Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

The case of the poisoned bees

Jason Loewen is an apiarist with about 1,200 hives in the RM of Elton located in southwester Manitoba. Between Aug. 14 and Sept. 3, about 60 of his hives were poisoned, resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands of bees, and a monetary loss of up to $20,000. The poisonings happened at two different hive sites, according to CBC Manitoba. Loewed is convinced the act was a targeted one: “If there was a disease, or if farmers had sprayed pesticide, those bees would’ve all been hit,” Loewen told the Brandon Sun this morning, adding that many more haves have been weakened. RCMP is currently investigating. We don’t usually publish crime on Spectator Tribune, but we do love bees and their stewards. And with bee populations inexplicably dwindling across the globe, poisoning seems particularly heinous.[Source: CBC Manitoba and Winnipeg Free Press]

Scotland votes today

Spectator Tribune wrongly published the referendum as occurring yesterday, Sept. 17. We apologize. It’s happening today. Scotland’s population sits at 4,285,323 people, and 97 per cent of its electorate registered to vote at one of the country’s 5,579 polling stations, according to the BBC. The question: Should Scotland be an independent country? The options: “Yes” or “No.” Stations close at 22:00 this evening. Results are expected Friday morning. The latest polls conducted were too close to predict which side has the advantage going into today. [Source: BBC]

Algae enzyme to increase crop rice and wheat yields

Researchers are infusing plants with enzymes from blue-green algae to speed up the process of photosynthesis as a way to increase crop yields. The results were published in the journal Nature. And they are promising, albeit controversial. Rubisco, perhaps the most abundant protein on Earth, is the enzyme responsible for converting carbon dioxide into sugars. But the Rubisco found in widely-grown crops such as rice and wheat is slow. Enters algae, which, as luck would have it, has faster Rubisco enzymes. Researchers are hopeful that down the line, once more wrinkles have been ironed out, adding this enzyme could increase yields in rice and wheat by 60 per cent. [Source: Nature]

Morden’s Bruce the mosasaur wins world record

Morden, Manitoba, a small city located on the Pembina escarpment near the U.S. border made headlines Thursday after its Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for having largest mosasaur fossil display in the world. A mosasaur, or, T.-rex of the sea, or, even more colloquially, Sea-Rex, lived in the late Cretaceous period, 80-90-million years ago. They were supposedly fierce. And they patrolled the Western Interior Seaway, a shallow sea covering an area much larger than what would tens of millions of years later become North America. Bruce, the winning mosasaur, was discovered in 1974 near Thornhill, MN. “It is great for people to be able to come and see something here in Morden that cannot be seen anywhere else on the planet,” said Peter Cantelon, executive director of the CFDC, in a news release. “It’s great for Manitoba and it’s great for Canada.” About 70 per cent of Bruce’s bones have been excavated, and his current length is about 43 feet. [Source: and Weather Network]

Read this, but remember some people in this world are still good 

This exists. And in this case that’s enough to make into 5 things. It’s Facebook for those with lots of disposable income who want to hang out online with others who have similar amounts of disposable income. This should stand out as gross. Netropolitan is hailed as the social media site for rich people; “an online country club for people with more money than time.” Here’s the best part: It costs $9,000 to join, $6,000 of which is the initiation fee and the remaining $3,000 is the annual cost to be included in the site. [Source: Death and Taxes]


Toban Dyck lost his Rae and Jerry’s pen He’s sad about that36419_441722765399_3979011_n. Hey, I’m on Twitter @tobandyck

For more, follow @spectatortrib on Twitter. And find us on Instagram, too: @spectatortribune.