Episode 121: Comparing Papal Power, One-Way Trip to Mars, Is David Bowie Still Relevant? and more

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** The Other Most Powerful Religious Leaders ** Is Bowie's "The Next Day" as Good as They Say? ** One-way Ticket to Mars ** Hanna Rosin and The End of Men **

francis_publish.jpgThe world waited this week as the Papal conclave chose the spiritual leader of over a billion Catholics.

The process - secret, hierarchical and ancient - still managed to be theatrical and even TV friendly as cameras trained on a tiny chimney waited for the first glimpse of white smoke.

Pope Francis emerged on Wednesday as the choice of the faithful elite to shepherd the Catholic Church. But what about other religions? Do Hindus or Muslims or other Christians have a figure analogous to the Pope in his power and authority?

Leaders in other churches and denominations emerge in surprisingly modern ways, using media and television, and are often more vulnerable to the will of their congregants. We look at religions' top jobs today on Day 6.

Bowie TND33333_publish.jpgBowie is Back

David Bowie released a new album this week, his first in a decade, and probably his most eagerly awaited ever. And, just a few weeks ago, no one knew it existed.

Before Bowie resurfaced in January with a brand new song and word of a forthcoming full-length album, many assumed the rock star had retired. 

Now The Next Day is out and is getting rave reviews.

But are they deserved? Would there be this kind of praise for the record if it hadn't followed a decade of silence? Did Bowie make a good record or a good PR move?

A closer look at David Bowie and The Next Day with Simon Reynolds, Geeta Dayal and Carl Wilson today on Day 6.

mars-1_publish.jpgGo Directly to Mars

It's not simple or cheap to put a man or woman on Mars, but it could be possible. Not many are planning to do it, because the most expensive and complicated part of putting a person on the surface of another planet is getting them back home.

But if you remove the return segment of the journey, everything gets easier.

That's where Mars One comes in. Mars One is hoping to build a manned a colony on the red planet as early as 2023. It's a not for profit organization already attracting investors with a plan for sustainable colonization and a way to pay for it.

There's just that one hitch: it's a one-way trip.

Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and director of Mars One explains why that's not such a big deal.

hanna-rosen_publish.jpgThe End of Men

Men are losing their status as principal breadinner, their jobs in manufacturing and their advantage in schools and universities.

And while men are embattled, women are adapting. They're making the most of this unique moment in history. Women are on the rise.

It's too early to tell if men will be able to correct the downward trajectory they may be now riding, but Hanna Rosin looks at the big picture in her controversial new book The End of Men. She tells us all about it.

That's our show for this week, probably the best week to be a Jesuit in a very long time. We're back with more in 7 days.

See you then. 

Brent Bambury, @cbcday6

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