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RS HOUF O T A GREDING RE A

DIGITAL

AMNESIA Is Technology Killing Your Memory? PAGE 75

Peanuts’ Little DRAMA Red-Haired Eight Hours Girl Speaks Lost in Space PAGE 50

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PAGE 58

Favourite “Facts” That Are False PAGE 73

Fighting Lung Cancer PAGE 44

South America’s Cola Crisis PAGE 82

Power of One: Banana Flour Revolution ............ 38 Coping With Female Hair Loss ...........................

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Word Power ....................................................... 125


Explore, Interact, Inspire Available now, everywhere


Contents SEPTEMBER 2016

Life Skills

30

HOW TO SURVIVE ANYTHING From a plane crash to an ice cream headache, it’s a survivors’ primer for modern scenarios. B R A N D O N S P E C K TO R

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The Power of One

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TURNING FRUIT INTO FLOUR What do bananas and disease prevention have to do with one another? One farmer found out – and now runs a thriving business. KAT H Y B U C H A N A N A N D   J E N N Y BY R N E Health

44

FIGHTING LUNG CANCER New hope for thousands of sufferers, thanks to emerging vaccines and promising advances in early detection. H E L E N S I G N Y Heart

50

FOR THE LOVE OF A LITTLE RED-HAIRED GIRL Meet the secret behind one of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz’s most mysterious characters. DA R RY N K I N G F R O M VA N I T Y FA I R Drama in Real Life

COVER P HOTO: GETTY I MAGES

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EIGHT HOURS AT THE EDGE OF DARKNESS Deep space repairs come with their own unique set of challenges. M I C H A E L M A S S I M I N O Inspire

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THE JOY OF BELLS Whenever a church bell tolls, spare a thought for those up there working the ropes. We find out who they are – and just how much fun they’re having. R O S E S H E P H A R D S p

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Contents SEPTEMBER 2016

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Fun Facts

73

15 FAVOURITE FACTS THAT ARE FALSE Relax: it turns out we don’t swallow eight spiders a year in our sleep after all. B R A N D O N S P E C K TO R

Cover Story

75

DESKILLING IN THE AGE OF DIGITAL AMNESIA Just how debilitating is our dependence on high-tech hand-held devices? H E L E N O ’ N E I L L Public Health

82

COLA CRISIS In El Salvador, where soft drinks are cheaper than bottled water, a dentist’s work is never done. R O B E R TA STA L E Y F R O M CO R P O R AT E K N I G H T S Psychology

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HOW TO CHOOSE OPTIMISM Silver linings are everywhere. You just have to want to see them. T H I E R RY SAU S S E Z

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Instant Answers

96

CHERNOBYL What happened – and what is still happening – at the nuclear disaster site. H A Z E L F LY N N Travel

98

SWEDEN’S PERFECT SEASON When sunny days are in such short supply, you don’t want to waste a single moment. P E T E R J O N L I N D B E R G F R O M T R AV E L + L E I SU R E

Bonus Read

106

“WE WERE LUCKY TO GET OUT ALIVE” For an anti-poaching activist in Africa, the worst threats don’t come from wild animals. C R I S P I N A N D R E WS

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THE DIGEST

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Health

16 Antidepressants, female hair loss and post-cancer fitness

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Pets

Dog safety while you’re at work Food

22 Chilled berry cheesecake Home

24 Plumbing emergencies Travel

26 Downton Abbey locations; how to acquire local knowledge Money

28 Make extra cash online Out & About

116 All that’s best in books, movies and unexpected news REGULARS 4 7 8 14 36 81 114

Letters Editor’s Letter My Story Smart Animals 13 Things Quotable Quotes Unbelievable

SEE PAGE 6

122 Puzzles, Trivia & Word Power

CONTESTS 5 Caption and Letter Competition 6 Submit Your Jokes and Stories 12 100-Word Story Competition

HUMOUR 42 Life’s Like That 65 Laughter, the Best Medicine 88 All in a Day’s Work

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Letters READERS’ COMMENTS AND OPINIONS

Sharing the Love Reading about Tejinder Singh from Darwin donating ten per cent of his income to the needy (‘Kindness and a Curry’, June) reminded me of some of the heroes in my own country. A group of university students was recently seen handing out winter clothing to some street kids. A musical group distributed free books among the kindergarteners in my own area. And in the last Eid vacation, some of my friends gave T-shirts to underprivileged boys. I salute these heroes at home and abroad. REZAUL KARIM REZA

On Tenterhooks

STEAM not STEM

Donald E. Hunton’s ‘The Morning There are many initiatives to drive Report’ (June) brought tears to my STEM (science, technology, eyes. As a loving daughter living in Sri engineering and mathematics), Lanka, I wait for a text message every however without an arts education day from my septuagenarian parents real innovation won’t happen (May). in India. The slightest delay makes We need to change the acronym to me anxious. I wish I were nearer my STEAM and add arts to the mix. parents, to take care of Our kids need a well-rounded and their needs and balanced education experience the joy of LET US KNOW that prepares them looking after them. If you are moved – or provoked – by any item for real life. Isn’t it They have made me in the magazine, share time we started? what I am today. SHALINI G. FERNANDO

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your thoughts. See page 6 for how to join the discussion.

JULIE ELLENDER


Trivial Pursuits Flipping through the June issue of Reader’s Digest, I happened upon ‘What Will Happen to Patty’s Boy?’ (June). It was a heart-warming story and it helped me to realise that while there are people in the world with real problems, here I am stressing over how my final-year exams will turn out or which new gadget I should buy. And yet there is a way to obtain inner peace by helping others. Thank you, Readers Digest, for reminding us. SHEHBANO SYED

For the Love of a Car ‘Seeking Henrietta’ (June) is a story of a man’s true love for his car, which manifests in his search for it and desire to get it back. No geographical boundaries can keep a man from his love. NAJMUDDIN KHAN

PHOTOS: iSTOCK

WIN A PILOT CAPLESS FOUNTAIN PEN The best letter published each month will win a Pilot Capless fountain pen, valued at over $200. The Capless is the perfect combination of luxury and ingenious technology, featuring a one-of-a-kind retractable fountain pen nib, durable metal body, beautiful rhodium accents and a 14K gold nib. Congratulations to this month’s winner, Julie Ellender.

Dose of Fun We asked you to think up a funny caption for this photo. I know laughter is the best medicine but please tell me they are not my brain surgeons. PETER LIM One more nose job left.

ANNE UMALI

We are the new Patch Adams physicians reporting for duty. NAOMI G. CRUZ

Stop clowning around. We’ve got work to do. ANAM JEHAN Congratulations to this month’s winner, Peter Lim.

WIN!

CAPTION CONTEST

Come up with the funniest caption for the above photo and you could win $100. To enter, see the details on page 6.

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Vol. 191 No. 1135 September 2016

EDITORIAL Editorial Director Lynn Lewis Managing Editor Louise Waterson Chief Subeditor & Production Editor Donyale Harrison Deputy Chief Subeditor Melanie Egan Designer Luke Temby Digital Editor & Humour Editor Greg Barton Associate Editor Victoria Polzot Senior Editors Samantha Kent, Deborah Nixon Contributing Editors Kathy Buchanan, Hazel Flynn, Helen Signy PRODUCTION & MARKETING Production Manager Balaji Parthsarathy Marketing Manager Gala Mechkauskayte

ADVERTISING Group Advertising & Retail Sales Director, Asia Pacific Sheron White Advertising Sales Manager Darlene Delaney REGIONAL ADVERTISING CONTACTS

Asia Sheron White, sheron.white@rd.com Australia Darlene Delaney, darlene.delaney@rd.com

CONTRIBUTE FOR DIGITAL EXTRAS AND SOCIAL MEDIA INFO, SEE PAGE 29.

Anecdotes and jokes Send in your real-life laugh for Life’s Like That or All in a Day’s Work. Got a joke? Send it in for Laughter is the Best Medicine!

Smart Animals Share antics of unique pets or wildlife in up to 300 words.

Kindness of Strangers Share your moments of generosity in 100–500 words.

My Story Do you have an inspiring or life-changing tale to tell? Submissions must be true, unpublished, original and 800–1000 words – see website for more information.

Letters to the editor, caption competition and other reader submissions

New Zealand Debbie Bishop, debbie@hawkhurst.co.nz

Online

PUBLISHED BY READER’S DIGEST (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD

Email

Managing Director/Publisher Walter Beyleveldt Director Lance Christie

NZ: editor@readersdigest.co.nz

READER’S DIGEST ASSOCIATION, INC (USA) President and Chief Executive Officer Bonnie Kintzer Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, International Brian Kennedy Editor-in-Chief, International Magazines Raimo Moysa

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. REPRODUCTION IN ANY MANNER IN WHOLE OR PART IN ENGLISH OR OTHER LANGUAGES PROHIBITED

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Follow the “Contribute” link at the RD website in your region, or via: AU: editor@readersdigest.com.au Asia: rdaeditor@readersdigest.com We may edit submissions and use them in all media. See website for full terms and conditions.

TO SERVE YOU BETTER – OUR PRIVACY STATEMENT Reader’s Digest collects your information to provide our products and services and may also use your information for the marketing purposes of RD and/ or selected corporate partners. If the information is not provided you will be unable to access our products or services. Our Privacy Policy at the Reader’s Digest website in your region contains full details on how your information is used (including how we may share your information with our ailiate companies in the US or other overseas entities), how you may access or correct information held and our privacy complaints process.


Editor’s Note The Art of Remembering TECHNOLOGY IS A VITAL PART OF OUR LIVES, and I’m the first to admit that I rely heavily on it to help me navigate through the day. I appreciate that it reminds me of a friend’s birthday, of a meeting I have to prepare for, and even that bill I may have forgotten to pay. Our cover story, ‘Deskilling in the Age of Digital Amnesia’ (page 75) examines the downside of the benefits we enjoy from technology, and specifically how this has changed the way we use our memory. The writer, Helen O’Neill, examines how technology can leave us unwilling to ‘bother’ to remember phone numbers, addresses and calendar dates and what this shift means to the healthy development and functionality of our memory. When I think of my own memory lapses, I can’t help think that this theory has merit. Fans of the iconic cartoon strip Peanuts will enjoy ‘For the Love of a Little Red-Haired Girl’ (page 50), in which we meet the woman who was the inspiration for creator Charles M. Schulz’s elusive character. I’m sure her gentle reminiscing about this famous creative genius will touch you all. Then, in stark contrast, our Bonus Read ‘Lucky to Get Out Alive’ (page 106) looks at wildlife poaching in Zimbabwe, and the risks one brave man is willing to take to help train local rangers to protect the country’s elephants. Happy reading! LOUISE WATERSON

Managing Editor

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MY STORY

A glimpse of New York City during its darkest hour was the inspiration to become fluent in English

Opening the BY R E Z AU L KA RI M R E Z A

Rezaul Karim Reza lives in Bangladesh and is very interested in reading short stories, listening to shortwave radio and visiting new places.

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I CAN REMEMBER the day clearly – it was a dark eveni in my Uncle Karim’s yard and I was 15. My family and our neeighbours used to gather there to watch plays and films on a blac andwhite 14-inch television set. But the crowd was different th day; it was larger and noisier and everyone was upset. I tried to listen but couldn’t fully understand the crazy talk aboutt the world coming to an end soon. Then I turned to the television, and couldn’t believe wh hat I saw. Two hijacked planes had been deliberately flown in New York’s tallest towers, which had then been flattened to o the ground. I could see people screaming in fear as ambulancee sirens wailed in the distance and smoke rose all around thee devastated Lower Manhattan. It was September 11, 2001. of the crowd gathered that night in my uncle’s yard cursed t terrorists, while others blamed America itself. But what toucched me was something entirely different. It was the first time in my life that I had seen New York Cityy. I saw its people and its shining buildings. Reporters were stopping people on the street and asking them to share their stories of the attacks. Their expressions, body language and t sound of the American accent impressed me so much that I made up my mind to practise hard and learn English. I knew it

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PHOTOS: iSTOC K

would be a great challenge, since I lived in Khiyarpara, a small rural village near Nij Kabilpur in northern Bangladesh. Most of the villagers there were illiterate and didn’t understand the importance of sending their kids to schools, let alone the value of learning English. I returned home that evening determined and with great enthusiasm. The next day, I went to town and borrowed an English dictionary and grammar books from my friend who was already studying the language. I then collected old English dailies from the newspaper stalls, and returned to my tiny room. After a couple of months, a neighbour gave me a radio set and I tuned in to listen to the BBC, VOA (Voice of Septemberđ2016

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M Y STO RY

Rezaul Karim Reza’s hard America) News, CRI work and resolve paid off (China Radio International) and many and that I am selfother shortwave radio taught. The Voice of stations. During that America’s Special first year of private English Program helped study, my English began me to develop my to gradually improve. listening and speaking I started practising my skills, and also taught English with the English me about its people, teachers at school and culture and history. in colleges, as well as Two years ago, at with foreigners, who the age of 27, I was visited our area in winter. appointed to the post of Sometimes, I would walk One day junior English teacher at along the bank of the a woman in a private English school Akhira River or along in Dhaka. Perhaps it was one of the local roads our village of my ‘Voice of and practise speaking complained to because America’ accent. Now, out loud in English. my mother that since I have a salary to While I thought nobody I was behaving match my determination, could hear me practising, I have enrolled in a one day a woman in our weirdly college and am studying village complained to for my Cambridge O my mother that I was Levels as a private candidate. One behaving weirdly. day I hope to attend university. Although I was successful in My parents are really enthusiastic teaching myself to speak English, about my future now. I largely ignored my other academic My message to any student who studies. As a result, I did not continue has struggled to obtain good grades onto college after leaving school. in English is simple: learn to love the This left my parents and myself language and you will find that disappointed. But I never gave up on English is not hard if you love it. my desire to improve my English reading and speaking abilities. Over time, I began to read, write Do you have a tale to tell? We’ll pay and understand English well. People for any original and unpublished came to appreciate that I could speak story we print. See page 6 for details it fluently (with an American accent) on how to contribute. 10

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Hours of great reading! SAVE

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FOR 12 ISSUES

DIGITAL

AMNESIA Is Technology Killing Your Memory? PAGE 75

DR AMA Peanuts’ Little ht Hours Eig ed air -H Red in Space t Los aks Spe Girl PAGE 58 PAGE 50

15

Favourite “Facts” That Are False PAGE 73

Fighting Lung Cancer PAGE 44

South America’s Cola Crisis PAGE 82

38 Flour Revolution ............ Power of One: Banana .................... 17 ....... Loss Hair ale Coping With Fem 125 .................................. Word Power .....................

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2017

100STORY

WORD

WRITINGCOMPETITION Our ultra-short-story competition is back for a fifth year, so send us your tiny tale! This is your chance to win US$1000 or one of two runners-up prizes of US$250 each and see your work published by Reader’s Digest. All you have to do is write an outstanding work of fiction in just 100 words. Stories should be original, unpublished and exactly 100 words long (99-worders will be disqualified, hyphenated words count as one). Email entries to: rdaeditor@readersdigest.com (Asia); editor@readersdigest.com.au (Australia) or editor@ readersdigest.co.nz (NZ) by December 31, 2016. For more on how to enter, and full terms and conditions, visit www.rdasia.com/ terms-and-conditions (Asia); www.rdasia.com.my/terms-and-conditions (Malaysia); www.readersdigest.com.au/terms-and-conditions (Australia) or www.readersdigest.co.nz/terms-and-conditions (NZ)

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0 IN 0 W 10 S$ U

Yee Heng Yeh

P H OTO : GET TY I M AGE S

PULAU PINANG, MALAYSIA

RUNNER-UP 2016

The skinny little boy sits outside the bakery, face and clothes smudged with dirt. He stares at the grown-ups striding by; the soles of shoes tap and click the sidewalk steadily. They go one way or the other, depending on the time, in a predictable cycle. The boy wonders if they are waiting for something miraculous to break them out of their routines. Maybe Red Stilettos, Brown Leather Loafers and Black Brogues all have secret, unfulfilled dreams. But what does he know, he thinks, while thanking White Flats. This bun that he has just received is miraculous enough for him. WHY THIS ENTRY HAS THAT WINNING APPEAL “We were particularly moved by this entry. It portrays a touching and desperate scene in a delicate and dignified manner.”

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Smart Animals

Greener Pastures MICHELLE LEE

When we moved to our new small terrace house four years ago, Uncle Leng bestowed Anek, his beloved land tortoise, on us as he had outgrown his terrarium. Anek settled down quickly under the foliage of the leafy ficus we grew in a big pot in a corner of our small front lawn. One early morning last January, tapping noises startled us from our sleep. Robert, my husband, opened the front door to check and there was Anek at the door, banging his head 14

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against our white metal grille. I rushed to the kitchen, suddenly remembering that I had not fed him the night before! Anek started nibbling slowly at the greens I gave him. When he finished, he glanced at me with his gentle eyes, then turned and ambled slowly back to his favourite spot. One fine day in March, I noticed that Anek was not under the pot as usual. Worried, I walked around looking for him. Three weeks passed but no-one had seen Anek. In the evenings, Robert and I would prowl

ILLUSTRATED BY EDWINA KEENE

Two pets that have a way of getting what they want


our neighbourhood, prodding at bushes and asking anyone we met if they had spotted him. Many nights I tossed and turned, my thoughts filled with guilt. Poor Anek! Is he missing his greens? One morning, chatting with a neighbour, I found out that someone down the road had been asking around about a tortoise. I sprinted to the house and was told by Naz, their son, that his family, too, had been alarmed by a banging noise coming from their front gates. We figured that Anek must have ambled down the road and mistaken their white gates for our white metal grille. Naz, who had been taking care of Anek for the last three weeks, wanted an extra day with his friend. The next day Naz arrived as promised with Anek in a basket. As Naz put Anek down on our front lawn, Anek simply glanced at me with his ever gentle, forgiving eyes and sauntered back to his old spot as if he had never left. Since then, I make sure to leave his favourite green beans out for him every day.

Jessie Saves the Day

headstrong dog. She has a lovely nature, but barks all night if we leave her outside. Her mission in life is to sleep in our bed, so we have become accustomed to putting her to bed in the bathroom and closing the door so she can’t get out and sneak her way into our bed. The bathroom is next to the kitchen, as is our two-year-old daughter Sienna’s bedroom. At 10.30 one Friday night, just before I went to bed, I was cleaning the stovetop and, without realising, bumped the gas knob. Two and a half hours later and fast asleep, while the gas leaked out filling the house, we were woken by Jessie barking loudly. We went out to investigate and immediately smelled the gas and turned it off. Jessie had alerted us that there was something wrong, and without her barking, we may not have woken up and smelled the gas. We are forever in her debt as who knows what would have happened if she hadn’t woken us up? We opened up all the windows to air the house and grabbed Sienna and Jessie and all went and cuddled up in our bed. We think she earned it!

LEAH HILL

Our ridgeback–boxer cross Jessie, now two and a half years old, has always been a very confident and

You could earn cash by telling us about the antics of unique pets or wildlife. Turn to page 6 for details on how to contribute.

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THE DIGEST HEALTH

Antidepressants: The Bigger Picture While useful for many, these drugs are not a surefire fix and, for those who do, effects are How were they found? By chance. In the 1950s, drugs being used to treat schizophrenia and tuberculosis showed antidepressant properties by increasing the level of brain chemicals called monoamines (including serotonin). This led to the first antidepressant drugs – TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants) and MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors).

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Holistic approach The World Health Organization predicts that depression will be the leading global cause of disability by 2030.

All too often, depression can be a natural reaction to life’s events. But beyond chemicals and hormones, there are complex emotional, psychological and social factors, so antidepressants are unlikely to be a total cure. Exercise, talking therapy and diet can all help.

PHOTO: iSTOCK

New and improved? All commercially available antidepressants still work by increasing monoamines. Current drugs are safer than the earlier examples and are effective in many cases, but side effects such as anxiety, nausea, loss of appetite and sleep disturbances exist. Also, up to 50 per cent of people don’t respond to treatment

only seen after several weeks of treatment. Antidepressants have also shown only a small advantage over placebos in some drug trials. The current lack of a gold standard antidepressant is probably because depression can be difficult to define. Scientists are even considering whether hormones such as oestrogen, thyroid hormone or stress hormones are involved.


How to Cope With Female Hair Loss Every human being loses around 100 hairs a day but excessive hair loss can affect women of all ages for different reasons. Some of the main reasons for hair loss and thinning are connected to various medical conditions and should be tackled as soon as possible. Hair loss can be caused by genetics, stress, pregnancy or medical conditions and treatments, such as chemotherapy. Physical and emotional stress, consuming too much vitamin A, a lack of protein, anaemia, alopecia, lupus and dramatic weight loss are other common causes. Ninety per cent of female hair loss is genetic and can only be treated through medication.

PHOTO: i STOCK

How does it happen? The four most common types of female hair loss are: ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA sees hair thin on the top and front of the head and behind the hairline. Usually, hair will stay thick towards the back of the head. This affects a third of women by the time they reach 50. ALOPECIA AREATA is an autoimmune disease, which can

cause baldness and is known to affect about two per cent of the population. In many cases, the hair will regrow. TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM is a general shedding of hair from across the entire scalp. This hair loss is only temporary and the hair will usually grow back within six months. EXCESSIVE STYLING Certain methods of hair styling, particularly braiding and weaving, are linked to particular types of hair loss.

