banner-no-place-nogreen.jpg

Tuesday: Aboriginal Food Experiment, Sprinter Doping, Glass on Rakoff

Listen

Highlights Include: 

Part One:
*Aboriginal Experiment. A Guelph academic uncovers a series of government experiments performed on Canadian aboriginal children that involved withholding nutritional requirements from their diet. Ian Mosby explains the horrific scale of what he discovered.  
*Sprinter Doping. After news that three of the world's fastest runners tested positive for banned substances, a former world champion argues it's time to change the rules. Ato Bolden says some performance enhancing drugs should be allowed. 

Part Two: 
*Encore: Glass on Rakoff. Shortly before his death, writer David Rakoff completed his only work of fiction.  Love, Dishonour, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish -- A Novel By...David Rakoff, is published today. Last month, Carol Off spoke with This American Life host Ira Glass, a longtime friend of the late writer.  We replay that conversation.

Show:AS_IT_HAPPENS
Date:2013/07/16
Time:17:30:01

PART ONE


TUESDAY BILLS Duration: 00:01:16

Tonight:

Secrets and lies. A researcher discovers that, after the Second World War, an experiment run by the Canadian government used aboriginal children as its unknowing subjects.

Matters of substance. After three top sprinters test positive for various banned supplements, one Olympic medallist and commentator says it's time to re-assess what's allowed and what isn't.

Off with their "Ed's". It's a garish, glittering synthetic jewel at the corner of Bloor and Bathurst -- and now, the Toronto bargain house known as "Honest Ed's" is up for sale.

Anapest control. An encore presentation of Carol's interview with Ira Glass -- about the late David Rakoff, and his final work: a work of fiction written entirely in couplets.

Rhyming at, and until, the end of the line. Mr. Rakoff was a great performer of his own work, and we'll hear him read from the book -- including recordings made just weeks before his death.

And...when you lose a fight with an eel, it's tough to save face. But after a two-metre-long conger eel fixes its hideous mouth to his cheek, an Irish scuba diver manages to do just that -- with the help of a lot of stitches.

As It Happens, the Tuesday edition. Radio that knows it's possible for a story to be deadly serious -- and also tongue-in-cheek.


ABORIGINAL FOOD EXPERIMENTS Duration: 00:07:40

They were experimenting with human lives -- and they didn't seem to care.

Recently, food historian Ian Mosby found evidence of experiments conducted by the federal government on aboriginal children and adults, during and immediately after the Second World War.

What he discovered, when he probed a little deeper, was a program of breathtaking scale and cruelty.

Ian Mosby is a post-doctoral fellow in history at the University of Guelph, in Ontario. We reached him in Toronto.


ANTHEM WITHOUT NATION Duration: 00:00:19
Album:BEYOND SKIN/NITIN SAWHNEY
Label:OUTCASTE RECORDINGS
Persons/Roles:
NITIN SAHWNEY - COMPOSER
DEVINDER SINGH - COMPOSER
NITIN SAHWNEY - PROGRAMMER
STEVE SHEHAN - PERCUSSION
DEVINDER SINGH - VOCALS

SPRINTER DOPING FOLO Duration: 00:07:46

The world of track and field is once again under a cloud, after a group of the world's top sprinters tested positive for banned substances.

Two Jamaican sprinters -- Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson -- stand accused of taking a banned stimulant. And American Tyson Gay has also admitted to a positive test -- although what exactly he tested positive for has not been revealed.

Now, one of track and field's most respected figures says what these three sprinters are accused of doing shouldn't be banned at all.

Ato Boldon is a former two-hundred-metre world champion and a four-time Olympic medal winner for Trinidad and Tobago. We reached him in Miramar, Florida


HOLM Duration: 00:00:15
Album:TRILOGI/FREDRIK
Label:THE KORA RECORDS
Persons/Roles:
FREDRICK - COMPOSER
FREDRICK - POP GROUP

FROM OUR ARCHIVE: HONEST ED’S FOR SALE Duration: 00:03:16

It's a monument to light bulbs, free turkeys, cheap cookware,and terrible puns. And it's as much a part of Toronto's identity as the CN Tower.

Now, "Honest Ed's World Famous Bargain Centre" is up for sale.

