Episode 85 - Glaxo Whistleblower, Syrian Cartoonist and more...


Syrian Cartoonist Survives Regime Attack; Don't Call it the God Particle; Miracle Mythbuster on the Run; Whistleblower at GlaxoSmithKline Pays Price; Hip-Hop Rocked by Gay Admission; RECHARGE: How to Make Changes Happen

Ferzat_publish.jpgWhen Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat was beaten by regime thugs, he was seized off the streets of Damascus, had his hands broken and was left for dead.

It was last August, less than a month after government tanks killed scores of civilians in Hama. Ferzat knew why he had been targeted. As the uprising continued he'd shifted his style of satire from symbolic images to direct farzat cartoon3333333_publish.jpgcriticism of Assad and his regime.

When he was younger Ferzat had had a personal relationship with the man who would succeed his father to lead Syria. But now he things Assad wanted him dead.

Ali Ferzat, despite the damage done to his hands, continues to draw cartoons aimed at Assad from exile but he imagines the day he returns to Syria. He is listed in Time magazine's Top 100 most influential people in the world.

Ali Ferzat tells us about his dissent on Day 6.

god particle_publish.jpgDon't Call it the God Particle

Quantum physicists got reassuring news this week from CERN. Their giant particle accelerator smashed enough atoms together to be 99.999% certain the Higgs-Boson particle is real and all around us, giving mass to objects like your car keys and the sun. The elusive Higgs boson is important because it allows all the other key theories of physics to hang together and make sense. But its popular nickname - "The God Particle" conjures something much more significant.

It also drives some scientists bonkers. Dave Goldberg is one of them.

He says it's dangerous to infer too much omnipotence into this discovery. There's still many mysteries in the universe Higgs-Boson won't solve. He joins us to spread around the mystery.

sanal_publsih.jpgHoly Water Debunked

Sanal Edamaruku is president of the Indian Rationalist Association and isn't the kind of person who blindly accepts any phenomenon is a miracle. So when a statue in a Christian church in Mumbai began to drip water and was promoted by the church as a miracle, Sanal Edamaruku investigated.

He discovered a blocked drain was causing the leak but when he made his findings public, it enraged church officials. Now he fears he will be charged under India's blasphemy laws and he's left the country.

Sanal Edamaruku speaks to us from an undisclosed location to draw attention to the intolerance he finds in India's legal system.

Ocean_publish.jpgHip-Hop Rocked by Sex

Hip-hop and R'n'B are the most sex friendly musical styles- as long as the sex is solidly hetero. For genres that are all about gettin' your freak on it's shocking when you bump up against the limits. After all, it was hip-hop that gave us the "no homo" tag. B boys haul it out when there's even the slightest suggestion of some guy-on-guy attraction.

This week a talented rising young star met those attitudes with a big old wrench.

Frank Ocean is part of the hip-hop collective Odd Future and has worked artists like Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, and Beyoncé. This week, Frank Ocean published a letter inspired by Anderson Cooper's coming out that admitted the first time he fell in love, at age 19, it was with another 19-year-old who was a man.

Alex Molotkow says this quiet act of courage could be a big change in hip-hop culture.

AJ Jacobs_publish.jpgRecharge

We're launching a summer series with this edition. Our Recharge series is designed to look at the many ways - big and small - you can realign or adjust your body and soul in the lazy low-pressure weeks ahead.

We kick off with best-selling author and Esquire magazine editor-at-large A.J. Jacobs, who went on a self-improvement binge to write his latest - it's called Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection - and included in that humble quest is a serious bout of brain calisthenics. You can even win a copy of the book if you want to recharge as ambitiously as A.J. did.

glaxo_publish.jpgCost of Blowing the Whistle

The largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history came down this week, GlaxoSmithKline  has agreed to pay $3 billion in fines for illegal marketing practices and withholding drug safety information.

One of the whistleblowers in the GlaxoSmithKline case lost nearly everything in the 10 years the case unfolded and couldn't tell anyone why. Blair Hamrick, a former sales rep who's now unemployed and lives in Florida, could stand to gain $150-million from the settlement. He tells us how important it's been just to finally explain to his son why this past decade has been so haywire.

He tells us his story about the cost of doing the right thing on  Day 6.

riffednew_publish.jpgAnd that's it for this week. I'm away until later in August, but don't worry. Day 6 continues through the summer with Dominic Girard and Piya Chattopadhyay on the mic.

Maybe I'll see you at the beach. I'm the one with all the Day 6 totes.

Have a great July and we'll see you in August.

Brent Bambury @CBCDay6

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