How is female hair loss treated? First pay a visit to your GP as hair loss can occasionally be a symptom of a deeper running issue. Minoxidil is the only proven treatment for hereditary female hair loss. Up to 25 per cent of women experience hair regrowth while using the lotion. It’s available over the counter or online, without prescription. Septemberđ2016

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HEALTH

NEWS FROM THE

World of Medicine Spoonful of Medicine Could Be Wrong Dose

Instagram Pics May Make Food Taste Better

When Cornell University researchers asked 195 participants to pour one teaspoon of night-time flu medicine into kitchen spoons of different sizes, they poured an average of 8 per cent too little (using midsize spoons) or 12 per cent too much (using large spoons). Repeat dosing mistakes may make medicine ineffective or even dangerous. Always use a measuring cap, a dropper or a dosing spoon.

Baffled by diners who take snapshots of their food? They may experience a tastier meal than you. In a series of three studies published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing, researchers found that photographing food before eating it results in more favourable evaluations of the meal. A momentary delay allows your senses to be engaged in the food as the anticipation builds.

A high-rise abode could raise the risk of death due to cardiac arrest, according to an analysis of 8216 emergency calls in Canada. According to the study, people were more likely to survive cardiac arrest if they lived below the third floor than above it. Only two of 216 patients above the 16th floor survived, and nobody above the 25th floor lived. One simple reason: first responders are delayed by having to use lifts. Training highrise tenants in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using automated external defibrillators (AEDs) could save lives. 18

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PHOTO: A DAM VOORHES

How Your Address Affects Your Heart


Eight Ways to Get Fitter After Cancer Treatment In the past, doctors advised cancer

patients to rest after treatment, but today, more clinicians and oncologists recommend exercise as a strategy to reduce side effects of treatment, speed recovery and improve overall quality of life. In a comprehensive evidence review by the UK-based McMillan Cancer Support, physical activity after cancer treatment was found to reduce the impact of debilitating side effects, such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, impaired mobility and weight changes.

4. MAKE IT A HABIT Frequency and

consistency are important. 5. AVOID SWIMMING AFTER RADIOTHERAPY It can cause skin

irritation if done too soon afterwards. 6. TRAIN AT A LOW INTENSITY

High-intensity interval training during treatment can depress the immune system. Recommended activities include yoga, pilates and walking. 7. EXERCISE TO RELIEVE STRESS

A punch bag or boxing gloves and pads are perfect, but don’t overdo it! 8. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY Check with your doctor before embarking on any new exercise or fitness regime.

Tips for exercising after cancer therapy During the months following cancer treatment gradually start to become more active. 1. FIND AN ACTIVITY YOU ENJOY

A yoga class or a relaxing walk in the park works wonders. 2. DO RESISTANCE WORK Easy exercises such as bicep curls, squats and lunges will have a positive impact. PHOTO: i STOCK

3. BECOME PHYSICALLY ACTIVE

Start with low-intensity exercise, such as easy walking, or even housework for 150 minutes weekly. Build this up to a moderate intensity (60–70 per cent of maximum heart rate). Septemberđ2016

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HEALTH

Take Five Minutes A few minutes a day is all it takes to boost your health

GET ACTIVE You can combat ‘sitting disease’ and still keep up with your favourite television show if you turn ad time into active time. Get up and do chores during the ad breaks. Getting up to put on the laundry, water pot plants, empty rubbish bins, gather dirty dishes or wipe benchtops can add around 20 minutes of activity during an hour-long show. FIRST WARM UP Warm-up exercises are a valuable part of any work-out. If you don’t warm up suiciently, you risk damaging your muscles as well as the junctions between muscles and tendons and between tendons and bones. Spend five minutes gently stretching your muscles before you start exercising. 20

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QUICK MASSAGE If osteoarthritis of the spine is causing you grief, find a tennis ball and sit in a straight-backed chair. Place the ball on any sore spots on your back and then lean into the chair. As the ball starts apply pressure to your ack, take ten deep breaths and then relax. Repeat the exercise es. IT UP Cut back on salt and flavour your food with health-boosting herbs and spices. Take a few minutes to make your own spice blends such as freshly ground black pepper mixed with grated lemon zest; ground cumin and a shake of chilli flakes; or garlic, pepper, fresh coriander leaves and lemon juice. BANANA POWER If you have trouble sleeping, eat a banana before going to bed. Bananas are a natural source of melatonin, the sleep hormone. They are also an excellent source of tryptophan, a key ingredient in making serotonin, the ‘feel good’ hormone, which helps in relaxation.

P HOTO: ADAM VOORHES

RELAX Have a permanent jigsaw puzzle on the go, on a table, tray or portable roll-up jigsaw mat, which you can turn to for a few minutes as a relaxation aid. Like the current fashion for colouring in, it will act as a creative distraction from overworking your logical, left brain.


PETS

Ways to Keep Your Pooch Safe While You Work BY ELIZABETH HAMES

Pet owners may wish they could cuddle their furry companions all day long, but someone’s got to bring home the kibble. Here are some tips for leaving your four-legged charges on their own at home. TIRE THEM OUT

Some dogs and cats are happy to sleep all day, but puppies and breeds such as border collies and huskies were born to run, says Sarah Pennington, a dog trainer. Try to fit in a vigorous walk – between 30 and 60 minutes – every day before work.

PHOTO: i STOCK

KEEP WATCH, BIG BROTHER STYLE

You can supervise, talk to and play with your pet while at work via your computer or smartphone app. Video chat with your animal over Skype by setting up an account for them and enabling the ‘auto answer’ feature. As long as your home computer is on, your pet’s Skype will always pick up when you call.

PLAY MIND GAMES

Even the most docile pet can howl or gnaw out of boredom or separation anxiety. Put dog biscuits in a feeding toy that has them unlock a puzzle to access their treat. Indoor cats will enjoy the distraction of a toy that taps into their wild instincts, such as a noise-making crinkle ball. CONTAIN, DON’T CRATE

Nature calls for young dogs about every half hour, but resist putting your canine in a crate. Instead, keep them in a safe, chew-free area with access to food, water, toys, their crate and a spot for them to do their business. Septemberđ2016

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FOOD

TIP

Make the night before. Top with berries to serve.

DESSERT

Chilled Berry Cheesecake Preparation 20 minutes Chilling 6 hours Serves 12

1 Lightly grease a 20 cm spring-form cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

Q125 g plain biscuits

2 Place biscuits in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Add the butter and process until combined. Transfer the biscuit mixture to the cake tin and use the back of a spoon to press it over the base of the tin. Refrigerate while making the filling.

Q3 tablespoons melted butter Q4 teaspoons powdered gelatine Q2 cups (500 g) cream cheese, at room temperature, chopped Q1 cup (230 g) caster sugar Q2 teaspoons vanilla extract Q600 ml thickened cream Q500 g fresh blueberries or raspberries, or a combination QMint leaves, to serve

3 Pour 4 tablespoons boiling water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatine over. When it has softened, whisk with a fork until dissolved. Allow to cool. 4 Using electric beaters, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Add the cream and the gelatine mixture and beat briefly to t combin bine. Pour over the biscuit base and top w with half the fresh berries. erate for 6 hours or overnight, 5 Refrige until firrm. Scatter over remaining berries and garnish with mint ves. Serve sprinkled with leav icin ng sugar, if desired.

PER SERVING 2080 kJ, 497 kcal, 7 g protein, 38 g fat, (25 g saturated fat), 34 g carbohydrate (29 g sugars), 1 g fibre, 248 mg sodium

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TIME SAVER

Barbecuess Barbecues are a great way to celebrate family get-togethers and special occasions

Skewers are quick and versatile. Try beef, lamb, chicken, prawns or vegetables.

Become a guru of the grill with the e following range of useful barbecue tools and accessories. TONGS Long-handled tongs are an essential tool for every barbecue cook. FORKS A fork’s tines are ideal for piercing and turning over food without the risk of shredding it. SKEWERS Stainless steel or cast iron skewers are available in a variety of lengths. Skewers made of wood or bamboo need to be soaked before ooking in order to prevent from burning. Use the stems of rosemary or lemongrass to impart aroma and flavour. ITTS AND APRONS

hoose flame-retardant aterials to protect your ngers, arms and othes. CRAPERS AND GRILL BRUSHES Switch of

the barbecue and always remove food

BEEF AND VEGETABLE SKEWERS Prepar 15 minut Cookin 10 minu

4 (makes

Q 16 sm ll Swiss brown ms Q 300 g rump steak, cut into thin strips Q 4 spring onions, cut into short lengths Q 16 red cherry tomatoes Q 16 fresh bay leaves Q 6 asparagus spears 1 Preheat barbecue. If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes. Thread the ingredients onto the skewers. 2 To prepare a dressing, put 1 tablespoon each of olive oil, wholegrain mustard, balsamic vinegar and chopped fresh rosemary in a bowl, add 1 teaspoon maple syrup, and then whisk to combine. 3 Brush the dressing over the skewers and cook over medium–high heat for 10 minutes, until tender, turning several times to ensure they cook evenly. 4 Serve hot with a green salad.

MAKE YOUR OWN BARBECUE SAUCE Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan, cook 1 finely chopped onion 4–5 minutes over low heat, until softened. Stir in 410 g can chopped tomatoes, 3 crushed cloves garlic, 1 tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup, 3 tbsp brown malt vinegar, 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce and 1 tbsp tomato purée to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, until thickened. Allow to cool slightly; whizz with a stick blender for a few seconds. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to one week. Use as a baste or serve on the side. Makes 3 cups. Septemberđ2016

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HOME

Plumbing Emergency Fixes Knowing what to do when an emergency hits can help reduce water damage to your home CUT THE WATER SUPPLY To quickly stop water flooding out of a broken pipe, shut off the main water valve. A DEADLY DOUBLE ACT Water and

electricity are a deadly combination. Stay away from leaking or flooded water if there is any likelihood that it has come into contact with an electrical circcuit. i If you can reach h the h switchboard without w touching the water, turn offf the mains switch. STOP A LEAK KING CISTERN

There is usua ally a valve under a toilet’s cistern n. Turn it clockwise until the flow w of water ceases.

THINK BEFORE YOU PUMP Plug an

electric pump into a socket protected by a safety switch, if possible. Don’t use a petrol- or diesel-driven water pump inside, as it will release hazardous fumes that will build up. MAKE A DAM When a washing

machine or dishwasher overflows, b build ild a dam d aaround the spillage with beach towels or other large absorbent materials. This will confine the water temporarrily, limiting damage and making it easier to mop up.

Wear rubber boots and gloves if the leak is in a drrain line or has beeen contaminated d with sewage. Disinfect oughly an area thoro after it has beeen cleared and allowed a to dry. 24

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smell of sewage s from a fixture in a bathroom, kitchen or laundry may m indicate that he trap of the waste water in th pipe has drried up. Pour some water into tthe floor drain and wait to see if the smell goes you may away. If it doesn’t, d have moree serious problems. Call in a licensed plumber to investigate.

PHOTO: i STOCK

THE NOSE KNOWS A strong PROTECT YO OURSELF


Tips for Growing and Propagating Succulents The beauty of succulents comes in their colours, sculptural quality and varied shapes. Succulents store water in their leaves, stems and roots, making them a good choice for dry areas and shallow, wide containers that hold a number of plants. They include cactus agave, yucca, echeveria and aloe.

Plant the cuttings Plant the leaves

in a moist succulent mix and position in a warm spot. Although there will typically be a small amount of losses, most leaves will grow roots followed by a new plant. These can be potted or planted in the garden.

SUCCULENT CARE

Succulents are generally low maintenance and easy to care for. Indoor Drench plants and allow the soil to dry before watering again. The preferred growing medium is a light, fast-draining potting mix. Outdoor Most succulents enjoy full sun to light shade. Some change colour in the sun and with the seasons. Brown, scabby spots mean the plants are getting too much sun.

PHOTO: i STOCK

CUTTINGS FROM SUCCULENTS Harvest the cuttings Remove

some healthy leaves by gently pulling downwards. Put the mature plant back into fresh potting mix when finished. Put the leaves on a board for a week to dry. Septemberđ2016

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TRAVEL

The Real-life Locations of Downton Abbey

BY KAT TA N COCK

Welcome to Downton Abbey’s real-life alter ego (pictured below). Wander through the noble estate and see where ‘upstairs’ scenes are shot – among others, the bedrooms of the Countess of Grantham, and Lady Edith and Lady Sybil, plus the guest room that housed the ill-fated Turkish diplomat and sex god. Tour the castle’s extensive grounds, the site of many intense walk-and-talks and one particularly awkward garden party. VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM, LONDON Downton Abbey is worth

watching for the fashion alone. History is told through shifting hemlines as the costumes move from Edwardian formal wear to the austerity of wartime, towards

the free-wheeling frocks of the 20s. Check out the best fashion from Downton Abbey’s eras at the V&A. BAMPTON VILLAGE, OXFORDSHIRE

Half an hour from Oxford, historical Bampton stands in for Downton Village, home to the show’s church, post office and hospital. The library doubles as purveyor of walking guides and the obligatory souvenir mugs. WEST WYCOMBE PARK, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

This stately Palladian house plays the role of home of Lady Rosamund, aunt to the Grantham girls and their main confidante. The drawing room has hosted many dramatic scenes.

P HOTO: GETTY IM AGES

HIGHCLERE CASTLE, HAMPSHIRE


How to Acquire Local Knowledge on Your Holiday When you go on holiday it requires making that extra effort to scratch the surface of the place. It’s easy to stick to the tourist trails, but you may miss the chance to get to know a place properly and experience its best.

PHOTO : iSTOCK

ASK HOTEL STAFF If you’re staying

at a hotel, ask the staff. From the best restaurants to visit, to lesser-known local attractions and how to get from A to B, those who work in the area will be well informed. You’re not always guaranteed to get impartial advice: the hotel manager’s brother might Don’t overlook the advice of locals and people working in your hotel

own the restaurant they recommend, but it does give you a starting point. TAKE A COOKING CLASS Want to taste local culture in a new way? Sign up for a cooking class or a culinary tour. Whether it’s mastering the art of gnocchi rolling in an Italian villa or learning to make Vietnamese pho, one of the best travel souvenirs you can bring home is the ability to cook some of the local dishes you enjoyed during your trip. WAN NDER OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

You can discover a lot about an unfaamiliar place by asking locals, but let your own senses guide you, too. Have a wander around the area and m your own impressions – you can form n stumble upon a gem of a cafe, often aurant or shop just a few streets resta awayy from the main tourist throng. GO ON A GUIDED TOUR One of the bestt ways to gain local knowledge is to taake a guided tour with an expert who o knows the area. These can varyy in quality, so do your research orehand to find a tour that provides befo everrything you want to find out. Septemberđ2016

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MONEY

Make Extra Cash by Selling Online seller. Most bidding sites involve setting up an online profile, which is then ranked by other users based on your performance and reputation as a seller and buyer. Things taken into consideration include: Do you dispatch items on time? Are your items as described? The more you play by the site’s rules, the more likely people are to buy from you. WHAT DO YOU HAVE LYING AROUND THE HOUSE? Selling

online can be a great reason to spring-clean. Rather than throwing items away, consider selling online. New items, branded goods, rare commodities or job lots generally sell the best. Research similar items on sites such as eBay, eBid and Gumtree. It’s amazing what people are willing to purchase second-hand. DO YOU HAVE A GOOD TITLE AND DESCRIPTION? When you’re

compiling your description and title, ask yourself, “How will people search for my item?” If you’re selling a Bosch 28

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Do you have patience, time and clutter? They could add up to hard cash

drill, it’s no good using the title “Tool for drilling”. “Brand-new, working Bosch drill” will sell much better. Always be honest, as even when you admit an item is faulty, you’ll be amazed at how many people are still interested. Including the measurements of items where appropriate is also helpful for buyers. A GOOD-QUALITY PHOTOGRAPH IS ALSO VITAL Services such as

eBay will allow you to upload 12 photos free of charge. Taking photos outside can ensure good lighting while a plain background will help your item stand out. Be sure to capture any imperfections so buyers know exactly what they’re getting.

PHOTO: i STOCK

Almost anyone can be an online


JOIN THE CONVERSATION Four great reasons why you should join us online‌ We give away cash and prizes

First look at future issues

Join fun competitions and quizzes

Get a sneak peek at upcoming stories and covers

We give great advice Get regular home, health and food tips from The Digest

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. WI LLI AM ARTHUR WARD

We help you get motivated #QuotableQuotes and #PointstoPonder to get you through the day


PHOTO: ISTOC K

LIFE SKILLS

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Stay calm. Gather your wits. We’re going to get through this together. Here, our experts’ guide to navigating life’s scariest perils and everyday frustrations BY BRAND O N S P E C KTO R

HOW TO SURVIVE.

A Plane Crash The smallest bump feels like an earthquake at 35,000 feet. But plane crash fatalities are low despite highprofile media coverage – and with a few precautions, you can make them a little lower. ■ Forget first class A Popular

Mechanics study of 20 commercial jet crashes with both fatalities and survivors found that passengers seated in the rear cabin (behind the wings) had a 69 per cent chance of survival, compared with just 49 per cent for those in first class. If you fear flying, it’s worth giving up the legroom for peace of mind in the rear cabin.

■ Brace yourself In a 2015 crash

s i mul ati o n, Bo ei n g f o u n d t hat passengers who both wore their seat belts and assumed a brace position (feet flat, head cradled against their knees or the seat in front of them if possible) were likeliest to survive. Seat-belted fliers who did not brace suffered serious head injuries, and those with no seat belts who also didn’t brace died on impact. ■ Don’t dally with the mask During a loss of cabin pressure, the drop in oxygen can knock you unconscious in as little as 20 seconds. Listen to the safety advice of your flight attendants: always secure your oxygen mask before helping others. You can’t help if you can’t breathe. Septemberđ2016

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H OW TO S U RV I V E A N Y T H I N G

HOW TO SURVIVE.

Being Stranded in the Wilderness As longtime editor of many RD survival stories, Beth Dreher learned a lot about how to stay alive in dire circumstances. Here, she gives us her most important how-tos. ■ Find water As the subjects of my stories know too well, you can last only about four days without water. To ward off dehydration, search for animals, birds (especially songbirds), insects (especially honeybees) and green vegetation, all of which can indicate that water is nearby. Rock crevices may also hold small caches of rainwater. ■ Find food You can survive up to three weeks without food, but a growling stomach will set in much sooner. These items are reliably edible: grass, typha (often called cattails or bulrushes), acorns and pine needles. And if forced to eat berries, this rhyme could save your life: “White and yellow, kill a fellow. Purple and blue, good for you.” ■ Brave an animal ambush We’ve all read about bear and shark attacks. But what about other outdoor aggressors? Regardless of species, your best bet is to stand your ground; running can often trigger an animal’s chase mentality, and unless you’re trying to avoid a snake, you’ll likely not run fast enough. 32

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■ Signal a rescuer The subjects of many of my stories are able to attract the attention of rescuers using a reflection or a signal fire or by making a lot of noise. To increase your chances of being discovered, go to an open area on a hilltop, then use a mirror, CD, belt buckle or water bottle to reflect light towards the pilot of a plane or a helicopter overhead. To create white smoke, which is easy for rescuers to see, add green vegetation to your fire. ■ Splint a broken bone The people in the stories I read climb cliffs in remote areas, survive plane crashes, fall hundreds of metres without a parachute – and often break b o n e s. O n e k e y t o their survival? A splint, which can help reduce p a i n , p re v e n t f u r t h e r damage and allow you to move to a safer place. Basic rule of splinting: if you break a bone, immobilise the joints above and below it; if your joint is injured, immobilise the bones above and below it. Either way, first pad the injury with something soft like a shirt or socks; next, lay out something hard, like a tent pole or a sturdy stick, that extends past either side of the injury; finally, tie it all in place with duct tape, strips of clothing or a padded rope from your camping gear. Don’t tie it so tightly that you lose circulation. One injury is enough.


READER’S DIGEST

HOW TO SURVIVE.

A Terrorist Attack

PHOTO: ISTOC K

Following the Paris attacks of November 2015, the BBC surveyed survival experts and came away with some conidence-building advice. ■ Get in the habit of casing the room In the attack on the Bataclan concert hall, a security guard led a group of people to safety through a fire exit left of the stage. But there won’t always be a guard to help. Make a point of identifying emergency exits for yourself. ■ Make yourself smaller “Where there’s cover from sight, there’s cover from gunfire,” advises Ian Reed, a British military instructor and chief executive of the Formative Group security

firm. Hard cover such as a concrete wall is the best option. If there’s no cover available, play dead. ■ ‘Run, hide, tell’ In its report on ‘dynamic lockdowns’, the UK government’s advice is to run if there is a safe route out. If you can’t run, hide. If you escape, immediately tell an official what’s happening. Separate from gathering crowds; always assume there’s going to be a secondary action. ■ Be a team player It’s the most efficient way for a group to evacuate and avoid jams. Social psychologist Chris Cocking says most people are likely to try to help one another even in extreme situations – such as the group of people who cooperated to escape the Bataclan via a skylight.

