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July 7, 2010

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The good news is that they were right about the bad news. The British climate scientists who were accused of fudging facts are exonerated by an inquiry.

The height of human achievement. The reason Tibetans are comfortable in high altitudes is a genetic mutation that took place at unprecedented speed.

The battle hymn in "The Republic". A British science historian discovers hidden musical messages in the writings of Plato.

Oh really? No, Orillia. The Ontario city celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the groundbreaking Mariposa Folk Festival.

Octo-pushy. A clairvoyant German octopus named Paul picks a World Cup winner yet again -- but PETA is up in arms.

And...I've grown accustomed to her interface. Peter shares a tete-a-tech with a robot named Bina-48 -- a non-human who has a way with a non sequitur.

As It Happens, the Wednesday edition. Radio's that's afraid the road to HAL is paved with good inflections.


CLIMATEGATE SCIENTISTS CLEARED Duration: 00:07:40

It was a scandal that tarnished the image of those who provide the strongest evidence of climate change. But today, after an inquiry that took six months, the scientists at the centre of a hacked e-mail controversy at the University of East Anglia in Britain were cleared of any wrongdoing.

The scientists at the UEA's prestigious Climatic Research Unit were accused of subverting the peer-reviewed process of science, and of suppressing data that contradicted their thesis -- fudging results of experiments that supported the argument that human development is causing the planet to warm.

But Sir Muir Russell, who led the inquiry, said today that the scientists' rigour and honesty were not in doubt -- although he did say the scientists were not "open" enough with their research.

Trevor Davies is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of East Anglia, and he's a former head of the Climatic Research Unit. We reached him in Norwich, England.


SUGAR MOUNTAIN Duration: 00:00:11

Album:BLUEGRASS TRIBUTE TO NEIL YOUNG/MAY, TIM

Label:CMH, CD 9531

Persons/Roles:
NEIL YOUNG - COMPOSER
CHARLIE CHADWICK - DOUBLE BASS
BRIAN CHRISTIANSON - MANDOLIN
SHAD COBB - FIDDLE
SUSIE COLEMAN - VOCALS
AL GOLL - DOBRO
CHRIS JOSLIN - BANJO
TIM MAY - ARRANGER
TIM MAY - PRODUCER
TIM MAY - VOCALS
GRETCHEN PRIEST-MAY - FIDDLE
KYLE WOOD - VOCALS

TB: KHADR RULING Duration: 00:01:33

Find a solution, or we'll find one for you.

That was the ultimatum given to the Harper government earlier this week. the Federal Court of Canada ruled that Ottawa has repeatedly failed to protect the constitutional rights of Omar Khadr, the twenty-three year old Canadian accused of killing an American soldier in 2002. And so, as we told you on last night's show, the government has one week to figure out how to remedy these constitutional rights violations -- or the court will remedy them itself.

Well, after we spoke with Mr. Khadr's lawyer, Talkback took the stand.


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

PLATO CODE Duration: 00:07:07

The writings of the Greek philosopher Plato have been credited with providing the foundations for modern Western culture and science. And since he stopped his philosophizing about two thousand, three hundred and fifty years ago -- right around the time he died -- we've had plenty of time to go over what he left us.

Which scholars have done, thoroughly, for centuries, everywhere in the world. So it's all the more amazing that, despite all that focused attention, a science historian at the University of Manchester is now saying a significant part of Plato's writing has been completely ignored. Although, to be fair, that significant part was a bit tough to find.

Research Scholar Dr. Jay Kennedy says there are secret coded messages hidden throughout Plato's work that will completely transform our understanding of early Western thought and the great scholar himself. And luckily for us, Dr. Kennedy has cracked the "Plato code". No one tell Dan Brown.

We reached Dr. Kennedy in Manchester, England.


TE RETO A SER MI AMANTE Duration: 00:00:23

Album:LUNA ROSSA

Label:JUSTIN TIME, 000023

Persons/Roles:
MULO FRANCEL - COMPOSER
QUADRO NUEVO - JAZZ GROUP
QUADRO NUEVO - PRODUCER

SC: PAUL THE OCTOPUS Duration: 00:02:17

Well, unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably aware by now that Spain defeated Germany in their World Cup semi-final match today.

But, unless you listened to our show last night, you may not be aware of Paul the octopus, whom many people credit with being more aware than most of us -- despite the fact that he essentially does live under a rock, in an aquarium at Sea Life in Oberhausen.

Throughout his brief two years on earth, Paul has been called upon to predict the outcome of international soccer games involving Germany.

Before each match, he is presented with two glass cubes -- one marked with Germany's flag, the other with that of the challenging team. Otherwise, the containers are identical. And within each: a meal of mussels.

Whichever container Paul draws from first for his dinner indicates his choice for the winner of the game.

According to his handlers, his success rate is nearly perfect. He's like a Magic Eight-legged Ball. With way more reliability. In the lead-up to today's semi-final showdown, Paul foretold the German team's fate with one-hundred percent accuracy. And during the 2008 European World Cup, Paul only erred once -- when he prophesied a German win over Spain. But the Spaniards took the match -- and the cup -- with a decisive one-nothing victory over their opponents.

So when he was once again faced with choosing between these two teams, well, you can imagine the pressure. I won't even mention that he was already under considerable water pressure when he made it.

