You are implying that Canonical is improving Debian, that's news for me. Great, so I can install Ubuntu packages on Debian.Debian is now alive because of Ubuntu, people tend to overlook how subtle but effective under the hood changes are bought by Ubuntu dev team to make Debian look what it is today
Can't you see how many distros are Debian based?
How many is SuSE based? Red Hat and Fedora are another story, they got plenty distros based on them, just like Debian and there is Slackware, who also got some distros based on it.
Debian is alive with or without Utuntu.
You mention Sheldon. For someone with IQ 187, I expect custom based GNU/Linux from scratch or something.