Finally, it’s summer here and restrictions are being lifted, cases are down and vaccinations are up. There seems to be a path back to some kind of normalcy, which is evident by the crowded pubs, parks and beaches. Watching the Euro 2020, a year late, with the stadiums half full, gives me hope that we’ll get back to the future. We all want to come out of our confinements and hibernation and toss that mask in the bin.
‘Camp was reclining in his chair by the window, pawing his smart phone and already nursing a pint. ‘What are you looking at?’ I asked.
‘An interesting article on the green investment boom and the bottlenecks that threaten to hold it back. Already, supply-side strains are growing. The price of minerals used in electric cars and power grids – cobalt, nickel, lithium, manganese, zinc, graphite and rare earth minerals – has soared in the past year and timber mafias are roaming Ecuadorean forests to find balsa wood used in wind-turbine blades.’
‘We’ve been out on the water with friends, meandered all around Gambier Island and watched the seals and birds on the Christie Islets and the Pam rocks and had a picnic at Halcett Marine Park. We do live in paradise Camp. An old Canadian warship 334, HMCS Regina, did a tight turn right in front of us. Maybe they heard there were pot smokers and three immigrants on our boat.’
‘Lucky you, I had to work but I do have that million-dollar view out the back of the bookstore. Much like here at the pub. The only downside is wearing a mask all day long. Gives me a headache by the end of the day.’
‘Talking about million dollars. What do you make of Alberta’s million-dollar lottery to entice people to get vaccinated?’
‘Did you know Camp that anti-vaxxing and disinformation is a growing, lucrative business and turns over millions of dollars?’
‘How do they make money?’ Camp asked.
‘The vaccination opponents earn money in various ways: they have advertising revenue from YouTube videos, they sell vitamin supplements on their websites or sell themselves as event speakers. Over 30 million Facebook users follow pages with false vaccination information, the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) estimates. They also insert anti-vaccination messages into make-up or vitamin ads, thereby avoiding the algorithms that are set up by social media to trap misinformation.’
Why pay $ 10 for a pound of Granola when you can make it at home for a fraction of the cost? You need some old-fashioned rolled oats. You probably have honey or Maple Syrup, Cinnamon and some kind of neutral oil (olive, canola, sunflower) in your kitchen-cupboard. You can add sunflower and/or sesame and chia seeds, definitely sliced almonds. Add any kind of dried fruit after baking.
You can alter the basic recipe according to your taste, Granola is very adjustable.
- ½ cup neutral oil, such as canola, coconut or olive oil
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup or both – more if you like it sweeter
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (and other grains like barley, rye)
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- Seeds – sesame, sunflower, chia etc.
- 1 cup raisins, currants, apricots, cranberries or other dried, chopped fruit
– Line baking sheet with parchment paper, heat oven to 300°F (150 Celsius)
– Whisk together oil, honey/Maple Syrup, salt and Cinnamon in large bowl
– Add oats, almonds and seeds and whisk to combine
– Spread coated oats evenly on baking sheet and bake for 25min (stir after 10min)
– remove from oven, add fruit, mix and let cool before storing in airtight container
It’s June and the days are long and the best part is that we can spend them outside, in the garden, on the deck, on patios, on the water and in the parks and on the beaches. I could do this all year long. I joined Camp who was already seated in our usual corner. I was upset and wanted to discuss the rise of pseudo-religious far right conspiracies that seem to proliferate, especially during this pandemic.
‘Camp, we’ve been down this road many times but it’s really unsettling how many people still believe in the easter bunny, Santa Claus and the tooth fairy,’ I said.
‘Not to mention angels, horned devils and immaculate conception,’ Camp retorted.
‘I’m not talking about established cults,’ I said. ‘Religion is for the believers, as are cults. Let me read you the quote by CNN following results of a poll done last week.