Episode 23 - Leaving Scientology

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  • Scientology Allegations
  • Canada is Expensive
  • Azar Nafisi on Iran
  • Worst Movies of All Time
  • Watson and the Rise of AI
  • Oscar Pool
  • Inside Gaga's Egg

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Thumbnail image for haggis_publish.jpgWhen Canadian film director and writer Paul Haggis ended his 34-year relationship with the Church of Scientology he wrote a letter to Tommy Davis, church's spokesman.

Haggis had a number of issues with the church including its position on gay marriage. His resignation from the church was a big deal because he was one of its highest profile members.

Thumbnail image for newyorker_publish.jpgThe saga of Haggis' split with the church is detailed in a lengthy article in The New Yorker which says an FBI investigation into alleged human trafficking is underway. And it also alleges that church leader David Miscavige physically abused church members.

One of the voices in that story belongs to Marty Rathbun. He was formerly a high ranking church official.

He tells us about the violence he says he witnessed while he was a member of the church.

watson_publish.jpgThis week an IBM computer mopped the floor with the two strongest players ever to grace the stage of Jeopardy!

Watson was fascinating not only for the things he got right (nearly everything) but equally for his occasional miscues (Toronto is not in the U.S., dude!)

There's very little doubt that humankind has lost the edge on Earth's smartest quiz show.

But could you have a conversation with Watson? What if you asked him how he's feeling? What if he tried to tell a joke?

Could you ever mistake him for human?

Artificial Intelligence faces another contest every year and it's called the Turing Test. Judges engage chatbot computer programs in text message conversation alongside real people. The judges must determine if they are communicating to a person or a machine.

Our guest was one of the human decoys in the Turing Test. He tells us why he desperately wanted to be more human than the machines.

nafisi_publish.jpgDays of rage in the Middle East this week have left protestors dead in Bahrain, Libya and Iran. And on Sunday the Green Movement in Iran is calling for another mass protest.

What will happen tomorrow in Iran?

Will authorities follow the ruthless example of Bahrain? Or does the resistance in Iran have a different kind of gravity, deeper roots, more identifiable leaders?

Azar Nafisi is one of the most eloquent guides to life in Iran before and after 1979 through her best-selling memoirs Reading Lolita in Tehran and Things I've Been Silent About. She joins us from DC.

1000$_publish.jpgWhen the CRTC brought down its ruling on user based billing for internet service there was a howl from Canadian consumers. Not because we hate the telecom companies, but because we all thought: here we go again!

Buying almost anything in Canada is crazy expensive when you compare it with the prices our American neighbours are paying. And no offense, but we've got a surging economy, less debt, free trade, a stronger dollar... what gives?

Today on Day 6, why the heck is Canada so expensive?

worst_publish.jpgWhat's the worst movie you've ever seen?

There's more than enough to choose from. The Lovely Bones? The Pursuit of Happyness? Elizabethtown?

Those are all movies that Gabe Delahaye has been watching. He thinks they are worse than terrible.

Gabe is on a soul-destroying quest to find the worst movie of all time. We'll find out how many more he thinks he can ingest before he implodes.

Thumbnail image for oscar_publish.jpgDon't forget our Oscar Pool!

We're giving away ultra-desirable Cineplex passes, 2 movie tickets a month for a full year.

The Oscars are only 8 days away. So now's the time to catch up on the 2010 nomineees

All you have to do is go here and make your Oscar picks. Much healthier than force feeding yourself bad movies like poor Gabe.

Besides, you can check out Showgirls any old time. 

gaga_publish.jpgAnd Lady Gaga showed up at the Grammys in an egg.

She claims she spent 72 hours in the egg before hatching in front of a live audience to perform her new song "Born This Way".

Never mind that the new song sounds like a rehash of a Madonna leftover. We were all wondering: what did Gaga do in there for the 72 hours before she came out of her shell?

Inside Gaga's egg on today's Day 6.

And what's hatching where you are this weekend? Crocuses? Snowdrops?

Plots to force a federal election?

As they say: to make an omelette first you have to break some eggs. Happy weekend. 

Brent Bambury @CBCDay6

 

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