Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Last updated: 2 years ago

Welcome to the Social Club

How we really feel about what's happening at UBC, and other idle gossip

Weird Twitter has nothing on UBC Twitter

Photo via @ClearanceTents on Twitter.

Photo via @ClearanceTents on Twitter.

Search “#UBC” on Twitter and you’ll probably find more than you bargained for. Highlights include foreign basketball teams, brotherhoods of carpenters, grassroots UK air pistol shooting and Korean bots that talk about pumpkins, castles and eating hope.

Here’s what we got out of 15 minutes of scrolling:

Urbari Basket Club

Desperately in need of champions.

Will you answer the call?

Will you answer the call?

Union Baptist Church

A Georgia church that sends mission teams to Kentucky for some reason.

"Where does the light of God shine the weakest? Where must we bring the Good News?"  "Kentucky."

“Where does the light of God shine the weakest? Where must we bring the Good News?”
“Kentucky.”

Various Korean bots

The ones we’ve found so far include Stacia, Ruellra, RARE, Rumor and BEX. We have no clue what they’re talking about or why they exist (are we talking about Korean Twitter bots or politicians, am I right, folks? Up top).

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 1.24.19 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 1.25.32 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 1.23.50 PM

These guys don't fuck around.

These guys don’t fuck around.

United British Caravans

Caravans: the best way to kill half your family on a harrowing cross-country death trip since 1836.

"Look, dysentery!"

“Look, dysentery!”

Is that a threat? Is this guy going to take my kids?

Is that a threat? Is this guy going to take my kids?

Clearance Tents

A subsidiary of United British Caravans. This whole organization is starting to look shady.

You stay the fuck away from kids, Clearance Tents.

You stay the fuck away from kids, Clearance Tents.

UBC Preacher

The senior pastor at a New Jersey church. Tweets are often religious and/or fatherly.

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 2.02.02 PM

Union Baptist Church

The church @UBCPreacher preaches at.

STAY IN THE HOUSE, CARL

STAY IN THE HOUSE, CARL

UBC Munster

Another foreign basketball team. They actually have a pretty snazzy website.

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 2.15.50 PM

Umarex Boys Club

An organization dedicated to promoting grassroots UK air pistol shooting. Finally.

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 2.21.20 PM

United Brotherhood of Carpenters

Apparently large enough for a convention in Vegas.

Listen, if FunkyFreshFran is in, I'm there.

Listen, if FunkyFreshFran is in, I’m there.

Universal Background Checks

This seems like a place where reasonable folks get their news.

FullThrottleLiberty actually made some good points once he stopped simultaneously firing hunting shotguns and Roman candles from his living room window.

FullThrottleLiberty actually made some good points once he stopped simultaneously firing hunting shotguns and Roman candles from his living room window.

Japanese music

Tell me you don't want to listen to this.

Tell me you don’t want to listen to this.

Sorry, we have no idea what any of this means

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 3.07.48 PM

Ultimate Bikini Championships

"Np" - God

“Np” – God

UBC is handing out scholarships for $0

$0 Award

Yesterday an (un)lucky student by the name of Dylan received an email from the UBC Awards Office congratulating him on earning the Chancellor’s Scholar Award, a scholarship designed to “recognize the outstanding academic achievements of high-school and post-secondary students.”

Dylan received $0.00 for his academic excellence.

Advertisement

He vented his frustrations in a Reddit post entitled “Thanks UBC!” noting that the situation felt like a “bad practical joke.” We’re inclined to agree.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 11.10.30 AM

Brutal.

Brutal.

Others in the thread confirmed that this had happened to them too, and added their frustration at the “non-award.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 11.14.56 AM

What not to buy for back to school

School spirit is great, but you don't have to deck yourself out in blue and gold right away. File photo Kosta Prodanovic / The Ubyssey

School spirit is great, but you don’t have to deck yourself out in blue and gold right away. File photo Kosta Prodanovic / The Ubyssey

The school year is drawing nearer. And with its approach comes our desire to buy things we do not need. Perhaps you don’t want to listen to a writer with a cheap soul, but my experience of being repeatedly hoodwinked by UBC makes me an authority on the topic. This list is the definitive text, our own holy grail, on what not to buy during your back to school shopping.

