Week of July 29

Monday, July 29
"The greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self-rejection," said Henri Nouwen, Catholic priest, teacher and closeted gay celibate. He has been called a psychologist of the soul. Born in Holland in 1932, Nouwen wrote thirty-nine books about spirituality. He taught at Yale, Harvard and the Menninger Clinic, one world's leading psychiatric hospitals. Concerned about people whom society had rejected, Nouwen spent the last ten years of his life working with mentally challenged people at the Daybreak L'Arche community north of Toronto. A profile by Michael Higgins based on Nouwen's writings, interviews with those who knew him, and archival recordings of Nouwen himself.

Tuesday, July 30
In the mid-1500s, Giorgio Vasari's short biographies created art history, the artist as genius and even the "Renaissance". Although rife with inaccuracies and outright lies, his book is still the source on Leonardo, Michelangelo, and many others. Tony Luppino leafs through Vasari's Lives to see how it still shapes our ideas of art.

Wednesday, July 31
We engineer our roads to accommodate traffic, but cars and other vehicles spend almost all their time parked. All those parking spaces - and finding them - cause huge economic, environmental, and even social problems. Dave Redel searches for a good spot to survey the situation.

Thursday, August 1
Libyan novelist Hisham Matar was still a boy when his family fled to Cairo in order to escape the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi. In a public interview at Montreal's Blue Metropolis Literary Festival, he tells IDEAS host Paul Kennedy about his recent return to a country that his imagination never left.

Friday, August 2
Baruch Spinoza
was a 17th century lens grinder known for his precision optical work. But it was his philosophy that made this Dutch-Jewish thinker famous, then and now. IDEAS host Paul Kennedy explores how Spinoza's thoughts on God, the universe, ethics and politics helped ignite the flame that became the Enlightenment.

Ideas in the Afternoon - Monday, July 29
Over the years, the descriptions have varied: "melancholia", "the Black Dog", "down in the dumps". The term most used today is "depression". The World Health Organization says depression is set to become second only to heart disease as the world's leading disability by the year 2020. An alarming conclusion when you consider the history. One hundred years ago depression was thought to be extremely rare, with 1% of the population suffering. Today it's often called the common cold of mental illness. But just how effective are antidepressants in treating depression?

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