1 THE IDITAROD IS LIFE Wowza. Grantland really knocked it out of the park. Maybe the most essential thing to read all week, Brian Phillips’ piece on the annual dogsled competition touches on, like, everything. Admirable for its sheer depth, if nothing else.
2 THING UNIVERSITY DID OKAY, UNIVERSITY GUY SAYS After Monday’s news that the U of R used endowment money to cover overspending in the faculty of engineering, U of R provost Tom Chase was sacrificed by the administration on the altar of defending what is currently coming across as a very bad decision. Gotta say I feel a bit bad for the dude, as he clearly drew the short straw and has to pretend that something wildly unpopular and – as the initial CBC article goes to great pains to make clear – obviously against both the spirit and intent of the donation was a fair and justified and totally normal move. Noticeably absent from the conversation: U of R Board of Governors chair Paul McLellan! If anyone can find me evidence that he and the BoG didn’t see and sign off on the “Project Discovery” report, I will buy them a beer and a shot at O’Hanlon’s sometime. I do not expect to have to buy anyone any alcohol.
3 A MISSION TO MARS? EVEN IF THAT WERE A MOVIE I’M SURE IT ENDS WELL FOR EVERYONE Dudes! I’m just as stoked on Mars as the next person, but a one-way ticket to Mars where you need no prior training in, like, being an astronaut? They’ll just catch you up? “Yes, we know that astronauts are some of the brightest scientists in their field, but hell, if the Ruskies could send a damn dog to die uselessly in space, we can send you to die uselessly on Mars, can’t we, you mouthbreather?” Think I’ll wait for the voyage that has a return flight, thanks.
4 ON TERROR One of the suspects in the attempted Via Rail bombing stood up and told the court that the charges against him were invalid because the Criminal Code was not created by God, which I mean, due process and all, but this does not bode well for the guy. In America, the Atlantic Wire flexed its aggregation muscle and compiled several articles to explain why it’s not so unusual that Tamerlan Tsarnev, a guy the FBI was “warned about,” managed to slip through the country’s anti-terror safety nets.
5 AT LEAST THEY’RE SAFE FOR NOW The Harper Government’s terrible, ideologically-driven bullshit fuckhead idea to close the Experimental Lakes Area research facilities in northern Ontario was dumb as shit and proved only that the Conservatives in the Harper Government – whose science minister is a guy who, at absolute best, has made the bold move of refusing to answer the tremendously contentious, up-in-the-air question, “Hey, is evolution actually a thing?” – hate science, and thinking, and being anything except ideologically rigid and incurious about the world outside of their own hideous skulls, unless the science in question has something to do with carbon capture, a program that is currently not in its “golden age”. Ontario, under Premier Kathleen Wynne, has stepped in to save the project and its forty years of data. Pretty good, especially since it will cost them only $600,000 a year and not the $2 million the Harper Government lied about it costing. We can say that now, right? That the Harper Government literally and willfully lies about stuff on a regular basis in order to mislead the public?
6 AT LEAST THERE’S GRIMES Who is a national treasure.