Maintaining equilibrium

This little skater found an ingenious solution to the problem of staying upright on skates, using available resources. She was one of several hundred members of the McGill community who turned out at the annual Principal's Holiday Skating Party in December. As usual, the work of dozens of staff members in a number of departments made the event a great success, and a truckload of food was collected for Sun Youth.

She put herself in Jeopardy

Answer: This television game show, the most popular program of its kind in the English-speaking world, supplies contestants with answers and challenges them to come up with the appropriate questions. Question: What is Jeopardy? Earlier this month, Jeopardy's millions of devoted viewers had the chance to see McGill pediatrics professor Rima Rozen in action. Rozen appeared on two shows-winning one round, before going down to defeat the next night. Just getting selected to appear on the program is an achievement, says Rozen. "First you have to take a very difficult written exam, which eliminates about 85% of the people who want to be contestants. Then you have to take part in a mock show to prove to producers that you won't clam up on air." Rozen's first attempt at becoming a contestant wasn't successful, but after applying a second time last year, she was invited to appear on the show. So how does one get ready to compete on Jeopardy? "The categories are so diverse, it's difficult to prepare in advance," says Rozen. "There is an emphasis on American history, though, which puts Canadians at a disadvantage. I did a lot of reading on U.S. presidents." It helped that Rozen's family are diehard Jeopardy enthusiasts. They watch the show regularly and her husband was a contestant himself five years ago. Jeopardy producers urged Rozen to bring along a three-day supply of clothes for her appearance on the show, since several programs are taped the same day. "They give you 10 minutes to change between tapings," says Rozen. "I didn't have much of a chance to savour my victory from the first show." Contestants on the program have to pay their own travel and hotel expenses. Still, Rozen isn't complaining. As a onetime Jeopardy champ, she pocketed $7,600 in prize money.

Rabin murder haunts university

Does Bar-Ilan University bear any responsibility for the death of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin? That's the painful question that school officials are wrestling with in the wake of Rabin's assassination at the end of last year by Bar Ilan student Yigal Amir.

The prestigious 20,000-student institution located near Tel Aviv has come under intense scrutiny since Amir, a student of law and Jewish studies, fatally shot Rabin. Many members of the Bar Ilan community believe the attention is unfair.

"We don't grow murderers at this university," says Bar Ilan spokesman David Weinberg. Student Ariel Shlomovitch agrees. "People don't get their political beliefs here. They arrive at the college with them."

But others at the university maintain that Amir is by no means a killer who came out of nowhere. They say the conclusion that he reached-that killing Rabin was justified because the prime minister was ceding control over parts of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to the Palestinians-was the result of an ideology preached by many religious Zionist leaders.

Sociology professor Nissan Rubin says university administrators did not do enough to prevent the atmosphere of fanaticism that led to Amir's act. "There were posters put up by right wingers in the university saying 'Rabin is a traitor' and 'Rabin is a murderer.' There were right wing demonstrations where people shouted terrible things. Nobody took it seriously." "There are extremists here, without a doubt," charges Irit Cohen, a history major. "Why didn't the university do anything about them?"

Last month, Bar Ilan officials appointed an outside panel to examine whether the campus fosters an atmosphere of extremism.
Source: Dina Shiloh,
San Francisco Chronicle