In this podcast: terrifying yet boring — the Canadian election. A new rabble radio contest. Cracking the cover of human books. Fukushima Daichi and alt power. An ode to the ipad deux.

Canada is enduring its fourth election in seven years. While the NDP and the Liberal Parties grapple for the vote from the Left, the Conservative Party of Canada is reaching for a majority government. As polls stand now, though, they aren’t going to get it. For the NGOs and government watchdogs that have seen their funding go unrenewed under a government dominated by the Conservative Party, that could provide a bit of welcome relief. But voting day isn’t here yet. Murray Dobbin is a political commentator and on the board of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. We thought we’d check in with him about what he sees happening in the 2011 election campaign.

If I had $1,000, 000. The song is relatively well-known in Canada. But a million dollars sounds like pocket change when you compare it to the 30 BILLION dollars that Canada paid for a few fighter jets not too long ago. So rabble.ca is rewriting the lyrics to the tune, hopefully with some help from you. Tell us what you’d spend 30 billion dollars on and we’ll put your suggestions our version of this song. So what do you think? A national Childcare program? Funding for  KAIROS? Solar power for the parliament buildings? Internet connectivity in the North? Candy for all? You tell us, and we’ll put it in song. You can email [email protected] with your suggestions, or you can phone them in at 1-360-566-2214. Obviously, we take mp3 files too.

Understanding breeds justice. That’s the philosophy behind the human books project. The project is open to libraries all over the world. Here’s how it works: Library visitors sign out a Human Book, and can ask their book any question they want. The books are volunteers who are willing to answer all kinds of questions about their lives. The Human Book Project recently came to Winnipeg. That’s where Noreen Mae Ritsema stopped by the branch, and sat down with the human books there. She asked them what they’re sharing and what kinds of questions they’re fielding. The first human book she signed out was all about organic farming. Here’s part of their discussion.

Election aside, all eyes have been on Japan for the last month. The tsunami that swept away hundreds of thousands of people has passed, but the nuclear reactors on the countries east coast are still pumping radiation into the atmosphere and the water. Bottled water shortages and rolling blackouts have become facts of life in cities across the country. rabble.ca’s redeye podcast had a few questions about Fukushima-Daiichi, so they called up Gordon Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. At the end of the interview, they talked about what the disaster will mean for the nuclear industry and other  power generation options here at home.  Here is that part of that conversation.

The ipad 2 had only been in Canada a few days when Wayne used it to record a multi-track segment of Online Tools for the 21st century. Wayne says I’m crazy not to own one of these. Here’s his column.

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