In 1948, decades before Wal-Mart or Costco came along, Ed Mirvish opened his shop, promising cut-rate prices on everything from soccer balls to matzah balls. "Come in and get lost," proclaims one sign, and in the chaotically organized store, that's easy to do.

The store was perhaps most famous for giving away turkeys at Christmas -- thousands of them, usually handed out by Mr. Mirvish himself. People also got free hot dogs on his birthday in the summer.

But Ed Mirvish, who also founded Mirvish Productions and became an unlikely theatre impresario, died in 2007 -- and his son, David, is immersed in the theatre side of the business. So perhaps it's no surprise that the store is on the market.

One person who is certainly mourning today is Russell Lazar, who's the general manager of Honest Ed's, and who has been working there for fifty-five years. When Ed Mirvish died in 2007, "As It Happens" guest host Jane Hawtin spoke to Mr. Lazar about the store. Here's part of that conversation, from our archives.


LLORNA Duration: 00:00:15
Album:MARCH OF THE ZAPOTEC/BEIRUT
Label:POMPEII, POMP 001
Persons/Roles:
ZACH CONDON - COMPOSER
BEIRUT - POP GROUP
PERRIN CLOUTIER - ARRANGER
ZACH CONDON - ARRANGER
GRIFFIN RODRIGUEZ - ARRANGER
GRIFFIN RODRIGUEZ - PRODUCER

EEL ATTACK VICTIM Duration: 00:06:54

It's a case of an eel with more than a little bit of cheek.

Jimmy Griffin is an experienced scuba diver. But nothing could have prepared him for the encounter he had with a six-foot eel while diving twenty-five metres underwater.

He was in the Atlantic, off the coast of Ireland. The eel attacked him, bit into his face and wouldn't let go. But Mr. Griffin lived to tell.

We reached Jimmy Griffin at his home in Galway, Ireland. And a warning: if, for some reason, you're squeamish about giant eels biting people's faces, you might want to take a break from your dinner.


PART TWO


ENCORE: GLASS ON RAKOFF Duration: 00:22:27

David Rakoff set out to fill pretty big shoes --

The figurative footwear of Spenser, or Seuss,

Among other titans, whom rhyme connoisseurs

Consider the masters of meter and verse.

He was daunted, but Rakoff would not be defeat

-Ed, or beat the retreat -- he jumped in with both feet.

And though he risked failure, or being committed

He filled those big shoes like they'd been custom-fitted.

What I just read could be politely described as "doggerel". But imagine instead that it had been witty, and observant, and profound, and sometimes profoundly sad. Then imagine it filling an entire book.

And that will give you an idea of what it's like to read, "Love, Dishonour, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish -- A Novel By...David Rakoff" -- which is being published today.

Mr. Rakoff finished the book just a month before his death from cancer in August of last year. He was forty-seven.

It was his first book of fiction, rhyming or otherwise. He was best-known for the brilliant essays in his books, "Fraud", "Don't Get Too Comfortable", and "Half Empty". But he was also a brilliant storyteller. And he demonstrated that skill repeatedly on the radio program "This American Life". He appeared on that program twenty-five times.

Ira Glass is the host and executive producer of "This American Life". Last month, Carol spoke to him from a New York studio about Mr. Rakoff, and his final book. Tonight, we're going to air that conversation again. And a warning: there's a little profanity in this conversation.


ADAGIO Duration: 00:00:09
Album:A DIFFERENT MOZART
Label:IMAGINARY ROAD
Persons/Roles:
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART - COMPOSER
TRACY SCOTT SILVERMAN - ARRANGER
TRACY SCOTT SILVERMAN - ELECTR VLN
TRACY SCOTT SILVERMAN - VIOLIN
TRACY SILVERMAN - KEYBOARDS
THEA SUITS-SILVERMAN - FLUTE

TAPE: RAKOFF STORY Duration: 00:01:48

Back in 2005, David Rakoff read a story on "This American Life". It's an early version of the story of Helen, the character Carol and Mr. Glass were just discussing.

In this excerpt, it's the morning after the office Christmas party. Helen has had an epiphany about her thoughtless colleagues, and her life. Here's part of her story, as read by Mr. Rakoff himself on "This American Life" in December, 2005.


Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.