HOW TO SURVIVE.

HOW TO SURVIVE.

A Lay-of

he Doctor’s Needle

The best thing you can do with your time (besides look for a new job, of course): get moving! According to a happiness study from Canada’s University of Alberta, physical activity increases life satisfaction three times as much as being unemployed reduces it.

If you are among the roughly ten per cent of people who fear a loaded syringe, heed these tips: ■ Fess up Tell your doctor how needles make you feel; she might have you lie down to avert wooziness. ■ Visit your happy place Close your eyes, breathe deeply and listen to your favourite song on noise-cancelling headphones. ■ Chew the fear away A piece of gum or sweet treat provides a distraction from the doc. ■ Skip the coffee Cafeine can make you anxious for up to six hours before your procedure. ■ Request a security blanket According to dentist Mark Burhenne, wearing a weighted blanket like the ones used during X-rays can make you feel safer in the chair.


H OW TO S U RV I V E A N Y T H I N G

HOW TO SURVIVE.

A Divorce “Divorce is always good news, because no good marriage has ever ended in one,” says comedian Louis C.K. This hard truth may not make the emotional process any easier to deal with – but these three actions might. ■ Write the pain away Relief can be as simple as free-writing for 20 minutes a day, four days in a row, says James W. Pennebaker, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas. “Across multiple studies, people who engage in expressive writing report feeling happier and less negative than they felt before,” he writes in his book, Expressive Writing: Words That Heal. Per one study, “those who kept their traumas secret went to physicians

almost 40 per cent more often than those who openly talked about them.” ■ See it through your kids’ eyes In 2014, Gwyneth Paltrow popularised conscious uncoupling as a byword for a positive, amicable divorce. As doctors Habib Sadeghi and Sherry Sami subsequently wrote on Paltrow’s website, “Children are imitators by nature … If we are to raise a more civilised generation, we must model those behaviours during the good and bad times in our relationships.” ■ Launch a project (or a rocket) Like the jilted New Zealand woman who launched her wedding ring into space on a homemade rocket, or the blogger who got a book deal from devising ‘101 uses for my ex-wife’s wedding dress’, you, too, can channel hard feelings into hard work.

HOW TO SURVIVE.

An Earworm It takes only one passing toddler to get ‘It’s a Small World (After All)’ stuck in your head and a whole teeth-gnashing day to get it out. There is a better way to cure what scientists call involuntary musical imagery (aka, the common earworm). In fact, there are two ways: ■ Option one – embrace it. Listen to the song all the way through, at full volume, ideally singing along. The idea is that by confronting your brain with the full version, your earworm will end when the song does. ■ Option two – replace it. Play a diferent song all the way through, at full volume, in an attempt to chase away your earworm with something more forgettable. In one UK study, the most popular ‘cure’ song was the national anthem, ‘God Save the Queen’. Try humming your own national anthem and see if it has the same magical, restorative properties.

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READER’S DIGEST

HOW TO SURVIVE.

An Awkward Conversation Somehow you’re sitting next to the only person at the party you’ve never met, and the mood is definitely uneasy. How do you draw them out? ■ Open with a compliment The other person will feel a wave of positive feelings, and you will be more likely to remember them later as the person with the ‘nice hat’. A win–win encounter. ■ Listen like a hostage negotiator A common creed of hostage negotiators is ‘talk to me’ – because they’re taught to spend 80 per cent of their time listening and only 20 per cent speaking. Draw your subject out by talking about what they want to talk about, nodding and asking follow-up questions along the way. The more you make your subject feel understood, the more they will enjoy the conversation. ■ Have an escape plan The phrases ‘I won’t keep you’ and ‘Give my regards to [mutual acquaintance]’ are your allies. When the conversation reaches a dead end, employ them.

HOW TO SURVIVE.

An Ice Cream Headache A ‘brain freeze’ occurs when nerves in the roof of your mouth tell your brain that it’s too cold; the brain, drama queen that it is, overcompensates by rushing warm blood into your head. How can you tell your big mouth to shut up? ■ Thaw the freeze Replace the cold stimulus with a warm one by filling your mouth with room-temperature water or pressing your tongue against the afflicted area. ■ The key to prevention? Eat slower. As one Canadian doctor found in a study of 145 students from his daughter’s school, kids who gulped down a bowl of ice cream in five seconds or fewer were twice as likely to feel brain freeze as those who took their time.

Remember this: when you’re as red as a beet, make yourself a salad. Freshly cut cucumber cools and soothes the skin, as does the starch from a grated potato or a spritz of apple cider vinegar. Your skin needs vitamins A and D to heal quickly – augment your produce regimen with lots of milk, and find a cool place to veg out.

PHOTO: ISTOC K

HOW TO SURVIVE.

A Sunburn

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NEED TO KNOW

1 BY MIC

Things You Should Know About

Saving Water H

1

Conservation is key. There may be nearly 1,386,000,000 km3 of water on, in and around the Earth, but less than three per cent of it is drinkable.

bath each night, try opting for a shower every second day. One bath requires approximately 75 litres of water; a five-minute shower uses less than half that amount.

2

5

3

6

The water wasted by leaky taps adds up. In a house with three taps that lose only two drops per minute, a total of 730 litres will disappear down the drain each year. Invest in water-saving flow restrictors and aerators. These inexpensive accessories for taps and shower heads add air to the flow, which can cut annual water consumption by up to 50 per cent.

4

You don’t have to go overboard when trying to conserve, says Jacob Tompkins, managing director of UK water-efficiency organisation Waterwise. If you enjoy a relaxing

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Low-flow is the way to go. Lowflush, high-efficiency toilets quickly pay for themselves: a family of four can save more than 80,000 litres from being flushed each year.

Be a smarter gardener. Tompkins recommends installing barrels to capture rainwater, and refraining from hydrating your lawn with a hose. Brown grass doesn’t mean dead grass, so wait for precipitation and don’t leap to turn on the sprinkler.

7

While it’s widely reported that a single cup of coffee requires


Tompkins says. But mass-produced Greek-style yoghurt comes from armies of cows in dairy factories, each of which uses up an estimated ten million litres in its lifetime. It takes 2700 litres of water to make a single cotton T-shirt. So how does one stay fashionable while remaining mindful of their footprint? The answer, Hendriks says, is simple: reduce, reuse, recycle. Instead of buying five cheap tees that will sit in your closet, buy one or two high-quality ones that you’ll wear regularly. And when you’re through with last year’s style, don’t forget to donate.

10

approximately 140 litres of water to cultivate and produce, alarmed coffee-lovers needn’t quit cold turkey. “Don’t stop drinking coffee,” says Tompkins, “but don’t throw it away. That wastefulness is where the problem lies.” According to Elizabeth Hendriks, vice president of freshwater conservation at WWF-Canada, meatless Mondays are a great way to reduce your water footprint. One kilogram of industrially produced beef needs 15,500 litres of water to make it from the farm to the dinner table.

PHOTO: ISTOC K

8

Greek yoghurt may be yummy, but it isn’t always green. “In Greece, where you have goats wandering over an arid environment, Greek yoghurt can be a good way of turning water into scarce protein,”

9

It’s worth it to spring for a dishwasher. Machines bearing a Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) sticker use around half the water of standard models, and save thousands of litres a year compared to hand-washing.

11

Launder wisely. Doing a few full loads of clothes is more efficient than cleaning many small loads and can save the average family 2000 litres of water each month.

12

Bottled drinks are even more wasteful than you think: it takes 1.39 litres to make a one-litre bottle of H2O. A litre of soft drink is no better, requiring over two litres to produce. So ditch the plastic and stick to the tap.

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THE POWER OF ONE

Turning

Fruit Flour into

A chance event on a farm road in tropical North Queensland proved life-changing for one banana farmer THE LATE AFTERNOON sun was hot and low as banana farmer Rob Watkins steeled himself to dump yet another load of bananas at the local tip. It was October 2009, and with demand for the bananas waning, Rob had been dumping between five and eight tonnes a week. As he drove down the farm driveway in his forklift with his cargo of unwanted bananas, out of the corner of his eye Rob noticed a banana lying squashed on the road. “It had already been run over and partially dried from the hot sun,” he says. “As I drove over 38

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it, a small puff of pure white powder burst out.” He stopped the forklift and went over to investigate the banana dust. “It tasted really good and smelt beautiful,” the 32 year old recalls. “The sun was glowing on its partially dried flesh, and it seemed to create this powder naturally.”

Ever the recycler Rob grew up on the 350-hectare cattle, avocado and macadamia property where he lives today, an hour out of Cairns in the town of Walkamin.

P HOTOS COURTESY OF ROB WATKINS

BY KATHY BUCHANAN AND JENNY BYRNE


A dislike of waste led trailblazer Rob Watson to come up with novel uses for his unwanted bananas


T U R N I N G F R U I T I N TO F LO U R

In 2001, Rob and his father Bruce began harvesting Lady Finger bananas. Despite the delicious flavour, Lady Fingers are harder to grow than other varieties, requiring a third more labour than ordinary Cavendish bananas and roughly twice the acreage, due to their height. The pair were undeterred. “We believed the Lady Fingers were a beautiful crop,” he says. Yet, year after year, they – and other local growers – ended up with large quantities of fruit that wasn’t considered fit for the supermarket. Then in 2006 disaster struck – Cyclone Larry hit the Far North coast of Queensland, destroying the Lady Finger banana crops. “It was heartbreaking, and financially disastrous, knowing it would all be thrown out,” says Rob. “I started to wonder if there was something else we could do with this fruit to limit waste.” A few years later, Rob had his eureka moment : his encounter with the banana and its curious white powder.

Packing a punch Rob threw himself into finding out about the nutritional value of Lady Finger bananas. He discovered that green bananas are predominantly resistant starches with a complex mix of vitamins and minerals, and when the green flesh is dried and then milled into flour, all of the goodness of the starch is retained. As Rob has coeliac disease, his energies focused on producing banana flour, which is gluten free. For six 40

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Six months of experimentation led to banana flour. The results were startling

months, he experimented with ways of grinding down dried bananas, first with a hand mill, then later with a power mill he designed himself. The results were startling. In no time, Rob and his wife, Krista, were baking delicious breads, cakes and biscuits. Krista’s banana cake even won first place in the gluten-free section at the Cairns Show. “We only cook with banana flour now and Krista makes amazing banana bread and date loaf. It tastes so good but it doesn’t make you feel bloated or heavy,” adds Rob. Once they began selling the flour – and a range of cakes and biscuits – in his parents’ local café, word soon


READER’S DIGEST

spread and orders began coming in. But larger-scale production – it takes 10 kg of bananas to produce 1 kg of flour – was problematic. Peeling them was time-consuming, and it irked Rob to throw away all that peel. In little time the agricultural trailblazer had devised solutions for both issues: a banana-peeling machine to make the process faster and ergonomically safer, and a surprising new use for all the unwanted skin. He explains: “As the green Lady Finger banana is nutritionally more dense than a Cavendish, I thought, Why not try to see if it was possible to use the juices from the peel and make an extract?” So Rob headed back into the family kitchen, juicing and blending the peel until he got the extract he was after. Then he went outside to his three blue heeler dogs and applied the liquid to infections that had been troubling them. Encouraged by the dogs’ improved skin, Rob then applied the liquid to a nasty third-degree burn on his own hand, again, with remarkable results. “It healed in a week – Krista and I couldn’t believe it!” he says. Fast forward four years and he now has a lucrative Japanese skincare deal to produce a range called Evolve, made in a factory on the farm, while a new production process he’s invented mechanically processes the green bananas into a powder in 25 minutes. With a business grant from the federal government in 2014, Rob’s family company Mt Uncle’s Banana Flour was

able to build a factory a few kilometres from the plantation. It’s a $4.6m enterprise, which will see output increase from 300 kg to 8000 kg of banana flour a week.

Health beneits Today, Rob’s family produces a highquality banana flour that is gluten free. This rich source of resistant starch is important for gut health, and is also high in potassium, magnesium, dietary fibre and vitamin E. The CSIRO, the Australian government’s scientific research body, supports their enthusiasm about banana flour’s health benefits. Says Dr David Topping, CSIRO’s chief research scientist, “We have shown that resistant starch is vital for good gut health and for lowering the risk of serious diseases including colorectal cancer, and we know there’s resistant starch in green banana flour. “In fact the US Army and our own Australian Defence Science and Technology Group are both putting resistant starch powder in ration packs for soldiers, to combat diarrhoea. What we don’t yet know is quite how much is needed to be effective – we will need human trials to confirm this.” Rob believes his experience shows that new and exciting doorways exist to explore within farming and agriculture. “I have been laughed at by some who thought making banana flour was a crazy idea – but I knew this was something I had to do.” Septemberđ2016

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Life’s Like That SEEING THE FUNNY SIDE

SEPT

1952

From the Archives

This surreal submission from September 1952 more than proves the age-old adage: it’s absolutely amazing what human beings can adapt to. My son and his family, who live not too far from the atomic-bomb testing grounds in Nevada, are becoming used to seeing a flash and some minutes later feeling their house rock. One night recently he woke from a sound sleep and asked, “What’s that?” “Oh, go back to sleep,” said his wife. “It’s only an atomic bomb.” My son settled back. “All right. I was afraid one of the kids had fallen out SUBMITTED BY MRS L.F. VAN HAGAN of bed.”

TOAD YOU SO

LIFE SENTENCE

My three-year-old was battling a bad cold, which left him cranky and unwilling to pay attention to me. Exasperated, I commented, “I don’t know what’s happened to your listening skills.” He looked at me and replied, “Mum, I’m pretty sure the frog in my throat stole most of them.”

My mother told me she’d argued with my father. Apparently she had reminded him that when they married all those years ago, he’d said he would spend his whole life trying to make her happy. My father had retorted grumpily, “Yes, but I didn’t expect to live this long.”

SUBMITTED BY AMBER VENNER

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SUBMITTED BY ANNA HAMMETT


The Great Tweet-off: Wildlife edition

TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS [On a plane] Please remain seated until we reach the gate, then feel free to stand hunched over weirdly sideways for about 15 minutes while we do whatever. @ELLOHELL, on Twitter

Other creatures are always a bit mysterious. Here are some unedited tweets that sum up our relationships with other species (even if you hadn’t quite realised it yet). Do storks carry anything else or are they just like obsessed with babies? @AUDIPENNY

Today a six-year-old girl asked me if butterflies are flowers that escaped. @PLANTANDMINERAL

CLOSE SHAVE

On a crowded bus recently, the voice of a six-year-old travelling with his mother rang out loud and clear: “Is our cat a daddy cat or a mummy cat?” “A daddy cat,” the mother replied. “How do we know he’s a daddy cat?” the boy asked. An expectant hush fell over the bus as we listened attentively to see how the mother would handle this one. She was ready for the challenge. “He’s got whiskers, hasn’t he?” she SUBMITTED BY JOE MCCARTHY said.

PHOTOS: iSTOC K

WHAT THE HEART WANTS

I like my men like I like my salads: overdressed and secretly bad for you. COMEDIAN MONICA HEISEY

Some cats are like, “I hate this dumb name you gave me.” But I like the ones that are clearly saying, “FOOLS! COWER BEFORE THE IRE OF WAFFLES!” @TARASHOE “My house sure is quiet. I wish something was here yelling at me 100% of the time.” – Someone right before they get a bird. @HELL_DOE Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. Let’s do it, let’s poop mid-air. @MEGANNEURINGER

My mum was too embarrassed to tell the vet our tortoise was called Voldetort so she s just said d his nam me was Sussan. @SCPHIETAB


HEALTH

Earlier detection and new treatments bring hope to thousands

Fighting

Lung Cancer N

atalie Dubbs, a 23-year-old medical engineer, had the world at her feet. Recently married, she was on holiday with her husband in Japan when she woke up one day feeling something just wasn’t right. Over the next few days she quickly grew more and more unhappy, developed searing headaches and dizziness, and started fighting

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PHOTO: CORBIS

BY HELEN SIGNY


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FIGHTING LUNG CANCER

with her loving husband. Three weeks later, after returning home, she went to her doctor. A hospital admission and a series of scans revealed something she had never imagined could happen to her: she had cancer – a tumour on the brain. It was taking up a quarter of her skull, pressing on her optic nerve and causing the distressing symptoms that were turning her life upside down. Natalie underwent surgery to remove the tumour, but it wasn’t until some days later that a CT scan uncovered the primary tumour: in her lung. The tumour in her brain turned out to be a secondary tumour that had spread from her right lung. Even though she’d never smoked in her life – she hated the smell of cigarettes and no one in her family had smoked, either – she had lung cancer.

SYMPTOMS OF LUNG CANCER Q Shortness of breath and wheezing Q Chest pain Q Cough that can produce bloodstained sputum Or general symptoms that may include: Q Weight loss Q Lethargy Q Loss of appetite. Source: Cancer Council Australia

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Because the tumour in her lung was so close to the heart and aorta, surgery was impossible. Doctors prescribed a gruelling course of radiation while the tumour was sent for genetic profiling. Once the genetic mutation behind her lung cancer was identified, Natalie entered a clinical trial of a promising new anti-cancer drug called brigatinib. LUNG CANCER – the constant black

cloud on the horizon of anyone who has ever had a cigarette – is no longer just the domain of smokers. Younger people who have never smoked are being diagnosed with this deadly disease. And doctors are only just now starting to understand why. More than 12,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in Australia this year – it comprises about 10% of all cancers in this country and nearly 20% of all cancer deaths. Although smoking is behind the vast majority of lung malignancies – 84% in men and 77% in women – exposure to certain substances, including asbestos, radon, hydrocarbons and metals (eg chromium and nickel) can also cause lung cancer, as can genetic mutations – the culprit behind Natalie’s cancer. Genes are more often to blame when the illness strikes younger people, says cancer doctor Malinda Itchins from the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. This sort of lung cancer often presents with neurological symptoms such as


READER’S DIGEST

headaches, vision disturbances or seizures. The good news: genes help determine which treatments work best for each individual. “We are finding that although the smoking prevalence in this part of Australia is decreasing, the incidence of lung cancer isn’t decreasing at the same rate. And we’re seeing many more young, Asian females with the disease,” Itchins says. (Natalie was born in Vietnam.)

as smokers. A large study published in 2011 found that early detection via such screenings resulted in a 20% reduction in lung cancer deaths thanks to quick treatment. In Australia, smokers who go to their doctor with symptoms such as a persistent cough are likely to be sent for an X-ray rather than a CT scan, though trials are underway in this country into the use of CT scans to screen at-risk people. New technology means many

PRECISION OR PERSONALISED CHEMOTHERAPY CAN HELP IN MORE ADVANCED TUMOURS “Now our understanding of what we classify as lung cancer is really changing – we’re identifying gene mutations and abnormal proteins that switch them on to drive tumour cells to replicate, so that means we can find drug therapy to switch off those proteins.” LIKE ANY CANCER, lung cancer is much more treatable when it is detected early, before it’s had a chance to spread, says Dr Brendan Adler, Director of Radiology at Envision Medical Imaging. In recent years, in Europe and the US there’s been a push to screen for early signs with annual low-dose CT scans for those at increased risk, such

low-dose CT scanners expose patients to just one tenth of the radiation of the old scanners – about the same amount as a normal X-ray, says Adler. Screening is important because often, at the early stage, people will have no symptoms at all – yet their cancers are ‘eminently curable.’ Others might have vague symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath or weight loss that can easily be dismissed, especially in smokers who probably cough anyway. It is usually only after cancer has advanced that more troubling symptoms manifest, such as coughing up blood, chest pain, finger ‘clubbing’ (when the tips of the fingers enlarge Septemberđ2016

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and the nails bulge) and wheezing. By then, it can be much harder to treat the lung cancer successfully. While CT scanning isn’t routinely offered to pick up lung cancer in Australia, “if I had a friend who was a heavy smoker, I’d be encouraging them to have a CT scan,” Adler says. SURGERY IS OFTEN a good option

for people who have stage I or II cancers, while a newer, less-invasive type of operation, video-assisted thoracic surgery, allows surgeons to remove diseased tissue with a much smaller incision, reducing trauma and speeding recovery time. Standard chemotherapy drugs and radiation can slow a tumour’s growth, shrink tumours and kill cancer cells. These therapies are often used after surgery to mop up any malignancy that might have been missed and are also typically the first-line treatments used for more advanced tumours when surgery isn’t feasible. However, if the cancer is metastatic, meaning it’s spread to other parts of the body, surgery might not always be the best therapy. But there are numerous treatments today that can prolong life even in people with more advanced cancers. These include immunotherapies, ‘vaccines’ against cancer that stimulate the body’s own immune system to fight off the cancer, as well as drugs that inhibit the way genes mutate to grow cancer cells. New technology 48

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means doctors can more accurately understand each tumour’s unique genetic profile, so that treatments can be targeted exactly, in what is known as ‘personalised medicine’. In other words, when treated in accordance to their specific genomic alterations, they should respond better than with standard chemotherapy and radiation. One of the most promising discoveries in the history of lung cancer is a new cancer vaccine called CimaVax,

THE STAGES OF LUNG CANCER STAGE I Early, isolated in the lung where it originated, has not spread. STAGE II Has spread but not extensively, usually to nearby lymph nodes and possibly to membranes between the lungs or surrounding the heart. STAGE III Has advanced further, and has now spread to lymph nodes on the same side of the chest as the afected lung, as well as other parts of the body. STAGE IV May have spread to both lungs, into the chest and throughout the body, possibly afecting bones and organs such as the brain or liver.


