Out in the Openwith Piya Chattopadhyay

Latest

How a psychiatry professor accidentally discovered he was a psychopath

James Fallon is determined to overcome his worst instincts.

'Confronting the truth about yourself is really hard': Rediscovering a complicated youth through adult eyes

Piper Weiss was a teenager when she along with everyone else in her Upper East Side community fell victim to the charms of Gary Wilensky, her tennis coach who would soon turn out to be a child predator.
Q&A

Ibram X. Kendi says we are either being racist or antiracist, there is no middle ground

Author and historian Ibram X. Kendi talks about "How to Be an Antiracist", his rallying cry for all of us to reframe how we think about racism in order to remedy it. If we don't, Kendi says racism may well threaten our very existence.

'I just see myself as me': What DNA tests don't say about who you are

Olivia Bowden knows that her mom's an Indian immigrant to Canada and that her dad's Caucasian. She also knows that DNA, which is scientific, should not be conflated with race, a social category. And yet, as a biracial woman who's struggled with belonging, she still wanted to take a DNA test to affirm who she is.
Audio

'There was a sense of numbness': Woman finds tragic sense of triumph after unmasking her identity thief

Axton Betz-Hamilton and her family were dogged by identity theft for years. She speaks with Piya about her mission to track down who was behind it all... and the shocking discovery she made when she finally solved the mystery.

Her ancestors were slaves. His were slave traders. They took a road trip to 'confront that history'

Sharon Morgan is the descendant of slaves. Tom DeWolf is the descendant of the largest slave-trading dynasty in U.S. history. Together, they took a road trip to significant sites in each of their family's pasts to better understand how the legacy of slavery has affected them.

'I don't apologize for Sharknado': Cult film's screenwriter considers his legacy

Thunder Levin spent two decades trying to break through in Hollywood before he wrote the movie that became his claim to fame.

In the age of #MeToo, advocate says we need to start talking about stalking

When Julie Lalonde broke up with her abusive boyfriend at the age of 20, she hoped it would be the end of a difficult chapter in her life. Instead, it was the beginning of a decade of stalking and harassment — and she's not the only one.

Why a near-perfect memory can be both a blessing and a curse

Markie Pasternack has Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM), meaning she has a nearly perfect memory for things that have happened to her and things she happens to have heard about. She tells Piya how her exceptional memory has bolstered her relationships, but also made it impossible to forget the more difficult experiences she's lived through.

Students speak out about the potential pitfalls of gifted testing

While he was in school, Braxton Wignall showed signs of strong intelligence but also had strong behavioural challenges. When he was tested for being "gifted", he didn't make the cut. We hear from Braxton and students he works with today about the controversial practice of labelling students as 'gifted' and who defines what being exceptional looks like.

'I felt very much like a bad feminist': How experiencing infertility challenged this woman's sense of self

When Katy Lindemann found out that she was infertile, she struggled to reconcile her feminism with feeling like a "failure" as a woman.

No national plan for fertility treatment remains challenge for Canadians hoping to conceive

While four provinces have some form of funding available, patients, advocates and policy experts say that Canada has a long way to go when tackling the financial barriers to fertility treatment.
Audio

Why a cold-blooded criminal spared the life of the man that killed his loved one

During a robbery-gone-wrong at Hudson's Bay in Toronto, Glen Flett shot and killed the store's manager. At the time, he felt no remorse for the deceased man. But his mindset changed when a beloved mother figure was killed, and he found himself on the other side of crime.

Whale of a tale: Why one woman clings to her grandfather's too-good-to-be-true stories

Robbin Parcker has always adored hearing her grandfather Michael's fantastical life stories, from the time he stood on a whale, to the time he danced with the queen. But whether those tales are entirely accurate is irrelevant to her.

Lisa Raitt on the pain and glory of losing the job she held for over a decade

After serving 11 years as a Conservative MP in Milton, Ont., Lisa Raitt lost her seat in the 2019 federal election. But she's not settling down to a quiet life as a private citizen. Raitt talks about her plans for her future and shares a few thoughts on what her party needs to do to unite itself.

Man on a mission to show his houseplants can jam together

Bob Connolly thinks plants, people and electromagnetic fields can affect one another in more ways than most of us might believe. To show off those interactions, he's hooking polygraphs up to houseplants and converting their resistance into sounds using MIDI machines.

Two views on the lasting personal and political effects of Trudeau's blackface scandal

After news broke that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wore blackface and brownface in the past, Green Party candidate Marty Lancaster decided to out himself and apologize for his own transgression. Like Lancaster, Trudeau also apologized. But it was a mea culpa that Halifax writer, professor and activist El Jones refused to accept.

How being a phone sex operator helped this woman heal from sexual trauma

Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro lives with chronic illness, disability and PTSD. She initially became a phone sex operator for the flexibility the job afforded her. But she soon found it also had the surprising effect of helping her process trauma related to sexual abuse she suffered as a child.

World AIDS Day: HIV no longer a death sentence but stigma remains

World AIDS Day was established in 1988, during the height of the AIDS crisis, to create awareness around HIV/AIDS, promote potential cures and remember lives lost.

Ottawa mother's quest for her late son's passwords an uncharted legal road, say experts

Maureen Henry is locked in a complex legal battle to access the passwords to her late son's digital accounts, which may hold the clues to his mysterious death. Her quest puts a spotlight on the ethical debate and uncharted legal roads surrounding digital privacy.
Q&A

Ibram X. Kendi says we are either being racist or antiracist, there is no middle ground

Author and historian Ibram X. Kendi talks about "How to Be an Antiracist", his rallying cry for all of us to reframe how we think about racism in order to remedy it. If we don't, Kendi says racism may well threaten our very existence.
Video

The promise and pitfalls of assistive technologies for people with visual impairments

Visually impaired users of assistive technologies say apps, gadgets and other innovations go a long way, but broader measures to enhance accessibility would be better.

TRC Honorary Witness grapples with feeling like a 'fraud' after observing testimony

Nick Noorani was chosen to be an Honorary Witness at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. His role included hearing stories of residential school survivors, first hand.

A mother suspected that a kid might shoot someone. So why didn't she phone the police?

Bellamy Shoffner came upon a group of young black boys while walking in the park. She believed one of them pulled out a gun and she considered calling the police for help. But she was also afraid police might end up shooting one of the boys. Bellamy tells Piya why she's pleased with the decision she ultimately made... even though she holds it was the wrong one.

Man who captured video of Charlottesville attack still dealing with the aftermath

On Aug. 12, 2017, Brennan Gilmore was among the people protesting racism at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. By chance, he was also filming the scene with his phone when a man drove a car into the crowd, killing Heather Heyer.