Wednesday July 13, 2022
Land spreadin' out
so far and wide
Indeed. But lab analysis of all that Douglas land produced some pretty interesting data.

38% bath powder, 28% hand lotion, 14% toothpaste, 12.5% cold cream, and 8% nail polish remover. Curiously, it added up to 100.5%. 
Turns out Lisa wasn't the only one who had her doubts about country life. The cosmetically enhanced soil was the handiwork of Oliver's mother, who thought farming was beneath him.

But don't tell that to the pocket gopher.

Recent studies have determined that these hardworking rodents are ecosystem engineers - turning over soil, aerating it, and collecting nutrients. And that makes them the first non-human mammals to work the land. 

Looks like farm livin' is the life for them ;)
CPC had concerns about Brown in March
Source: Twitter/@patrickbrownont
It was revealed yesterday that the Conservative leadership election organizing committee (LEOC) had concerns about Patrick Brown’s candidacy as early as March.

Ian Brodie, chair of the LEOC, participated in a phone call with an anonymous source in late March, expressing his worries about a Brown candidacy for the leadership. 

The source provided information about Brown’s personal finances as well as documents relating to his recently settled lawsuit with CTV over sexual harassment allegations made against him in 2018. Those allegations resulted in him being stripped of his leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party.

The lawsuit was settled on March 9, followed by Brown claiming complete exoneration, which didn't sit right with Brodie, who felt there were still missing details relating to the allegations.

Brown was disqualified from the federal Conservative leadership race last week over supposedly damning allegations of financial wrongdoing within his campaign.

Brown claims the allegations are nonsense and has since retained Toronto lawyer Marie Heinen for an attempted appeal. Last evening the Brown campaign endorsed Jean Charest for Conservative leader.

This story is quickly developing, and will likely have plenty of new details in the coming weeks. Party members choose the new leader on September 10.
Fallout continues
Source: Twitter/@CBCNews
Canada's industry minister François-Philippe Champagne summoned the heads of Canadian telcom on Monday, including Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri, asking them to come up with an agreement within 60 days "for mitigating the impact of future outages on consumers that includes providing emergency roaming," according to CBC News.

There are essentially five companies that control 90% of internet and mobile access in Canada, and two of them are in the process of a $26 billion merger.

"We've got a small number of players in what we can call a tight oligopolistic market - basically a market with very few players," according to Dwayne Winseck, a communications professor at Carleton University.

Experts are saying this type of concentrated ownership is unsustainable in a free and open market that benefits consumers.

The CRTC weighed in yesterday, demanding Rogers explain what happened to cause the outage. The independent regulatory body has given the telcom giant until July 22 to respond with an explanation, after which the CRTC could take further measures

Rogers announced late yesterday that they would be crediting customers up to five days' worth of service for the Friday's disruption.
Flight woes
A new Leger survey asked 1,538 Canadians and 1,008 Americans their thoughts about the delays and cancellations happening at Canadian airports.

It found that 53% of those surveyed are worried these delays and cancellations will continue throughout the summer, potentially affecting their travel plans.

The majority also agree that it's no longer COVID restrictions specifically causing the disruptions, but a significant lack of staff prepared to handle the operations of their respective airlines. Passport processing delays were also a key concern.

The delays are most prevalent at Pearson in Toronto and Trudeau in Montreal. Ray Harris of analytics firm Data Wazo noted that between July 4 and 10, 11% of flights to the U.S. from Pearson were cancelled, and 46% were delayed.

Air Canada and WestJet have ostensibly thrown in the towel, both announcing they're scaling back their summer operations. Air Canada is cutting 77 round trips per day in July and August.

Overall, the world is experiencing similar delays, but Pearson is among the airports with the most significant ongoing disruptions since regular travel resumed.
The majesty of deep space
Source: Twitter/@NASAWebb
While we we're sitting here talking about what's going to happen if our flight leaves at 1:30 instead of 12:30, while the building blocks of matter are forming pristine and unimaginably aesthetic miracles hundreds of trillions of miles away.

NASA's James Webb telescope has been hard at work capturing images of these miracles for a decade, and yesterday, it finally released the first images of what the strongest telescope ever created was able to see.

It would be a fool's errand to even attempt to describe in detail the beauty of what was revealed, so you'll have to take a look at the images for yourself.

What we can say is that you'll get to look at images revealing everything from the near certainty that there is some form of life somewhere else in the universe, to an image showing the birth of galaxies nearly 14 billion light years away.

The deep field image was released on Monday evening at the White House. NASA attempted to paint a picture of just how far away this heavenly landscape is, saying the billions of galaxies in the image, if gazed upon with the naked eye, would have the angular equivalent of a grain of sand held at arm's length.
Buck Moon rising
Source: Twitter/@KimberlyMallett
Staying on our topic of the magic of outer space, let's bring it back from the origins of the universe to something a little closer to home.

The Old Farmer's Almanac has a name for every full moon throughout the year. You're probably most familiar with the Harvest Moon and maybe the Wolf Moon.

July's full moon is today. It's called the Buck Moon, and it's a supermoon as well. A supermoon isn't really a scientific term, but it roughly means that it will appear almost as bright as possible, because it's within 90% of its closest range to Earth.

The moon does oscillate somewhat in its orbit of earth, so sometimes it's further and sometimes it's closer. 

At around 2:38 p.m. ET today, it will reach its peak in terms of how close it is to the earth. 

Full moons, however, are most visible right around midnight, as they begin breaking the horizon at about 6 p.m. and make their way across the sky, apexing near midnight, then beginning their western descent.
Star Wars props auction
Source: Heritage Auctions
OK, we're not doing this on purpose, but just for good measure, we've got one more story about a galaxy far, far away.

Heritage Auctions has announced that a Storm Trooper helmet and blaster used in the original Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope, released in 1977, will be auctioned off.

The helmet itself can actually be identified for its exact use and place in the movie, whereas the weapon, a Hero E-11 Blaster, was also on screen at one point but wasn't screen-matched.

There were six original screen-matched helmets – dubbed sandtroopers – and two of them are confirmed to currently be owned by private citizens. One of them is being auctioned off by Heritage.

In fact, this helmet was worn by a Storm Trooper that actually had dialogue in the film, and interacted with the Jedi himself, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The helmet is expected to begin bidding at US$300,000, and the blaster will start at around US$35,000. May the force be with you!
A cask of millions
Source: Ardberg Distillery
Scottish distillery Ardbeg announced that "Cask no. 3" had been sold recently, and fetched a conservative €16 million.

Not a bad day for the single malt brand, which experts say exceeded the record for a single cask by a significant amount.

The Ardbeg was originally distilled in 1975, and was separated into two casks which were eventually merged into one sherry butt in 2014.

The identity of the buyer was not revealed, but its believed to be a female collector from somewhere in Asia.

She's in for a lifetime supply of the good stuff, which Ardbeg says they'll pour into bottles over the next five years. The lucky lady will receive 88 bottles a year.
Thomas Moradpour, Ardbeg's CEO said: "This sale is a source of pride for everyone in the Ardbeg community who has made our journey possible. Just 25 years ago, Ardbeg was on the brink of extinction, but today it is one of the most sought-after whiskies in the world."
The Hooterville ruralverse
Long before Marvel started mixing and mashing characters and plot lines, Hooterville was the centre of the ruralverse for Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, and the Beverly Hillbillies. 

How well do you know your Hooterville trivia
Have a great day ahead Staker!

Today's edition was written by Michael Cowan and Maureen Norman
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