READER’S DIGEST

developed in Cuba and soon to be tested on patients in the US and Europe. CimaVax produces an antibody that latches onto EGF, a naturally occurring growth factor. Once it’s nabbed these molecules, it whisks them off to the liver, where they’re eliminated before cancer cells can use them. Without EGF, “the cancers starve and essentially stop growing,” says Dr Kelvin Lee, the Chair of the Department of Immunology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in New York. In tests of CimaVax on people with aggressive late-stage cancers, for those who responded to the vaccine, the average survival time was 18 months, versus only six for those who didn’t get it or didn’t respond. “The other amazing thing,” says Lee, “is that at five years after they start the therapy, about 20 per cent of the patients who got the vaccine are still alive.” CimaVax also has virtually no toxicity, he says. “It’s just a shot in your arm once a month. “We think the most exciting piece of this is in prevention of lung cancer. The idea, at least initially, would be to

vaccinate people that don’t have lung cancer but we know are at high risk to get it.” Lee will be testing CimaVax on people with lung cancer in clinical trials in the US, once the US Food and Drug Administration gives the go-ahead to proceed. YOU CAN IMPROVE your odds of not getting lung cancer right now. If you smoke, stop. Within ten years of giving up smoking the risk of dying from lung cancer drops by half. But it won’t drop to the levels of someone who’s never smoked. Nonetheless, people with lung cancer who stop smoking live about 50 per cent longer than those who continue to smoke. And, of course, the sooner you get diagnosed and treated, the better your odds. “Cancer can happen to anyone, at any age,” says Natalie Dubbs. “No matter what you’re doing in your life, health has to come first. If you have any symptoms, you need to check them out properly and just look after yourself.”

GRUMBLES AT SEA Disappointed by your holiday? Here are some curious complaints from cruise-ship passengers. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It only took the Americans three hours to get home.” “We had to queue outside with no air conditioning.”

CRUISE.CO.UK

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HEART

The real-life romance that inspired Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz

for the

Love of aLittle Red-Haired Girl BY DARRYN KING

FR O M VA N I T Y FA I R

DONNA JOHNSON WOLD’S HAIR, which was once, in her own words, “violently red”, has long since faded to the white you’d expect of an 87-year-old grandmother.

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P HOTOS: (F RAM E) ISTOCKPHOTO; (PORTRA IT) COURTESY OF THE CHARLES M . S CHULZ MUSEUM AN D RESEARCH CENTER

Charles M. Schulz and Donna Johnson Wold in April 1950


The octogenarian resides in a nursing home in Minneapolis, the city she’s lived in her entire life. Every day, her husband, Al Wold, drives eight kilometres to visit her so the two of them can sit together and reminisce. Some of Johnson Wold’s fondest memories involve a relationship she had with another man more than half a century ago. She still has a few souvenirs of him and that time: a scrawledupon 1950 desk diary, a music box and decades’ worth of Peanuts comics, clipped from the pages of Minneapolis’s Star Tribune, many of which revolve around a pretty redhead. The strips have a special significance for Johnson Wold. At the peak of its popularity, Peanuts was published in 2600 newspapers in 21 languages in 75 countries, and had a readership of 355 million. The strip is the most popular in the history of comic strips, with 17,897 strips published in all. And yet, every now and then, the comic continued a secret romantic correspondence. “It was the story of his life and mine,” Johnson Wold says. In the Peanuts Sunday strip that ran on November 19, 1961, Charlie Brown

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sits down to lunch, accompanied only by his abundant anxieties. He watches longingly as the other children enjoy themselves, laments his loneliness and unpopularity and despairs over his lunch: a peanut-butter sandwich and a banana. Then he glimpses someone. “I’d give anything in the world if that little girl with the red hair would come over and sit with me,” Charlie Brown says, to nobody in particular. For the remainder of the comic strips that Charles M. Schulz drew, Charlie Brown pines for that girl. Like the yanked-away football and the kite-eating tree, the unattainable Little Red-Haired Girl, who shows almost no sign of knowing Charlie Brown exists, became a recurring motif of the character’s misery. Even more profoundly, the girl is never seen. Like Godot, she is permanently offstage in the absurd drama of Peanuts, forever lingering on the sidelines of Charlie Brown’s long, dark lunchtime of the soul. We don’t lay our eyes on her, even as he can’t take his off her. There was, sort of, one exception.

CARTOON : P E A N U T S  © 1998 PEANUTS WORLDWI DE LLC

FOR THE LOVE OF A LITTLE RED-HAIRED GIRL


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On May 25, 1998, the Little RedHaired Girl appears, in silhouette, dancing with Snoopy, the beagle, imagining himself in the role of Jay Gatsby dancing with his Daisy. Charlie Brown looks on, having missed his chance yet again. IN NOVEMBER 2015, the Little Red-

Haired Girl was coaxed from the shadows. Along with the strip’s more familiar faces, she was brought to computer-generated imagery life for The Peanuts Movie. The character plays a crucial and catalysing role in the plot. As the new kid in the neighbourhood, she becomes the gestalt of all the hopes and dreams of Schulz’s immortal, blockheaded hero. Putting the Little Red-Haired Girl onscreen in The Peanuts Movie was not a move taken lightly. “There were many, many days of conversation about this,” says director Steve Martino. “It’s not lost on us that Charles Schulz left her to our imagination.” With the same painstaking care they lavished on the other aesthetic considerations of the project, The Peanuts Movie animators looked to the character’s single silhouetted appearance in Schulz’s 1998 strip. They reproduced the profile precisely, put her in a striking electric-cyan dress and conjured up what Martino deems a ‘special’ hue of red hair: a tomato red that’s distinct from that of the other Peanuts carrot tops, Peppermint Patty and Frieda.

Martino is curious about Schulz’s creative decision to realise her on the page, just the once. “It would be fascinating to know the internal dialogue that he had,” he says. “That was probably a big day for him and an important one in the life of the strip.” Without a doubt, Schulz’s thoughts while creating that strip would have lingered a while on a real little redhaired girl from his past. In 1950, Charles Schulz – or ‘Sparky’, as friends knew him – worked as a teacher at Art Instruction, Inc., in

EVERY DAY AT WORK, SCHULZ PASSED BY THE DESK OF A POPULAR 21-YEAR-OLD IN THE ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT Minneapolis, a school that offered young people classes in cartooning and illustration by correspondence. It was a happy time for the 27-yearold Schulz. As well as earning a generous $32 a week reviewing students’ drawings, he was close to realising his dream of having a daily comic strip; he’d already found some success with a weekly one-panel cartoon called Li’l Folks in his hometown paper. Ever y day, S chulz passed by the desk of Johnson Wold, then a popular 21-year-old in the accounting Septemberđ2016

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department. She had bright red hair. When Johnson Wold arrived at work some mornings, she’d find that Schulz had doodled greetings or cartoons on her desk calendar. Schulz coached the women on the work softball team, the Bureaucats. By her own admission, Johnson Wold signed up just to see more of him. Schulz drove some of the team members home after practice. He always dropped Johnson Wold off last. He asked her out in February. For their first date, he took her to an ice-skating show – the rink happened to be a passion of his. Later, he gave her a piano-shaped music box that played Émile Waldteufel’s ‘Les Patineurs’ (‘The Ice-Skaters’). Johnson Wold, a fastidious diary keeper, wrote on the page for Thursday, March 2, using his initials: “CS. Ice Capades. NICE!!” Every Monday night, Johnson Wold and Schulz left their colleagues at Art Instruction – Charlie Brown, Linus Maurer and Frieda Rich, to name a few – and went out on dates. One regular dinner destination was the Oak Grille, on the 12th floor of Dayton’s department store (which has since become a Macy’s). The restaurant’s still there, in downtown Minneapolis, apparently as romantic as it had been in 1950: dim lighting, dark panelling, a large and luxuriant fireplace. On June 24, 1950, the pair enjoyed an especially memorable rendezvous. In an interview many years later, 54

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Schulz described it as “just one of those rare days that happens in life now and then.” The couple drove to picturesque Taylors Falls and made pancakes in a skillet over an open fire with batter Johnson Wold had brought along in a jar. Back in St. Paul that evening, they saw My Foolish Heart at the Highland Theater. As Johnson Wold recalled in the 2007 American Masters episode about Schulz, it was freezing in the theatre, so Schulz put his arm around her. “We sat in the back row and… I

JOHNSON WOLD SAYS SHE ASKED SCHULZ TO ELOPE ONCE: “HE SAID HE COULDN’T DO THAT TO MY MOTHER” suppose in those days we called it, ‘necked’,” she said. By the time Johnson Wold returned home that evening, her mother thought they had eloped. Actually, the notion had crossed Johnson Wold’s mind. “I asked him to elope with me once,” she says. “He said he couldn’t do that to my mother.” Years later, Schulz said he came to regret that gentlemanliness and that hearing the title tune from My Foolish Heart – which contains the lyrics


READER’S DIGEST

“For this time it isn’t fascination, or a dream that will fade and fall apart” – would break his own.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE CHARLES M. SCHULZ M US EUM AND RESEARCH CE NTE R

JOHNSON WOLD had another suitor.

For a couple of years, she’d been casually seeing Al Wold, who’d attended junior high with her and shared many of the same friends. Even their hair colour was the same. But the relationship wasn’t serious until Schulz’s intense interest forced Al to evaluate his own intentions. For his part, Schulz had expressed his wish to marry Johnson Wold as early as their third date. “I wish I had a diamond ring in my pocket. I’d give it to you,” she remembers him saying. For Johnson Wold, the obvious amorous attentions of Schulz and Al presented a genuine dilemma. She loved them both. In May, she wrote in her diary, “How will you ever decide?” In June, Schulz travelled to New York City with some sample cartoons to meet with the United Feature Syndicate. He wrote to Johnson Wold, “If the test of absence is the best test, I am more sure than ever. Last night I kept thinking of you.” Schulz returned to Minneapolis in high spirits, having signed a fiveyear contract for the strip that would become Peanuts. At about 10.30 that evening, he went to Johnson Wold’s to share the news and propose again. He didn’t require an answer straight away. Instead, he presented her with a statue of a curled-up white cat. He

More than six decades later, Johnson Wold still cherishes memories of Schulz

told her to keep it in her drawer at work until she had finally made up her mind to marry him, at which point she should place it on his desk. Al himself popped the question a couple of weeks later. Another couple of weeks after that, Johnson Wold told Schulz she’d chosen Al. Over the years, several explanations have been offered for Johnson Wold’s choice. Schulz would insist that Johnson Wold’s mother had it in for him, but today, both Johnson Wold and Al conclude that, while her courtship with Schulz was romantic, Al was the natural fit. “It just seemed like we were more compatible,” Johnson Wold says. Still, Johnson Wold has never forgotten the night she broke the news to Schulz, giving her clearest Septemberđ2016

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recount of events back in Good Grief, the 1989 biography of Schulz: “I was home sewing… we sat outside on the back steps for a long time. He drove away. I went inside and cried. He came back about 30 minutes later and said, ‘I thought maybe you changed your mind.’ It was close!” Donna Mae Johnson quit her job and – just 19 days after the first Peanuts strip ran in seven daily newspapers, setting Schulz on a new trajectory of his own – married Al

JOHNSON WOLD READ PEANUTS EVERY DAY. SHE GUESSED “RIGHT OFF THE BAT” THAT THE UNNAMED REDHEAD WAS INSPIRED BY HER Wold at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on October 21, 1950. “I can think of no more emotionally damaging loss than to be turned down by someone whom you love very much,” Schulz would comment years later. “It is a blow to everything that you are.” It’s easy to suspect a connection between Schulz’s devastation and a series of Peanuts strips in 1969, when Charlie Brown realises that the Little Red-Haired Girl is moving away. “Why is my whole life suddenly 56

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passing in front of my eyes?!” he agonises. “I thought I had plenty of time… I thought I could wait until the sixth-grade swim party or the seventh-grade class party… or I thought I could ask her to the senior prom or lots of other things when we got older, but now she’s moving away and it’s too late! It’s too late!” JOHNSON WOLD read Peanuts every

day – she still does – and guessed “right off the bat” that the unnamed redhead was inspired by her. She also started noticing what appeared to be meaningful references and inside jokes. Once, back in 1950, Schulz picked Johnson Wold up in his father’s car. She climbed in and locked the driver’s seat door, playfully shutting Schulz out; in the strip of Sunday, June 13, 1971, Charlie Brown describes exactly that scenario as his idea of what love must be. “It was like reading an old love letter,” Johnson Wold has said. “It was so very nice to be remembered.” Schulz had doted on others, too. David Michaelis’s 2007 biography of the cartoonist, Schulz and Peanuts, mentions several women that the young Schulz, for example, had only been able to admire intensely from afar. Clearly, though, there was nothing else in Schulz’s strip quite like the cherished handling of the Little Red-Haired Girl. The real-life inspiration for the Little Red-Haired Girl was publicly


READER’S DIGEST

discussed in 1989’s G ood Grief, where Schulz also explained his intention, at the time, to preserve the preciousness of the character by never depicting her in the strip. “He said it was so every man could consider the little red-haired girl in his life,” Johnson Wold says. “Someone he knew and loved and didn’t have.” BEYOND THE GENTLE significances

embedded in Peanuts, Schulz and Johnson Wold also stayed in touch in more conventional ways. There were friendly phone calls, letters and visits. During their reunions, Schulz said, it felt like no time had passed and nothing had changed. “I was happy to see him, and he was happy to see me, too,” Johnson Wold says. The friendship between Johnson Wold and Schulz never interfered with Johnson Wold’s marriage to Al

– which, along with Peanuts, last year celebrated its 65th anniversary – or either of Schulz’s marriages. A tremor crept into Schulz’s elegant pen line during the strip’s final years, but he only retired Peanuts in late 1999 after being diagnosed with cancer. He was 77 years old when he died in his sleep on February 12, 2000, less than a week after his last telephone conversation with Johnson Wold. The final original Peanuts strip ran the following day. Over the years, Johnson Wold has turned down many offers from Peanuts collectors, preferring to hold on to her mementoes of Schulz. The cartoon about those long-ago car-locking shenanigans is one of a number of strips that are still on prominent display in the Wolds’ twobedroom apartment. She kept the cat statue, too.

VANITY FAIR (NOVEMBER 2015) © BY CONDÉ NAST. VANITYFAIR.COM

NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS NAME Some books have achieved near-iconic status, but would they have been so memorable with their original titles? The Last Man In Europe isn’t nearly as catchy as what later became George Orwell’s magnum opus: Nineteen Eighty-Four. Roald Dahl changed James and the Giant Cherry to James and the Giant Peach. Strangers from Within was rejected six times before it was renamed Lord of the Flies. MENTALFLOSS.COM

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DRAMA IN REAL LIFE

Alone with a toolbox 563 kilometres above Earth, astronaut Michael Massimino describes the almost impossible task he has to face


Michael Massimino repairing the Hubble Space Telescope with Earth’s curvature glowing in the background


E I G H T H O U R S AT T H E E D G E O F D A R K N E S S

N 1984, I WENT TO SEE the movie he Right Stuf. And a couple of things really struck me in that movie. he irst was the view out the window of John Glenn’s spaceship – the view of Earth, how beautiful it was on the big screen. I wanted to see that view. And secondly, the camaraderie among the original seven astronauts depicted in that movie – how they were good friends, how they stuck up for one another, how they would never let one another down. I wanted to be part of an organisation like that.

I

And it rekindled a boyhood dream that had become dormant over the years. That dream was to be an astronaut. And I just could not ignore this dream. I had to pursue it. So I was lucky enough to get accepted to MIT. While I was at MIT, I applied to NASA to become an astronaut. I filled out my application, and I received a letter that said they weren’t quite interested. So I waited a couple of years, and I sent in another application. They sent me back pretty much the same letter. So I applied a third time, and this time I got an interview, so they got to know who I was. And then they told me “no”. So I applied a fourth time. And on April 22, 1996, I picked up the phone, and it was Dave Leestma, the head of flight-crew operations at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. He said, “Hey, Mike. How you doing this morning?” I said, “I really don’t know, Dave. You’re gonna have to tell me.” And Leestma said, “Well, I think you’re gonna be pretty good after this phone call ’cause we wanna make you an astronaut.” 60

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Thirteen years after that, I’m on the space shuttle Atlantis, about to do a space walk on the Hubble Space Telescope. And our task that day was to repair an instrument called a spectrograph that had failed. Scientists used this instrument to detect the atmospheres of far-off planets. Planets in other solar systems could be analysed using this spectrograph to see if we might find one that was Earth-like or could support life. The power supply on this instrument had failed, so it could no longer be used. There was no way really to replace this unit or to repair the instrument, because when they launched this thing, it was sealed up with an access panel that blocked the power supply that had failed. This access panel had 117 small screws with washers, and just to play it safe, they had put glue on the screw threads so they would never come apart. But we really wanted the Hubble’s capability back, so we started working. And for five years, we designed a space walk. We designed over 100 new space tools to be used – at great


ALL P HOTOS: COURTESY NASA

Massimino waves to crewmates from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Columbia

taxpayers’ expense, millions of dollars; thousands of people worked on this. And my buddy Mike Good (whom we call Bueno) – he and I were gonna do this space walk. I was gonna be the guy actually doing the repair. Inside was Drew Feustel, one of my best friends. He was gonna read me the checklist. We had practiced this for years. They built us our own practice instrument and gave us our own set of tools so we could practice in our office, in our free time, during lunch, after work, on the weekends. We became like one mind. We had our own language. Now was the day to go out and do this task. The thing I was most worried about when leaving the air lock that day was my path to get to the telescope, because it was along the side of the space shuttle. If you look over the

edge of the shuttle, it’s like looking over a cliff, with 560 kilometres to go down to the planet. There are no good handrails. And I’m kind of a big goon. And when there’s no gravity, you could go spinning off into space. I knew I had a safety tether that would probably hold, but I also had a heart that I wasn’t so sure about. I knew they would get me back; I just wasn’t sure what they would get back on the end of the tether when they reeled me in. I was really concerned about this. I took my time, and I got through the treacherous path to the telescope. The first thing I had to do was to remove from the telescope a handrail that was blocking the access panel. There were two screws on the top, and they came out easily. There was one screw on the bottom right, Septemberđ2016

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and that came out easily. The fourth help me. And then I actually looked screw wasn’t moving. My tool was at Earth; I looked at our planet, and moving, but the screw was not. I look I thought, There are billions of people closely, and it’s stripped. I realise that down there, but there’s no way I’m that handrail’s not coming off, which gonna get a house call on this one. means I can’t get to the access panel No-one can help me. with these 117 screws that I’ve been I felt this deep loneliness. And it worrying about for five years, which wasn’t just a ‘Saturday afternoon with means I can’t get to the power supply a book’ alone. I felt … detached from that failed, which means Earth. I felt that I was by we’re not gonna be able myself, and everything to fix this instrument that I knew and loved today, which means all and that made me feel I LOOKED these smart scientists comfortable was far AT EARTH AND can’t find life on other away. And then it started THOUGHT, planets. getting dark and cold. THERE ARE I’m to blame for this. Because we travel BILLIONS OF And I could see what 28,000 kilometres an PEOPLE DOWN hour, 90 minutes is a they would be saying THERE, BUT NO- single lap around Earth. in the science books ONE CAN HELP of the future. This was So it’s 45 minutes of ME UP HERE gonna be my legacy. My sunlight and 45 minutes of darkness. And when children and my grandyou enter the darkness, children would read in it is not just darkness. It’s the darkest their classrooms: “We would know if there was life on black I have ever experienced. It’s the other planets … but Gabby and Dan- complete absence of light. It gets cold, iel’s dad broke the Hubble Space Tel- and I could feel that coldness, and I could sense the darkness coming. And escope, and we’ll never know.” Through this nightmare that had it just added to my loneliness. For the next hour or so, we tried all just begun, I looked at my buddy Bueno, next to me in his space suit, kinds of things, and nothing worked. and he was there to assist in the repair And then they called up and said they but could not take over my role. It wanted me to go to the front of the was my job to fix this thing. I turned shuttle to get a toolbox, vise grips and and looked into the cabin where my tape. I thought, We are running out of five crewmates were, and I realised ideas. I didn’t even know we had tape. nobody in there had a space suit on. I’m gonna be the first astronaut to use They couldn’t come out here and tape on a space walk. 62

