“I used to be snow white, but then I drifted.”
Winter will repeat Mae West’s great line on Sunday when spring officially begins. But ‘official’ and ‘real’ are two different things, as Mr. Putin teaches us. So if the US Senate can vote unanimously to abolish daylight savings time permanently, and winter’s relation to snow grows colder every year, who are we not to drift? The falcon cannot see the falconer; things fall apart, the weather centre cannot hold.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in our world…
1. All countries have a Mafia. In Russia, the mafia has a country. For most people the war in Ukraine is The Phone War, because you can view it on your phone, and even do something about it. Three examples: here’s the inside of billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s London mansion, shot by a squatter; plus a website that documents the tanks, planes and other fighting vehicles destroyed or abandoned by both sides, one by every single one; and a site launched by two Harvard freshmen in 12 languages where Ukrainian refugees can find hosts with free rooms and apartments, big or small, in cities everywhere – including Toronto.
Speaking of the New Cold War, here are some jokes by Ronald Reagan on the Old Cold War.
2. Who knew? Peter Sever sends these strange earwigs for your brain.
3. How the wild things sleep. David Suzuki’s 45-minute episode of The Nature of Things tackles another thing animals seem to do better than us.
4. Why opera needs intimacy directors. Even more so than theatrical and movie actors, opera singers need guidance and protection when flesh touches flesh. This from Norman Lebrecht’s Slipped Disc.
5. Building back better billionaires. One of America’s 745 billionaires wonders: ‘What’s enough?’
6. Turning Red – Pixar’s next blockbuster is very different. It’s directed by a woman. An Asian woman. A Canadian woman. A Torontonian – Domee Shi. Even better, it’s about a Chinese-Canadian teenage girl growing up in Toronto. Catch it on Disney+.
7. Remember the Concorde? The last flight of this supersonic commercial jet (New York to Paris in 3.5 hours) took place in 2003. But speed, technology and profit are colliding in new ways to bring it back, better. As they say on the Hermeus site, “the component technology for Mach 5 flight is proven - it’s time to bring it all together.” Hermeus promises New York to Paris in 90 minutes. Then there’s Boom Supersonic, which United Airlines has already signed on to. And of course, the original space travelers, NASA.
9. The state of women is not good. Women still aren’t holding up half the sky. Nowhere near, as these 10 charts from McKinsey reveal.
10. The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves. Va Pensiero is the liberation theme (yes, you know it) from Verdi’s Nabucco. It’s sung here by the chorus of the Odessa Opera as they prepare to defend their city, their opera house, their music and their lives.