Sunday, November 6, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
Time was when an allergy was an uncommon thing. Ragweed maybe and shellfish perhaps.
But nowadays it seems almost as if everybody is allergic to something.
From pretzels to pancakes, from sausages to seaweed, there seems to have been an epidemic of allergies in the last few decades.
The incidence of asthma in Canadian is skyrocketing. Not to mention so-called environmental allergies.
Why is this happening, especially in North America? Is it our addiction to processed food? Is it air pollution? Is it a matter of weak immune systems?
First up this morning, a walk through the minefield of allergies, food and otherwise, with two women whose vocation is to study the phenomena.
Get out the Kleenex.
In our Middle Hour---Thomas D'Arcy McGee, poet, patriot, martyred hero and Father of Confederation.
He came from Ireland an embittered revolutionary, chose Canada as a bulwark against the United States and reformed himself into a moderate, pragmatic politician.
David Wilson has written a masterful history of McGee in two volumes and explains why what he stood for is relevant today.
And he has some thoughts about the assassination that are too close for comfort.
In the same Hour; we mark the 50th anniversary of the trial and execution of Adolf Eichmann.
He was the most important architect and administrator of he Final Solution, yet he kept arguing he was "only following orders."
His seven-month trial was a major test for the young state of Israel and a lesson to the world that the murder of the six million was a crime that cried out for justice to be done.
Holocaust a scholar Deborah Lipstadt has written an account of Eichmann's kidnapping, trial and execution and she'll be here in Hour Two.
In our Third Hour, Massey Lecturer Adam Gopnik tries to defend his unaccountable love of winter and we'll hear words from Newfoundland pilot/poet Dave Paddon.
Elsewhere in the show: how a book club behind bars, brings hope to prison inmates.
The statistics are staggering. According to the World Allergy Organization, more people are suffering from allergies of all kinds than we've ever seen before; peanuts, pollen, gluten, milk, paint, shellfish, cats and dogs, you name it, somebody's allergic to it.
The incidence of asthma is through the roof. It's been increasing by 50 per cent every year for the past four decades. An article in Thorax, an international journal of respiratory medicine, says that in the United Kingdom, hospital admissions for food allergies have increased by 500 per cent since 1990. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that asthma and allergies affect one out of four Americans. And Anaphylaxis Canada says 20 per cent of Canadians suffer from some form of allergy.
What is going on? It's a simple question with a not-so-simple answer, and we'll explore it this morning with two guests:
Gwen Smith is the editor of Allergic Living, a magazine that is published both in Canada and in the U.S. She was in our Toronto studio.
And in the studios of KABZ in Little Rock, Arkansas was Dr. Stacie Jones. She is the chief of Chief of Allergy and Immunology at the Arkansas Children's Hospital. Dr. Jones is also a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas.
Mail - 75th Anniversary
You can't please all of the people all of the time, but we skated close last weekend with our all-star cast and golden-oldie memories of CBC Radio. There were many letters of thanks for our 75th birthday program, for which we are grateful. And there were a few critiques, for which we are equally grateful.
Thomas D'Arcy McGee
In Montreal, April 13, 1868 was a bitterly cold day. Nonetheless 15,000 people took part in a funeral parade and another 80,000 lined the streets to watch the coffin pass by. Given that at the time Montreal had a population of just 105 thousand people it was an astounding testament to the loss felt at one man's death. It was the largest funeral British North America had ever seen.
Some of this can be explained by the fact that the death was the result of an assassination. But also adding to the pathos of the day was the harsh truth that if the man being honoured had lived, he would have been celebrating his 43rd birthday.
Thomas D'Arcy McGee was as amazing in life as he was in death.
Known as "The Poet of Confederation," McGee was an acomplished writer of prose, poetry and history, an acclaimed lecturer and public speaker and a master at the game of politics.
McGee also personified extremes...In Ireland he was an extreme republican, in America, an Extreme Catholic...in Canada, an extreme moderate.
