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Episode 636

BC decriminalizes hard drugs, Alberta sets scene for The Last of Us, bleak February, and more

Benzos aren't covered by B.C.'s new decriminalization policy and critics say that's a problem; a comedian tells Marie Kondo to embrace life's messiness; how High River, Alberta became the backdrop to a celebrated episode of The Last of Us; why a TV report on bleak February still resonates; why a Grammy award for best songwriter is a big deal; and more.

How High River, Alberta became the backdrop to this week's celebrated episode of The Last of Us

The widely celebrated third episode of the HBO show, The Last of Us was shot in the Beachwood neighbourhood of High River, Alta., which was evacuated in 2013 after the devastating flood prompted the town to abandon the neighbourhood. Photographer Seph Lawless called it “the creepiest neighbourhood in the world.”

New podcast tells stories of the L'Arche community as it deals with the fallout of Jean Vanier's abuse

Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche, a non-profit Christian organization dedicated to supporting people with intellectual disabilities, is the reason journalist Jenna Barnett remained a Christian. For her, Vanier became a symbol of doing good in the world, so she was devastated when, in 2020, he was accused of sexual abuse. This week, that news got worse when the L’Arche founder was accused of abusing 25 women in a devastating report produced by L'Arche.

Benzos aren't covered by BC's new decriminalization policy and critics say that's a problem

British Columbia has launched a three-year pilot project decriminalizing small amounts of certain hard drugs. The list includes methamphetamine, cocaine, opioids and MDMA or ecstasy, but it does not include benzodiazepines or benzos. Caitlin Shane, a lawyer with the Pivot Legal Society, says that's a problem because Benzos are responsible for a growing number of overdose deaths.

A new Songwriter of the Year category at the Grammys is a reflection of how modern pop is made, says critic

When the Grammy winners are announced on Sunday, songwriters will be getting their due with a long-awaited new category: Songwriter of the Year. Music critic and Day 6 regular Maura Johnston takes us through the inaugural nominee list, and tells us why the new award is so significant for people working largely behind-the-scenes in the industry.

'February is the worst month of the year': Reporter video of the bleakest month continues to gain popularity

In 2016, on a grey, February day, St. Louis TV reporter Kevin Killeen decided to do a story about the bleak, yet “honest” month. He started by stating that “February is the worst month of the year,” and ended up with a grudging, deadpan, tribute to a month he hates. Since then, the video of his report has grown in popularity every year.

'Welcome to paradise': Comedian Emma Hunter celebrates Marie Kondo's decision to embrace life's messiness

Famous tidiness guru Marie Kondo turned a lot of heads when she recently announced that she's given up on keeping her house clean since welcoming her third child. Toronto-based comedian Emma Hunter, who also happens to have three kids under five, delivers an open letter to Kondo about the life-changing magic of not tidying up.

Riffed from the Headlines: 04/02/2023

Riffed from the Headlines is our weekly quiz where we choose three riffs linked by one story in the news. Guess the story that links the riffs and you could win a Day 6 tote bag.

Episode 635: Police budgets after the campaign to defund, Women Talking, air tags vs. Air Canada, Genaro Garci

Why Canadian police budgets have endured despite calls to defund; Sheila McCarthy on the Oscar-nominated Women Talking; Air Canada said their luggage was lost but their air tags said otherwise; 100-year-old Met recordings may soon be heard for the first time in a century; and more.

Despite 2020 calls to 'defund the police,' police budgets across Canada have increased every year since

The city of Memphis released bodycam footage of police officers beating Tyre Nichols, 29, for three minutes. He died from his injuries three days later. The video has renewed calls to reduce police budgets and divert that money to community supports but since 2020, when the police killing of George Floyd galvanized the campaign to defund police, police budgets for Canadian municipalities have increased every year.

100-year-old Met recordings found under a recliner may soon be heard for the first time in a century

At the turn of the 20th century, Lionel Mapleson was a visionary who worked to record and save performances by New York’s Metropolitan Opera. last year, more were found under a relative’s recliner. The cylinders were donated to the New York Public Library, where with new technology they’re digitizing and giving new life to the recordings.

After architecting Mexico's war on drugs this man is now on trial for allegedly colluding with cartels

The trial of Genaro Garcia Luna has begun in a federal courthouse in New York. Garcia Luna was once the head of Mexico's Federal Investigative Agency, the equivalent of the American FBI. Now, he faces charges of colluding with Mexican drug cartels.

