Issuu on Google+

RS HOUF O T A GREDING REA

Royal Record PAGE 36

Don’t Panic! Dad’s Army Returns PAGE 76

Keepsakes in Our Passwords PAGE 82

How Soccer Changed a Lost Community PAGE 64

Inside a Prison 100-Word Book Club Story Winners PAGE 100

PAGE 28

ANZAC Anniversary: A Father’s Memorial Life’s Like That Word Power

52 72 124


Explore, Interact, Explore, Interact, Inspire Inspire Available now, everywhere

Available now, everywhere


Contents APRIL 2016

28

Competition

100-WORD STORY WINNERS We are pleased to announce the three finalists of our 2016 short fiction contest.

36

P.

|

28

P.

|

44

Cover Story

MIGHTY MONARCH As Queen Elizabeth II turns 90, we look back at milestones in the monarch’s life. Some are serious, others light-hearted, but all are imbued with her hallmark charm. ST É P H A N I E V E R G E A N D LO U I S E WAT E R S O N

44

Travel

NEW ORLEANS: THE COMEBACK CITY More than a decade after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is rebuilding and reinventing itself. M I M I SWA R TZ F R O M T R AV E L A N D L E I SU R E

52

Gallipoli Remembrance

WINDOW ON A LIFE A stained glass window in a historic church commemorates a soldier who fell on the battlefields of World War I. J E N N Y BY R N E

56

Health

LIVING WITH PARKINSON’S From therapy to tango dancing, an update on leading a fuller life with Parkinson’s disease. A N I TA B A R T H O LO M E W A N D SA M A N T H A R I D E O U T

64

Sport

FIELD OF DREAMS A bumpy soccer pitch, a rundown clubhouse and some cash-strapped amateur players with a love of the game. A N A- M A R I A C I O B A N U April•2016

|

1


Contents APRIL 2016

P.

|

52

74

Instant Answers

RETROFUTURISM Whatever happened to the past’s visions of a glorious tomorrow? And just where are our flying cars? H A Z E L F LY N N

76

Entertainment

THE CHANGING OF THE HOME GUARD Everyone’s favourite Home Guard platoon is set to march across the big screen in a remake of the TV comedy Dad’s Army. J OY P E R SAU D

82

Words of Lasting Interest

THE SECRET LIVES OF PASSWORDS What’s your password? Told to select a random string of characters, we often chose something that reveals a lot about ourselves. I A N U R B I N A F R O M T H E N E W YO R K T I M E S

P.

|

90

86

Look Twice

SEE THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY One man’s mission to make art that elevates – on the smallest of scales.

90

Drama in Real Life

LOST IN THE ARCTIC An expedition through Canada’s remote icy wilderness becomes a desperate struggle to stay alive. N I C H O L A S H U N E - B R OW N

100

Bonus Read

“I’D LIKE TO HELP YOU FIND SOME GOOD BOOKS” A violent mugging leaves a writer terrified and suspicious. Then a friend asks her to join a book club in a Canadian men’s prison. A N N WA L M S L E Y F R O M T H E P R I SO N B O O K C LU B

PLUS 2

|

April•2016

How to start your own book club.


THE DIGEST P.

Health

16 The meat debate; boost your

|

24

energy levels and more.

Food

22 Brunch time? Try these ricotta

pancakes or a perfect omelette.

Travel

24 Comfort on a long-haul flight;

Turkey’s amazing ancient past.

Home

26 Five DIY mistakes to avoid;

how to declutter your house.

Out & About

110 All that’s best in books, movies and unexpected news.

REGULARS 4 Letters 7 Editor’s Letter 8 My Story 12 Kindness of Strangers 14 Smart Animals

P.

|

74

63 Quotable Quotes 112 Unbelievable 120 Puzzles, Trivia & Word Power

HUMOUR 43 Laughter, the Best Medicine 72 Life’s Like That 98 All in a Day’s Work

CONTESTS 5 Caption and Letter Competition 6 Jokes and Stories 28 100 Word Story Contest

SEE PAGE 35

April•2016

|

3


Letters

READERS’ COMMENTS AND OPINIONS

Tea Time

Andrew McCarthy’s search for the best cup of tea in the world was fascinating reading (‘To A Tea’, January). High in the foothills of the Himalayas, one of the poorest and most beautiful places on Earth, tea plantations provide work for many people. And while strict guidelines protect the quality of the tea harvests, one can only hope that the plantation workers plucking the leaves are employed under fair conditions. Whether we drink our tea from a

Kindly Deeds

chipped mug or sip it from a dainty china teacup, we should spare a thought for the people who select the best leaves so that we can enjoy conversations over a good cuppa.

to spread the word about this wholly delicious treat. One extra piece of information that might interest your readers is that although Panamas, the large shop-bought variety, are picked early off the vine, the purple varieties naturally fall off the vine when ripe. When buying passionfruit at the shops, choose ripe, and plump fruit and LET US KNOW keep it in the fridge to If you are moved – or preserve freshness. And provoked – by any item wrinkles can be a sign in the magazine, share your thoughts. See  of dehydration. Happy page 6 for how to join eating! TINA MCPHERSON

I have stopped watching the news because of all the bad this world has to offer, but the cover story on 20 true stories of kindness (February) made me realise there are still a lot of good people out there. I will keep this and read it from time to time as a reminder. LESA TRENT

Fruit Passion It was terrific to read about passionfruit in Digest Food (February). As a fruit grower I love 4

|

April•2016

JUDITH CAINE

the discussion.


Good Marriage Advice Let’s face it. Every marriage could do with a little improvement. That’s why reading Garrison Keillor’s candid article (January) made my day. His provocative sense of humour underscores my belief that laughter strengthens the marital bond. MARY EU

Popcorn Hard on the Teeth In the December Health section, an article advises the reader to eat detergent foods to help clean teeth: “Apples are good, as are raw carrots, celery and popcorn.” I discussed this advice with other dentists who agree that apples, carrots and celery definitely clean your teeth and gums. But when it comes to popcorn, a particle can often find its way into your gums and may lead to infection. Not that one shouldn’t eat popcorn, but do so carefully to prevent bits getting stuck. PAUL R. DE CASTRO, DMD

Geek a la Chic

We asked you to think up a funny caption for this photo. “I love how I look, do you have a problem with that?” AMEENA NAVEED “Hey, I’m all set for the Geek Contest! Wish me luck!” HASSAN MOGHIS “Mom, is that Dad?” “I say yes to this dress!”

J.R. BOWSER M.J. MUSFIRAH

“This pose will be trending in 2016. trust me!” N. RAHMAN Congratulations to this month’s winner, M.J. Musfirah.

WIN!

P HOTOS: 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 an 14K gold nib. Congratulations to this month’s winner, Judith Caine.

CAPTION CONTEST

Come up with the funniest caption for the above photo and you could win $100. To enter, see details on page 6. April•2016

|

5


Vol. 190 No. 1130 April 2016

EDITORIAL Editorial Director Lynn Lewis Managing Editor Louise Waterson Chief Subeditor & Production Editor Donyale Harrison Deputy Chief Subeditor Melanie Egan SubeditorJenny Byrne Designer Luke Temby Digital Editor & Humour Editor Greg Barton Editorial Coordinator 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 Kahchi Liew, liew.kahchi@rd.com Australia Darlene Delaney, darlene.delaney@rd.com New Zealand Debbie Bishop, debbie@hawkhurst.co.nz PUBLISHED BY READER’S DIGEST (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD Managing Director/Publisher Walter Beyleveldt Director Lance Christie 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 6

|

April•2016

CONTRIBUTE

FOR DIGITAL EXTRAS AND SOCIAL MEDIA INFO, SEE PAGE 35.

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

Online

Follow the “Contribute” link at the RD website in your region, or via:

Email AU: editor@readersdigest.com.au NZ: editor@readersdigest.co.nz 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 READER’S IS PRINTED ON PEFC-CERTIFIED how we DIGEST may share your information with our affiliate PAPER. THIS PROVIDES AN ASSURANCE THAT THE companies in the US or other overseas entities), how PAPER IS PRODUCED FROM SUSTAINABLY MANAGED you may access or correct information held and our FOREST AND CONTROLLED SOURCES. privacy complaints process.


Editor’s Note Something for Everyone HELLO, EVERYONE! I’ve been part of the team that puts the magazine together each month for a large part of my adult life. Over that time, one thing has remained constant – the effort to ensure when a reader picks up the magazine he or she will find something that interests them. It remains the guiding rule when we sit down to compile the table of contents: “Make sure there’s something for everyone!” It’s a privilege and challenge to now be heading this wonderful magazine. I look forward to unveiling some exciting new sections, including ‘Out & About’ (page 114), plus more of the extraordinary stories and advice you’ve come to expect. This month, you’ll notice that we’ve printed the magazine on a less reflective paper. Cutting down on the ‘shine’ will make reading easier on the eye and we hope you’ll enjoy the added comfort factor as you sit back and read this month’s stories. Enjoy!

LOUISE WATERSON

Managing Editor

April•2016

|

7


MY STORY

The Little Desert BY A DA M JAY CO U R T

A loving dad caring for a son with autism grapples with public and private perceptions of parenting Adam Jay Court is a teacher working at a Christian school in the outer western suburbs of Melbourne. He is happily married to Leisl and together they have two beautiful children - Isaac and his younger sister, Isla.

8

|

April•2016

“NOW I’VE SEEN EVERYTHING,” said the heavily tattooed, bearded truckie as he stepped into the urinal next to me. It was 2013, and my four-year-old son, Isaac, and I were visiting the mens’ room in a service station in the tiny town of Nhill, which cuts through the Western Highway halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide. Isaac was perched on my shoulders with his iPad resting on my head. As he focused on developing his ‘Fruit Ninja’ skills, I took an essential break after spending the last few hours behind the wheel. Past experience has taught me not to put him down in a public toilet. Four-year-olds are inquisitive creatures at the best of times, but Isaac takes curiosity to a new level. His paediatrician describes his behaviour as ‘sensory seeking’. Automated flushing ensures constant movement like a waterfall. The shiny, metallic surface that spans the length of an entire wall is alluring and the temptation to skim his hand through with the cold, wet trickle is great. Worse than this, is the risk of Isaac absconding and making a run for the door. Trying to catch a fast-moving child while you’re midway through going to the toilet does present some challenges. This is a risk I’m not prepared to take.


