Your weekly podcast for a world in flux.
Globalization and climate change. The rise of social media and the decline and fall of Blockbuster Video. AI and VR. Donald Trump and Flat Earthers. The world is changing so fast that we can't get a grip on how we got here, let alone where we're headed.
Join Ben Charland as he peels back the headlines to ask, what are the events, characters, forces and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? Who were those barbarians that took down the Blockbuster Empire? Just what on Earth is going on?
...with the new novel, Seven by Farzana Doctor
Farzana Doctor's new novel, Seven, juggles family, history, culture, and the incredible weight of those forces on women today. It's a detective story and travel novel, and a powerful insight into a woman struggling with sex, identity, her past, and her vast network of relatives. But the overarching issue throughout the book is female genital mutilation (FGM), a practice still common around the world.
Farzana joins Ben to talk about the book, FGM, her writing process, and much more.
...after 99 Episodes
It's been over two years since host Ben Charland kicked off this podcast in a basement in Kingston, Ontario. After nearly 100 fascinating conversations about everything from the mafia to the water supply, from science to philosophy, we're revisiting some of the best moments.
Author, science broadcaster and previous guest Ziya Tong interviews Ben with questions from listeners about what on earth is going on behind the scenes. Enjoy this very special centennial episode!
...with Changing Cities
The one thing that doesn't change about cities is the fact that they are constantly changing. Most people now live in cities, transforming them with their consumer behaviour, their culture, their ideas and their advocacy. City planners have to balance the natural development of these vast social organisms with complex, long-term plans. How do they do it?
Ben chats with veteran City of Calgary urban planner, and Manager of Community Planning, Teresa Goldstein.
...with Creativity, Music and Politics during COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic is altering our lives in ways we cannot yet comprehend, and in decades we will marvel at this transformative time. COVID-19 is not just accelerating trends that were in place beforehand, but it is creating new realities. How are artists coping? How about our politics and ideologies?
Alex Green's podcast, Stereo Embers, addresses the current creative moment of the artist. He joins Ben remotely from San Francisco for a fascinating and wide-ranging conversation.
...with Kingston WritersFest (Ep. 97)
What makes a book interesting? Beautiful? Provocative? Necessary? Is reading still the best way to get a message across and tell a good story, and how is it changing in our world today?
The Kingston WritersFest is one of Canada's premiere literary events, drawing headline international authors as well as big crowds from the bookish Ontario city. Ben chats with the festival's artistic director and alumnus of the podcast, Barbara Bell, about writing, reading, and what goes on in between.
We will all encounter disability in our lives, either ourselves or someone we know and love. What is our responsibility when that happens? What role should the greater community play to provide care and support? What about government, public policy, and spending? What's changing when it comes to disability and how we care for those who truly need it, and why is this important?
Ben has an enlightening conversation with Helen Ries, an Ottawa-based advocate with a powerful story of her and her brother Paul.
Well researched, well produced, and exceptionally enjoyable, both the host and guests do a wonderful job of exploring complex issues and timely topics in an insightful and inviting format. Feels more like eavesdropping on an informed, engaged conversation between knowledgeable friends than a formal interview. Kudos to Ben and the team for their phenomenal work!
Ben is a knowledgeable host, navigating each episode with curiosity and consideration. While tackling diverse subject matter, the thread of current relevance is very clear. Always intriguing and filled with many interesting book + author recommendations along the way, I look forward to listening to more episodes!
Interesting, well researched conversations
Thoughtful interviews on an interesting array of topics. Guests are true experts and the questions and perspectives go much deeper than most podcasts. You can tell the host Ben is doing his research.