But it's a lot to ask of a naturally retiring fellow who's forced to live in a glass house. Suddenly, the eyes of the world are on him. He wakes up one day and he's got the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on one side, who've started campaigning for his release; and fans of both Germany and Spain on the other issuing death threats and vowing to make calamari of him if their team loses. And he's stuck in between. It's a real PETA, Paul and marinade show. Which I'm sure he'd just love to drown out with a scream. But he can't. It's sink or swim. So the kid shows some spine -- well, OK, some pluck -- and swims up. And after wavering over the German container, he changes his mind -- hey, he's entitled, we all do from time to time, and apparently he's got nine to deal with. So in the end, he goes with Spain.

Knowing full well -- if he knows at all -- that even when he's right, someone's gonna want a piece of him.


OCTOPUS'S GARDEN Duration: 00:00:10

Album:ABBEY ROAD/BEATLES

Label:APPLE, SO 383

Persons/Roles:
RINGO STARR - COMPOSER
BEATLES - POP GROUP
GEORGE MARTIN - PRODUCER

MARIPOSA FESTIVAL Duration: 00:04:19

Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, James Taylor and Bruce Cockburn. They're all legends of folk music, and over the past fifty years, they've all appeared at the Mariposa Folk Festival.

Mariposa is in Orillia, Ontario's little festival that could, and still can. It started in 1961 as an all-Canadian concert -- and this weekend Mariposa celebrates its fiftieth anniversary.

Chris Lusty is the President of the Mariposa Folk Foundation. We reached him in Orillia.

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FOUR STRONG WINDS Duration: 00:02:25

Album:ALBERTA: WILD ROSES, NORTHERN LIGHTS

Label:SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS, SFW CD 40538

Persons/Roles:
IAN TYSON - COMPOSER
AL CHAPMAN - PRODUCER
NANCY GROCE - PRODUCER
IAN TYSON - VOCALS

CLOSING WEDNESDAY Duration: 00:00:39

And before we get too winded, we're going to take a short break. But we'll be back after the news with more As It Happens. When we return:

Peaking surprisingly early. A genetic study reveals that Tibetans have adapted to high altitudes over an astonishingly short period of time -- a mere three millennia.

They were asked to hide -- but they decided to keep seeking. After being told to live a lie in their home countries, two gay asylum seekers win the right to stay in Britain.

Don't ask for her number -- you'll just get a series of zeroes and ones. A sneak peek at what As It Happens will be like in the year 3000, when Peter talks to a robot named Bina48.

Stay tuned. I'm PA.

And I'm CH.


RETURN BILLS Duration: 00:00:20



TIBETAN GENES Duration: 00:06:09

Tibetans are well-known for their ability to thrive at high altitudes -- like Mount Everest, where foreign visitors are notoriously prone to sickness. But what was unknown, up until now, was why.

Turns out it's due to a genetic adaptation that took place over the last three thousand years -- the fastest mutation in humans discovered so far.

Rasmus Nielsen was part of the team that did the genetic study. He's a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley. We reached him at a conference in Lyon, France.


DHO-MACH Duration: 00:00:25

Album:DHO-MACH (SACRED GIFT)/ORRU, ACHILLA

Label:CUSTOM

Persons/Roles:
ACHILLA ORRU - COMPOSER
ACHILLA ORRU - MBIRA

FTR: GAY REFUGEE RULING Duration: 00:02:38

It wasn't just that they were ordered to stay in the closet. They were ordered to be something they weren't. So they kept fighting.

And today, the U.K.'s Supreme Court overturned an earlier Court of Appeal ruling that denied refugee status to two gay men who claimed they faced persecution in their respective countries because of their sexuality. The men, who are not a couple -- one of them is from Cameroon, the other is from Iran -- were originally denied refugee status in the U.K. after the Court of Appeal ruled they could "lead a reasonably tolerable" life -- by simply concealing their sexuality.

Today, that ruling was found to be in contravention of the United Nations Refugee Convention. For the record, here is the Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Lord David Hope, reading a portion of that decision.


NOUMOU FOLY Duration: 00:00:29

Album:AFRICAN TRAVELS/DUSKIS, ROBERT

Label:SIX DEGREES, 657036 1050-2

Persons/Roles:
NEBA SOLO - COMPOSER
NEBA SOLO - LYRICIST
ROBERT DUSKIS - PRODUCER
FREDERIC GALLIANO - PRODUCER
NEBA SOLO - XYLOPHONE

ROBOT INTERVIEW Duration: 00:13:20

She has two eyes, a nose and a mouth. Sometimes, like many of us, she likes to wear a wig. But Bina is a little different from your average person. For example, her face is motorized, and she has a computer for a brain.

Bina is a robot. Her full name is Bina48. She was designed by Hanson Robotics, and is now in the hands of the Terasem movement -- which, put simply, is a foundation devoted to extending human life through technological means.

Bina48 learns about life by surfing the Internet. Her "personality" is also based, in part, on a series of interviews with a real person, with a non-motorized face, named Bina Rothblatt. We'll learn more about the human later. For now, let's get to know the robot.

We reached Bina48 in Bristol, Vermont.


ARTHUR'S THEME Duration: 00:02:22

Album:ARTHUR, SOUNDTRACK

Label:WARNER BROS, XBS 3582

Persons/Roles:
PETER ALLEN - COMPOSER
PETER ALLEN - LYRICIST
BURT BACHARACH - COMPOSER
CHRISTOPHER CROSS - COMPOSER
CHRISTOPHER CROSS - LYRICIST
CAROL BAYER SAGER - LYRICIST
BACHARACH BURT - UNKNOWN
CROSS CHRISTOPHER - MALE VOCAL



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