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5 things you absolutely must know today

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At-risk species captured in Nature infographic

Ninety-five per cent of all species that have populated the Earth in its 3.5-billion-year history have become extinct, many of them in what Nature calls “spectacular die-offs.” This stat is pretty much consensus among researchers, according to Nature. The real issue, the magazine says, is cataloguing how many species exist today, and which ones are currently threatened by extinction. Indeed, Nature says it would take 12 hours to read the entire list of threatened species. The magazine has put together a series of interactive infographics to illustrate the magnitude of Earth’s at-risk species. Check it out by clicking on source ink. [Source: Nature]

Food trends to watch for in 2015

Baum + Whiteman, international food and restaurant consultants, have issued their report on food trends for 2015, a year that will wave goodbye to these trends: kale, siracha, salsa, sweet yogurts, artisan toast (puke), bacon, and beer, and say hello to: celery root, parsnips, kohlrabi. According to the consultants, few know how to use these ingredients, so they’re considered “cheffy.” Gross. “Cheffy” as a word is gross. Oysters are also in for 2015. Vodka is out, finally. Whiskey is in, as if the drink isn’t timeless. The report mentions something about sharable punches and juice, but enough about that. Here is a list of food buzzwords to start using on Jan. 1, 2015:

  • Pistachios
  • Pimm’s Cup
  • Shaved ice desserts
  • Flavored salts
  • Fermented food
  • Savory ice creams and yogurts
  • Insect protein bars
  • Plant-based proteins
  • Protein in general
  • Seaweed
  • Savory waffles and waffle sandwiches
  • Matcha [Source: Gothamist]

Fidel Castro awarded China’s Confucius Peace Prize

Fidel Castro, Cuba’s former leader, is the recipient of China’s Confucius peace prize, an award created by its namesake country as its own Nobel Prize. Those behind the award chose Castro for his “contributions to peace,” an attitude that sits in contrasts to the West’s long-held belief that the 88-year-old was a dictator who ran a one-party state bent on starting a worldwide communist revolution. “As Cuba’s leader, when managing international relations, especially relations with the US, he did not use military force or violence to resolve controversies and disputes,” Liu Zhiqin, the prize’s co-founder, told the Global Times. Castro was chosen by a panel of 33, from a list of 14 people and two organizations. [Source: The Guardian]

Bush knew about the torture, Cheney says

Former U.S. vice president and shotgun enthusiast Dick Cheney told Fox News then president George W Bush “knew everything he needed to know, and wanted to know [about CIA interrogation].” He knew the techniques… there was no effort on my part to keep it from him. He was fully informed.” Cheney said these things to exonerate the CIA from the allegation that it was operating in a rogue capacity, as outlined in a report recently released by the Senate intelligence committee. Cheney and many other Republicans hate the report, calling it a “terrible piece of work.” The report goes into horrific detail of the torture tactics used on detainees in the CIA’s secret prisons around the world. Rights groups and many others are pushing for those involved in ordering and carrying out the heinous acts to be put to justice. [Source: BBC]

Spectacular aurora borealis caught on film in Yellowknife

A spectacular aurora borealis event captured in Yellowknife by Kwon O Chul. It’s from 2013, but timeless.


Follow Toban Dyck at @tobandyck.

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