School books: Literally everyone that cares about you has probably told you this before; the UBC bookstore was established to rob you even before you get your Arts degree. Stay ahead of the pack and get your books on UBC Buy and Sell on Facebook, Amazon, or other ways the university doesn’t want you to. You can easily get all your required books for a fraction of the price.

Advertisement

Course packs: I can literally count the times on one hand that I have actually used these in class. Professors sometimes make it mandatory that you get them, but most throw them out after five minutes of lectures. Make sure to listen to what your instructors tell you and follow suit. If they don’t explicitly tell you to get the course pack, ask them. You probably don’t need it.

Herschel bag: Yeah, I know. They’re ultra stylish and bestow upon you the status of 1,000 cool kids, but these babies wear out in about a year, and soon you’ll have to explain to your parents how your new 13-inch Macbook air fell out of the bottom of your $100 backpack.

UBC hoodie/scarf/toque/yacht: I know everyone is trying to get their hands on some school-spirited swag, and the Bookstore seems to have a monopoly on these hoodies that are always “on sale.” Don’t go near it. In fact, avoid the Bookstore like the plague. And if you really feel the need to let your SFU friends know you’re better than them, wait for the Bookstore’s (real) sale toward the end of first and/or second term.

Every single club membership: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to join all the clubs that you find interesting. To be honest, you probably only have enough time to handle two club responsibilities properly. I know these days you need to have joined 20 clubs to make that resume look good, but they all cost like 10 bucks each. And juggling too many responsibilities hurts your academics in the end.

Kitchen appliances (in rez): Mini fridge: good idea. Toaster oven and microwave: not so much. Not only will you never use it, since there will be one in your floor’s common lounge, but your roommate will probably hate you for filling up your closet-sized room with giant electric boxes.

Don’t believe the hype. You will see your mates coming back to residence with bags of new stuff over the next few weeks, but those will be the same guys surviving on oatmeal while you wine and dine finely on cafeteria feature fries and butter chicken pizza.

The absolute beginner’s guide to the Vancouver Canucks

Photo Kosta Prodanovic / The Ubyssey

Photo Kosta Prodanovic / The Ubyssey

Vancouver loves hockey. Probably too much, since there’s usually a riot on the rare occasion the Canucks make it to the Stanley Cup Final.

Whoops. File photo Geoff Lister / The Ubyssey

Whoops. File photo Geoff Lister / The Ubyssey

Advertisement

Regardless, as a student at UBC and resident of this city, you’ll probably run into a few conversations each year about the team, and it might be awkward if you have no idea what everyone’s talking about. Maybe your coworkers are ranting about the playoffs; maybe you’re not sure whether your girlfriend cares more about you or a 35 year-old Swedish man you’ve never heard of; regardless, it’s good to have some knowledge in the bank. Without further ado, here is The Ubyssey‘s absolute beginner’s guide to the Vancouver Canucks:

Setting the stage

The Canucks entered the NHL in 1970 alongside the Buffalo Sabres, bringing the total number of teams in the league from 12 to 14. They have been in three Stanley Cup Finals: 1982, in which they lost the best-of-seven series in four games against the New York Islanders; 1994, in which they lost in seven games to the New York Rangers; and 2011, in which they lost in seven games to the Boston Bruins.

Ask any Canucks fan about 2011 and you’ll immediately notice a slew of emotions cross their face: excitement, loss, joy, anger, joy again, crushing sadness. We were unstoppable. Our top players were in their prime. We finished the regular season 10 points ahead of the second-place team. When things got tight, the players rallied. By the time we got to the finals, there wasn’t a doubt in anyone’s mind that we would take it. But we didn’t.

