Episode 49 - Pressure on Occupy

 

occupy_publish.jpg 

  • Pressure on Occupy
  • Candy Culture
  • 7 Billionth Human
  • Ultimate Rollercoaster
  • Ecocide
  • He's a Mummy

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Oakland_riot_publish.jpgWest Coast Surprise

In Oakland this week, violence exploded at the site of the anti-Wall Street protest near City Hall. The mayor was determined to clear the plaza, police used force, firing tear gas and beanbag rounds and an Iraq War veteran, Scott Olsen, suffered serious injuries. There were dozens of arrests.

But this weekend protestors are returning to the plaza. The attempt to quash the protests- in the name of safety- was a disaster for the mayor who now says she will investigate police use of force. She's also facing calls to resign.

occupyvancouver_publish.jpgOccupy Wall Street in New York City has been going on since September 15th. Demonstrations in other cities started in October. But relations between protestors and their host cities are beginning to show signs of strain.

In Los Angeles and San Francisco, city officials have said they're worried about safety. In Toronto, a member of city council said this week the occupation is illegal and needs to move. The mayor of Halifax wants his downtown square cleared for Remembrance Day. Occupy Edmonton has already ignored several notices of eviciton.

robertson_publish.jpgIn Vancouver, the Occupy movement has taken centre stage in the mayoralty campaign. The incumbent mayor Gregor Robertson says the downtown camp, firmly entrenched in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, has to go. But he hasn't set a timetable and it's not clear if any action will be taken before the election on November 19th.

Public protest is meeting public pressure this week, and the stakes are high for the Occupy movement. We look at the stand off in Vancouver to see how a global protest movement is making waves in local politics.

candy_publish.jpgIt's Halloween and candy is everywhere.

As responsible adults you're not supposed to be excited by this, but lots of us are. Not much good can come out of white sugar and corn syrup but... are you kidding??!?? How many things this bad for you are still legal?

We meet a candy expert who is still as impressed by sweet confections as she was when she trick or treated and we find out about some of candy's greatest hits. Like: Tootsie Rolls helped win the Korean War and lollipops were invented in New Brunswick. Over to you, Mr. Wonka.

earth_publish.jpgWelcome to Earth

The planet's 7 billionth inhabitant is supposed to arrive on Monday. We just passed the odometer on 6 billion people 12 years ago. By mid-century the world's population will be climbing toward 10 billion.  

The 7 billionth human will be 39 years old in 2050. What kind of a world will she be living in?

We have an open letter to Earth's 7 billionth person.

ecocide_publish.jpgEcocide

Last month a mock trial was held in the UK supreme court. When it was over, a fictional Alberta oil company was found guilty on 2 counts of ecocide, an international crime against the environment.

No such law exists, but if it did, according to one of its proponents, there'd be lots of liability to go around.

This is how British lawyer Polly Higgins defines the crime:

Ecocide- The extensive damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems of a given territory whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.

She says she wants ecocide to join genocide and three other crimes against peace in the U.N. which would mean international courts could take action against a company, country or individual accused of ecocide.

It could effectively end the mining of fossil fuels. Polly Higgins explains.

track_publish.jpgTerminal Rollercoaster

One of the subtexts of Halloween is: you get to upend some of the ways we deal with death. Skeletons and ghosts are summoned by you to do your bidding instead of doing the business of the dreary hand of fate. 

A philospher and designer is trying to bring the same sense of play to the way we make end of life decisions. Pushing the envelope is what artist and engineer Juljonis Urbunas had in mind when he designed a hypothetical structure called the Euthanasia Coaster.

This is a very unsettling concept. It really is a roller coaster and at the end of the ride you really will be dead. But Juljonis says it brings elegance and euphoria to your end of life option.

Listen with an open mind. And with seatbelts fastened.

mummy_publish.JPGHe's a Mummy

And the late Alan Billis, a British taxi driver, is a post mortem celebrity. He willed his body to science and today he's a mummy. Alan has helped researchers crack the mystery of why the ancient Egyptians were so good at making mummies.

Alan's remains could be around for another 4000 years. We'll find out what's in store for Alan's mummy just in time for Halloween.  

halloween_publish.jpgHope you like our strange Halloween show. And have a creepy weekend.

Brent Bambury @CBCDay6

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