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Artists with painted bodies and masks perform at the annual Pulikali, or Tiger Dance, in the southern Indian state of Kerala. (Arun Sankar K./AP)
Artists with painted bodies and masks perform at the annual Pulikali, or Tiger Dance, in the southern Indian state of Kerala. (Arun Sankar K./AP)

Talking points: Canada’s top tokers, a real meal plan and shark’s tale Add to ...

CANADA’S TOP TOKERS

Ever wonder why there seems to be a purple haze hanging over Canada’s west coast and Maritime region? Canoe.ca reports that British Columbia and Nova Scotia have the highest percentage of pot smokers in the country, according to a new survey from Statistics Canada. The just-released 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey talked to more than 25,000 Canadians and revealed that Nova Scotia tops the pothead list, with 14.8 per cent saying they had smoked marijuana in the previous 12 months, edging out B.C. with 14.2 per cent. Ontario landed in third place with 12.1 per cent, followed by Alberta with 11.8 per cent. In 10th and last place: Saskatchewan, with a comparatively sober 10.1 per cent.

A REAL MEAL PLAN

A New Hampshire college is employing unique dishware to promote healthy eating. As reported by USA Today, the University of New Hampshire is steering its student body toward healthier food choices via plates that detail dietary guidelines. Named after the school’s mascot, the “Wildcat Plates” are a traditional dinner plate divided into four segments labelled “fruits,” “vegetables,” “grains” and “proteins.” Smaller type on the plates offers up helpful suggestions like “try whole wheat pasta, brown rice or quinoa.” The plates are mixed in with regular plates in the university’s three dining halls, which serve more than 12,000 meals daily.

SHARK’S TALE

The overfishing of sharks Down Under is creating a chain reaction that could prove the undoing of coral reef systems, The Guardian reports. A 10-year Australian study found that a decline in the number of sharks from two remote reef systems is causing a fall in the number of fish that help keep coral healthy. The study focused on the Scott Reef and Rowley Shoals, both popular locations with Indonesian fishermen targeting sharks for their fins, for culinary and medicinal use. Fewer sharks means more mid-level predators such as snapper, which feed off the small herbivorous fish that are vital to the health of the reefs. And the shark population gets smaller every day. “Going by our surveys, around four sharks a day were being taken from these reefs,” said research scientist Mark Meekan. “This doesn’t sound like a lot, but it has been going on for a long time.”

THOUGHT DU JOUR

“Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it.”

H.L. Mencken, journalist (1880-1956)

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