Water, water everywhere -- nor any drop to study. He was the founding director of the Experimental Lakes Area -- and tonight, David Schindler reflects on the possible closure of the world-renowned facility.
Disarming candour. Eight years ago, her son and his fiancée were gunned down -- and today, Colorado State Representative Rhonda Fields tells us about her state's new gun-control legislation.
The morals of the stories. The late Chinua Achebe became the literary voice of his native Nigeria -- and a passionate voice against colonialism in Africa.
Marching through March. For more than two months, a group from a Northern Quebec Cree community has been walking to Ottawa -- and as they approach the capital, their numbers have grown.
Frozen in their tracks. After more than twenty-four hours trapped in their cars with limited food and water, the passengers on a Via train are entitled to rail against rail travel.
And...the title that took the title. Over the past year, thousands of great literary works made up of millions of words were published, but our guest tonight awards a prize for just one thing: how ridiculous the title is.
As It Happens, the Friday edition. Radio that discovers dissed covers.
It's like France closing the Louvre.
That's the comparison David Schindler makes about the impending closure of the Experimental Lakes Area in northern Ontario. Professor Schindler is the founding director of the world-renowned freshwater research facility, which has been home to innovative research on acid rain, algae blooms and climate change since 1968.
As we've discussed on the program this week, federal funding for the E-L-A will be cut off at the end of March. And scientists will not be allowed to conduct research at the facility this summer -- even those with their own funding.
David Schindler is currently a Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta. He is best-known for his research on phosphates, and on the environmental impact of the oilsands. We reached David Schindler just north of Wildwood, Alberta.
David Schindler is an Ecology Professor at the University of Alberta, and he's also the founding director of the Experimental Lakes Area. We reached Professor Schindler just north of Wildwood, Alberta.
Earlier this week, Keith Ashfield, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, suggested that E-L-A-type research could continue at the Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg. And in response, we heard from you.
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It was a book that was nearly lost, and almost never published.
But "Things Fall Apart", by Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, did see the light of day. It's the story of life in a Nigerian village, and the clash that ensues when colonialism makes contact with traditional culture. It marked the beginning of post-colonial, indigenous African fiction, and went on to become one of the most important pieces of literature of the twentieth century.
It also propelled Mr. Achebe to international acclaim.
Chinua Achebe died in Boston on Thursday, following a brief illness. He was eighty-two years old.
Although he spent most of his adult life in the United States, he was a vocal champion of democracy for his birth country, and didn't withhold his criticism for the government -- particularly under the rule of former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
"As It Happens" had the privilege of speaking with him on a couple of occasions, for his insight on Nigerian politics. In 2007, we reached him the day before elections in that country. Here is an excerpt from that conversation.
That was the late Chinua Achebe, speaking to Carol back in 2007.
CBC Radio's "Writers and Company" spoke with Mr. Achebe a few years earlier, in 1994, when he was teaching at Bard College in New York. And in this discussion with host Eleanor Wachtel, he shared how his culture and language influenced his approach to writing
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It may be true that you can't judge a book by its cover. But judging a book by its title? Well, that's a whole 'nother story. Particularly if that book has a title like Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice.
Back in 1978, it took the first-ever Diagram Prize -- awarded every year since by the British trade magazine, The Bookseller, for the oddest book title.
We checked in with Bookseller writer and the contest's organizer, Philip Stone, to find out what title claimed this year's prize.
In the U.S. state shattered by two of the country's most notorious mass shootings, recent debate on new gun control legislation was intense.
Nevertheless, family members of victims shot at Columbine high school in Littleton, Colorado and a movie theatre in Aurora stood proud, as Governor John Hickenlooper signed gun control legislation into law on Wednesday.
The new rules were fiercely opposed by Colorado Republicans -- none of whom voted for the bill. And many doubt the law will actually bring about change.
Rhonda Fields is a Democrat and Colorado state representative who sponsored the bill. We reached her at the State Capitol in Denver.
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On Wednesday we spoke to librarian and archivist Myron Groover from Vancouver.
