Dog Days

There’s a scientific reason the Dog Days of Summer describe these hot sultry days. There’s also a market reason; a movie reason; and of course now is when Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. As Noel Coward wrote: “…though the English are effete, they’re quite impervious to heat.”


l. Look! Up in the sky!! It’s a new generation of flight trackers that lets you find Aunt Mary’s Air Canada flight to the Old Country in real time, as well as military flights like the Prime Minister’s, or Russia’s. Is nothing sacred anymore?

2. How cancer is related to lifespan. It’s all about random mutation turning into uncontrolled cell growth.

3. Be more social when you’re terrible at small talk. Alain de Botton thinks introverts are marginalized. For years, he’s run courses and published books on the subject, and he’s made a short animated film on how an introvert’s time alone makes him a better friend.

4. More on failure. Last week’s squibb on learning from our mistakes brought news that the Harvard Business Review published an entire issue on the subject,  plus a course on how to fail well. And dare we forget The Portfolio of Failure, a stunning chronicle by one of the world’s most enduring venture capital companies not on how its investments failed, but how Bessemer Venture Partners failed repeatedly to invest in some of the most successful companies on earth. As they admit:“[Our] long and storied history has afforded our firm an unparalleled number of opportunities to completely screw up.”

5. Lifestyles and life advice. The redoubtable Morgan Housel on how the quality of your life is shaped by whom you want to impress. Plus Mary Schmich on how advice, like youth, is wasted on the young. By the way, is it insulting to call someone ‘doubtable’?

6. Own goal. Strange goal. In hockey we call scoring on yourself ‘putting the puck in your own net’. In soccer, it’s called ‘own goal.’ The US court system may need its own phrase after Alex Jones’ attorney, Andino Reynal, sent the prosecution all of Jones’ texts, thereby proving the Sandy Hook denialist is also a serial perjurer. Here’s Reynal’s website, in case you don’t need a good lawyer. Meanwhile, speaking of goals, Gary Grant’s was strangely normal.

7. Why do men’s paintings cost 10 times more than women’s? Even worse, a woman’s painting is worth less if she signs it than if she doesn’t. As The Guardian notes: “The most expensive painting ever sold – Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci – fetched $450m while the world record for a female artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, is just $44.4m, a tenth as much.” This disparity was revealed by Helen Gorrill, author of Women Can’t Paint, and the BBC radio series Recalculating Art by Mary Ann Sieghart, which premieres this week.

8. Sticking your finger in the air… likely isn’t the best way to forecast the weather. Here’s how it’s done now. Compulsory viewing for the eight billion of us caught in weather’s new extremes.

9. Great sights, odd beast. If only we didn’t have to fly to see an echidna or get to these places.

10. Climbing the walls. Gould’s Wall is a one-hour opera about a woman who likes to climb walls. It took place to rapturous reviews last week at the Royal Conservatory on Bloor Street in Toronto, which has the kind of walls you can not only sing from, but climb while you’re singing. The Conservatory and Tapestry Opera are talking to festivals around the world that have spectacular walls on which to re-mount the production.

If it’s music you can enjoy right now, here’s Mississauga’s Oscar Peterson playing and singing Georgia on My Mind, with Copenhagen in the summer.


In two weeks you could cap your summer on a mountaintop.


Join us on the mountains this summer.


We all thought last summer we’d really get out there and do something truly new. We’d really travel again. Treat our family. See just how gob-smackingly beautiful our country is.

Most of us were off by a year, or two. But this year…well, this August we want you to join us on one of the easiest and most exhilarating adventures anywhere – heli-hiking in B.C.

No skill or endurance is required. Just a sense of adventure (which may have been dormant in your heart during COVID) and a desire to smell the wild roses. And just as there are no conditioning or skill requirements, there are no age limits either. You can be, 8, 18 or 81 and be enlivened by the whole thing. You can be a marathon runner or mountain climber. Or you can also be wearing your Medic Alert bracelet the entire trip, as five of us recently did. You can bring your partner, your grandkids, your bestie.

We’ve taken friends heli-hiking for the past few summers and all of them (and I mean all) have come home raving about how gorgeous, different and wonderful it all was. And from door to door, the whole amazing experience is just five summer days.

So yes, Heaven can wait. But can you?

For more information on this and other RamsayTravels adventures, click here. And, please also forward to your like-spirited friends.

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