Downhill From Here
The longest day of easily the longest year was last Monday, June 21st. Between then and December 21st, the sun will shine on our feral faces a little less each day. But we don’t care, do we? Because we’re all stepping out into our two-jab summers.
So gather ye roseblogs as ye may and click on these strange and beguiling reminders of why the online world can be almost – almost – as enticing as the real one.
But before I get into today’s list here’s an extra something for your weekend - my Love or Die Trying book launch event - which was held on Monday.
1. Bill Gates’ summer reading list. The world’s second richest man is also a big thinker (he predicted the pandemic back in 2014). So it pays to pay attention to what he’s reading and suggesting we do. Here’s this summer’s list of 5 books.
2. Danish road safety. It goes back all the way to the Vikings.
3. The art of letter-locking. As this BBC essay says about a long-lost art, “hundreds of years ago people developed ingenious methods of securing their letters from prying eyes.” Sure beats cyberhackers.
4. Wild baking adventure. Baking indoors is so last year. This summer, walk to your nearest forest and bake your favourite recipes.
5. Trevor Noah on cancel culture. The host of The Daily Show has some trenchant and funny comments on the pandemic and intolerance.
6. Meet my friend Arthur Brooks. He started his career as a professional French Horn player; then wrote books about how we act so differently from how we say we do. He then shifted right and became the CEO of the American Enterprise Institute. And now he’s teaching at the Harvard Business School. But he’s a brilliant, humane columnist for The Atlantic as well, and I urge you to bookmark him, and to sign on for his occasional newsletter.
7. These are a few of their favourite things. Stifado is four expert, opinionated Canadian women: Renée Lalonde, Arlene Stein, Voula Halliday, and Melissa Finn, with strong views of the best in food, travel and how to live.
8. What they learned doing fast grants. Anyone doing scientific research will tell you that getting money is slow at the best of times. But during the worst of times, like in a pandemic, America’s National Institutes of Health set up a program to get money out fast for life-saving research. The plan was to create an application form that would take scientists less than 30 minutes to complete and deliver funding decisions within 48 hours, with money following a few days later. Here’s a fascinating review of what happens when you push money out the door.
9. Canoeing across America. Try doing that one day before a pandemic locks down your country. Needless to say, Neal Moore’s 7,500 mile, two year journey from Astoria, Oregon to the Statue of Liberty, became even more gruelling and complicated.
10. Birds can dance. And so much better to the tune of a Strauss Waltz.
Upcoming RamsayTalk Event
Join us for a free private screening of Cory Trépanier’s stunning new film, Into the Arctic: Awakening, that offers an intimate view of the top two-thirds of our home and native land. We’re presenting it with our friends at the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Register for your free ticket here.
To order a copy of my book Love or Die Trying, click here for Canadian orders, click here for US orders, or visit your favourite bookstore.