There’s no two ways about it: the Canucks aren’t as good as they were in 2011. Despite making the playoffs every year but one, the team hasn’t made it out of the first round since. This past year, they were eliminated by longtime rival, the Calgary Flames, in six games. The Canucks’ core is getting older, and a lot of players present in 2011 aren’t here anymore.

The bright side? This league works in cycles. The 2006 Pittsburgh Penguins were the laughingstock of the league. In 2007 they made the playoffs, and in 2009 they won the Stanley Cup. This was a quick turnaround by NHL standards, but because of a loser-picks-first draft and the unstable nature of professional hockey in general, no team is stuck in their place forever.

The Canucks are still a good team, and with a bright crop of prospects peeking over the horizon, things are looking up. We’ll talk more about that once we go over the basics, starting with…

Hockey Positions

Names you should know

(C) Henrik and (LW) Daniel Sedin (suh-DEEN)
“Hank and Dank” are the heart and soul of this team. Henrik is the captain, and his twin brother Daniel is an alternate (meaning he fills in when Henrik’s not around). They’ve been here since 2000, and one of them has lead the team in points every year since ’07. Henrik likes to pass and Daniel likes to score, which makes for some incredible plays — commonly referred to as “Sedinery.”

(RW) Alexandre Burrows
“Burr” usually makes up the rest of the three-man line with the Sedins. A scrappy winger who was never officially drafted onto the team, he’s the definition of work ethic. He’s also incredibly annoying to play against; fans and players of every other team hate him. It doesn’t help that he has a penchant for important goals.

(RW) Radim Vrbata (RA-dim ver-BAT-uh)
A talented winger, Vrbata also plays with the Sedins quite a bit. He joined the team at the beginning of last season and instantly became important, leading the team with 31 goals. He’s fun to watch.

(C) Bo Horvat
Horvat played his rookie season last year and impressed everyone, scoring 13 goals and displaying some serious speed and work ethic. His goals usually aren’t pretty, but he gets the job done. People are excited about this kid.

(D) Dan Hamhuis (HAM-hyoose)
A stay-at-home, defensive defenceman, “Hammer” is a big part of the Canucks’ back end. He plays against the opponent’s top players every night, and although his main focus is breaking up offensive plays, he’s not afraid to get physical if necessary.

(D) Alexander Edler
Edler is a smooth-skating Swede who enjoys throwing his weight around. He’s one of our more offensive-minded defencemen, and enjoys chipping in when he can.

(G) Ryan Miller
A former Olympian and All-Star, the Canucks signed the veteran goaltender last year to give their crease some stability after they traded goalies Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. Miller had an okay season last year, and is expected to start again this year. He’ll be in a mentorship role with promising young backup Jacob Markstrom — hopefully he can teach him some moves like this one.

(G) Jacob Markstrom
The American Hockey League’s (AHL) best goaltender last year, Markstrom has only played a couple of games in the NHL, and has suffered from nerves each time. It doesn’t help that Vancouver has been nicknamed the Goalie Graveyard for their high hopes and poor treatment of goaltenders over the years. Regardless, we’re all really hoping he pans out, because if he can do stuff like this in the big league, the Canucks will be in good shape.

(President) Trevor Linden
Arguably the most important figure in Canucks history, and certainly one of the most beloved, Trevor Linden played 19 seasons from 1988-2008, 15 of them with Vancouver, holding the franchise record for games played at 1,140. He was named captain when he was 21, one of the youngest in NHL history, and led the way to the Canucks’ 1994 Finals appearance; they were considered heavy underdogs against the powerhouse New York Rangers, but they pushed the series to the full seven games. Vancouver lost in game seven, 3-2 — Linden scored both, despite suffering from broken ribs during the last four games, worsened by a vicious hit from Mark Messier, which lead to Jim Robson’s famous call: “He will play. You know he’ll play. He’ll play on crutches!”

Off the ice, Linden is famous for his constant charity work and dedication to making Vancouver a better place to live. He is affectionately referred to as “Captain Canuck” due to his immense impression on the team and city. The tribute video that played during his retirement ceremony speaks volumes. In 2014, Linden was named President of Hockey Operations for the Canucks.

