The Ongoing History of New Music, encore presentation: The story of the electric guitar, part 2

For centuries, music and nice and clean. While different instruments gave notes different timbres, the frequencies of these notes were expected to be projected with clarity and purity. Yes, you could add a little oomph but playing fortissimo, but the dogma was “Let’s not overdo it.

But sometimes the situation called for overdoing things. Banging a piano in a certain way turns a melody and a beat into boogie-woogie. A raspy, hard-blown saxophone brings energy to a performance.

But creating lots of volume and pleasant distortion with either of these instruments–and we can name a few others–is limited to the abilities of the human body. Volume and distortion and all that energy that comes from playing this way are restricted by how hard you can hit or blow into something.

The electric guitar has no such limitations. It can be played so all the notes are pristine. Or you can summon all the demons of hell with plenty of power and glory. And that is cool.

The electric guitar is one of humankind’s greatest musical inventions. Starting in the 1950s, it revolutionized many types of popular music. Country, the blues, jazz, and, most of all, rock. After it appeared, nothing was ever the same and the sound of music changed forever. It’s impossible to imagine what today’s music would sound like had the electric guitar not been invented.

But how did we get here? This is the story of the electric guitar part 2.

Songs heard on this show:

    • Big Wreck, The Oaf
    • Sex Pistols, Anarchy in the UK
    • Radiohead, Bodysnatchers
    • Oasis, Supersonic
    • Lenny Kravitz, Are You Gonna Go My Way
    • U2, Beautiful Day
    • Vampire Weekend, A-Punk
    • Duane Eddy, Rebel Rouser
    • Smiths, What Different Does It Make
    • Alice in Chains, I Stay Away

This is Eric Wilhite’s playlist.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:


We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s, and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: The Lumineers’ name issues

Finding a name for your band is hard and it can take forever to come up with the right one. Sometimes, though, fate can intervene.

The two primary members of The Lumineers have always been Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites. When they first started playing gigs around New York City, they used a variety of names like Free Beer, 6Cheek, and the very basic Wesley Jeremiah. Nothing was working, including all the music they were trying to make.

Then one night before another crappy club show in New Jersey, the emcee made a mistake. Another band called “The Lumineers” was scheduled to play at that same venue in a week. The emcees introduced Schultz and Fraites as “The Lumineers.”

The name stuck—and no one seems to know what happened to the band who originally had that name.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

'Good news': Nixing Canadian experience rule spells opportunity for foreign engineers in Ontario

Dmytro Zaitsev had more than a decade of experience working as an electrical and solar engineer in Ukraine before he fled the war in that country for Ottawa.

But those years of work still weren’t enough for him to apply for a professional engineering licence in Ontario because he lacked Canadian work experience.

The situation meant Zaitsev – who arrived in Canada in October – had to work entry level jobs as a solar panel installer and electrician to support his wife and child.

A recent change in regulations, however, mean Zaitsev and other internationally trained engineers no longer require Canadian work experience to be licensed in the province.

“It is good news, ” Zaitsev said in an interview. “It helps to get a job in Canada, an engineering job.”

Under previous rules, one year of Canadian work experience in engineering was required to apply for a licence in Ontario. Immigrant engineers had to work for a year under the supervision of a licensed Canadian engineer to gain that experience.

But that was a challenging requirement, Zaitsev said.

“How can I get Canadian experience, if I can’t work in Canada?” he said.

The Ontario government introduced legislation in October 2021 preventing certain regulated professions and skilled trades from requiring Canadian experience qualifications, unless they got an exemption.

Professional Engineers Ontario last month became the first regulatory association to put the law into effect, ahead of an end-of-year deadline to comply.

Zaitsev said securing an engineering licence could help him get a new, higher-paying job that better matches his skills and experience.

“I want a little more because I need to pay my rent for the apartment and food and all,” he said.

Since arriving in Canada, Zaitsev said he has also taken training courses from an organization that helps newcomers, and has learned new engineering skills.

He said he hoped those new skills, his six months of experience in the Canadian job market in entry-level jobs, and the prospect of an engineering licence, will help him land his dream job.

“I’m optimistic about this,” Zaitsev said.

The provincial government has called the move a “game changer” that will help fill approximately 7,000 vacant engineering positions in Ontario.

