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The Sunday Magazine for March 26, 2023

Journalists Susan Delacourt and Marieke Walsh discuss U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to Ottawa, Florence Hazrat explores the history of the exclamation mark, former world champion paraclimber Maureen Beck shares her journey to the top, Edmonton author Premee Mohamed reveals why climate change fuels her fiction but still leaves her with room for hope, and the scientific case for injecting more awe into our lives.

From drawing to driving, Adam Gopnik explores what it takes to master a new skill

New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik learned to drive at age 55. It was just one of the ways Gopnik put himself through the ringer for his latest book, The Real Work, attempting to master a variety of skills from boxing and baking to magic and art.

Sunday Politics Panel: Biden comes to Canada; allegations of Chinese interference continue

Now that the dust has settled on U.S. President Joe Biden’s first official visit to Canada, our Sunday Politics Panel digs into what was accomplished during Biden’s 27-hours of whirlwind diplomacy. Joining guest host David Common are journalists Susan Delacourt and Marieke Walsh.

Word Processing: The exclamation mark has a rich history! And it deserves more respect!

In the latest installment of Word Processing, our ongoing look at language, we’re focusing on the exclamation mark! Literary scholar Florence Hazrat has been unearthing its 700-year-old journey from monastery to text message for her new book An Admirable Point: A Brief History of the Exclamation Mark!

A view from the top with former world-champion paraclimber Maureen Beck

For the better part of her life, Maureen Beck has been climbing her way into the record books. Beck, who was born with one hand, was named a 2019 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. She joins guest host David Common to talk about her journey in the professional climbing world.

How embracing awe can improve your life - and the world around you

The feeling of awe can have a profound effect on our lives. University of California, Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner says awe can be found in challenging circumstances as well as joyful ones, while culture strategist Jennifer Moss says being intentional about finding awe in our everyday experiences creates a more compassionate society.

Premee Mohamed says it's impossible to ignore climate change in fiction, but there's still room for hope

Premee Mohamed may write about the end of the world, mysterious illnesses and climate chaos but it's not exactly hopeless apocalyptic fiction. The Alberta-based scientist and author joins guest host David Common to talk about her latest book, The Annual Migration of Clouds and the enduring power of community.

Gulchehra Hoja was a Uyghur TV star in China. Now she's a journalist in exile

Gulchehra Hoja hopes that her memoir will help highlight the plight of the Uyghur people, but also showcase the beauty of her culture and homeland — and serve as a warning for what is being lost.

Political economist John Rapley on plummeting public faith in financial institutions

Fallout from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank plunged the world’s financial sector into a tumultuous week of ups and downs. Despite all the uncertainty, John Rapley believes the global economy is not on the verge of chaos. He joins David Common to explain what Canada needs to consider in the current climate.

The Sunday Magazine for March 19, 2023

John Rapley talks about the fallout from Silicon Valley Bank's collapse, Adam Gopnik reflects on the meaning of mastery, Payam Akhavan unpacks the ICC's arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, Gulchehra Hoja shares her story of preserving Uyghur culture in exile, and Hana Videen reveals the magic and mystery of Old English.

The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik on the art and meaning of mastery

If you could master a new skill, what would you try? Author Adam Gopnik put himself to the test by apprenticing with several masters. The result is his new book, The Real Work: On the Mystery of Mastery. He joins David Common to talk about why the journey of learning can be more rewarding than perfecting the craft.

A former UN prosecutor's take on the ICC's indictment of Vladimir Putin

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on allegations of war crimes, citing unlawful deportation of children and unlawful transfer of people from Ukraine to the Russian Federation. Payam Akhavan joins David Common to talk about this historic decision, and what may happen next.
Word Processing

Word Processing: The magic, mystery and legacy of Old English

When writer and medievalist Hana Videen started tweeting one word of Old English per day, she found a surprisingly big audience for often mysterious ancient terms. She describes how these words help explain some of the weirder bits of the English language today.

The Sunday Magazine for March 12, 2023

Susan Delacourt and Matt Gurney discuss Justin Trudeau’s decision to appoint a special rapporteur to probe allegations of election interference, we unpack the evolution of the Oscars ahead of the 95th academy awards, Helen Branswell reflects on the third anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic, and Raymond Biesinger, and Alex Bozikovic unearth the history of memorable buildings across Canada that no longer stand.

Notes on a scandal: How Oscar controversy is part of its culture

This year, social media has been accused of unduly influencing the nominations.

Sunday Politics Panel: Trudeau responds to election interfrence

The allegations around election interference are dominating the conversation in Ottawa, but how is the story playing out across the country? Susan Delacourt, national columnist for the Toronto Star, and Matt Gurney, co-founder of The Line on Substack join Helen Mann to parse that question, and more.

How pomp, politics and power brokers rewrote the Oscar playbook

Audiences will be watching for much more than who wins what award at Sunday’s 95th Academy Awards. The Oscars have a long history of drama outside of what’s scripted in the movies up for awards. Michael Schulman captures the big fueds and power moves in his new book, Oscars Wars.

A leading reporter on infectious disease reflects on three years of covering the pandemic

Veteran science journalist Helen Branswell joins Helen Mann to reflect on the third anniversary of the pandemic and the 20th anniversary of the SARS outbreak. She shares thoughts on the increasingly political nature of medical reporting and what top medical expers and the general public have learned.

Preserving the stories of Canada's 'lost buildings'

In their book 305 Lost Buildings of Canada, Raymond Biesinger and Alex Bozikovic unearth the history and meaning of memorable buildings across the country that no longer stand. Biesinger and Bozikovic tell Helen Mann why these buildings matter beyond just bricks and mortar.

The Sunday Magazine for March 5, 2023

Journalist Robert Fife and Democracy Watch's Duff Conacher unpack the latest allegations of election interference from China, Jihyun Park and Seh-Lyn Chai advocate for Korean reunification through their new memoir, Robert Waldinger shares the key to happiness, and our monthly brain game That's Puzzling! returns.

The latest on election interference and the risk it may pose to our democracy

Allegations of election meddling are rocking Ottawa, as MPs grill top national security and election officials on their knowledge about China's alleged attempts to interfere in our federal elections. Robert Fife and Duff Conacher join Piya Chattopadhyay to break down the latest allegations and how damaging this episode could be for Canadian democracy.

How the 'hard road' out of North Korea led to a personal reunification

There are reports the Korean peninsula could be facing a famine. But beyond those kinds of headlines, we rarely hear what life is like for North Koreans — until they make the decision to flee, like Jihyun Park did. She now lives in the UK where she met Seh-Lynn Chai a South-Korean born writer. The two women spoke with Piya Chattopadhyay about how their remarkable friendship came to be.

That's Puzzling! for March 2023

In the latest edition of our monthly challenge That's Puzzling!, host Piya chattopadhyay competes against one familiar voice and one clever listener in a battle of brain games devised by puzzle master Peter Brown. Playing along this week are Ottawa listener Liz Inrig, and Loren McGinnis, host of The Calgary Eyeopener.

What 80-plus years of research on happiness reveals about how to live a 'good life'

This coming week marks three years since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. After the lifting of restrictions many people are still working to rebuild relationships. A decades-long scientific study on human happiness found relationships are the key to a happy life. Dr. Robert Waldinger joins Piya Chattopadhyay to talk about the findings of the study.

Remembering Gordon Pinsent

Legendary Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent died Saturday, February 25 at the age of 92. Fellow Newfoundlanders Mark Critch and Mary Walsh who both acted with Pinsent and called him a friend, join host Piya Chattopadhyay to share personal and professional memories of him and to talk about his legacy on and off the screen and stage.