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Hot Enough for You?

Global warming isn’t always about Heat Advisories in the High Arctic. It’s about our normally placid middle-of-the road weather going bi-polar. It’s about extremes. So while we’re baking this summer, compare that to what’s coming to a climate near you in January – and smile, and live for the day, if not the minute in this first blissful summer of our escape from Covid. Ready? Go!

1. Sheep in fast-motion. Who knew drones could change how we take pictures as much as smart phones have? (Steve Jobs had to fight his engineers at Apple who kept saying: “Who would want to use their phone as a camera?”). Check out this wondrous shape-shifting video of a 1,000-to-1,700 member herd of sheep that a man followed for seven months. Then below….other drone videos of animals and plants (and ships and car washes) from angles that simply didn’t exist until drones did.

2. In machines we trust. Odds are you’ll get your next job via an algorithm. Automated hiring processes are transforming hiring as machines now match millions of job-seekers with employers. Hear this podcast from the MIT Technology Review.

3. Quick fixes for busy people. How to save time fixing everything from broken lipstick to stainless pans that ….stain.

4. How activists practice anti-surveillance. Soldiers and ships paint themselves in camouflage. So why not protesters? They’re trying to stay unrecognized by police, facial-recognition systems and anyone who can track their digital whereabouts and lives.

5. Using AI to restore paintings. The Night Watch is one of the biggest and most famous paintings in Amsterdam’s Rijkmuseum. But it used to be bigger. Here’s the very high-tech tale of how restorers used artificial intelligence to re-create the missing parts.

6. Extracting industries killing cultures. A great short documentary called Seawolf by London Ontario director Alexander Sworik captures the beauty of The Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia — and the quiet anger of the Indigenous people there.

7. Take 3 trips to the Arctic. Next weekend, the landscape artist and filmmaker, Cory Trépanier, is releasing all three of his Into the Arctic documentaries. You can watch them for free and forever here. If ever we needed to care about the top two-thirds of our country, it’s now.

8. An enhanced day at the seaside 1899This brief movie was filmed 132 years ago on the beaches of Étretat and Le Tréport in Normandy. It’s been enhanced using machine-learning technology, colorisation, and Deoldify. Note the swimming costumes and preposterous mobile beach huts.

9. Puns are a way to give a long sentence a parole. Here are some fantastic ones from the world capital of punning, the Indian Hills Community Center in Colorado.

10. Music of My Life. This is a new online series from the Royal Conservatory of Music where stars of stage and screen – from Eugene Levy and Paul Shaffer, to Cynthia Dale and Wynton Marsalis — discuss the music that inspires them. See here. It’s free. It’s 60 minutes, and it’s wonderful.

Forbidden Words. Every week, I’ll bring you a word or phrase that’s no longer allowed in polite company. Like? Well, take this week’s Forbidden Word: “Picnic.”

*****

To order a copy of my book Love or Die Trying, click here for Canadian orders, click here for US orders, or visit your favourite bookstore.

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