Pt 1: Iceland Volcano - Kristinn Gudjonsson is a geologist and a guide in Iceland. And while much of the world's attention is focused on the passengers stranded because of the ash clouds produced by the volcano in Iceland, he's watching the people who live in the shadow of that volcano, and whose way of life is being challenged in its wake. (Read More)
Pt 2: Letters - It's mail day. And we hear your thoughts on the Catholic Church, the Afghan detainee scandal and the search for intelligent life in other parts of the universe. (Read More)
Pt 3: Caring for Seniors - As life expectancy goes up, the people taking care of the elderly are often seniors themselves. We look at the ups, the downs, and the complications of caring for your loved ones for longer than either of you might have planned. (Read More)
Whole Show Blow-by-Blow
It's Thursday, April 22nd.
Toyota is promoting the fact its pickup truck was used by scientists setting up monitoring equipment on the Icelandic volcano just hours before it erupted.
Currently, Seriously guys, you really have to fix that accelerator problem.
This is The Current.
Iceland Volcano: Kristinn Gudjonsson
We started this segment with a clip of Anna Birna Thrainsdottir. She's a farmer in Iceland. And her farm is right in the path of the volcano that has been spewing plumes of toxic ash for the last week.
While much of the world has been focused on the airline passengers stranded because of the volcano, the people living next to it have been assessing the damage done to their livelihoods and reflecting on their future. Iceland's President, Olaf Ragnar Grimsson, visited residents of the area earlier this week. We aired a clip with her remarks.
Kristinn Gudjonsson is a geologist in Reykjavik. He also leads tours to the area around the volcano. He visited the area again yesterday. And he was back in the capital this morning.
If it's Thursday, it must be mail day. And to help me Anna Maria do the honours reading your mail, she was joined by our Friday host, Gillian Findlay.
Patrick Wall: Yesterday we spoke with Patrick Wall ... a former Roman Catholic priest and Benedictine monk who for years was also what's known as a "Fixer." He was sent into four seperate parishes in the aftermath of sex abuse scandals - with the understanding that he was to keep them quiet. Patrick Wall is the co-author of Sex, Priests and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse. And when he appeared on The Current yesterday, he talked about his dealings with the victims of sexual abuse. Many listeners found that interview with Patrick Wall very compelling and they wrote in adding their thoughts to this discussion.
Afghan Detainees: On Monday morning, we took another look at the questions that just won't go away about Canada's handling of Afghan detainees ... something that has been compared by some to the infamous airborne scandal of 1993, in which Canadian troops tortured and killed a Somali teenager. But some of our listeners were rankled by the rhetoric used in the debate over allegations of detainee abuse. We shared some letters on this topic.
SETI: On Friday, we interviewed Paul Davies, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist who's also the chair of the Post-Detection Science and technology Taskgroup with SETI - that's Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. And for someone who's devoted much of his career to the search for signs of life on other planets, he's critical of the way the search has been conducted up until now. In his new book, The Eerie Silence, he argues that the fact that fifty years of SETI have turned up nothing means scientists are going about the search in the wrong way. After sharing some letters on this topic, including the issue of funding.
To address funding dollars, were ere joined by Seth Shostak. He's the senior astronomer with the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. We reached him at his home in Mountain View, California.
Volunteering: It's National Volunteer Week in Canada, so on Monday, as part of our Work In Progress series, we looked at the virtues of initiatives by several provinces and territories to make volunteering a graduation requirement for high school students. Our listeners volunteered their time and wrote in with their comments.
Lawrence Scanlan has had a more intensive experience than most people with the world of volunteering. He spent a year volunteering for a different organization every month. And he's documented that year in a new book called A Year of Living Generously: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Philanthropy. Lawrence Scanlan was in Kingston, Ontario.
Nazia Quazi: We want to update you now on a story we brought you a couple weeks ago. Nazia Quazi is a Canadian citizen who has been stuck against her will in Saudi Arabia for more than two years. Under that country's male guardianship system, she can't leave the country without her father's permission and he won't give it to her.
Well this week, we brought you the story of Mark Brousseau. He's a retired Chief Petty Officer, second class, with the Canadian Navy. When he heard Nazia's story, he decided he had to do something. Twenty years ago, he received a medal from the Saudi Government for his participation in the multinational task force that liberated Kuwait during the first Gulf War. He decided to give that medal back to the Saudi embassy in protest of what he calls an "intolerable" situation for women in Saudi Arabia. Now, two other veterans heard the news, and have followed suit. Retired captain John Jackson and retired Air Force Captain Lou Travis have announced that they too will be sending back their medals.
Seniors Taking Care of Seniors
We started this segment with a clip from Gloria, one of the women who is profiled in a new documentary called Mom's Home by film-maker Maureen Judge. Gloria is like a lot of baby boomers ... aging though certainly not old and spending more time than she had planned caring for an elderly parent.
Eighty per cent of seniors in Canada are cared for by close relatives and friends. And so as baby boomers age, they are dealing with their own health issues, while also being called on to help their ailing parents.
Writer Jane Christmas learned the hard way how difficult it is to care for an elderly parent when she took her octogenarian mother on a month-long trip through Italy. The experienced is the subject of her latest book. It's called Incontinent on the Continent: My Mother, Her Walker, and Our Grand Tour of Italy. Jane Christmas was in Toronto this morning.
Seniors Taking Care of Seniors
For their thoughts on the challenges that presents, we were joined by Michael Gordon. He's the Medical Program Director at Baycrest Geriatric Health Care System and the author of Moments that Matter: Cases in Ethical Eldercare. Lyndsay Green is a sociologist and the author of You Could Live a Long Time: Are You Ready? And Simon Goldenthal is a senior citizen who lives in Toronto with his retired son.
They were all in Toronto this morning.
Friday Video Edition
Tomorrow, we will have a new edition of The Current video with some of our best conversations. Watch our interview with Andrew Potter as well as the seniors discussion we just aired today. This will be our second pilot episode and we'd love to know what you think so please send us your feedback.