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READER’S DIGEST

UT I GOT TO THE FRONT of the space shuttle, and I opened up the toolbox, and there was the tape. At that point, I was very close to the front of the orbiter, right by the cabin window, and I knew that my best pal was in there, trying to help me out. I could not even stand to think of looking at him, because I felt so bad about the way this day was going, with all the work he and I had put in. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see he’s trying to get my attention. And I look up at him, and he’s just cracking up, smiling and giving me the OK sign. And I’m like, Is there another space walk going on out here? I can’t talk to him, because if I say anything, Houston will hear. You know, the control centre. So I’m playing charades with him, like, What are you, nuts? And I didn’t wanna look, because I thought he was gonna give me the finger because he’s gonna go down in the history books with me. But he’s saying, No, we’re OK. We’re gonna make it through this. We’re in this together. You’re doing great. Just hang in there. If there was ever a time in my life that I needed a friend, it was at that moment. And there was my buddy, just like I saw in that movie, the camaraderie of those guys sticking together. I didn’t believe him at all. I figured that we were outta luck. But I thought, At least if I’m going down, I’m going down with my best pal. And as I turned to make my way back over the treacherous path one

B

more time, Houston called up and told us what they had in mind. They wanted me to use that tape to tape the bottom of the handrail and then see if I could yank it off the telescope. They said it was gonna take about 60 pounds (27 kg) of force. And Drew answers the call, and he goes to me, “Sixty pounds of force? Mass, I think you got that in you. What do you think?” And I’m like, “You bet, Drew. Let’s go get this thing.” And Drew’s like, “Go!” And bam! That thing comes right off. I pull out my power tool, and now I’ve got that access panel with those 117 screws with their washers and glue, and I’m ready to get them. And I pull the trigger on my power tool, and nothing happens. And I see that the battery is dead. I turn my head to look at Bueno, who’s in his space suit, looking at me like, What else can happen today? And I said, “Drew, the battery’s dead in this thing. I’m gonna go back to the air lock, and we’re gonna swap out the battery, and I’m gonna recharge my oxygen tank.” I was getting low on oxygen; I needed to get a refill. He said, “Go.” And I was going back over the shuttle, and I noticed two things. One was that the treacherous path that I was so scaredy-cat-sissy -pants about going over – it wasn’t scary any more. That in the course of those couple of hours of fighting this problem, I had gone up and down that thing about 20 times, and my fear had Septemberđ2016

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gone away because there was no time to be a scaredy-cat; it was time to get the job done. What we were doing was more important than me being worried, and it was actually kinda fun going across that little jungle gym, back and forth over the shuttle. The other thing I noticed was that I could feel the warmth of the sun. We were about to come into a day pass. And the light in space is the brightest, whitest, purest light I have ever experienced, and it brings warmth. I could feel that coming, and I actually started feeling optimistic. Sure enough, the rest of the walk went well. We got all those screws out, a new power supply in, screwed it down. They tried it; turned it on from the ground. The instrument had come back to life. And at the end of that space walk, after about eight hours, my commander says, “Hey, Mass, you know, you’ve got about 15 minutes before Bueno’s gonna be ready to come in. Why don’t you go outside the air lock and enjoy the view?” So I go outside, clip my tether on a handrail, let go, and just look. And Earth – from our altitude we are

560 kilometres up. We can see the curvature. We can see the roundness of our home, our home planet. It’s the most magnificent thing I’ve ever seen. It’s like looking into heaven. And I thought, This is the view that I imagined in that movie theatre all those years ago. As I looked at Earth, I also noticed that I could turn my head, and I could see the moon and the stars and the Milky Way galaxy. I could see our universe. I could turn back and see our beautiful planet. And that moment changed my relationship with Earth. Because for me, Earth had always been a kind of safe haven where I could go to work or be in my home or take my kids to school. But I realised it really wasn’t that. It really is its own spaceship. And I had always been a space traveller. All of us here today, we’re on this spaceship Earth, among all the chaos of the universe, whipping around the sun and the Milky Way galaxy. Michael Massimino, PhD, is a veteran of two NASA spaceflights, in March 2002 and May 2009. He serves as executive director of the Rice Space Institute in addition to his responsibilities in NASA’s Astronaut Office.

COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR, WHOSE FORTHCOMING BOOK, SPACEMAN, WILL BE PUBLISHED BY CROWN ARCHETYPE IN OCTOBER 2016.

THE SECRET LIFE OF WORDS Have you ever been told not to run in corridors? Well, the word corridor evolved from Latin currere ‘to run’ and actually means ‘running place’. The modern sense of ‘a long passage in a building’ dates from the early 19th century. BLOG.OXFORDDICTIONARIES.COM 64

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Laughter THE BEST MEDICINE

CADDY SMACK

A golfer was 30 over par by the seventh hole, had lost three golf balls in the water hazard and hit the bunker every single hole, when his caddy coughed during a 30 cm putt. The golfer erupted. “You must be the worst caddy in the world!” he screamed. “I doubt it,” replied the caddy. “That would be too much of a coincidence.” Seen online

“May we offer a complimentary early wake-up call?”

CARTOON : M ARY N ADLER

LITERARILY THE WORST

If you’re a fan of lousy literature, you’re in luck: here are two intentionally bad first lines of nonexistent novels: Q As he caressed her hair, cheek, forehead, chin, collarbone, shoulder, upper arm and stomach, she knew that her decision to take Octoman as a lover was the correct one. L.C. Q If Vicky Walters had known that ordering an extra shot of espresso in her grande non-fat sugar-free one pump raspberry syrup two pumps vanilla syrup soy latte that Wednesday would lead to her death and subsequent rebirth as a vampire, she probably would have at least gotten whipped cream. M.C. Source: From the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

OLD BUT ALWAYS FUNNY

Two cows are standing in a field. One says to the other, “Are you worried about this mad cow disease?” The other replies, “No, it doesn’t affect us helicopters.” SUBMITTED BY E.J. COX LOLCATZ

I bet ancient Egyptians were like, “Yo, nobody in history will ever worship and revere cats like we do.” And then came the internet. @DSCHNOEB, on Twitter HE TORTOISE A LESSON

I went into a bookshop and asked the woman for a book about turtles. “Hardback?” she asked. “Yeah,” I said. “And little heads.” COMEDIAN MARK SIMMONS

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BY ROSE SHEPHARD

Spiritual sustenance, a social hobby and a great mind–body workout – here’s why bell-ringing chimes with thousands

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ILLUSTRATIONS BY KATE MILLER

INSPIRE


T H E J OY O F B E L L S

FORGET IRON MAIDEN. FORGET BLACK SABBATH: bells are the

world’s loudest musical instruments. hey have an audience of millions, can weigh as much as an elephant, and the people who ring them have the best time. “Look to!” calls Belinda. “Treble’s going. She’s gone.” hen above our heads the sound cascades, as church bells send bronze shudders out into the night. It’s a Tuesday practice session in the – showing me how to give the rope a ringing room at mediaeval St Laurence- firm tug, then to clasp my hands to the in-Thanet, the oldest church in sally [woolly handgrip], or where I Ramsgate, south-east England. To get think the sally will be – I keep muffing to the bell tower we cross a roof valley the catch. It might be child’s play, but between chancel and north aisle, I’m no child. Still, when I hear a ducking in through a vaulted hobbit sonorous dong in the belfry, I feel a door. The small, slightly scruffy space thrill of pride. I did that! has the ethos of a clubhouse, the walls plastered with photos, notices and IF YOU KNOW your Plain Bob Minors memorabilia. But at the from your Grandsire centre, in a circle, ten Doubles, then you may ropes hang to the floor. be one of the 40,000 Tower captain Fred initiates across the Parker, whose day job i British Isles who have in insurance, has suc discovered the joys of enthusiasm for bellchange ringing, where ringing that she’d inspir music is made by anyone to give it a go. I ringing tuned bells in sounds straightforward. varying orders. The bell starts ‘mouth u The tradition dates held in place by a timber from the 17th century, Forget stay. When you start to when the bells surviving the stereotype of the Dissolution of the ring, the bell does two revolutions, beginning Monasteries began to middle-aged with one way (a church stalwarts be rehung in churches ‘handstroke’), then the with new ringing piously hauling technology. other (‘backstroke’). away But when Freda urges “The ringing isle,” m e t o t r y i t my s e l f Handel called Britain 68

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LEFT PHOTO: STEP HEN BARKER

when he settled here in St Stephen’s Church worried about those bingo 1712, for nowhere else will in Canterbury (above wings, consider taking up left); ringing runs in ringing. you hear the like. Ruth Niblett’s family Forget the stereotype of To cause a bell to ring (above right) middle-aged, middle-class precisely when you want it church stalwarts, piously to demands concentration. You can see it in the bell ringers’ faces, hauling away. In fact, ringers come i n t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n s o f r a p t from all backgrounds and age groups, engrossment. This is a great brain– ranging from around ten years old, body workout. Ringing gets all the through teens and 20s, to their 90s. synapses firing, it improves balance, You don’t even have to be a worshipper agility, co-ordination and cognitive to ring. “Ringers are the most skills. Reaching up tones the core welcoming people,” Freda laughs. “If abdominals and glutes. The downward you turn up at a tower and say, ‘I’m a pull also works the biceps, quads and ringer,’ they say, ‘Great! What can you calves. So, advises Freda, if you’re ring?’” Septemberđ2016

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THERE’S CO-OPERATION and goodnatured rivalry between neighbouring churches. At St Stephen’s, Hackington, near Canterbury, tower captain Adam Redgwell shows off a cup presented to his band at an annual six-bell callchange competition. Adam was an inspector with the Metropolitan Police before starting a gardening business. He loves the teamwork in ringing, as he loved it in the force. And he loves, too, the bells themselves, magnificent artefacts, beautifully crafted, steeped in superstition. 70

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St Laurence-in-Thanet; (below) many church bells are centuries old

Many bells have dedicated names. They are the “voice of the past”, as the poet Longfellow wrote, often centuries old. The bells of St Lawrence, Ipswich, cast in the mid-1440s, would have been heard by Thomas Wolsey, long before

P HOTOS BY REVEREND ANDREW JACOBSON

Recreation, avocation, antidote to stress, a chance to learn and to serve, hobby or life-long journey… ringing has so many benefits. When you join a band of ringers you enter an extended community with its own representative body, The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR), and weekly journal, The Ringing World. You have a passport to any tower in the UK where changes are rung, and in those parts of the world to which Englishstyle ringing has spread. Ringers show up with alacrity, not just for Sunday services, but for Christmas, New Year, weddings and funerals (“Any excuse”, says Freda). There was plenty of exuberant clangour for the Queen’s 90th birthday last May, and again for her official birthday in June. Church attendance may be falling, but no way are this lot tolling the knell of passing day.


READER’S DIGEST

he became, at his peril, a cardinal and first minister to Henry VIII. Among Adam’s team tonight are James Futcher, 13, veterans Donald and Ruth Niblett, and ‘M’, a researcher in his early 40s, who’s steeple keeper not just here but at Canterbury Cathedral and nearby St Dunstan’s. M extols the social side of ringing. “When I moved to Canterbury,” he says, “I knew no one except my other half.” Then he joined the ringers and “within a fortnight I had 30 friends”. Once upon a time, bell ringers were paid in beer. Today they do it for love, and customarily reward themselves afterwards with a visit to the local pub. Extramural activities might include a barbecue or a visit to Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The St Stephen’s summer outing takes in visits to four or five towers, with lunch along the way. James and Ruth, sitting together companionably, watch and listen with absorption. When James gets up for a spot of solo bell handling, there is general delight at his progress. He’s been ringing for only five months, but children learn fast. Older beginners take longer, though everyone gets it eventually. “A former work colleague learned when she was 60,” says Ruth. “She rang until she was 90, so we got 30 years of ringing out of her.” Ringing runs in families. James caught the bug from his grandfather, an accomplished ringer in Worthing. The Nibletts’ two children, and two of their grandchildren, ring as well.

Donald first took up ringing at 13, soon after the Second World War, following the example of his older brother, who’d joined the ranks of ringers at a Gloucestershire village after a wartime ban on ringing church bells was lifted on Easter Sunday, 1943. Ruth started, by comparison, “a bit late”, and was taught by her brothers. Then one of them went up to Oxford and got to know Donald through the university ringers. “So I had heard of him long before I met him,” she says. “That was when I went to work in Oxford. I’m a physiotherapist. My posture nowadays is bad because I have osteoporosis, but I always feel better after ringing. It really improves your upper-body strength. I say to people, why go off to a gymnasium when you can do this for free?” There are some who are even calling for bell-ringing to be classified as a national sport, though the CCCBR opposes the idea as it doesn’t want to compromise its relationship with church bodies. WHILE SOME RINGERS are content to have basic skills, others become hugely proficient. James, like his grandad, will go far. A former chorister at the cathedral, he plans to be a freelance musician. I ask, is there one particular tower where he’d like to ring? “Liverpool Cathedral,” he replies promptly. “It’s really, really weird. It’s so high, you go up in a lift and you stand on a bench round a sandpit.” Septemberđ2016

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Indeed, the belfry at Liverpool houses the highest and heaviest ringing peal in the world. In 2008, its array of giants bonged out John Lennon’s controversial hit single “Imagine” (1971) over his home city, that year’s European Capital of Culture. Liverpool Cathedral’s biggest bell, a magnificent tenor know n as ‘Emmanuel’, weighs 4.06 tonnes, which is about the same as a couple of white rhinoceroses. And although the weightiest bells are assigned to the strongest, technique in ringing is more important than strength. Sooner or later, all bell-ringers acquire a peculiar acuity they call ‘ropesight’. “If I hold up four fingers,” says Ruth, demonstrating, “you don’t need to count.” No, but to keep track of five, seven, 11 ropes, alongside your own, is surely far more testing. Like the Nibletts, many couples have met through ringing. When I ask Kate Flavell, public relations officer for the CCCBR, whether she personally knows of others, she says, in effect, “Look no further.” Kate began ringing as a child in Surrey, and first rang with her

husband Paul back in the 1970s, when he and friends from Sheffield came to Surrey University. Years passed in which they would see each other’s names in tower visitors’ books. “We rang a peal together in Croydon,” recalls Kate. “Then I didn’t see him for a while. We were young; we dated other people.” Finally, in 1984, they met up once more, in Derbyshire, and married a year later – with a full peal for their wedding, of course. Today both Kate and her husband ring at All Saints, Kingston, where Paul is tower captain. “A ringing chamber is a ver y accepting environment,” says Kate. And so I have found. All the ringers I’ve met have been wonderfully warm and responsive, with the tower captains Freda and Adam so accommodating and generous. I walk out of St Stephen’s feeling elated. The night sky is full of stars, the cold air full of music. I shall never again hear church bells in full cry without remembering that there’s someone up there working the rope. How great to be one of them!

WRITE AND WRONG I’m a writer. I write cheques. Mostly fiction.

WENDY LIEBMAN

I get a lot of letters from people. They say: “I want to be a writer. What should I do?” I tell them to stop writing to me and get on with it. RUTH RENDELL 72

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FUN FACTS

15

Favourite Facts That Are False BY BRAND O N S P E C KTO R

ILLUSTRATI ONS BY AN DERS WENNGREN

INS P IR E D BY I N FO R M AT I O N I S BE AU T I FUL.N ET

Bagpipes Are Scottish Sorry, Braveheart fans, they were prevalent in the Middle East centuries before Western Europe.

Your Hair and Nails Keep Growing After Death Skin dries and recedes after death, making hair and nails appear longer.

Toads Cause Warts Humans can catch warts only from other humans. Those bumps on toads are just their skin glands.

SOS = ‘Save Our Souls’ It doesn’t stand for anything. SOS became a Morse code distress signal because it’s easy to transmit: three dots, three dashes, three dots.

Adam and Eve Ate an Apple They ate the forbidden ‘fruit’ of the tree of knowledge, and nowhere in the Book of Genesis does it say this fruit was an apple.

Celebrities Die in Threes Of 449 celebs who died since 1990, only in seven cases did three die in the same five-day period, according to data from the New York Times. Septemberđ2016

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Sleepers Swallow Eight Spiders per Year Spiders usually don’t crawl into beds during night-time wanderings because they ofer no prey. You probably swallow zero spiders per year.

Everest Is the World’s Tallest Mountain Only above sea level. From its underwater base, Hawaii’s Mauna Kea stands 10,210 metres tall – 1360 metres above Mount Everest.

Van Gogh Cut Off His Ear for a Lover It was just a small piece of lobe, and he did it during a violent spat with Paul Gauguin. Whether Van Gogh then gave it to a local harlot remains contentious.

America’s Pilgrims First Landed at Plymouth Rock In fact they landed where Provincetown, Massachusetts, is today, and signed the Mayflower Compact there. Plymouth came five weeks later.

A Story Can ‘Break’ the Internet “The Internet is a very resilient system,” says web pioneer Vint Cerf. “Shutting the whole thing down has not happened [since] it has been in operation.”

Slaves Built Egypt’s Pyramids Egyptologists reckon this ancient construction job was a great honour granted only to respected labourers, who were entombed near the site.

Ben Franklin Wanted the Turkey as the US symbol While designing a national seal, Franklin proposed an image of Moses, not a wild turkey, to represent the USA.

All Your Fingernails Grow at the Same Rate Because blood flow stimulates nail growth, your dominant hand’s nails grow faster than those on the other hand.

Ninjas Wore Black This supposed ‘uniform’ is derived from years of fiction and folklore. Real ninjas wore anything that would help them blend into daily life.

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COVER STORY

G N I L L I K DES in the

Age of

Is the convenience offered by technology making us lazy, forgetful and unable to solve basic problems? BY HELEN O’NEILL


D E S K I L L I N G I N T H E A G E O F D I G I TA L A M N E S I A

And when faced with a question, “DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES are not just transforming the way we live 36 per cent said they would leap online and work; they are changing the to locate an answer before they even way we think, learn, behave – and bothered trying to remember whether remember,” stated the study, which they already knew the answer. Almost found that more than half of the one in four reported that as soon as they had used a fact 6000 European adults discovered online they surveyed could rememwould almost immediber the phone number One in three ately forget it. of the house they had admitted they Digital amnesia aplived in when they were could not make peared to cut across ten years old but could a telephone call sex and age barriers, alnot reca ll t he phone though some of the findnumbers of their curto their partner ings suggested slightly rent workplaces. without looking higher numbers among One in three of those the number older age groups. A high q u e s t i o n e d a d m i tup irst proportion of ‘digital ted that they had outsourced their memories natives’ appeared to to such an extent that be in denial, given that they could not even make a tel40 per cent of those aged 16 to 24 ephone call to their partners withyears said that losing the data out looking the number up first. on their digital devices would Nine out of ten of those surveyed cause them immense disrevealed they were unable – from tress. Even so, they had memor y alone – to phone their not bothered backing up children’s school. the data anywhere else. 76

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ILLUSTRATI ONS: i STOCK

HOW MANY OF THE PHONE NUMBERS of your nearest and dearest can you remember? How about birthdays or postal addresses? If you suspect it is fewer than you have ever been able to before, there is a very good chance you are right. It’s also possible you are exhibiting a phenomenon known as ‘digital amnesia’ – a phrase coined by cybersecurity group Kaspersky Lab to describe forgetting information that you trust a digital device to store and remember for you. Last year Kaspersky Lab released an eye-opening study called ‘The Rise and Impact of Digital Amnesia’, which attempted to assess how dependent we have become on our handy, hand-held, high-tech tools.


Technology and the brain Dr Maria Wimber, a lecturer at the University of Birmingham’s School of Psychology, suggested the results were somewhat double-edged. On the one hand “there is an argument to be made that looking up information online, instead of trying to recall it ourselves, makes us shallower thinkers,” Wimber told Kaspersky Lab. That said, given that our brains “clearly have a capacity limit … one could argue that smartphones can enhance our memory, because they

store information externally, and thereby free up capacity in long-term memory,” she said. “Forgetting is in no way a bad thing.” Across the world, scientists are currently trying to work out how our apparent addiction to high-tech gadgets is affecting us by studying everything from what technology is doing to cognitive development in the young to whether adults have started using their smartphones instead of thinking or attempting to puzzle things out


D E S K I L L I N G I N T H E A G E O F D I G I TA L A M N E S I A

everyone” in an interview for Austral(a question to which the answer, so ian Popular Science in 2012, during far, seems to be “yes”). which he stated that the technological Bob Cooper, a survival expert from advances underway are as “important Western Australia who has taught wilas the emergence of speech 70,000 derness skills for over three decades, years ago”. believes that people are becoming so dangerously dependent on technolCognitive computers ogy – specifically the use of GPS systems – that they are not only losing Quizzed about deskilling and the what he calls ‘bush-craft skills’ but impact of handing over basic jobs to ‘common sense skills’ as well. machines, be they manual labour or Travellers have no problem using problem-solving tasks such as map electronic map-readers to find isolated reading, Pesce notes that “we’re aclocations, Cooper told ABC News, “but tually doing the opposite – handing when the thing stops working, people over higher-level cognitive functions.” don’t know what to do.” To prove his point Pesce mentions Some technology two ground-breaking writers agree with him, IBM computing systems arguing that advances – Watson for Oncology, Bob Cooper, a in computing, mechawhich is being used survival expert, nisation and artificial by US and Canadian believes we are intelligence are not cancer organisations only making us stupid to sift through mounbecoming so but potentially misertains of medical data dependent on able as well. Yet in a to help doctors choose technology we world where 65 per optimum treatments for are losing cent of Americans susindividual patients, and pect that most human IBM’s Watson-powered ‘common sense jobs will be done by cognitive computer skills’ robots within 50 years, Ross, which specialises and where driverless in powering through cars appear to be just legal research and is around the corner, not everybody capable of learning from its work. is quite as concerned. These advancements in techVirtual reality pioneer Mark Pesce, nology are extending rowho is a broadcaster, writer, researcher botics beyond simple and futurist, described the enormity of routine-based tasks to the changes taking place as “a quandynamic problem solving. tum jump in human capability for However, Pesce points out, 78

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the “lower-level, more physical functions are disappearing at a slower rate because the physical world is harder for a robot to manage than the purely intellectual world of the professions.”

