Episode 53 - Tahrir's Beat


  • tahrir_publish.jpgArab Spring Soundtrack
  • Syrian Psy-ops
  • The Real Swedish Chef
  • Rethink: System D
  • Crosby's Therapy
  • Sad Mall Santas
  • Truth Goggles
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tahrir222222_publish.jpgEgyptians are waiting for civilian rule, and their impatience drove them back to Tahrir Square this week. Nine months after Egyptian protestors filled the square forcing Hosni Mubarak from office, the demonstrators say it's time for the military rulers to step aside, ideally before the first round of elections starts on Monday.

Violence has come with the latest protests. More than 40 people have been killed.

tahrir music_publish.jpgEgyptian music has changed along with Egypt's politics. New songs by younger artists reflect the social justice issues of the Arab Spring. Older artists who are seen to have supported the regime are left behind. Street battles and martyrs are immortalized in song as soon as the events unfold.

Hani Almadhoun has been tracking the music scene in Egypt and how it's changed since the Arab Spring took hold.  We talk to the founder of the blog Hot Arabic Music.

syria_publish2222.jpgSyrian Psy-ops

Music is fuelling Syrian dissent as well but with a violent crack-down on Syrian protests the stakes are higher for anyone taking on the regime. Syrians are taking tiny acts of rebellion and using them to turn people's attention toward their cause.

Ping-pong balls, mp3 players and red dye are being used to ingeniously focus the world's attention on the flailing regime.

Our guest is a professor and an active supporter of the Syrian opposition coalition, the SNC.

swedish-chef_publish.jpgSwedish Chef-ish

The Muppets movie is getting rave reviews and no wonder. The Muppets were mothballed for far too long. It's great they're back.

For one guy, seeing this movie will be a little like looking into a mirror. Lars Kuprick Backman is a chef from Sweden who may or may not have been the inspiration behind the Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show.

The people who manage The Muppets say Lars is wrong, but they also say they don't remember where the chef came from (presumably Sweden). Lars says he's a chef, he's Swedish and he worked in a kitchen frequented by Jim Henson. He also says he was a Swedish disaster on a TV cooking segment.

Listen to his story and tell us what you think. (Bork, Bork, Bork!)

nigerian money_publish.jpgRethink: System D

On our Rethink series, we've been looking at economic alternatives and this week we try to get a fix on the hidden economy.

The grey market, the underground economy, unregulated trade: Robert Neuwirth calls it System D in his new book Stealth of Nations: The Global Rise of the Informal Economy.

Robert says System D isn't necessarily a disaster for the overall economy and there are more hybrid businesses out there working both sides of the regulatory fence than you might think.

crosby_publish.jpgSydney Laces Up

Monday night, every hockey fan on Earth watched as Sydney Crosby returned to play with his team the Pittsberg Penguins 10 months after he was sidelined with a head injury.

Crosby's return was riveting. He was fast, fearless and focussed and scored that goal 5.24 into the first period. Mario Lemieux said to him before the game "Just enjoy it and stop worrying."

But people were very worried about Syd as his rehabilitation continued.

Two takes on Crosby's return: We hear from Ted Carrick, Professor of Clinical Neurology at Life University in Georgia. He was a member of Sidney Crosby's medical team. And Mark Critch of This Hour has 22 Minutes shows us how NHL refs might be soft-pedalling around Number 87.

goggles_publish.jpgTruth Goggles

Imagine if you put on glasses and could instantly tell if someone was telling you a lie. Now imagine the same thing without the goggles.

Dan Schultz a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab has designed a kind of spell check for facts printed in the news. He calls the invention Truth Goggles.

If a statement in any online text has been contentious- previously discussed or fact checked - somewhere else online - Truth Goggles will flag it and direct you to the discussion.

Dan's hoping Truth Goggles will help people read more critically and perhaps write more honestly.

santa_publish.jpgSad November Santa

December is still a few days off and I've been hearing Christmas music and drinking coffee from a festive cup since... Halloween? That's how it seems. Retailers want us to panic and stress and think about spending for as long as possible before Christmas.

But do they need to drag Santa into it? Day 6 contributor Sara Hennessey wishes the November mall Santas could just go ho-ho-home.

And that's our final show for November. Its Grey Cup weekend here in Canada. For our American listeners, the Grey Cup is Canada's answer to the Superbowl and our chance to show how unashamed we are of Nickleback.

We'll be back next week, stay tuned. The Big Six is coming up as 2012 approaches.


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