What did your secret message really reveal?

Whether it's a whispered confession or a note being passed around a classroom, we've all sent or received a secret message. But what do our mysterious messages really reveal about us?

DNTO Jan. 25 / Feb. 4

Whether it's a whispered confession or a note being passed around a classroom, we've all sent or received a secret message. But what do our mysterious messages really reveal about us?

This week, DNTO features incredible stories of messages we send and receive. From the underground communications used by an Iranian political prisoner, to a gibberish language invented between siblings, we look at the messages we send in secret.

On this week's show: 

Sook-Yin hits the street to crack your secret codes. Do you tug your ear when you can't remember a name? Or hum "Come On Eileen" when it's time to leave the party? Get ready to catch them, 'cause the beans are gonna spill!

When Sangeetha Nair was growing up, her parents were fiercely protective. That meant no late nights, no trips to the mall with friends, and most importantly - no dating. But, like many teenagers, Sangeetha met a young man that caught her eye. His name was Roy. The trouble was... he lived in a town eleven hours away. 

A many-decades old message in a bottle was recently discovered in the high Arctic. Researcher Warwick Vincent will tell you why he left it right where he found it. 


10-year-old Amber and her parents had a deal: a secret password that Amber was supposed to ask for if a stranger ever tried to pick her up. But they never thought they'd actually have to use it... Click here to read the original report on CBC.ca 

Sometimes, secret messages aren't spoken out loud or written down, but communicated physically.  Jane McLean was surprised to discover what her husband's "arm squeeze" really meant! 

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Few stories of trading secret messages are as harrowing -- or as potentially deadly -- as the one told by Anahita Rahmani. When she was 25, Rahmani became a political prisoner in Iran, and communicated through Morse Code with fellow prisoners. She'll tell us what life-and-death lessons she learned on the other side of the jail wall.

As a kid growing up in Mississauga, James Gangl didn't have much of a relationship with his Opa. Not only did his grandfather live thousands of miles away in Austria, but everything he heard about him was that he was a bit of a nasty guy. But when James' grandfather passed away, he left behind a secret message, that made James look at his Opa in a whole new light.

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As a girl living off grid in an isolated area of British Columbia, Willow Yamauchi couldn't escape her family. She and her sister lived with their parents on a houseboat, and the closest neighbours were a 45 minute row boat ride away. So, to keep the sorts of things that pre-teen girls like to keep secret from their parents, Willlow and her sister, came up with a secret language only the two of them could understand. 

We've all read the anonymous graffiti written in bathroom stalls. But what happens when you read a message that's calling out for help? Kierston Drier found out, after stepping in to a university bathroom stall, and writing back. 

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DNTO Producer Andrew Friesen was a bit of a keener in middle school. He got good grades, was friends with all his classmates, and liked his teacher. Everything was great! Until a secret note drew battle lines in the classroom... 

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For the better part of a decade, comedian  David Bussell has travelled the world, and spent a lot of time in hotel rooms. While a lot of travellers will take a souvenir from their room, David gets a bigger kick out of leaving things behind - especially hidden messages! 

Elana Desserich was only 6 years old when she passed away from cancer. After her death, her family started finding notes that she had left behind for them. Hundreds of of notes. They have published them in a book called Notes Left Behind with proceeds going to help fund their foundation The Cure Starts Now. Her father, Keith Desserich, shares his story. 

This week's playlist:
James Younger - "Monday Morning"
The Police - "Message in a Bottle"
Jay Malinowski and The Dead Coast - "Patience Phipps"
Young Galaxy - "Crying My Heart Out"
Sarah Harmer - "Oleander"
Billie Joe + Norah - "Long Time Gone"
Bob Dylan - "Forever Young"
Jim Guthrie - "The Rest Is Yet to Come"
New Pornographers - "Letter From an Occupant"


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