Names you should know (past)

(RW) Stan Smyl (SMEEL) | Canuck from 1978-1991
Standing at 5’8″, “Steamer” didn’t have the size to be an NHLer, but he fought harder than anyone to land a spot on the Canucks. He quickly became a fan favourite by playing a bigger game than he had any right to. He was named captain in 1982 and served until 1990. His number 12 has been retired by the Canucks.

(LW) Tiger Williams | Canuck from 1980-1984
The NHL’s all-time leader in penalty minutes, Dave “Tiger” Williams took nearly every opportunity to fight, but was also a talented scorer, even leading the Canucks in goals in 1981. For all his brawn and skill, though, Tiger’s insane celebrations might be the most entertaining part of his game.

(Coach) Roger Neilson | Canuck from 1982-1984
More important than his name is what he started: in a 1982 playoff series against Chicago, Neilson was fed up with terrible officiating and waved a white towel on the end of a stick as a sign of mock surrender. The players on the bench did the same, and by the next game thousands of fans were waving white towels, a tradition that has spread throughout the NHL and other sports leagues (skip to 1:08).

(G) Kirk McLean | Canuck from 1987-1998
“Captain Kirk” was another player integral to the team’s ’94 run. He set various records in games played, wins and shutouts, but is most notably remembered for what has become known as “The Save” — an overtime stacked-pads stop against the Calgary Flames’ Robert Reichel in game seven of the opening round, which set the stage for Pavel Bure’s double overtime winner.

(RW) Pavel Bure | Canuck from 1991-1998
The most exciting player to ever wear a Canucks uniform, “The Russian Rocket” played seven seasons with Vancouver. Possessing a natural talent that was basically impossible to defend, he was famous for his flashy goals and blinding speed. He was a major part of the Cup run in ’94, and his number 10 has been retired by the team. Arguably the greatest moment in Canucks history was his double overtime goal against Calgary in game seven of the first round of the ’94 playoffs, capping off three straight OT wins after Vancouver was down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.

(C) Mark Messier | Canuck from 1997-2000

It is customary to spit on the ground when The Hated One’s name is uttered. This short, while nearly as unbearable as Messier’s time as a Canuck, accurately reflects fans’ attitudes toward one of the worst human beings to play the greatest game on earth.

(LW) Markus Naslund (NAZ-lund) | Canuck from 1995-2008
“Nazzy” captained the team from 2000-2008 and played on the infamous “West Coast Express” line alongside Brendan Morrison and Todd Bertuzzi. Until recently, he was the Canucks’ all-time leading scorer (since surpassed by Henrik Sedin). His years of skill and leadership have earned his jersey a place in the rafters. Here’s a fun clip of his four-goal game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2003:

(RW) Todd Bertuzzi | Canuck from 1997-2006
An extremely talented power forward, Bertuzzi made up the right side of the “West Coast Express” and was integral to the team’s core in the early 2000s. His career has been marred by a game in 2004, in which he sucker punched Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore as payback for Moore’s hit on Naslund in a previous game. This video shows both incidents.

The future

Though the Canucks haven’t had much success in the playoffs since 2011, a talented group of prospects and young players (Google these names: Jared McCann, Cole Cassels, Dane Fox, Brendan Gaunce, Sven Baertschi, Brandon Sutter, Thatcher Demko, Brock Boeser, Jake Virtanen, Andrey Pedan, Jordan Subban, Nikita Tryamkin) mean that the future looks bright. Our best players still have a few more years left in them, and by the time they’ve slowed down, the next group of Canucks should be ready to take their place.

The Canucks are no longer a dominant force in the NHL, but most are in agreement that we’re still a playoff team. And considering the upside that’s coming in the next few years, now’s not a bad time to jump on the bandwagon.

How to watch

Reading about them is fun and all, but actually catching a game is where it’s at. If you have cable, here’s the schedule for this season. If not, you’ll either have to shell out for Rogers GameCentre, Hockey Streams, or get creative and find a free stream online.

