Continuous one line drawing of flying bird and flower

“The spring has sprung…”

“The grass has riz. I wonder where the birdies is?” Who knows if that was written by Ogden Nash, Henrik Ibsen, or e e cummings? What’s more telling is the second verse:  “They say the bird is on the wing. Ain’t that absurd? I always thought the wing was on the bird.” In a season when the trees are blooming, the days are warming and the sixth wave is beginning, it’s good to remember the cause is not the effect.

Now here’s more proof of all the above..…………

1. Russians buy up antidepressants. That makes sense, given life under sanctions. But I wonder what pills Ukrainians are buying, given life under bombs and missiles?

Speaking of living next to an angry bear, Finland shares over 1,300 km of its eastern border with Russia. It’s worried, for sure. But it’s prepared. “It has supplies. At least six months of all major fuels and grains sit in strategic stockpiles, while pharmaceutical companies are obliged to have 3-10 months’ worth of all imported drugs on hand.” Read all about it.

2. Ten easy questions. I’ll be stunned if you answer even four of them correctly. I didn’t.

3. How people think.  The redoubtable Morgan Housel has 17 points on what makes us think. (Logic is not one of them). #1 is “Everyone belongs to a tribe and underestimates how influential that tribe is on their thinking.” Or, as he quotes in #6: “Most successful people are just a walking anxiety disorder harnessed for productivity.”

4. Transgender Peanut Butter and Teddy Bears. I missed this landmark in social acceptance, book publishing and consumer branding: Last Fall the peanut butter maker, Kraft Canada, launched His, Hers, Them & Theirs: Learning Pronouns with the Bears, a children’s book developed in honour of Transgender Awareness Week.

5. There are many Bruce Willises. Sadly, the latest has aphasia, which affects his memory and speech. But his career has been part of our lives for a very long time. Here are his 10 most memorable performances.

Speaking of getting lost, you may have a hard time navigating in later life if you grew up in a gridlike city like Calgary or Chicago or New York. As this study published last week in Nature revealed, “People who grow up in predictable, grid-like cities seem to struggle to navigate as easily as those who come from more rural areas or more intricate cities.”

6. Here’s your Sanction Evasion Tracker. If you’re a ship owner, Windward AI is the place to go to measure and reduce your risk against everything from bad weather to bad actors. Windward has a new product that lets you detect sanctions violators before the wrath of NATO and the West come down on both your heads.

7. Let’s name our subway stops after women. After people instead of places. A group of women in London did this as part of International Women’s History Month in March. So instead of jumping off at Finch West or Royal York or York Mills, you get on at Margaret Atwood, Mary Simon or Viola Desmond?

8. What is the metaverse? That’s like asking me to explain cryptocurrency. I vaguely know, but really have no clue. So here’s a brief and clear explanation for that parallel universe walking beside us.

9. Who killed Boris Nemtsov?  When Bellingcat and BBC Investigations team up to uncover who killed yet another critic of Vladimir Putin, it’s always worth watching. As their latest documentary shows, Nemtsov was being shadowed for over a year by a secret assassination squad.

10. Russians destroy Tchaikovsky’s house. Even though he’s the most famous composer Russia produced, his home in the town of Trostyanets in northeastern Ukraine was shelled by Russian troops. It’s worth watching the video.

And lest we end with anything but a song in our hearts, remember those great online pandemic concerts with artists from all over the world? Here’s one of the best, Song Around the World, with Peter Gabriel, YoYo Ma, and Meshell Ndegeocello among so many others.


It’s one thing to dream of the South Pacific. It’s another to go.

It’s still another to let Lindblad Expeditions take you.

This is why Jean and I are gathering friends like you, 50 in all, to join us as we sail from Fiji to Tahiti from February 23 to March 10, 2024.

You might think that’s a long way off. However, Lindblad’s expeditions are like opera stars; they book up a couple of years in advance.

We’ll be aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, a beautiful expedition ship that’s a conduit to exhilaration rather than a temple of excess.

We’ve been on two of Lindblad’s luxury adventure cruises before, to Antarctica and the Spanish-Portuguese coast. On board and on shore, we were in the hands of the most experienced experts and crew on the seven seas. One evening during “Recap” with cocktails and appetizers in hand, we saw “The Monster of the Day” that our expedition divers filmed from the ocean floor. And if you think kayaking in Antarctica is riskier than on Georgian Bay, well, it’s safer in Antarctica because the Lindblad people are so on top of it.

All to say, we’ve come to expect the best in comfort, dining, adventure and safety from Lindblad. Our view is confirmed by Condé Nast Traveler who last year declared them to be the #1 Small Ship Cruise Line in the world.

As for where we’ll explore, the South Pacific is not just one of the most storied and exotic places on earth, it’s down the road from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China and all of Asia. So you can make this trip part of an even bigger foray into a purposeful global journey.

We hope you can join us.

For more information on this and other RamsayTravels adventures, click here. And, please also forward to your like-spirited friends.

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