Ideas

 
 

Ideas

Ideas is CBC Radio's program of contemporary thought.

Updated: Daily
Download episodes from this podcast for: 3 months
Visit Show Site: http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/

All podcast episodes

Use the links below to download a file.

True Crime Bloodline

From the inventive journalism of "Serial", to the sexual horror of "The Keepers", to the chatty storytelling of "White Wine True Crime", we appear to be obsessed by tales of murder and mayhem. It's a darkly popular form of entertainment in this era of podcasts and streaming docuseries -- particularly for women. Yet True Crime narratives have been hugely popular for more than 400 years. Producer Lisa Godfrey investigates our murder story obsession.

Download True Crime Bloodline
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The Sudbury Effect: Lessons from a regreened city

They said it couldn't be done, but Sudbury did it! Forty years ago, nickel mines and smelters around a relatively small city in Northern Ontario had created one of the most dramatic examples of environmental devastation in the history of this planet. The adjacent landscape was completely dead and totally blackened. Nothing could grow, and people were dying. These days, Sudbury boasts the cleanest air of any city in Canada. Lakes - and there are 330 substantial lakes within the city limits - have come back to life. The surrounding countryside is almost completely green!

Download The Sudbury Effect: Lessons from a regreened city
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The First Stone: Jesus, the Accused and Us

Variously called 'Jesus and the Woman Caught in Adultery', 'Jesus and the Accused', and the 'Pericope Adulterae', this story, found in the Gospel of John, still throws off reflections and refractions today. Jesus' message is stark: "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." And the history of the text is unique. IDEAS producer Sean Foley asks: What happens in this story? Where did it come from? And what does it say to us about some of our deepest contemporary dilemmas?

Download The First Stone: Jesus, the Accused and Us
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What to expect when you're expecting .... Climate Change (Encore Nov 21, 2018)

Young couples face a complicated decision at a time when the dire consequences of climate change are becoming clearer, is it ethical to bring a child into the world? Science journalist Britt Wray talks with parents, prospective parents, ethicists and children on this thorny question.

Download What to expect when you're expecting .... Climate Change (Encore Nov 21, 2018)
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Stealing Home: A tribute to Jackie Robinson

The National Baseball Hall of Fame quotes trailblazer Jackie Robinson: "a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." Robinson's life had a huge impact, especially when he broke down the colour barrier in Major League Baseball and American society. His rookie season still stands as one of the most politically profound events in the history of organized sport. Every April 15, every team in the major leagues celebrates Jackie Robinson Day, and 2019 is the centennial of his birth. We observe both events with this rebroadcast of Paul Kennedy's 1997 documentary.

Download Stealing Home: A tribute to Jackie Robinson
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Five Freedoms: Freedom from Lies

Freedom of the press is a Holy Grail in western societies, supposedly giving us the facts about what's happening in the world. But in an era of fake news, post-truth and a 24-hour news cycle, what are journalists to hang onto? A discussion with journalists Susan Ormiston Desmond Cole, and writer Linda McQuaig.

Download Five Freedoms: Freedom from Lies
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Five Freedoms: Freedom from Want

Poverty has always been a defining issue in the quest to build a better world. How do we go about making things more equitable, making sure that wealth is distributed to those in need and creating opportunity for the weak to become strong? Journalist Sally Armstrong, healthcare activist James Orbinski and former diplomat Paul Heinbecker discuss a thorny issue.

Download Five Freedoms: Freedom from Want
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Five Freedoms: Freedom from Oppression

Oppression takes many forms. It can be political or cultural, or even social. There's the weight of inherited oppression, and there's the question of how oppression shapes who we are - both individually and collectively. This episode features a discussion with Bhutila Karpoche an Ontario politician of Tibetan heritage, Eloge Butera  a government lawyer and a refugee from Rwanda, and Christina Gray a Dene-Metis lawyer. 

Download Five Freedoms: Freedom from Oppression
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Five Freedoms: Freedom of Speech

Fanned by the Internet, the war over our right to say anything at all has created silos of intolerance. Fewer people are listening to differing points of view. And with less dialogue, nothing changes. But are there things that should not be said? A discussion with former politician Sheila Copps, human rights lawyer Micheal Vonn and journalist Althia Raj.

