We interrupt this pogrom… bring you odd news from its edges, like the Queen’s State Dinner for Vladimir Putin.; the collapse of Russian oligarchs’ wealth in the past two weeks; Malcolm Muggeridge on how Stalin engineered a famine in Ukraine in 1932; plus how to be an instant-soldier; and finally, the original Nurnberg indictments against the Nazis now that the International Criminal Court is opening a war-crimes investigation against Russia.

Meanwhile, in the world outside Ukraine..……

1. Answers to four nagging questions. Why do cities all look the same? This 28-minute video explains one big reason is – franchising. Why can’t we build cities we can walk in? Why are movies getting longer?  It costs less to keep scenes on the screen than to cut them. How does grief rewire the brain? Oh yes, it does.

2. The best optical illusions. Not just “is this a duck or a rabbit?” but so much more.

3. Counting Elon’s tweets. It’s not like counting yours or mine, because we’re not the world’s richest person whose every word can change markets, crash cars and enrage regulators. Speaking of tweets, it seems while social media use is up, a large majority of  Americans have never tweeted, not once.

4. Every baseball trade, ever. Canadian Aidan Gruber has created an app that chronicles every trade in the history of major league baseball. Just in time for spring training. Remember, the Jay’s home opening game is April 8 at Rogers Centre against the  Texas Rangers.

5. Search by mood, not by author or subject. Whichbook is a new way to search for books according to how you feel, what you want to feel, how tired you are, and where in the world it takes place. And no nasty algorithms steering your choice.

6. The Artifact Artist: Urban archeologist Scott Jordan unearths 300 years of New York City’s garbage to create 21st century artwork. The “Indiana Jones of Gotham.”

7. Mixmastering McLuhan. Maybe he wasn’t a prophet, but rather a Trojan Horse for fake news.

8. Here’s to cognitive dissonance. It seems Americans are all in favour of becoming carbon neutral, but against taking the steps to achieve carbon neutrality. As this Pew study reveals: “the US public supports contradictory things when it comes to climate policy.”

9. Two years ago yesterday and tomorrow. On March 11, 2020,  the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. On March 13, 2020, my wife Jean and I headed north to our cottage “for a couple of weeks” while the pandemic thing blew over. We’re still largely there. March 13 was likely when you locked-down as well. So think about that this Sunday and raise a glass to science and vaccines.

10. And now, music from and about Ukraine. From the Lviv train station, to Washington DC, to 94 violinists from around the world and Oscar Peterson’s Hymn to Freedom.

Forbidden Words: Words with Russian origins. Not yet, but sadly soon.


Life is short. Death is long. Take a vacation.

You want to go to the Fogo Island Inn someday. So come with us in September.

By now, you know people who’ve been there; you’ve heard their rapturous recounting.

Now, we can take you there for less than you’d pay on your own and in the company of…well, think of this as group travel for people who don’t do group travel, like you.

The Fogo Island Inn is as improbable as the idea of Canada itself. Located in a tiny, frail village in a far corner of Newfoundland, “on an island off an island off the radar”, the Inn has quickly grown to be a place the world is flocking to. Not just because it’s gobsmackingly gorgeous, but because its creator, Zita Cobb, has built a new model for what community can be.

From September 20 – 23, 2022 we’re leading a group of friends to the Inn for an experience that you’ll not soon forget. In fact, we hope to have the Inn to ourselves, which means it will be like a four-day Ted Talk, foodies’ paradise and…summer camp for grownups. Especially in September, which is berry season.

We very much hope you can join us in September this year – and escape from the numbing uniformity of modern times.

Here’s a preview of what that escape looks like.

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

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