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Pasta: The long and short of it

Pasta, a simple amalgam of wheat flour and water, is one of the world's most popular foods. It's Italy's gift to humanity… or maybe the Arabs’, or China’s. With its hundreds of shapes and sizes, its infinite variety of sauces, pasta is the foundation of one of the world's great cuisines. Contributor Megan Williams is based in Rome. She explains how and when it was invented, where it got its shapes, and why it’s so beloved.

Meat on the table: Can we justify consuming animals?

If you typically eat three meals a day, then it's a choice you make more than one thousand times a year. And if you're like most people, that choice probably involves meat or dairy, or both. On top of that, many of the clothes we wear are made from animals. But can something that nearly everybody on the planet is doing ━ and has been doing for millions of years ━ be immoral?

The Matter of Meat: A history of pros and cons

Eating meat: some say we've evolved to do it. It's in our DNA. It's how we got our big brains. Yet others, including Pythagoras in the 6th century BC, and even Dr. Frankenstein's "monster", have argued that eating meat is bad for our bodies, cruel to animals, and toxic to the planet. Now -- perhaps more than ever -- clear-cut answers can be hard to come by when it comes to the matter of meat. Kevin Ball serves up the arguments.

Borges' Buenos Aires: The Imaginary City, Part 2

The Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges was profoundly shaped by the city he grew up in — Buenos Aires, and the city plays a major role in many of his stories. Philip Coulter goes on a walking tour of Borges' Buenos Aires in the company of the celebrated writer Alberto Manguel. Part 2 of a 2-part series.

Borges' Buenos Aires: The Imaginary City, Part 1

The Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges was profoundly shaped by the city he grew up in — Buenos Aires, and the city plays a major role in many of his stories. Philip Coulter goes on a walking tour of Borges' Buenos Aires in the company of the celebrated writer Alberto Manguel. Part 1 of a 2-part series.

Dark tower of dreams: Inside the Walled City of Kowloon

The infamous “Walled City of Kowloon” was once the most populous spot on the planet. With 1.2 million people per square kilometre, it was a gigantic squatter’s village. Nobody planned it, but somehow it worked, until it was demolished, just before the British handed Hong Kong back to China. Paul Kennedy speaks with photographer Greg Girard, and urban designer Suenn Ho, about what the Walled City meant to them, and him.

Master of his own design: Becoming Frank Gehry

Canadian-born Frank Gehry has been called the greatest architect of our time. And yet he's still a rebel in his field. A complex and engaging man, who's been open about his disdain for the media, gave IDEAS producer Mary Lynk a rare chance to talk with him in California.

Master of his own design: Conversations with Frank Gehry, rebel architect

Canadian-born Frank Gehry has been called the greatest architect of our time. And yet he's still a rebel in his field. A complex and engaging man, who's been open about his disdain for the media, gave IDEAS producer Mary Lynk a rare chance to talk with him in California.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

Revisiting Glenn Gould's revolutionary radio documentary, 'The Idea of North'

Fifty years ago in his landmark documentary, "The Idea of North", Glenn Gould used a technique he called “contrapuntal radio.” Today, Mark Laurie reinterprets the technique to explore the landscape of the pianist’s life – and his ideas about music and radio.

Gabrielle Scrimshaw on liberating the past and embracing the future

Gabrielle Scrimshaw delivers the third annual Vancouver Island University Indigenous Lecture on the challenges Indigenous youth face, what reconciliation looks like, and how people can engage on that journey.

Slavery's long shadow: The impact of 200 years enslavement in Canada

Is there a connection between the enslavement of African-Canadians and their overwhelming presence in the criminal justice system today? The United Nations has sounded the alarm on anti-black racism in Canada, stating it can be traced back to slavery and its legacy. In Part 2 of his series on slavery in colonial Canada, Kyle G. Brown explores the long-lasting ramifications of one of humanity’s most iniquitous institutions.

The verdict on Sir John A. Macdonald: Guilty or innocent?

Canada's first prime minister is either a hero, or a man ultimately responsible for mass murder. In Part 2 of the Trial of Sir John A. Macdonald, prosecutor Jean Teillet makes her case on the second count against Macdonald for crimes against humanity — intentional starvation and deaths of thousands of Indigenous people on the plains.

The 'trial' of Sir John A. Macdonald: Would he be guilty of war crimes today?

As celebrations of Canada's 150th birthday continue to fade into the background, the controversy around Sir John A. Macdonald's legacy continues to build. This special episode of Ideas puts Canada's first Prime Minister on trial for 'crimes against humanity.'

First Nations in the first person: Telling stories & changing lives

Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017 highlighted its evolving relationship with Indigenous people. Too often in that history, voices other than those from First Nations did the talking for them. That’s why in this episode we’re featuring the stories of three Indigenous people told in their own words, people whose lives embody this changing relationship and the multitude of new realities they face. The episode has no interviewer. It’s just them and their stories.

Maximum Canada: How big is enough?

Acclaimed Globe & Mail journalist Doug Saunders argues in his book "Maximum Canada: Why 35 Million Canadians Are Not Enough" that Canada has had trouble keeping the immigrants it attracts. This "minimizing impulse", as he terms it, has to be jettisoned if Canada is to take its rightful place on the world stage.