Rebirth of handmade Perhaps ironically, as our rush towards all things high-tech has accelerated, so has a resurgence of interest in the homemade – as seen in the increased emergence of everything from cheese- and picklemaking weekend workshops to quilting clubs allowing people to learn ‘new’ artisan or practical skills. In other words, a form of ‘reskilling’. This new wave of arts and crafts has seen interest in knitting and crocheting boom since the beginning of the 21st century, with the Craft Yarn Council (CYC) of America reporting that a third of all US women aged 25 to 35 do either one or the other. Globally the appetite for artisan goods has exploded as skills that used to be semi-forgotten, and at best thought of as twee, have become seriously cool. In 2015 alone, around 1.6 million sellers sold more than US$2.39

billion of merchandise to 25 million buyers on Etsy.com, the highest-profile online marketplace for handmade items and vintage objects. The amount is so high that Professor Susan Luckman, an expert in craft from University of South Australia’s Hawke EU Centre, argues “a making renaissance is underway.” Luckman’s latest book, Craft and the Creative Economy, examines the area’s exponential growth – the new appetite for artisanal goods and the rise of ‘mumpreneurs’, women who set up businesses while also caring for their young children. “Craft, the handmade and making are currently everywhere,” she observes, describing Etsy.com (which at its launch in 2005 was a pioneer) as the tip of an iceberg when it comes to online trading websites today. According to Luckman, the hightech is driving the low-tech. With such a proliferation of websites and online shops, commerce is easy and “the internet means there is much more information about making things … it empowers people to give it a go.” Handmade items appeal because they are “imbued with touch”, offering “a sense of the ‘authentic’ in an Septemberđ2016

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‘inauthentic’ world,” Luckironically at a time when we are man observes. She suspects threatened with the loss of lots of that people crave them for a skills,” says Luckman, describing the series of reasons, includexperience of creating, ing nostalgia, yearning and being able to say, “I for a sense of comfort, made that – I did that” as Handmade a search for the unique enormously satisfying. items appeal and, particularly for While academics are because they are speculating over whether those with ethical concerns about how things there is a link between the “imbued with are made, reassurance touch” and ofer trends of digital deskilling in knowing who has and the craze for craft – “a sense of the created what they are and if so whether it has ‘authentic’ in an anything to do with our buying. Mu c h m a s s p r o anxieties over the speed ‘inauthentic’ duction takes place with which modern life world” overseas so “this genis changing – one thing is eration … is missing clear: the future is what that connection to making,” she says, we make it. adding that highly skilled work such So while you’re mulling over that why as bespoke shoe-making continues to not jump online, download a pattern, and start knitting yourself a cosy little disappear from Australia’s shores. “This renaissance is going on but case for your shiny smartphone?

SORRY, I’M NOT SORRY Children write the best apology notes, as these extracts show (all spelling unedited for authenticity): “I love you mum. I’m sorry for everything I did rong. It’s just I can’t controle my body.” “Dear Brody, Mrs P made me write you this note. All I want to say sorry for is not being sorry cause I tried to feel sorry but I don’t. Liam.” “Dear Parents, it seems you both are a little overly strict tonight. Therefore I do not wish to read with you tonight. But, if you change your attitude, I will be glad to. Goodnight. From Chloe.” WWW.HUFFINGTONPOST.CO.UK

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Quotable Quotes V I C TO RY GO E S TO TH E PL AY E R WH O M A K E S TH E N E X TTO - L A ST M I STAK E . SAVI E LLY TA R TA KOW E R ,

Be like a duck. Calm on the surface but always paddling like the dickens underneath. MICHAEL CAINE , a ct or

chess master

B R IA N S U T TO N - S M ITH ,

THE AXE FORGETS; THE TREE REMEMBERS.

scholar

A F R I C A N P R OV E R B

The opposite of play is not work. The opposite of play is depression.

I have accomplished nothing without a little taste of fear in pop star and mogul my mouth. B E YO N C É ,

WORRY DOES NOT EMPTY TOMORROW OF ITS SORROW; IT EMPTIES TODAY OF ITS STRENGTH. PHOTOS: GETTY I MAGES

CO R R I E TE N B O O M , h u m a n i t a r i a n

A psychiatrist once said that I gambled in order to escape the reality of life. I told him that’s why everybody does everything. N O R M M AC D O N A L D,

comedian

Maybe happiness didn’t have to be about the big, sweeping circumstances, about having everything in your life in place. Maybe it was about stringing together a bunch of small pleasures. A N N B R A S H A R E S , a u t h o r Septemberđ2016

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In a municipality north of San Salvador, Else Orellana buys a bottle of cola to accompany lunch


PUBLIC HEALTH

COLA CRISIS BY RO B E RTA STALEY FR O M CO R P O RAT E K N I G H T S

P HOTOGRAP HED BY TALLULA H

A group of Canadian dentists are on a mission in El Salvador, where a fondness for soft drinks is devastating people’s health

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COLA CRISIS

WHAT COULD BE DULLER THAN WAITING TO SEE THE DENTIST? “Muy aburridos [So bored!]”, four boys mutter as they roll their eyes. It’s just after noon on a November day in 2014, and Oscar, Josué and Eduardo, all ten, as well as Vladimir, 11, are in line with hundreds of others at a one-storey municipal government building in Santo Tomás, El Salvador, a small city 13 kilometres southeast of San Salvador. A team of 40 dentists, dental hygienists, doctors and nurses from Canada has arrived for a five-day charitable mission. Like the boys, many of the people in the queue have been here since 7am to ensure they get an appointment.

The wait is tedious and hot. The temperature has crept well above 30°C, and the youngsters are slaking their thirst with Kolashampan, a local soft drink. The boys would really prefer Coke, which has more cachet. Coca-Cola is “cachimbón”, they say. It’s the cool drink. The Canadians, organised by the non-profit Speroway, are here to provide free medical and dental care to those who can’t afford it. In one room, nine dentists, with just a metre of space between each of them, hunch over patients who obediently keep their mouths wide open – with the exception of one small participant, an outraged girl around eight years old, wearing sparkly pink pants. The girl is roaring and flailing in the dental chair, a zero-gravity reclining chair brought from Canada. Her mother holds her down as Ian McConnachie, an Ottawa paediatric dentist, tries to fill a cavity. He feels a chomp on his thumb. 84

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“A hazard of the job,” he explains, inspecting the bloody bite mark and a thumbnail that is turning blue. When her treatment is done, the young patient happily departs with a bit of bling – a sparkly costume ring that matches her pants. She also leaves with enough free toothpaste, mouthwash and toothbrushes for all her siblings at home and a verbal primer for Mum on the basics of brushing. M C CONNACHIE WILL SEE about 20 children before the day is out. From toddlers to young teens, they all exhibit the same dental problem – “teeth that are bombed out with decay.” He routinely finds a pattern of rot that indicates one of the biggest causes of the cavities is chronic exposure to sugar from sweets and soft drinks, McConnachie says. In El Salvador, soft drinks are cheaper than bottled water, and tap water is unfit to drink because of contamination. According to the 2016


CIA World Factbook, the risk of contracting major infectious diseases from food or water is high. The problem is mirrored throughout Central America, where 80 per cent of youth aged six to 19 have dental caries, according to FDI World Dental Federation, based in Geneva. The majority of cases go untreated, which can lead to tooth loss, infection and, eventually, enough Paediatric dentist Ian McConnachie treats a young pain that some children patient during Speroway’s mission in El Salvador refrain from eating, leading to malnutrition and possibly even poor diet as well as oral health with reduced growth rates. their patients. The message, however, The FDI has found that tooth is often lost in translation. The team decay is the most prevalent condi- dentists say their advice to brush tion among 291 diseases surveyed daily and to replace soft drinks with globally. Because it’s caused by a water is superseded by the realities high-sugar diet and a lack of brushing, of poverty. Travelling to the city to see a dentist or buy bottled water and it is also entirely preventable. Contributing Canadian medical toothpaste are luxuries. This is why expertise to global health initiatives Speroway volunteers make several is the driving force behind Speroway. visits a year to developing nations, Since its inception in 2004, the group while continuing to brainstorm ways has run numerous programmes in to improve oral health messaging. seven countries, including Kenya, Malawi and Nepal, as well as support- A FEW METRES FROM McConing refugees and First Nations groups nachie’s workspace, Jack Cottrell, a in Canada. Their goal is to provide dentist from Port Perry, Ontario, is food, health care and education to drilling, filling, grinding and bonding vulnerable communities. a teenager’s blackened front teeth. As part of their El Salvador work, the Cottrell’s dental assistant and wife, Speroway team discusses the effects of Michelle, hands him instruments and Septemberđ2016

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suctions saliva. Cottrell carries on a five per cent of an adult’s daily caloric conversation as he works. The caries intake come from sugar. That means he treats are caused “80 per cent by 25 grams, less than what’s found in a the diet and 20 per cent from not single can of cola. A 2015 FDI report brushing the teeth,” he says. indicates that Salvadorans consume Cottrell looks over his shoulder and more than 100 grams of sugar daily. nods his head in the direction of a young boy holding a small plastic bag AMID STALLED OR declining sales in filled with chilled cola. These items are Western markets, soft drink leviathans sold for a few pesos. By sucking on the Coca-Cola and Pepsi have turned their bag, kids can make the treat last for attention to markets in developing nahours. Unfortunately, tions with a propensity this creates a continutowards a sweet tooth. ous bath of sugar, cafPenny Collenette, adfeine and acid that rots junct professor in the THE LOCAL the teeth, says Cottrell. Faculty of Common POPULATION A 355-millilitre can of Law at the University of SIMPLY Coke contains 39 grams Ottawa and a corporDOESN’T (8 teaspoons) of sugar; ate social responsibility Pepsi has 41 grams. Soft specialist, says soft drink HAVE THE drinks also contain carINFORMATION companies should be acbonic acid (which makes countable to the public. IT NEEDS TO it fizz) and phosphoric MAKE HEALTHY “Recent evidence acid, a preservative that about sugar has led to CHOICES serious questions about adds tartness. Both of obesity and health,” these substances are Collenette points out. bad for the teeth, causing erosion and demineralisation of “Given this global knowledge, ethically it is incumbent upon Coke and the tooth surfaces, Cottrell says. Sugar and teeth, as McConnachie Pepsi to, at the very least, warn explains, have an unfortunate rela- consumers about the risk of overtionship. Common oral bacteria such consumption of their products.” as Streptococcus mutans metabolise sugars into acids that eat away tooth BACK AT THE MAKESHIFT dental enamel. The more sugary snacking in office, the next patient in line is a between meals, the more decay. four-year-old boy, his face mottled Last year, the World Health Organ- from crying. He refuses to get into the ization announced new sugar cons- dental chair. Cottrell has checked his umption guidelines, recommending teeth and noted several large cavities. 86

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READER’S DIGEST

“He doesn’t want us to touch him because of the pain,” Cottrell says. The boy’s lack of cooperation leaves only one option – sedation, a last resort used only when youngsters refuse to be coaxed into a chair. The boy’s mother manoeuvres her charge into another room, where anaesthesiologist Anthony Brown gives him a syringe of anaesthetic. The child tries to spit it out, but enough gets down his throat to make him more placid, allowing McConnachie to tackle the cavities. The decay is severe, and one of the teeth has to be pulled. Decades of studies link the amount and frequency of sugar consumption not only to tooth decay but to type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. El Salvador has a diabetes prevalence of just over 10 per cent and an obesity rate of 26 per cent. T h e Sp e row ay m i s s i o n s may reach thousands of Salvadorans, but in the absence of viable health

care or public awareness about the factors contributing to illnesses, the incidence of disease in the area will grow. The local population simply doesn’t have the information it needs in order to make healthy choices. That knowledge gap is evident in municipalities such as San Pablo Tacachico, north of San Salvador. Here, 17-year-old Else Orellana lives across the street from a small tienda [shop] where Coke is sold for US35 cents, five cents cheaper than bottled water. Else buys a 1.25-litre bottle of Coke, which she plans to crack open and enjoy with lunch. Her uncle, Milton Cruz, 38, was recently diagnosed with diabetes, something the doctor linked to his own litre-a-day cola habit. Is Else worried she, too, might be at risk? She shrugs. Maybe she’s a bit “necio o burro [stubborn like a donkey]”, but when it’s a hot day, nothing beats an ice-cold Coke, she says with a shy smile.

FROM CORPORATE KNIGHTS (SPRING 2015) © 2015 ROBERTA STALEY. CORPORATEKNIGHTS.COM

LATEST ELVIS SIGHTING? Ever since Elvis Presley’s death was announced on August 16, 1977, when he was 42, there have been countless theories that he faked his own demise and instead disappeared. Fan attention has now turned to a pony-tailed, grey-haired groundsman working at Graceland, Elvis’s former residence in Memphis, Tennessee. Video clips of the mystery man have been posted on YouTube, with responses divided as to whether it could really be The King aged 81. WWW.EXPRESS.CO.UK Septemberđ2016

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All in a Day’s Work HUMOUR ON THE JOB

FROM THE POLICE BLOTTER Check out some of the things that cops have to deal with every day. Q A deputy responded to a report of a vehicle stopping at mailboxes. It was the postal van. Q A woman said her son was attacked by a cat, and the cat would not allow her to take her son to the hospital. Q A resident complained that someone had entered his home at night and taken 2 kg of bacon. Upon further investigation, police discovered his wife had got up for a late-night snack. Q A man reported that a squirrel was running in circles on his street, and he wasn’t sure if it was sick or had been hit by a car. An officer went out in response, and as he drove down the man’s Source: uniformstories.com street, he ran over the squirrel.

TOUGH TO SWALLOW

When my three-year-old son was told to pee in a cup at the doctor’s office, he unexpectedly got nervous. With a shaking voice he asked, “Do I have to drink it?”

ORDERING OFF THE MENU

My friend, an intern, was given $50 to get the chairman of the bank some lunch. Told to get himself something, he bought a shirt. Source: storify.com

SUBMITTED BY JANET FRENYEA

UPWARDLY HOSTILE CALL IT WHAT IT IS

Saying, “Let me speak to your manager” is just the adult version of “I’m telling on you”. FRIEND_OF_BAE, on Instagram

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I supervised an employee who had a negative view of everything I did. If I took a day’s holiday, I was “never there”. If I praised someone’s work, it was “too little, too late”.


P HOTO: iSTOCK; CARTOON: SUSAN CAMI LLERI KON AR

“Hey, do me a favour – ask him if he’d prefer to be enrolled in afternoon soccer or early-morning karate.”

He eventually took another job, but was fired six months later. Shortly thereafter, he contacted me, hoping to return to his old job. “Have you learned anything from this experience?” I asked. “Yes, I should have stayed here,” he admitted. “You’re way too indecisive to have ever fired me.” SUBMITTED BY TERRY O’CONNOR

A REAL POSER

The photographer was positioning my new husband and me for our wedding photos when he asked, “Have you ever modelled?” My cheeks instantly turned red. “No, I haven’t,” I said. “But I always thought…” The photographer interrupted me: “I meant him.”

FIND YOUR OWN WAY HOME

A man brought in a homing pigeon to a friend of mine who is a vet. The bird was suffering from an eye infection, and the owner was assured that treatment would be completed the following day and the pigeon could be taken home then. “I’m afraid I’ll be out of town tomorrow,” the owner replied. “Why not bill me now and let him fly out the window when he’s OK?” SUBMITTED BY BRUCE LANDESMAN

THAT BAD? After interviewing a candidate for an open position, I got an email stating, “It was a pressure meeting you.” SUBMITTED BY MICHELLE DAVIS

SUBMITTED BY JOANNE NOFFKE

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PSYCHOLOGY


O T W HO

E S O CHO M S I M I OPT 8 ways you can make your life more beautiful BY TH IERRY SAUSS E Z FR O M 5 0 BO NN E S RA I SO NS DE C H O I S I R L’ O PT I MI S ME


H OW TO C H O O S E O P T I M I S M

GLOOM AND PESSIMISM weigh on the economy, our health and our

relationships. They spoil our gifts. I’ve arrived at these insights through my experience of life, lessons of my successes and failures, and encounters with philosophers, experts and business leaders who promote optimism as vital. It will make your life more beautiful and other people’s lives too, because optimism is contagious. Here’s how to get started.

It’s better for our health to seek positive emotions – affection, joy, satisfaction. The links between the heart and brain are well established. A single positive thought can trigger beneficial neurotransmitters and hormones. Oxytocin is the hormone of love, pleasure and orgasm. Serotonin regulates our mood positively. Dopamine stimulates and encourages us. A thought, look or smile is enough to bring down our blood pressure, and make us feel better. Test these scientific principles. When you wake up, dwell a moment on a dream, or something pleasant. When you arrive at work, forget your dreadful journey or the bad weather. Share something positive. When a motorist stops for you, smile and wave.

In these moments, you’ll feel your face relax and a good mood take hold.

simply count on good luck 2 Don’t

After a setback, many people tell themselves: ‘I’m not lucky’. But there’s no such thing as luck. People who are thought to be lucky go out to meet what Machiavelli called good fortune. They take initiatives and make contact with many people, increasing their chances of finding their soulmate, a job, an apartment. It is energy – not luck. It is willpower, the spirit of conquest, moving forward. It’s crucial to never lose impetus. Don’t believe luck is always with you. Let’s say you present a project. Everything is going wonderfully. But nothing comes of it. The explanation is simple: the person you were talking

There’s no such thing as luck. People who are thought to be lucky go out to meet good fortune

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P HOTO (P REVIOUS S PREA D): M OODBOA RD/GETTY I MAGES

positive thinking 1Cultivate


P HOTO: P M IM AGES /GETTY I MAGES

to is not interested but does not wish to upset you or waste his time discussing it. By contrast, many proposals that get a negative response end up having a positive outcome. The basic principle: nothing is ever going as well as we think, but nothing is ever going as badly, either. Optimists know nothing can be taken for granted, that everything has to be earned.

of knowledge. The desire to learn is a way of controlling our ego, the temptation to think, ‘I know it all’. Acquiring skills, including technical ones, broadens our horizon and makes us happier. Progressing rewards us for our efforts, counterbalancing setbacks and frustrations. Make great discoveries, or set yourself small challenges. The crucial thing is to remain alert.

your desire to learn 3 Maintain

responsibility for your life 4 Take

Pessimists lack curiosity. They miss opportunities to discover something new, to meet someone new. On the other hand, optimists are curious about everything. Curiosity is the cornerstone

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everything is interpreted negatively, inflating fears about crime and illegal immigration, even where there is little. Over the past 20 years in opinion polls, unemployment is always rising even when it’s falling, and consumer purchasing power is always decreasing even when it’s increasing. The exaggeration of risks and suffering is a collective phenomenon, and can affect us individually.

rightful place. To those who doubt this, I recommend listening to the stories of people who had cancer for the umpteenth time and who were fighting and even finding new reasons to live and hope. I’ve visited workshops for people on welfare; they didn’t feel sorry for themselves and displayed incredible desire to improve their lot. How important are your frustrations and upsets, really?

Optimism does not mean seeing the world as more beautiful than it is. Nor as more ugly

Struggling to make ends meet? Start by not exaggerating the suffering. Consider also what’s going well, what you’ve achieved. Instead of complaining, look around you for people who have had similar problems and may be able to help you. If something is wrong at home or work, it’s your responsibility. You are the principal solution.

things in perspective 5 Put

Why take the full force of everything that happens to us? Instead, take a step back and put an event into perspective by comparing it with others that we have experienced. That’s not distancing ourselves from reality – it’s actually giving it its 94

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believe it was better before 6 Don’t

Being optimistic means living in the present without constantly encumbering ourselves with the idea that it was better before or that happiness will come later. Said French philosopher André Comte-Sponville, “There is no point in hoping for what one doesn’t have without enjoying what one does have”. By not being fully in the moment we may miss satisfying experiences. It is a philosophy of happiness. It’s in the here and now, in the carpe diem (‘seize the day’) of the ancients, that you should learn from your failures and successes, improve yourself, not pass up opportunity and, of course, never put things off.


