CBCradio

February 25, 2009

Pt 1: Keno Comes to Nova Scotia - In the next couple of weeks, electronic Keno will begin popping up in bars and restaurants across Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Electronic Keno is essentially a rolling lottery that allows players to plae new bets every 5 minutes.

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Pt 2: Fame 15.0 - Documentary - Let's see, we made it through the Oscars. We watched the masses flock to Barack Obama in the United States and Canada. So you'd think we'd all have our heads around this whole fame thing by now.

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Pt 3: Insects as Warriors - There are billions of insects on earth. You find them pretty much anywhere and everywhere you look. They pre-date our arrival on this planet. And at least some of them will probably be here long after we're gone. They have their upsides -- after all, where would flowers be without bees?

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Today's guest host was Gillian Findlay

It's Wednesday, February 25th.

Mario Dumont will resign as leader of the Action Democratique de Quebec on March 6th.

Currently, Dumont says he's grown tired of fighting the same old battles in Quebec politics. He will now devote himself to writing a book about what really happened in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

This is The Current.


Keno Comes to Nova Scotia

In the next couple of weeks, electronic Keno will begin popping up in bars and restaurants across Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Electronic Keno is essentially a rolling lottery that allows players to plae new bets every 5 minutes.

Keno has been around in various forms for a long time. But critics say that this Keno is too similar to Video Lottery Terminals or VLTs ... a form of electronic gambling that has been proven to be highly addictive. And so despite the fact that the new games could generate millions of dollars in revenue, many people in Nova Scotia and PEI are fighting their arrival.

Yesterday, Nova Scotia's acting Finance Minister said that the provincial cabinet will review the details of the plan and might reduce the number of electronic Keno games involved. But he said the plan would go ahead.

Now electronic Keno is already up and running in Western Canada. So we asked Vancouver's Cathy Verge, a Keno player to explain it to us.

Now two years ago, the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation -- the body that governs the province's gaming industry -- blocked the introduction of electronic Keno, fearing it was, indeed, to addictive. This time around, the corporation has given the game the go-ahead. It says modifications have made it less likely that gamblers will get hooked. Krista Grant is a spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation.

But not everyone is convinced by that argument. Audrey Shields is a clinical therapist at the Annapolis Valley District Health Authority in Nova Scotia. She works with individuals and their families who struggle with gambling. Audrey Shields was in our Halifax studio this morning.

Keno in Other Provinces

Yesterday, we requested interviews with the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation and Nova Scotia's acting Finance Minister, Chris d'Entremont. All of those requests were turned down.

But Andrea Marantz did agree to talk to us. She's the Manager of Corporate Affairs at the Western Canada Lottery Corporation which oversees lottery and gaming activities in several provinces, including Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta which already have electronic Keno machines. Andrea Marantz was in Winnipeg.

 

Documentary - Fame 15.0

Let's see, we made it through the Oscars. We watched the masses flock to Barack Obama in the United States and Canada. So you'd think we'd all have our heads around this whole fame thing by now.

But this morning, we had a story about a very different kind of fame. It's what some people are calling "the new fame" or "e-fame" ... the kind that can come to anyone ... even to a teenager in Fredericton, New Brunswick who -- for a while at least -- was known all over the world.

The CBC's Shaun Waters has produced a documentary called Fame 15.0 and he joined us from Fredericton to explain.

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Insects as Warriors

There are billions of insects on earth. You find them pretty much anywhere and everywhere you look. They pre-date our arrival on this planet. And at least some of them will probably be here long after we're gone. They have their upsides -- after all, where would flowers be without bees?

But they can also be a menace. The pine beetle, for example, has consumed millions of acres of Canadian timber. And the Asian Long Horned Beetle is busily devouring forests in fifteen U.S. states, as well as British Columbia and Ontario. And it's that "menace" part that has long fascinated governments the world over ... based on the idea that it just might be possible to take insects and turn them into instruments of war.

Jeffrey Lockwood has been documenting that sometimes disturbing history. He teaches Natural Sciences and Humanities at the University of Wyoming. He's also the author of the new book, Six Legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War. And this morning he joined us from Laramie, Wyoming.

We ended this segment with the trailer from the 1957 chiller-thriller The Deadly Mantis.

Last Word - Water Promo

Before we ended the program, we thought we should let you know what Anna Maria Tremonti is up to this week. She's on assignment in Jerusalem. The Current will be broadcasting from Jerusalem next Monday and Tuesday.

And as part of The Current's on-going series, Watershed, she'll be bringing you stories about the ways that water and politics intersect throughout the region ... from the banks of the Jordan River, the edge of the ever-shrinking Sea of Galilee, the politically contentious Golan Heights, The West Bank and Jerusalem.

One of the stories she'll have for you is about Israel's search for new sources of fresh water. The country is dealing with its fourth straight year of drought. And one of the more promising options is desalination ... the process of removing the salt from seawater. The Current's Kristin Nelson got a tour of one of Israeli's largest desalination plant. We ended the program with a little preview.

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