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Friday, May 4, 2001

  • Solar car competes in Kansas
  • 'A passage to an inner sanctum'
  • Students count on the census
  • The first weekend of term

Solar car competes in Kansas

Fourteen people from UW's Midnight Sun solar car team will be in Topeka, Kansas, all next week as the car is put through its paces in a qualifying competition before this summer's American Solar Challenge.

During the qualifier, vehicles are inspected for safety, the Midnight Sun web site explains. Safety tests include wet-pavement braking, vehicle stability under on-coming traffic turbulence, and signal lights and horns. The vehicles are also inspected for compliance with rules of the race. All entrants are then raced together in the Formula Sun Grand Prix, round and round a 2.1-mile track, to determine the starting positions for the Challenge itself, which begins in Chicago July 15 and winds up ten days later in Palm Springs, California.

[Looks like a spacecraft] Project manager Greg Thompson, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, heads the team. When the car (right) actually hits the road, it will be driven by third-year electrical engineering student Connie Kwan, who for most of the year is the Midnight Sun business manager. Other team members have such assignments as "electrical", "logistics", and "strategy".

"This car is built for the wind," says a confident Thompson. "After months of burning the midnight oil, it's thrilling to see the Midnight Sun VI come together. Strategy, vehicle design and teamwork will determine the winner of this race. It's all about handling your car efficiently and conserving energy."

'A passage to an inner sanctum'

Two "sound-based art installations" by graduate students from UW's architecture school are part of a "festival of sound" that continues in downtown Kitchener through this weekend.

The Inner Ear festival, in turn, is part of Kitchener's Open Ears festival of music and sound, which includes more than a dozen concerts and other performances in various downtown locations. Among them is a concert by the K-W Symphony tonight at Centre in the Square, which promises "an expansion of the orchestra as we know it" with sounds "from piano to theremin to the sound of balloons".

Saturday afternoon brings "Rhythm and Grooves" in Victoria Park: "Spend an afternoon taking in the thunderous beat of the Fubuki Daiko Drummers and then check out the grooves being laid down by scratch artists D Scratch and J Tech." There are also "soundwalks" designed to "heighten your awareness of sound in the environment".

A symposium on "ritual, heritage, vision" is being held at the Victoria Park Pavilion, marking the 50th anniversary of the Canadian League of Composers. It winds up today.

The "Inner Ear" art installations have been in place at four downtown locations since April 25. The works by UW's architecture students are among several that can be visited at the Forsyth Factory building, opposite Kitchener city hall on Young Street. They're open tonight from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday noon to 7 p.m.

The students' descriptions of their two works:

In general, "Inner Ear" is described as "a festival within a festival, celebrating the act of listening and exploring the perception of sound, space, and imagination. . . . The goal is to cultivate a 'listening interest' in the downtown core." Student projects from Wilfrid Laurier University's school of music are also included, as well as works by professional artists.

Students count on the census

Interviewers are delivering questionnaires to 11.8 million households across Canada -- and to residence rooms at UW -- in preparation for a national census on Tuesday, May 15.

"Census data are used to plan important community services," says a news release from Statistics Canada encouraging people to answer their questionnaires without a fuss. In fact, people are required by law to provide census information, which ranges from addresses to details about income and language.

"Not everyone fills in the same form," StatsCan explains. "The short questionnaire contains 7 questions and is completed by 80% of households. The long questionnaire contains the same questions as the short form plus 52 additional questions, including three new ones on religion, birthplace of parents and language of work. The long form enumerates the remaining 20% of the population."

"Business, industry, associations, institutions, academia and the media depend on census data," says StatsCan. Sue Moskal, a UW reference librarian who specializes in government information, says students use census data in a variety of assignments. "Some examples are planning for the location of services for seniors, determining where to locate schools or where to set up professional practices, e.g., optometrists. Some assignments involve tracking trends or comparing data from various census years.

"Faculty have used data to examine patterns of travel to and from work, and to study the migration of families from one area to another. Many users also use census data along with spatial files," so the map and design library gets in on helping them.

People mainly get counted in the census at their permanent homes, and here's how that works for students, according to StatsCan:

Students attending school out of town but who return home when school is not in session should be included on their parents' questionnaire, as part of the regular household. Because a school residence is considered a collective dwelling and each resident of a collective dwelling must complete a census questionnaire, Students living in residences must complete the first two pages of the census form, seal it in the envelope provided, and return it by May 15th to the location in the residence which is noted on the outside of the envelope. Students working out of town on Census Day should be included in their regular household.
Leanne O'Donnell, director of residence life at UW, says dons in Village I, the Columbia Lake Townhouses, the Minota Hagey residence and Beck Hall of UW Place have been trained to collect that two pages' worth of census information there.

"The census will also be conducted in Ron Eydt Village (our motel/conference centre), the Tutor Houses and the apartments at UW Place," she added, and similar arrangements are planned at the church colleges.

The first weekend of term

The leisure research symposium, sponsored by (and starring) graduate students in recreation and leisure studies, continues for most of the day in Matthews Hall.

A philosophy department colloquium is scheduled for 3:30 this afternoon in Humanities room 334: Duncan Macintosh of Dalhousie University speaks on "The Temporal Structure of Practical Reasons".

Reminder: the library's Trellis computer system, including the on-line catalogue, will be out of operation for most of the weekend, starting at 6:00 this evening. A backup catalogue will be available, along with other library services, through the library web site.

It's dance recital season, with local dance schools offering performances in UW's Humanities Theatre half a dozen times in the course of May. This weekend it's the Dancefest competition, Saturday morning and afternoon.

A "worship concert" sponsored by the Vineyard Churches of Canada will be held Saturday night at 7:00 in the Physical Activities Complex. Andy Park, a minister and performer whose recordings are a big hit in the Vineyard musical genre, is the star. The concert comes at the end of a three-day Pentecostal youth conference being held at UW, also in the PAC and in the Ron Eydt Village conference centre, and several hundred people are staying on one more night for the concert, or coming specifically because of it. But anybody's welcome; tickets are $5 at the door.

The Pandemonium Blues Band plays at the Graduate House starting at 9:00 Saturday night (there's no cover charge).

Advance note: students who will be graduating in the coming year are invited to attend a job information session Tuesday at 3:30 in the Humanities Theatre. The co-op and career services department says the one-hour session will touch on the interview and job application process, employer information sessions, career development seminars, job fairs and other things people might want to know if they're looking for work after university.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
http://www.bulletin.uwaterloo.ca | Yesterday's Bulletin
Copyright © 2001 University of Waterloo