Scottish Referendum; Therésè Casgrain; Psychiatric Care in Belgium; Operatic Mute Briane Nasimok; Lorrie Moore; Science of Hope and Optimism


This week on The Sunday Edition for Aug 17, 2014, with guest host Francine Pelletier.

Scottish Referendum and Quebec (at :30)

In a little more than a month, Scots will vote "Yes" or "No" to the question, "Should Scotland be an independent country?" For the Yes side, the dream of regaining independence from Britain is a matter of patriotic pride and asserting Scotland's political and cultural differences from England. For the No side, Scottish sovereignty is fraught with economic peril and would be tearing apart a union that works just fine. And both the Yes and No campaigns have been closely studying Quebec's and Canada's history of referendums - not just for inspiration, but also for lessons on how NOT to resolve a sovereignty debate.

Therésè Casgrain (at 23:01)

Few women in Canada fought harder for social justice and women's rights than Thérèse Casgrain. But in recent years, the Conservative government removed Ms. Casgrain's image from the 50-dollar bill, and removed her name from a national award for volunteers. This apparent slight to Quebec's most famous suffragette and the first woman in Canada to lead a political party has created quite a controversy in Quebec. Francine will talk to Casgrain's grand-daughter, Michele Nadeau about this remarkable woman and whether her legacy is being erased from the public record.

Documentary: You Belong in Geel (at 44:35)

For centuries, families in the town of Geel, Belgium, have been inviting the mentally ill into their homes ... sometimes for a cup of tea, sometimes to live for thirty years. In many cases, people with illnesses and conditions ranging from schizophrenia to obsessive compulsive disorder, become not just boarders, but part of the family. Karin Wells looks at this fascinating experiment in psychiatric care in her documentary, You Belong in Geel.

Operatic Mute (at 1:11:45)

Briane Nasimok made quite a career for himself on the opera stage, without ever singing a note. He's what is known as an "opera mute," playing such vaunted roles as "The Other Servant" in Cosi Fan Tutte, and "The Head Waiter" in La Boheme. We'll revisit Michael Enright's interview with Mr. Nasimok and a few racy stories from behind the proscenium arch.

Lorrie Moore (at 1:31:51)

She admits to being somewhat less than a prolific writer, but when the award-winning American novelist and short story writer Lorrie Moore does publish a book, the reading public takes notice. Michael spoke to her in the spring, when her latest collection of short stories, Bark, was published.

The Science of Hope and Optimism (1:55:17)

Hope can be a matter of survival, for us as individuals and for humans as a species. In fact, evidence suggest that we're hard-wired for optimism, that we've evolved to be hopeful. A neuroscientist and psychologist discuss why hope is good for our physical and mental health and why optimism can be bad for decision-making.

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