Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. South Korea: North Korea is officially a “vital threat”

After years of seemingly hollow threats and highschool-style bullying tactics, North Korea says it’s finally going to start launching missiles. U.S. and South Korea are claiming that North Korea has fueled and readied at least one Musudan, a ballistic missile with an estimated range of 3000 km. It is still unclear as to whether the missiles were purchased from LexCorp or the Acme Corporation. [The New York Times, BBC]

2. French Senate advances toward approval of same-sex marriage bill

The French Senate have voted in favour of the first article of a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry. Though they’ve yet to vote on several other sections of the bill, like adoption rights, champions of the vote are confident that the bill will go through—the only way it can fail now is if the Senate rejects the entire bill. Approval of the bill is likely due to the French feeling like they’ve been missing out on all the fun happening in neighboring Belgium, where same-sex marriage has already been legal for ten years. [The Local]

3. Iran gets hit by 6.1 magnitude earthquake

Almost 40 people have been killed and 850 are injured after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the southeastern coast of Iran. The earthquake has been followed by more than 80 aftershocks, the strongest of which measured a magnitude of 5.4. Residents in 12 villages were forced to spend the entire night outside in the open, kind of like a horrendously awful camping trip. [BBC]

4. EA voted “Worst Company in America”

Voters on the blog The Consumerist have named Electronic Arts the “Worst Company in America” for the second year in a row. Customers have complained that EA often releases underdeveloped games in an attempt to cash in as quickly as possible. For those of you who might be wondering why voters chose EA over companies like Chevron or Monsanto…I have absolutely no idea. [The Consumerist]

5. Kurt Vile releases Wakin on a Pretty Daze

Following the success of 2011’s Smoke Ring for my Halo, lo-fi rocker Kurt Vile has released his fifth full-length, Wakin on a Pretty Daze. From a few initial listens, it seems that Vile has stuck to his tried and tested strategy of writing great songs and then singing them like he’s stoned and falling asleep at the same time. [Pitchfork]

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