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Episode 21 - Soccer and the Street

Egypt's Soccer Fans Drive Protests, Yann Martel Stops Sending Books to the PM, Pulling the Plug on the Net, An App for Protests, Ron Paul on the End of Foreign Aid, Plenty of Fish Hacked, 8 Hour Pop Song Challenge, Oscar Pool 2011

soccer_publish.jpgEgyptian soccer fans are tough as nails, especially in Cairo where two rival clubs spark violent confrontations whenever they meet up.

The superfans are called the ultras. They're the ones who brawl in the stands, outside the stadium, or if they merely cross paths and feel like punching each other in the face.

The soccer pitch is one of the great public spaces in the Middle East. There's a kind of freedom there that's different from the more controlled public areas in Middle Eastern cities, where individuals are less inclined to proclaim their differences.

protests_publish.jpgSo when the protests moved into the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities, it was the soccer fans who were most skilled in mob management. More than any other interest group or political entity, they helped organize the crowd.

They're not usually political, but with history turning in their country, they saw they had a role to play in the streets. They took it.

From the pitch to the protests today on Day 6.

ron paul_publish.jpgRon Paul has a radical idea.

He wants to suspend all US aid to Egypt and everywhere else. The congressman and sometime Presidential candidate thinks American foreign policy has been hurting America and does no good to the countries getting the cash, including Israel.

 He thinks a libertarian non-intervention would be better for everyone. Plus, he says America is going broke.

We talk to Ron Paul about his vision of America in the world, and who would reap the whirlwind.

yann_publish.jpgYann Martel has ended his special relationship with the Prime Minister.

The celebrated writer vowed 2 years ago to send Mr. Harper a book every two weeks. He selected the books carefully, blogged about his choices, and wrote a thoughtful letter. The response: nothing.

No personal acknowledgement ever arrived in Yann's mailbox, though the PMO lobbed back a couple cursory replies. So now, though he vowed to send the books for as long as Mr. Harper held his office, Yann has called it quits. We'll find out why.

camilla_publish.jpgProtestors in London have been busy this winter, not on the scale of Egypt, but they're not trying to overthrow the government. The protesters certainly intend to be heard, as Charles and Camilla found out last year when their limo was charged.

They're mostly students who are furious with the Cameron government's five billion dollar cut in state support from university budgets. 

A new app has been rolled out to make sure protesters and the police can function without misreading each other and causing all hell to break loose. It's called Sukey and the designers say it should prevent situations like the one in Toronto last summer when police "kettled" protesters at the G20. Don't know if would have helped Charles and Camilla.

We'll talk to one of the designers.

off switch_publish.jpgWhat if the internet had an off switch? 

Hosni Mubarak was able to get Egypt offline. And now some US senators are trying to pass a bill that would give internet kill powers to the president.

Most people are pretty protective about their access to bandwidth. Just ask the CRTC.

But if the net were shut down, would things grind to a halt? Could you still text? Would you be able to get into a hotel room with an electronic key?

Or would you join the throng of zombies in the street wandering aimlessly with dead eyes opened?  

Don Tapscott weighs in.

fish_publish.jpgPlenty of Fish got hacked.

It's an online dating site with millions of visitors, looking to find love or hook up and probably sharing lots of personal stuff.

Not with everyone, just with a potential special someone. Or maybe a few more since the site was hacked.

Claire Brosseau surveys the landscape, calculates the damage, weeps for humanity.

Thumbnail image for 8 hr_publish.jpgTwo talented musicians/producers got together in Victoria and set themselves a task: Compose, produce and record a perfect pop song in 8 hours time.

Dave Wallace and Dan Bennett are so talented they probably could have done it in 90 minutes.

The song they created Lights, Camera, Action went viral and attracted a lot of attention, which they're ambivalent about. Pop music isn't their thing.

Dave tells us what their success says about pop music in the week that both Neil Young and Justin Bieber were nominated for Artist of the Year.


mubarak.jpgAnd speaking of popular: you'd be very popular if you won these Cineplex passes we're giving away: 2 movie tickets a month for a full year.

All you have to do is go here and make some Oscar picks. We're not even asking you to vote in the loser categories of Best Sound Editing or Best Live-action Short.

Just the Big 6.

Have a great weekend, but go easy on the Superbowl nachos. There's more to life than cheese.

Brent Bambury  @CBCDay6


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