Tags: architecture

Last to survive

“Last to Die” is a form of life insurance, like its cousin “First to Die”.

But with people dying much later in life (if you’re a baby girl born this morning in Toronto, the chances of you living to be 100 are 1 in 3), I’d like to expand the idea of “Last to Die” beyond life insurance into a cash award called “Last to Survive.”

It can be for any group of people bound together not by blood, but by camaraderie and interest, and “it” can be a joint savings account, mutual fund, or other recognized financial vehicle: that is, anything you can contribute to over time.

Many of life’s most tight-knit groups form when we’re young. High school and university friends. Sports team. Military buddies. Sorority sisters. Political interns. Biker gangs. String quartets. Sous Chefs. Knitting groups. Book clubs. Jewel thieves. Big brass bands.

All it takes is a 50th reunion to remind you just how enduring those bonds are and how regret tinges our memories for not having made them stronger before now. And now, hell, everyone’s getting sick and dying. Okay, not everyone. But when you’re 74 like me, it feels that way, especially for our friends whose old age is not their golden years but their tin cup ones. 

Some of us boast morbidly that our retirement plan is Lotto 649. But the odds of any of us actually winning that jackpot are 1 in 14 million. The entire population of Ontario is around that. So, no, you won’t win.

Read on…

Our exits and our entrances.

One great lesson the pandemic taught us is how to buy everything online. I take great pride that, just by typing a few keys, a world of goods and services can land at my door.

But last weekend when Jean and I wanted to see The Fall Guy, with Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt. I discovered that, despite being in movie theatres for an entire two days, the film still wasn’t available online. Not Netflix. Not Prime. Not even Cineplex.com, in whose theatres it was playing.


So I was doubly annoyed when I logged on to buy two seniors’ tickets to actually go to the theatre, something I haven’t done in two years, and discovered I couldn’t buy those tickets online because I kept keying in the wrong password, then got locked out after the third try, then when I tried to open a new account, was told that another account already exists with that same username.


But hold on, I thought. We live two blocks from the Varsity Cinema in the Manulife Centre at Bay and Bloor in Toronto.

I could…..walk to the theatre, buy the tickets and be home in 10 minutes.

During that walk, my thoughts naturally turned to growing old and dying.

True, I’ve trained myself to stay fluent online. I walk my 10,000 steps each day. I even use AI every day! But my memory is a sieve, and growing sieve-ier every day.

Read on…

My name’s Bob and I’m an iPhonoholic.

On Tuesday, Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka announced he would make a state visit to China to meet Xi Jinping.

By Thursday, however, that trip was cancelled because the Prime Minister had tripped on the stairs while looking at his phone, concussing him. He appeared on video, in a blood-spattered shirt, to tell his nation the news.

For many years now in Holland, bicyclists have been forbidden from riding their bikes while using their mobile phones because of the large number of accidents they cause. This happens especially with North American visitors who, jet-lagged and on unfamiliar ground, barely make it out of the bike rental shop without mowing down a pedestrian.

In America, at any time throughout the day, 660,000 drivers are trying to text while they drive. One in four car accidents in the US is caused by texting and driving, which means 1.6 million crashes each year.

Worse still, texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.

Why is this worse?



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