrition and flavour. Pumpkin Bread is perfect for fall time snacking. This simple and long-lasting recipe can be stored at room temperature for 4 days or refrigerated for 10. Best of all it is packed full of nutrition. Each slice offers only 95 calories and 4 grams of fat. It provides a dose of dietary fibre and 42% of an individuals required Vitamin A daily intake.

Pumpkin Bread 

Ingredients 

1 2/3 cups of sugar

2/3 cup of vegetable oil

2 teaspoons of vanilla 

4 eggs 

3 cups of all-purpose or whole wheat flour

1 can or 15 ounces of pumpkin

½ cup of raisins

½ cup of chopped nuts 

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1 teaspoon of salt 

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon 

½ teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of ground cloves 

Directions 

Move oven rack to the low position within the oven so the top of bread pan will be in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 F. 

Grease the bottom of a 9x5x3 inch pan with shortening.

In a large bowl mix together pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla. 

Add the flour, raisins, chopped nuts, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, baking powder and ground cloves to the mixture. Stir well.

Pour mixture into the 9-inch pan. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and loosen sides of loaf. 

Remove bread loaf from pan and place on a wire cooling rack with the top side up for 2 hours. Slice and enjoy.

Whether it’s Easy Caramel Apple Bars or Pumpkin Bread as this fall season continues on I'll have my oven working around the clock. These two recipes are designed perfectly for students as once you’ve baked your treat of choice you’ll have quick grab and go snacks for the rest of the week. Although it’s not Christmas quite yet, seasonal baking has already begun.

Soothing Drinks For The Season 

Fall is in the air and although it's been a much colder season than most would like, winter is not officially here yet. Therefore, there’s still time to enjoy those spiced autumn beverages that we’ve all been craving since last fall. There are certain flavours, spices and seasonings that are heavily associated with the season of fall. Today, I will showcase two of my favourite hot beverage recipes that I believe make the season of fall bearable.

First up is a Pumpkin Smoothie recipe. Now many people may think that smoothies are more of summer drink and certainly don’t associate them with cooler temperatures. However, just because its cold outside doesn't mean you can’t enjoy that delicious puree of mysterious mixtures! Besides, anything with pumpkin in the title automatically screams two things, Halloween and Thanksgiving. The Pumpkin Smoothie is incredibly easy to make and doesn’t require half a ton of ingredients. It also only has 155 calories and is a good source of protein. If you’re a die-hard pumpkin fan than the Pumpkin Smoothie is just what you need to get through those dreary fall days.

Pumpkin Smoothie

Ingredients 

1 can or 16 ounces of pumpkin puree

2 cups of milk 

¼ cup of brown sugar 

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon 

Directions 

1. Place your pumpkin puree in a tightly sealed freezer bag. Then proceed to freeze the puree for 24 hours.

2. Heat the bag of pumpkin puree for 2 minutes on high in the microwave.

3. Pour the milk into a blender. Then proceed to add the ground cinnamon, brown sugar and heated pumpkin puree. Blend until smooth and enjoy.

Sometimes the cool fall breeze brings on the desire to have a warmer beverage than a smoothie. One of the best drinks to warm you up is tea. While students are continuously locked in the debate of coffee versus tea, there is nothing more smoothing on a chilly fall day than a large glass of Hot Cranberry Tea. This delicious fall treat has a nice kick to it and is low in sodium. 

Hot Cranberry Tea 

Ingredients 

3 ½ quarts of water 

1 package or 12 ounces of cranberries 

2 cups of white sugar 

2 whole oranges, juiced

2 whole lemons, juiced

12 whole cloves 

2 cinnamon sticks 

Directions 

1. In a large pot combine the water and the cranberries

2. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to medium, simmer for 30 minutes

3. Add the sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, cinnamon sticks and cloves. 

4. Cover and let ingredients soak for 1 hour. Serve warm.

On a cool fall day nothing beats a seasonal beverage. Whether your holding onto summer with a Pumpkin Smoothie or embracing the change with a Hot Cranberry Tea you’ll be looking at fall with open eyes. These two recipes are both easy, inexpensive and relatively quick to make. If you find yourself with time to spare this season fire up the blender and get a taste of fall.  

Evans Theatre Update

With the new month comes a new lineup of showing at Brandon University’s Evans Theatre. And with the snow on the ground there’s no better time to stay indoors out of the cold and catch some cozy entertainment.