PHOTO: ISTOCK

“Playground, daddy, go to playground,” pleads Isaac, as though his life depended on his request being fulfilled. Although his speech is limited, there is a level of anxiety in his voice that lets me know how desperate he is to have a break. “Yes, Isaac,” I assure him. “We will go to the playground.” He breathes a sigh of relief – literally. And what he says next brings joy to my heart. Isaac’s speech is often scripted around phrases learnt from TV, songs or books. In this case, the words echoed are taken from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. “And this one is just right,” he says. These words are precious because he is using them in the correct context – or at least trying to. It is

“just right” because he wants to go to the playground. I can also use a break to recharge after the monotony of driving. The summer heat has left the Wimmera plains looking dry and forsaken. A landscape of endless blue sky, thirsty creek beds and yellow Mallee scrub sporadically scattered throughout. I lift the childproof latch and we enter an oasis of green complete with slide, swings and suspension bridge. Here, in this confined space, Isaac can play like other – neuro-typical – children without me fearing for his safety. I sit on a park bench next to a lady who also has a young child playing, and take my eyes off Isaac momentarily to glance at the tourist brochure in her hand. It reads: ‘The Little Desert – visit in spring to April•2016

|

9


M Y STO RY

It hurts to think that people would see the wildflowers and delicate distrust you or think the worst of you. native orchids.’ I know I shouldn’t, but to be honest I I look up. felt humiliated. Isaac is almost completely naked Finally, after 20 minutes, Isaac is and about to remove his underpants. calm and cradled in my arms. I gather up his scattered clothes and Moments later, we are back on the race over to him. road. I peer in the rear-view mirror and I try to dress him. Isaac lifts his heavy eyes and whispers, He resists. “I love you, daddy.” His head leans to He becomes aggressive and violent. one side and eyelids fall “He’s autistic,” I say to as he drifts into sleep. the lady. As the sun sets over In the commotion, Raising a child Pink Lake, I’m reminded I realise that I have with special that beauty can be found inadvertently labelled in the peculiar and my son. I know that he is needs takes a then I wonder – when much more than his very special strangers look at my son, diagnosis, and having village what will they see? autism is just part of A little desert – harsh who he is, but it is my and severe? Or the many hues of the attempt at rationalising the situation. wildflowers that blossom within? I restrain him. Isaac was diagnosed with autism Two council workers walk over when he was three. He now attends to the playground fence to assess an autism specific school. They say it whether they need to intervene. takes a village to raise a child. Raising A man wrestling a semi-naked child a child with special needs takes a very in a children’s playground does raise special village – a village of love, suspicion. patience and understanding. This story The lady sitting on the park bench is dedicated to the family, friends, gives them a nod to let them know I’m teachers, carers and healthcare not a sexual predator. It is a nonverbal exchange but a simple nod of the head professionals who form our support network – our village. These people  is enough to reassure them that I’m see the beauty within. not a threat and they walk away. In retrospect, I know these men were simply concerned for the welfare of my Do you have a tale to tell? We’ll pay son. They cared enough to come over cash for any original and unpublished and that was a really decent thing to story we print. See page 6 for details do, but it still hurts. on how to contribute. 10

|

April•2016


Hurry for this great price! Don’t miss out. Each issue packed with real-life drama, laughs and inspiring stories

RS HOUF O AT GREDING A RE

Royal Record PAGE 36

Don’t Panic! Dad’s Army Returns

Keepsakes in Our Passwords

PAGE 76

Save

PAGE 82

How Soccer Changed a Lost Community PAGE 64

100-Word Inside a Prison Story Winners Book Club PAGE 28 PAGE 100

Fath ANZAC Anniversary: A Life’s Like That Word Power

er’s Memorial

52

50% OFF RETAIL

72 124

For more details, head to: ASIA: rdasia.com/subscribe AUSTRALIA: readersdigest.com.au/subscribe NEW ZEALAND: readersdigest.co.nz/subscribe


KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

A series of unexpected events led to an exciting and rewarding experience in my genealogical research

Ancestry Search BY UNA P I C K H AV E R

Una Pickhaver lives in South Australia with her beloved pets. A greatgrandmother, she is very interested in family history and loves to paint.

12

|

April•2016

IN MAY 1999, my new English–born naturalised Australian husband of seven months and I decided to take a delayed honeymoon to England to meet his family. This worked well for me as it also gave me a great opportunity to continue with researching my ancestry in Yorkshire. Boarding our flight to London, we soon settled into our centre row seats ready for the long journey ahead. Some hours into our flight, boredom settled in so I started chatting with the couple seated next to us. The woman was a teacher, who, as luck would have it, had taught at a school in a small market town in Yorkshire. As Yorkshire was to be an important part of our visit, I asked her the name of the town and was completely taken aback when she replied “Howden”, as that was where I was heading to complete my family history research. Later during the flight, she asked if I would deliver a note to her former headmistress, whose home was easy to find. I agreed and we parted company at Heathrow Airport, both smiling at our chance meeting. Two weeks later my husband and I caught a train from London to Howden and booked into a hotel. With time to spare before dinner, we decided to take a stroll and deliver the teacher’s note.


PHOTOS: iSTOCK, ILLUSTRATI VE ONLY

When we reached the house, we knocked on the front door instead of dropping the letter into the letterbox. After we had introduced ourselves to the elderly former headmistress and explained why we were on her doorstep, she invited us for morning tea the following day. We returned the next day to find she had also invited an elderly male friend, who listened with interest as I spoke of my ancestry search. A local historian, he then offered to drive us to the Goole Library, about 8 km away, to go through the microfiche on ancestors. When we arrived, he took

over and, thanks to his skill, we made great progress in piecing together some of the mystery of my family tree. Once we had finished, he drove us to our hotel, stopping briefly at his home to pick up a book he had researched and published on the history of Howden. He then gave us the book as a parting gift. We felt as though we had been on a wonderful adventure – and all due to the goodwill of the people we had met. Share your story about a small act of kindness that made a huge impact. Turn to page 6 for details on how to contribute and earn cash. April•2016

|

13


Smart Animals Clever creatures do what they want to do – and go where they want to go!

A Natural High A number of years ago, during a holiday to East London, South Africa, my family and I were exploring a river on stand-up paddleboards. Our exploring took us past many campsites and open fields. As we approached a campsite, we spotted a large giraffe poking its head out from behind a tall tree. I was so delighted at the thought of meeting a giraffe in such an unexpected place that I paddled towards the fence in front of this glorious creature. As I stepped down into the swampy bank of the river and walked towards the fence, the giraffe noticed me and calmly loped over. It stood in front of me, batting its long black eyelashes. I fed this gentle giant – which was relatively tame – some grass out of my hand for a while before heading back to my stand-up board and continuing down the river. Then, later in the day, as our family headed back past the campsite, she was once again there to greet us. She clearly remembered us and started to escort us along the edge of the river for a little while. 14

|

April•2016

ILLUSTRATED BY EDWINA KEEN E

EMMA MARRISON


Top of the Class SAMUEL FRANCIS

I am a Year Six student at an all-boys day and boarding school that sits on the edge of a river in Sydney. Most mornings at 8am, Sally, the school’s elderly white Labrador, walks the 80-metre journey down to the river to meet the day boys arriving on the school’s river ferry. She’s always happy to see us, and after greeting us all – and receiving lots of pats – Sally likes to jump aboard the school’s mini-bus for the ten-minute drive up the hill to the primary school. She then waits for recess, when she gets to enjoy more pats and some morning tea. After recess, she slowly ambles back to the main school. The only time Sally doesn’t venture out is when it’s raining – she’s a clever dog!

Amazing Escape Artist MIA TETANGCO

My brother Patrick’s childhood pet Coolio, was an outdoor cat who loved our backyard. Patrick had raised Coolio from a kitten, and the pair were devoted to each other. One December evening we were scheduled to have an outdoor dinner party. Coolio loved nothing better than to jump up on our outdoor table and take food from our plates. As we didn’t want this happening to our guests, Patrick put him in the bathroom on the first

floor, and closed the window. After closing the door, Patrick felt confident that the dinner party would go smoothly. But no more than ten minutes had passed since he put Coolio in the bathroom when the cheeky kitty sauntered back into the garden and over to the table, which was laden with food. Certain he hadn’t forgotten to close the window, Patrick returned Coolio to the bathroom to find that the window was open. He then carefully shut the window, only to watch as Coolio casually jumped up onto the window sill, pawed at the lock just long enough to prise it open, and slipped out to freedom. Clearly it was pointless leaving him in the bathroom, so Coolio was allowed to join the party. After receiving a plate of his own food to enjoy, he left us and our guests alone to enjoy our dinner. 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. April•2016

|

15


THE DIGEST HEALTH

Does Eating Meat Really Cause Cancer BY ALYSSA JUNG

n So what exactly did the study find? The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC – part of the WHO) reviewed more than 800 studies examining links between meat and cancer. The research included people from around the world, of different races and on different types of diets. In their conclusions, processed meat (bacon, sausage, hot dogs) was placed in the ‘carcinogenic to humans’ category. The authors noted that for every 50 g portion of processed meat eaten 16

|

April•2016

daily, the risk of colorectal cancer increases by 18%. Red meat (beef, veal, pork, lamb, goat) was placed in the category ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’, the team noting that there was insufficient evidence to definitively prove a link. For each 100 g portion of red meat eaten daily, the risk of colorectal cancer could increase by 17%. You may have read that processed meat is in the same category as

ILLUSTRATIONS : S HUTTERSTOCK

A RECENT WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION ANALYSIS concluded that eating red and processed meat is linked to a higher risk of developing cancer. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to swear off burgers and bacon.


n Are certain kinds of meat safer than others? Lean cuts of meat are always your best option, whether you’re eating chicken or beef. Fattier portions of the animal have more saturated fat and cholesterol, which have been linked to heart disease, diabetes and premature death. Choosing to minimise the amount of processed meats, including bacon and sausage, which are often high in saturated Globally, diets high fat and sodium, is also a smart diet move for in processed meat cause about 34,000 your overall health and waistline. cancer deaths

tobacco use, but that doesn’t mean eating a lamb sausage raises your cancer risk as much as smoking does. IARC classifications are based on the strength of evidence that something may cause cancer, not actual risk. Tobacco smoking causes about a million cancer deaths a year worldwide, while diets high in processed meat cause about 34,000.

n So if I eat meat, will I get cancer? Experts say you don’t need to abstain just yet, but their findings “support current public health a year recommendations n Does it matter to limit meat intake,” said IARC’s how I cook my meat? As a matter director Dr Christopher Wild. of fact, it does. Studies show that “I think it’s very important that we grilling or barbecuing meat over don’t terrorise people into thinking flame or at high temperatures can they should not eat any red meat at create charring that may lead to all,” said Dr John Ioannidis, chairman the formation of chemicals that are of disease prevention at Stanford known or suspected carcinogens. University. There’s not enough evidence to n Is it easier (and safer) for me to suggest specific levels of safe meat just go vegetarian? Not necessarily. eating, but Dr Dariush Mozaffarian, Meat is a good source of protein, dean of the School of Nutrition vitamins and minerals your body Science and Policy at Tufts University needs for everything from brain in the US, recommends “no more than to muscle to your immune system one to two servings per month function. By eliminating meat entirely, of processed meats, and no more you could miss out on key nutrients than one to two servings per week that can affect your health if you don’t of unprocessed meat.” find other ways to get them. April•2016

|

17


HEALTH

NEWS FROM THE

World of Medicine A Greek study of 386 middle-aged hypertensive patients found that those who grabbed some midday shuteye had lower blood pressure than their counterparts who powered through the afternoon. After adjusting for other factors, including age and alcohol intake, the 24-hour ambulatory BP (a measure of your blood pressure as you’re going about your day, as opposed to sitting in the doctor’s office waiting to be seen) was 5% lower in people who took a 60-minute nap. This reduction is big enough to decrease the risk of heart attacks and lower the amount of antihypertensive medication potentially needed.

Today’s Seniors in Better Cognitive Shape On average, people over 50 are scoring better on cognitive tests than they did in the past, continuing a trend of increasingly sharp seniors. Rising levels of education account 18

|

April•2016

for some of this effect, but researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria say there’s also another reason: the intellectual demands that come with using computers and smartphones are giving ageing minds an ongoing workout. However lead researcher Nadia Steiber warned: “At the same time, we are seeing a decline in physical activity and rising levels of obesity.”

Portions and Plate Sizes Contribute to Overeating A systematic review of more than 70 previous studies has concluded that people consistently consume more food and drink when offered larger serving portions, packages or larger plate sizes. According to the authors, these findings could justify decreasing portion sizes in restaurants and shops in an effort to reduce exposure to inflated servings and to fight the obesity epidemic in many countries.