Canada's slavery secret: The whitewashing of 200 years of enslavement

Why is it common knowledge that we saved runaway slaves from the United States, but few know that Africans and Indigenous peoples were bought, sold and exploited, right here? Contributor Kyle G. Brown asks how slavery was allowed to continue for some 200 years, and be one of the least talked about aspects of our history.

Andrew Feinstein exposes "the shadow world" of global arms

Buying and selling weapons is a huge, and highly secretive, business — for governments, aerospace and defence companies, and black market profiteers alike. Former South African politician and current U.K. corruption researcher Andrew Feinstein argues that the arms trade does not make us more secure. In fact, he contends that it fuels conflict, undermines economic progress and democracy, and — with its unintended consequences — endangers citizens everywhere.

Overlooked: Photography and the Smartphone

We've gone from capturing special moments on film, to snapping every aspect of our day on smartphones. What are the upsides and what are we losing? Photographers, curators and thinkers reflect on how this new image culture affects us, as well as its surprising links to earlier eras of photography.

Restoring our relationship with nature from lake beds to treetops

IDEAS host Paul Kennedy moderates the fifth Muskoka Summit on the Environment, a panel discussion about "Restoring our Relationship with the Natural World." Six guests join Kennedy in a discussion about the environment.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

A Map of the Heart, Part 2: The Icelandic Sagas

More than a thousand years ago, rebel Vikings and other settlers fleeing from Norway settled on a craggy, uninhabited island in the north Atlantic: Iceland. There they built a new world pretty much from scratch, with a new legal system, a new social order and — eventually — a new language. They also created stories about who they were. Philip Coulter time-travels into the heart of the Icelandic sagas.

A Modest Proposal About Satire

Are our current politicians becoming satire-proof? Or has satire always merely preached to the choir? In search of answers Peter looks to the classic satire of Juvenal, Swift and the Arab-speaking world, as well as prominent current practitioners including Armando Iannucci, creator of "Veep" and "The Death of Stalin".

One House Many Nations: Building sustainable homes to solve a national crisis

On the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (or OCN), they've come up with their own home-grown solution to a national housing crisis. Paul Kennedy made a mid-winter visit to the reserve — situated at the junction of the Opasquia and Saskatchewan Rivers, in Northern Manitoba — to see community members building the first small wooden house.

This former magician uses the power of suggestions to help heal real-life disorders

As a professional magician, Jay Olson mastered the art of illusion, deception and the power of suggestion. Now, as a PhD student in psychiatry at McGill University, he hopes the skills he's used to entertain people can also be used to heal them.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

A Map of the Heart, Part 1: The Icelandic Sagas,

More than a thousand years ago, rebel Vikings and other settlers fleeing from Norway settled on a craggy, uninhabited island in the north Atlantic: Iceland. There they built a new world pretty much from scratch, with a new legal system, a new social order and — eventually — a new language. They also created stories about who they were. Philip Coulter time-travels into the heart of the Icelandic Sagas.

Ursula Johnson: A new rock star in the art world

A profile of 2017 Sobey Art Award winner, Ursula Johnson. There’s a lot of buzz around this young artist - a brilliant, dynamic, articulate and delightful Mi’kmaq artist from Eskasoni First Nation, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Her art is stunning and thought-provoking. She is a multidisciplinary artist. Her work includes sculpture, printmaking, performance and non-traditional basket weaving.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

A Map of the Heart, Part 1: The Icelandic Sagas,

More than a thousand years ago, rebel Vikings and other settlers fleeing from Norway settled on a craggy, uninhabited island in the north Atlantic: Iceland. There they built a new world pretty much from scratch, with a new legal system, a new social order and — eventually — a new language. They also created stories about who they were. Philip Coulter time-travels into the heart of the Icelandic Sagas.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

Revisiting Glenn Gould's revolutionary radio documentary, 'The Idea of North'

Fifty years ago in his landmark documentary, "The Idea of North", Glenn Gould used a technique he called “contrapuntal radio.” Today, Mark Laurie reinterprets the technique to explore the landscape of the pianist’s life – and his ideas about music and radio.

The verdict on Sir John A. Macdonald: Guilty or innocent?

Canada's first prime minister is either a hero, or a man ultimately responsible for mass murder. In Part 2 of the Trial of Sir John A. Macdonald, prosecutor Jean Teillet makes her case on the second count against Macdonald for crimes against humanity — intentional starvation and deaths of thousands of Indigenous people on the plains.

The 'trial' of Sir John A. Macdonald: Would he be guilty of war crimes today?

As celebrations of Canada's 150th birthday continue to fade into the background, the controversy around Sir John A. Macdonald's legacy continues to build. This special episode of Ideas puts Canada's first Prime Minister on trial for 'crimes against humanity.'

The verdict on Sir John A. Macdonald: Guilty or innocent?

Canada's first prime minister is either a hero, or a man ultimately responsible for mass murder. In Part 2 of the Trial of Sir John A. Macdonald, prosecutor Jean Teillet makes her case on the second count against Macdonald for crimes against humanity — intentional starvation and deaths of thousands of Indigenous people on the plains.

The 'trial' of Sir John A. Macdonald: Would he be guilty of war crimes today?

As celebrations of Canada's 150th birthday continue to fade into the background, the controversy around Sir John A. Macdonald's legacy continues to build. This special episode of Ideas puts Canada's first Prime Minister on trial for 'crimes against humanity.'