1 FREE PUSSY RIOT Russian prosecutors today called for three-year jail terms for the members of feminist punk band and activist collective Pussy Riot. A Russian lawyer arguing, like lead prosecutor Alexei Nikiforov has, for protestors and political prisoners to be “isolated from society”? Not menacing at all! Anyway, if you want a primer on why exactly you should care about something named “Pussy Riot,” Mother Jones has many of the reasons. (Side note – the one silver lining to this debacle/frightening assertion of post-Soviet Russian state authority & dissent-quashing is that dozens of Serious Media Outlets have published the words “Pussy Riot” over and over again.)
2 NO ROADS LEAD TO FOND-DU-LAC Bruce Johnstone has an article in today’s Leader-Post examining the impediments to progress presented by a lack of proper infrastructure – specifically, a lack of all-season roads – in northern Saskatchewan. How important are decent roads to northern communities? “Typically,” Johnstone writes, “the 900km trip from Stony Rapids to Prince Albert takes 15 hours, much of it driving on rutted, rocky, sometimes washed-out roads.” And as a result, milk costs $10 per jug. Yikes.
3 WE WAS ROBBED Like many Canadians, I somehow found it in me to care like hell about soccer yesterday. Also like many Canadians, I was crushed when a series of bizarre calls seemed to cost us the game, as the Canadians were finally defeated 4-3 by Team USA in the last thirty seconds of extended time. But those were the only thirty seconds in which Team Canada was neither tied nor leading, so while it’s understandable that they would take the loss hard (especially since this was the closest they came to victory in eleven years), the team should be proud; after all, striker Christine Sinclair scored a hat trick on the top-ranked team in women’s soccer. Whether they win the bronze on Thursday or not, this team belongs on every goddamn box of Wheaties in the country.
4 CURIOSITY ROUNDUP So this happened, Mars continues to rule, etcetera. Also the Internet is alight over an attractive science man who helped land the rover, and apparently people are grumpy about the quality of images coming from – can I say this, just to make it clear? – a robot that we shot into space and is now roaming around the surface of Mars. NASA’s response should just be like, “The pictures look bad? Fuck you, man, we put a robot on Mars. Again.”
5 THE SIKH SHOOTER WAS PROBABLY A WHITE SUPREMACIST More here, and here. (Pro-tip: Milwaukee reporters are by default probably going to be doing the best work on this story, so link to them when you can, hey?) Also – the Atlantic Wire takes an insightful, if brief, look at white supremacists’ reactions to the news that this shooter was assuredly one of their own.
6 LOUISIANA WILL PAY SCHOOLS TO TEACH CHILDREN THAT DRAGONS ARE REAL Not even close to a joke.
Let’s get Irish troubadour Van Morrison to play us out with a number from his classic contractual obligation record. Van?