P HOTO: ADAM VOORHES ; P HOTO: ISTOC K

Midday Naps Reduce Blood Pressure


How to Cope with an ‘Overactive’ Bladder While the term ‘overactive’ may be used to avoid the awkwardness surrounding incontinence, the reality is up to 25% of women and 5% of men under 65 – more among the elderly – experience a type of urinary incontinence at some point. Follow these tips to help stay dry. DO KEGEL EXERCISES EVERY DAY

These exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which help control the release of urine. Kegels can often be more effective than medication at improving some types of incontinence – particularly effective in men who have undergone surgery for prostate issues. These exercises can be done anytime and anywhere as no-one knows you’re doing them. First, figure out which muscles to target by stopping in midstream when you’re urinating. The muscles you use to

do this are your pelvic floor muscles. To perform Kegels, squeeze those muscles and hold for a count of ten. Relax, then repeat. Perform at least three sets of ten contractions a day. EAT SMALL PORTIONS Studies find that losing weight is one of the most effective ways, next to pelvic floor exercises, to prevent incontinence. TRAIN YOUR BLADDER Doctors think one cause of incontinence is that some people tend to urinate too often. This can reduce the amount your bladder is able to hold and teaches your bladder muscles to send ‘must go’ signals even when the bladder isn’t full. Bladder training, a programme of gradually increasing the time between each visit to the toilet, helps you strengthen bladder muscles and increase the amount of urine you can comfortably hold.

April•2016

|

19


HEALTH

Make the Most of Your Doctor’s Appointment a doctor’s appointment, always try to get the first appointment of the day or the first appointment after lunch. At that time, things haven’t had a chance to become backed up, as they typically have by the third appointment of each period. DO YOUR HOMEWORK ON YOUR CONDITION These days, you need

to be an active participant in your health care. Thanks to the internet, guidelines and strategies based on the latest scientific evidence for treating many health conditions are just a few

clicks away. You can then discuss the options available with your doctor, including newer medications, lifestyle changes and combined therapies. ASK TO SAMPLE A DRUG FIRST

When your doctor prescribes a new brand-name medication, you may be able to trial a sample to see how it affects you. Drug company representatives often give doctors free samples, which they can pass along to you. One caveat: check the expiration date. Otherwise, you may be able to try a small initial dose with a larger repeat if required. TELL YOUR DOCTOR WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD Studies find that

doctors won’t usually ask you if you can afford your medication, but if you tell them you can’t, they’ll work to come up with strategies so you can get your drugs and still have money to live on. Some options: writing prescriptions for generics instead of brand names, reducing dosages, stopping some medications, and referring you to pharmaceutical assistance programmes. 20

|

April•2016

P HOTOS: iSTOCK

GET THE FIRST APPOINTMENT OF THE DAY Whenever you book


5 Body Hacks to Perk You Right Up

BY DR HOLLY PHILLIPS

Beat fatigue and boost your energy levels

1

Check your posture While gazing

at the floor from a standing position, you should be able to see the tops of your shoes without craning your neck. Slouching doesn’t just make you look tired – it makes you feel tired, too, because it places excess strain on your neck, back and hips; plus, when your joints aren’t properly aligned, your whole body has to work harder than it should. Additionally, standing tall will improve the flow of oxygen to your brain, which increases your alertness and attentiveness.

2

Expose yourself to light

Environmental cues play a huge role in the body’s energy cycles, and regular exposure to natural light has been shown to maintain higher energy levels in people suffering from fatigue. Open the curtains or step outside periodically and soak up some natural sunlight.

3

Use good scents This isn’t about dousing yourself with your favourite perfume. It’s about harnessing the power of aromatherapy to lift your spirits when you need it. Take a whiff of peppermint, rosemary or jasmine when you feel droopy. Research shows these scents increase alertness and attentiveness.

4

Surround yourself with energising colours Focusing your

eyes on a vibrant shade of red, orange or yellow has an energy-boosting effect on the body, partly because these hues represent heat and radiant energy (think fire or sun).

5

Use your soundtracks

Studies have found that listening to soothing music helps you get a good night’s sleep, while upbeat tunes with over 120 beats per minute will rev your energy. April•2016

|

21


FOOD

Tip

To warm honey for drizzling, heat it in the microwave for a few seconds

BRUNCH

Ricotta Pancakes with Fresh Fruit You’ll need for the pancakes: 2 eggs 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar

Preparation 10 minutes Cooking 5–10 minutes Serves 2 (Makes 6 pancakes)

4 tablespoons ricotta (about 80 g)

METHOD

2 tablespoons milk

1 In a bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, ricotta and milk until well combined. Add the sifted flour and stir until well combined.

½ cup (75 g) self-raising flour Butter, for pan-frying ½ banana, sliced 4 strawberries, sliced 1 tablespoon roughly chopped walnuts 2 tablespoons natural (plain) yoghurt 1 tablespoon warmed honey

2 Melt some butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Put three spoonfuls of mixture into separate circles of about 10 cm (4 inches) each, into the pan. Cook the pancakes for 2 minutes, or until small bubbles appear on the surface. Turn over and cook the other side for 1–2 minutes, or until cooked and golden. Repeat for second batch. 3 Serve the pancakes warm, with the banana, strawberries and walnuts, topped with the yoghurt and drizzled with honey.

PER SERVING 1745 kJ, 417 kcal, 17 g protein, 17 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 50 g carbohydrate (28 g sugars), 3 g fibre, 399 mg sodium

22

|

April•2016


Yoghurt berry parfait

April•2016

|

23


TRAVEL

How to Survive Long Flights SMART SEAT While some carriers charge a fee for selecting seats in advance, most allow passengers to choose their spots for free inside 24 hours of departure. To make the right choice for you, find out the model of plane you’re flying on, then consult SeatGuru (www.seatguru. com) for recommendations of where best to deposit your derrière. While some people find aisle seats have more legroom and make it easier to get up, others may find it annoying to be bumped into by other passengers. SLEEP SECRETS Sleeping is the

single best way to make plane hours disappear. Give yourself the best chance at shut-eye by bringing earplugs (to drown out babies and snorers), eye masks and inflatable neck pillows, just in case in-flight amenities prove scarce. Slumber 24

|

April•2016

aids such as melatonin (not lots of alcohol) are also an option, as are sleep-inducing music CDs. Don’t sleep for too long without exercising your legs, though, as you don’t want to risk deep vein thrombosis. MEDITATE If you can’t sleep, a conscious trance is the next best thing. Whether it’s using your own guided meditations or an in-flight mindfulness programme newly offered by some carriers, zone out and check into your own relaxing head space. THE RIGHT GEAR Yes to comfort, no to cold. Wear stretchy, cosy clothes in natural fibres – leggings, tracksuits, long-sleeve T-shirts, cardigans. Bring socks and an extra sweater too, as planes can get quite nippy. Slip-on shoes will help with swelling feet, and make security checks easier. And scarves can double as pillows that smell comfortably familiar.

P HOTOS: iSTOCK

We can’t all fly first-class, but there are ways to have a comfortable trip.


TRAVEL

4 Facts about Turkey

A land of fascinating events spanning millennia

1

Turkey is a land bridge Straddling the edges of eastern European and western Asia, Turkey’s largest city Istanbul is divided by the Bosphorus Strait. Formerly called Constantinople, modern-day Istanbul is often wrongly thought of as the capital of Turkey, when in fact Ankara is. Perhaps this is because it was the richest and largest city in Europe from the 4th to early 13th centuries and the capital of both the late Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire.

2

Home to the first map Long before Emperor Constantine moved in, nomadic Homo sapiens had settled in Çatalhöyük on the Southern Anatolian plateau. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is thought to date back to 7000–6000 BCE. Çatalhöyük is home to the world’s first map, or more accurately, earliest landscape painting, depicting the settlement and mountain backdrop.

today, is in fact one and the same city. It was built and destroyed so many times by various rulers that it leaves a variety of artefacts and ruins from many historic periods – from the Troy of Homer, to the Troy of the Roman poet Virgil and beyond.

4

A new alphabet While Turkish was written in a form of Arabic script (rich in consonants and poor in vowels) for centuries, it didn’t represent the language of the common people. So reform was introduced in 1928, with the adoption of a Latin-based alphabet and an education and literacy drive.

3

The legendary city Homer’s epic poems of Ancient Greece, the Iliad and the Odyssey, both make reference to the legendary city of Troy. But Troy is more than myth: Troia as the Anatolian city we know September•2015

|

25


HOME

DIY Errors to Avoid at All Costs NOT TAKING OUT NECESSARY PERMITS Many home renovation

STARTING WITHOUT A PLAN An action plan will guarantee you have all the necessary equipment and materials for the project at hand and you know what to do at each step, limiting the likelihood of mistakes that cost you time and money. OVERLOOKING SAFETY DIY renovators can risk serious injury and even death if they don’t follow recommended safety procedures. Most injuries are caused by not using personal protective equipment and procedures, using the wrong tools or ignoring warning labels. Never attempt activities or repairs beyond your level of knowledge or skill. 26

|

April•2016

MEASURING ONLY ONCE You don’t want to end up cutting your tiles or laminate flooring multiple times. The best way to avoid this is by measuring everything at least twice. Inaccurate cuts can give a shoddy finish, not to mention cost more as you may need to buy extra tiles, other equipment, or even hire a professional to complete the job properly. SAVING MONEY ON EQUIPMENT OR MATERIALS While DIY is a great

way to save money, it doesn’t mean you need to do everything on the cheap. For example, don’t pick the cheapest and thinnest plywood for your walls just because it costs less. You can find plenty of tools and materials for reasonable prices, yet still trust they are a quality product.

P HOTO: ISTOCK

projects – such as a loft conversion or a new carport, for instance – require building or planning permission. Your local council’s website will have information about what projects you might need permits for and how to apply for them.


HOME

To Keep or Not to Keep?

P HOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

Try these simple steps to help you de-clutter

Toss away those broken items, or things that you have never liked April•2016

|

27


CONTEST

100 WORD

STORIES WINNERS

At last, here’s the answer to the question everyone wants to know: who took out the prizes in our annual short story competition? Congratulations to everyone who entered this year’s contest. We had thousands of entries and, once again, we were thrilled by the quality of your stories. You left us with one problem: how do we pick the winners? Read our final choices on the next three pages. 28

|

April•2016


WINNER

$1000

Lynne Momple

P HOTO: GETTY IMAGES

LA LUCIA, SOUTH AFRICA

Mavis took one end and I the other and together we carefully manoeuvred the old brass bed through the bedroom door and the open verandah doors. We lifted it over the balustrade into the hands of family waiting below. Carrying it over the lavender, under the low Albizia branches, then past the roses, they gently put it down in the middle of the freshly mown lawn. Chantelle carried out the cotton sheets, the embroidered pillows, and finally the multi-coloured blanket her great-grandmother had knitted for me. Tonight, on her 90th birthday, my mother wants to sleep out under the stars.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: “Right from the start, this story establishes an emotional pull on the reader. We thought it had strong visual impact thanks to the rich selection of words. It is a deserving winner.”

April•2016

|

29


1 0 0 WO R D STO RY CO M P E T I T I O N

RUNNER-UP

$250

Maureen Holmes, HALLS HEAD, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID With short and sharp sentences, the writer has skilfully depicted an intimate and beautiful scene. Not a single word is wasted, and the effect is clear and emotionally uplifting.

30

|

April•2016

PHOTOS: iSTOCK

We met two weeks ago. The time had come. I took him by the hand and led him to my bedroom. There I proceeded to remove my clothes. Naked, I looked into his eyes and saw excitement and amusement. I moved towards the bed, slid under the covers, and patted the space beside me. His eyes searching my face, he slowly removed his shirt, jeans, then pointed to his jocks: “These?” I nodded. He was gorgeous, tall, slim, and all male. He lifted the sheet and came into my arms. I was seventy. He was eighty. Life had begun again.


