Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

“Selfie: A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. This writer has taken at least three of these.

It shouldn’t be so appalling that ‘selfie’ is Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year for 2013. It is, in fact, a good reminder that words are not nearly as sacred as writers and language users think or wish. They are made up, used, and once popular among a critical mass, canonized. Usage of the word ‘Selfie’ increased by 17,000 per cent from this time last year, according to a Oxford University Press news release.

Its earliest utterance has been traced to an Australian forum in 2002:

2002 ABC Online (forum posting) 13 Sept.
“Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”

‘Biticoin’ and ‘twerk’ made the shortlist. [Source: Oxford]

Monty Python returns

Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Michael Palin, and Terry Jones; Monty Python’s Flying Circus are their powers combined. The unequalled, hilarious comedy team behind such brilliance as, “What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?” is reuniting for a stage show, according to the BBC.

“We’re getting together and putting on a show – it’s real,”  Jones told the BBC. “I’m quite excited about it. I hope it makes us a lot of money. I hope to be able to pay off my mortgage!”

The troupe has not performed together since The Meaning of Life in 1983. And they won’t all be together now, as Graham Chapman, the sixth member, passed away in 1989.

Details of their show will be revealed in a press conference on Friday, one that Eric Idle is apparently chuffed about. He tweeted the following on Monday: “Only three days to go till the Python press conference. Make sure Python fans are alerted to the big forthcoming news event.”

Spectator Tribune would like to take this time and speak for everyone in saying, this is most smile-worthy news. [Source: BBC and Globe and Mail]

Rob Ford has a Jesus moment 

The poor news world is running out of adjectives to introduce Rob Ford. ‘Embattled,’ ‘beleaguered,’ etc., are white noise by now.

He’s had a “come to Jesus moment,”  and is now going to lose weight and stop drinking. Ford told CBC’s Peter Mansbridge that he’s going to “eat his words” if people don’t see a difference in him within five months.

This writer challenges anyone to not change within five months. It’s a phenomenon that happens at the hands of time. Change.

His “Jesus” moment came, allegedly, after being at the receiving end of the bullying he seems to enjoy doling out. It’s hard not to think that recovery for a bully stripped of his bullying powers means becoming a bully again. It’s not fact and doesn’t belong in a news brief, but a quick search of psych journals would yield supporting research of this, no doubt.

He told Mansbridge of how he’s felt “belittled” lately.

Toronto city council reduced Rob Ford’s mayoral budget, and transferred many of his duties to deputy mayor Norm Kelly in a Monday vote.

Ford called the move to a coup d’etat and likened it to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1991.

Here’s a video of Rob Ford yelling at Toronto:

[vimeo url=”″][/vimeo]

[Source: HuffPo]

 Ritz crackers are the healthy choice, apparently

Manitoba mother Kristen Bartkiw packed a daycare lunch of roast beef, potatoes, carrots, an orange, and milk for Natalie and Logan. This lunch, though seemingly complete to most, was missing a grain, a deficit the daycare filled with Ritz crackers. Bartkiw’s children returned from daycare with a bill of $10 and a note:

“Today your child’s lunch was supplemented with: Ritz Crackers. Meals that are provided to children (by either the center or parent) are required to have: 1 milk, 1 meat, 1 grain, and 2 fruits/vegetables … Today you were missing: Grain – 1. HAD: meat, potatoes, milk, carrots, orange.”

Bartkiw, who sat on the board when this one-grain policy was implemented, said the intention of the rule is to promote healthy eating, and keep from kids coming to daycare with nothing but a pizza pop.

But interpretation requires effort. Black and white rule following is so much easier.

She thought a potato would count as the grain, and takes issue with the minds that are unable to make the distinction between healthy choices (the spirit of the policy) and processed-grains like Ritz.

According to the news story, the daycare has since changed its meal policy.

[Source: Global News]

Water from when Atlantic Ocean was a lake found in U.S.

A body of water 100 – 150 million years old was found one kilometre below Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay. Geologists discovered the water, and dated it by analyzing its chemical makeup. It’s the oldest body of water of its kind in the world. The previous record holder was the ancient water bubbling to the surface in a zinc mine in Timmins, Ontario.

The newly-found water has twice the salt content of the modern ocean and officials estimate its origins from when the now Atlantic ocean was more like a lake, and dinosaurs roamed the planet. [Source: Discovery and LATimes]


Toban Dyck watched others do “real” work while writing this. 

For more, follow @tobandyck and @spectatortrib