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March 12, 2010

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The promless land. Because Constance McMillen wanted to bring a female date to her Mississippi prom, her high school cancelled the dance outright.

Toxic assets. New York State says it will pay out six-hundred-and-fifty million to rescuers poisoned by the air around Ground Zero.

The hardness of softness. The head of NATO wants NGOs to provide "soft power" in Afghanistan -- but Médecins Sans Frontières says that's hardly possible.

Tailor meds. By separating tough-to-cure cases from easy-to-cure cases, B.C. scientists make a breakthrough on treating Hodgkin's lymphoma.

They issued the skirts, and now they won't skirt the issue. When stewardess uniforms become coveted fetish items, Japan Airlines remains on garb.

And...going off half-cock. Chickens that are male on one side and female on the other could be called bifurcated gynandromorphs -- and if that confuses you, imagine what it's like for the chicken.

As It Happens, the Friday edition. Radio that knows sometimes the left hen doesn't know what the right hen is doing.


INT MISSISSIPPI PROM Duration: 00:07:33

Whether you ruled the school or spent school dances lingering beside the punch bowl, you probably remember your high school prom -- the dress or tux, the corsage, and that special someone who was your date.

From the beginning, Constance McMillen knew who she wanted to take: her girlfriend. And what she wanted to wear: a tuxedo. But she also knew that rules at her Mississippi high school prevented both. So the eighteen-year-old lesbian approached school officials, and the American Civil Liberties Union got involved.

And finally, the school responded -- by canceling the prom altogether.

We reached Constance McMillen at the ACLU office in New York City.


OVERCURRENT Duration: 00:00:30

Album:FRAGILE STATE/VOICES FROM THE DUST BOWL

Label:BAR DE LUNE

Persons/Roles:
NEIL COWLEY - COMPOSER
BEN MYNOTT - COMPOSER
FRAGILE STATE - POP GROUP

INT MSF "SOFT POWER" Duration: 00:06:14

"Soft power" is the term that a military uses to describe civilian actors in a conflict. And "soft power" is what NATO's Secretary General would like the Non-Governmental Organizations working in Afghanistan to provide to NATO forces there. Anders Fogh Rasumussen says he wants civilian NGOs to work more closely in collaboration with the military. But some of the NGOs already in Afghanistan think that is a very bad idea.

Médicins Sans Frontières is one of those organizations. Michiel Hofman is the Head of Mission for MSF in Afghanistan. We reached him today in Barcelona, Spain.


VIVA LAS VEGAS Duration: 00:00:24

Album:HI, I'M ELVIS BOSSA NOVA!/ELVIS BOSSA NOVA

Label:CUSTOM, EBN0001

Persons/Roles:
DOC POMUS - COMPOSER
MORT SHUMAN - COMPOSER
MICHAEL DAVIDSON - VIBRAPHONE
ELVIS BOSSA NOVA - POP GROUP
BRIAN KOBAYAKAWA - DOUBLE BASS
JAKE OELRICHS - DRUMS
JAMES ROBERTSON - GUITAR
ROMAN TOME - PERCUSSION

COPY DA:3D NEWSPAPER Duration: 00:01:21

Dateline: Belgium.

As most writers know, a good story is one that leaps off the page. That's usually meant metaphorically. But it seems editors in Belgium have misunderstood that adage, and then taken that misunderstanding to heart. They've created what is thought to be Europe's first three-dimensional newspaper.

Hoping to profit from the success of such 3-D films as "Avatar" and "Alice in Wonderland," La Derniere Heure / Les Sports -- or, in English -- "The Last Hour / Sports" -- spent two months -- and plenty of money -- planning for a special edition of the daily Belgium newspaper. It was published on Tuesday.

While the text remained boring old 2-D, ads and accompanying photos were treated to give them a 3-D effect when viewed wearing an accompanying set of glasses, similar to those used by movie-goers. The ones that made the cool stuff in "Avatar" 3-D, while the characters and dialogue alternated between one and two dimensions.

But unlike "Avatar", there won't be any talk of a sequel in Belgium. In addition to the high costs involved, reviews for the 3-D version of La Derniere Heure have been relatively deflating. While many applauded the paper's risk, critics panned some of its pictures, calling them blurry or hard to focus on.

