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Top of the food chain

SHARK FIN SOUP is considered to be an impressive (and expensive) delicacy the world over. Served in restaurants in North America for about $100 per bowl, the dish is now threatened with the same endangerment as its main ingredient—in California, anyways. The California state senate has approved a bill that bans possession and sale of the shark fin commodity, regardless of the species of shark. Is this the triumph against animal cruelty that California environmentalists are hailing it as, or are you more concerned that this will cause an increase in the numbers of sharks off the California coast—sharks with a taste for revenge?

Found-out flirtation

AS PART OF a domestic dispute with her husband, a Chinese journalist working in Canada has had her email hacked and several online conversations released to the public. While in and of itself the hack is none too interesting, the emails between the Xinhua employee Shi Rong and Conservative MP Bob Dechert are. As it turns out, a rather lengthy (though not particularly explicit) flirtation has been going on between the married Dechert and the writer for some time. Is this an example of atrocious and unforgivable behaviour on the part of the MP, or should Dechert be free to flirt with whomever he likes without being forced into an apology to Canadian citizens for his wandering eyes?

It’s a bird, it’s a plane

ACCORDING TO NASA, a 20-year-old satellite has fallen out of orbit and is expected to collide with some of Earth’s land masses within the next few weeks. Though a precise date cannot yet be predicted, the cost of the project that is now hurdling to Earth is already widely known. This latest piece of space debris cost NASA a whopping $750 million bill prior to its launch. Though the association considers the risk to public safety to be relatively small, they have warned that parts of the half-ton satellite will likely impact in England, continental Europe, and parts of Asia. Was the climate-monitoring satellite worth the hassle, or has NASA essentially invested close to a cool billion on a glorified meteoroid?

Let’s play mission to Mars

IN JUNE 2010, German researchers closed the door on six men in an experimental simulation of a mission to Mars. Closely monitored and provided with a variety of tasks to complete on their faux round trip to the Red Planet, the wannabe astronauts are apparently reaching their wits end with only two months left to go. Having evidently run out of work to do, boredom and severe restlessness have set in. Eager to be reunited with friends, family, and the outside world, the men are reportedly becoming aggravated and impatient. Considering the fact that there is no actual mission to Mars planned, was it worth it for these men to commit to 520 days in isolation in the name of knowledge, or is their anguish unnecessary?

—Jaclyn Lytle

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