Download Five Freedoms: Freedom of Speech
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Five Freedoms: Freedom to Believe

Faith and spiritual traditions have always shaped our ideas of right and wrong, both in the private and the public sphere. How do the values that come from faith shape secular society - and should they? And are social values necessarily secular? Journalist Haroon Siddiqui, Sto:Lo First Nation writer Lee Maracle, and writer Michael Coren debate the issues.

Download Five Freedoms: Freedom to Believe
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How rethinking capitalism may save the planet

The evidence is in: if the earth is to survive catastrophic climate change, the economies of the world can't continue to grow infinitely. Maintaining the status quo makes ecological viability impossible. But imagining a world without capitalism also seems to be impossible. Doing so would require fundamentally rethinking our idea of prosperity and how we value work. In lecture and conversation, mathematician and philosopher David Schweickart asks whether there is another way forward for capitalism, one in which the choice isn't between the economy and life itself.

Download How rethinking capitalism may save the planet
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The Enright Files on the transformative, confounding power of poetry

Poetry may not have the same place in our culture that it once had, but it remains an art form of singular power to those who immerse themselves in it. It has the capacity to inspire and enthrall, and to befuddle and infuriate. It can electrify a society, make you see the world with fresh eyes, or simply leave you mystified. On this month's edition of The Enright Files, conversations about the power of poetry to change the world or drive you to distraction.

Download The Enright Files on the transformative, confounding power of poetry
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The Audience Talks Back: The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures

On the CBC Massey Lectures tour, each lecture concluded in an audience discussion with Tanya Talaga - most of which was never broadcast. In the original broadcast of the Massey Lectures, we invited you -the radio audience - to send in your questions for Tanya Talaga. In this episode, Tanya Talaga talks with Greg Kelly about her experience of delivering the CBC Massey Lectures, and responds to some of the questions sent to her, plus some of the best of those audience discussions from the tour.

Download The Audience Talks Back: The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures
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Lecture 1: "We Were Always Here" by Tanya Talaga (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)

In her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples. For Talaga, that cultural genocide has led to a forced disconnection from land and language by Indigenous peoples. The need now, she says, is for Indigenous self-determination in social, cultural and political arenas.

Download Lecture 1: "We Were Always Here" by Tanya Talaga (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)
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Lecture 2: "Big Brother's Hunger" by Tanya Talaga (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)

In her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples.

Download Lecture 2: "Big Brother's Hunger" by Tanya Talaga (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)
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Lecture 3: "The Third Space" (The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures)

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.

Download Lecture 3: "The Third Space" (The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures)
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Lecture 4: "I Breathe For Them" (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.

Download Lecture 4: "I Breathe For Them" (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:03]


Lecture 5: "We Are Not Going Anywhere" (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.

Download Lecture 5: "We Are Not Going Anywhere" (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)
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Is it time for animals to "lawyer up"?

Under the eyes of the law, animals that live in our homes or on a farm are 'property.' But there's a growing movement to grant some animals like chimpanzees, elephants and dolphins 'non-human persons' status. Harvard Law School doctoral candidate Jessica Eisen thinks the law could do even better than that. This episode is part of our ongoing series, Ideas from the Trenches.

Download Is it time for animals to "lawyer up"?
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Shepherds or Scapegoats: Gay priests in limbo

Gay priests are often rolled into the blame game in the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis. There's a Vatican prohibition on gay men entering seminaries, even as the stories swirl about how many high-level clerics are sexually active. Producer Sean Foley explores the psychological, historical, and pastoral paradoxes of clerical sexual identity at a pivotal time for the Church and the world.

Download Shepherds or Scapegoats: Gay priests in limbo
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The Long Arm of Ayn Rand: Why she still matters, Part 2

The intelligentsia mocked her writings and lampooned her philosophy, which she called Objectivism. But Ayn Rand's books, especially her two major works, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, continue to sell millions of copies. There are Ayn Rand think tanks, academies, even dating sites. And her influence on politics and popular culture are stronger than ever. Contributor Sandy Bourque outlines Rand's improbable rise to fame and influence, and the surprising Canadian connection which helped secure her place in the history of ideas. This episode is part 2 of a two-part series.

