DNTO tackles "The Big Decision" (Jan. 8)

What was your "big decision" - and how did you make it? This week, we look into tough choices, and how we decide to decide.

Read on to find out what's on the show, or click the player below to listen (you can also download the podcast here, or get the enhanced version from iTunes).

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Flip a coin, consult the stars, or read tea leaves.. there are a lot of curious ways we make choices. Sook-Yin takes her mic to the street to find out how you make yours.

Four years ago, Rosanna Deerchild had to make one doozy of a decision. A close member of her family was struggling with drug addictions, and landed on her doorstep. He also had two young daughters in tow. So Rosanna decided to let them stay...for a little while. She'll tell us about her decision, and its consequences.

Seven months ago, comic and actor Claire Brosseau realized she had a problem: she was boy-crazy. And her desire to flirt and hang out with guys was taking her career nowhere fast. So Claire made a decision. She'll tell us about her "manbatical."

Jasdeep Samra and his family immigrated to Canada when he was a kid, settling into a small farming community in Ontario. They were the only non-white people in town, and as a practising Sikh, with his long black hair wrapped in a turban, Jas really stood out. That eventually led him to make a dramatic choice...

When we make a judgment, a lot of us weigh the risks against the benefits. So how does an actuary make a tough call? We'll find out.

And math-based decision making isn't just for actuaries. Garth Sundem has developed mathematical equations to help decide everything from whether to ask that cutie out on a date to whether or not you can get away with wearing those tight jeans. We'll talk with the author of Geek Logik: 50 Foolproof Equations for Everyday Life. (And check out some of Garth's equations on YouTube.)

From time to time, we all get completely stuck on a tough decision...and occasionally, even more stuck on decisions that seem easy. DNTO producer Tori Allen checks in with choice expert Dr. Sheena Iyengar, and life coach and pyschotherapist Erika Engel to find out why it's often harder to make a small decision.

Sook-Yin heads out to find out about your last difficult choice.

One of the big news stories from 2010 was the federal government's decision to make the Canadian long-form census voluntary. And part of the reason it became such a big story is that within weeks of that decision, Statistics Canada's chief statistician - Munir Sheikh - announced his resignation. But what really lead to Munir Sheikh's resignation? And how did he come to the decision? We'll get the answers straight from the source.

Russell Wangersky wanted to fight fires from the day he first found out what one was. He'd force his mom to chase the fire trucks whenever they heard one with its siren blaring. And finally, he became a volunteer firefighter first in Nova Scotia, then back home in Newfoundland.
That, however, led to one of the toughest decisions of his life...

For many years, CBS news correspondent Barry Petersen and his wife, Jan Chorlton, led an exciting life. They travelled around the world together, reporting on everything from wars to movie stars. But that all changed in 2005, when Jan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. She was only 55. Barry tried to care for Jan at home, but eventually moved her into a care facility. And after making all of those difficult decisions, he was faced with yet another one - between surrender and survival. He'll tell us about his choice.

And here's this week's playlist:

The Lovin' Spoonful - "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind"
Carmen Townsend - "Sweet Little Bird"
The Western States - "Bad Decision"
Fred Squire - "Old Times Past New Times"
Thievery Corporation - "The Number Games"
Tokyo Police Club - "Listen To the Math"
Steven Page - "Indecision"
Scissor Sisters - "I Can't Decide"
Al Tuck - "Can I Count On You?"
The Clash - "Should I Stay Or Should I Go"
Jason Collett - "Fire"
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