So, despite the ambitious intentions of La Derniere Heure, it seems the 3-D newspaper is yesterday's news. Or rather three days ago's news. And rather than being eye-popping, the experiment has fallen flat.


PEACETIME RESISTANCE Duration: 00:00:22

Album:DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE/KINGS OF CONVENIENCE

Label:VIRGIN, 50999 3 06840 2 7

Persons/Roles:
DAVIDE BERTOLINI - COMPOSER
ERIK GLAMBEK BOE - COMPOSER
ERLEND OYE - COMPOSER
DAVIDE BERTOLINI - PRODUCER
ROBERT JONNUM - PRODUCER
KINGS OF CONVENIENCE - POP GROUP
KINGS OF CONVENIENCE - PRODUCER

INT HODGKIN'S STUDY Duration: 00:06:01

There's been a breakthrough in the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma.

A new method has been found to reliably predict how patients will respond to the treatments for the cancer. And doctors say it will allow for a more personalized treatment of the disease, and spare many patients from the toxic effects of overtreatment.

Dr. Joseph Connors is the Clinical Director of the B.C. Cancer Agency's Centre for Lymphoid Cancer. He's one of the co-authors of the international study, which was led by the B.C. Cancer Agency. We reached him in Vancouver.


AFOURS AFOURS Duration: 00:00:33

Album:TINARIWEN: THE RADIO TISDAS SESSIONS

Label:WORLD VILLAGE, 468010

Persons/Roles:
TINARIWEN - COMPOSER
TINARIWEN - ENS IN-V

COPY TB EIGHT TRACK Duration: 00:01:46

Sure, it was huge and awkward to carry around. And yeah, most of the time it would switch programs mid-song, leaving you to wait extra long for the rocking part of "Stairway to Heaven". But a lot of people seem to believe we were on the right track with the eight-track.

On last night's show we heard from eight-track devotee James "Bucks" Burnett. Mr. Burnett loves the old music cartridge system so much that he has opened a temporary museum dedicated to it, in Denton, Texas.

Well, judging by Talkback, "Bucks" isn't alone in his love of the machine.


TOCCATA AND FUGUE Duration: 00:00:44

Album:LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI: GREAT RECORDINGS WITH THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA

Label:PHONOGRAPHE, PH 5025/26

Persons/Roles:
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH - COMPOSER
LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI - ORIGINATOR
PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA - ORCHESTRA
LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI - CONDUCTOR

CLOSING

So that's what it was like to be Jenny Price in the 'Seventies.

I thought it would be less weird, for some reason.

You didn't know Jenny in the 'Seventies. I'll tell you about her while everyone listens to the news. But we'll be back in six minutes with the rest of tonight's As It Happens -- and these stories:

It's a lot -- but is it enough? Not everyone is breathing a sigh of relief when New York announces six-hundred-and-fifty million in compensation for rescuers who breathed in Ground Zero's toxic air.

She didn't just take a flyer -- she took a hundred. Remembering the French Resistance hero "Agent Rose" -- who rescued dozens of pilots from the Nazis.

Tastes like chicken -- but it's half-rooster. The peculiar case of gynandromorphous chickens, which are half-male, half-female, and wholly discombobulated.

Stay tuned. I'm CO.

And I'm CH. Take us out, Mr. Bach. Please.


INT 9/11 RESCUE MONEY Duration: 00:06:16

The September eleventh attacks on the World Trade Center marked the beginning of the U.S.'s "war on terror." But it also marked the beginning of another kind of battle.

For much of the past decade, groups representing police, firemen and the work crews that helped with the rescue and clean-up operations have been pressing New York State and the U.S. federal government for health coverage. The groups argue the chemicals they were exposed to in the aftermath -- including kerosene, asbestos, and lead -- are to blame for the high rates of cancers and other illness among their members.

Today the State of New York announced it will pay out over six-hundred-and-fifty million dollars in compensation to nearly ten thousand people.

Gary White is the President of the Nine-Eleven Police Aid Foundation . We reached him in Staten Island, New York.