Accessible Community Counselling and Employment Services, a charity that supports internationally trained engineers like Zaitsev,  said the dropping of the Canadian experience requirement is a welcome development.

“We know this will assist thousands of internationally trained professionals to successfully integrate into the engineering profession,” the organization wrote in a statement.

“Changing the Canadian experience requirement will enable us to help qualified, international applicants work toward Canadian licensure and enter the Canadian job market in their chosen profession, without unnecessary delay.”

Wasseem Makhoul, a professional engineer who immigrated to Canada from Syria in 2015, said the move is a “step in the right direction” but noted that companies might still prefer to hire candidates with local engineering experience.

“The company that is going to hire you, they wouldn’t hire you as a fully qualified professional engineer if you just got qualified yesterday,” he said.

Makhoul, who currently works as a project manager at a private mechanical company, said he worked as a plumber and construction worker for years after arriving in Canada, despite having more than a decade of international engineering experience.

While he now holds an Ontario engineering licence, he said the entry-level jobs he worked during his initial years in the province helped him become a better engineer.

He suggested having internationally trained engineers take short, intensive training courses before they enter the Canadian engineering field to best prepare them for the local industry.

Professional Engineers Ontario has said that dropping the Canadian work experience requirement for licence applications moves it to a model focused on competency, rather than geography.

Its vice-president has said the organization will still ensure only “properly qualified, competent and ethical individuals practise engineering.”

Professional Engineers Ontario has said up to 60 per cent of the licence applicants it reviews every year are internationally trained.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Home sales up 25% from last year, but supply remains low: Toronto real estate board

The slowdown in Toronto’s housing market continued to slip away last month as home sales came in higher than they were a year ago and prices edged closer to pandemic highs.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board found May’s home sales amounted to 9,012, up 25 per cent from a year earlier and 20 per cent from April.

Jason Mercer, TRREB’s chief market analyst, took the numbers as a sign that demand for home ownership has picked up markedly in recent months, after many prospective buyers moved to the sidelines, when interest rates were hiked eight times in a rapid succession.

“Many homebuyers have recalibrated their housing needs in the face of higher borrowing costs and are moving back into the market,” he said, in a release.

“In addition, strong rent growth and record population growth on the back of immigration has also supported increased home sales.”

However, sellers appear to still be awaiting higher prices and have not moved to list their homes at the same pace as buyers have shifted back to the market.

However, the month also showed that supply is not keeping up with demand as new listings were still well below May 2022’s level.

Last month’s new listings totalled 15,194, almost 19 per cent lower than they were a year prior.

“The supply of listings hasn’t kept up with sales, so we have seen upward pressure on selling prices during the spring,” Mercer said.

The average selling price of a home hit $1,196,101 last month, about one per cent lower than it was in May 2022 but up close to four per cent from April.

The composite benchmark price was down by 6.9 per cent year-over-year in May, but up by 3.2 per cent on a seasonally-adjusted basis, when compared with April.

Semi-detached homes were down slightly from a year ago at $1,198,185, while condo prices fell by three per cent over the same period to $748,483.

The average home price seen so far this year is about $1,135,595 compared with $1,189,730 last year and $1,095,475 in 2021.

Ahead of TRREB’s release, Toronto broker Cailey Heaps said she had seen an increase in prices in the city’s central core.

“With price appreciation in recent months, we have certainly closed the gap on the bottoming out of the market in late 2022 and early 2023, but overall we’re not quite back to peak prices of early 2022,” she said, in an email.

She believes the price appreciation the market saw over the previous three months is now stabilizing and brokers are shifting to new selling strategies.

“Instead of ultra-low asking prices with offer dates and hopes for bidding wars, sellers are adjusting asking prices to be more in line with expectations.”

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Peterborough Petes advance to Memorial Cup semifinal with 5-4 OT win over Blazers

J.R. Avon scored the game-winning goal 10:54 into overtime and the Peterborough Petes beat the Kamloops Blazers 5-4 on Thursday, earning a semifinal berth at the Memorial Cup.

Connor Lockhart, Brennan Othmann, Samuel Mayer and Brian Zanetti had the others for Ontario Hockey League champion Peterborough. Michael Simpson made 43 saves.

Logan Stankoven, Olen Zellweger, Harrison Brunicke and Logan Bairos replied for host Kamloops. Dylan Ernst stopped 25 shots.