He told us about the new code of conduct at Library and Archives Canada governing the behaviour of its employees at work and outside the workplace...and how much that has upset library professionals across the country.
In response, we invited Dr. Daniel Caron, head librarian and archivist of Canada onto the show to clarify the implications of the code.
He declined, but sent us a statement.
It reads, in part:
"LAC's Code of Conduct does not prevent LAC employees from engaging in external activities. However, for all public servants, freedom of expression must be balanced with their responsibility to remain impartial and effective in their professional duties."
It goes on to mention consultation meetings with employees as part of the implementation process and says they are currently underway.
"Appropriate adjustments will follow since the objective of the Code is that we all have a clear understanding of our responsibilities when participating in internal or external activities, whatever level or role we perform in the institution."
What would you do if you were trapped on a train with more than a hundred people -- and limited supplies?
Well, passengers on Via Rail Train Number Two had twenty-two hours to ponder that question, while they were stuck in a blizzard behind a stopped freighter.
The passenger train finally started moving at nine a.m. Central Time today. And Martin Wooldridge was still on board when we reached him a few hours ago -- somewhere in the snowy Prairies.
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Our Talkback line got a much-appreciated boost from some truckers last night.
We'd heard about an Australian study on coffee and big-rig safety. It found that coffee-drinking big-riggers were less likely to crash than the bean-shunners in the other lane.
That seemed less than surprising to us, but what do we know? So we asked the experts in our audience how they stay sharp, over the long haul.
We've got a song for you -- a request actually. It came in last night after we aired ran a little bit of C.W. McCall's eighteen-wheel rebellion ballad, Convoy.
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In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has cheered the police strategy of stopping and frisking people that officers deem suspicious, as an effective way to prevent crime. But not everyone in the Big Apple agrees.
Earlier this week, we spoke with one of the lawyers involved in an ongoing class-action lawsuit that is challenging the constitutionality of the police practice. At issue is how the N-Y-P-D conducts the searches, and whether they're engaging in racial profiling, targeting mainly blacks and Hispanics.
Yesterday, the Federal District Court in Manhattan heard some strong audio evidence provided by Bronx police officer Pedro Serrano.
He secretly recorded a conversation with his superior, Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack, who told him that the stop-and-frisk searches are after the "right people" -- and specificially who those right people are.
Here's part of what the court heard yesterday.
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It's an Aboriginal movement -- in the most literal sense of the word.
Facing frigid temperatures, deep snow, and isolation, a group of young people from the Northern Quebec Cree community of Whapmagoostui are walking to Ottawa. It's a trip of about fifteen hundred kilometres.
The trek began over two months ago. And as it finally closes in on Parliament Hill, its numbers have swelled dramatically.
Jordan Masty is a twenty-year-old from Whapmagoostui who has been walking with the group for fifty-two days. We reached him between Gracefield and Low in Quebec.
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They're not friends yet -- but at least India and Italy are dialing down the enmity.
Earlier this week, India's Supreme Court turned the screws on Italy's ambassador Daniele Mancini by declaring his diplomatic immunity null and void. The idea was to pressure Italy into forcing two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fisherman over a year ago to come back to India. The pair had been allowed to go home to vote, but never returned.
India gave Italy until today to turn the two men over. And on the eve of the deadline, Italy complied.
Officials say they made the decision after Indian authorities assured them, in writing, that the two men would be treated well, and their human rights would be respected.
Now, the marines are in New Delhi awaiting trial -- not in an Indian jail, but at the Italian Embassy.
If you're driving somewhere in North America right now, do not panic: that's the sound of a Russian ambulance, taken from a YouTube video. There's no emergency in your immediate vicinity.
Thing is, though, even if you were driving in downtown Moscow, you also might not have to panic on hearing that siren. Because that sound might not signify an emergency. It might just signify the arrival of at least two jerks.
Apparently, police are performing random checks on ambulances in the Moscow streets. Because some of them may not actually be ambulances. They look like ambulances. They sound like ambulances. But they're actually expensive taxis, that are able to zip through traffic congestion -- because they look and sound like ambulances.
