My latest radio reports for CBC Radio One
So apparantly I’ve done so much on-air work I’ve filled nearly two soundcloud sites. Big pat on the back. Here is the second part of my radio work for the year.
As you may know I work in radio at the CBC. I have a part-time on-air gig as a social media columnist. Here is some of my work from 2012.
This was a story I wrote orginally published in the Montreal Gazette on February 4, 2012
Why do we stop to stare? We can’t help it, it’s instinct
On a recent walk near the Highway 15 I spotted a nasty accident between a semi-truck and a car. My first instinct was to grab my camera and snap a few shots. I wasn’t the only one having a look, cars in the adjacent lane slowed as drivers craned their necks to witness the mayhem. The rubbernecking formed a traffic jam, just in time for another Montreal rush hour.
“If we see that others are failing we sense that we aren’t so badly off,” said Alexandre Enkerly, part time faculty member of Concordia’s sociology and anthropology department. “The comparison helps us appreciate our own situation.”
Rubbernecking is a group activity; often people who wouldn’t normally look partake just because everyone else has.
Originally published on OpenFile Montreal on March 21, 2012
Concordia students build unique electron accelerator
Six undergraduate students at Concordia have built what they say is Montreal’s first electron accelerator – despite funding shortfalls, the threat of radiation and the sheer complexity of the project.
“Our friends and classmates are amazed that we pulled it off,” said team leader Jad Saleh, 22.
Strapped to a table in a lab in the basement of Concordia’s Engineering building, the electron gun takes electricity from a regular wall outlet and increases the voltage, sending electrons into a vacuum system. The students then introduce helium and bend the beam of electrons with a self-made electromagnet and collect them in a beaker.
The team began testing the electron gun last Friday.
The contraption is a more sophisticated version of the electron beams found inside old televisions that the team used as guides. “It exists in CRT televisions and monitors so we took one apart and looked at how it worked,” said Saleh. Although the televisions provided a basis for the mechanics of the project, the design was nowhere near what the students needed to create to support the high voltage needed. “The challenge is the 1950’s monitors only go to 15,000 volts and we wanted to go to 100,000. Once you get there you have to have a completely different design,” he said
Rolf Wuthrich, an associate professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering is both the team’s supervisor and beneficiary. The electron gun will be used for research in his Concordia lab. “Our research program is centred on modelling, engineering and technical use of gas evolving electrodes,” he said. “The students contacted me about a possible project and we had a need for this to advance my research.”
The project started last July with the research phase. The team was determined to learn all the skills required to build the accelerator themselves including the electrical wiring, physics theory and vacuum construction. They began actually assembling the gun in December 2011.
Originally posted on OpenFile Montreal on January 5, 2012
Info-Parking helps Montreal drivers through winter
As a self-described former parking ticket magnet, Lisa-Marie Williams was fed up with paying penalties for parking in front of her house in LaSalle. Despite a $100/year parking permit, the 25-year-old Concordia masters student says she’d get tagged for parking when there was planned snow or leaf removal, even if it never happened.
A little-known info-parking system set up in 2002 has helped Williams turn the chaos of winter parking into a breeze. A phone number at the bottom of every parking sign in Verdun and LaSalle allows citizens in the borough to find out if the parking restrictions posted are actually in effect.