RamsayWrites

How Will You Die?

Likely from heart disease or cancer, which is what 52% of the world’s 8 billion people will die from, no matter their age or homeland. But most of us don’t believe that. We reliably underestimate the fact that cancer and heart disease will take one in two of us. We also chronically overestimate how many people will die via murder, auto accidents, drug and alcohol addiction, terrorism and even lightning.

Twice the Summer

Summer in southern Ontario is three months long. But in this very bad year, we’ve been blessed with the first five-month summer in many years. Remember back in May? Glorious. September so far?

Gorgeous. Time to count our blessings — and celebrate them just three weeks from now.

Terror Times Two

I was in New York on September 10, 2001 to meet travel editors. I wrote a lot. I travelled a lot. So, I thought, why don’t I do both at the same time?

A friend got me an interview with the managing editor of Condé Nast Traveler, which was like talking with God. He casually said: “A place is not an idea.” His point was travel writing shouldn’t be an endless “we went here and then we went there, and this place was lovely and that wasn’t.”

It was 20 years ago today……

…that 9/11 happened. So please spare a memory for those who died and for how our world has grown much less stable in the past two decades because of it. One good way is to watch Spike Lee’s film that captures New York’s faith and fate since September 11, 2001. Make it a communal thing: bring your family, friends, neighbours old and new.

Five Royal Scandals

My wife is the ultimate realist. But she’s always been a royalist too, which proves you can hold two opposed ideas in your head at the same time and still function.

But it’s getting worse. She used to glance sideways at the cover of Hello Canada in the supermarket check-out line. Now she subscribes to Quora Digest which gives her a morning fix of news and gossip from the Palace. She can barely keep up with all the scandals these days.

The Good, the Baad, and the Lucky

“None of our staff has been beaten, attacked, killed, as far as I know,” she said.

That’s what an Afghan woman who runs a women’s shelter said last week after the Taliban over-ran her town. By any account, women in Afghanistan, already among the most wretched of the earth, are in for an even more dreadful time.

Labour Daze

Oh well. It was a blessed summer, with an added month thrown in when May became as warm and sunny as July. But all that

Passport, please

Yesterday, I saw an Instagram post with a photo of a Viagra pill. You know that pill, the blue one with the word “Pfizer” in

Manufacturing Addiction

Back when I was a drug addict, quality control didn’t exist because the manufacturers and sales force were drug dealers. You could die because what

Vax or Die

Jean and I are newbie road-trippers. Last summer, we strapped our kayaks to the roof of our car and set out to Lake Superior from

A Woman’s Work

In 2009, Jean and I went to Afghanistan for two reasons. The first was to see the Kabul Widow’s Feeding Program in action and raise

The Dog Days of August

We’re in them right now, the hottest, most sultry time of the year. Their name comes from the rising of Sirius, the Dog Star, in

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