One such fake ambulance has already been stopped by police. A source with the Moscow police said, quote, "The driver appeared strange, and did not resemble an ambulance driver at all." Unquote.
While you ponder how someone can not resemble an ambulance driver, I'll tell you that the inside of the fake ambulance was like the inside of a limousine: comfy seats, cup holders, lots of room for stretchers. By "stretchers", I mean high-powered, selfish executives who like to stretch out.
Not actual stretchers. No room for those.
The unfortunate effect of these phony emergency vehicles is that now real emergency vehicles in Moscow are suspect, and subject to police checks. Which means some real patients might be held up. Whereas the only medical condition people who hire ambulance taxis suffer from is having their heads stuck in the things sitting on the plush seats.
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There is an ongoing movement in Germany these days to protect the last remaining vestiges of the Wall that separated East and West Germany until 1989.
But, more than two decades after reunification, a group of Germans have been chipping at an invisible wall constructed under communism -- one that has proven stubbornly difficult to bring down. Until now.
At long last, the West German Association of German Sport Fishers and the East German Anglers' Association are uniting to become one body: the Deutsche Angelfischerverband, or D-A-V-F.
Dr. Christel Happach-Kasan is the first president of the newly-united German Anglers' Association. We reached her in Bäk, Germany.
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Imagine coming home from your Costa Rican vacation crying tears of blood.
That's what happened to an unnamed sixty-one-year-old Sunshine Coast man. He sought medical attention for his condition, and the extreme pain that accompanied it, while in Costa Rica -- but couldn't break through the language barrier. So he decided to fly home to Vancouver.
Upon arrival, he went straight to Vancouver General Hospital. And a good thing, too -- because he had been bitten by a deadly snake. His kidneys were shutting down. His leg was swelling up and in pain. His blood was very thin and acidic, and the tears of blood continued.
Quick action by doctors at Vancouver General Hospital, the B.C. Drug and Poison Information Centre and Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo helped save the man's life.
This morning on CBC Vancouver's morning show, host Rick Cluff spoke with Dr. Roy Purssell of the B.C. Drug and Poison Information Centre. This is part of their conversation.
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If I tell you there's a thing called the "Steven Tyler Act", and asked you to guess what it was, what would you say?
Some of you would guess it's the act of wearing sunglasses and saying incomprehensible things while gyrating in leather pants. The cynical non-Aerosmith fans out there would say it's just the "Mick Jagger Act" with a different name. But it's actually a piece of legislation in the state of Hawaii, one that would protect celebrities from unwanted attention. And, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is its biggest proponent.
Back in December, someone took a picture of him at his house in Maui with his girlfriend. And shortly thereafter, he asked a Hawaiian State Senator to introduce a law that would allow people to sue anyone who took photos or videos of them during their private time.
Now, when Steven Tyler asks you to do something, you do it. Well, first you ask him to repeat the question a few times because you had no idea what he was talking about, and then you do it. And Mr. Tyler also solicited the support of other celebrities, including Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, and Mick Fleetwood.
But it seems Hawaii's legislators have not made Steven Tyler's privacy their Number One priority. In fact, according to State Representative Angus McKelvey, quote, "There is zero support for that legislation in the House of Representatives. To say there is absolutely zero support would be an understatement." Unquote.
Now, I don't want to be negative, but that doesn't sound promising.
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As It Happens is nearly done for this Friday, March 22nd. The show was produced this week by Laurie Allan, Kevin Ball, Diane Campbell, Chris Harbord, David McDougall, Kevin Robertson, ....
Pedro Sanchez, Kate Swoger, Tomas Urbina, Jane Van-Koeverden and Jessica Walker. Our technician is John Lewis. Reynold Gonsalves is the show director. Our writer is Chris Howden. And, our intern is Mike Power.
Senior producers this week were John Perry and Kate Swoger. And the Executive Producer of As It Happens is Robin Smythe.
We'd also like to thank some other people who helped us out: Suzanne Dufresne in Winnipeg, Deborah MacAskill in Ottawa, Yvonne Gall in Vancouver, Sean Prpick in Toronto (but his heart will always be in Regina) and Steve Pasqualotto in Saskatoon.