The Petes will next meet the Western Hockey League champion Seattle Thunderbirds in Friday’s semifinal for a chance to face the Quebec Remparts in the final on Sunday.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Remparts earned a berth into the final after opening the tournament with wins over Kamloops and Seattle.

Quebec later fell to Peterborough — which staved off elimination and forced Thursday’s tiebreaker with the victory — 4-2 on Tuesday in both teams’ final round-robin game.

Lockhart opened the scoring 7:52 into the first period. Chase Lefebvre sent the puck across the end boards to Jax Dubois, who found Lockhart with a slick pass into the slot and he beat Ernst five-hole.

Stankoven evened it up 11:20 into the frame, sending the Sandman Centre crowd into a frenzy. Connor Levis took a point shot and the rebound came out to the Blazers captain, who scored his second of the tournament.

Zellweger put Kamloops ahead 12:45 into the frame on the power play. The CHL Defenceman of the Year nominee saved the puck from getting out of the Petes’ zone, moved into the slot and wired one past Simpson for his first.

With 2:27 remaining in the first, Brunicke piled it on for the Blazers. Peterborough’s Konnor Smith attempted to clear it from the end boards but the puck ended up with Brunicke at the point, where he got around a defender and beat Simpson just over his right shoulder with little room to spare.

Bairos gave Kamloops a 4-1 edge 4:23 into the middle frame. He fired a point shot that ricocheted off Simpson’s blocker, then over him and in.

Just over three minutes later, the Petes began to swing the momentum back in their favour.

Peterborough Petes defenceman Donovan McCoy, right, grabs the puck from Kamloops Blazers forward Dylan Sydor, centre, while goalie Michael Simpson looks on during second period Memorial Cup hockey action in Kamloops, B.C., Thursday, June 1, 2023.

Peterborough Petes defenceman Donovan McCoy, right, grabs the puck from Kamloops Blazers forward Dylan Sydor, centre, while goalie Michael Simpson looks on during second period Memorial Cup hockey action in Kamloops, B.C., Thursday, June 1, 2023.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press
Peterborough Petes goalie Michael Simpson, left, blocks the net on Kamloops Blazers forward Daylan Kuefler during first period Memorial Cup hockey action in Kamloops, B.C., Thursday, June 1, 2023.T

Peterborough Petes goalie Michael Simpson, left, blocks the net on Kamloops Blazers forward Daylan Kuefler during first period Memorial Cup hockey action in Kamloops, B.C., Thursday, June 1, 2023.T

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Othmann stripped Bairos of the puck as the Blazers defenceman tried to skate out of his own zone. Othmann then turned around and roofed it past Ernst as he fell to one knee.

Mayer made it a one-goal game on the power play with 2:23 left in the second. He took a pass from Lockhart and fired in a one-timer from the point.

Zanetti knotted the contest just over a minute later. He tipped in a pass from Tucker Robertson while streaking toward the net and beat Ernst five-hole.

Both sides struggled to capitalize on prime scoring opportunities leading to a scoreless third period and extra time to settle the winner.

Following a dazzling effort by Zellweger that just missed, Owen Beck took the puck up ice for Peterborough and dropped it off for Avon, who put it past Ernst to seal the win.

Kamloops defeated Peterborough 10-2 when the two last met on Sunday. But with 7:05 remaining in that game, Othmann laid a hit on Blazers defenceman Kyle Masters, who fell awkwardly into the boards.

Masters had to be stretchered off the ice and was taken to Royal Inland Hospital. Head coach and general manager Shaun Clouston said Monday that the blue liner was out for the tournament with a lower-body injury.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Beach in Port Dover still closed as Norfolk politicians, owners continue talks

With lots of sunshine expected this weekend, beachgoers headed to Port Dover will still only have a small area of sand in the town they can actually use.

No trespassing signs are still up along sections of the larger beach with privately-owned sections off limits to the public while Norfolk County politicians and landowners hammer out a deal to resume public access.

Much of Port Dover beach is owned by private landowners, with only a small part actually owned by the county from the end of Walker Street to the water.

Local local restaurateur Peter Knechtel, whose company F.W. Knechtel Foods Ltd. owns a section of the beach in question, told Global News large crowds in recent years have left garbage and created liability concerns that he says he doesn’t have the resources to mitigate.

On top of that, many beaches in southern Ontario aren’t free anymore, reducing their crowds via user fees, implementing paid parking and requiring reservations.

