Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. Singer Rita MacNeil dies at 68

Canadian folk icon Rita MacNeil died yesterday due to complications that arose after a recent operation. Throughout her almost thirty year career, MacNeil released 25 albums, eight of which went platinum in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She’s probably most well-known to younger audiences for her 1993 CBC special “Once Upon a Christmas,” which most Canadians have watched at least 4,000 times. [CBC]

You can watch MacNeil performing “As the Circle Continues” here.

2. Investigation continues into Boston bombing

In the two days following the deadly explosions that happened near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, investigators have discovered more information about the bombs themselves, but are still unsure as to who perpetrated the crime. According to CNN, one of the bombs was made out of a pressure cooker filled with metal pellets, nails, and ball bearings. The FBI has asked for help from the public to solve the case, and websites like Reddit and 4chan have sprung into action in an attempt to crowdsource potential solutions. [CNN, Atlantic]

3. New Zealand legalizes same-sex marriage

With 64 per cent of the New Zealand parliament in favour of the decision, the country has voted to legalize same-sex marriage. Last week, Uruguay legalized same-sex marriage, making New Zealand the 13th country to do so. Gandalf…or…I mean Ian McKellen will be pleased. [Guardian]

4. Warner Bros. releases new ‘Man of Steel’ trailer

If you were worried that Zack Snyder was going to butcher the Superman franchise as bad as Bryan Singer did, you can relax a touch. Yesterday, Warner Bros. released their third official trailer for ‘Man of Steel,’ and from what the trailer shows us, the film looks like it’s going to be seriously intense. Though it’s still too early to say for sure, it seems like Zack Snyder may have figured out a way to make the story both personal and emotional without taking away any of Superman’s epicness. Watch the trailer here.

5. A crazy Dutch organization wants to send you to Mars

Mars One, a Dutch not-for-profit organization whose goal is to have a human settlement on Mars by 2023, is now taking applicants for a one-way trip to the planet. According to the Mars One website, the organization wants volunteer astronauts to emigrate to the red planet “where they will live and work for what will likely be the remainder of their lives,” a statement that somehow manages to take all the fun out of interplanetary travel. [BBC, Mars One]

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