Hollywood’s Captain Kirk, 90-year-old William Shatner, blasted into space Wednesday in a convergence of science fiction and science reality. The Star Trek hero reached the final frontier aboard a ship built by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company. Shatner and three other passengers soared to an estimated 107 kilometres over the West Texas desert in the fully automated capsule, then safely parachuted to the desert floor in a flight that lasted just over 10 minutes. “That was unlike anything they described,” Shatner said as the capsule descended toward Earth. “What you have given me is the most profound experience,” an exhilarated Shatner told Bezos after climbing out of the hatch. “I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it. He said that going from the blue sky to the utter blackness of space was a moving experience: “In an instant you go, ‘Whoa, that’s death.’ That’s what I saw.” The jaunt made Shatner the oldest person to go to space. He eclipsed the previous age record — set by a passenger on a similar trip on a Bezos spaceship in July — by eight years.
Grizzly bears are known as one of the most ferocious predators in the forest; few can stand against them. Except for a rare circumstance in eastern B.C.’s Yoho National Park, where a mountain goat took one on — and won. According to Parks Canada, a forensic necropsy of a female grizzly bear determined that it died of wounds inflicted by the mountain goat. David Laskin, wildlife ecologist with Parks Canada, said the bear was found with puncture wounds at the bottom of the neck and armpits, consistent with a mountain goat’s horns. “[It] was the result of an unsuccessful predation attempt on a mountain goat. And I guess the mountain goat was successful in the circumstance. And it ultimately turned the tables on this bear,” he said on CBC’s Radio West. He said that it was consistent with the predatory attack behaviour of grizzly bears and the defensive response of mountain goats. “When grizzlies attack, they tend to focus on the head in the back of the neck and the shoulders of their prey. And this is usually from above. So in turn, the defensive response of the mountain goat would be to protect itself using its sharp points,” Laskin said.
An Indian drug user suffered cataclysmic organ failure and died after skipping the use of a condom in favour of a high-powered epoxy resin while having sex. Cops in India say 25-year-old Salman Mirza was stricken in mid-carnal caper with an ex-girlfriend and his condition deteriorated. “They used the adhesive to avoid pregnancy,” a local investigator told The Times of India of the rueful rubber incident. The tragedy occurred June 22 at a hotel in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Mirza and his unnamed ex were captured on CCTV entering the hot sheet hotel in the Juhapura neighbourhood of Ahmedabad. “Several witnesses said that Mirza, along with his former fiancee, both of whom were addicted to drugs, had gone to a hotel in Juhapura,” cops told The Times. “There, they applied an epoxy adhesive on his private parts as they were not carrying any protection.”
Spencer Elden, who appears naked as a baby on the cover of Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind, is suing the band for alleged child exploitation and pornography. The album cover shows Elden, now 30, as a four-month-old baby boy swimming naked underwater with a U.S. dollar bill hanging in front of him on a fishhook. “Defendants intentionally commercially marketed Spencer’s child pornography and leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense,” he alleged in the lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday. Elden is asking for $150,000 in damages from each of the defendants, which include former band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, Kurt Cobain’s estate, photographer Kirk Weddle and various record companies. According to the court filing, Robert Y. Lewis, Elden’s lawyer, says the inclusion of the dollar bill in the photograph makes the baby resemble “a sex worker.”
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his party will seek to rename a Toronto riding to honour the legacy of Jack Layton, the former NDP leader who died of cancer 10 years ago Sunday. Singh made the announcement Sunday at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, where he was joined by Mike Layton, a Toronto city councillor and the son of the late NDP leader. Before speaking to reporters, Singh scribbled a message in chalk on a wall filled with tributes to Layton on the anniversary of his passing. “We are going to carry the torch for you,” Singh wrote. New Democrats will introduce a bill after the election to push Elections Canada to rename the riding of Toronto–Danforth to Danforth–Layton, the NDP leader said. Layton represented the riding in the east end of Canada’s biggest city from 2004 until his death in 2011. Although the NDP won a byelection to fill the seat in 2012, it has been held by the Liberals since 2015.
The word from every sage source, from within the cavernous atrium of CBC Toronto to the tom-toms of the Twitter undergrowth, even unto the seers in the nation’s political science departments where wisdom has her own happy seat, is that this fractious, cantankerous, debt-drowned and perplexed country of ours is to have an election. They tell us it is to be called on Sunday. Normally a day of prayer and worship, but when there’s a writ to be issued, cancel the Sunday bulletins, forget the rash of church burnings, and the turmoil of lockdowns and business collapses — hey, it’s late summer: let’s go to the polls. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, so all the auspices agree, has made up his mighty mind. And when that cranium has made a choice it is but for us to signify assent. Should it be agreeable to him, how could it not be to us?