host picture

May 2011 Archives

A new tree of life - plant extinction study

Tree_of_life_by_Haeckel.jpgOne in five of the world's plant species are at risk of extinction.

That's the scary figure that came out of a landmark study last year.

Previous estimates were that 70 percent of plants were endangered or vulnerable.

Either way, there's no question that reducing the rate at which we lose living organisms is one of the biggest challenges of our time.

Jonathan Davies - a McGill University expert in extinctions - has been working on how we identify which species are most at risk - so we know which ones to protect.

As he tells Geeta Nadkarni, his international team of researchers has concluded it's not as straightforward as we might think. 

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Cooking fiddleheads with chef Marc Cohen

Fiddleheads.jpgIf you've taken a stroll through a farmers' market in the past couple of weeks, you've probably seen crates overflowing with one sure sign of spring - fiddleheads!

But how do you cook these things?

Marc Cohen is ready to help.

He's the chef at Lawrence restaurant in Montreal's Mile-End neighbourhood, and seasonal ingredients are his passion.

These days, fiddleheads are taking pride of place on Marc's menu.

Geeta Nadkarni spoke with Marc Cohen as he prepared Sunday brunch at his restaurant.

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Ben Gonshor's documentary "Mending the Torn Curtain"

yiddish theatre.jpgA handful of Yiddish theatres around the world preserve and celebrate the Yiddish language and culture.

The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre in Montreal is one of those.

And two years ago, when the theatre fêted its 50th anniversary, Dora Wasserman's daughter organized an event that had never been attempted before -- an international yiddish theatre festival.

Ben Gonshor grew up in Montreal's yiddish theatre. And now he's made a documentary about that first-ever festival. It's titled "Mending the Torn Curtain" and it airs on PBS at 9pm on June 2nd. It will also be shown at the second International Yiddish Theatre Festival at the Segal Centre in Montreal this July 21st.

Ben Gonshor talked about this very personal project with Geeta Nadkarni (who was filling in as host of AIAW this weekend).

Download Flash Player to view this content.

(Photo, above: Bonjour, Monsieur Chagall by The Esther Rokhl and Ida Kaminska National Jewish Theatre of Warsaw, Poland; photo by Robi Cohen) 

Bringing back the bees

honeybee2.jpgYou've probably heard that honeybee populations have been dropping drastically...ever since late 2006.

But there are world-wide efforts to bring the bees back -- from Hong Kong to the roof of the Paris Opera House to Montreal and the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City.

This week, thousands more bees are being introduced to city living.
A non-profit organization in Quebec City has just installed a dozen hives on the roofs of hotels, restaurants and industrial buildings.  

By summer's end, the bees will be producing "urban honey."
Geeta spoke with Marie Eisenmann the co-founder of Les Urbainculteurs about their project Miel Urbain.

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Walking Home with Ken Greenberg

walking home.jpgKen Greenberg is a city guy. He was born in Brooklyn, and brought up on the fringes of Boston. He's also called Geneva, Manhattan and Toronto home.
He's an apostle of urban planning expert, Jane Jacobs, and he's been involved in city planning and renewal projects from Amsterdam to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
He's also been a consultant on urban development projects in Montreal and Quebec City.
Ken Greenberg lives, breathes and thinks city.

His latest book, "Walking Home," is the autobiography of a city builder.

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Working out together - Spartan Races and Training Mobs

training mob photo.jpgWhat's your idea of a fun way to spend a weekend morning?

Drinking coffee on a terrasse? Sleeping in? ...How about "running through the woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity"?
That's what you can do this weekend in Mont Tremblant, at a big muddy obstacle course called the Spartan Race
Jonas Caruana has been training for the race with his gang from Training Mobs -  a new social networking platform for Quebec athletes that he co-founded.  Geeta spoke with Jonas about his love of running -- and training -- with a pack.

(Jonas is the one in the middle of the pack in the above photo - the one in the blue shirt.)

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Geeta Nadkarni fills in for Dave Bronstetter

geetaphoto edited.jpgGeeta Nadkarni's no stranger to the CBC, as you may remember.

She's the former host of the CBC Radio show "Mashup" and a CBC TV weather and environment columnist. She currently does a lifestyles column for The Link on Radio-Canada International.

Geeta also has her own small-business consulting company,

She was kind enough to take on the host job at the last minute this week when Dave called in sick. (Thanks, Geeta!) Dave will be back behind the mic next week. 

