Bob Ramsay

Today’s new word is “carminative.”

It describes something, usually a drug, that stops farting. I fell across it in an odd place: an essay about Shackleton’s medical kit from his expedition to Antarctica in 1914, and which shows that brilliant writing can turn the most distant, indifferent subject into a pulpit for new thoughts on science, medicine, ‘life back then,’ and of course, endurance.

Meanwhile…

“Most successful people are just a walking anxiety disorder harnessed for productivity.”

Andrew Wilkinson’s idea won’t leave my head as I scratch it to come up with any successful person it doesn’t describe. Which got me to thinking about that other earwig, Donald Trump. He doesn’t seem anxious, except maybe this week he finally will, as New York Attorney General

Letitia James filed a 222-page lawsuit claiming he and his kids have engaged in massive fraud over many years. The document makes astringent reading. And speaking of reports, Wachtell Lipton’s on the racist and misogynist actions of Robert Sarver, the owner of the NBA Phoenix Suns, exemplifies how law firms are now policing workplace misconduct. But the most shocking of this week’s reports comes from the US Congress which revealed just how much energy companies have misled Americans on the industry’s role in climate change. 

Meanwhile…

Panama and Costa Rica Cruise

From January 22 to 29, 2023, Jean and I are taking friends on board the National Geographic Quest, a 100-passenger ship that will lead us through the Panama Canal and up the west coast of Costa Rica.

We’ll be on a Lindblad Expedition, whom Condé Nast Traveler declared the #1 Small Ship Cruise Line in the World.

Here’s the trip in detail and a short video here.

For more details, we invite you to join us for a 30-minute webinar from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 27th.

“A Canadian citizen is a British subject.”

I’ve read this for decades on my passport, feeling even today that we enjoy special privileges in far-off lands. But it’s a testament to how fast things change now that one week the Queen dies, and the next, the King is having to shore up membership in the Commonwealth. Maybe Charles will be a different kind of King. As The Guardian notes, “Prince Charles is eccentric, impassioned, impatient, indiscreet — which, while manageable faults in a prince, are difficult ones in a king.”

Here is this week’s Omnium-Gatherum…

“A tiger doesn’t proclaim his tigritude, he pounces.”

Wole Soyinka‌ said this to remind us that “all hat and no cattle” is the true plague of our age. So I was surprised to see that “hating August” is an excellent reason to make bad choices or delay putting them off until the one we’ve just begun.  

And speaking of the Fall, the death this week of Mikhail Gorbachev recalls how quickly after the fall of the Soviet Union he became a capitalist.

Here’s to the start of Fall….

Kim Samuel

Isolation is an ancient challenge that’s been much worsened over the past 1,000 days of pandemic life. While we know that COVID can kill us, we must also recognize that lack of connection to the four dimensions of belonging — people, place, power, and purpose — can be just as harmful. Kim Samuel knows all about the power of belonging, and she makes the case that it’s not just a human need but a fundamental right.

Femfiring.

There’s a scientific reason the Dog Days of Summer describe these hot sultry days. There’s also a market reason; a movie reason; and of course now is when Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. As Noel Coward wrote: “…though the English are effete, they’re quite impervious to heat.”

Meanwhile…

Dog Days

There’s a scientific reason the Dog Days of Summer describe these hot sultry days. There’s also a market reason; a movie reason; and of course now is when Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. As Noel Coward wrote: “…though the English are effete, they’re quite impervious to heat.”

Meanwhile…

Dr. Gabor Maté

Famed physician Dr. Gabor Maté probes the causes of illness and the pathways to healing. His new book, The Myth of Normal, dissects why even the best medical care can’t stop our torrent of chronic illnesses, drug use, mental illness and worse. Life itself, especially now, is exposing how Western medicine fails to treat the whole person, creating new levels of stress for our country, its institutions, and each of us.

How to.

Yes. Although the end is getting easier. You can choose the time and place of your exit. You can memorialize your life more memorably. You can demystify death by filming it. You can put death at one remove with the 50 greatest fictional deaths of all time. If you live in Chicago, where “no one gets shot just once anymore”, you can walk out of the ER. You can even turn one of the most enduring touchstones of music and popular culture, Don McLean’s American Pie, into a movie, The Day the Music Died.

Meanwhile, back among the living…

Does death still have dominion?

Yes. Although the end is getting easier. You can choose the time and place of your exit. You can memorialize your life more memorably. You can demystify death by filming it. You can put death at one remove with the 50 greatest fictional deaths of all time. If you live in Chicago, where “no one gets shot just once anymore”, you can walk out of the ER. You can even turn one of the most enduring touchstones of music and popular culture, Don McLean’s American Pie, into a movie, The Day the Music Died.

Meanwhile, back among the living…

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