Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. Texas Fertilizer Plant Explodes

An explosion at a fertilizer plant in a small town 30 kilometres north of Waco, Texas has killed at least five people and injured upwards of 160. Several of the people killed were firefighters who were on scene attempting to quell the blaze before the blast occurred. Eventually, the fire spread to tanks containing flammable chemicals used to treat the fertilizer, resulting in an explosion that could be heard over 70 kilometres away. [New York Times, AP]

Click here to watch a somewhat disturbing video of some idiot recording the whole thing.

2. Investigators claim to have video of Boston bombing suspects

After days of poring over photos and video from the scene of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, investigators say they’ve finally made a breakthrough. In a few of the videos, a man can be seen dropping a bag, almost an identical match of the bag found in the debris of the explosions. Don’t hold your breath, though, because if the F.B.I. decides to investigate any of the suspects further, they still have the arduous task ahead of trying to track down one or two people in a country of 316 million using a few minutes of fuzzy video footage. [New York Times]

3. Twitter unveils new music service

Twitter has launched a music app that aims to capitalize on the social network’s powerful aggregation abilities. The app, creatively named #Music, will use “Twitter activity, including Tweets and engagement, to detect and surface the most popular tracks and emerging artists,” wrote Twitter employee Stephen Philips in a blog post this morning. Users will also be able to follow what their favourite artists and celebrities are listening to, so people can quit having to make that difficult decision as to whether they actually like a song or not. [Twitter Blog]

4. B.C. politician lists porn link on website

Either MLA Linda Reid needs to hire a new web designer or she just really likes hardcore porn. It was recently discovered that one of the links on Reid’s personal campaign site and Facebook page led to a site called “Teen Flesh” instead of Reid’s official website. Though Reid claims she was hacked, I’m almost positive she has no idea what that means, and that the real culprit was a lazy web designer who didn’t think it was important to check whether the MLA’s website was actually (it’s, by the way). [CBC]

5. Iceland invents app to curb incest

When you live on an island with a population of 320,000, you have to be a bit careful about who you decide to jump in bed with. That’s why developers in Iceland have created Islendingabók (which roughly translates to Icelanders book), a heritage app with an incest prevention feature. People with the app need only to bump their Android phones together to check if they‘re cousins or not, a process that will undoubtably help reduce the number of people who look like Jónsi from Sigur Rós. [Independent]

Mark Schram grew up on a ranch in southwestern Manitoba and now writes out of Winnipeg. If you would like to offer him a job or ask him about how to pull a calf, you can contact him at