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December 24, 2009

Pt 1: List Obsession - As the decade comes to a close, there are lists for pretty much everything ... from the most popular... To the most obscure ...

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Pt 2: Iran Protests - In 1979, Ayatollah Montazeri was one of the founders of the Iranian revolution. But in recent years, he parted ways with Iran's leadership and became a leading -- and much loved -- dissident cleric. His death has reignited the clashes between the reformist "Green Movement" and the forces loyal to the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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Pt 3: Beer and Braids - Documentary - For generations, women have fought to have their efforts on the homefront recognized as legitimate work. Now, more men are taking up the same cause. And many of them -- especially stay-at-home Dads -- are discovering that's it's awfully tough to cook dinner, do the laundry and break down stereotypes ... all while trying to break up a fight between a three-year-old and a five-year-old.

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It's Thursday, December 24th.

And in the spirit of the season, I offer you my own little rendition of one of my favorite carols

Hit it Tom.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me... A Balloon Boy in an attic..

Twelve glaciers melting
Eleven Tigers prowling
Ten Gosselins howling
Nine mounties tazing
Eight abused detainees
Seven North Korean Missiles
Six remaining Jacksons
Five swine flu clinics
Four Berlusconi stitches
Three ponzi schemers
Two (stinky) garbage strikes
And one Balloon Boy in an attic

This is The Current


List Obsession

As the decade comes to a close, there are lists for pretty much everything ... from the most popular... To the most obscure...

So this morning, we're asking what our obsession with lists, classifications and ranking says about us. And we'll begin with Jamie Frater. He is a retired opera singer who now makes a living publishing a list a day on his popular web site called Listverse. He's also the author of, The Ultimate Book of Top Ten Lists. He was in Wellington, New Zealand for the show.

The Downside to Lists

So our fascination with lists is clear. But according to Lynne Howarth, there can be a few downsides to this list-mania. She is a professor of Knowledge Organization at the University of Toronto.



 

Iran Protests

In 1979, Ayatollah Montazeri was one of the founders of the Iranian revolution. But in recent years, he parted ways with Iran's leadership and became a leading -- and much loved -- dissident cleric. His death has reignited the clashes between the reformist "Green Movement" and the forces loyal to the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Borzou Daragahi has covered the funeral. He covers Iran for the Los Angeles Times. He was in Beirut for the show.

One of the most powerful forces in Iran is the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Revolutionary Guard was created in 1979 as a national security force. But since then, its reach has grown to the point where observers such as Maziar Bahari think it could actually take over the state. Maziar Bahari is a dual Canadian and Iranian citizen and a reporter with Newsweek Magazine. During the last round of protests, he was arrested and held for 118 days in Iran's notorious Evin prison. A few weeks ago, Anna Maria spoke to him about his experiences and he offered up this take on the Revolutionary Guard.

Payam Akhavan has been watching Iran's factions struggle for supremacy with great interest. He is a Canadian of Iranian Decent, who is now a professor of international law at McGill University. He is also the co-founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre and he was in Montreal.



 

Beer and Braids - Documentary

For generations, women have fought to have their efforts on the homefront recognized as legitimate work. Now, more men are taking up the same cause. And many of them -- especially stay-at-home Dads -- are discovering that's it's awfully tough to cook dinner, do the laundry and break down stereotypes ... all while trying to break up a fight between a three-year-old and a five-year-old.

Music

Artist: Dominic Angelo and Francois Jean Pierre
Cd: IFM 0055
Cut: Cooler Than Cool, Promo 30
Label: ASCAP

Music

Artist: Jonathan Patterson
Cd: APMC 0103
Cut: Lopsided
Label: BMI


Letters

Thursday is mail day on The Current and our producer, Kristin Nelson joined Anna Mariain studio. Now for the mail:

Eldercare: Donna Paradowski is a home care nurse practitioner -- one of just four in all of Edmonton. And her work -- dealing mostly with elderly patients -- offers a front-line view of how home care can work for the fragile elderly. Tuesday on The Current, anna Maria asked Donna Paradowski whether these elderly patients should be staying at home.

Letters from Strangers: The festive season is a busy season but it can also be a lonely time of year. Artists Michael Crowe and Lenka Clayton are doing something to try and tackle loneliness. Michael and Lenka sent out 620 hand-written letters to a neighbourhood in Pittsburgh ... in a bid to ignite connections between people there. And one letter at a time, they plan to send letters to everyone in the world -- all six billion of us. We took a look at that story last Monday.

Request Count: Time for our weekly update. Our 26th turn down was a voicemail from Defence Minister Peter Mackay, who was asked to comment on his decision not to renew Peter Tinsley as the Chair of the Military Complaints Commission. And that was the last request count for 2009.

We will reset the request count in 2010. And we are always looking forward to hearing from you. Please email us from our website. You can call us toll-free day or night at 1 877 287 7366. We are on Twitter at TheCurrentCBC. Or send us a card Box 500, Station A, Toronto, M5W 1E6.

Last Word

Two weeks ago, an arsonist set fire to a chuch in Whitby, Ontario. The church was mostly destroyed. But the parishoners are determined to re-build.

We will leave you with a seasonal -- if slightly odd -- musical selection. This is Bob Dylan and Must Be Santa.

Music

Artist: Bob Dylan
Cd: Christmas in the Heart
Cut: Must Be Santa
Label: Columbia



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