“The other parks and the other beaches have put a lot of restrictions in their locations, which we don’t have in ours,” said Knechtel who also owns the nearby Callahan’s Beach House.

“So we’re working with the county so that we can we can come up with a plan so that we can open the beach.”

Friday is considered an unofficial beach day in Norfolk, on which teens have been known to ditch school and descend on Port Dover, Turkey Point and Long Point.

Knechtel says while they usually don’t see many students at the Port Dover beach, he’s been in contact with the OPP and was told they’ll be patrolling all three beaches.

In mid-May, Norfolk councillors directed staff to start negotiating with the private owners on a solution acknowledging the beach plots are an “important part of our tourism strategy.”

Norfolk County mayor Any Martin says staff are continuing that dialogue and are expected to update council on their progress during a special council meeting next week.

“We remain optimistic and confident that all issues will be resolved soon,” Martin said in an email.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

U.S. Senate passes debt ceiling bill to prevent default, set to become law

WATCH: Debt ceiling bill passes U.S. House, government spending cut

The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed the critical debt ceiling and spending legislation that will ensure the country avoids a federal default, sending the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk and ending one of the most stressful periods of congressional dealmaking in recent memory.

The legislation passed the upper chamber a day after the House united in rare bipartisan fashion to approve the deal reached between Republicans and the White House, which has few fans but will ensure the U.S. can continue to pay its debts.

“America can breathe a sigh of relief,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said as he announced an agreement on the vote.

The legislation passed the Senate by 63-36, with both Democrats and Republicans voting no. It will now go to Biden’s desk for his signature, making it law.

Biden said on Twitter he would sign the bill “as soon as possible” and address the nation on Friday.

Congress was racing to meet a Monday deadline set by the U.S. Treasury — the so-called “X-date” when the nation would run out of reserve funds and other “extraordinary measures” it was using for debt repayments and federal funding since hitting the debt ceiling in January. Economists around the world have been watching nervously as that deadline fast approaches.

Getting the bill through the Senate was no easy task. As they did in the House, Republicans and Democrats had to wrangle enough members to ensure a strong majority despite their misgivings. Top White House staff called individual senators to shore up support.

Schumer also had to allow votes on 11 amendments put forth by senators who had issues with the bill, despite warning earlier Thursday that attempts to change the legislation would bring Congress closer to the X-date.

He called for each amendment to be debated and voted on quickly to ensure final passage “in a timely manner,” and in the end, none of them passed.

Like Schumer, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell signaled he wanted to waste no time.

Touting the House package with its budget cuts, McConnell said Thursday, “The Senate has a chance to make that important progress a reality.”

While some of the criticism from senators of both parties was similar to the complaints heard in the House — Republicans unhappy with spending cuts not going far enough, Democrats slamming work requirements — some Republicans also voiced alarm over the bill’s military spending requirements.

National security hawks like Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the deal does not boost defence spending far enough, eyeing the need for supplemental spending to support Ukraine for an anticipated counteroffensive against Russia this summer. But Graham said more is needed to counter other foreign threats as well, particularly China.

“This bill puts us behind the eight-ball,” Graham said on the floor of the Senate ahead of the marathon of votes.

“It’s right to want to control spending, and there are some good things in this bill. But it was wrong to give a defence number inconsistent with the threats we face.”

Instead, senators concerned about the level of military spending secured an agreement from Schumer, which he read on the floor, stating that the debt ceiling deal “does nothing” to limit the Senate’s ability to approve other emergency supplemental funds for national security, including aid to Ukraine, or other national interests.

Overall, the 99-page bill restricts spending for the next two years, suspends the debt ceiling into January 2025 and changes some policies, including imposing new work requirements for older Americans receiving food aid and greenlighting an Appalachian natural gas line that many Democrats oppose.

It bolsters funds for defence and veterans, cuts back new money for Internal Revenue Service agents and rejects Biden’s call to roll back Trump-era tax breaks on corporations and the wealthy to help cover the nation’s deficits.

The controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline is important to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and he defended the development running through his state, saying the country cannot run without the power of gas, coal, wind and all available energy sources.

The compromise came about after weeks of tense negotiations between House Republicans and the White House that frequently fell apart over GOP calls for spending cuts and Democrats standing firm, insisting on a “clean” bill that would raise or suspend the debt limit without conditions.

