Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

 We’re back. And on Bill Murray Day, no less. 

The Toronto International Film Festival, which kicked off Thursday, has named today, Sept. 5, Bill Murray Day. Indeed, why not. His new film, St. Vincent, screens this evening. It’s savvy PR. And St. Vincent producer Harvey Weinstein is pushing for Murray to get an Oscar this year. To celebrate, the Bell Lightbox will be airing several of Murray’s classics throughout the day for free. This all makes sense, writes Berry Hertz in Maclean’s, “After all, the 11-day event prides itself on being “the people’s film festival,” and Murray has become the people’s movie star.” Spectator Tribune endorses Bill Murray for an Oscar. He’s just so likeable, and earnest. [Source: Maclean’s]

Deal reached between pro-Russian rebels and Ukraine

A ceasefire agreement has reportedly been signed by Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels Friday, ending the month’s long war that the UN estimates has taken nearly 2,600 lives. Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko told news sources a 12-point deal signed by his representatives, Russia, the rebels, and the OSCE was reached during the peace talks currently taking place in the Belarussian capital, Minsk. And that he ordered the cessation of hostilities at 1500 GMT. “I count on this agreement, including the ceasing of fire and the freeing of hostages, to be precisely observed,” said Poroshenko. But a statement from insurgent leader, reportedly saying, “this doesn’t mean that our course for secession is over” may threaten the longevity of the ceasefire. Associated Press reported shelling Friday morning, indicating a rebel advance near Mariupol. [Source: Global News]

What can big oil do for you if not build you a USS Enterprise?

It costs $2-trillion to build a fully-functional USS Enterprise. And that is more money than the town of Vulcan, Alberta has, apparently. But they want one. The 2,000-person strong town wants an NCC-1701. Vulcan, located southeast of Calgary, famous among Star Trek fans for reasons that seem redundant to write, has started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to this end. The goal is a big ship, but the campaign was started to boost the town’s profile, according to its website. Leonard Nemoy has visited the town. Is that not enough, Vulcan? The campaign has raised $2,000, so far. [Source: Daily Dot]

 Coffee, decoded

David Sankoff is a coffee expert, working with a team that has decoded the robusta variety’s DNA, according to an article in the journal Science. Sankoff holds the Canada Research Chair in mathematical genomics at the University of Ottawa, and is one of six scientists working across 15 labs spread across the globe. The purpose: to give growers the tools to improve and protect their product. The arabica variety still needs to be unpacked, genetically, and many more questions raised by Sankoff’s research still require answers. “No one knows why coffee makes caffeine,” he said. “What good is it? It’s a dangerous chemical to DNA so why does coffee make it? Maybe it protects against some pest, or maybe it protected against a pest a million or 10 million years ago.” [Source: Star Phoenix]

Canada to fight ISIS 

Canada is set to deploy nearly 100 members of the armed forces to Irag in an effort to stop jihadist cell ISIS, formerly known as ISIL. “The fanaticism of the ISIL terrorist group is a real threat to regional security and millions of innocent people in Iraq, Syria and beyond. Left unchecked, ISIL is also a direct threat to Canada and its Allies,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a news release. The troops being deployed will provide Iraqi forces with strategic and tactical advice. The assistance will be targeted toward Kurdish soldiers in the country’s north, who are believed to be Iraq’s most effective force against ISIS. U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron called on a “core coalition” of defence and foreign ministers from 10 NATO allies, including Canada, to deal with the emerging threat posed by ISIS. [Source: CBC]


Toban Dyck is a farmer and a writer. He wants the day to remain rain-free, so he can combine the few acres of wheat he has left.