He's offering climate-change doubters proof -- eighty proof. Scotland's
first minister makes an offer to fellow negotiators in Copenhagen,
Hidden a-gender. A well-known blogger proves that behind every great
man, there's a great woman -- and that sometimes they're the same
Short cut turned cold cut. An Alberta man thinks he's saving time by
hopping on a train, but nearly dies when it heads out of town.
Jingle beaus. Our look back at the year in traditional dancing proves
that the Morris things change and the Morris things stay the same.
Anything but vanilla. We'll rebroadcast our conversation with the proprietor of Manhattan's Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.
And...now you're cooking with grass. A Denver-based entrepreneur
calling himself the "Ganja Gourmet" cooks up delicious food with one
As It Happens, the Thursday edition. Radio that wonders if he's taken into account that watched pot never boils.
In this new world of carbon economies and climate-change deals, there
are plenty of incentives and disincentives being put on the table. On
the "incentives" side, we've got things like tax breaks for industries
that pump out modest amounts of C-O-2. On the "disincentive" side, there
are things like a carbon tax.
But really, let's be honest -- those things can be kind of dull. All
these negotiations might be a bit more exciting if politicians and heads
of industry came up with some incentives that really appealed to
people. Incentives that might actually lead to an agreement between
deadlocked countries at the Copenhagen Summit.
That's precisely the kind of spirit Alex Salmond was promoting earlier
this week in Copenhagen. And I stress the word "spirit." Mr. Salmond is
Scotland's First Minister. We reached him in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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|JOEL FAFARD|| - ||GUITAR|
|JOEL FAFARD|| - ||PRODUCER|
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Jonathan Hambler is a 29-year-old from Wetaskiwin, Alberta who,
instead of walking a few blocks, decided to hop a train. But the train
didn't slow down as he approached his destination. It sped up --
barrelling through a very cold Alberta winter's night. And that's how
Mr. Hambler's split-second decision landed him in hospital.
After his release, we reached Jonathan Hambler in Wetaskiwin.
|YEAH GHOST/ZERO 7|
|HENRY BINNS|| - ||COMPOSER|
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Ernest Hemingway described it as the only art in which the artist
risks his life. But these days, it is only the bull's life at risk when
it steps into the ring against the matador. And now, a growing number in
Catalonia, in northeast Spain, say it is time to say adiós to la
The Catalan Parliament will vote tomorrow on whether to ban the blood
sport, in which sequined toreros flash a red cape at an angry, but
debilitated bull, urging it to charge. Invariably, the bull is stabbed
repeatedly, and frequently, it is killed.
If the vote passes, Catalonia may become the first region in Spain to
ban bullfighting, considered by some to be Spain's national sport.
Supporters of bullfighting say it is an integral part of Spanish
cultural heritage, and that opponents have made it political.
They also insist that the matodors are victims of a national battle
that portrays the corrida as a right-wing tradition imposed by fascist
dictator General Francisco Franco.
But activists, who presented a petition with
one-hundred-and-eighty-thousand names objecting to the sport, say it's
simply a matter of barbarism that has no place in a modern society. They
have asked that the bull be included in existing animal-protection
legislation. They've even suggested that those who currently work in the
industry -- the bullfighters and the bull breeders -- be compensated
for their loss.
Supporters say the bulls live in luxury for four years before entering
the ring. And then, according to one matador, they die "the dignified
death of an animal that has been able to fight for its life."
But Catalans, on the whole, seem to disagree. The Plaza Monumental in
Barcelona -- the oldest ring in Spain -- now sees more tourists than
locals at its sparsely attended corridas, and most of the seats are
empty. And that's no bull: figuratively, or literally.
|IL ETAIT UNE FOIS/DUBEAU, ANGELE|
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|FRANCOIS DOMPIERRE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ANGELE DUBEAU|| - ||VIOLIN|
|LA PIETA || - ||INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE|
|MARIO LABBE|| - ||PRODUCER|
There's a big show coming up in January in Toronto. It brings together
in one exhibition, for the first time ever, the works of two of the
greatest artists of the human figure. It's the art world equivalent of
Billy Joel touring with Elton John -- except that, if you say that to
anyone who knows anything about art, he or she will either weep, or
The show is called "Etchings for Life" -- and the artists are Rembrandt and Lucien Freud.
