Science progresses one funeral at a time.

Max Planck said that. He  won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918 for creating quantum physics. That year the Spanish Flu became the deadliest disease in history, killing 50 million people. But COVID, which has killed 6.6 million people so far, may be rising again.


Science is a lot more ready for it this time around. So it’s easy to forget the dreadful early weeks of COVID when residents in Ontario’s Long-Term Care homes accounted for more than 60% of all COVID-related deaths, despite them being less than 1% of the province’s older population.


Another way to ensure we avoid that particular fate is via art, of course.


Maybe you’d like to take in The Long-Term Care Trilogy on Oct. 26, 27, and 28 from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET and online. Starring Margaret Atwood, R.H. Thomson, Adrienne Clarkson, Michael Booth and more, it engages us in the challenges of caring for elders and others marginalized in our world.


What’s truly remarkable is that this event is  organized not by the usual suspects, but by the Toronto International Festival of Authors whose new director, Roland Gulliver, landed from Edinburgh in the middle of the pandemic and is already redefining relevance for the written word… and the performing hearts.




1. How to get around New York, with kids. Or Toronto for that matter.


2. A bunker mentality saves America.  You may have seen this newsclip from the Jan. 6th Congressional committee. If not, it’s worth 17 minutes to learn just how perilously close the US government came to collapse.


3. On thin ice? Try this. Ever like doing this? Of course you have.


4. The rules of life, for first-timers. By my favourite aphorist Morgan Housel.


5. Are you right wing? Do you want to date a right-winger? Here’s the dating app to get you started.


6. Good companies come and go. And one of the best proxies for how they rise and fall is to see what Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has invested in and cashed in since 1994.


7. Shatner on staying warm. Unlike everyone else who’s been in space, William Shatner didn’t find it beautiful. “I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us… It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness.”


8. There’s always next year to win your Genius grant. This year’s MacArthur Foundation Fellows were just announced. What’s surprising is how many of the 25 of them are “just one thing.”


9. Two weeks writing about Fat Bears. I was happy to write last Saturday about Alaska’s annual Fat Bear contest. Since then I learned it’s not just the bears who were stuffed; the ballots were too.


10. Even the thunder will be clapping. Lincoln Center’s new Geffen Hall opened last week to reviews that ranged from “it’s like being inside the body of an instrument” (Washington Post), to “magical orchestral alchemy in a superb hall” (New York Times). The New York Philharmonic’s new home was designed by Gary McCluskie of Diamond Schmitt Architects of Toronto. Here’s more on how they fixed decades of architectural missteps.

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