Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. U.S. acknowledges use of chemical weapons in Syria

After several weeks of hesitation and cautious research, the U.S. Government has officially stated that it has evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. In the past, President Obama has called the use of chemical weapons a “game-changer” to America’s involvement in Syria’s ongoing civil war. Obama’s next step is to take the evidence to the United Nations, who will likely respond to the crisis by telling Bashar al-Assad that “he’s just not being a very nice guy.” [Atlantic]

2. Singer George Jones dies at 81

Legendary country singer George Jones has died in a Nashville hospital at the age of 81. Known for his signature honky-tonk crooning and his wild years of drinking, Jones had 14 number one country hits throughout his more than 40 year career. His death followed a hospitalization on April 18 for a fever and irregular blood pressure. [New York Times, Atlantic]

3. Earth’s core as hot as the Sun

New measurements of the temperature of the Earth’s core put the molten metal at 6,000 C, about 1,000 C hotter than previously thought. This means that the temperature of the Earth’s core is roughly the same as that of the Sun, Earth’s nearest star. Scientists uncovered the findings by using a really long thermometer shooting x-rays into the Earth’s core. [BBC]

4. Runners discovered cheating in Vancouver Sun Run

The Vancouver Sun Run isn’t some elite marathon—it’s a ten kilometre partial-charity run held by the Vancouver Sun newspaper. But that didn’t stop Neena Cheema and Mohammed Razak from cheating to win. After organizers saw a video of Cheema walking during the race, they started to wonder how she was able to win her age category so handily. It turns out Cheema was simply skipping large sections of the race, and organizers are now highly suspicious that she’s been running the same scam since 2006. Razak, on the other hand, is playing the fool to the whole thing, saying he just didn’t realize that taking shortcuts was considered cheating. [National Post]

5. Canadian professor says eating boogers might be healthy

Scott Napper, a biochemistry professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, says that picking your nose and eating it might be a way to keep your immune system strong. Napper is hoping to test his hypothesis using a group of students who want to be healthy and don’t mind losing a few friends in the process.

“All you would need is a group of volunteers. You would put some sort of molecule in all their noses, and for half of the group they would go about their normal business and for the other half of the group, they would pick their nose and eat it,” he told CBC. “Then you could look for immune responses against that molecule and if they’re higher in the booger-eaters, then that would validate the idea.” [CBC]

Mark Schram grew up on a ranch in southwestern Manitoba and now writes out of Winnipeg. If you would like to offer him a job or ask him about how to pull a calf, you can contact him at