It Snowed Here Last Night

A single cold night in one tiny place on earth tells us why it’s not called weather change, but climate change. And as we’re all learning to our shame and sorrow, the arc of our climate is long, but it bends towards warming. But there is hope the fires of hell may be postponed at least until we leave the earth. And on that note…..

1. What Sir David Attenborough said to “rewrite our story”. He spoke to the delegates at COP 26 last week and his message was bleakly optimistic.

2. Give yourself a hand. The Australian State of Queensland took to Facebook to encourage Queenslanders to masturbate. Said the health authorities: “Masturbation is a normal and healthy part of a person’s sexual experience and a great way to discover what you are comfortable with. The best part is, it’s for everyone — and also offers a wealth of health and sexual health benefits!”

3. Don’t fancy oatmeal? Do we have an oatmeal for you! It’s part of Bon Appetit’s wonderful “A Skeptic Tries” series where you overcome your ‘food resistances’ and what happens when you try oatmeal, or liver, or tapioca pudding (yech!) anyway.

4. Every health stat there is. At least in one place. This is a trove of what different countries are doing to keep us alive and how they’re succeeding. This one defaults to Canada, but you can pick any country at will and spend your day diving into their health and welfare.

5. How Google Streetview lets us wander back in time. Nearly all GPS systems record the world as it is this second – or possibly in the future. But Streetview often takes us back into our pasts, as this lovely piece in The Guardian points out.

6. What do you really know about Mark Zuckerberg? Kara Swisher has tracked him for years, and this interview with him reveals much. Also, here he is announcing “from now on, we’ve going to be Metaverse first, not Facebook first.”

7. Can one ever subscribe to too many newsletters? It seems not. So check out these nine new newsletters from The Atlantic (they’re all free until the end of this month)….from Xochitel Gonzalez on gentrification, to Charlie Warzel on Galaxy Brains.

8. A new way to use your Steinway. Now, you can turn your piano into a player-piano via your iPad. Your local Steinway salesman explains.

9. Lose your fear of flying. Not via scotch or drugs or a rabbit’s foot. But by…well, Nobel-Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa came up with a surprising cure you may have thought he’d try first of all.

10. A very different Canadian singer blows away the world stage. As Norman Lebrecht says:Most debut vocal albums consist of familiar arias sung in much the same way as all the big divas and stuffed with agent-approved hype. Not this one. It’s from Canadian-Italian mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo whose voice is a thing of wonder.

Forbidden Words: The word you dare not use in polite company this week is “Meta” as in Facebook’s new moniker “Metaverse.” It seems Mr. Zuckerberg forgot to do a name search.


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

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