Or at least that's how David Wilson sees McGee. He's a professor in the Celtic Studies Program and the Department of History at the University of Toronto. He is the author of the two volume biography of Thomas D'Arcy McGee. Volume 2: Thomas D'Arcy McGee:Extreme Moderate will be published next week. Professor Wilson was in our Toronto studios.
Lipstadt on Eichmann
His arrest made headlines around the world, but his trial made history.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the trial and conviction of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi official in charge of the deportation of Europe's Jews during World War Two.
Eichmann escaped Germany - and justice - in the aftermath of the war, eventually settling in a German exile community in Argentina. In 1960, Israeli agents kidnapped him and smuggled him back to Israel, setting the stage for that young country's most important and dramatic court cases.
Adolf Eichmann was and remains the only person to be executed in Israel under its civil law. But the case had deep resonance outside the Israeli justice system. Millions all over the world watched the proceedings live on televison. The trial helped define the State of Israel both inside and outside its borders. And coverage of the Eichmann case brought fame and notoriety to philiospher and writer Hannah Arendt.
This week, to commemorate Holocaust Education week, Holocaust scholar and writer Deborah Lipstadt was in Canada to talk about the trial. Ms. Lipstadt is the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. She's the author of "The Eichmann Trial" which is published in Canada by Random House.
Deborah Lipstadt was in our Montreal studio.
Gopnik on Winter:
For many of us, winter is a season we either endure or escape. Whether huddled beneath a blanket in a well-heated living room or lounging on a beach, out of the reach of the cold....we see winter as something to be avoided, if possible. If not, we make our own arrangements and accommodations with it - some of us successfully and others not.
And yet we are a winter people. It's our climate that helps define us as Canadians. There are few places in this country that snow does not touch...and there are vast areas of land where the snow never leaves. It's a Canadian cliche, but like many cliches, it has some truth at its core...we live in the Great White North.
For me, winter is a season of dread. But Adam Gopnik sees it differently.
Mr. Gopnik is an author and a staff writer for New Yorker magazine. He's lived in Philadelphia, Paris and New York, but he grew up in Montreal, a city intimately connected to its coldest season, with a city beneath the city that's designed to withstand the brutal winters.
This year, he was chosen to deliver the CBC Massey Lectures. And the subject he decided to talk about is winter.
His lectures have been assembled in printed form in a book called "Winter: Five Windows on the Season." It's published by the House of Anansi Press.
Adam Gopnik was in our Toronto studio.
Music - Joni Mitchell:
That was Joni Mitchell with The River.
This year is the 75th anniversary of both the CBC and, coincidentally, the Governor Generals' Literary Awards.
With that happy convergence in mind, the CBC and the GG's partnered to commission a series of original stories on the theme of winter.
Each is written by a past GG winner and over the coming weeks you will hear some of their stories in our series Winter Tales.
The first is by Greg Hollingshead.
He is the author of three novels and three story collections -- he's won the Governor General's Award for Fiction and the Rogers Writers' Trust Award, and has been shortlisted for the Giller Prize.
He is professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, director of writing programs at the Banff Centre, and currently Chair of the Writers' Union of Canada. He lives in Edmonton.
Here is his story, Cold Wind.
The Poet Pilot:
You can't turn around in Newfoundland without running into someone who's writing a book, recording a song, or putting paint to canvas.
But even by local standards, Dave Paddon is a bit unusual. He's a tall, lean man who wears his silver hair closely cropped. He's the kind of man who looks good in a uniform.
Dave Paddon is a senior pilot with Air Canada.
He spent 20 years based in big cities in mainland Canada, but the lure of Newfoundland and Labrador pulled him back a few years ago. And when Dave Paddon moved home, he started taking people on his own flights of fancy.
Dave Paddon is a writer and performer of recitations.
In Newfoundland, a recitation can be best described as an epic poem of local proportions. You take events from everyday life -stretch them into tall tales - and deliver your story with all you've got to your audience.
So fasten your seatbelts and put your chairs in the upright position - Producer Heather Barrett is about to introduce you to Dave Paddon - The Poet Pilot.
If you would like to hear Dave Paddon in full flight, go to the documentary section by clicking on the "Documentaries" link on the right hand side of this page to hear three different Dave Paddon recitations.