Brenda Rix is the Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings at the AGO, and that's where we reached her.
We're going to sit quietly for the next few minutes while you listen to
the news. But there's more As It Happens right after that. When we
He said, she said. A male blogger surprises his supporters when he reveals that he's not a he.
A chorus of Morris. Morris dancers, that is -- as we celebrate an
eventful year for those who leap around with bells, sticks, and hankies.
his pick. If you thought Charles Dickens wasn't the kind of guy to use
an ivory and gold toothpick, you were, surprisingly, wrong.
Stay tuned. I'm CO.
And I'm BB.
Hello again, I'm CO.
And I'm BB. This is As It Happens, Part Two.
Morris code: a look back at As It Happens' extensive coverage of Morris dancing over the past year.
And an hour after you eat anything made by the Ganja Gourmet, you're hungry again.
Those stories and more are still to come on As It Happens.
James Chartrand is a well-respected freelance copywriter, blogger and
web designer. He owns a successful online business, which he operates
from home. But on Monday, Mr. Chartrand shocked the blogosphere by
revealing her true identity: she's not a "he" at all.
We reached James Chartrand, who has asked that we call her by that name, in the Laurentiens, Quebec.
|ONE DAY DEEP/PRAFUL|
|ROB GAASTERLAND|| - ||COMPOSER|
|PRAFUL || - ||COMPOSER|
|DANIEL TESTAS|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ROB GAASTERLAND|| - ||PRODUCER|
|PRAFUL || - ||PRODUCER|
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|DANIEL TESTAS|| - ||PRODUCER|
It's amazing, the ideas that grow from a fertile mind.
After we replayed an interview we dug up from earlier this year about
the Chia Pet -- and its variation, the Chia Obama -- this call sprouted
up in Talkback.
|UNFINISHED SYMPHONY/DAKAH HIP HOP ORCHESTRA|
|GEOFFREY GALLEGOS|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DAKAH HIP HOP ORCHESTRA || - ||PERFORMER|
Some people like marijuana. Other people need it. But some people in
this latter group don't really enjoy smoking the stuff. And they're not
wild about baked goods laced with weed. It leaves them in a plight
which, until now, has gone mostly unnoticed by the rest of the world.
Well, Steve Horowitz understands their pain. And he's come up with a
solution -- one that he hopes will make him some money as well.
We reached Mr. Horowitz -- a.k.a. "Steve Weed" -- at the Ganja Gourmet in Denver, Colorado.
So, if you know what Bababooey means, give Talkback a call at 1-866-481-5718 or e-mail us.
|NATIVE LANGUAGE, NLM-0975-2|
|ROB DEBOER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|TONY GRACE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ROB DEBOER|| - ||PRODUCER|
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|TONY GRACE|| - ||PRODUCER|
Charles Dickens was renowned for his empathy with the common man. He
was renowned for his disdain for Britain's aristocratic class, with its
miserliness and lack of charity. He was less renowned for his toothpick
made of ivory and gold.
But just because Mr. Dickens was famous for generous portraits of the
downtrodden in his fiction -- and his philanthropy, in the real world --
doesn't mean he was above certain luxuries. The fact is that he did
have a toothpick made of ivory and gold. And that the toothpick was
engraved with his initials. And additionally, that the toothpick was
retractable. Because if you're going to have an ivory and gold toothpick
with your initials on it, it would be ridiculous if it weren't
But let's not get judgmental about Mr. Dickens. He may have had one
ludicrously opulent accessory, but he still wrote "Bleak House" and
If you really want to point fingers at people who are self-indulgent
and spend too much money on silly things, may we direct you to the
anonymous buyer of Charles Dickens's ivory-and-gold retractable
On Tuesday, that unknown person paid more than nine thousand dollars
American -- nine-thousand, one-hundred and fifty dollars U.S., to be
precise -- for that toothpick, at an auction at Bonhams New York.