The CBC Cross-Country Bookshelf Contest

Thumbnail image for header_crosscountrybookshelf.jpgThe Cross-Country Bookshelf is a collection of great reads about various regions across the country - something to pack in your bag when you travel to other provinces or inside Quebec.  Here's how it works:

There are 10 books nominated per region. Here in Quebec, we brought in three Quebec authors to nominate three books each. Then we asked you for suggestions for the 10th. Dave Bronstetter selected one of your titles and sent it off to, the home of the national lists and contest.

 Your job now - should you choose to accept it - is to vote for your favourites on the list, so that we end up with a Top 5 in each province. You could win a Kobo e-reader!

  Listen here to our two-part conversation with Quebec authors Monique Polak, Joel Yanofsky and Dominique Fortier. Each writer recommends 3 books they think other Canadians should read before visiting the province this summer.  When you've heard their arguments, head to to vote (and maybe win that Kobo e-reader).

Download Flash Player to view this content.


Download Flash Player to view this content.

Joel Yanofksy's picks

1) Shoshanna's Story: A Mother, A Daughter and the Shadows of History by Elaine Kalman Naves

2) Midway by David Homel

3) City Unique by William Weintraub

Dominique Fortier's picks

1) Tales from the Uncertain Country and Other Stories by Jacques Ferron

2) Barney's Version by Mordecai Richler

3) The Lyric Generation by François Ricard

Monique Polak's picks

1) The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler

2) The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy

3) The Fat Woman Next Door by Michel Tremblay    


Summer travel guide for this huge country

Gas prices, not withstanding, we Canadians will be travelling this summer, maybe to a region about which we know nothing. You might want to put a travel book into the glove compartment before heading off down the road. Gene Shannon is the editor of Frommer's Canadian travel guides.

Download Flash Player to view this content.

May 21st, 2011 - THE RAPTURE?

apocalypse art pd.jpgYou may not want to plan too far ahead today!  A church group in the United States called Family Radio has predicted a huge eathquake for May 21, 2011 that signals the beginning of the end of the world.

Family Radio has even put up billboards in Montreal and Quebec City announcing the end at 6pm today. But they've made these predictions before -- and so far, they've been wrong. So far!

To explain the rapture, the end of the world and the history of apocalyptic theories, we invited in Lorenzo DiTomasso. He's a specialist in 'apocalypticism', and soon to be the next Chair of the Religion department at Concordia University.

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Pastries and fresh rhubarb (and lemon tarte)

tarte citron at Patisserie Rhubarbe.jpgFresh rhubarb isn't in most of our gardens yet.  But Stéphanie Labelle, the owner and chef of Patisserie Rhubarbe on the Plateau in Montreal, already has some tender stalks from the Richelieu Valley.

Rhubarb is an apt name for her pastry shop too: she wants her tempting desserts fresh and not too sweet. (Case in point - the exotic lemon tarte in the photo.) She'll be whipping up some rhubarb pastries for a pastry workshop at the depanneur Le Pick Up on May 31st and for a kaffeeklatch at Laloux on Sunday, June 5th from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. 

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Richard King's ''Accounting for Crime'' book

richard king book.pngThe latest book from Montreal writer Richard King is a mystery about a Montreal chartered accountant...It's murder...or it could be..I don't want to give away too much!

Robert Scroyle is a CA who's feeling the squeeze between an aggressive businessman and the opportunity to make loads of cash in a not exactly legal way.

The author of ''Accounting for Crime''. Richard King, is also the former owner of Paragraphe Books. He joined me studio.



Download Flash Player to view this content.

36 Arguments for the Existence of God

rebecca goldstein.jpgThe Jewish Public Library had a visit from award-winning author Rebecca Goldstein this week.
She's known for her satiric, cerebral writing - a style she ably demonstrates in her latest book, "36 Arguments for the Existence of God."
Rebecca Goldstein is also a professor of philosophy at Harvard University.
She was in studio for a fascinating chat with Dave. Listen to both Part 1 and Part 2!


Download Flash Player to view this content.

Download Flash Player to view this content.

At Night, They Dance

Isabelle Lavigne in Cannes.jpegThe Cannes Film festival is underway in the south of France, and this year just one Canadian feature film has been selected for the prestigious festival. 

