1. IT’S ALL GONE MONDRAGON After 18 years, Winnipeg’s Mondragon is closing. Mondragon was famous in Winnipeg as an alternative bookstore and café that served something called southern fried tofu. As Fearless Editor Whitworth says, “Mondragon is like Heliotrope and Buzzword combined AND it’s a worker co-op. Super shitty.” Remember the pad thai at the Heliotrope, people? Remember Gord at Buzzword, who could zero in your taste in books with unnerving accuracy and make the perfect recommendation every time? He also introduced me to the music of Vic Chestnutt. RIP stuff we loved. Just remember that new good things are always welling up from the common soil of our consciousness, from a random idea in some kid’s head to a storefront or a dance company or what have you. Hot damn.
2. REMEMBER THE GOOD OLD DAYS WHEN WE THOUGHT HAPPINESS WAS A RATIO? Did you know that the secret to human “flourishing” resides in an approximately 3-to-1 of positive to negative emotions? I had no idea that this was the new hotness in psychology until I read this article, which tells us that, thanks to a 53-year-old student who a thing or two about the mathematics behind the theory, the new hotness is actually the old lameness. Or more accurately, the old bullshit. I have a lot of love for stories about outsiders who show up and break received wisdom in half. Alan Sokal makes an appearance as well. Ain’t no party like an Alan Sokal party because an Alan Sokal party subjects your cherished beliefs to elaborate mockery.
SPICE OIL MUST FLOW The Enbridge Alberta Clipper pipeline is back up and running after an oil spill near Regina. Wait, what? Apparently everything is just fine, though. Juuuust fine.
4. JESUS STATUE SO FAR NOT ANIMATED BY LIGHTNING Here you will see photos of the statue of Jesus in Rio de Janeiro being struck by multiple lightning bolts. Residents may or may not be worried about the possibility of the statue coming to life and terrorizing the residents of the city with random blessings.
5. POLAR VORTEX 2: ATMOSPHERIC FREEZAROO Weather reporting is good for two things: doomsday predictions and fantastic names. “Polar vortex” sounds like a malevolent living force from the frozen North intent on sucking the warmth from every creature on Earth like a terrible reverse Santa Claus (or regular Santa Claus on Opposite Day). Now it seems that the Polar Vortex, instead of dissipating, has returned to its northern lair, where it’s hanging out and plotting its return – with blizzards this time. Seriously. Screw you, Polar Vortex.