Download The Long Arm of Ayn Rand: Why she still matters, Part 2
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The Long Arm of Ayn Rand: Why She Still Matters, Part 1

The intelligentsia mocked her writings and lampooned her philosophy, which she called Objectivism. But Ayn Rand's books, especially her two major works The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, continue to sell millions of copies. There are Ayn Rand think tanks, academies, even dating sites. And her influence on politics and popular culture are stronger than ever. Contributor Sandy Bourque outlines Rand's improbable rise to fame and influence, and the surprising Canadian connection, which helped secure her place in the history of ideas.

Download The Long Arm of Ayn Rand: Why She Still Matters, Part 1
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Turn it off: Music to drive you crazy

One sound invented two centuries ago was said to drive all those who heard it insane, even to to the point of suicide. Contributor Chris Brookes in St. John's takes us into the astonishing history of the glass harp, from the parlour to the paranormal - and even to death metal - and shows how the sounds we create shape our understanding of the world.

Download Turn it off: Music to drive you crazy
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Lonely Together: The plight of urban isolation

There have never been as many cities across the world as there are right now, nor with such high populations. Yet urban loneliness is a virtual pandemic, and one with huge social, medical and financial consequences. Why are cities the new capitals of isolation?

Download Lonely Together: The plight of urban isolation
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Tech's Moral Void

Lawyers and doctors have a code of ethics. Teachers have them. Even journalists have them. So why not the tech sector, the people who create and design our very modes of communication? Coders and designers make products that allow to us communicate with each other, across cities and nations and borders. As these giants grow at breakneck speed, and the chaos of their unfettered impact becomes more obvious, the call is coming for a reckoning. Contributor Tina Pittaway explores whether the time has come for tech to reckon with its moral void.

Download Tech's Moral Void
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Freeze: Rebecca Belmore's memorial to Neil Stonechild

Neil Stonechild was an Indigenous adolescent who was picked up by police in downtown Saskatoon in mid-winter, driven to the industrial suburbs late at night, and intentionally abandoned. He ultimately froze to death. Anishinaabe artist Rebecca Belmore produced a piece called "Freeze: Stonechild Memorial" in commemoration of of the event. It's a sculpture, made of ice, installed outside the Remai Modern Gallery in Saskatoon since February 1st, when a major retrospective of her work opened there. Paul Kennedy in conversation with Rebecca Belmore.

Download Freeze: Rebecca Belmore's memorial to Neil Stonechild
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Guardians vs. Gardeners: Relocating wolves to help balance ecology

How much should humans try to "fix" nature? That question gets at the heart of our relationship with the entire natural world. Contributor Brad Badelt travels to isolated Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior, where a controversial decision has been made to relocate wolves from the mainland to help sustain the island's dwindling pack. The world's leading wolf researchers and environmental thinkers debate that decision - and what our idea of wilderness means.

Download Guardians vs. Gardeners: Relocating wolves to help balance ecology
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The Music of Matter: 150 years of the Periodic Table

The world, the universe, is a mess of molecules and muck. Within the chaos, though, a cosmic harmony plays the secret song of nature, and the music of matter. You just have to be able to read the music. Contributor Ian Wilkinson unravels the universal chords as the world honours the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev's creation of the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements.

Download The Music of Matter: 150 years of the Periodic Table
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The Stolen Revolution: Iranian Women of 1979

After finally ousting the Shah, and just mere weeks after Ayatollah Khomeini took power, Iranian women marched to show their fury at the revolution, which now seemed to be turning against them. On the 40th anniversary of their protests, CBC Radio producer Donya Ziaee spoke to three Iranian women who were there - on the streets of Tehran, fighting to to turn the tide of history.

Download The Stolen Revolution: Iranian Women of 1979
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Dignity down the toilet: Dignity down the toilet: Public bathrooms as a human right

Public bathrooms are something we all need, yet they are a public amenity few of us talk about openly and that cities often get wrong. How should governments and businesses provide for this most basic bodily need and what does it mean for citizens when they have no place to go? IDEAS contributor Lezlie Lowe flushes out the answers on a road trip, with many bathroom breaks, across North America.