At Night, They Dance is a documentary about a clan of Egyptian women that have passed along the art of belly dancing from generation to generation.
The film takes an unsentimental, intimate look at the tough reality of their lives. The co-directors -- Isabelle Lavigne and Stéphane Thibault (in Cannes, above) -- compare their story to an Almodovar film.

The film will be shown on May 18 - and hits cinemas in Quebec City and Montreal on Friday.

 Dave reached Isabelle Lavigne on the phone in Cannes, France.


Download Flash Player to view this content.


miracleville cover.jpgMonique Polak's latest novel grew out of a short stopover in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.

She arrived on the Feast Day of Ste Anne when the faithful were pouring into town, and there, inspiration struck.

Her new book, Miracleville, is the result.

It's the story of a 16-year-old girl who works at the family business, Saintly Souvenirs, and who tries to be good.

Monique Polak is an author for young adults as well as an English and Humanities teacher at Marianopolos College in Montreal and a freelance journalist. (As you'll hear, she also happens to collect Catholic souvenirs - though she's not Catholic....)

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Supreme Court Reform?

With 2 Supreme Court judges set to retire this summer, some people are reflecting on the practice of selecting their replacements. 

Currently, they are appointed by the Prime Minister, a process that author Philip Slayton says is inherently undemocratic.

But is this a bad thing?

Dave spoke with Philip Slayton this week on the show about his new book, "Mighty Judgement: How the Supreme Court Runs Your Life."

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Tea for two with Kevin Gascoyne (x2)

Gopaldhara.jpegA few weeks ago, we called up Kevin Gascoyne in Sri Lanka.

He was sitting by the ocean on a balmy evening - and making us all jealous.

He was there for the annual tea hunt, finding new supplies for his teahouses in Montreal and Quebec City.

The four co-owners of Camellia-Sinensis span out across Asia every spring. 

Kevin Gascoyne is the Darjeeling and black tea specialist of the group.

tea cups.jpeg

Kevin is now back in town and dropped by our studio with tea and kettle to talk tea lore and about his travels in search of the perfect cuppa.


Make yourselves a pot and have a listen!



Part 1

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Part 2

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Flooding in the Monteregie

The Almond family of Clarenceville, Quebec, looks out their kitchen window and sees the waters of Lake Champlain lapping at the doorstep. 

Dave spoke with Judith Almond about her family's experience during the worst flooding in the region's history.

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Dogs at the Perimeter

madeleine thien.jpgAuthor Madeleine Thien grew up on the West Coast, in a family of Malaysian-Chinese ancestry. But she later adopted Quebec City and then Montreal as her home.

Her new book, "Dogs at the Perimeter," takes us to Cambodia in the late 1970s, when the Khmer Rouge took control of the country.

The novel was launched a couple of days ago in Montreal.

 Madeleine joined Dave in-studio.

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Anne Fine on Killer Cats

killercat book cover.jpgAnne Fine has written more than 50 books, most of them for kids and young adults. 

She's won numerous literary awards in her native Britain, and been awarded the Order of the British Empire.

Among her books, you may recognize Madame Doubtfire (later made famous in the film version starring Robin Williams).

Anne Fine was in Montreal for the Blue Met Literary Festival, and she found time to chat with Dave in our studio about some of her most recent titles, including "The Killer Cat's Christmas" and "Eating Things on Sticks."


Download Flash Player to view this content.

Theodore Bikel in Lies My Father Told Me

bikel pic.jpgDave had a fascinating chat this week with Theodore Bikel.  Bikel stars in Lies my Father Told Me, a musical version of the Ted Allen play on stage at the Segal Centre in Montreal this month. 

Bikel's been an actor on stage and screen for over 60 years - and has recorded 25 folk albums as well.  He celebrates his 87th birthday in May!

Hear Theodore Bikel's stories of growing up in Vienna and Palestine, his early days in Hollywood with Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, playing Tevye in Fiddler On the Roof a record 2000 times, and his performance as a folksinger at the Montreal Expo. 

Part 1

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Part 2 

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Election Panel - Vote Tomorrow!

From a ho-hum beginning, the 2011 Election Campaign has reached a fever pitch with many experts admitting they don't know what to expect when the votes are counted.  AIAW's political panel weighs in. 

Listen to Steve Faguy and Sujata Dey here.

Download Flash Player to view this content.