READER’S DIGEST

WINNER $1000

Rosalind Palmer,

P HOTOGRAP H BY CLAIRE BENOI ST

MOFFAT BEACH, QUEENSLAND

The albatross soared over the cliff face, catching the updraft to support his wingspan. Where was his mate? He was late to return this year and he’d felt sure she’d already have a spot for them amongst the craggy rocks. As he glided along, he saw brooding pairs nestling together for warmth and the unmistakable ugliness of an abundantly fluffy newborn chick. Albatross mate for life so another female simply wouldn’t do. With a heavy heart, he circled to scan the crowded rookery once more. Halfway along, amid the riotous clamour, he suddenly saw her, beautiful as ever, waiting patiently. WHAT THE JUDGES SAID Right from the start this story captures our attention with a simple yet strong visual image. It scores top marks for being able to tell a complete story using an economy of words.

April•2016

|

31


1 0 0 WO R D STO RY CO M P E T I T I O N

RUNNER-UP

$250

Gope and Meera played together every day. “Race you to the garden!” Meera won. “I’m one step ahead!” Gope chased Meera around the trees. Then she wept. “We’re moving away.” Gope’s heart broke. “I will write to you.” For years they remembered.

Then life pulled them apart. Yet neither one forgot. “It’s time for you to marry,” Gope’s father said one day. “I have chosen a girl.” “I hope she’s sweet,” Gope prayed as he led his concealed bride around the holy fire. Later, he lifted her veil. “Meera, it’s you!” “I guess I’m still one step ahead!” Meera grinned.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: “This entry tells a complete story, not just a snippet. It conveys a rich tenderness and intimacy that has a lasting impact on the reader.” 32

|

April•2016

PHOTOS: (COUP LE) GETTY IMAGES; (FRI SBEE) iSTOC K

Ritu Hemnani POKFULAM, HONG KONG


READER’S DIGEST

RUNNER-UP

$250

Clare Knight, UPPER STURT, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Dylan watched sadly as his yellow frisbee sailed over the fence. Jim cursed loudly upon seeing a yellow frisbee flatten his petunias. “I’ll teach him,” he muttered as he tossed the frisbee straight over the opposite fence. Mary ducked to avoid being hit in the head by a yellow Frisbee. She stopped to retrieve it and then dropped it gently over the fence into the yard of the kindergarten. Miss Thompson bent to pick up a frisbee that had landed in the playground. “Oh, little Dylan loves frisbees!” she exclaimed. “I’ll give it to him when he comes on Monday.” WHAT THE JUDGES SAID This story held our attention by cleverly linking each of the characters to a single scene of action. It is carefully crafted and holds the reader’s interest.

April•2016

|

33


1 0 0 WO R D STO RY CO M P E T I T I O N

RUNNER-UP

$250

Yee Heng Yeh PALAU PINANG, MALAYSIA

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.

We’ll be running more of your 100 Word Stories throughout the year in the magazine. Look out for them in upcoming issues.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID: “We were particularly moved by this entry. It portrays a touching and desperate scene  in a delicate and dignified manner.”

LYNN LEWIS RD Editorial Director

34

|

April•2016

BEVERLEY COUSINS Publisher, Fiction, Penguin Random House

LOUISE WATERSON Managing Editor, RD Magazine

SAMANTHA KENT Senior Editor, RD General Books

VICTORIA POLZOT Editorial Coordinator, RD Magazine

PHOTO: iSTOC K

THE JUDGES


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

readersdigest.com.au/contests

We give great advice

Get regular home, health and food tips from The Digest

Giving is an expression of gratitude for our blessings. L AU R A A R R I L L AG A-A N D R E E S S E N

We help you get motivated

#QuotableQuotes and #PointstoPonder to get you through the day


COVER STORY

On April 21, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday. As the longest-reigning British monarch, mother of four, grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of five, her life has been devoted to service – and doing it with flair

Mighty

Monarch BY ST É PH ANIE VERGE AND LO UIS E WATER SON

36

|

April•2016


April 21, 1926 A PRINCESS IS BORN Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary arrives at 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair, the London residence of her mother’s parents. As the daughter of Prince Albert, the Duke of York, she is third-in-line to the throne. Had she been the heir apparent, her birth would most likely have taken place at Buckingham Palace.

ALL P HOTOS : GETTY IM AGES

October 13, 1940 HER FIRST PUBLIC SPEECH At the age of 14, and now the heir, Princess Elizabeth broadcast on the BBC Radio programme Children’s Hour during the final weeks of the Battle of Britain. Speaking to the children of the Commonwealth, some of whom had been evacuated to safe havens, she offers her support and understanding of the sadness they must be feeling at being separated from their parents.

April 21, 1944 HER FIRST CORGI Princess Elizabeth is given Susan (right), a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy and a lifelong love is forged. Many of the Queen’s 30-plus corgis have been Susan’s descendants.

“We know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well; for God will care for us and give us victory and peace. And when peace comes, remember it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place.”

March 1945 LEARNS TO DRIVE Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor joins the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, at Camberley, Surrey. Here she is taught to drive by Maud MacLellan. The Queen is the only person in Britain who can drive without a licence.

April•2016

|

37


MIGHTY MONARCH

February 6, 1952 LONG LIVE THE QUEEN Princess Elizabeth is at a fishing lodge in Kenya with her husband of four years, Prince Philip, when she learns her father, King George VI, has died in his sleep at the age of 56. Suddenly finding herself Queen and head of the Commonwealth, she immediately boards a plane back to England.

Her Majesty’s portrait has appeared on banknotes in every continent except Antarctica. Today, her image is on banknotes or coins of at least 20 countries. 38

|

April•2016

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her Other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith

AP ARC HI VE/C P

June 2, 1953 THE CORONATION On the day that 27-year-old Queen Elizabeth is officially anointed and crowned, 8251 guests attend Westminster Abbey to witness the almost three-hour service. Participating in the Sovereign’s procession at the commencement of the coronation are some 250 representatives of Crown, Church and State. Eight Prime Ministers of Commonwealth nations are in attendance, including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and India.


READER’S DIGEST

December 25, 1953 FIRST CHRISTMAS BROADCAST ABROAD The Queen’s second Christmas Broadcast is made live on radio from Auckland, New Zealand. She speaks of feeling at home in Auckland, despite its distance from London, and extends her sympathy to the families of the 151 victims of the Tangiwai train disaster the previous night. It wasn’t until 1957 that the Christmas message was televised live. Since 1960, the address has been pre-recorded so it can be transmitted around the world at the appropriate time.

November 24, 1953 A FIRST FULL COMMONWEALTH TOUR One of her first duties as Queen is to visit many of the member nations of the Commonwealth. The tour lasts until May 1954 and covers 14 countries and over 70,000 kilometres.

February 19, 1960 BIRTH OF PRINCE ANDREW While no doubt the birth of all her children is worthy of mention, Prince Andrew’s birth is the first child to a reigning British monarch in 103 years. The last had been Princess Beatrice, the youngest of Queen Victoria’s children, who was born in 1857.

1970 STEPS OUT

ON TOUR During a visit to Sydney, the Queen breaks with tradition and makes her first walkabout to greet the public, as do Prince Philip and Princess Anne. This has since become a regular activity.

April•2016

|

39


MIGHTY MONARCH

1974 A FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN TWO MONARCHS The Queen hosts a State Banquet at Claridge’s in London to welcome the King of Malaysia, Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah. Elizabeth was Queen of Malaya and British Borneo until Malaysian independence in 1957 and ties remain friendly and close. As Sultan of Kedah, Abdul Halim is the third longest-serving living monarch at 57 years, behind Rama IX of Thailand (69) and Elizabeth II (64). Kingship of Malaysia rotates among its nine sultans. Abdul Halim began his second reign in 2011.

February 24, 1986 SUNNY SIDE UP? While on tour in Auckland, New Zealand, the Queen is given a lessthan-royal reception by antiroyalists who throw eggs at her. Still, Her Majesty sees the funny side. Addressing a State dinner three days later, she quips: “New Zealand has long been renowned for its dairy produce, though I should say that I myself prefer my New Zealand eggs for breakfast.”

November 24, 1992 THAT SPEECH Despite 1992 being the Queen’s 40th anniversary as monarch, she finds little to celebrate when an extensively damaging fire at Windsor Castle wraps up a difficult year of very public personal scandals within the royal family. It is a year she describes as her annus horribilis – Latin for horrible year.

40

|

April•2016


READER’S DIGEST

FREQUENT TRAVELLER

April 9, 2005 CHARLES AND CAMILLA WED After years of speculation, Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles. The Queen hosts the couple’s wedding reception in the State Apartments of Windsor Castle, and expresses delight at the union: “My son is home and dry with the woman he loves.”

In the 64 years of her reign, the Queen has visited 116 countries on 265 official visits – including 82 state visits. Her last was in November 2015 to Malta, where she and Prince Philip lived after their marriage. Yet her Majesty does not have a passport as British passports are issued in her name, so she does not need to possess one.

“It is rather nice to hibernate for a bit when one leads such a moveable life” ON HER TRADITION OF TAKING AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER OFF FOR A SUMMER BREAK AT BALMORAL CASTLE, SCOTLAND.

April•2016

|

41


MIGHTY MONARCH

2012 LONDON GAMES AND DIAMOND JUBILEE

Her Majesty stars as herself in a James Bond spoof sequence during the Olympics Opening Ceremony alongside 007 himself (played by Daniel Craig). The Queen reportedly enjoys her movie debut greatly, particularly as, with the exception of Prince Philip, the four-and-a-half-minute scene is filmed without her family knowing, takes just one shooting and also stars her corgis Monty, Willow and Holly.

July 24, 2014 QUEEN PHOTOBOMBS SELFIE During the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, a smiling Her Majesty delights Australian hockey players Jayde Taylor and Brooke Peris by photobombing their selfie (right). Snapped as the team was warming down after a 4-0 win in their opening game, the girls had hoped to catch the Queen walking by, but ended up with a beaming monarch. She certainly looks like she was enjoying herself.

JUST LIKE GREAT-GREAT-GRANDMA SEPTEMBER 9, 2015 LONGEST REIGNING BRITISH MONARCH Celebrates a lifetime of service, longer than any other British monarch. Queen Victoria: JUNE 20, 1837–JAN. 2, 1901 (23,226 DAYS, 16 HOURS AND 23 MINUTES) Became Queen at 18.

Queen Elizabeth II: FEB. 6, 1952–PRESENT (23,226 DAYS, 16 HOURS, 24 MINUTES ON SEPT. 9, 2015) Became Queen at 25.

42

|

April•2016


Laughter THE BEST MEDICINE

I INK, THEREFORE I AM Tattoos are great for preserving memories. Otherwise, I would have totally forgotten about that anchor. COMEDIAN KARL CHANDLER

USING YOUR NOODLE

My sister bet me $100 that I couldn’t build a car out of spaghetti. You should have seen the look on her face as I drove pasta. Source: buzzfeed.com HOOK, LINE AND SINKER

PHOTO: ISTOCK

Poor old fool, thought the well-dressed gentleman as he watched an old man fish in a puddle outside a pub. So he invited the old man inside for a drink. As they sipped their whiskies, the gentleman thought he’d humour the old man and asked, “So, how many have you caught today?” The old man replied, “You’re the eighth.” Source: A Prairie Home Companion FATHERHOOD

Having absorbed the birdsand-the-bees discussion, my sister’s young son asked, “Is that how we were born?”