Of course, as the old saying goes, a friend with cable is a friend indeed.

How to have a secret meeting

Photo Wikicommons

Photo Wikicommons

At The Ubyssey, we feel it is important to shield yourself from criticism at all costs. Imagine if someone were to speak out against you, and you couldn’t get them to stop, no matter how much you resemble a second-rate Bond villain?

You’d need to do some serious damage control. That’s why it’s important to hold your meetings in such a way that a student journalist could never stumble upon them by accident. With that in mind, we’ve compiled our best solutions for the problem on everyone’s mind: “Where will we hold our next secret meeting?”

The steam tunnels

On top of the clock tower

beetle clock tower

The now-empty Norman Mackenzie House

Crime at norman_20150409_Kosta Prodanovic

The old Ubyssey office

John Montalbano’s volcano lair

In the middle of the UBC Farm, dressed as scarecrows

farm

The Aquatic Centre gym

In separate cafes, over walkie-talkies

Greenheart Canopy Walkway

The UBC ropes course

The room in John Montalbano’s house dedicated to his collection of Persian cats, paintings of Persian cats, and cartoonishly high-backed chairs

ropes

By utilizing trained owls and coded letters

Over MSN messenger

In an RBC bank vault

At Bort’s house

The old Pit

That weird hut between the Education building and Somerset studios

UBC-O

Wreck

Point Grey Battery

The cave where John Montalbano goes to cry

Point Grey Battery Emp1 - 04

Your dad’s cigar room

Cup-and-string phones

In a plane

On a train

In a house

With a mouse

Student fees: where they go and how to opt out

File photo Cherihan Hassun / The Ubyssey

File photo Cherihan Hassun / The Ubyssey

You’re probably paying thousands of dollars to go to UBC. The vast majority of that is going to tuition and possibly housing, but you might not know what the rest is used for. Here’s how much you’re paying in student fees every year, what they’re used for, and how you can save a few bucks by opting out.

Fees you can’t opt out from

Athletics and Recreation $209.06
Supports recreational programs and facilities (it’s why the BirdCoop is so cheap). It’s also tax deductible.

SUB Renewal Fee $90.00
Why is the new SUB so nice? Because you paid for it.

AMS Membership Fee $38.44
Every student is automatically enrolled in the Alma Mater Society, which represents your interests to UBC’s administration.

AMS Athletics and Intramurals $21.00
Why isn’t this included in the Athletics and Recreation fee? Beats us. Either way, intramural sports are very cheap, and students get free access to things like the Aquatic Centre because of this.

AMS Financial Assistance Fund $12.00
If you’re experiencing serious money troubles, you can apply for the AMS Financial Hardship Subsidy. This fee helps with that.

Capital Projects Fund $7.44
Goes toward financing capital projects. Read here for more details.

Graduating Class Fee $7.00 (only in your final year)
One last grab at your wallet — for old time’s sake.

Sexual Assault Support Services Fund $3.39
SASC is committed to ending rape culture and providing support to victims of sexual assault through workshops, counseling and professional staff. Here’s their site.

Student Refugee Fund $2.61
UBC (and you) sponsor a few refugee students every year, to allow them to continue their studies here.

Lighter Footprint Fund $2.35
Support for the AMS’s vision of environmental justice.

Student Clubs Benefit $1.56
A pool of money to be drawn from by — you guessed it — student clubs on campus.

Childcare Bursary Fund $1.05
Presumably an arm of the childcare section of UBC, with regard to providing bursaries for families in need.

Ombudsperson $1.02
An “independent, impartial and confidential resource to assist students in addressing and resolving concerns about unfair treatment at UBC,” as described on their website

Student Legal Fund $1.00
The SLF supports “litigation, advocacy, and lobbying for improved education and access to education at UBC, and other matters of law that set broad precedent and are of concern to UBC students,” according to their site.

International Projects Fund $0.26
This fee allows the AMS to fund “worthy causes with an international focus,” as explained in this hilariously awkward video.

