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December 23, 2008

Pt 1: Day by Day - Documentary - People buy calendars because they need to remember. On the wall in the kitchen, on the desk in the den, or maybe next to the phone, they are often essential to help you NOT forget the important things. And as we edge closer to the end of 2008, many of you are shopping for next year's calendars.

Read more here

Pt 2: GIFTS!! - For many, 'tis the season to be panicking, elbowing your way through the malls in one last attempt at finding the perfect gift... or any gift... or whatever gift is left... for a friend or family member. But it turns out the reason we're willing to put ourselves through this ritual, year after year, isn't entirely selfless.

Read more here

Pt 3: The Powerless - Documentary - It takes courage to tilt at a windmill. And perseverance to keep doing it again and again. On this show, we have a story about a contemporary Don Quixote, a man who has been tilting at windmills for years. The difference is that sometimes he connects. His name is Clive Stafford Smith. He's a lawyer and human rights activist who takes on cases that pit him against some of the most powerful forces in the world.

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It's Tuesday, December 23rd.

Former Newfoundland Conservative MP Fabian Manning was among the 18 appointed to the Senate yesterday. Manning lost his re-election bid in the recent federal election.

Currently, exactly the sort of guy who would push for an ELECTED senate..

This is The Current.


Day by Day - Documentary

People buy calendars because they need to remember. On the wall in the kitchen, on the desk in the den, or maybe next to the phone, they are often essential to help you NOT forget the important things. And as we edge closer to the end of 2008, many of you are shopping for next year's calendars.

But deciding which to buy, now there's a challenge. With so much choice, from fuzzy kittens to pastoral landscapes, from recipes of the month to funny comic strips, just about anything you can think of likely has a calendar for it.
And then there is this calendar... on the cover: pictures of dozens of Canadian soldiers. Soldiers killed while on duty in Afghanistan.

They are framed by a maple leaf and the words: "They made a difference."

There's an interesting backstory to this calendar, and why it was created. The CBC's Adrienne Lamb joined Anna Maria from Edmonton with a documentary that tells that story. The documentary is called "Day by Day". If you want more information about the calendar you can visit www.firmm.ca.


Listen to Part One: 

 

 GIFTS!!


Gifts and Psychology

For many, 'tis the season to be panicking, elbowing your way through the malls in one last attempt at finding the perfect gift... or any gift... or whatever gift is left... for a friend or family member. But it turns out the reason we're willing to put ourselves through this ritual, year after year, isn't entirely selfless.

Take famously grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge as a case in point. He wakes up Christmas morning with a bright new zest for life. It seems that Scrooge's giddiness as he discovers the joys of giving... well... it might be addictive. At least according to psychologists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

A couple of years ago, Dr. Jordan Grafman and his team had volunteers play a computer game. The game would give the volunteers gifts. And, in turn, they were given the chance to donate to a charity.As they played the game, the researchers scanned their brains using a technique called "functional MRI".

Dr. Grafman is the head of the Cognitive Neuroscience Section at the Institute. He joined Anna Maria from Bethesda, Maryland to explain what they found.


Gifts and Philosphy

It's all well and good to uncover scientific data suggesting giving makes us feel good... to know it gets the cuddle chemical - oxytocin - firing in our brains. But all gift-givers are not created equal, and we gatherd a few stories of double-edged gift-giving to provide you with some examples.

Martha Woodruff has spent much time thinking about what motivates a gift-giver.

She teaches philosophy at Middlebury College in Vermont and is co-director of the Ancient Philosophy Society. She wrote a paper called "The Ethics of Generosity and Friendship: Aristotle's Gift to Nietzsche?" She joined us from Middlebury, Vermont.

 

Listen to Part Two: 

 

The Powerless - Documentary


It takes courage to tilt at a windmill. And perseverance to keep doing it again and again. On this show, we have a story about a contemporary Don Quixote, a man who has been tilting at windmills for years. The difference is that sometimes he connects. His name is Clive Stafford Smith. He's a lawyer and human rights activist who takes on cases that pit him against some of the most powerful forces in the world.

Meribeth Deen is a freelance broadcaster who lives in England and she's prepared this documentary called, "The Powerless". It first aired on The Current in September.


Last Word: Happy Birthday Terry - Update

Some sad news now from a story we brought you earlier this month. On December 10th we aired a documentary called "Happy Birthday Terry", by producer Bob Murphy in Halifax. It told the story of Terry Martin, a schizophrenic man who spent much of the past 14 years living on the streets of Halifax, waiting for his 65th birthday and the Old Age Security payments that come with that. He did turn 65 this summer, started collecting his cheques, and moved into a group home.

This past weekend, Terry Martin died from pneumonia.

In our last word today, we aired an excerpt from Bob Murphy's documentary.

Listen to Part Three:

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