Download Dignity down the toilet: Dignity down the toilet: Public bathrooms as a human right
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On the Move: Commuting, work, life

Seven years ago, a large group of interdisciplinary scholars from all parts of Canada (and beyond) started to examine issues connected with 'work-related mobility'. How are new technologies changing the nature of employment? Some people now find it desirable - or even necessary - to work from home. Others are expected to spend more time travelling to and from the workplace than they actually spend doing their job. How do these changes in the way we work affect every other aspect of 21st century life? As the project nears completion, participants approach conclusions.

Download On the Move: Commuting, work, life
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Slavery's long shadow: The impact of 200 years enslavement in Canada (Encore July 5. 2018)

Is there a connection between the enslavement of African-Canadians and their overwhelming presence in the criminal justice system today? The United Nations has sounded the alarm on anti-black racism in Canada, stating it can be traced back to slavery and its legacy. In Part 2 of his series on slavery in colonial Canada, Kyle G. Brown explores the long-lasting ramifications of one of humanity's most iniquitous institutions.

Download Slavery's long shadow: The impact of 200 years enslavement in Canada (Encore July 5. 2018)
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Manufacturing Discontent: The Perils of Populism, Part 2

Polarization in Poland. The success of Sweden's far right. In Turkey, "the supremacy of the people" reigns. And Brexit threatens Britain's economic and social order. Everywhere, populism is winning big. The question is why? Part 2 of a 2-part series.

Download Manufacturing Discontent: The Perils of Populism, Part 2
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Beyond Tragedy: The living history of Native America

The massacre of over 150 Lakota at Wounded Knee in 1890 is often taken to be the "end" of Native American history - a notion unintentionally reinforced by Dee Brown's groundbreaking 1970 book, "I Buried My Heart at Wounded Knee". This idea of history as tragedy is something that Ojibwe writer David Treuer tries to undo in "The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee". He argues that both before and after contact was made with colonizing Europeans, Indigenous peoples have always found ways to adapt, survive and thrive -- and that's exactly what they're doing now.

Download Beyond Tragedy: The living history of Native America
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Game, Set and Match: Celebrating spy novelist Len Deighton

Love, fear -- even office politics -- are what drive the world of espionage in Len Deighton's great novels. To celebrate his 90th birthday, Philip Coulter profiles one of the masters of the modern spy thriller.

Download Game, Set and Match: Celebrating spy novelist Len Deighton
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Canada's slavery secret: The whitewashing of 200 years of enslavement

Why is it common knowledge that we saved runaway slaves from the United States, but few know that Africans and Indigenous peoples were bought, sold and exploited, right here? In the first of a two part series, contributor Kyle G. Brown asks how slavery was allowed to continue for some 200 years, and be one of the least talked-about aspects of our history. Part 1 of a 2-part series.

Download Canada's slavery secret: The whitewashing of 200 years of enslavement
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The Amorous Heart: Why we love the ? symbol (Encore February 14, 2018)

You might think that the heart symbol ? and romantic love have always been bedfellows. But you'd be wrong. At times, the symbol was just a decoration. At others, it meant spiritual, chaste love. At still others, romantic and carnal. Marilyn Yalom the author of "The Amorous Heart: An Unconventional History of Love". In it, she traces the astonishing, centuries-long journey of how the symbol took on all the meanings it has today.

Download The Amorous Heart: Why we love the ? symbol (Encore February 14, 2018)
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Wrestling with the Stoics: Tips from a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu philosopher

Michael Tremblay holds a black belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and competes at world championships. He is also a PhD student in philosophy at Queen's University, who's studying Stoicism. In fact, he hopes to become a Stoic 'sage' himself, and focuses his work on the 1st-century Greek philosopher, Epictetus, whom he sees as a kind of life coach.

Download Wrestling with the Stoics: Tips from a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu philosopher
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Kent Monkman: Playing tricks with awesome art

It's easy to identify a painting by Kent Monkman. His work is almost always monumental. Some of his canvasses as so big that buildings need to be built around them. Beyond that, Monkman often works with historical subjects -- either quoting famous images from the history of art, or playing with real historical events by situating them in paintings that reflect obvious artistic references. Kent Monkman talks with Paul Kennedy about his life and work, and how to have fun while making serious statements about the world we live in.

