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What on Earth is Going on? is a podcast for the curious, where small talk is banned and tangents are prized. Strap yourself in for genuine dialogues with people who think deeply and are ready to tackle the big questions, such as broadcaster Terry O'Reilly, economist Miles Corak and journalist Jessica Vomiero.

Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? From the Mafia to the Beavertonwomen in politics to women in leadershiphistory to artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurship in the digital age to the art of wheelchair fencing, just what on Earth is going on?

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To the Stars

Apr 26, 2019

Listen to Episode 52: Science

Here’s a response I never hear when I ask my guests what on earth is going on: We’re exploring the stars! We are uncovering the mysteries of the universe! We’re mapping out the next thousand years for humanity!

I realized this in my conversation with Bob McDonald, a beloved science...


Nature, Nurture and Social Credit

Apr 19, 2019

Listen to Episode 51: The New Yorker's Profile of Yan Lianke

Today’s episode features a panel discussion with three people from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario – all are previous guests on this podcast. Tricia Baldwin is the Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. In Episode 12 Tricia...


Humanism and AI

Apr 12, 2019

Listen to Episode 50: The Promise of Artificial Intelligence

As you know, I find the subject of AI fascinating. Often my mind wanders along the tangents of science fiction as I consider the breathtaking potential of artificial intelligence – specifically, what is often called artificial general intelligence (AGI), or...


The Changing Business of News

Apr 5, 2019

Listen to Episode 49: The News

Jessica Vomiero

When I first started this podcast, I knew that the state of journalism would be a critical piece of the what on earth is going on puzzle. I don’t even mean the routine post-truth issue of us becoming incapable of a common understanding – but the very business of the news. It’s clear...


Reconciliation

Nov 30, 2018

Listen to Episode 31: Fairness for First Nations

Today’s conversation is, I think, extremely important. We’re talking about life and death situations for First Nations people in Canada, and the precarious position that many indigenous people are in because of inadequate government services. You’ve probably...