“Yes, it is,” she replied. He took it all in for a few minutes. Then, pointing to his father sitting across the room, he asked, “So where’d we get him?” SUBMITTED BY KATHLEEN O’HARA

TOUGH CROWD

A retiree who volunteers to entertain elderly patients, visited his local hospital and brought a portable keyboard. He told some jokes and sang some funny songs at patients’ bedsides. When he finished, he said in friendly farewell, “I hope you get better.” From her bed, one woman answered, “I hope you get better, too.” Source: gcfl.net

REASON RIDDLE

People always tell me, “Everything happens for a reason.” But they can never name that reason, so basically they’re just telling me, “Everything happens.” COMEDIAN D.J. DEMERS

Sometimes it’s nice to get off the computer and go reconnect with people about what I saw on the computer. COMEDIAN GRAHAM CHITTENDEN

April•2016

|

43


Three workers at the Morning Call Café, renowned for its French-style beignets (fritters)

New Orleans BY MIMI SWARTZ

FROM TRAVEL + LEISURE

PHOTOGRAPHED BY BRYCE DUFFY

THE COMEBACK CITY

44

|

April•2016


TRAVEL

A decade after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is back, stronger than ever

A home in the historic Bywater district, which has been experiencing rapid gentrification since Katrina

April•2016

|

45


T

THE COMEBACK CITY

HE KATRINA CROSSES

can still be found all over New Orleans. Rescue teams started sprayp a i n t i n g t h e X ’s o n homes across the city after the 2005 hurricane and ensuing flood caused by collapsing levees. That graffiti told a bleak story, revealing when each house was searched, the team that searched it, and how many bodies had been found inside. As New Orleans began the seemingly impossible task of rebuilding itself, the crosses became part of the city’s multilayered historical landscape. When owners applied fresh coats of colour to their cottages and timber-framed houses, they sometimes chose to paint around the crosses. Or to reapply the crosses, once the restoration was done. Or to affix a wrought iron version to the spot where the painted cross had once been. New Orleans is not about to forget the nightmare that was Katrina. More than ten years out, along with the swamp tours, cemetery tours, plantation tours, French Quarter tours, food tours, riverboat tours, and haunted tours, tourists can view, for a fee, what remains of the devastation. “People want to do those tours and they should,” said John Pope, part of the Times-Picayune team that won two Pulitzer Prizes for its Katrina coverage in 2006. Pope is a tall, thin, decorous man who seems born to wear a bow tie. He’d invited me to 46

|

April•2016

a restaurant called the Upperline, a New Orleans institution run by septuagenarian JoAnn Clevenger. A classic Uptown crowd had filled the converted 1877 town house by the time we arrived. Most of the patrons were white and prosperous, but also radiated that seductive mixture of Southern gentility and florid eccentricity so unique to New Orleans. Like so many people from New Orleans, Pope cannot describe the days following Katrina without weeping. More than 1800 people in Mississippi and Louisiana died directly or indirectly as a result of the hurricane, and nearly 80% of the city was underwater; estimates of the damage hover at around $151 billion. The levees failed to hold back the flood, not because of heavy rain, but thanks to years of bureaucratic indifference. “People realised every level of government had let us down,” Pope explained, his eyes welling again. And so, New Orleans’s citizens decided to save their city themselves. THE VIEW FROM Piety Bridge in Crescent Park provides a panoramic perspective of New Orleans old and new. The park, which opened last year, stretches along the Mississippi River for almost three kilometres. It’s a thoroughly modern venue, accessorised with native shrubbery, hiking and biking trails, and a performing arts space carved from an aged warehouse. While the downtown towers


READER’S DIGEST

Shellfish at Pêche Seafood Grill (top); Elizabeth’s Restaurant in Bywater (right); jazz buskers on Frenchman Street (below)

April•2016

|

47


THE COMEBACK CITY

gleam upriver, barges, tankers and Right Foundation, with new homes cruise ships parade regally by. constructed by the likes of architects Turn around and look north and Frank Gehry and Shigeru Ban. there’s the gentrifying Bywater district. The art scene, once an afterthought Just across Chartres Street sits Eliza- here, is also coming into its own. beth’s Restaurant, a neighbourhood Prospect New Orleans, the city’s art institution nestled in a century- biennial, has attracted worldwide old white clapboard building. The attention with some 61 artists showing menu is a homage to New Orleans’ at 18 venues. The Warehouse District Southern past and current artisa- (now called the Arts District) has nal trends: praline bacon, foie gras blossomed with galleries, institutions truffled aioli baked oysters, and a like The National World War II Muspinach salad with crispy hog jowls. seum and restaurants to serve the Hipsters and techmoboom in visitors. guls-to-be hunch over The sprawling City Park was underwater their laptops, drinking “When we during Katrina ; on a Sazeracs and NOL A almost lost the Hopitoulas beer. Elizarecent sunny Saturday, city we loved, beth’s is a perfect spot it was brimming with life again. Tourists and to bear witness to a city people said, locals vied for outdoor in transition. ‘If I don’t roll In fact, New Orleans tables at the Morning up my sleeves, has become something Call Café; the air carried nothing will its citizens could the happy cries of scarcely imagine before children from Storyget done’ ” 2005: a laboratory for land, where generations everything from archiof New Orleans kids tecture to education, from food to the have ridden in Cinderella’s pumpkin arts, from music to medicine – to the carriage and joined Pinocchio atop very nature of progress itself. Crescent the famous blue whale. Along with restoration has come rePark, for instance, was designed by a global all-star urban design team invention. The city that once profited that includes George Hargreaves, so much from its past has become a Michael Maltzan, and David Adjaye, magnet for start-ups. Forbes labelled in conjunction with the New Orleans- New Orleans the No. 1 ‘Brainpower City’ in the US in 2014, and has ranked based firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. The reconstruction of the flooded it behind only San Jose and San FranLower Ninth Ward was instigated cisco for tech expansion. The rate of by the Brad Pitt-sponsored Make it new businesses launching in the city is 48

|

April•2016


READER’S DIGEST

A metal cross preserves the ‘X’ that a rescue team spray painted on this home following the Katrina disaster

56% higher than the US average, with software, gaming and film production companies leading the way. Major corporations like GE and the communications firm Globalstar have settled in, too. Tulane University, briefly closed and threatened with obliteration post-Katrina, now has a centre for public service; Louisiana State University has built itself an enormous billion-dollar medical complex. There are more restaurants in town now than there were before the storm. Places like Pêche and Herbsaint have rewritten the rules of New Orleans

cuisine. “There’s been a renaissance in the way people are cooking here,” Donald Link, the chef-owner of Pêche, told me, adding that New Orleans cooking can no longer be defined by standbys like shrimp creole. “We can still be a Louisiana restaurant and grow that tradition,” he explained. In fact, there is so much more to do and see that people sometimes, under their breath, whisper that, maybe, Katrina made New Orleans a better place. Before the storm, New Orleans was an island of unbeatable tourist attractions surrounded by archipelagoes of atrocious poverty; it was a city riddled with crime, featured the highest incarceration rate in the country, and was hooked on municipal corruption. Scott Cowen, the former president of Tulane who wrote a book about his post-Katrina experience called The Inevitable City, told me, “Katrina created an obligation to rethink the future of the city and all the issues we had that we’re now seeking to improve. What’s different today is this notion of civic engagement. When we almost lost the city we all loved, people said, ‘If I don’t roll up my sleeves, nothing will get done.’” April•2016

|

49


THE COMEBACK CITY

So there is now Women of the cians here, Lewis started out busking Storm, a culturally, socially and in the French Quarter. She quickly made friends and economically diverse group that essentially shamed the federal connections, and is now the lead government into attending to New singer of a group called Tuba Skinny, Orleans’ victims, as well as Citizens which plays traditional New Orleans for 1 Greater New Orleans, which music – spirituals, ragtime, blues and spurred reform of the city’s levee jazz – with a modern twist. I caught boards. But it wasn’t just the locals up with the band on a Friday night at a club called d.b.a. on Frenchmen who were galvanised by the disaster. The city’s population is down about Street, where their music was inspir100,000 people since 2005, and as ing couples to show off their moves. Frenchmen is just predicted, many of those downriver from the no longer here were Quar ter in another poor. New Orleans now Along with gentrifying neighbourhas fewer African Amerirestoration hood, the Faubourg cans, more Latinos, and Marigny, and is the a lot more young people has come anti-Bourbon Street, a with college degrees. reinvention. place less devoted to According to Cowen, The city has drinking and partying the newcomers were become a than to savouring mudrawn to the food, music, sic, whether it’s jazz, language and architecture magnet for reggae or blues. “Bourof New Orleans just like start-ups bon is the place to go any other tourists. But if you want to party in now, they are also “seeing employment and other opportunities an intense way,” Lewis told me. “But they didn’t see before Katrina”. And so people who want to take it easy and they’ve stayed, opening businesses, re- hear music go to Frenchmen.” Somestoring homes, and learning to argue one like Lewis is both a harbinger of about who has the best biscuits and change and a passionate preservationist; her work is a tribute to a bygrits in town. gone era, but her presence suggests BY CONTRAST, Erika Lewis has been that time, and New Orleans, won’t in New Orleans for a decade. An at- stand still. Change – which once occurred tractive young woman with a deadpan stage demeanour, she came from up- glacially or not at all – is now coming state New York in 2005, drawn to the swiftly, and it’s impossible not to city’s music scene. Like a lot of musi- worry that the ease and authenticity 50

|

April•2016


READER’S DIGEST

of a place like Frenchmen will disappear. The same might be said of New Orleans itself. Already, the earlier waves of newcomers can be heard to complain about rising rents and home prices, as developers have moved in on once affordable neighbourhoods like the Bywater and the Marigny. And if public housing was once a blight on some stretches of New Orleans, the destruction of those buildings to make way for new developments prompts all sorts of other questions. This was brought home to me the day I visited Ronald Lewis, a 64-yearold native of New Orleans who gained local fame as a designer of Mardi Gras Indian costumes, those beaded and feathered Native American-ish ensembles worn by members of old black families in local parades. Lewis has spent his entire life in the Lower Ninth, and lost most of his memorabilia in the flood. In 2006, architecture students from the University of Kansas built him a new studio, which is crammed full of brilliantly coloured

headdresses, sequined high heels and books on Mardi Gras history. Lewis is a stocky man but a little stooped, with weathered skin the colour of chicory-laced coffee. “When we had white flight in the ’60s, our family helped rebuild this city,” he said. “After Hurricane Betsy, in the ’60s, people came back and rebuilt. Then, with Katrina, lots of people were too old to come back.” Today he spends time warring with anti-development neighbours over a new mixed-use project to be called Holy Cross. Lewis wants the economic uplift that Holy Cross would likely bring, but some of his neighbours don’t want the big-box stores and cookie-cutter housing that are part of the plan. “Let’s talk about how we can really rebuild this city,” Lewis told me. “We’re on life support here because of the lack of economic development.” In the next ten years, those kinds of arguments are likely to be heard more often in New Orleans, as the city continues to be remade.

TRAVEL + LEISURE (JUNE, 2015). © 2015 BY MIMI SWARTZ, REPRINTED COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR.

