1. CANADIAN RECORDING INDUSTRY MAY ACTUALLY PAY ARTISTS. You know those compilation albums that you used to buy in high school because they contained all the big hits (and one or two inexplicable choices)? Record companies don’t pay the artists a thin dime in royalties. Until now! The four big record labels that comprise mainstream music in Canada have agreed to pay artists $45 million as the result of a class action lawsuit. When asked for comment, God said “Suck it, labels”. (Geist.ca)

2. MAN SNEEZES PHLEGM, BULLET OUT OF HIS HEAD. An Italian man hit by a random bullet in his temple managed to sneeze out the projectile while waiting for surgery. Considering the air velocity of an average sneeze, it would have been funny if the bullet had hit someone else in the waiting room. (The Telegraph)

3. ANOTHER POSSIBLE BIRD DEATH EXPLANATION. Veterinarians discovered that a flock of dead starlings found on the outskirts of Constanta, Romania, had died from – wait for it – alcohol poisoning. Apparently the birds had found a stash of grape marc, which is a byproduct of wine making. Grape marc is also to blame for grappa and that terrible night I suffered back in 1995 when my friend smuggled a bottle of the stuff from his parent’s liquor cabinet. (bbc.co.uk)

4. CANADA AND CHINA SEAL SEAL DEAL DEAL. Our two favourite countries beginning with the letter C (too bad, Colombia) have sealed a deal to export seal products to China. After a recent EU ban on seal products, it is hoped that the new trade agreement will benefit the Canadian sealing industry. In other words, deal sealers feel sealed seal deal will heal seal dealers’ weal. (Leader-Post)

5. AMERICA CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF ITS CROWD-KILLING WEAPONS. In a development that is consistent with the history of mass murder in America, handgun sales have soared following Jared Lee Loughner’s killing spree. You can’t be too careful when it comes to protecting yourself from random crazy people who were in no way influenced by years of faux-revolutionary rhetoric from pundits and ersatz politicians, I guess. (Bloomberg)

6. SARAH PALIN CONTINUES NOT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WORDS MEAN. After a few days of silence, Sarah Palin released a video statement in which she accuses her critics of “blood libel”. As far as I know, the substance of the criticism has focused on Palin’s careless use of violent imagery and rhetoric. No one has yet mentioned her habit of murdering Christian children and using their blood in some arcane religious ritual. (New York Times)