READER’S DIGEST

the world as it really is 7 See

Optimism does not mean seeing the world as more beautiful than it is. Nor as more ugly. Yes, the world is uncertain, as we’ve seen during the industrial revolution and the advent of railways. And people’s fears were even greater back then. But the world is also wonderful. Advances in science, medicine and technology have never been as spectacular. Each year since 1990, we’ve gained an average of three months in life expectancy. Solutions to famine, water shortages and viruses have never been closer. Even if it isn’t enough, never have such significant decisions been taken about global warming, currency crises and human rights. Let’s stop seeing the glass of the world as half-empty. It is full of promise.

you’re not pretend 8 Ifconvinced,

Reflect on writer Georges Bernanos’s statement: “The only difference between the optimist and the pessimist is that the optimist is a happy fool and the pessimist a sad one.” Mind still not made up? Pretend. Make your thank yous heartfelt. Express gratitude daily to someone who has been kind to you. Take a deep breath … and smile. Store positive thoughts and dreams and connect with them when a negative emotion takes hold. Create a box of delights that contains photos of loved ones and mementos that bring you pleasure. You’ll soon find this does you good, and has a positive effect on those around you. Author Thierry Saussez, who lives in Paris, founded the Printemps de l’Optimisme (Spring of Optimism) seminars in 2014.

50 BONNES RAISONS DE CHOISIR L’OPTIMISME © 2015 BY THIERRY SAUSSEZ. PUBLISHED BY ÉDITIONS SAINT-SIMON. WWW.EDITIONS-SAINTSIMON.COM

BEST NEWSPAPER CORRECTIONS This New York Times correction combines Kim Kardashian, a derrière and a NYT writer treating a fake news website as real. “An earlier version of this column was published in error. That version included what purported to be an interview that Kanye West gave to a Chicago radio station in which he compared his own derrière to that of his wife, Kim Kardashian. Mr West’s quotes were taken, without attribution, from the satirical website The Daily Currant. There is no radio station WGYN in Chicago; the interview was fictitious, and should not have been included in the column.” WWW.POYNTER.ORG Septemberđ2016

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INSTANT ANSWERS

WORLD’S WORST NUCLEAR ACCIDEN NT? Thirty years ago, a catastrophic accident occurred d at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the city of Pripyat, P then located in the Soviet Union’s Ukrainian Sovie et Socialist Republic. The efects continue to be felt today. Experts difer on whether it or the 2011 Fukushima meltdown was worse overall, but all agree the loss of life and damage to health and the environment were disastrous.

Chernobyl BY H AZ EL FLYNN

In the early hours of April 26, 1986, a safety-check procedure went horribly wrong. Later investigations found that while the operators’ actions caused the disaster, they were working without proper guidelines and the design of the reactors themselves was flawed.

TELL ME MORE A power surge caused Reactor 4 to explode, killing two workers immediately and releasing radioactive debris and gases. The radioactive plume drifted over large parts of the Soviet Union and Europe. Up to 1000 emergency workers and firemen were mobilised but local residents were not evacuated until 36 hours later. Those on site on the first day were exposed to 20 sieverts of radiation. Five sieverts is lethal. Within three months, 28 had died.

“The nuclear meltdown at Chernob byl … even more than my launch of perestroika, was perhaps the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union five years later.” MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, last Soviet leader

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BY THE NUMBERS

2000 Year in which the last of Chernobyl’s four reactors was shut down

2011 Year in which Chernobyl was oicially declared a tourist destination

4000 40 An estimate e of premature deaths asssociated with th he disaster, ac ccording to the e WHO

P HOTOS : iSTOCK; GETTY IM AGES

WHAT HAPPENED?


WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Over the next two years some 200,000 workers, dubbed ‘liquidators’, were brought in for clean-up operations. Radioactivity dropped markedly after the first eight days, and the liquidators received radiation doses of between one and 0.01 sieverts.

HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE AFFECTED? By the end of 1987, around 115,000 people had been evacuated from the most heavily afected areas in a 30 km radius of the power plant. Over the following years another 220,000 people were forcibly resettled. (Around 1000 defied orders and returned to live in or very near Chernobyl.) The most dramatic efects of radiation-induced cancers were seen in children and teenagers in the highestcontamination areas, from consuming carcinogenic doses of iodine in their milk and food in the immediate aftermath of the accident. As of 2005, 6000 people had developed thyroid cancer. According to the WHO, there is some increase in leukaemia and cataract incidence among workers. Otherwise, there is no clear increase in the incidence of solid cancers or leukaemia in the 600,000 most exposed people.

INSIDE CHERNOBYL’S RED FOREST The name ‘Red Forest’ comes from the gingerbrown colour of the pine trees after they died. As humans left the area, wild animals moved in despite the radiation. The long-term impact of the fallout on the region’s flora and fauna is not fully known, as plants and animals have varying radiologic tolerance. However, birds have smaller brains and some are infertile, trees there grow slower and invertebrate populations have declined.


TRAVEL

Sweden’s Perfect Season

It blazes through like a comet. So in the happy mania of summer, Swedes soak up as much sunshine and seawater as time allows BY P E TER JO N LIND BE RG FRO M TRAVEL + L EISU RE


Opposite: Fjällbacka harbour. This page: Seafood and home-brewed beer at Everts Sjöbod

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SWEDEN’S PERFECT SEASON

In Sweden, summer blazes through like a comet, hot and bright and ungodly fast, then disappears for ages. Even at midsommar’s crest, every blessed gain – in temperature, in daylight, in crayfish – must be reckoned against impending loss. “Swedes worship summer like a religion,” says acclaimed Stockholm chef Niklas Ekstedt. That started in pre-Christian times, with Midsummer’s Day. But neither the church nor commercialisation has killed that tradition. And so, around the third week of June, Swedes begin their great migration – to vast inland lakes, fast-flowing rivers and, most especially, the coasts – to soak up as much sunshine and seawater as time allows. As the grandson of Swedish emigrants, I’m well acquainted with the quasi-pagan rites of summer. Growing up, I’d embraced similar rituals in Maine in the US, where days were 100

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measured in saltwater ablutions and lobster-shack lunches. But it was the cajoling of my pal Marcus Samuelsson, the Swedish-American chef – who spends time each summer in his ancestral home of Smögen – that inspired a return to the source. With Marcus as my occasional cohort, last August I traced Sweden’s Bohuslän Coast in that happy mania. I’d rise at 5am for kayaking; spend every golden hour outdoors; and linger until the last of the sun’s rosy aura vanished from the midnight sky. In contrast to Sweden’s leeward, verdant east coast, this western province is raw and wind-lashed, more granite than green. With its seaside resorts just a few hours’ drive from Oslo, to the north, and Göteborg, to the south, the region draws streams of summer revellers. Bohuslän’s resort towns may appear interchangeable, but there are

ALL PHOTOS : M IKKEL VA NG/TAVERNEAGEN CY

IT’S ONE OF THOSE SHIMMERING SWEDISH AFTERNOONS when everything seems to glow from within: the boathouses, pulsing vermilion red; the glittering, wind-rippled bay; and the chalk-white houses of coastal Fjällbacka, luminous under the Nordic sky. Laughter and ships’ bells echo off the marina. One could walk a kilometre to sea just by hopping across schooners and yachts. (In western Sweden there’s a boat for every man, woman, child and dog.) On the deck at Restaurang Matilda, a rowdy crew is singing Swedish folk tunes, knocking back aquavit and ripping into platters of crayfish.


Clockwise from top left: Swimming off the docks in Smögen; boathouses on Smögen’s main boardwalk; view of Fjällbacka from the water; oysters and dark beer served up by Lars Karlsson


SWEDEN’S PERFECT SEASON

variations – primarily, the favoured local catch. There’s Lysekil, in the south, with its distinctly nutty mussels. Grebbestad, in the north, with its oysters. And Smögen, midway, with its sweet, rose-coloured shrimp. Fjällbacka, the prettiest of these communities, is known for two former residents. Ingrid Bergman kept a house on the island Dannholmen off Fjällbacka from 1958 until her death in 1982. There’s a bronze bust of the actress in the town square. Whole walking tours are devoted to Camilla Läckberg, the wildly popular crime novelist. Her eight books are set, improbably, in this sleepy town of

THIS ODD MIX OF HARSHNESS AND GRACE IS WHAT GIVES BOHUSLÄN ITS STIRRING BEAUTY

900 (the summer population swells to 15,000). I’ve read a few of Läckberg’s mysteries, and her imaginative gifts seemed all the more impressive when I saw Fjällbacka in the cheerful light of day. Really? This place, a sinister town of secrets? It recalled a miniature village from a model railway. As I set out on my first morning, a line had already formed outside Setterlinds Bageri, an old favourite of 102

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Bergman’s, who made pilgrimages for moist, almondy Mandelberg cake and kardemummabullar (savoury–sweet cardamom rolls). On the pier, tow-headed kids gobbled bags of gummy candy. Handsome women and impossibly tanned men were hiking Vetteberget, the granite butte that juts 76 metres up from the town centre. On a gentler hillside above the harbour, cobblestoned paths wound past cottages with red-tiled roofs and the gingerbread trim known as snickarglädje or ‘carpenter’s delight’. Geraniums filled every window box, and the Swedish blue-and-yellow flapped on rooftops. This odd mix of harshness and grace – of wind-scarred rock and rosebushes – is what gives Bohuslän its stirring beauty. But its greatest assets are hiding underwater. From these cold, clean bays comes some of northern Europe’s finest seafood, not least the coveted saltwater crayfish, which are actually plump, delectable langoustines. Here, the sea is everything. If you’ve come, like me, to devour as much seafood as possible, then you’ll chart a course for Grebbestad, where half of Sweden’s lobster, 70 per cent of its crayfish, and 90 per cent of its oysters are harvested. I’d driven up from Fjällbacka to spend the day and night in Grönemad, a fishing village that feels like a Viking encampment on the edge of the world. If Fjällbacka is sleepy, then Grönemad is downright comatose.


N O RWAY

Grönemad

Fjällbacka

oast län C

Sk

Smögen Lysekil

SWEDEN

Bohus

Grebbestad

agerrak Göteborg

DENMARK Seafaring brothers Per and Lars Karlsson run oyster and lobster ‘safaris’ out of their 130-year-old boathouse, Everts Sjöbod. Inside it’s still 1884: candlewax overflows from old brown beer bottles; lanterns rest on wooden barrels; knotty rafters are tangled with ropes and fishing nets. Last May the brothers added six guest rooms with kitchenettes and bright pine interiors. Per showed me to one of the smaller suites upstairs, where a terrace overlooks the bay. Then we went out to harvest oysters. This was easier than I’d expected. From the pier, Per dipped his long oysterman’s rake, rummaged in the seabed, and pulled up half a dozen shallow-cupped European flats, the

size and colour of sand dollars. Soon we had three dozen. We took our pail onto the brothers’ small fishing boat, and with Lars at the helm, chugged into the bay. After we moored off an islet where seals were basking in the sun, Per handed me a knife, and we set to work shucking. Even in summer the oysters were full-bodied and full-flavoured. Still cool from the sea, they didn’t even need ice. They also paired well with Per’s excellent home-brewed dark beer. “We used to serve champagne,” he said, “but that didn’t feel very Swedish.” After another 20 slurps I was buzzed on dark beer and oyster liquor. It was early evening, but the sun still hung high. “Back to the sjöbod [boathouse]?” asked Lars, knocking back one last half-shell. Later, the sunset painted everything crayfish-pink. It was 9.55pm, and I sat on my terrace reading Läckberg’s The Stonecutter. A Fjällbacka girl had turned up drowned (murdered?), her corpse entangled in a lobster trap. Just then I heard a scream and a splash. On the public pier, kids were somersaulting into the glassy bay. A Swedish family was savouring the last of the light. This looked too fun to miss. I put on my swimsuit and leaped off my boathouse dock. The water was surprisingly warm. When the light finally left, the family followed suit, and on the water all was silent. I swam back and tiptoed upstairs to bed. Septemberđ2016

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SWEDEN’S PERFECT SEASON

The next morning I was off to Smögen, where Marcus waited. The chef is a proud son of Göteborg, but many of his prized childhood memories took place 80 kilometres north, in Smögen, where his adoptive father was born. The Samuelsson clan would gather every summer, in a rambling, threestorey Victorian owned by Marcus’s grandmother. Young Marcus learned to fish and, not least, cook his catch under the watchful eyes of his father and uncles. Smögen – year-round population 1400 – is one of Europe’s great and enduring fishing towns. Its famous fish

FOR A VISITOR USED TO NORDIC RESERVE, IT WAS FUNNY TO SEE SWEDES SO VOLUBLE

auction, founded in 1919, still operates twice daily but is nowadays seldom open to the public. Smögen is also the headquarters of seafood conglomerate Abba, maker of Sweden’s beloved Kalles Kaviar (fish-roe spread), whose retro blue-and-yellow packaging is familiar to IKEA shoppers. Alongside its central harbour is Sweden’s longest boardwalk – lined with restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and fish markets. It is one of Sweden’s 104

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top tourist attractions. Marcus and I strolled it on our first afternoon. Inside, the restaurants were empty, but the dockside patios were jammed. “In July,” said Marcus, “there are people all along the boardwalk – some jumping in, some falling in. It’s a madhouse.” We were with Marcus’s cousin Karin Samuelsson, who runs a local summerrental agency. She and Marcus know half the people here, and as we walked everyone called out hellos. For a visitor used to Nordic reserve, it was funny to see Swedes so voluble. Like moulting crayfish, they’d burst from their shells. “For nine months we hardly even see the neighbour’s cat,” said Karin. “Then, for that short spurt, we’re relentlessly social.” She laughed. “It’s kind of exhausting!” I spent three days in Smögen with Marcus and his family, and consumed half my body weight in crayfish. On the final day Marcus and I booked a crayfishing trip with Martin Olofsson, a ninth-generation fisherman. Martin speaks with a warbly, sing-song inflection that, per Marcus, “is sort of the Swedish equivalent of a Maine lobsterman’s accent. As a kid I couldn’t understand a word.” He laughed. “Now I get about half of it.” Wearing yellow slickers, overalls and thick rubber boots, we head a few kilometres out to sea with Martin and his crew. Crayfish traps resemble lobster traps, and retrieving them from the seabed was fairly simple: Martin aimed for his orange buoys,


READER’S DIGEST

From the clean waters of Bohuslän comes some of northern Europe’s finest seafood

and with long hooked poles Marcus and I would grab the lines, then use a crank to hoist the traps. Most held at least a couple of crayfish, plus the odd crab or jellyfish. Working quickly, we’d empty the traps – the crabs’ claws snapping at our fingers – rebait them

with chunks of salted herring, and stack them on the deck for later. It was tiring but thrilling. After an hour we’d netted 63 langoustines. Good timing, said Martin: that morning, prices had hit a season high of $40 a kilogram. Earlier, on the sun-drenched pier, I’d thought our rain gear seemed excessive. Now, as the sky suddenly grew heavy, I could see what nine generations of Olofssons could teach a Lindberg about weather in western Sweden. We were within sight of Smögen’s iconic Hållö lighthouse, yet being tossed on huge swells as if in the heart of the Atlantic. Sliding across the rain-slicked deck, careening into each other, Marcus and I managed to toss back all the traps. Martin, meanwhile, stood firm and smiling at the wheel, secure in his element. “Jag älskar sommaren!” he shouted to us, flashing a grin as a monster wave crashed over the hull. “I love summer, too!” Marcus shouted back, and we all fell into laughter.

TRAVEL + LEISURE (JUNE 2015) © 2015 BY PETER JON LINDBERG. TRAVELANDLEISURE.COM

NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS The BBC announced there was no news on April 18, 1930, during what should have been a 6.30pm radio news bulletin. It had been apparently judged that nothing newsworthy had happened that day. Piano music was then played instead of the current affairs update for a couple of minutes. WWW.FORBES.COM Septemberđ2016

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BONUS READ

“ LUCKY WE WERE

TO GET OUT

A VE With wildlife poaching rife across Africa, we meet the man who’s risking life and limb to defeat the criminals

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“The authorities in a country have to want to deal with poaching,� says anti-poaching activist Rory Young


LU C KY TO G E T O U T A L I V E

“ONE OF OUR GUYS GOT GLASS IN THE EYE and ended up in hospital for five days. Our vehicle was smashed to bits. But, to be honest, we were lucky to get out alive.” So recalls Rory Young, a man who trains officers working for African authorities – rangers, wardens, policemen, even soldiers – to find and catch wildlife poachers. He usually takes his charges into areas where they operate, such as the bush, the plains, forests and mountainous areas. This is dangerous enough, but sometimes his teams have to go into the towns and villages where the criminals actually live. In March last year, Rory and a group of seven rangers went to a village in Malawi to arrest two suspected poachers. “I can’t say which village because there are ongoing operations we don’t want to jeopardise,” says Rory. “But it was in a populated area, bordering one of the national parks.” A few days earlier, five police officers had been to the same area to arrest a murder suspect. All of them ended up in hospital, two in intensive care. The police had subsequently declared the place a no-go zone – but nobody had bothered to tell Rory and his team. Rory’s arrests passed off without incident. But as the suspects were led to the rangers’ vehicle, a cry went out. Within seconds, scores of people were mobilising to deal with the perceived threat to their home. “The cry was relayed by mobile phone and shouting, and everyone who heard did the same.” The mob couldn’t be persuaded to back down and there were too many to fight off. “Most of them didn’t know 108

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why they were attacking us; they were just following the guy next door,” says Rory. “It’s their defence mechanism, probably thousands of years old – you’re an outsider on their territory and the group will protect itself if it feels under attack.” Rory and his team made it to the vehicle, but that was just the start of it. One of the suspected poachers had got away during the chaos, but the rangers still had the other. There was a tenkilometre drive out of the village, along an uneven road illuminated only by moonlight. Plenty of time for the locals to get their man back. “Hundreds of them lined the roadside, on and off, for what seemed like miles,” recalls Rory. “We were later told that more than a thousand people were out that night.” Trenches were dug across the road. When the vehicle slowed down, locals attacked with rocks, spears and machetes. “It was so dark you couldn’t see much. It was only when we saw that the maize stalks had been flattened up


ahead that we knew trouble Rory and his team in operations in Zambia and The Omay, Zimbabwe, was imminent.” Zimbabwe. Then, about a wildlife area Rory and the rangers ten years ago, a new took it in turns to sit on the belonging to the rural poaching crisis hit Africa. community vehicle’s roof, with others Wild-animal parts have running alongside or behind, to ward always been coveted, particularly in off attackers. China and the Far East. It’s believed “When the attacks were too bad on that rhino horn can cure everything one side, we’d run around the other from impotence to cancer. Rory has side of the vehicle or jump in. A large even heard of people snorting the stuff rock hit the car near the door, next to at parties. Traditional Eastern medimy head. If that had hit me, it would cine also values pangolins, mountain have been fatal.” gorillas and lions, the latter a substitute for the dwindling tiger populaBORN IN ZAMBIA, Rory, 44, has been tion. Ivory, meanwhile, is associated training anti-poaching forces for five with opulence all over the world. Recent economic growth in East years. In the 1990s, he qualified as a tracker in Zimbabwe, where he grew Asia has meant more disposable inup. He then ran a game sanctuary, come and an increase in the blackand managed sustainable forestry market price. Criminal syndicates Septemberđ2016

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LU C KY TO G E T O U T A L I V E

Teaching guides at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, Zimbabwe; (below) Rory on patrol in the Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve, Malawi

have capitalised. Many impoverished Africans have joined or set up their own gangs. Others, poor and starving, kill animals illegally for food. The conservation group Tusk estimates that 30,000 elephants are killed by poachers every year – one every 15 minutes. Ivory goes for US$450 a kilogram on the black market, while rhino horn can fetch up to $13,600 a kilogram, according to the African Wildlife Foundation. Prices in Asia are multiple times this. To the criminals, it’s more valuable than gold. In South Africa, where 80 per cent of the rhino population lives, a rhino is killed by poachers every three days. In 2011, as the crisis escalated, Rory started training Zimbabwean rangers in his spare time. He quickly realised that these people didn’t have the 110

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tracking or bush skills needed to stop the poachers. “If they’d been trained at all, it was by local and foreign military people, and then just in military tactics,” says Rory. “But applying such a doctrine doesn’t work in the bush – you don’t have the communications, the structure and the logistical support.” He adds: “These guys were walking around the bush in patrols, trying to


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on, alongside meat poaching – both commercial and subsistence. To deal with the organised crime, Rory taught park rangers how to use undercover RORY REALISED that something more officers, informants and reconnaiswas needed. Rangers, he felt, needed sance teams. “You build up a picture of how the to learn how to live and survive in the bush, to use it to their advantage. With gang is operating: when and where, Yakov Alekseyev, a former federal who they’re working with, where agent in the United States Office of they’re getting their ammunition and Special Investigations, Rory devised weapons,” he points out. “Then you start making arrests, what he calls a holistic anti-poaching doctrine. He’s since used it to train which generates further information. Then you start rounding anti-poaching forces in up the network.” 12 African countries. He adds, however, Rory runs the trainTUSK that none of this works ing, helps devise and ESTIMATES with someone who’s implement local plans, THAT 30,000 desperately hungry – a and is sometimes inELEPHANTS man running into the volved in helping to ARE KILLED park, laying out a snare, catch the criminals. In BY POACHERS catching an animal and 2014 he set up a nonEVERY YEAR – r u n n i n g o u t a g a i n : p ro f i t o r ga n i s at i o n , ONE EVERY “Throwing him in jail is Chengeta Wildlife, to probably going to make help fund training and 15 MINUTES his day, as he’ll get a hot support other conservameal.” Also, shooting tion ventures across Africa. Rory claims that all donations go poachers on sight, a common practice towards supporting work in the field. in parts of Africa, is futile. (“A dead “When we go into an area, we try to poacher can’t provide information.”) In Malawi, Rory’s team convinced initiate and then manage a behaviour change,” he says. “You can’t stop local leaders to help. Religious leaders poaching by arrests, drones in the air, preached that slaughtering wild aniadvertising or educating the youth. It’s mals for food wasn’t halal and went a combination of all these factors that against the teachings of Islam. Tribal chiefs started ordering their own creates a change in attitude.” In the Malawi village where Rory arrests, concerned that state authoriand his team were attacked, there was ties would stop bringing food relief, elephant and rhino poaching going books and other needed resources

bump into poachers. But the areas they cover are so vast, you just can’t do that.”

