1. “ONLINE TWITTER HANDLES WILL BE QUIETLY CHANGED”. Today at noon EST, just south of the landmass we call Canada, the Republican-dominated 112th session of Congress will be sworn in with much pomp and grandeur, after which they’ll go about their business of selectively reading the Constitution, repealing the health care bill and generally making lives miserable for 95% of the country.
2. IT’S JUST LIKE THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF BOWDLERIZATION. A forthcoming edition of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn will have all 219 instances of the word “nigger” replaced with “slave”. I guess the publisher, NewSouth Books (?), is sensitive about that word or something? God forbid that children actually get a sense of the past through literature. I expect NewSouth will be assiduously replacing all instances of “lightning” with “lightning bug” as well.
3. THE LOONIE CLIMBS PAST THE U.S. DOLLAR ON THE STRENGTH OF – POSITIVE AMERICAN ECONOMIC NEWS? Analysts believe that higher-than-expected U.S. job numbers translated into a strong loonie closing at 1.33. I give up on understanding the economy, having believed up until now the Canadian dollar thrived purely on schadenfreude.
4. HOMELESS MAN WITH GOLDEN VOICE GETS OFFERS OF WORK. Could this be the uptick in U.S. jobs data we’ve been hearing about? After a YouTube video of this man – a former radio announcer who uses his voice as part of his panhandling routine – went all viral and stuff, he’s been getting offers of work! Let’s hear it for a strong economy and the YouTube-based welfare system.
5. CANADIANS UNDER-INFORMED ABOUT DEMENTIA. A recent survey discovered that one in four Canadians can’t name a single symptom of dementia. Only one in two knew that memory loss was a key symptom of the disease. In their defense, maybe they forgot.
6. AUSTRALIA STILL DISASTROUSLY MOIST. Flooding in Australia has shut down coal mines all over Queensland. Operations in 75% of the mines in the state have been suspended, which in turn is hampering steel production in Asia. Monsoon floods have cut off 22 towns from the outside world. Also: crocodiles.