FRONT LINES (HELL ON EARTH) Duration: 00:00:40

Album:INFAMOUS INSTRUMENTALS/MOBB DEEP

Label:GREENSTREETS

Persons/Roles:
ALBERT JOHNSON - COMPOSER
KEJUAN MUCHITA - COMPOSER
MOBB DEEP - RAP GROUP

INT OBIT: PILOT RESCUER Duration: 00:06:54

One moment Andrée Peel was running her own beauty salon in France. The next, she was "Agent Rose", a heroine of the French Resistance, who saved the lives of more than a hundred pilots during World War Two.

She cheated death multiple times, and cheated her enemies as well -- until she was eventually captured.

Last Friday, Andrée Peel died, at the age of a hundred-and-five.

William Ennals first met Madame Peel several years ago when he set out to make a documentary about her life. We reached him in Bristol, England.


SECOND TO NUMB Duration: 00:00:19

Album:DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE/KINGS OF CONVENIENCE

Label:VIRGIN, 50999 3 06840 2 7

Persons/Roles:
ERIK GLAMBEK BOE - COMPOSER
ERLEND OYE - COMPOSER
DAVIDE BERTOLINI - PRODUCER
ROBERT JONNUM - PRODUCER
KINGS OF CONVENIENCE - POP GROUP
KINGS OF CONVENIENCE - PRODUCER

INT HERMAPHRODITE CHICKEN Duration: 00:06:07

For cell biologists in Edinburgh, the question is no longer why the chicken crossed the road. What's more interesting to Doctor Michael Clinton is which side of the chicken you saw when you were driving down that road. If you were driving south, you might have seen a hen. But if you were driving north, you might have seen a rooster. And if you stopped your car, got out, and walked directly toward the chicken, you might have been confused and a bit freaked out.

Until you heard from Doctor Clinton -- who has just published a paper on half-male, half-female chickens. We reached Doctor Michael Clinton in Edinburgh.


PUNJABIS, PIMPS & PLAYERS Duration: 00:00:19

Album:BOMBAY THE HARD WAY: GUNS, CARS & SITARS

Label:MOTEL RECORDS

Persons/Roles:
ANANDJI V SHAH - COMPOSER
KALYANJI V SHAH - COMPOSER
DAN THE AUTOMATOR - PRODUCER
ANANDJI V SHAH - PERFORMER
KALYANJI V SHAH - PERFORMER

MUSIC SC: JAL UNIFORMS Duration: 00:01:44

The situation for Japan Airlines is pretty much uniformly bad. But the situation for Japan Airlines uniforms is pretty good. Creepy, but good.

In January, the airline declared bankruptcy. At the time, it was a little more than twenty-six billion dollars in debt. So it announced it would be cutting unprofitable routes, and a third of its workforce. That amounted to nearly sixteen thousand jobs.

Some of those sixteen thousand people were stewardesses. And though they're now unemployed, they're not without resources -- if they managed to hold on to their uniforms. That's because J.A.L. stewardess uniforms have an extremely high value on the black market in Japan. They're much coveted by people who appreciate the outfits for more than their durability and clean lines. People who want to purchase them in order to live out a fantasy of flying the extremely friendly skies. People who want to join the Mile High Club in the comfort of their own homes. You get the idea.

With this in mind, Japan Airlines has gone to great lengths to keep their stewardess uniforms from falling into the wrong hands. Over the years, J.A.L. has tracked the outfits via serial number, kept highly detailed records, and is currently considering a digital microchip system. At one point, officials even paid an exorbitant prices for a uniform when it came up for auction, to keep it out of action. According to a J.A.L. spokesperson, there should be no way for someone to take a uniform home after she's been let go. But a full uniform -- jacket, skirt, crisp white shirt and jaunty scarf -- can go for thousands of dollars. And J.A.L.'s fortunes are not improving. So there's good reason to believe that, if any grounded stewardess has kept her uniform and wants to make some money, she'll probably go with her strong suit.

Which is what Tegan and Sara do. Here they are, with "Hop A Plane".


HOP ON A PLANE Duration: 00:01:49

Album:CON/TEGAN AND SARA

Label:MAPLE MUSIC, MRCD 6472

Persons/Roles:
SARA QUIN - COMPOSER
TEGAN QUIN - COMPOSER
SARA QUIN - PRODUCER
TEGAN QUIN - PRODUCER
TEGAN AND SARA - POP GROUP
CHRISTOPHER WALLA - PRODUCER


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