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LU C KY TO G E T O U T A L I V E

An elephant muscles in on Rory and his son in Imire game park, Zimbabwe

into these villages if the attacks on rangers and police continued. “The authorities in a country have to want to deal with poaching,” says Rory. “Not necessarily from the goodness of their hearts – a country might just be reliant on foreign exchange or tourism and need to maintain their global image.” IN SOME COUNTRIES, however, the authorities are part of the problem. In 2014, Young was invited back to Zimbabwe by a local authority to train some of their police officers. But be112

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fore he could start, he was ordered to report to the President’s Office. There, he was told by the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO, Zimbabwe’s ‘secret police’) bosses that he wouldn’t be permitted to carry out the training. “First they accused me of coming to Zimbabwe to train rebels. When I told them I was training their own police officers, they said I didn’t have the necessary permissions.” But when Rory showed them the proofs, they got really angry. “They said, if you train anyone, or if you go into any area and are seen training


READER’S DIGEST

anyone, we’ll find a reason to arrest you and throw away the key.” Soon after this, five elephants were shot in the area, and there have been almost daily reports of elephants being killed ever since. This January, a CIO officer was jailed for being part of a poaching gang. “They’re involved, and everybody knows it,” concludes Rory. “Poachers need corrupt officials to move their goods. Corrupt officials need cash to maintain their position.” Rory soon realised that he’d have to leave Zimbabwe for good. “The CIO were visiting anyone who knew me, asking where I was, telling them they were going to arrest me because I was training rebels. You have to take a threat like that seriously.”

Puzzle answers

See page 122

BUBBLE MATHS

5

2

3

5

8

8 3

4 9 5

1

2 7 1

6 5

4

JIGSAW SHUFFLER

HIDDEN MEANING

Eight ways.

GIVE ME FIVE

A. Daddy long legs B. Exterminate C. Bottom of the barrel D. Right here and now

5. The numbers in each grid add up to 30.

ODD DIE OUT C.

He moved with his family to the Netherlands, where his wife Marjet has relatives. He’s since trained antipoaching forces in Guinea and Malawi, but he hasn’t been back to Zimbabwe. Not even when his father died last year did he feel it was safe to return. ALTHOUGH HIS WORK is important, Rory believes everyone should do their bit to stop poaching, “whether it’s putting some coins in a tin, writing an article, training someone or just spreading the word.” He’d also like to see all governments do more. “China has given Zimbabwe US$2m to stop poaching, but it won’t do anything about the illegal trade in its own country. The US is the second-largest importer of illegal ivory in the world. Europe does nothing much.” He’s particularly angry that richer countries expect less-developed ones to handle the problem. “Poaching is a result of so many other evils – poverty, corruption, bad government, conflict, religious hatred. To fight it, African authorities need equipment, weapons and training. Sometimes the people I train don’t even have boots.” But none of this has deterred Rory. “Yes, my work carries some risks and I get a lot of headaches,” he admits. “But at least I can sleep at night.” STO RY BY CR I SPI N A N DR EWS To learn more about Chengeta Wildlife, go to www.chengetawildlife.org

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Unbelievable TRUE TALES TOLD TALL

Ironically Enough SOMEONE ASKED if I had read a bestselling book that says the key to success is making snap decisions. “I stood in a bookshop thinking about buying it for ten minutes but couldn’t make up my mind,” I replied. Irony rules my life. Then I saw a news clip in which an Indian government energy minister 114

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was bragging at a press conference about how well his team was doing on their 24/7 power supply goals, only to be interrupted by a power cut. He continued to talk in the dark, although I think it’s fair to say that his point was undermined. That incident made me realise that irony is no less than the Guiding Principle of the Universe.

ILLUSTRATI ON: GETTY I MAGES

Nury Vittachi stumbles upon an irony-clad rule of life


sentences on them, such as “SO We live in a world where a HAPPY IS MY CUCUMBER WIND”. kite-flying event in Hong Kong is A colleague’s favourite example of cancelled after weather forecasters irony is that gunpowder was invented predict a windy day; a world where in the ninth century by Chinese my silly friends try to organise an scientists looking for a substance to animal rights barbecue; a world make people live longer. where a woman in the US is And of course there are the many arrested and charged with unintentionally ironic people who committing domestic violence while comment “your stuped” wearing a Stop Domestic on the web versions of my Violence T-shirt. articles. Someone sent me Indeed, there could There are a picture of a car bumper be a whole sub-category the many sticker from the US that of incidents involving offenders wearing ironic unintentionally read “Your in America speak English”. or apt T-shirts, says a ironic people We need to pass a law reader who collects police who comment NOW, before the climate mugshots. He sent me “your stuped” on change apocalypse, that one of a cold, unsmiling villain with “DO I LOOK my web articles allows us to legally eat anybody who writes LIKE I CARE?”on his shirt. “your” for “you’re”. Women are allegedly Who’s with me on that? Everybody. gentler human beings, and his I thought so. collection includes a mugshot of one But coming back to the present wearing a T-shirt saying “I’M SORRY, day, can one do anything about the IT’S MY FAULT”. If she pleads not irony built into the universe? A man guilty in court, the shirt is going to in Israel tried to take out a restraining be a problem. order against God for having “a The same can be said for a seriously negative attitude towards man arrested with “I’M PROBABLY him”. The Almighty had made his life LYING” emblazoned across his miserable for three years, the man chest. Smart Prosecutor: “Did you said. The judge made a snap decision commit this crime, and can you to reject the case. No-one was killed by tell us what your T-shirt says?” lightning and the judge was praised by Suspect: “I’m not guilty, and critics. I should have bought that book. ‘I’M PROBABLY LYING’.” Apt T-shirts are seen less often where I live in Asia, since our Nury Vittachi is a Hong Kong-based author. Read his blog at Mrjam.org goods tend to have random, surreal Septemberđ2016

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out about NEWS

BOOKS

MY COOL TREEHOUSE An Inspirational Guide to Stylish Treehouses Jane Field-Lewis, photography by Tina Hillier Pavilion A treehouse is the stuf of childhood and fairytales, isn’t it? A hideaway, a magical place, a setting for backyard fun and adventure. But there are plenty of adults who yearn for such a sanctuary, too – and many have made their dream come true. In this whimsical book, Jane Field-Lewis takes us from London to the African wilderness, from the lavender fields of Italy to California in search of romantic, quirky, luxurious and sometimes futuristic examples of treetop dwellings. Mostly created from recycled materials and demonstrating resourcefulness and imagination in spades, these mini havens will sweep you of your feet.

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FILMS

DVDS


READER’S DIGEST

FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS DVD Inspired by the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, the charming and irrepressible New York socialite who pursued her dream of becoming an opera singer despite her terrible, tuneless singing voice. Meryl Streep delivers another amazing performance in the title role of this sentimental biopic, while Hugh Grant provides the perfect support in the role of St Clair Bayfield, Florence’s partner and manager.

NEW TRICKS FOR OLD DOGS 28 Laughable Lessons for People Too Stif to Change . . . or Bend . . . or Move Gene Perret Familius What fun! A book that makes us laugh out loud. And a self-help book at that, a genre often populated by the pompous and the pious. No risk of that with Gene Perret, an Emmy award-winning comedy writer with 28 years on the slate working for Bob Hope and other comedy luminaries. His tonguein-cheek approach to self help takes the form of 28 entertaining lessons for seniors who might just be a little bit cynical about this whole self-help carry-on, and a little bit on the jaded side about life in general. But with this irreverent, mad-cap dash through topics such as Positive Thinking, Evaluate Your Potential, Overcoming Fear and Learn to Say No, it’s very likely that those of us in our later years will learn something new along the way. And we’ll certainly laugh a lot while we’re doing it.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this CHARLES M. SCHULZ afternoon.” ABBA The Definitive Collection This two-disc set is the ultimate compilation of all Abba’s singles: “Mamma Mia”, “Dancing Queen” and “Money, Money, Money” to list a few. Definitely not to be overlooked by any ABBA fan!

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OUT & ABOUT

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS Animation/Family/Comedy

WHERE ARE OUR BOYS? How Newsmaps Won the Great War Martin Woods National Library of Australia Publishing Today, battles are lost and won in our living rooms as world events are beamed to us in real time. During the Great War of 1914-18, Australians learned of its developments through newspaper maps, or newsmaps. Featured in the pages of newspapers and pasted to walls on city streets, they allowed those at home to feel closer to their loved ones and helped them follow the conflict and comprehend the savage human cost of war. Featuring more than 200 maps, Where Are Our Boys? provides a fascinating view of a war as it unfolded before the eyes of the Australian public.

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From the creators of Despicable Me and Minions comes another compelling tale for the kids: The Secret Life of Pets. Max, voiced by Louis C.K., is the happiest terrier mix in town. He is the muchloved and very devoted only pet of Katie (Ellie Kemper) and has been since he was a pup. His life is fabulous until the surprise arrival of Duke (Eric Stonestreet), a gigantic mutt from the pound. Max is immediately jealous and the two begin a battle of one-upmanship that sees them both collarless and in the clutches of the city’s animal controllers. The two are rescued by The Flushed Pets, a tough group of abandoned animals led by Snowball (Kevin Hart), a rebellious bunny. They are forced to put their diferences aside in order to escape the group’s clutches and find their way home.

Max the adorable terrier, backed by Snowball and Duke


READER’S DIGEST

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Action/ Western

Energy-Producing Bikes to Power India Not heard of Manoj Bhargava? This should bring you up to speed: born in India, moved to Pennsylvania, studied at Princeton, dropped out, become a monk, invented a hugely popular energy drink that made him a billionaire, then in 2015 pledged to give 99% of his fortune to philanthropic causes. One of those causes – and there are many – is called Free Electric, and is Bhargava’s ingenious way of providing electricity to households in India (and then, once proven, presumably anyone else who wants it). Here’s how it works: you pedal a hybrid bike that drives a flywheel attached to a generator, which is hooked to a battery. A single hour of pedalling creates 24 hours of electricity with no bills, no exhaust and no waste. Simple. At the time of printing, pilot programmes in India and Singapore were underway. Ultimately, Bhargava’s electricity-generating bikes will come in two versions: a basic model for Third World, energy-poor regions for just US$250 each (not a bad deal for endless free electricity with no waste); and a ‘luxury’ model for wealthy countries that will cost around five times as much. Bhargava has also pledged that, “for every bike we sell in a wealthy country, one bike will be given to someone in a poor country”.

This modern adaptation of the 1960s classic The Magnificent Seven brings the Western genre to new audiences. The decent people of Rose Creek are being forced out of their homes and murdered by brutal industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard). In desperation, the townspeople enlist the services of seven outlaws led by Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) to help prepare for the looming violent showdown. The band of mercenaries, played by Chris Pratt (below), Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Martin Sensmeier, find themselves fighting for much more than money.


3D-Printed Offices Are Here After presiding over the oicial opening of the world’s first entirely 3D-printed oice building in Dubai last May, United Arab Emirates Minister of Cabinet Afairs Mohammed Al Gergawi said, “We believe this is just the beginning. The world will change.” He may be right. The fully functioning single-storey building with a footprint of around

250 m2 was produced by a 3D printer 35 m in length and took under 20 days to complete, including all interior designs and furnishings, which were also 3D-printed. Savings in labour costs and building time alone are being put as high as 80 per cent, and Al Gergawi g reports that by 2030, the UAE aims to have a quarter of its buildings prrinted.

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC Drama Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) lives in the wilderness by choice and is devoted to raisin ng his six children to become virtuous, open–mind ded citizens of the world. With no access to mod dern technology, they hunt, fish and learn multiple foreign languages and musical instruments. When their mother Leslie (Trin Miller) dies, tthe family is forced into the outside world to atttend her funeral. Leslie’s father Jack (Frank Langella) blames Ben for everything that has befallen n them and, since he sees Ben’s parenting as dangerous and irresponsible, seeks custody y of the children. The film explores what it me eans to be a parent, and in Ben’s case causes him m to question the lessons he has taught his children.

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Quantum Computers: Fact or Fiction? Few scientific advances promise more than that of quantum computers, the theoretical future-machines that will work on the sub-subsubatomic level and process data many millions of times faster than our best conventional devices. But how will they actually work? Amazingly enough, no-one really knows. Yet. But to clear the air (and blow the mind), here’s radio and TV scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki’s explanation of the possible, probable, potential future of quantum computing: “An information bit inside your computer can be a one or a zero, and nothing else. However, in a quantum computer [it] can be a one and it can be a zero – and it can also be the infinite number of numbers between one and zero… all at the same time. So, when you’re using a quantum computer of the future, you are using not just the quantum computer you bought; you’re also using every other quantum computer that has ever been built anywhere in the history of the human race, or of any other intelligent race, anywhere in our universe... and every other quantum computer that ever will be built in the future, in this universe and the infinite number of universes that may or may not exist.” Needless to say, practical applications remain decades away. So while the smartest people on the planet get back to work, all that remains is for us to watch this space-time.

BRIDGET JONES’S BABY Comedy/Romance Renée Zellweger returns to the screen as Bridget Jones, who is unexpectedly expecting! Having not managed to live “happily ever after” with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), Bridget finds herself turning 40 – and single once again. However, all is not lost as she is determined to focus on her career as a news producer and enjoy the company of friends old and new. Just as Bridget seems to have everything under control, she meets a handsome American named Jack (Patrick Dempsey) and her love life takes a happy turn until she finds she’s pregnant. Emma Thompson joins the cast as Dr Rawling, Bridget’s doctor, who turns out to be just the advisor Bridget needs.

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BRAIN POWER TEST YOUR MENTAL PROWESS

Puzzles Challenge yourself by solving these puzzles and mind stretchers, then check your answers on page 113. BY MARCEL DANESI

BUBBLE MATHS

5

Assign a whole number between 1 and 5 to the white spaces of each of the 10 bubbles. Each number occurs twice, but no two bubbles with the same number are touching. The sums of some of the numbers are revealed in the areas where their bubbles overlap. Can you figure out which number goes in each bubble?

8 8 7

9

6 5

JIGSAW SHUFFLER

A

B

All of the tabs and slots on jigsaw pieces A and B are compatible with each other. How many diferent ways can you put these two pieces together?

GIVE ME FIVE If all five grids share a common feature, what’s the missing number?

2 3 4

7 0 7

8 2

1

3 3 4

5 2 2

1 5 6 6 2 1

5 3 2

8 3 0

5 2 3

1

4 1

4 3

7

5 3 4

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1

1

1

2

?

3


HIDDEN MEANING Identify the common words or phrases below.

8 ex

term

A

B

here now C

C

ODD DIE OUT Here’s a flat template that could be folded into a cube. Which of the views below (A, B or C) does not represent the same cube?

A

B

C

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BRAIN POWER TEST YOUR GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Trivia 1. What name is shared by a character in he Hunger Games and one of Julius Caesar’s fathers-in-law? 2 points

from cofee beans that have been partly digested and defecated by what animal? 1 point

2. Starting from

took pills that contained what toxic substance – then considered a medicine – to treat ‘melancholia’?

9. Abraham Lincoln

Genesis, what is the irst book of the Bible named for a person? 1 point is used in traditional Hungarian cuisine? 1 point 4. he ilm Lost in

Translation was set for the most part in what city’s Park Hyatt hotel? 1 point

11. Which three nations are the world’s biggest consumers of ice cream? 2 points

5. What Austrian composer’s skull

was stolen from his grave in 1809 by people who wanted to study the head of a musical genius? 2 points 6. Which country has the most

Eurovision Song Contest wins? 1 point 7. he Iroquois, AgustaWestland and Sikorsky are all types of what? 2 points 8. Kopi luwak is a type of cofee made 16-20 Gold medal

11-15 Silver medal

1 point 10. Which city in the US is known colloquially as ‘he Big Easy’? 1 point

12. he terms bear and bull to describe the stock market date back to which century: the 18th, 19th or 20th? 1 point 13. Which newspaper was closed by

a phone-hacking scandal in 2011 after publishing for nearly 168 years? 1 point 14. Which planet has the most eccentric (of circular) orbit? 1 point 15. What does the ‘Q’ stand for in IQ? 1 point 6-10 Bronze medal

0-5 Wooden spoon

ANSWERS: 1. Cinna. 2. Joshua. 3. Paprika. 4. Tokyo. 5. Franz Joseph Haydn. 6. Ireland, with seven wins. 7. Helicopter. 8. Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). 9. Mercury. 10. New Orleans. 11. US, Australia and New Zealand. 12. Eighteenth century. 13. The News of the World. 14. Mercury. 15. Quotient.

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PHOTO: ISTOC K

3. What signature spice


BRAIN POWER

IT PAYS TO INCREASE YOUR

Word Power Reader Edition This quiz features favourite words sent in by you, our readers – so if the entries seem a bit outlandish, you can shake a fist at your fellow Word Power enthusiasts. Check the next page for answers and contributors. BY E M ILY COX & H E NRY RATH VON

1. sesquipedalian adj. – A: prone

8. zax n. – A: tool used by roofers.

to walking. B: acting like a clown. C: having many syllables.

B: hair gel. C: cordless microphone used in conferences.

2. indefatigable adj. – A: following

9. fantods n. – A: jitters. B: Japanese

a strict diet. B: tireless. C: flame retardant or difficult to extinguish.

ghosts. C: magazine column dedicated to celebrity news.

3. susurrant adj. – A: stuttering.

10. eleemosynary adj. –

B: whispering. C: piping hot.

A: childishly simple. B: involving charity. C: eel-like.

4. nugatory adj. – A: sweet and

chewy. B: of no importance. C: rubbed until sore. 5. gandy dancer n. – A: slick or corrupt politician. B: US railroad worker. C: 1930s and ’40s chorus girl. 6. tonsorial adj. – A: of barbers.

11. umami n. – A: large and often destructive wave. B: dogsled race. C: meaty or savoury taste sensation. 12. assiduously adv. – A: with

careful attention. B: as a snake moves. C: in a helpful manner.

B: mouldable, as clay. C: in the throat. 13. uxorial adj. – A: between 7. perspicacity n. – A: heavy sweat.

B: sneakiness. C: mental acuity.

two teeth. B: poorly dressed. C: pertaining to a wife. Septemberđ2016

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125


WORD POWER

Answers 1. sesquipedalian – [C] having

many syllables. “One of the things my father and I shared was a love of words. He introduced this one to me when I was a teenager.” DENISE ACORD

She’s been my barber for nine years now.” GLENN MCCORKHILL 7. perspicacity – [C] mental acuity. “Rarely used and requires five different mouth movements!” PATT FLOWER

2. indefatigable – [B] tireless. “My wife and I are both high school teachers. I adopted this word to describe how ‘tireless’ some students are in their quest to get out of work.”

8. zax – [A] tool used by roofers. “It’s a great scoring word in Scrabble.”

BRENT MCFARLAND

heard of it but came across it while reading a book. I always look up words I don’t know.” RACHEL CHURCH

3. susurrant – [B] whispering.

“It’s onomatopoeic and makes me think of the sound of wind in trees RAY STOUT at night.” 4. nugatory – [B] of no importance.

“It sounds funny, but you can actually use it,” wrote Patrick Bacaj. We agree – here’s an example: Her critique was on point but, given the book’s impact, ultimately nugatory.

VIVIAN SCHMUCKER

9. fantods – [A] jitters. “I had never

10. eleemosynary – [B] involving

charity. “I love it because the pronunciation gives little clue KAREN DAVIS to how it is spelled.” 11. umami – [C] meaty or savoury taste. “One of the five basic tastes that few people know.” JERRY PAYNE 12. assiduously – [A] with careful

5. gandy dancer – [B] railroad

worker. “My father was one! He earned his way through college by [among other things] gandy dancing – working with a crew laying tracks.” B. F. 6. tonsorial – [A] of barbers. “One business [in my new town] had Tonsorial emblazoned across the window. Not knowing what the word meant, I was almost afraid to go in. 126

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Septemberđ2016

attention. “Love this word, but it is definitely not me!” CELESTE BURKE 13. uxorial – [C] pertaining to a wife. “I rarely find a word I have to look up while reading for pleasure. This is the J. HOVER first I’ve found in a while!” VOCABULARY RATINGS

0-8: Assiduous 9–12: Perspicacious 13: Word Power Wizard!


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