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An hour of feminism/social issues, physics/science, and music... News, reviews, interviews, ideas, engaging audio, and the Oxford comma!
Hosted by: Phelonius Friar
Airs: Every Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

The Passionate Friar

Date Host Highlight On Demand
Aug. 16, 2017 James Botte (aka Phelonius Friar) Interview with Ryan Couling and Matthew Johnston about their research into social media reactions to the Jian Ghomeshi trial
Jul. 5, 2017 James Botte (aka Phelonius Friar) Interview with S.M. Carrière about creating characters or talking with/​about people that don't share your lived experiences (e.g. LGBTQA+ if you're not, women if you are a man or visa versa, etc.)
Jun. 28, 2017 James Botte (aka Phelonius Friar) Interview with neuroscientist turned social worker Dr. Elaine Waddington Lamont
Jun. 21, 2017 James Botte (aka Phelonius Friar) Spotlight on UK artist FKA Twigs
Jun. 14, 2017 James Botte (aka Phelonius Friar) Interview with Canadian new wave synthpop band Rational Youth!
Jun. 7, 2017 James Botte (aka Phelonius Friar) Interview and live music with Xave Ruth on the intersection of math, music, and comedy
May. 31, 2017 James Botte (aka Phelonius Friar) Diversity in physics? When? How? A debriefing on the all-star panel discussion yesterday.
May. 24, 2017 James Botte (aka Phelonius Friar) The Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Reports and Indigenous Music
May. 17, 2017 James Botte (aka Phelonius Friar) Interview with Dr. Michael Windover, historian of architecture, design, and material culture on his research, exhibits, and book on early radio in Canada

A gently curving corridor full of pipes and cables -- a photo of the decommissioned HERA accelerator ring at DESY in Hamburg, Germany

An hour of feminism/social issues, physics/science, and music...

News, reviews, interviews, ideas, engaging audio, and the Oxford comma!

This is a show for everyone who is passionate about more than one thing, and anyone that loves the simple, small joys of forever encountering new ideas, and having new experiences. While specific passions are going to be presented — simply because it is what moves this Friar in the moment, oh and time limitations, let's not forget that — the intent is to do so in a way that is accessible to all, to get your creative juices flowing, to make your day more varied, and hopefully even provide inspiration for whatever your particular passions might be.

While what is presented here will truly be only the tip of the iceberg for this Friar's passions, and the passions of those whose voices and works and actions are featured, the topics are sufficiently broad that it will take years to even get started exploring them. Specifically, this show will be focusing on three primary subjects: feminism and social issues, physics and science, and music and more music. Where, along with a foundation in feminist studies, comes the more general topics of social justice, aboriginal issues, issues of migration and human rights, intersectional identities (don't worry, terms will be explained as we go), LGBTQ+ issues, globalism and neoliberalism, accessibility and disability issues... the list goes on — in short, social issues in general will be covered. And then way over here, we have the so-called "natural sciences", which study the natural processes of the world around us and provides the underpinnings needed for the successful development and deployment of technologies, which then forms the functional backbone of our many societies. There will be an emphasis on physics because it is the most foundational of the natural sciences, but not a single field of science does not touch us somehow in our day to day lives: biology, chemistry, Earth sciences (geology, meteorology, ecology, oceanography, etc.), space sciences, and again the list goes on.

Why feminism and physics? Well, the simple answer is that I am in my last year and a half of independent honours degrees in both of those subjects: officially, I'm working on a B.Sc. Honours Physics (Theory Stream) degree, but I have also been collecting all the credits I need for a B.A. Honours Women's and Gender Studies degree (I should be done that process this year, where I will not be done with physics until 2017, sigh). I came to Carleton as a "mature" student to finally study physics after a career designing and building electronics and software, and doing international project management on technical projects, while raising my children as a mostly single parent (by far, the hardest thing I've ever done... they are adults now, which is why I was finally able to go to university for the first time). Decades ago, I had a flash of inspiration/realization that synthesized much of what I read about the nature of the universe. I assumed I was wrong because I was ignorant in some critical way about it, but the more I read, the more it looked like I might be onto something, and the more evidence there was that there was value in the approach I had envisioned. I further assumed that someone else would come up with the same approach, but that apparently didn't happen either, thus when my offspring were old enough, I quit my (very well paying, waaaah) day job and became a full-time student (mmmm, Kraft Dinner, sure I'll have another bowl). The summer after my first year I took a course that aligned with several of my other passions: Feminist Disability Studies. I was hooked. Badly hooked. I have always been a social activist, and this wasn't my grandmother's feminism: it was new and exciting and inclusive and raw and full of dangerous pitfalls and irreconcilable differences. I took all manner of feminist studies, indigenous studies, language courses, and political science courses, and one day went into the Women's and Gender Studies Department where they stared at me like I had two heads and announced that I was, randomly, most of the way to a minor in the subject. By taking the remaining courses for the minor and one more "core" course, all I needed to do was chip away at getting qualifying feminist studies credits in parallel with taking my physics degree (which was taking me longer than I had planned... that stuff is hard!), and I ended up with enough credits for a full major, and then an honours degree. I can assure you that nobody is more surprised than me! Due to university regulations, I need to graduate from my physics program before I can apply to the women's and gender studies program, but I will just need to sit around with my thumbs up my butt and wait for the end of that semester because I will have all the credits I need already (okay, I won't be sitting around, I'll probably be doing physics research, but I won't need to take courses).

Music? Well, if there is one language that is shared by all people, it is the language of music. Music is also at the core of everything I do (yes, including physics). Over the course of five years of doing The Dollar Bin on CKCU, I have learned much about how to find and present "found" music. For the most part, the music I played on the show was on CDs I had purchased for $3 or less in "dollar bins" wherever I travelled, and were by artists that I had never heard of before. Every show was the presentation of the outcome of the series of adventures I had listening to these previously unknown-to-me artists. I blissfully ignored genre boundaries and mixed music of all styles and origin and time period to create (what I have been told by others) was a challenging and engaging hour of music. Some of the songs I will be playing will be specific to topics I will cover, but I will continue the strong tradition of bringing intriguing "found" music to the airwaves (without the limitations I imposed on myself with The Dollar Bin — it's all fair game now!).

Feedback is always welcome, along with music and topic ideas (especially if I can interview you or you can suggest someone to interview). I am also looking for correspondents (every/anywhere, and every/anywho) to do research, interviews, and produced segments on the topics covered by this show. You can reach me at

"Don't Let A Label Silence You" ... a feminist activism project at Carleton University

Photo credits... Top: "In The Body Of A Dragon", a view of the curving tunnel of the decommissioned HERA superconducting particle accelerator/synchrotron at the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg, Germany. Photo by me, 2014. Bottom: "Don't Let A Label Silence You", a student group feminist activism project I participated in on ways to destigmatize mental health issues done as part of the WGST2801 “Activism, Feminisms & Social Justice” course at Carleton. Photo by me, 2013. As a note, the radio segment done with my classmates as part of that campaign (we took over The Dollar Bin that week to do it) ended up with the, now defunct, CKCU feminist radio show Femme Fatale being created by one of the participants, Lilith (they had never heard of CKCU before then).