Newsstand: September 1, 2014



Newsstand: September 1, 2014

Celebrate your day off by reading about the labour movement! Or is that not what most people consider a fun holiday? If that's not up your alley, take a look at the new streetcars or read about a local surgeon who may be on the cusp of revolutionizing the field.

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Labour Day is one of the few times each year we are encouraged to celebrate the working person and everything they’ve achieved. It’s also a good time to look at the history of the labour movement and understand just how much workers in the late 19th and early 20th century had to fight for things we now consider standard: the five-day 40-hour workweek, breaks, freedom from various forms of discrimination. While you kick back on your well-earned day off, take a moment to remember the hard-won victories that brought us here. A good place to start is the Toronto Star‘s history of Toronto’s Labour Day parade.

Is it the future, or are you riding a brand-new streetcar? Well, sort of both, but if you’ve been travelling along Spadina starting yesterday you will have seen the first of the new streetcars up close. Sleek, quiet, and air-conditioned, the new vehicles are all a passenger could want. Unfortunately, the people making our transit dreams come true by putting together these modern marvels are displeased with their working conditions. Bombardier employees at the Thunder Bay plant manufacturing the new fleet of streetcars have been on strike since July 14 with no end in sight.

Toronto doctor Teodor Grantcharov is developing a technology similar to the black box in aviation, but for surgeons. The University of Toronto instructor and St. Micheal’s surgeon has hooked up his entire operating room to provide data to be recorded in real-time, just as happens with airplane black boxes. “The beauty of this project,” Grantcharov said, is that “we can see things like getting prepared for the surgery, getting the right instruments, how these things can improve our flow and processes.”