Cam Cobb, Don StevensonCam Cobb (right) is joined for a Toronto event launching his book about Moby Grape by band member Don Stevenson.

Signing to launch book on ’60s cult band

The story of Moby Grape is a cautionary tale, a triumph, and a tragedy all at once.

UWindsor education professor Cam Cobb tells that story in his new book, What’s Big and Purple and Lives in the Ocean? He will sign copies during a launch for the book Thursday, July 12, at Biblioasis.

Moby Grape is a counterculture rock band formed in San Francisco, releasing a classic debut album in 1967 and dogged in the months that followed by management issues, marketing mishaps, a prolonged court case, and what Dr. Cobb terms “general rock ’n’ roll mayhem.”

In particular, Windsor-born guitarist and singer Skip Spence’s breakdown in mid-1968 led him to spend five months in Bellevue Hospital and part ways with the band. On leaving Bellevue, Spence trekked to Nashville to record Oar, an album that has become a cult classic.

Heralded by countless luminaries of rock music and rock criticism, Moby Grape fell apart in 1969, but reunited two years later, going through a series of dissolutions and reformations.

The first part of Cobb's book focuses on the band’s 1971 reunion. It was the first full-on rock reunion and the only Moby Grape reunion that featured all five original members of the band.

In the second part of the book, Cobb moves back in time and details Moby Grape’s exhilarating years in San Francisco, following the path from formation to initial break-up.

Thursday’s launch begins at 7 p.m. and will feature a reading, refreshments, music, and copies for sale. Biblioasis is located in suite 100 at 1686 Ottawa Street.

Listen to Cobb speak about his book in an interview with CBC Radio.

Michael PfaffMichael Pfaff’s traditional approach to an addition to Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier received an award for design excellence from the School of Architecture at University of Notre Dame.

Student critique of capital project wins plaudits from preservationists

Architecture should respect its context, says UWindsor grad Michael Pfaff (BA visual arts and the built environment, 2013), and his thesis investigating a modernist expansion proposed for the historic Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa has won applause.

Pfaff received the Dean’s Graduate Award for Design Excellence from the School of Architecture at University of Notre Dame, where he completed a post-professional Master’s degree in architectural design and urbanism in May.

His project offered a counter-proposal highlighting continuity between the old and the new.

“Traditional architecture is used as a vehicle to maintain a sense of place and compatibility with the historic fabric of the current hotel,” Pfaff wrote. “Architecture that is appropriate and sensitive to the original historic fabric is necessary to maintain the continuity, sense of place and compatibility with the historic structure.”

His thesis jurors encouraged Pfaff to send his designs to Heritage Ottawa and that city’s planning board, which passed them on to local media.

“I care very much for heritage buildings across Canada, especially the grand railway hotels,” he told CBC Ottawa. “I felt strongly that the new addition would gravely affect not only the hotel’s character and its sense of place but the capital as a whole.”

Peter Coffman, a member of Heritage Ottawa’s board of directors, wrote in a post for Carleton University’s art history blog that Pfaff’s proposal “blends perfectly” with the historic building.

“In today’s climate, the sheer audacity of being so stubbornly respectful is breathtaking,” Coffman wrote. “To design in an overtly and unapologetically historical style, as Pfaff has done, takes real courage.” Read more.

Pfaff will take up a position with the residential architecture and interior design firm McAlpine in Atlanta, Georgia.

Rozen OmuriRozen Omuri is completing the English Language Improvement Program in preparation for studies in international relations.

Aspiring diplomat gaining international experience in Windsor

International experience is valuable for a budding diplomat, says Rozen Omuri.

He already has a degree in political science in his native Albania, but would like to specialize in embassy jobs, and so is pursuing an education in International Relations and Development at the University of Windsor.

“Windsor is ranked high for good universities, and I have friends and relatives who live here,” says Omuri. “So I chose the University of Windsor.”

He is spending the summer brushing up on his communication skills in the English Language Improvement Program.

“I have found it has improved some weaknesses in my English,” he says. “I am learning at a level of detail that has really helped me.”

He admits to being very impressed by his reception in Windsor.

“Canadians are so friendly!” Omuri says. “Even a stranger will say hello passing you in the street.”

The Centre for English Language Development will celebrate international language students and their contributions to campus and community on World Student Day, Friday July 20. UWindsor faculty, staff, and students are invited to join in free activities, entertainment, and a lunch on Turtle Island Walk from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Han Zhang, Emmanuel IgodanEngineering student Han Zhang and international relations student Emmanuel Igodan have teamed up to found Landerz backpack and luggage company.

High-tech backpack goal of student start-up

If you’re going on an adventure, the founders of Landerz hope you’ll keep them in mind.

UWindsor students Emmanuel Igodan and Han Zhang are hoping to use their creative talents to solve a problem they have observed — a lack of innovation in luggage.

The pair have signed on with the RBC Summer Founders Program to commercialize their ideas.

“I like technology and anything that is creative,” says Zhang, a third-year industrial engineering student minoring in business. “We want to develop a product that will serve persons requiring a high technological backpack.”

Igodan says that partnering with the University’s Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) made sense for their new company just starting out.

“We will meet different people with advanced experience who can help us develop our ideas and turn them into reality,” he says. “We believe with their expertise we will be able to learn a lot more and become professional businessmen.”

This is the fifth in a series of articles introducing participants in the RBC Summer Founders Program, leading up to a showcase of their prototypes on August 1 at EPICentre. Learn more on the centre’s website.

close-up of sidewalk leading to student centreDirect your feet to the Campus Bookstore’s Sidewalk Sale in the CAW Student Centre Commons on Wednesday, July 11.

Sidewalk sale spells savings on swag and school supplies

The Campus Bookstore is offering savings on thousands of items during its Sidewalk Sale, Wednesday, July 11, in the CAW Student Centre Commons.

Patrons will find marked-down prices on apparel, books, gifts, and office supplies, says marketing co-ordinator Martin Deck.

“We’ve got amazing deals, with prices lower than ever before,” he says.

The sale in the Commons runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. but the savings don’t stop there. The Campus Bookstore is offering a sale through July on all on contemporary and classic novels — a 20 per cent discount on all fiction and classics, excluding textbooks and course materials.