Senators largely stayed out of the fight, with both Schumer and McConnell simply urging both sides to reach a deal.

Raising the nation’s debt limit, now US$31.4 trillion, would ensure Treasury could borrow to pay already incurred U.S. debts.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the spending restrictions in the package would reduce deficits by US$1.5 trillion over the decade, a top goal for the Republicans trying to curb the debt load.

In a surprise that complicated Republicans’ support, however, the CBO said their drive to impose work requirements on older Americans receiving food stamps would end up boosting spending by US$2.1 billion over the time period. That’s because the final deal exempts veterans and homeless people, expanding the food stamp rolls by 78,000 people monthly, the CBO said.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, meanwhile, has been celebrating his chamber’s quick bipartisan passage of the bill the night before, which saw Democrats ensure a robust 314-117 vote.

“We did pretty dang good,” McCarthy, said Wednesday night after the vote.

As for discontent from Republicans who said the spending restrictions did not go far enough, McCarthy said it was only a “first step.” He has promised more work in the House to pour over government budgets and eliminate wasteful spending, calling for Democrats to support Republicans in the effort.

— with files from the Associated Press

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Manitoba premier issues apology for centre for people with intellectual disabilities

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson formally apologized in the legislature Thursday to former residents of the Manitoba Developmental Centre, one of the country's last large institutional facilities for people with intellectual disabilities.

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson formally apologized in the legislature Thursday to former residents of the Manitoba Developmental Centre, one of the country’s last large institutional facilities for people with intellectual disabilities.

Stefanson’s apology, part of a $17-million class-action settlement earlier this year, focused partly on abuse and neglect suffered by former residents. But it also touched on the larger issue of housing people in large institutions instead of in the community with personal supports.

“We are sorry for our province’s history of forcing children and adults into an institutional model of care, for the resulting loss of family, culture and the right to be (a) valued member of a community,” Stefanson told the chamber.

“Our vulnerable citizens were separated and segregated from their families, devalued and denied of their fundamental human rights to live freely in the community.”

The facility opened in Portage la Prairie in 1890. At its peak in the 1970s, it housed some 1,200 people but is now home to fewer than 130. The Manitoba government stopped accepting new residents at the centre in 1996, except for short-term and court-ordered placements.

In 2021, the Progressive Conservative government announced plans to close the centre by 2024 and have people live closer to loved ones, often in their own homes with support. That plan remains on track, Stefanson said.

The lawsuit was launched in 2018 by David Weremy, who lived at the centre in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. In his statement of claim, Weremy alleged he was often hit with a whip or a wooden board, frequently underfed and punished for trying to run away by being placed in solitary confinement or being forced to sleep naked on the floor.
The statement of claim sought $50 million and alleged staff beat residents, deprived them of food and allowed sexual assaults to occur between residents.

Weremy was in the legislature gallery Thursday to hear the apology and later told reporters it felt good.

“Don’t put people in an institution. Don’t lock them up,” he said.

Opposition NDP Leader Wab Kinew said his party wins the provincial election scheduled for Oct. 3, it would follow through on the commitment to close the centre.

“I think the apology is a necessary step and it’s clear that the era of institutionalization is over and we’re now in an era of inclusion,” Kinew said.

The class-action settlement agreement, which received court approval last month, will see much of the $17 million used to compensate former residents. Some of the money is slated to build a monument at the Manitoba Developmental Centre’s cemetery and to fund projects that help people with disabilities live in the community.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Massive demand as B.C. launches new e-bike rebate program

WATCH: The B.C. government's rebate program for the purchase of electric bikes begins Thursday. As Aaron McArthur reports, it's already popular enough to temporarily crash the government website.

There was no shortage of interest Thursday as the B.C. government opened applications for its new electric bicycle rebate program.

The provincial government has created a fund of $6 million, available as of June 1, to offset the cost of e-bikes.

Under the program, people aged 19 and up are eligible for rebates ranging from $350 to $1,400 on bikes priced $2,000 or more.

B.C. e-bike rebates by income threshold.

B.C. e-bike rebates by income threshold.

The demand was swift, with more than 1,600 applications lodged in the first 30 minutes the website was open, and multiple reports of tech glitches and crashes.

Paul Dragan, who operates Vancouver’s Reckless Bike Stores, wasn’t surprised at the interest, telling Global News the popularity of e-bikes has soared in the last decade.

