1 AN END OF THE SHUTTLE PROGRAM RANT The last shuttle mission has launched. You can read stuff here, herehere and here. One thing that surprises me about this last mission of the U.S. shuttle program is how little outrage (is there any at all???) there is over the U.S becoming a second-rate space explorer. But that’s what happens in a country where politics are dominated by stupid bullshit like tax hatred, immigrant-bashing, obsession over embryos, guns, gays and God and of course trashing science, environmentalism and rationalism in general. If I ran the Democratic party I’d campaign on scientific achievement and attack Republicans for their un-American science-bashing. It would work. People really do value intelligence and achievement. Nobody says “I want my kids to be stupid.”

2 UNEMPLOYMENT BY THE NUMBERS The rate is 7.4 per cent for Canada and 4.9 per cent in Saskatchewan. Meanwhile in the, ah, United States, the rate is 9.2 per cent. Maybe our neighbours should invest massively in science and science jobs. Just a crazy thought.

3 OTTAWA BANKS ARE THERE TO HELP Before we get too excited over Saskatchewan’s low unemployment, let’s pause to watch with delight as our country eats itself! Federal public employees who’ve been fired because the Conservatives can’t balance a budget and are obsessed with cutting taxes are fortunately offered help with their severance packages by generous, good Samaritan banks.

4 NEWS OF THE WORLD ARRESTAPALLOOZA! One former editor is accused of bribing police, another — the former press secretary to the PM! — is being questioned over phone hacking and News International is being investigated for obstructing Scotland Yard investigation by deleting millions of e-mails.

5 EGYPT IS PROTESTING Lots of “grrr” in the streets.

6 THE DOWNSIDE OF CUTE SQUIRRELS Big power outage in downtown Regina last night. Hope it wasn’t caused by my buddy.