The Sisters Brothers will be having three showings beginning on November 9th at 7:30, another on the following day on the 10th at 7:30, with the last on the 11th also at 7:30. The Sisters Brothers is based on the novel by Canadian author Patrick deWitt. The story follows that of the assassin brothers Eli and Charlie Sisters as they pursue their target Hermann Kermit Warm, while dealing with Eli’s doubts about the wisdom in his chosen profession and the potential conflict of a counter offer by Hermann. This film is rated 14A for violence. 

The Wife will be playing from November 16th to the 18th at 7:30 pm in the Evans Theatre. Based on the novel by the same name by bestselling author Meg Wolitzer, the story is that of the wife of to a soon to be noble prize winning writer who travels with her husband to Stockholm to receive his prize. Conflicts arise however as complexities in the relationship are revealed and the impact of gender is revealed upon the Wife’s own literary pursuits. The film is rated 14A for course language. 

Lastly from November 30th till December 2nd at 7:30pm Beautiful Boy will be playing. Based on the memoirs of David Sheff and Nic Sheff, the film follows divorced father and journalist David Sheff as he struggles to reconnect and help his son who has become addicted to methamphetamine. The film stars Steve Carell as David Sheff and Timothée Chalamet as son Nic Sheff. The film is rated 14A for drug use. 

All movie tickets are $6 cash only at the door. 

The Tell-Tale Heart

Imagine coming home from your classes only to find a set of eyes glaring at you, like how a vulture stares upon dying prey, knowing that it wants nothing more than to scavenge over a carcass. How long could you endure the feeling of having your every move watched intently? As if someone was always there, waiting to gain for your demise. Now imagine you committed a crime, how heinous of a crime would you do if you knew you could get away with it? How would you feel if you killed and could never be caught or tied to the deed? Could you keep your sanity? Or would you be forever haunted by the demons of your own mind, slowly but surely losing grip on reality and plunging into the embrace of insanity?

Almost anyone could pick out the familiar writing style of Edgar Allen Poe. The discordant trochaic poetic metre and the notorious macabre imagery is the signature style of Allen Poe. In his short-story The Tell-Tale Heart, Allen Poe allows the reader to share the same thoughts and feelings as the narrator of story. In the short-story, the narrator claims to have hyperacute senses, which could very well just be the narrator suffering from severe delusions. The narrator is haunted by the pale blue cloudy eye of an old man, which the narrator describes as “vulture-like” or “evil’. 

The narrator then carefully plans out murdering the old man for seven days. He insists he cannot be insane at this level of calculation. During those seven days, every night, the narrator enters the old man’s room an lets a single ray of light revealing that the “evil eye” is still open peering upon him. On the seventh day, after claiming to hear the heartbeat of the old man, he decides to strike, thus killing the old man, then lastly hiding the body. Only to hear a knock on his door, followed by heartbeats from under the floorboards. 

Perhaps, instead of trying to finish reading one of Stephen King’s 1000-page horror stories, or 2 to 3-hour movies, we should return to the works of Edgar Allan Poe. We’ve all heard the saying, “sometimes less is more”. To make Allan Poe’s short-stories seem even more scary, I recommend reading the story in a pitch-black room; except for light from your phone, late at night, alone, regular uniform television/radio static. The reason why the uniform static, is because of something called the Ganzfeld Effect. Which basically means that prolonged exposure to uniform stimuli, causes the brain to hallucinate, and given that you would be reading Allen Poe’s short-stories, due to priming, you might start hallucinating the sounds from the story. The Ganzfeld Effect usually starts to kick in around 30 minutes. 

The Scariest Thing Of All: Students Loans And Debt

If I could dress up as the scariest thing I can think of for Halloween it would be my student loan. I thought about what I could wear to represent the terror of a student loan. But then I decided to think more realistically, I’ll just dress up as an over stressed and under paid millennial and ask for spare change. Oh wait… 

According to the Canadian University Survey Consortium, the average Canadian student will leave their post-secondary education with approximately $27,000 of debt. 

The Canada Student Loan program claims that most graduates take about 10 years to pay their loans. 

When recent American graduate Chad Haag realized he had to somehow make payments of $300 a month on his $20,000 loan with a job that doesn’t pay a living wage, he moved to Uchakkada, a small village in India. His student loan wisdom is, “if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it really exist?”. 

