HOW TO

How to.

Those two tiny words kidnap our attention, our intention, and our often feeble skills. They signal, “Oh boy, something new I can learn to do!” They also drive one of the world’s largest, fastest-growing industries, DIY, or Do-It-Yourself, which now measures $800 billion a year. They’re a perennial mainstay of the book business and thousands of videos lurk on how to get divorced, how to live forever,  and even how to get away with murder, both the TV series and the act. And now, into this rich arena of need and knowledge, let me insert these two for you: How to be an auctioneer, and how to win a coup.

Meanwhile…

1. For high-flier foodies. Dutch master-chef Angélique Schmeinck runs the world’s first hot-air balloon restaurant. Apparently, the best fish for balloon-cooking is sea bass.

2. If you think Canadian healthcare hangs by a thread… try America whose “healthcare industry is a wounded 7-ton seal, drifting aimlessly, bleeding into the sea.” So writes Scott Galloway whose brilliant piece on getting sick in America reveals things we guessed, but didn’t really know, like “Two-thirds of personal bankruptcies in the U.S. result from healthcare issues…if Mom or Dad gets cancer, there’s a good chance the family will go bankrupt. Forty percent of American adults have delayed or gone without needed care because it’s cost prohibitive.”

3. What can we learn from a short afternoon walk? Humility.

4. Failing forward…and back. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we so reluctant to scream: “I screwed up!” Still, we’re making progress on leading with our weakness. Two examples: Sweden has a Museum of Failure, which tells the sad stories of 150 products that failed, from inflatable furniture from IKEA (that always leaked), to spray-on condoms (whose latex sadly melted). Also, Canada is a pioneer in producing annual failure reports to help people “reach their full potential.”

5. A free lecture series…with “great writers of our time”. Including many from times past, such as Ernest Hemingway, Susan Sontag, Philip Roth, Maya Angelou and a very young Margaret Atwood.

6. Is power aging? America’s President is 79. He beat out a 74-year-old. The Speaker of the House is 82. Between 2005 and 2019, the average age of a Fortune 500 CEO rose by 14 years. The same with scientific research. Are older people staying smarter for longer, or do they just know how to hang on longer?

7. Behind the best nature shots. Here’s the annual Audubon winners, plus the stories behind the shots.

8. The most popular websites. From 1993 when AOL topped the charts, to Google this year.

9. Antidepressants don’t work. Or rather, the theory about antidepressants boosting serotonin levels in your brain in order to lift your depression was shown this month to be “not grounded in science.” Which is like medicine discovering 40 years ago that the best way to survive your next heart attack isn’t to rest in bed, which doctors had been advising for years, but to exercise. Speaking of sad, years ago, Albert Schweitzer argued against the nobility of suffering, claiming it will just make you depressed.

10. Have you ever seen an orchestral conductor cry? It happened at the end of Yunchan Lin’s performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 at the Van Cliburn competition in Texas. His stunning piece done, conductor Marin Alsop’s eyes welled up with joy. Here, with over 6 million views and 10,000 comments, is why. Plus an analysis for piano fans.

*****

Are you doing anything ecstatic at the end of August?

 

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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