Episode 43 - EuroTrashed


  • euros_publish.jpgEuro DeepSixed
  • Broomfield on Palin
  • Parazit parodies Iran
  • Greenpeace at Midlife
  • TIFF vs. the Multiplex
  • Stop it, George Lucas!
  • Seismology on Trial
  • Supercomputer vs. Nostradamus


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merkel_publish.jpg"The euro has proven itself, it's good for us as an export nation...That is why it is our duty, very much in our own interest, to make our contribution to secure the euro's future. Everything that serves the goal of securing the euro's future must be done."

-Angela Merkel, September 16, 2011

It's a tough sell.

Forecasters are saying a Greek default on their massive debt is a der spiegel euro_publish222.jpgdead lock. Austerity measures are creating turmoil inside the country and rocking the economy but not yielding the results the leaders are looking for: another 2-billion euros in savings by the end of this year.

It was also a tough week for Italy which had to finance a 6.5 billion € bond with the highest borrowing costs they'd paid since joining the EU. Italy, the third largest economy in the Euro bloc, carries a 1.3 trillion € debt. That's the size of Spain, Greece, Ireland and Portugal's debt combined.

Was the euro a good idea whose time has come? Or a dumb idea with an inevitable ending playing out now in slow motion?

Our guest says it was always a foolish enterprise. This week on our Deep Sixed series: the euro.

broomfield_publish.jpgWaiting for Sarah.

No candidate is more popular than the one who hasn't declared. Sarah Palin seems to have kept the door open for a late entry into the Republican contest for the presidency. Her many fans are out there, waiting for her to make her move. But filmmaker Nick Broomfield needed boots as he cooled his heels waiting for Sarah.

Nick went to Wasilla Alaska to make his latest film Sarah Palin, You Betcha!

He was hoping for an interview. It didn't happen but he did get to hang out with Sarah's parents, former colleagues, foes and rivals, and the sister of Levi Johnson. Nick tells us about the sway Sarah Palin holds over the people in her hometown, even the ones who don't much like her.

Thumbnail image for Parazit_publish.jpgIran isn't funny.

And the news that comes out of the Islamic Republic is either grim or taunting and rarely insightful. But Iranian ex-pats Kambiz Hosseini and Saman Arbabi have made a brilliant career out of skewering their homeland on their VOA satirical show Parazit.

Salman and Kambiz take the dark absurdity of Iranian news reports and turn it into comedy. And of course, in the process, reveal the truth about totalitarianism and paranoia. They explain some of this week's Iranian madness- like what's with the banning of water guns?  Parazit is an international treasure.

supercomputer_publish.jpgSupercomputer sees Future, Goes on Rampage.

Nahhhh, that's not what happens in this story, it's just the way stories like this play out in sci-fi.

A researcher at the University of Illinois has developed a computer called Nautilus, which he programmed to read news items. Thirty years of news - 100 million items - were fed into the data base which assigned value to the emotional weight of certain words.

When measuring the emotional values embedded in those stories, Nautilus seemed to be able to forecast events that happened after the stories were written, things like the fall of Mubarak and the Arab Spring.

The implications are staggering! (That's precisely what they say before the computer takes over the world.)

We meet Kalev Leetaru, the insanely enthusiastic guy behind the forecasting computer.

greenpeace_publish.jpgGreenpeace is 40.

Four decades ago the environmental activist group made its name steaming out of Vancouver harbour to protest the test-bombing of Alaska's Amchitka Island.

Now Max Valliquette says it's time for a re-branding.

Not that Greenpeace is irrelevant, it just needs to work harder to get noticed on a playing field where there's more players suited up for the coming century of renewable industries and environmental politics. If Greenpeace wants to compete it's gotta look sharp.

Max has some pointers for the middle-aged warriors.

l'aquila_publish.jpgScience on Trial.

In Italy in 2009, an earthquake happened in the middle of the night in the town of L'Aquila. 309 people were killed. Next week, 7 individuals including 6 of the country's top seismologists will go on trial for manslaughter because they are alleged to have failed to give adequate warnings to the people they serve.

The global scientific community is watching carefully, and they've signed a petition in support of the indicted individuals. But a journalist covering the story tells us there are some important lessons for scientists to take from the trial, which could drag on for months.

Thumbnail image for Kathleen.JPGTIFFed off.

The Toronto International Film Festival is a pretty big deal in Canada's largest city. Lots of Oscar-hunting movies are unveiled there for a fall release and huge movie stars show up in Hogtown to promote their films.

Kathleen Philips doesn't buy into the hype. She says TIFF tickets are pricey, some of the movies are dopey and she knows where she can get more bang for her buck and aesthetic satisfaction: the local multiplex.

Just hook Kathleen up with a pair of 3D glasses and she's good.

lucas_publish.jpgWhy George Lucas? Why???

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, you could make a space western and that was enough. It was plenty for Aidan Flax-Clark, a Star Wars maniac who loved the original franchise and kind of bought into the prequels.

But Aidan knew when the owner of the lucrative franchise was crossing a line- like with The Star Wars Holiday Special, 1978.  At least he was secure in knowing the original trilogy was safe and intact, 30 years in the past, beyond any meddling or ill-advised casting.

Then, this week came the Blu-Ray Star Wars box. Enraging the die-hard fans, Lucas has been tinkering with some of the dialogue, perhaps to help those original films fit more clearly into the framework of the entire series. Heads collapsed.  So...

"Help us, Aidan Flax-Clark. You're our only hope."

Resized Deep Sixed Blog Image.jpgDon't forget to vote in our Deep Sixed poll on the euro, or as I like to call it the €.

And we'll see you next week.  

Brent Bambury @CBCDay6

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