“We have three or four that are going to go out today or tomorrow because people said I’m going to buy it as son as the program is announced,” he said in an interview Thursday.

“We think its a great thing. There’s been a subsidy for electric cars for a number of years. Bikes, as everybody knows, are good for your health, good for your mental health, do not contribute to global warming as much as some other methods of transportation, and they’re good for your health.”

The B.C. government previously made e-bikes PST free in 2021.

The program, however, may be too popular for its own good — as Thursday’s glitches demonstrated.

“I don’t think we underestimated it, but perhaps we need to work on our technology infrastructure a little bit,” Environment Minister George Heyman said of the website issues.

What’s more, there are questions about whether the $6-million pool of funding was already drained in a single day.

By late afternoon, applicants on the rebate website were directed to a wait list for the program. Whether the province will move to top funding up remains to be seen.

“We’re constantly reviewing these programs to ensure they have the funds they need and that they are accessible to people,” Heyman said.

To support the safety of e-bike riders, the province is also partnering with HUB Cycling for a Streetwise Cycling Online program and in-person courses to teach fundamental bike-handling skills like hand signals, balancing and maneuvering.

You can find out more about the rebate program here. 

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

After a traumatic brain injury, UBC student heads to Stanford to help others

WATCH: A UBC graduate who nearly lost his life in a significant crash two years ago - is going to Stanford University to embark on PhD studies. Yi Yi Du suffers from a traumatic brain injury after being in a coma for two months, but he defied all odds and is now helping others like himself. Jennifer Palma reports.

UBC student Yi Yi Du never thought he would graduate from university.

The 24-year-old fell into a two-month-long coma after being struck by a car in the fall of 2021 and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.

But now, the ambitious young man has fought back and in the fall, he will start a Ph.D. program at Stanford University, where he is hoping to develop technologies that can support people who suffer traumatic brain injuries.

“I graduated with mechanical engineering, with a specialization in biomechanics and medical devices, special design,” Du said of his UBC diploma.

At Stanford, he wants to apply what he learned about automatic control and use it to design medical devices such as traumatic brain injury prevention devices or rehabilitative devices.

“I’m going to the direct to the Ph.D. program, so I won’t be getting a master’s,” Du said.

While he is excited about Stanford and what lies ahead, Du had a long road of rehabilitation to get here.

“Before the accident, I was a very dedicated individual,” he said.

“On one side of things, on the academic side, I focused on my schoolwork, achieving A-pluses in all my courses, and also continuing to participate in undergraduate research and also doing my co-op.

“But also my other side focused on outside of school where I was very passionate in three things. The first is road biking. One of my really close friends from high school introduced me to road cycling and we went on really long rides.”

Du said he also loved hiking and even wanted to train with North Shore Rescue at one point. He said he also enjoyed sea kayaking and was a lifeguard with the City of Coquitlam.

“I really like the outdoors,” he said.

But after being hit by a car while on his longboard and not wearing a helmet, Du gradually began to come out of his coma after two months.

I don’t remember the early days because my memory is not so good after the accident,” he said. “But from what I and my mom’s account, I woke up not just immediately, like what you would expect. It was very gradual waking, gradual consciousness.”

In his case, Du’s doctors told him he likely will have some permanent disabilities, including issues with balance and double vision. He said his cognitive abilities will be the slowest to recover and he also gets tired very easily.

He said after his accident and returning to studying, UBC has been very considerate and understanding of his condition. He received accommodations on exams and assignment deadlines as he processes information slower than others.

But now he is looking forward to the next stage of his life and what he can achieve.

“I think because of my injury, I like to focus on something that’s not physically intensive for work because I don’t think I would excel at physically demanding work or active work that requires my active daily life,” he said.

“At the same time, I want to continue my research in biomechanics and medical devices because before my injury, I (knew) the importance of medical devices and the research going to them. I knew that it was very important for this society. But now, after the injury, I have a personal understanding of the impact of research.”

Specifically, he said he would like to develop a crutch or a cane to help people walk with more stability.

The future in sunny California looks bright for Du as he heads off this fall with a new outlook on life.

“You cannot choose what happens to you,” he said. “You can choose what you respond. I think that is the takeaway from this. And I think another takeaway is to make sure to surround yourself with a good support network.”

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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