Marketplace, CBC – You’re Not Covered
From your car to your home to your vacation, MARKETPLACE reveals the loopholes in insurance policies that could leave you without coverage. MARKETPLACE meets a couple who have an accident while on vacation. They discover that a small error their insurer says they made on the travel insurance medical questionnaire meant they weren’t covered. They are left in financial ruin. Experts say the questionnaires are set up to make you fail. Through another story about a car accident, we learn that your car insurance will not cover you for the diminished value of your car after an accident, while some US insurances do provide this coverage. MARKETPLACE’s third segment looks at the fine print in home insurance policies for floods and mortgage insurance.
Note that Mission Asteroid will be rescheduled. Airing tonight instead:
Madiba: The Life and Times of Nelson Mandela
From his birth, 95 years ago in the Xhosa homeland, to his final days in the hearts and minds of citizens the world over, Nelson Mandela was a Nobel prize-winning freedom fighter who devoted his life to the pursuit of justice for all.
“I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony”
Those words, from the young Mandela, landed him in a South African jail, where he remained for 27 years. When he emerged, the prisoner became president. Mandela was the key to breaking apartheid. He peacefully wrested power from one of the world’s most despised regimes. Doc Zone’s updated consideration of the Life of Madiba includes interviews with Mandela and dozens of key figures in his nation’s history.
Played, CTV – “Secrets”
Rebecca (Chandra West) finally has the informant she’s been waiting for in Angie Sarich (Camille Sullivan, MOTIVE), the accountant for elusive and powerful drug kingpin Thomas Novak (John Ralston, LIFE WITH DEREK). Angie wants to work with the C.I.U. to take Novak down and start a new life for her and her son, but a shocking connection between Rebecca and Novak puts everyone at risk.
The Nature of Things, CBC – “Where Am I?”
Explores the skills we use to find our way around. Some of us seem to always know where we are, while others rarely do. What makes the difference?
Doc Zone, CBC – “Mission Asteroid”
The asteroid threat is real. So are the heroes that can stop it. These asteroid experts will address questions about how humans could potentially live on and extract resources from asteroids. Furthermore, the documentary will show plans for space settlement and explain the gravity of the asteroid threat – but also gives hope for the future.
Mission Asteroid airs Thursday, December 5 on CBC’s Doc Zone
Q: Why did dinosaurs become extinct?
A: Because they didn’t have a space program.
Dr. Pascal Lee shared that joke while promoting Mission Asteroid, the CBC documentary about how we’re all going to die a fiery death in a mass extinction event.
I may be misrepresenting slightly. In the words of director Jeff Thrasher: “Mission Asteroid follows asteroid hunters and scientists who know just how vulnerable we are to a strike and are working to prevent it from happening. This documentary introduces viewers to astronauts and researchers as they travel from the lab to the field, testing technologies and techniques that will help make manned missions to asteroids a reality.”
In any case, Lee tells me my plan to build a bunker won’t help in the event of a major asteroid strike so I will hope, as he does, that the documentary opens some eyes to why space exploration isn’t frivolous. Not only does it connect us to our place in the cosmos, it could literally save humanity. It’s a particularly timely message given NASA’s shrinking budget and questions about the future of government-funded space exploration.
The fireball over Chelyabinsk, Russia this year definitely opened some eyes and some YouTube channels, and that was a relatively small asteroid that burned up in the atmosphere. If one were to land in the middle of a city, it could be both small enough to avoid detection and large enough to cause massive destruction, “forget about the gigantic one that would cause the end of civilization,” Lee added. “The likelihood is small but the devastation is monumental.”
“Historically we have not witnessed an impact of devastating proportions while humans were around. But if you take the geological perspective, all of a sudden it’s common.”
In case I’m making Lee sound like a less-comforting Nostradamus, he was as humorous and charming as someone can be while predicting our possible demise, and is seen throughout the documentary with his canine sidekick Ping Pong.
If a dog’s loyalty doesn’t convince you of his trustworthiness, his credentials are more than sound: he’s a senior planetary scientist at the SETI Institute and the chairman of the Mars Institute. For almost two decades he has been serving as director of the NASA Haughton-Mars Project, an international field research project at the Haughton impact crater site on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic, where the documentary team captured some amazing footage.
Lee says Mission Asteroid is the first documentary he knows of that looks at what is being done to stop or mitigate the threat of asteroids, as well as plans to explore and even land on them, and it includes world-renowned experts, including the University of Calgary’s Alan Hildebrand.
One of Lee’s areas of expertise is the human exploration of Mars, which he proposes should begin with the exploration of Mars’ asteroid-like moons Phobos and Deimos, so his interest in asteroids is multifaceted. (He’s also multitalented – besides drawing and painting, he recently released the children’s book Mission: Mars, causing colleagues to joke he’s a “man on a mission,” though the similarity in titles is pure coincidence.)
His interest in exploring Mars comes from its connection to Earth — how it evolved in a way that’s similar to our home planet, the possibility of life, and the possibility of sending life there. He says we’re on the first credible path now, predicting humans will reach orbit by the 2030s before landing on the surface. Exploring asteroids is one milestone toward that goal … so maybe I should plan to buy a ticket to Mars Colony as my asteroid collision avoidance plan instead of that bunker. As Lee puts it, “You don’t want all your eggs in the same basket,” planetarily speaking.
“We’re too caught up in our day-to-day lives sometimes to realize we are all of us on this ball hurtling through space,” he says. “Imagine something coming at us from the other direction. The sun is travelling at mind-boggling speeds through the galaxy. Everything is in motion.”
“We can bury ourselves in our economic worries, in our social worries, but we are also passengers on this train wreck that’s about to happen. I hope this documentary makes people look out the window, and makes people who are directing the space program — who are steering the ship — to look ahead and see what’s coming.”
Dr. Pascal Lee: spreader of sunshine. Catch him in Mission Asteroid Thursday on CBC’s Doc Zone.
From Ben Rayner of the Toronto Star:
Canadian Idol alumni are anything but idle
Ten years on from bookish Kingston waiter Ryan Malcolm’s victory at the end of the first season of Canadian Idol, the graduates of CTV’s immensely popular musical talent show are, for the most part, still gainfully employed in the entertainment industry. Continue reading.