The first .ca domain name
twenty-five years ago this past January– on
Jan. 12, 1988, to be precise – the University of
Prince Edward Island registered its website
through the .ca registry. University officials
at the time knew they were among the first
few to apply, but had no idea they registered
the first-ever .ca domain name, www.upei.ca.
The director of UPEI’s first computer
centre, Jim Hancock, was listed as the university’s administrative contact on the
application. “UPEI was one of 10 Canadian
universities that brought the Internet to
Canada,” he says.
He remembers representing UPEI at a
meeting in Victoria and hearing one of the
other university delegates saying that it was
like building a new “electronic railroad”
across Canada that would link the country
in a way never imagined. “We had no idea
where this Internet ‘thing’ would lead, but it
has changed our world profoundly,” he says.
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority is the member-driven organization
that now manages the .ca registry following
a restructuring of the system in 2000. CIRA
recently celebrated the registration of the
two-millionth .ca domain name.
Tell me a different story
Glen A. Jones, professor of higher education at the Ontario Institute
for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, speaking at the
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations’ conference, Academia in the Age of Austerity, in Toronto, Jan. 10.
The first paper I ever published, as a grad
student in 1989, was on the ‘crisis’
literature in higher education. We’ve been
talking about this notion of a crisis in
higher-ed for at least the past 50 years.
“the message is that we are being stalked by
a disease that steals our minds and instigates a
monstrous Jekyll-and-Hyde transformation,”
says Marlene Goldman, a literary theorist who
is working to reframe the story of Alzheimer’s
Disease. One way to do this, she says, is by
“moving away from this genre of high Gothic,
which pits non-diseased individuals, most
often youth, against aged people who have
succumbed to AD.”
Dr. Goldman is the principal investigator
of the Jackman Humanities Institute Working
start telling a different story about AD by un-
derstanding how disease concepts are created
and change over time.
Even Alois Alzheimer didn’t believe he
had discovered an isolated disease, distinguishable from normal aging, she recounts. In
the book, Self, Senility, and Alzheimer’s Disease in
Modern America: A History, the author Jesse Bal-lenger “explains that Alzheimer’s boss, Emile
Kraepelin, created an entity he called AD to
distinguish the rare cases in which dementia
developed before the age of 65 (pre-senile
dementia), even though pathological hall-
“ As readers, we never feel
as if the person afflicted
with Alzheimer’s is utterly
devoid of a sense of self.”
marks, clinical symptoms and progression of
both pre-senile and senile dementia were virtually identical.” She cites Ballenger’s theories
as to why Kraeplin did this. One is that Kraeplin hoped to make this new entity a second
mental disorder (after syphilis) with a clearly
defined pathological substrate.
Dr. Goldman doesn’t minimize the real
suffering associated with AD, but she believes
that a literary analysis of it might help us to
see vulnerability and dependency as part of
life, not as things to make us cower in fear.
Stories like Mordecai Richler’s Barney’s
Version and Alice Munro’s “The Bear Came
over the Mountain” (made into the film
“Away from Her”) highlight how memory
loss affects everyone. In Munro’s story, Grant
refuses to accept that his wife no longer remembers him and wonders whether Fiona
is playing an elaborate trick on him. Is her
transformation the result of her illness or a
commentary on his past infidelities? This uncertainty forces him to view Fiona differently.
“As readers, we never feel as if the person
afflicted with AD is utterly devoid of a sense
of self.” This offers comfort, as does the way
such stories question our obsession with cognitive abilities, as if they define our humanity.
“We are all aging. I don’t like the idea that
the story has to be solely one of decline,” says
Dr. Goldman. – sharon hunt