INQUISITIVE MINDS Children ask the best questions, as these examples prove: “Does the tooth fairy work on Mondays?” Quincy, six years old [In a dark room] “Where did my eyes go?” Bryce, two years old “Every time you taste something new, do you grow a new taste bud?” Jonas, six years old SOURCE: BUZZFEED.COM

April•2016

|

51


REMEMBRANCE

Window on a

LIFE A New Zealand wartime leader’s tribute to his son who died at Gallipoli tells a deeper story of loss and regret

BY JENNY BYRNE

A

ll Saints’ Anglican Church stands in a quiet corner of Dunedin in New Zealand’s South Island. Built in 1865, it is the city’s oldest church still used as a place of worship. The congregation is a vibrant mix of ages and interests. Countless couples have gathered here to marry, brought their babies to be baptised. It’s where morning teas 52

|

April•2016

are shared, friendships formed and comfort given during times of loss. As with many churches, the walls of All Saints’ are graced with a collection of beautiful stained-glass windows. One window, in particular, on the north side wall of the nave reminds regular worshipers and visitors of one family’s connection to the parish – and their sacrifice to country. Known


as the ‘John Allen window’ it portrays the short life of a local man, Lieutenant John Allen, who died in 1915 in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey. John was the son of Sir James Allen, who as Minister of Defence, helped plan and administer New Zealand’s World War I strategy, which saw 100,000 troops sent to fight. With the war over and his son dead, Sir James chose to honour John’s sacrifice by installing a beautiful stained-glass window in All Saints’, a place with which the Allen family had strong ties. Sir James and his family commissioned the window from a leading British glassmaker during his tenure as New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom after the war. Divided into two panels, one depicts St George, the patron saint of soldiers, standing above a scene of khaki-clad servicemen at the Gallipoli landing, while the other panel has an angel of peace standing above a scene of a university scholar. Across the bottom of the window is the coat War and peace: scenes in the 3.5 metre stained glass window commemorating the life of John Allen (in locket, far left) contrast the horror of the Gallipoli landing with his university days April•2016

|

53


WINDOW ON A LIFE

Sir James Allen (left) visiting his son’s grave on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1923. The Allen family has a long association with the All Saints’ Anglican Church, Dunedin (right)

of arms of Jesus College, University of Cambridge, where John Allen studied, along with the words, ‘John Hugh Allen, Gallipoli, 6th June, 1915’. A kauri pine is delicately interlaced with an oak tree, while local birds including a native pigeon and a morepork fly or perch on the branches and a kiwi walks at the bottom – reminders that John was a lover of birds. In private, years later, Sir James reportedly described the Gallipoli campaign as “ill-conceived and mad”. The poignancy of the window isn’t lost on the church’s current vicar. “There are many Boer War, World War I and World War II memorials in the church,” says Rev. Michael Wallace. “However the John Allen window 54

|

April•2016

stands out; it touches people because of the beautiful design, because of the New Zealand birds in it and because John’s story, of a life so full of promise ending tragically in the trenches, reflects the lives and stories of so many others involved in World War I.” Sir James died in 1942. Today, a pulpit in his name stands in A ll Saints’. Like John’s window, it features carvings of native birds. John Allen’s diary extract is one of hundreds of evocative documents featured in Voices of the First World War, published by Reader’s Digest. ISBN 978-1922083-84-5


READER’S DIGEST

A LIFE CUT SHORT Like a handful of men from privileged New Zealand families, John Allen was fortunate enough to attend the University of Cambridge to study law. While there he took a leading part in politics and debating, and was President of the Union. A bright future back in New Zealand appeared assured. After the declaration of war on July 28, 1914, John joined up promptly and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the 13th Battalion of the Worcester Regiment. He was sent to fight in the tragic Gallipoli campaign in Turkey’s Dardanelles. During his time in Gallipoli, John kept a diary in which he describes how soldiers of all ranks comforted their wounded and dying comrades, sometimes their mates, at other times complete strangers. They offered what help they could, ranging from first aid and medicines to simple words of comfort as another life ebbed away. On May 25, 1915, John recorded one such occasion in his diary, right. Nine days later, while leading his men near Krithia, Cape Helles, on June 6, 1915, John was killed by enemy fire. He was 28 years old.

THE SIGHT OF SUFFERING: AN EXTRACT FROM JOHN ALLEN’S DIARY

“Before I came here and fought in a war, I read casualty lists with sympathy but without intense emotion. But nothing can convey to you how dreadful is the sight of the suffering, badly wounded man – nothing can convey it to you. I heard two short, surprised coughs, and saw a man bend and fall. A friend darted to him, opened his tunic, and said to him: ‘You’re done, Ginger, you’re done; they’ve got you.’ This frankness really seemed the most appropriate and sincere thing. They bandaged him up, with the lint every soldier carries inside his tunic; then, knowing evidently that I had a medicine chest with sedatives, he asked for me. By a stroke of providence I was given a beautiful pocket-case with gelatine lamels of a number of drugs. It cost twenty-seven shillings – and under present circumstances worth ten times the money. By the light of the moon – useful for once – I read and tore off the perforated strip. While I was with him he said some remarkable things. I had only known him a day or so, but spotted him at once as a first-rate soldier. He said: ‘Shall I go to heaven or hell, sir?’ I said with perfect confidence: ‘To heaven.’ He said: ‘No, tell me as a man.’ I repeated what I had said. He said: ‘At any rate I’ll say my prayers,’ and I heard him murmuring the common meal grace. A little later he made up a quite beautiful prayer – ‘Oh God, be good and ease my pain – if only a little,’ and then: ‘I thought I knew what pain was.’ All the while it was unbearable to see what he suffered.”

April•2016

|

55


PHOTO: iSTOCK

56

|

April•2016


HEALTH

Living with

Parkinson’s Day-to-day tasks can be difficult or even impossible for sufferers of this degenerative disease. But there’s good reason to be hopeful BY A N I TA BARTH O LO M EW AND SAM ANTHA R I DEOU T

April•2016

|

57


L I V I N G W I T H PA R K I N S O N ’ S

BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE happened, Beverly Lavender lost her sense of smell. It was a sign of changes in her neurons, though she didn’t know it at the time. It was only four years later, in 2004, that Lavender, then a 44-year-old fashion designer, began to notice a slight tremor in her right hand and headed to her doctor. While the neurologist to whom she was referred ordered blood tests and an MRI to eliminate other possibilities, he quickly zeroed in on Parkinson’s disease. “I felt like I’d been punched in the chest,” recalls Lavender. Six years ago, Steve Van Vlaenderen, now 66, realised that the middle finger on his right hand kept twitching. His GP thought he might have nerve damage or carpal tunnel syndrome, but after the tremors spread to his forearm, Van Vlaenderen asked to see a neurologist. When he received a Parkinson’s diagnosis, he took it calmly at first. “I’d confirmed what I had, which is what I wanted to do,” he says. “But after I left the doctor’s office, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was going to change everything.” Lavender and Van Vlaenderen are just two of the seven to ten million people worldwide who are living with Parkinson’s disease, the second most common neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer’s. 58

|

April•2016

With Parkinson’s disease, simple things most of us do without thinking – pulling change from a pocket, scribbling a note, going for a walk – can become difficult and eventually impossible. The source of the problem is in the brain. Cells in the substantia nigra region slowly die off, and with them much of the ability to produce the chemical dopamine, which relays messages from the brain to the muscles. Without enough of it, messages don’t get through easily, or at all. The most common and best known of the disease’s possible symptoms – shaking, stiffness, impaired balance and slow movement – affect the motor skills. However, due to the range of

THE AVERAGE AGE AT DIAGNOSIS IS AROUND 65, WITH MEN AT SOMEWHAT GREATER RISK THAN WOMEN ways the damaged neurons influence body and mind, Parkinson’s can also give rise to problems known as its ‘nonmotor symptoms’. According to Dr Ron Postuma, an associate professor of neurology at McGill University in Montreal, these run the gamut from sleep disorders and constipation to double vision.


READER’S DIGEST

The tremors that convinced both Lavender and Van Vlaenderen to seek med ical advice appear in approximately 70% of people with Parkinson’s – but that phenomenon can be present in other illnesses. To be certain of the diagnosis, a neurologist will typically run a series of motor-skill tests. They might look for signs that a person can tap his thumb against his index finger, tap his heel against the floor, perform various hand and arm movements – all at a rapid pace. Although the symptoms can appear in people as young as their 30s, the average age at diagnosis is around 65, with men at somewhat greater risk than women. In most cases, there is no family history. VAN VLAENDEREN NOTICED SHIFTS

in his mood at about the same time the shakiness in his hand began. These changes were subtle at first, but over the two-and-a-half years following his diagnosis, they gradually turned into anxiety attacks and a depressive crisis. Parkinson’s disease targets areas of the brain that influence mood, which is partly why one-third of patients experience anxiety and depression. “I was in a black hole and couldn’t seem to find a way out,” he says. Even now that his mood has stabilised, he rarely feels elated. “Compared to that,” he says, “the tremors and motor-skill problems are easier to handle, at least for me.” Lavender has struggled with depression, as well. “I recommend that

anyone who experiences this problem seeks assistance,” she says. “Antidepressants helped me, and it’s also good to have a therapist.” For Lavender, perhaps the most valuable step was joining a support group. “We’d often ask each other, ‘Have you noticed this symptom or that one?’ It’s nice to feel like you’re not the only one.” WHEN IT COMES to medications, the gold standard for treating Parkinson’s is levodopa, a drug that is converted to dopamine in the body. But, says Professor Leslie J. Findley, chairman of the UK’s National Tremor Foundation, “We know that over three to five years, problems with levodopa can arise.” Those issues include dyskinesia – involuntary movements that can be, as Findley says, “quite excessive”. At the same time, people on levodopa might become stiff as the drug wears off before the next scheduled dose. Often, doctors will start people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s on one of two other classes of drugs: so-called dopamine agonists, which mimic the effects of dopamine; and MAO-B (monoamine oxidase) inhibitors, which slow the breakdown of dopamine in the brain. Potential side effects can be significant, however. Dopamine agonists, MAO-B inhibitors and, to an extent, levodopa are associated with lessened impulse control, making those taking them more prone to risky behaviours, such as gambling. April•2016

|

59


L I V I N G W I T H PA R K I N S O N ’ S

TANGO FOR PARKINSON’S MANAGEMENT – AND FUN As if to demonstrate that not all treatments are a drag, scientific literature maintains that going dancing (combined with pharmacological treatment) is an efficient way to cope with the effects of Parkinson’s disease. There are several probable reasons for this, according to Dr Silvia Rios Romenets, a neurologist with an interest in behavioural neurology and movement disorders. For one, there’s a link between music and dopamine levels, “which partially explains why musical experiences are so valued and why they can be emotional,” she says. Dancing also means socialising and exercise, along with all of the associated benefits. Rios Romenets recently conducted a study on the effects of practising a particular dance form, the Argentine tango. A dancer herself, she knew that tango, with its rhythmic forward and backward movements, “imitates actual rehabilitation for walking problems, freezing and balance issues.” Previous tango studies had uncovered certain motor benefits for people with Parkinson’s, but Rios Romenets’s study at Montreal’s McGill University looked at tango’s impact on the disease’s nonmotor aspects as well. It found that Parkinson’s patients who took 24 classes over 12 weeks had more improvements in balance and gait compared to people in a control group who exercised at home daily. Tango also seemed to provide a modest boost against two non-motor symptoms – cognitive decline and fatigue.

60

|

April•2016

THE BASIC STEPS Lead steps forward three steps: left (1), right (2), left (3) – slow, slow, quick.

5

4

3

2

1

START

Lead steps to the right (4, quick) and then brings the left foot to meet the right (5, slow). Don’t put weight on the foot with this final step, just pause, ready to start the sequence again. SLOW

QUICK


READER’S DIGEST

Treatment isn’t entirely pharma- dictating emails to his smartphone or ceutical. One of the best ways to typing them with his left hand because battle Parkinson’s symptoms is with his right is no longer up to the task. For her part, Lavender was able physic al activity, either self-guided (yoga, swimming, walking) or under to work full-time for 11 years after her diagnosis, thanks partly to a physiotherapist’s supervision. In 2013, side effects such as extreme positive effects from levodopa, as weight gain and debilitating fatigue well as exercises such as tai chi and convinced Van Vlaenderen to stop yoga. Only recently has her fatigue taking MAO-B inhibitors. Although he progressed to the point where she may eventually need medication, for decided to retire. But she continthe past two years he’s been relying on ues with hobbies like painting and robust physical activity to keep his symptoms to a minimum. He remembers the night he decided ONE OF THE BEST to take control of the WAYS TO BATTLE disease. “Any kind of PARKINSON’S change was better than SYMPTOMS IS WITH continuing with my life PHYSICAL ACTIVITY SUCH the way I was,” he says. AS YOGA OR WALKING “The next day, I started going to the gym.” Five times a week, Van Vlaenderen sweats through a two- knitting, both which slow down the hour cross-training routine that works disease’s toll on her hands’ motor a lot of his core muscles – strength- abilities. ening them helps counteract the The progression of Parkinson’s effect of Parkinson’s on his balance. varies from person to person. “About Not only has he grown fit enough to ten per cent of patients have a tremor, bench-press 110 kg, he’s also seen usually in one hand,” says Findley, huge psychological improvements. noting that this might be their sole “Lots of things require greater effort symptom for a decade or more. “At with Parkinson’s, so it’s tempting to the other end of the spectrum are not do anything,” he says. “But I feel patients who, within five years, have a lot better when I make a deliberate reached the mid-stage.” Early challenges might include decision to stay active.” Besides working out, he’s been running a storage stiffness, muscle discomfort or a and records- management business, loss of facial expression. “Sometimes April•2016

|

61


L I V I N G W I T H PA R K I N S O N ’ S

I worry how people perceive me because of my relative lack of body language,” Van Vlaenderen says. “I can appear uninterested when I’m not.” However, he laughs, this can work to his advantage when playing poker.

