6-in-the-morning 1  WE’RE RICH! NOW WE CAN DEFUND THE SCHOOLS!  The University of Saskatchewan says they’re facing a $44 million shortfall in their operating budget and expect more cuts in the New Year. Boy, this province is doing everything right, isn’t it?

2  GO UTAH!  Researchers at Utah State University have come up with an electric bus that charges as it goes. No gas backup needed. Based on technology developed by Nikola Tesla in 1891, the bus recharges its batteries every time it brakes. How cool is that? And what took so long?

3  TAKE THE HINT  Italian stocks have fallen in value following news that Prime Minister Mario Monti will step down… and Silvio Berlusconi is going to run again! Has anyone else noticed that Italy seems to do absolutely everything better except self-government?

4  FEWER SWIMMERS  According to research coming out of the Institut de Veille Sanitaire, St Maurice (that’s in France), global sperm counts are on the decline.

5  DEPRESSING  Danish scientists have found a higher mortality rate among people who are “involuntarily childless”. The study looked at data from 21,000 couples who sought IVF treatments, and found that the women were four times as likely to “die early compared with women who did conceive.” Men in that situation were twice as likely to die as their procreating peers. The researchers admit there are a lot of variables (rich people live longer, and can also better afford IVF). Anyway, I’d like to know how they define “early”.

6  PICK UP SOME CANDLES AND PLANT POTS FOR ME WHILE YOU’RE AT IT  By now you’ve likely already heard about and seen the Ikea monkey – found running amuck at a Toronto Ikea (they have two, don’t you know). When I first heard this, I imagined the little fella running around inside the store (which I like the idea of much better) – and I was glad he was wearing diapers (all that Ikea white). That he was outside in in parking lot makes me very sad, though. It was 6 degrees there yesterday which, while balmy by Saskatchewan standards, is not the kind of strolling weather a Rhesus monkey is used to. At least he was wearing that fabulous coat. Maybe his owners couldn’t have a baby. I hope someone brought him inside for a plate of meatballs. Not surprisingly, this “story” is tearing up the internet. Expect many variations on this meme today.