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“I used to be snow white, but then I drifted.”

Winter will repeat Mae West’s great line on Sunday when spring officially begins. But ‘official’ and ‘real’ are two different things, as Mr. Putin teaches us. So if the US Senate can vote unanimously to make daylight savings time permanent, and winter’s relation to snow grows colder every year, who are we not to drift? The falcon cannot see the falconer; things fall apart, the weather centre cannot hold. 

Meanwhile, elsewhere in our world…

1. All countries have a Mafia. In Russia, the mafia has a country. For most people the war in Ukraine is The Phone War, because you can view it on your phone, and even do something about it. Three examples: here’s the inside of billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s London mansion, shot by a squatter; plus a website that documents the tanks, planes and other fighting vehicles destroyed or abandoned by both sides, one by every single one; and a site launched by two Harvard freshmen in 12 languages where Ukrainian refugees can find hosts with free rooms and apartments, big or small, in cities everywhere – including Toronto.

Speaking of the New Cold War, here are some jokes by Ronald Reagan on the Old Cold War.

2. Who knew? Peter Sever sends these strange earwigs for your brain.

3. How the wild things sleep. David Suzuki’s 45-minute episode of The Nature of Things tackles another thing animals seem to do better than us.

4. Why opera needs intimacy directors. Even more so than theatrical and movie actors, opera singers need guidance and protection when flesh touches flesh. This from Norman Lebrecht’s Slipped Disc.

5. Building back better billionaires. One of America’s 745 billionaires wonders: ‘What’s enough?’

6. Turning Red – Pixar’s next blockbuster is very different. It’s directed by a woman. An Asian woman. A Canadian woman. A Torontonian – Domee Shi. Even better, it’s about a Chinese-Canadian teenage girl growing up in Toronto. Catch it on Disney+.

7. Remember the Concorde? The last flight of this supersonic commercial jet (New York to Paris in 3.5 hours) took place in 2003. But speed, technology and profit are colliding in new ways to bring it back, better. As they say on the Hermeus site, “the component technology for Mach 5 flight is proven – it’s time to bring it all together.” Hermeus promises New York to Paris in 90 minutes.  Then there’s Boom Supersonic, which United Airlines has already signed on to. And of course, the original space travelers, NASA.

8. The Fat Gold Guide to Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The title says it all about “the fresh fruit juice of the olive.”

9. The state of women is not good. Women still aren’t holding up half the sky. Nowhere near, as these 10 charts from McKinsey reveal.

10. The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves. Va Pensiero is the liberation theme (yes, you know it) from Verdi’s Nabucco. It’s sung here by the chorus of the Odessa Opera as they prepare to defend their city, their opera house, their music and their lives.

*****

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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