“Where Are We Going And Why Are We In This Basket?”

Did you ever wonder how Canadian Snowbirds are still making their way down to Florida despite the closure of our international border? Well, at least 60 couples from Ontario have taken a helicopter ride to the Buffalo International Airport where they boarded their car which had been shipped there on a flatbed truck, compliments of Great Lakes Helicopter in Cambridge and GRM Transportation in Dorchester.
Now that’s thinking out of the box, the cockpit and the frontseat. All legal for under $2,000 and yes, pets fly free. Said pilot Jeremy Rood: “We’re doing this to get people down there, so they can enjoy and be healthier.” I’m just not sure that leaving a province which is averaging 40 deaths a month and going to a state that is averaging 40 deaths a day is a healthy decision but hey, good luck and get out before ‘spring break!’
Ever wonder how the Massachusetts-based biotech company Moderna came up with a 95% effective, COVID-19 vaccine so quick? Meet Derrick Rossi, a Toronto-born stem cell biologist and in 2010, a professor at Harvard. Rossi conducted an experiment to see if you could inject “messenger RNA” (or mRNA) into a living animal and coax out cells to produce a protein of your choice. Essentially he injected a mouse with a protein from a firefly and… the mouse lit up a candle. So mRNA can trick the body into producing proteins that will fight and fend off damn near anything. Could COVID-19 be the virus that cured cancer? Man, I’d love to be Rossi’s assistant. I’d have gerbils singing and mice roaring and rats doing the cha-cha.
Pfizer’s vaccine is slightly less effective so they are going to add a little Viagara to the second shot making it the “Real Booster”.
The skull of a 2 million-year-old male has been discovered in South Africa by Australian researchers. Pre-dating Homo erectus, this specimen of Paranthropus robustus has large teeth and a small brain. Ever wonder where Rudy Giuliani came from?
Do you worry about where you’ll get your Oreo cookies after our planet takes a direct hit by an asteroid, leaving Earth a smouldering barren wasteland with just a handful of survivors? Norway. Nabisco has built a doomsday vault in the deep permafrost of Norway to keep the iconic cookie and its recipe safe. To solve the problem of distribution in a world without machinery, Nabisco is also using the vault to store the DNA of two Girl Guides.
Ever worry about the justice system in America where the average judge earns $86,968 annually while Judge Judy who is not a real judge makes $47 million a year? The total income of the nine-judge US Supreme Court is $2,309,400. Judge Judy just signed a new TV deal with Amazon Studios that’s going to make her way more money. A little full of himself, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised he’d have her confirmed by Christmas.
Did you ever get angry about the frivolous spending of the tax dollars you send off to Ottawa each year? Like the Trudeau government’s $12 million grant to Loblaws, a very rich and very stingy supermarket chain, so that they could make their fridges and freezers more energy efficient? With annual revenue of $48 billion dollars, chances are that measly $12 million fell off the end of the accountant’s desk at headquarters and into his wastepaper basket unnoticed.
The Quebec government just gave Kraft Heinz $2 million for a project that will start making Heinz Ketchup again at their Mont Royal plant thereby employing 30 people. With no real shortage of ketchup in Canada, why don’t they give 30 enterprising people $66,666 each to start up a company that will employee at least ten people? That way you create 300 new jobs and Kraft Heinz with an annual revenue of $25 billion doesn’t have to beg for government handouts.
Do you want to guess what sport Canadian Jeff “The Silencer” Smith and James “The Machine” Wade belong to? Professional wrestling? Mixed martial arts? International mob garroting? No, darts. These two guys throw pointy things at a big round board from eight feet away and the winner earns $12,795 at the World Series of Darts. Bump it up a bit, boys. “The Silencer” and “ The Machine” should have to stand across the street from the pub and throw the darts in through an open window while allowing for a crosswind and a waiter passing in front of the board. Then you earn big bad nicknames like “Ear Drummer” and “Nose Piercer”.
Ever think about the deep and emotional meaning behind the lyrics of “I Can See Clearly Now,” a hit by Johnny Nash who died last month? Well, don’t. The American singer-songwriter wrote that song after successfully recovering from cataract surgery. I don’t make this stuff up.
Ever look at the brilliance of young people like environmentalist Greta Thunberg and Nobel Prize laureate Malala and think, yeah, there’s hope for the world after all? Then you read about how firefighters in Essex, England needed a medivac helicopter, an ambulance and a “lot of heavy equipment” to rescue three teenage boys stuck in an industrial-sized tumble dryer at a rundown laundromat. That’s when you say: “Are we there yet? I need to get out of this basket!”

Any of the ten books written by
William Thomas are available at www.williamthomas.ca
Comments: williamjthomas@gmail.com

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