Sheila McCarthy on the groundbreaking simplicity and success of the Oscar-nominated Women Talking

Canadian director Sarah Polley earned an Oscar nomination for her movie Women Talking. Celebrated Canadian actor Sheila McCarthy, who plays Greta in the movie, reflects on the power of the movie, the challenges of bringing it to the screen and her joy at being able to play this role.

Air Canada said their luggage was lost. Their air tags said otherwise

Nakita Rees and Tom Wilson spent four months trying to get their lost luggage back after they returned from their honeymoon. Eventually, the airline returned the bag after Rees took her story to TikTok and found a sizable, and sympathetic, audience for her story.

Riffed from the Headlines: 28/01/2023

Riffed from the Headlines is our weekly quiz where we choose three riffs linked by one story in the news. Guess the story that links the riffs and you could win a Day 6 tote bag.

Bot or not? This Canadian developed an app that weeds out AI-generated homework

Toronto's Edward Tian, 22, created GPTZero in response to the wildly successful AI content generating app ChatGPT, to give people a way to ascertain whether writing samples were produced by humans or bots.
Episode 634

A bot to detect ChatGPT, prosecuting war crimes in Ukraine, Cate Blanchett's conducting coach and more

A Canadian student who created a free app to detect ChatGPT in school essays; when Billy Bragg met Pete Seeger at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival; a celebrated Nazi-hunter turns to prosecuting war crimes in the Ukraine conflict; reviewing Nintendo's turn-based strategy game, Fire Emblem Engage; why TikTok is full of sped-up song remixes known as Nightcore; the renowned conductor who coached Cate Blanchett's epic performance in Tár; and more.

Fire Emblem Engage illustrates a novel way of tapping into video game nostalgia

Fire Emblem Engage, which came out Friday for the Nintendo Switch, shows a different way of tapping into the nostalgia factor by — quite literally — summoning the old and merging it with the new.

Family doctor says he's overworked and overregulated, and $400K in debt

Dr. Jamil Sawaya, a family physician in Saskatoon, says an often overlooked part of the problem of Canada's family doctor shortage is that for people coming out of medical school, family medicine is a much less appealing choice than other options.

Why TikTok is full of sped-up song remixes known as Nightcore

If you've seen even a handful of TikTok videos over the past couple of years, you've probably encountered background music that sounds like a chipmunk singing along to high-BPM dance tracks. Sped-up remixes, also known as Nightcore, are incredibly popular on TikTok and beyond. Freelance culture writer Cassidy George explains where Nightcore came from and how it's changing the music industry.

Meet the renowned conductor who coached Cate Blanchett's epic performance in Tár

The 2023 Oscar nominations will be announced next week, and Todd Field's tense classical-music drama Tár is expected to feature heavily on the list. Cate Blanchett is expected to emerge as a Best Actress. If Blanchett succeeds, she'll owe her success in part to Natalie Murray Beale, a renowned conductor who coached Blanchett through her performance.

Billy Bragg shares his fond memories of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, which now has an uncertain future

British musician and activist Billy Bragg first performed at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival in the late ‘80s. It was there that he met – and performed with – the legendary Pete Seeger. This week, organizers announced that this year’s festival is cancelled due to lack of funds, and that the festival’s future is in doubt.

Famed Nazi hunter Eli Rosenbaum now heads up American efforts to investigate and prosecute Russian war crimes

Eli Rosenbaum has spent 40 years investigating and prosecuting war crimes for the U.S. Department of Justice. He's been called the world's most effective Nazi hunter. Now, he's heading the Justice Department's War Crimes Accountability Team, which is tasked with investigating and eventually prosecuting war crimes committed in the conflict in Ukraine.

Riffed from the Headlines: 21/01/2023

Riffed from the Headlines is our weekly quiz where we choose three riffs linked by one story in the news. Guess the story that links the riffs and you could win a Day 6 tote bag.
Episode 633

Anti-vaxxers on the attack, Lunar New Year travel in China, The Last of Us hits HBO, and more

The allure of conspiracy theories and how to pull people back from the brink; fears of further COVID spread as Lunar New Year travel begins across China; acclaimed post-apocalyptic video game The Last Of Us gets the HBO treatment; Everyday Astronaut YouTuber Tim Dodd is going to the actual moon; and more.