Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

Lunar eclipse tonight

Expect great things of the sky tonight. Earth’s shadow will creep across October’s full Hunter’s Moon, causing it to glow a shade of red or brown. The event will begin at 3:15 a.m. The event may cast in the same glow the individual meteors that are part of the Draconid meteor shower, a typically small shower not visible to skywatchers through the bright moonlight. [Source: CBC]

Myanmar to release thousands of political prisoners

More than 3,000 political prisoners in Myanmar will be released as part of reform process, according to BBC. And the reasons for it were posted on the country’s Information Minister’s Facebook page. U Ye Htut said President Thein Sein will release and pardon them for the sake of peace and stability. Sein, who came into power in 2102, pledged to release all political prisoners after his civilian-backed government replaced the previous military rule. Many of the political prisoners backed and were imprisoned with former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt, who was deposed and detained about ten years ago. While the country ebbs closer to stability, sanctions have been loosening, in kind. But human rights groups are still concerned over the lack of information on how many prisoners remain in custody. [Source: BBC]

Ukraine’s Trash Bucket Challenge sees corrupt politicians tossed in garbage

It’s a ceasefire, on paper only. Tensions between pro-West and pro-Russia groups still escalate to violence in Ukraine. And swaths of the country’s east are still controlled by those siding with Putin and deposed President Viktor Yanukovych, currently seeking refuge in Russia. Enter an adapted version of the Ice Bucket Challenge: The Trash Bucket Challenge is less a game and more a political statement made by activists against corrupt politicians. And it’s played like this: Take a politician suspected of corruption and toss him or her in a dumpster. Some have been held in trash bins for up to half and hour. Activists are invigorated in part by the country’s parliamentary elections scheduled for the end of October. [Source: Death and Taxes]

Nobel Prize issued to LED inventors

Isamu Akasaka and Hiroshi Amano, both professors at Nagoya University in Japan, and U.S. professor Shuji Nakamura have won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention, twenty years ago, of a blue, light-emitting diode (LED), a now-ubiquitous technology used in high-speed data transfer, TVs, traffic signals, headlights, and more. The technology allows for the production of light with less electricity needed to do so. “A quarter of energy consumption goes to illumination,” said physics professor Per Delsing at a press conference, adding that any efficiencies to this end is a huge gain for civilization. This year’s award marks a practical turn for the Nobel Prize. Previous winners were involved in theoretical projects such as the Higgs Boson. [Source: Cnet]

Islamic State to take Kobani

Islamic State groups are poised to claim the Syrian border town of Kobani, according to reports from Turkey’s president. Kurdish forces attempting to keep the Islamic Stage group from advancing were struggling, outgunned, and are reportedly receiving little support from U.S.-led airstrikes. Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham have taken the neighbouring villages, and have erected their black flag near the town’s border. About 2,000 militants entered Kobani late Monday, according to news reports. “Kobani is about to fall,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Syrian refugees in the Turkish town of Gaziantep. He is calling for cooperating with the Syrian opposition, a group fighting both pro-Assad and Islamic State forces. [Source: National Post]

Honourable mention: Putin portrayed as Hercules in art exhibit. [Source: BBC] And, this from National Geographic:

“Photographer Stian Rekdal combined thousands of photos to create this time-lapse video showcasing Iceland’s natural beauty. He spent three weeks—and more than 3,000 miles—on the road and took more than 40,000 photos. He used about 3,500 of these to make the video.”


Follow Toban Dyck’s staid antics at @tobandyck 

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