Fees you can opt out from

U-Pass $304.00
Provides unlimited transit in the GVRD for $38.00 a month. Very few people are eligible to opt out, but if you’d like to see if you are, check here.

AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan $221.94
If you already have a plan, here’s how to opt out.

iMED $180.00 + $9.00 Direct Billing fee
Same thing, but for international students. Here’s how to opt out.

Fees you can opt out from, but we’d really prefer you didn’t

Ubyssey Publication Fee $6.26
CiTR Radio $5.22
AMS Resource Groups Fee $1.56
Bike Kitchen $1.01

At The Ubyssey, being completely separate from the AMS and the university, we depend a huge amount on the support of UBC students to keep us alive. We work hard to ensure that, as your official student newspaper, we bring you the news every day to the best of our abilities. We can’t speak for CiTR, the Bike Kitchen, or any of the resource groups represented by the AMS, but it’s hard to imagine that they feel any differently about their work and the student support they receive.

Plus, to opt out, you have to talk to us in person. And we’ll make it weird.

Reddit answers questions about life at UBC

Graphic Jack Hauen / The Ubyssey

Graphic Jack Hauen / The Ubyssey

It’s natural for first years to enter UBC full of questions, and the folks at r/ubc are doing a hell of a job answering them. Here are a few of the most popular questions from their Housing and New-To-UBC megathreads. Keep in mind, they’re still answering queries, so if you have one that isn’t addressed in either of the threads, you can post it yourself.

Q: Does a larger room really make that much of a difference?

large room

A: Yeah, a bit.

Q: What’s the internet speed like in residence?

internet

A: Awesome in the new houses, mediocre-bad in the old ones.

Q: Is it weird that I haven’t gotten an acceptance letter yet?

acceptance letter

A: You have a few days before you need to start worrying.

Q: What is the (underage) drinking life like at UBC?

drinking

A: Completely acceptable if you’re not an idiot.

Q: Does a “discussion” class mean I’ll have to actually discuss things?

discussion

A: Yep.

Q: Is it worth going to frosh?

frosh

A: If you like drinking and new people, sure.

Q: How hard is it to transfer into a different faculty?

transfer

A: Fairly straightforward, but you have to wait until next year.

Q: Can I bring a router to my dorm?

router

A: Yes, but an ethernet cord means faster internet.

Q: Which phone carrier is the best?

phone carriers

A: The major ones all have the same coverage and almost the same plans. You can probably find better deals at a smaller carrier that runs off the same towers.

Q: Will my food be okay in a shared fridge?

food

A: Probably.

Q: Can I store hunting rifles in my dorm?

guns

A: No.

Head over to the threads for more: Housing, New-To-UBC. Hint: ctrl/cmd+F, then type a word that relates to your question to see if anyone has already asked it.

Which artists could the AMS hire for $80,000?

File photo Cherihan Hassun / The Ubyssey

File photo Cherihan Hassun / The Ubyssey

The AMS just passed a budget increase for concerts, from $15,000 in 2014/15 to a whopping $80,000 this year. They’ve specified that the extra funds will go toward several concerts at the Pit Pub and in the Great Hall, but we thought it’d be more fun to imagine what they could do with that money for one insane, balls-to-the-wall, blowout concert.

According to Priceonomics.com‘s anonymous source from Degy Entertainment, a booking agency that specializes in college shows, here are a few artists the AMS could snag for $80,000 or less (keep in mind, the article was written last year, so prices may have changed):

$70-80k
Ludacris: 80k
Kenny Rogers: 80k
Lana Del Rey: 75k
Jason DeRulo: 75k
Disturbed: 75k

Advertisement

$60-69k
Tyler, The Creator: 60k
Bastille: 60k
DJ Pauly D: 60k
Joan Jett: 60k
Smash Mouth: 60k