Now, granted, it belonged to Charles Dickens. Granted, it's made of
ivory and gold. Granted, it's retractable. And I'll even grant the slim
possibility that something Mr. Dickens once discovered between his
molars, with that very toothpick, inspired the part in "A Christmas
Carol" in which Scrooge dismisses Marley as possibly "an undigested bit
of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone
But no matter how nice it is, it's still a toothpick. And it's not
even characteristic! I mean, if it were Mr. Dickens's gruel spoon, or
Gertrude Stein's rose, or Ayn Rand's atlas, it might make more sense to
spend nine thousand dollars on it during a recession.
Ah, but let us be charitable. It is, after all, the season of good
will. So let us salute the new owner of the most expensive toothpick in
the world, and remember the words of Tiny Tim: God floss us, every one.
|M GLOVER|| - ||COMPOSER|
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|INSTRUMENTAL || - ||STRING SEXTET|
Well, whether that's a small bell or a large martini shaker, that
sound tells me it's time for another As It Happens holiday encore. But
that jingling has nothing to do with one-horse open sleighs or Miss
Fanny Bright. No, this time around that ringing signifies the wonderful
world of Morris dancing.
For centuries, Morris dancers have donned colourful garb, hitched
bells to their knees, and danced around waving handkerchiefs and
clashing sticks. And earlier this year, we heard that, for some reason,
Morris dancing is not catching on with young people. Indeed, the "Morris
Ring", which represents more than two hundred Morris dancing troupes,
or "sides", in Great Britain, has issued a grave warning that the
age-old brand of rhythmic stepping could die out in as little as two
In January, Brian Tasker, the Squire of the Morris Ring, spoke to us from Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
And after we spoke to Brian Tasker about the decline of Morris dancing,
Talkback showed up with bells on to let us know that the tradition is
alive and well here in Canada.
That's the trailer for the film "Morris: A Life with Bells On" -- the
first-ever feature film about Morris dancing. It's described as "a funny
film with no swearing, no nudity and no violence -- although some of
the dances do get a bit rough at times".
Back in February, we spoke to Chaz Oldham, the producer, writer and
star of the film. He's also a man with a dream -- to bring Morris
dancing to filmgoers around the globe. Chaz Oldham spoke to us from
And tonight, we thought we'd give the final word on Morris to Stan, after this suggestion from Talkback.
|STAN ROGERS: HOME IN HALIFAX|
|FOGARTY'S COVE, FCM 010D|
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|STAN ROGERS|| - ||WRITER|
|STAN ROGERS|| - ||SINGING|
|FLA FLU, WN 145057|
|DA FE|| - ||COMPOSER|
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| SEU JORGE|| - ||BAND|
And now here's another story from the past year that had the whole As It Happens office laughing out loud.
This past summer, one of our producers received a series of
unconfirmed reports about a new kind of vehicle. The reports originated
in Manhattan -- and the vehicle purported to be an ice cream truck. Not
unlike other ice cream delivery vehicles, this one was said to look like
a parcel truck, and to sell sweet chilly treats to lucky passers-by.
But what made this truck a bit unusual was a sign that read "BIG GAY ICE
So that producer got on the phone.
On September 4th, our guest host Robert Harris reached Doug Quint, on a
cellphone inside his noisy truck, at Union Square & 17th Street, in
|SONGS FOR ICE CREAM TRUCKS/HEARST, MICHAEL|
|BAR NONE, 0328620184-2|
|MICHAEL HEARST|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MICHAEL HEARST|| - ||GLOCKENSPIEL|
|MICHAEL HEARST|| - ||VOCALS|