Brian Karimzad, co-founder of a financial analysis service, MagnifyMoney, says their studies indicate that the most meaningful difference between students graduating with student loans or without is that students with debt end up with half the amount of retirement savings than those without debt. Although being in debt doesn’t seem to affect the ability to buy a home, it does affect the value of the purchase. Those with loans purchase homes valued at 5% less than those without debt. Karimzad also reports that the majority of people who have loans rely on credit-card debt to finance their month to month living expenses. Maybe we’re just falling back on familiarity, I know it makes me suspicious when my bank account balance is not in the negatives. 

Student loans also mess with your ability to be an entrepreneur. According to finance professor Karthik Krishnan, people with student loans over $30,000 are 11% less likely to start a business than a graduate who is debt free. He also found that businesses started by people with debt don’t grow as fast as businesses started by people without. He postulates a gradual deterioration in economic mobility and start-up companies. 

A paper published by the Roosevelt Institute concludes that the amount of debt a student is in does not have significant relationship with their income. In other words, the amount you pay for your degree does not have a bearing on its financial return. With the cost of Canadian universities being significantly smaller than the United States, student loans are slightly less daunting, but the horror is the same: before you’re old enough to rent a car, you must make financial decisions that will affect the rest of your life. 

But maybe, if you wait long enough the government might just… forget about it. The federal government has recently announced plans to write over nearly $344-million worth of student loans that is not expected to be recouped from loan recipients. Loans may be deemed uncollectible when people file for bankruptcy, cannot be physically located, or the loan passes the legal limit on collection. Within the last two years, the federal government has written off about $3-billion in student loans. Any of the tips regarding paying off loans faster sound like living with a continuation of university life – minus the fun stuff. Work a side job, put any extra money toward repayment, get a roommate. Might as well stay in school, the institutions will own us anyway. 

The Evils Of Candy

Candy is cloaked in danger. Danger to your health, causing tooth decay and obesity. There is also the danger of being manipulated for malicious intent. As you’ve heard, “don’t take candy from strangers” – except on Halloween. But even on Halloween candy is associated with the terrors of tampering and contamination.  

Candy as small packaged morsels of delicious mass produced sugar became widely available in the 1880s. Prior to this, things like fudge, taffy, and brittle were homemade, and store bought hard candies available were relatively expensive. Recent trends in holding on to what is ‘natural’ tend to favour treats that can be made at home. But the same sugar is in candy as fruit, but big companies have always known we’re afraid of ingredients we can’t pronounce so they just changed the packaging to say “corn syrup” instead of “glucose”. This is to say that the pre-1880s homemade candy would be just as nutritionally deficient as what you buy from Nestle. Regardless of what you call it and if it comes from a peach or a chocolate bar, the plaque will build. 

Nostalgic for the supposed health of the past, another hot topic on social media is ‘the good old days’ when are kids were safe on Halloween – the only night they’re allowed to talk to strangers and eat their candy. Remember the past, when neighbours wouldn’t try to distribute illicit substances in lieu of treats?This is correct if by the ‘good old days’ you mean prior to 1959. In 1959, Dr. William Shyne, a dentist in California gave trick or treaters 450 candy-coated laxative pills, making 30 of the kids receiving this trick treat severely ill. Subsequently, candy scrutiny by parents became widespread. In the 60’s some towns allegedly set up stations at hospitals to x-ray the candy. To this day we hear cautionary tales about strangers sabotaging our kid’s after we let them ring the doorbell three times and beg for sugar. Surprisingly, most of these complaints turn out to be unfounded. Except one case in Texas where a child died due to drugs put in a pixie stick. But not at the fault of a strange neighbour, the child’s dad was the culprit. 

What did we think was going to happen with a tradition founded by capitalism? Before 1922, candy makers emphasized themed candy for Christmas and Easter but not Halloween. At the 1922 National Confectioners Association, executive secretary V.L. Price circulated the idea: “If manufacturers would create special Hallowe’en candies and retailers in large numbers would feature special displays and sales on Hallowe’en, but that it would greatly increase candy sales on that day, and in doing it, would eventually make Hallowe’en a candy season.” Like good capitalists, candy expert Dr. Samira Kawash says candy manufacturers often publish inaccurate and sugar coated histories of their products, as most large companies copied or stole home-kitchen inventions. Thanks V.L. Price and Dr. Shyne for showing us the way; putting our trust a billion-dollar industry whose success is entirely dependent on our desire to eat things with absolutely no nutritional value instead of trusting the people who live next door.