Download Kent Monkman: Playing tricks with awesome art
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Reading Montaigne: Why a 16th century writer still matters today

Michel de Montaigne was many things: a 16th century French writer, bureaucrat, and self-defined accidental philosopher. He's also the inventor of a new literary form we now call the essay. His Essais - various "trials" or "experiments" in ideas - have touched centuries of readers and writers. Flaubert once exhorted us to "read him in order to live." Contributor Tony Luppino opens the writings and life of Western literature's original 'free thinker', who wrote on everything from idleness and liars, to wearing clothes and punishing cowardice.

Download Reading Montaigne: Why a 16th century writer still matters today
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The Sewers of Paris and the Making of a Modern City, Part 2

Sewers are a relatively modern phenomenon. For centuries, people in cities lived intimately with their waste. The price paid for that lack of awareness about hygiene was of course disease and plague - as well as unbearable stench. Understanding how germs and diseases are spread led to sanitation and sewers - and to the modern city. The rebuilding of Paris in the mid-19th century was a great civic achievement and a new idea of society only made possible because it was built on sewers. Philip Coulter goes underground in the City of Light to visit the City of Smells.

Download The Sewers of Paris and the Making of a Modern City, Part 2
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Journalism's Knife Fight: Fact vs. Truth

While the idea that we're living in a post-truth era is still highly contested, there is greater agreement that facts themselves have also become contestable. Belief and feeling have sideswiped facts, especially when it comes to news stories about politics. IDEAS producer Naheed Mustafa examines the increasingly elastic and unsettle relationship between facts and truth.

Download Journalism's Knife Fight: Fact vs. Truth
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The New Masters: The 2018 Sobey Art Award, Part 2

Producer Mary Lynk in conversation with Sobey Art Award finalists Jeneen Frei Njootli (West Coast & Yukon), Joi T. Arcand (Prairies and the North) and winner Kapwani Kiwanga (Ontario).

Download The New Masters: The 2018 Sobey Art Award, Part 2
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


The Enright Files on Pioneering Female Poets

It doesn't seem strange that the best-loved and best-selling English language poets should be women, but that wasn't always the case. In fact, arguably the greatest American poet of the 19th Century - Emily Dickinson - wrote in total obscurity during her life. But by the middle of the 20th Century, Dickinson, and the generations of female poets she inspired, were beginning to get their due. On this month's edition of The Enright Files, conversations about Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath and Adrienne Rich - women who inspired poets of the last few decades.

Download The Enright Files on Pioneering Female Poets
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Re-imagining Reconciliation and the Future of Canada: Doug White

A powerful, simple and essential message is delivered by Doug White, presenter of the fourth annual Vancouver Island University Indigenous Speakers Series. He challenges us all to begin and end our relationships with each other with one thing: love.

Download Re-imagining Reconciliation and the Future of Canada: Doug White
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Shaking the snow globe: Michael Pollan on the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs

In his book "How to Change Your Mind", Michael Pollan explores how psychedelic drugs have been used to enhance spiritual experiences and treat many conditions from depression to anxiety. He speaks to IDEAS producer, Mary O'Connell.

Download Shaking the snow globe: Michael Pollan on the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


The New Masters: The 2018 Sobey Art Award, Part 1

Mary Lynk in conversation with the 2018 Sobey Art Award finalists Jordan Bennett and Jon Rafman.

Download The New Masters: The 2018 Sobey Art Award, Part 1
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


The Sewers of Paris and the Making of a Modern City

Sewers are a relatively modern phenomenon. For centuries, people in cities lived intimately with their waste. The price paid for that lack of awareness about hygiene was disease and plague - as well as unbearable stench. Understanding how germs and diseases are spread led to sanitation and sewers - and to the modern city. The rebuilding of Paris in the mid-19th century was a great civic achievement and a new idea of society only made possible because it was built on sewers. Philip Coulter goes underground in the City of Light to visit the City of Smells.

Download The Sewers of Paris and the Making of a Modern City
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Whisky: The Water of Life (Encore January 25, 1996)

To Highlanders, it was "uisage beatha," the water of life. Scottish poet Robert Burns proclaimed: "Freedom and whisky gang thegither!" Single malt whisky has captured the imagination, as well as thirst: it remains one of Scotland's most popular and poetic exports, appreciated by successive generations in turn. In this encore presentation of a 1996 documentary, Paul Kennedy celebrates single malt Scotch Whisky, as conveyed in the loving words of the men and women who make it.

Download Whisky: The Water of Life (Encore January 25, 1996)
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