Life’s a Venn Diagram these days. One crisis bleeds into another. Omicron mutates into BA.2. Gender collides with identity. Work and life become work/life. Facts and truth congeal. Liberals embrace the NDP.
Meanwhile, back here in our lane from which we never veer, here is your Omnium Gatherum.
1. The Institute of War. If you’re looking for a factual, dispassionate view of the actual war in Ukraine, just sign up for this daily assessment of the Russian offensive from the Institute for the Study of War.
2. How to change your mind. While it gets harder to do that every day, it gets more necessary, too. As this episode of Freakonomics reveals: “There are a lot of barriers to changing your mind: ego, overconfidence, inertia — and cost. But shouldn’t we be encouraging people to change their minds? And how can we get better at it ourselves?”
3. Amazing physics toys. My fav is the perpetual motion machine. Doesn’t exist? Sure it does.
4. New things from old friends. Who can get enough of Morgan Housel’s essays? The venture capital investor makes other things bracingly clear. And from The School of Life, this just in: On Failure, and How to Deal With the Success of Friends.
5. For all you stamp collectors. A one-of-a-kind message from Ukraine to Russia.
6. A nutrition label for information. Toronto’s Mario Vasilescu founded Readocracy, which rewards us not for the quantity of information we consume, but the quality. He’s speaking at a big journalism conference in Italy on April 7th on using the obesity epidemic, pollution, and even road safety, to help frame and solve the ‘infobesity’ crisis. Catch it online here.
7. Paul Bremer, former Iraq czar, now ski instructor. At age 74, the man who’s been a fly on the wall for every major event since Richard Nixon, and who Henry Kissinger called a control freak (Henry Kissinger!). Bremer is now teaching stem christies to the kids of New England.
8. You are the trailer park. I am the tornado. I heard that line while watching Season 3 of Yellowstone. Think of this Amazon Prime series as a “Succession-Western” with Kevin Kostner as the monster-father figure. We also signed up to the MHZ Network which brings you entire nations of dramatic TV, from The Heavy Water-War (Norway), and Chefs (France), to The Fat and the Angry (Sweden), and The Fox (Germany).
9. Canada is taking Ukrainian refugees. But are Canadians? After all, Canada is home to more Ukrainians on earth save Ukraine and Russia. So earlier this month, Ottawa opened the immigration gates to Ukrainians fleeing their country.
You can donate money. But you can also sponsor a refugee or their family, in the same way Canadians banded together to sponsor refugee families from Syria and Afghanistan. The programs are just gearing up now.
10. Military music is to music what military justice is to justice. But this war is different, with everything from the Ode to Joy at the Metropolitan Opera, to Hans Zimmer introducing the Odessa Opera Orchestra, to a musical tribute to Ukraine’s military in action.