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Thinking Out Loud with Sheldon MacLeod

  • Ban or no ban? Cell phones in the classroom

    17 MAY 2024 · Does it have to be all or nothing when it comes to cell phone uss in the classroom? Dr. Simon Sherry is a clinical psychologist, a professor and a dad. And he takes on the pressing issue of cell phone and social media usage in schools. We delve into the pervasive impact of mobile devices on children's sleep, social relationships, and classroom learning. Dr. Sherry advocates for a ban in Atlantic provinces, while we also explore the nuances of policy, the potential benefits of technology, and the broader societal implications of the digital age.
    11m 22s
  • After the wildfires— lessons on being prepared

    7 MAY 2024 · It’s been almost a year since the devastating wildfires in Halifax and Shelburne Counties.  The Barrington Lake fire — the largest wildfire in recorded history of the province and the Tantallon fire — one of the most expensive.   Kara McCurdy recently left her role as a Fire Prevention officer with Natural Resources and Renewables for a similar role with Halifax Fire and Emergency Services. She was also presented with the Lynn Orstad Award for preventing wildfire and advancing community resiliency.  As she moves into her new role with HRFE, McCurdy discusses the FireSmart program and some of the lessons learned on protecting properties from wildfire risk.   May 5th to 11th is Emergency Preparedness Week.  For more information visit 
    9m 58s
  • Jim Rudderham on guarding against Nova Scotia's wildfire threats

    2 MAY 2024 · As spring unfolds and the leaves come out, the risk of wildfires in Nova Scotia climbs. A year after the devastating wildfires, an independent report on the response was by the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables. For more on the response and forest fire prevention, Jim Rudderham, Director for Fleet and Forest Protection was made available. He discusses the critical role of moisture levels, the Burnsafe Map, and how volunteer firefighters are stepping up to safeguard our natural resources. He also discusses the science behind burn restrictions and why burning is always restricted between 8am and 2pm during wildfire risk season. And in the end, it’s all about the collective effort needed from landowners and the community to prevent wildfires.
    19m 15s
  • Rick Mercer: Rants, Writings, and Road Trips

    24 APR 2024 · The idea was to talk with him about his upcoming cross-Canada jaunt with singer/songwriter Jann Arden. But I had to find out the origin story of this upcoming adventure called the “”.  It launches April 27th in Kitchener before coming to Halifax on the 29th, Moncton on the 30th and St. Johns on May 2nd. Rick Mercer shares what it’s like dividing his time between Newfoundland and Toronto and what to expect when he takes the stage with his friend Jann.
    28m 20s
  • Dark Angel — 760k and still delivering

    17 APR 2024 · Tim German and his 2017 Hyundai Elantra have made a lot of trips around the Maritimes delivering blood products over the last seven years. And he shares his thoughts about his car, his work and how he has kept his car going long enough to "circle the world 19 times" and counting. 
    11m 33s
  • Volunteer Fire Services and the Nova Scotia Guard

    11 APR 2024 · Nova Scotians are already stepping up to help their neighbours in huge ways. There are 6,000 volunteer firefighters and 1,200 ground search and rescuers across the province. And when Premier Tim Houston recently announced the formation of the, there were a lot of questions about who would be joining this new team and exactly what they would be doing.  Greg Jones is the President of the Fire Services Association of Nova Scotia. Along with discussing the possible roles for the newly named Guard, Chief Jones discusses recruitment and training challenges facing volunteer groups right now in Nova Scotia.  Editor's Note — After this piece was produced, an invitation was received by the author for an online meeting with Premier Tim Houston on Sunday, April 14 at 7:15 p.m. to hear from volunteer first responders. 
    15m 36s
  • Chicken chatter and ethical implications

    28 MAR 2024 · Imagine walking into a barn and instead of hearing random clucks and squawks, you're privy to a conversation about likes, dislikes, and even emotional states. This isn't a scene from a children's book; it's the reality that researchers at Dalhousie University are uncovering through the power of artificial intelligence. The idea for this conversation came from a news release titled: Fowl language: Dalhousie University researcher uses AI to crack the code of clucks and unravel chicken chatter secrets, opening the door to an improved quality of life. Suresh Neethirajan is an associate professor and the University Research Chair in Digital Livestock Farming in Dalhousie's Faculty of Computer Science. In this conversation, he explains how he is applying artificial intelligence to chicken sounds from more than 30 poultry farms across North America and Europe, including birds with Avian flu and a wide range of health conditions. Using sophisticated machine learning algorithms, he has translated chickens' nonsensical sounds to specific words, like "Danger!" and "Fox!" For instance, he can now understand expressions of distress or a need for help in diseased chickens, much like a human saying, "I have to go to the hospital." Humourist Bill Carr posted a piece highlighting the ethical questions this raises and Dr. Neethirajan addresses some of them in this conversation. 
    29m 27s
  • A splash of water in the wine

    20 MAR 2024 · The Nova Scotia Government has pumped the brakes on a controversial policy affecting the wine industry. This is a look at the back story and the politics involved when doing an about-face amidst wide-spread criticism.
    16m 44s
  • From Wavemakers to JUNOFest: celebrating the best in Canadian talent in Halifax

    13 MAR 2024 · Some people may not remember the 2006 Awards in Halifax. But the event is gearing up to bring hundreds of performers and hours of music to dozens of venues across the city later this month. Allegra Swanson is  the Chair of the 2024 Halifax JUNO Host Committee and is also the Executive Director of Music Nova Scotia. She takes us through the nomination process, the selection of winners, and the special moments that honour the artists we've lost. There’s more in this conversation about Wavemakers and JUNOFest as well as the big award gala hosted by Nelly Furtado and Maestro Fresh Wes. 
    15m 17s
  • What is the true cost of Daylight Saving Time?

    7 MAR 2024 · Does switching the clock twice a year bug you? If so, you can blame — in part — entomologist George Vernon Hudson. In 1895, the New Zealand scientist presented a paper proposing a two-hour shift forward in the summer, switching it back in the fall. His reasoning? He was frustrated that it got dark so early in the summer that it was interfering with his bug collecting. History has been much more kind to him than the Royal Society that he presented to. They mocked him, some members saying that proposal was both confusing and unnecessary. And a lot of people these days are feeling the same way about Daylight Saving Time and switching the clocks twice a year.
    10m 33s

It's not always easy to get the story behind the story. Journalism is about the Five W's that report the facts but to Sheldon, context is key. It's not just...

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It's not always easy to get the story behind the story.

Journalism is about the Five W's that report the facts but to Sheldon, context is key.

It's not just how, but how come. In this show, he talks to the people behind the headlines to find out why we should care.

And in the digital age, nothing tells a story better than the voice of the person involved, or the people who can look at it critically and speak about it.

We hope to tell the stories that can help us understand not just why something happened, but why it matters.
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