Bar History - ATVs - Singer Scientists

Our guest host this week is Jim Brown.

America Walks into a Bar - In the 1740s, when German immigrants were planning the community that would become Nazareth, Pennsylvania, a debate broke out between the townsfolk and the clergy over which should be built first: the tavern, or the church.

The townspeople won. The tavern went up before the church did. The general consensus was summed up well by one of the debaters. He said a town without a tavern was like Hamlet without the ghost.

Toronto writer Christine Sismondo has a new book out called "America Walks Into a Bar." And in it, she makes the case that the US was created in a tavern. Christine Sismondo joins Jim in Hour One.

Read more about hour one here

Road Warriors - In our Second Hour, we'll re-broadcast Karin Wells' documentary "Road Warriors" about a show-down between ATV enthusiasts and the people of Hamilton Township in rural Ontario.

Read more about hour two here

Singer Scientists - In Hour Three, we'll hear a conversation Michael had with three accomplished Canadian singers, all of whom also have degrees in various branches of science.

Read more about hour three here

Elsewhere in the program: we'll tell you how many Canadians it takes to fill a country, play a little James Bond music, Latin style. And at least one drinking song.

Hour 1

America Walks Into a Bar

Christine Sismondo's new book, "America Walks into a Bar" is social history told through the prism of a bar glass.

Whatever you call them -- taprooms, taverns, saloons or speakeasies - bars play a key role in North American life.

In the book we learn that Jack London once compared men in a saloon to "primitive man gathered about the fire at the mouth of the cave."

That Puritans liked a good beer.

And we're reminded that it was a meeting in a tavern that sparked the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion.

This is Christine Sismondo's second social history of drink - her first was called Mondo Cocktail.

We spoke to her in a bar called Kilgore's in the Annex district of downtown Toronto.


It seemed like an obvious statement, but not the kind of thing you're supposed to say out loud.

Last month, according to a Republican Congressman, the top US Admiral at NATO's Allied Joint Force command told him that coalition forces bombing Muammar Qaddafi's forces in Libya are specifically targetting the embattled leader.

Admiral Samuel Locklear's comments are in stark contrast to those of US President Barack Obama, who has repeatedly said that regime change is not the goal of the mission in Libya, and that, of course, means killing Colonel Qaddafi isn't either.

Indeed, the aim of UN resolution 1973, which authorized the bombing campaign, is to protect Libyan civilians and nothing more. It explicitly states that ground troops are not allowed.

Canadian Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, who is commanding the NATO mission against Libya, is the man in charge of those bombing raids; the man picking the targets.

But what to do about Muammar Qaddafi? It has been three-and-a-half months since the UN resolution was passed. Col. Qaddafi is battered but still firmly entrenched in the country and Libyan civilians would still be in great danger if and when the coalition pulls back.

Paul Rogers is a Professor in the Department of Peace Studies at Bradford University in northern England. Mr. Rogers was at his home near Bradford.

And Janice Gross Stein is the Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Janice Stein was in our studio in Toronto.

Hour 2

Road Warriors

It was 1971. The movie was Diamonds are Forever and it was the first time an ATV - All Terrain Vehicle - appeared on the silver screen.

From that day on the ATV was fixed as a new symbol of speed, power and freedom.

Today, two and a half million Canadians ride ATVs . They have been outselling snowmobiles for the last decade.

The dictionary calls them small open vehicles. The driver straddles the motor and steers with the handle bars - like a motorcycle.

But ATVs have four tires, not two, and they can go just about anywhere.

You can find well mannered retired couples touring down forest trails; young men churning up the mud, making back roads impassable; and kids - 15-year-olds and younger - with the wind in their hair cruising down the main streets of villages.

They are having fun - often irritating the neighbors - and they're spending money.

ATVs are a billion-dollar industry in Ontario alone and both federal and provincial governments are pushing the tourist potential.

But farmers will tell you they hear them in their fields at midnight; environmentalists decry the damage they do and country people tell you they sound like so many screaming lawnmowers.

The battle lines have been drawn.

They faced off in Hamilton township near Cobourg, an hour east of Toronto.

Here is Karin Wells' documentary "Road Warriors" first broadcast last September.

100 Million Canadians

Last September, Statistics Canada announced that Canada's population is roughly 34,107,101. But is that enough? Would Canada work better if we had more people? Or if we had fewer?

Figuring out what the optimal population of Canada should be is a difficult assignment, but Irvin Studin gave it a try. And he says Canada's population should be 100 million people.

Professor Studin is Program Director of the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto and founder and editor-in-chief of Global Brief. He has spent years studying the social, political and economic aspects of population. And his conclusion is we would all be better off if there were three times as many of us.

Irvin Studin joined Michael in the studio.

Hour 3

Singer Scientists

Albert Einstein is the man who gave us E=MC squared and all that goes with it. Less famously he also once said that if he hadn't been a physicist he would have been a musician. "I often think in music." He said "I get most joy in life out of music."

Last September Michael spoke to three women who completely understand where Einstein was coming from.

They are all talented singers who also happen to have degrees in various branches of science.

Our three singer scientists are Isabel Bayrakdarian, Diane Nalini and Lauren Segal.

Isabel Bayrakdarian is an internationally acclaimed soprano. She's been a guest on the Sunday Edition many times. Before she started her career in opera Isabel Bayrakdarian earned a degree in Engineering sciences.

Diane Nalini is a jazz singer and composer who has recorded four CDs, including one, "Kiss Me Like That" that is all about the relationship between music and astronomy. She was also, when Michael spoke to her, an assistant professor of phsycis at the University of Guelph.

And Lauren Segal is a mezzo-soprano and graduate of the Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio. This year she was Maddalena in Opera de Montreal's production of Rigoletto. And she recently got her masters degree in physics from the University of Toronto.

Diane Nalini, Lauren Segal and Isabel Bayrakdarian came in to The Sunday Edition last September.

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