Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

MegaUpload releases Good Times 

Internet badass Kim Dotcom has released his debut album Good Times inspired by the trance music he listened to while driving fast.

The announcement comes as the MegaUpload playboy cut the ribbon on a new music sharing service called Baboom, which he likens to a hybrid of iTunes and Spotify.

Good Times is so far the only album available on Baboom. The 17-track album features guests such as Sleep Deez, Printz Board, Rellevant, JD Walks, and TidiTaane, according to the Daily Dot.

It’s Jan. 20 release is two years to the day that Dotcom’s house was raided by FBI agents in the highly-publicized shutdown of the file-sharing site MegaUpload.

He has already started work on the follow-up Hard Times.

“I want to play at more festivals,” he said in a radio interview. “I want to make music for the crowds where they go nuts.” [Source: Daily Dot]

Artists, scientists join Young’s fight

It’s polarizing in ways his music has never been. Neil Young’s music gives some of the best, most honest expression to what it means to live. But then he put down his guitar and spoke: “rock stars don’t need oil.”

The error may be in conflating genius with omniscience.  Heart of Gold secures Young as the former, and likening the oil sands to Hiroshima keeps Young a safe distance from the latter.

Neil Young ended his four-stop Honour the Treaties tour in Calgary Sunday. The tour’s intention, Young said, was about raising money for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation’s opposition to the expansion of Royal Dutch Shell’s Jackpine oil-sands mine. The project has been given the green light by a review panel and the federal government, but has failed to take into account a significant list of environmental affects on wetlands and old-growth forests. Proper consultation did not take place on, the First Nation claims.

The tour exceeded its goal, and raised over $500,000.

Young’s outspoken position on the oil sands and the Harper Government’s position on it in relation to the First Nation treaties has drawn a response from the Prime Minister himself, and the support of many artists, scientists, etc.

Neve Campbell, Michael Ondaatje, Gord Downie, and many more helped write a letter in support of Young.

“The time has come for Canada to decide if we want a future where First Nations rights and title are honoured, agreements with other countries to protect the climate are honoured, and our laws are not written by powerful oil companies. Or not,” the letter read.

Whatever side your hip is shooting from, the conversation is important. Young knows this, and has put himself on the chopping block, knowing full well it would be the only way to get both sides talking.

Curling rinks the country over are chatting about it. Success. [Source: CBC, Globe and Mail]

Syria torturing and executing detainees, report finds

Syria has tortured and executed about 11,000 detainees since the start of the revolution, according to a report by former war crimes prosecutors. The news comes a day before peace talks are scheduled to start in Switzerland.

The report was based on evidence collected by a defected military photographer, whose job had been to snap photos of corpses as evidence of the kill and as the needed documentation for a death certificate. The photographer, who goes by the name Ceasar, said the album covers the period from the beginning of the revolt in 2011 until August, 2013.

The peace talks, referred to as Geneva II, are being hailed as best attempt yet at ending the conflict that has seen over 100,000 deaths. [Source: BBC]

It’s cold outside

It’s cold, this just in. This cool phenomenon called a polar vortex has once again smote Central and Eastern Canada. The invasion is expected to last until late this week. Thursday, to be specific.

Wind-chill warnings are in effect from Manitoba to Quebec, with parts of northern Mantioba expected to dip to -50 C.

It would be fun to discuss this a little more in-depth. News organizations cover the cold in Manitoba as if it’s new. It makes sense, kind of. But if there’s one thing Manitobans should be used to, it’s the cold. The frigid cold. It happens most winters, polar vortex or not. And, though we complain, which seems an important, necessary part of our ambivalent relationship with plummeting temperatures, it is a great time of year if you dress for it.

Stay warm, Manitoba. [Source: CBC]

Dear olden-times:  You’re awesome.

The Wellcome Library is one of the world’s premier collections of medical history and it is making its archive of more than 10,000 images available for free. The images include works by Goya, Van Gogh, James Gillray, George Cruikshank, and many more, all contained in ancient medical manuscripts.

Many of the illustrations poke fun at the medical treatments then in fashion.

“Together the collection amounts to a dizzying visual record of centuries of human culture, and our attempts to understand our bodies, minds and health through art and observation,” Simono Chaplin, head of the Library, told BBC.


The above Wellcome Library image illustrates “cupping” an ancient therapy where heated cups are placed on the skin to allegedly help deal with anything from muscle problems to cellulite.


This “Origin of Gout” illustrations captures what many consider one of the most painful medical conditions. The devil is the obvious cause, but closer inspection of what’s on the table and the colour of the musician’s nose reveal, perhaps, the real one.


“The Cholic” is captured as demons pulling tight a rope wrapped around the woman’s stomach. [Source: BBC]


Toban Dyck wrote these, deciding of the many things seen on the Internet this morning, which ones make the five most important. He’s subject to error.