1 U.S. DEBT CRISIS WHEE Here’s your Friday update on the terrifying state of American politics. Here’s the Guardian’s take. The Republicans are nuts. And the country has to get over its tax hatred. Taxes are the price of civilization. Civilization is a nice place to be.
2 DROUGHT APOCALYPSE IN AFRICA Terrible.
3 A DEAD WORLD GOES TO HELL Former News Of The World editor Rebekah Brooks has resigned, which seemed both inevitable and impossible–Rupert Murdoch was clearly fond of her but how could she not resign from News International after the ship she captained went down? Also, the FBI is investigating NotW after reports the newspaper hacked the phones of 9-11 victims, and Murdoch Sr. and Jr. have been summoned to appear before a British House of Commons committee to answer questions about just WTF has been going on. And Rosie must have mentioned this yesterday, but on Wednesday, Murdoch the elder abandoned his British Sky Television bid.
4 CANADA-EUROPE TRADE DEAL IN 2012? What’s on the table? What does it mean? Who knows? Usually these deals have a large component of removing things that shouldn’t be removed, like environmental protection and local preferences for contracts (and that’s about union busting). Then again, unlike our usual free trade partner, the EU at least believes in climate change. We need to see what’s being secretly negotiated. And so do Europeans.
5 SOME WINNIPEG NEWS OF INTEREST The city with a better football team than ours (grrr) is following Regina transit’s innovative lead (yes, really) and bringing in fare cards. Hopefully they’ll call them something better than “R-card”, which is a terrible name for a great idea. Also, Winnipeg’s IKEA (open fall 2012) will be bigger than Calgary’s, and closer. Hooray! Also also, True North is in the final stages of tweaking the Jets colours and logos.
6 DON’T BLAME THE SNAKE For the right owners — meaning people who are informed, responsible and able to afford the costs that can come with exotic pets — a Burmese python can reasonably be kept (although they’re illegal here, which is dumb. They should be legal but require a license, and no, I’m not angling for a change in rules that would let me get a legal pet python. I’m not a python guy. I’m quite happy with my little kingsnake pal Fred, thanks). The Florida jackasses convicted of murdering their child, however, SHOULD NOT KEEP GIANT PYTHONS. Or any potentially dangerous pet. Or frankly, any pets period. Geez.
HAPPY SCIENCE! Here’s a song by Canadian scientists about the Cambrian explosion happened 545 million years ago. Fun!
(The song doesn’t say anything about how creationists insult God by dumbing-down the epic scale of His mind-boggling handiwork, so I’ll just helpfully add that in to once again point out that belief in literal creation is for jerks desperate to believe God shares their lack of imagination, fear of science and disconnect with reality. Hilariously, any creationists reading this are reading it on a computer, which is a thing that comes from science. Smarten up, creationists! Your ideas make you dicks!)