“STAYING ACTIVE AND POSITIVE APPEAR TO BE AMONG THE SECRETS TO LIVING AS WELL AS POSSIBLE WITH PARKINSON’S” In the mid-stage, people might experience balance problems, “freezing” in place, tiny handwriting and softening of the speaking voice. And in severe, late-stage Parkinson’s disease, drugs no longer help ease the symptoms. The problem isn’t just that the brain cells that produce dopamine die off; those that utilise dopamine also die off – and they can’t be replaced. As a result, says Findley, a person with Parkinson’s might need drugs more frequently and might also have periods of being unable to move. If and when levodopa is no longer effective, another treatment option is a procedure called deep brain stimulation (DBS), in which electrodes are implanted in the brain to produce electrical impulses that help regulate abnormal brain signals. 62

|

April•2016

DBS isn’t a silver bullet: the degree to which it eases symptoms varies – it doesn’t generally improve those that don’t respond to levodopa. There is a small risk of infection, so candidates need to be selected carefully – they are usually people who are no longer responding in a helpful, predictable way t o l e vo d o p a o r who are experiencing debilitating dyskinesia as a result. Meanwhile, med ic a l resea rc her s worldwide are looking into less invasive ways to deal with levodoparesponsiveness issues, such as delivering the medication continuously via a skin patch. WHILE PARKINS ON’S disease is a life-altering ailment, it may not significantly shorten life expectancy if well managed, says Findley. He advises his patients: “Try in the early stages to lose any ‘invalid’ reaction and instead push yourself to be active. Staying active and positive appear to be among the secrets to living as well as possible with Parkinson’s.” At all stages, people coping with the disease are encouraged to eat a balanced diet, manage stress and basically do as much as they can for t hei r genera l wel lbei ng. Says Lavender, “The healthier you are, the better you can deal with Parkinson’s, physically and emotionally.”


Quotable Quotes Tennis is a mental game. Everyone is fit, everyone hits great forehands and backhands.

You can always tell about somebody by the way they put their hands on an animal.

F ROM TOP: CINDY ORD/GETTY IM AGES. M ONI CA M ORGAN/GETTY IM AGES. L ISA MAIRE / E PA/CORBIS

B E T T Y W H ITE , G o l d e n G i r l

N OVA K DJ O KOVI C , Wo r l d N o . 1

A pat on the back to an artist now could one day result in the song that saves your life. KEVIN SMITH, w r i t e r / f i l m m a k e r

THE DAY THE CHILD REALISES THAT ALL ADULTS ARE IMPERFECT, HE BECOMES AN ADOLESCENT; THE DAY HE FORGIVES THEM , HE BECOMES AN ADULT. A LD E N N OW L A N , p o e t

ACTIVISM IS THE RENT I PAY FOR LIVING ON THE PLANET. A LI C E WA LK E R , a u t h o r a n d a c t i v i s t

It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. C H U CK PA L A H N I U K , novelist

Horror films don’t create fear. They release it. W E S C R AV E N ,

director

Creativity is not the domain of one single person. Through free-association of thoughts and brainstorming, an accidental suggestion can be the best solution. J OS H UA F E R N A N D E Z , M a l a y s i a n f i l m d i r e c t o r

April•2016

|

63


SPORT

Field of Dreams Brotherhood The

On bare turf in the Romanian city of Bucharest, they built soccer’s unlikeliest team BY ANA- M ARIA C IO BANU

On bare, bumpy turf in the city of Bucharest they built football’s unlikeliest team BY ANA-MARIA CIOBANU

64

|

April•2016


April•2016

|

65


O FIELD OF DREAMS

N THE UNEVEN GRASS between an overgrown

Of the 50 players enrolled at Fra˘t‚ia – the name means brotherhood – some are former soccer players, others played as children and went back to their old hobby. They all found a home at Fra˘t‚ia where no-one cares if you’re a well-known flute player in the Bucharest Symphonic Orchestra, like midfielder Ca˘ta˘lin Oprit‚oiu, or a Roma day worker, like striker Marin Florian. A father of two, 36-year-old Marin helps the team owner with everything he can – levelling the field, painting, cleaning the locker rooms, planting grass seed, washing the sports equipment. In return, his colleagues give him equipment, including used soccer cleats and shin guards, and little presents for his daughters. 66

|

April•2016

What matters is team spirit and love of the game. Two of Fra˘t‚ ia’s three teams are in Romania’s fourth league (the third is in the senior league) and today, March 22, 2015, A.S.F. Fra˘t‚ia is getting ready for its first home game in the fourth league championship. It’s been a long uphill battle for the team, and for Constantin Zamfir. ROMANIANS ARE SOCCER CRAZY,

with more than 120.000 professional players and even more amateurs across the country. Constantin Zamfir is no exception. As a child, he commuted from his parents’ village to Bucharest to be a striker for a third league team. In the

OP ENI NG SPREAD: SHUTTERSTOCK; ALL OTHER P HOTOS BY M IRC EA RESTEA

field and a soccer stadium on the outskirts of Bucharest, 14 men in red shorts and red T-shirts, most of them in their 30s and 40s, some with pot bellies and receding hairlines, rotate their heads and hips and shake their ankles and shins. “Come on, move!” shouts the player running the warm-up session. “On my cue, ankle pumps. You make a mistake, you do push-ups!” The men make fun of each other, enjoying the sunny spring Saturday. The somewhat motley team is happy. It’s a good feeling to be on their home field again, playing soccer, the game they love. Their owner, Constantin Zamfir, is on the sidelines, readying the barbecue for the post-match festivities.


READER’S DIGEST

Daniel Boruga, standing, left, coaches the teams along with goalie Tudorel Mihailescu, far right

late 1980s he played in the second league and in the 1990s he became the coach-player of Vulcanul Bucures‚ti, a fourth league team owned by the Vulcanul plant, a large manufacturer of industrial tanks. But after the fall of communism in 1989, the plant was privatised and the soccer team was disbanded in 2001. It was then that Constantin decided to make an old dream come true; he would start his own team. He sold his modest family home, moved with his son and wife into his in-laws’ and used the money to buy the Vulcanul sports field. He named the team Fra˘t‚ia Bucures‚ti, in memory of his parents,

simple peasants who had taught their four children always to share what they had. He wanted Fra˘t‚ia to prove that by “being brothers, you can succeed” and that “sharing the bread is the only way of being a family”. But following through on his dream was not easy, nor was it inexpensive. Within two years, he found himself in debt. The plant that powered the stadium made him pay for the utilities, an expense he couldn’t afford at the time, so the power and water supplies were cut off. He had to take a bank loan for US$1000 to have a well dug. Everything Constantin earned, he poured back into the stadium. When April•2016

|

67


FIELD OF DREAMS

he ran out of money, he borrowed. Even though he struggled to pay his loans, working as a taxi driver and wedding singer, he never thought of quitting his dream. He welcomed all players, no matter their age, race or ethnicity. Without actually planning it, he ended up owning one of the most diverse teams in the fourth league’s history, uniting Roma players, young men from nearby orphanages and aspiring teenagers (including his son).

EVERYTHING SEEMED to be coming together for the team when it ran into more problems. In April 2004, a British journalist attended one of Fra˘t‚ia’s matches and w rote an art icle in t he New York Times about the diversity of the players and the family atmosphere the owner had created around the team, including raising chickens and goats near the field. When the team was subsequently

“I NEED TO KNOW WHO WANTS TO STILL BE A PART OF THIS TEAM, AND WHO WANTS TO GO THEIR SEPARATE WAY. NO HARD FEELINGS” And a one-armed goalkeeper. At 49, Tudorel Mihailescu’s road to Fra˘t‚ia had not been easy. He was born with a malformation in his left arm, which had to be amputated below the elbow. From age ten, Tudorel begged doctors to give him medical clearance to play with one hand. But in communist Romania people with physical disabilities were supposed to be hidden from the public. Finally, at 14, he was given permission to play, and he was able to live his dream and play at the third and fourth league level. In 2013, he and Zamfir crossed paths in the senior championship. They not only had their love of soccer in common, but both believed they could achieve whatever they set their minds to. 68

|

April•2016

featured in the local media, the field and locker rooms were looted, not once but three times. Vandals stole the electric generator, the lawn mower, the wire fence, two Rottweiler pups, the chickens and the goats, and killed one of the stray dogs that guard the field. Constantin was devastated but determined to carry on. Fra˘t‚ia started the autumn championship with no hot water or electricity and as the weather got colder, it became harder for the players to shower with water from the well. After the first snow, they had to train on rented fields in order to stay in shape. Tudorel, Ca˘ta˘lin, Marin and another 30 players were determined to stay close, but one of the coaches, a Congo national,


READER’S DIGEST

left the club and took some younger players with him. Then in early 2015, just as the club was finally getting back on its feet and looking forward to playing in the spring championship, the Bucharest City Football Association told Constantin they would not be allowed to play official matches on their home field unless there was a wire fence around the pitch and electricity and hot water for the locker rooms. Constantin had other things on his mind: his son, who he hoped would follow in his footsteps, had heart problems and all the family’s money was now reserved for medical care.

But Constantin wanted the team to have one more chance to survive. He rented an indoor field and called a team meeting in January. More than 20 men gathered around him in a small locker room, eager to start playing again. As he looked everyone in the eye and started his speech, Constantin was nervous and his cheeks turned red. “As you know, I gave everything to soccer and I will continue to do this,” he said. “My boy collapsed on the field because of his heart problems. The looting cost us $4000. I didn’t ask for anything, but luck shone and a gentleman called me and offered to donate a generator.”

The much anticipated post-game feast with team owner Constantin Zamfir, in blue, manning the barbecue

April•2016

|

69


FIELD OF DREAMS

Mihailescu warming up in goal before a game

“We don’t need hot water. It might make us go bald,” joked one of the older players. But Constantin was too worried for jokes. He carried on: “I need to know for sure who is still part of this team and who wants to go in separate ways. No hard feelings.” “That’s why we’re here, chief,” Marin told him. “We want to be part of this team.” Constantin was relieved and pleased. He explained that in order to keep the team alive, and be able to play official matches, each player would have to pay €55 – this would go 70

|

April•2016

to paying referees and official observers and also to getting the field fenced and the locker rooms up to standard. ALL THE PL AYERS who came to the meeting rallied to help keep the organisation together and meet the Football Association’s criteria. Tudorel, along with Ca˘ta˘lin, scheduled practices, called players to remind them of the tax, and made loans to those who didn’t have the money During this time, Constantin practiced along with the team on rented synthetic fields. On the pitch, he was able to forget about his problems.