$50-59k
Anna Kendrick: 50k
Billy Ray Cyrus: 50k
MIA: 50k
Girl Talk: 50k

$40-49k
La Roux: 40k
Simple Plan: 40k
T-Pain: 45k
Plain White T’s: 40k

$30-39k
Mogwai: 35k
Chance the Rapper: 35k
Gucci Mane: 30k
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony: 30k
Xzibit: 30k
Fountains of Wayne: 30k

$20-29k
Earl Sweatshirt: 25k
Jefferson Starship: 25k
Action Bronson: 20k
Reel Big Fish: 20k

$5-19k
Tame Impala: 10k
Coyote Kisses: 10k
Flatbush Zombies: 5k

I’m still a little confused about Anna Kendrick’s minuscule price tag, but if it’s real, I’d like to see Flatbush Zombies open for a duet with her and Action Bronson, and the remaining five grand shot out of an air cannon over the crowd. What’s your dream combo?

Where to watch the meteor shower

File photo Kosta Prodanovic / The Ubyssey

File photo Kosta Prodanovic / The Ubyssey

Whether you’re counting down the days until school starts or you are dreading the moment Labour Day ends, there’s still enough time to make the most of summer 2015. Take out your blankets and turn off your phones, because tonight and tomorrow the stars are waiting.

Advertisement

The Perseids meteor shower has been going on for a month, but its peak is tonight and tomorrow night with an estimated 100 meteors per hour. Paired with clear skies and the new moon, it’s looking like an ideal time to watch the shower.

Where and how to get the best shower possible:

Pick a place that is as free of light pollution as possible, as far from the city lights as possible (sorry English Bay!) which can be difficult in Vancouver.

If you have access to a car, you can head over to Aldergrove Lake Regional Park in between Langley and Abbotsford, which hosts a party during the shower ($2 per person) or Abbotsford’s MacDonald Park, which is certified to be free of light pollution. If you don’t have a car, you can bus to the Gordon MacMillian Southam Observatory or try your luck with a local park (the bigger the better). Remember, you may not notice the light pollution, but if it’s in the city, it’s there.

On campus, you may have a better time. Possible spots to make your wish on a shooting star include Totem field or south campus (yes, campus does go farther south than the forestry building) where there are less buildings and better views.

Plan to get there at least half an hour early. Your eyes need to adjust to the night sky in order to see the most. Since the shower’s peak is after midnight and the early hours of Wednesday and Thursday, plan for it to be a late night.

Alternatively, you could plan for it to be a very early morning, and head out a few hours before dawn, which will still be during peak times for the shower.

The meteors you’ll see are debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet burning up in our atmosphere. The ice and dust are usually going speeds upward of 60 km/h so your eyes will have to be fast to see them, but the easiest way to view meteors is to relax. Lay on your back and just look at the skies. You may be frustrated if you don’t see any right away, but be patient, you’ll see some soon enough.

Is the new season of American Horror Story based on a UBC student’s death?

Elisa Lam shortly before her body was found.

Elisa Lam shortly before her body was found.

American Horror Story: Hotel, the show’s fifth season, is looking more and more like the case of Elisa Lam, whose body was found in the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles. The season will be based on a surveillance video of a woman acting strangely in an elevator, according to creator Ryan Murphy. He didn’t mention the Lam case specifically, but all signs point toward it as inspiration.

Lam1

The 21 year-old Vancouver woman was reported missing during her solo visit to LA in early February 2013. To aid with the search, police released surveillance footage of Lam acting in an erratic manner in a Cecil elevator.

After Lam disappeared, guests began to complain about discoloured, funny-smelling water in their rooms. On February 19, a hotel employee discovered her nude body in one of the water tanks on the roof.

Lam had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression, and theories abound as to what exactly caused her death, from murder, to suicide, to possession and the occult.

Lam2

The hotel is also linked to an unsettling amount of murders: Elizabeth Short, victim of the Black Dahlia murder, stayed there just before her death; Goldie Osgood was raped and murdered in her room in 1964; and serial killers Jack Unterweger and Richard Ramirez both resided at the Cecil during their sprees.

Sounds like perfect territory for American Horror Story.