February 10, 2010

 

Pt 1: Glaciergate - We started this segment with a clip of Rajendra Pachauri, the Chair of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was speaking to the BBC late last month amidst a growing number of calls for his resignation. But Mr. Pachauri was unapologetic.

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Pt 2: Physician Assistants - There is a new category of professionals working in some hospitals in parts of the country. They're called Physician Assistants. They're not nurses. They're not doctors. And there aren't a lot of them. But their numbers are growing. Physician Assistants have been part of the military for decades. They've been working in Manitoba since 2002.

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Pt 3: Skull Obsession - We started this segment with perhaps the most famous composition in Western musical history. It began in the mind of Viennese composer Ludwig Van Beethoven. And after his death, some became fixated on the idea that the secrets to his musical genius might be locked in his skull. But for a long time, that skull was locked away. And now, 183 years later, parts of Beethoven's skull have turned up in Danville, California. The man who owns them is Paul Kaufmann.

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It's Wednesday, February 10th.

Actor and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie has arrived in Haiti.

Currently, for one Haitian orphan, life is really going to be the Pitt's.

This is the Current.

Glaciergate - Andrew Weaver

We started this segment with a clip of Rajendra Pachauri, the Chair of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was speaking to the BBC late last month amidst a growing number of calls for his resignation. But Mr. Pachauri was unapologetic.

Since then, the backlash against the IPCC has grown. The latest criticism stems from a statement that appeared in its Fourth Assessment Report in 2007. Specifically that the Himilayan glaciers could melt away by 2035, threatening the water supply of hundreds of millions of people. The problem is that it was wrong.

And now, "Glaciergate," as it has become known, has taken on a life of its own ... and threatens to undermine the credibility of what had been one of the most respected scientific organizations in the world.

Andrew Weaver has worked extensively with the IPCC. He's climatologist at the University of Victoria. He helped write the last three IPCC reports though not the sections in question. He was in Victoria.


Listen to Part One:


Physician Assistants

There is a new category of professionals working in some hospitals in parts of the country. They're called Physician Assistants. They're not nurses. They're not doctors. And there aren't a lot of them. But their numbers are growing. Physician Assistants have been part of the military for decades. They've been working in Manitoba since 2002.

Alberta is considering having them work in its hopistals and a pilot project is putting them to work in Ontario. Some say Physician Assistants are perfectly placed to handle some aspects of patient care effectively and efficiently. But not everyone is convinced they are getting enough training.

For a sense of what physician assistants do, we were joined by Ian Jones. He's the President of the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants and he was in Winnipeg.

Physician Assistants - Nurse

But in Ontario, some nurses are opposed to the introduction of Physician Assistants. Doris Grinspun is the Executive Director of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario and she was in Toronto.

Physician Assistants - Hospital Association

Tom Closson thinks that Physician Assistants could play an important role in addressing the shortfalls in the health care system. He supports the Ontario Government's decision to bring them into the fold. Tom Closson is the President and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association. He was in Toronto.


Listen to Part Two:



Skull Obsession - Beethoven

We started this segment with perhaps the most famous composition in Western musical history. It began in the mind of Viennese composer Ludwig Van Beethoven. And after his death, some became fixated on the idea that the secrets to his musical genius might be locked in his skull. But for a long time, that skull was locked away. And now, 183 years later, parts of Beethoven's skull have turned up in Danville, California. The man who owns them is Paul Kaufmann.

Skull Obsession - Historian

The skull has fascinated scientists, philosophers and writers for centuries. And in the 1800s, that fascination spurred an underground market for the heads of the famous dead. Colin Dickey chronicles that market in his book, Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and The Search for Genius. He was in Los Angeles, California.

Skull Obsession - Hitler

We started this segment with a clip of a bulletin aired when no one was really sure how Adolph Hitler had died. It came out later that he had put a bullet in his head as the Russian Army approached his bunker in Berlin.

Later the Russians found a skull they claimed was Hitler's. For years, that grisly artifact was stashed away in Soviet -- and later Russian archives. But two years ago, Nick Bellantoni was able to take a look at the skull. And he concluded that it could not possibly have been Hitler's. Nick Bellantoni is a professor of anthropology at the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut State Archaeologist. He was in Stores, Connecticut.

Last Word - Beethoven Decomposing

We ended the program with something our friends at CBC's Content Factory unearthed while they were helping us with the story on Beethoven's skull.


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