READER’S DIGEST

At 51, he is still fit and competitive – he fights for every goal. He grew up on the soccer pitch and it is here that he feels truly alive. Slowly, it started to come together. With the help of Marin, Constantin repainted the pitch lines, trimmed the trees on the sidelines, patched up the fence and painted the locker rooms. Finally, just a few weeks before the start of the spring championship, the

“That’s the best we can do right now,” says one. “Overall, it was OK.” “We’ll get them next time!” Throughout the game, Constantin has been busy getting the generator going for the hot showers, putting juice and beer cans into plastic barrels filled with cold water to chill and lighting the barbecue. As far as he is concerned, it’s not

AS FAR AS CONSTANTIN IS CONCERNED, IT’S NOT ABOUT WINNING BUT DOING THE BEST YOU CAN, ESPECIALLY FOR THE OLDER PLAYERS association re-authorised their field, referees and observers had been paid, and the team was able to enter the fourth league competition. They are ready to play their first match of the championship. B U T T H E I R F I R S T official game doesn’t go well. Defeated 4-0, the players huddle on the sidelines. They want to learn something from the experience and stay together.

about winning but doing the best you can, especially for the older players. With the players showered, and the pitch smelling of well-grilled minced meat rolls, Constantin tears the bread in equal parts and hands it out to his players, the meat rolls smeared with mustard and salt. Everyone is in good humour again, and when the owner starts improvising a song about the team, the players join in. The brotherhood carries on.

DID YOU KNOW? Yawning and stretching at the same time is called pandiculating. WIKTIONARY.ORG

April•2016

|

71


Life’s Like That SEEING THE FUNNY SIDE

APR

1951

From the Archives

How would you deal with this 65-year-old highway conundrum? Neither of the protagonists from this April 1951 letter seemed willing to back down… We were having the petrol tank filled before braving the Big Horn Mountains when a big sedan drove up. Hoping to get the latest news about the road, I walked over to the car. The driver was pale and seemed agitated, but the man sitting beside him seemed calm, even a little smug. “Yes, it’s pretty rugged up there,” the driver replied to my question. “I met this fellow” – motioning to his companion – “in a place where we couldn’t pass and neither of us dared go back. So, after 20 minutes of haggling, I bought his old jalopy and pushed it over the edge.” SUBMITTED BY R.C. OLSEN

A friend was telling me how the firstaid classes he attended had prepared him for an emergency. He said he saw a lady hit by a car and she had many serious injuries. “What did you do?” I asked. “Well, thanks to my first-aid training, I knew how to handle 72

|

April•2016

the situation,” he explained. “I sat on the kerb and put my head between my knees to stop myself fainting.” SUBMITTED BY BRENDA RAINBOW

SHE’S NOT WRONG

A few months back, my wife showed a picture of herself to our three-yearold daughter. “Do you know who this is?” she asked. Our daughter gasped and said, “That’s me when I’m bigger!” SEEN ON REDDIT

PHOTOS: iSTOCK

COOL IN A CRISIS


BARE HARE

The other day my daughter was watching cartoons on TV and was obviously puzzled by something. “Mummy,” she asked, “Why does Bugs Bunny wear no clothes, but when he goes swimming he puts on a swimming costume?” SUBMITTED BY SUZANNE ROSWELL

MEMORY LOSS

I had to laugh when I overheard a teenager asking his mum on the bus what amnesia meant. Without pausing, she responded, “It’s a condition that allows a woman who’s gone through childbirth to consider having children again.” SUBMITTED BY GENNA BURTON

The Great Tweet-off: Literary Edition Can ‘literature’ take place inside a 140-character limit? Perhaps not, but that hasn’t stopped these Twitternauts from trying: If people say they just love the smell of books, I always want to pull them aside and ask, “To be clear, do you know how reading works?” @BRIDGER_W

We get it, poets: things are like other things. @SHUTUPMIKEGINN Starting a cover band called A Book so no-one can judge us. @DAEMONICS

Yeah, I’d probably freak out too if a raven flew into my house. That poem still holds up. @SEANWHITECOMEDY

STUNNING REVELATIONS

Check out these startling ideas uncovered by Tumblr users: n Spoons are just little bowls on sticks. n Let’s all take a minute to recognise the lack of creativity present in the word ‘fireplace’. n When you wait for the waiter, do you not become the waiter? n Neil Armstrong was the first person on the moon. Neil A. Now read that in reverse. Wake up, people. Seen on tumblr.com

Been reading up on the Thesaurus lately because a mind is a terrible thing to garbage. @DINOKITTEN

I’m writing my book in fifth person, so every sentence starts out with: “I heard from this guy who told somebody…” @DEMITRIMARTIN

April•2016

|

73


INSTANT ANSWERS

“Retrofuturism is looking back to see how yesterday viewed tomorrow. And they’re always wrong; always hilariously, optimistically wrong.” Illustrator, humourist and author BRUCE MCCALL

START AT THE BEGINNING

Retrofuturism looks back at the past to see how people imagined the world would look  in decades and centuries to come.

74

|

April•2016

TELL ME MORE You can find predictions of the future dating back to ancient times but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Futurism was an art and culture movement that began in 1909 and lasted through the 1920s. It celebrated what was then regarded as the furious pace of the new century with cars, machines and built-up cities featuring heavily. The term retrofuturism is a play on the fact that what seemed so stunningly new to the Futurists and their children (and even grandchildren) looks impossibly quaint to us now. There is some crossover with ‘steampunk’, but that tends to be more Victorian whereas retrofuturism draws primarily from the 1920s to the 1950s.

P HOTOS AND I LLUSTRATIONS: GETTY IM AGES

BY HA ZEL FLYN N


EXAMPLES, PLEASE When he first opened

Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in 1955, Walt Disney included Tomorrowland as a genuine vision of the future, all curvy rocket ships to the moon and monorails speeding between clean, shiny skyscrapers. In the decades since we have indeed sent spacecraft to other planets, seen monorails come in and out of fashion, and built plenty of skyscrapers, but none of it looks as Disney and his ‘Imagineers’ thought it would through the lens of their 1950s aesthetic. What was truly futuristic then has become a prime example of retrofuturism. Ditto for 1962-3 baby boomer TV favourite The Jetsons (1962-3, 1985–87).

Fascinated by the space age: Walt Disney

SO IS IT JUST MAKING FUN OF THE PAST? No, not at all. While a large

streak of kitsch runs through retrofuturism, its fans in the worlds of art, design, music and fashion have a genuine affection for these delightfully misguided ideas about the future-that-never-was. Not everyone gets it, though. The designers of one of the biggest video games of 2015, Fallout 4, chose a retrofuturistic aesthetic for their post-apocalyptic survival story, leading one confused gamer to ask plaintively, “If the bombs dropped in 2077 why would the world still look like it did in the ’50s?”

“We’re all familiar with the rallying cries of the angry retrofuturist: Where’s my jetpack!?! Where’s my flying car!?! Where’s my robot maid?!?” MATT NOVAK, writing about The Jetsons in The Smithsonian magazine

WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Hunt out the cult

2004 film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Angelina Jolie) or, fittingly, download the 2015 George Clooney family film Tomorrowland. April•2016

|

75


ENTERTAINMENT

The new Home Guard, with (from left) Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring, plus Bill Nighy, Sir Tom Courtenay, Bill Paterson, Sir Michael Gambon, Blake Harrison and Daniel Mays

The

Changing of the Home

Guard

76

|

April•2016


As a film version of Dad’s Army shoulders arms and prepares to march into cinemas, Joy Persaud chats to Toby Jones and Michael Gambon about reviving the much-loved TV comedy

April•2016

|

77


THE CHANGING OF THE HOME GUARD

This month, the largely inept crew of much-loved characters will be revived on the big screen, played by a stellar cast that includes Sir Michael Gambon, Toby Jones, Sir Tom Courtenay and Bill Nighy. But after nine successful TV series, being in the shadow of this classic sitcom surely can’t be easy? “At first, you think it’s a terrible idea,” admits Toby Jones, who plays the cranky Captain Mainwaring. “You think, I don’t want anything to do with that; it’s a ridiculous idea. “Those characters and actors are so lodged in the British national imagination. I mean, it’s gone beyond being a TV series into being a kind of legend in this country. “But, weirdly, having people like Michael and Tom and Bill involved in the show, and seeing the quality of the script and how brilliantly it respected the tradition of the show – but also reinvented it in a way – I suddenly thought, Why would I want to deny myself being involved in that fun, of being with those actors? 78

|

April•2016

“I don’t think it ever went away, the fear that we were desecrating some tradition. But we all had such fun that we were able to forget about it while we were making it.”

THE HOME GUARD, made up of volunteers ineligible for military service due to their age or profession, was tasked with defending the coast of

PHOTO: (PREVIOUS SPREAD) UNIVERSAL PICTURES

THINK OF THE PHRASE ‘DAD’S ARMY’ and it’s likely an image of the bumbling band of men from one of the most popular British TV comedies will sneak into your mind. Or perhaps you’ll recall the catchy theme tune, with its teasing ‘get lost’ message to Hitler.


READER’S DIGEST

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

The original Home Guard, left to right, Arnold Ridley (Private Godfrey), Clive Dunn (Corporal Jones), Arthur Lowe (Captain Mainwaring), Ian Lavender (Private Pike), John Laurie (Private Frazer) and John Le Mesurier (Sergeant Wilson)

England from invasion. They are stationed in the fictional town of Walmington-on-Sea and the year is 1944. The men were initially armed only with old shotguns, museum relics, pipes with knives fastened to them and air rifles. They were expected to fight against trained German troops with this basic weaponry, buying the regular army time to form a frontline defence.

“The stakes are both high and very low,” observes Jones. “There’s a war going on [in Dad’s Army], but you’d never know it.”

MICHAEL GAMBON, in contrast to his affable and loquacious co-star Jones, is a man of few words. But the 75 year old bellows his deep, gravelly laugh frequently and utters sporadic April•2016

|

79


THE CHANGING OF THE HOME GUARD

quips that elicit mirth from those around him. Asked about his role – Gambon plays the bumbling Private Charles Godfrey – he’s not exactly evasive, but won’t, or can’t, say how he’s reprised the part, paring it down to a simplistic, “He’s just a very nice man who doesn’t say much. I don’t know what he is. I thought the actor playing him originally was brilliant, so I just copied him, really. The same voice and the same pottering around… I don’t know, I can’t really answer the question.” 80

|

April•2016

Gambon and Jones clearly have a strong rapport. When asked whether this chemistry existed on set, Gambon enthuses, “Oh yes, we all like each other and we had great fun and we just did it. It was very happy, wasn’t it?” Jones agrees, and stresses that an admiration for his fellow actors, many of whom have decades of experience in the business, was key for him. “It’s not intimidating, but you’re respectful of those actors,” he says. “You quickly realise what makes them so brilliant is that they’re able to relate to

PHOTOS : UNI VERSAL PICTURES

Dad’s Army on parade, with Captain Mainwaring (Toby Jones) and Sergeant Wilson (Bill Nighy) leading the march; (right) journalist Rose Winters (Catherine Zeta-Jones) interrogates Corporal Jones (Tom Courtenay)


READER’S DIGEST

guys who aren’t very good at football, but they arrange the football for everyone. Or they arrange the cricket team because they’re enthusiastic about cricket.” Jones goes on: “People depend on WHILE ACKNOWLEDGING that, at 49, he’s too young to speak person- them to set the team up, sort out the tea, sort out the bus and ally, Jones believes that, sort out the cars. Then in the years since 1945, they enjoy the cricket there was a nostalgia for “There’s that and complain about the the camaraderie that sense that guy who’s arranged it all. developed during the although they “I think there’s that war, something Dad’s should take it kind of nobility about Army reflects. him – he’s a noble char“The idea that they seriously, they acter, but because he’s have huge affection for find a way not i ra sc ible, he’s of ten each other isn’t shown; to take it unlikable. it’s implied. It’s the idea seriously” “He’s a classic pompof a war that one would ous buffoon and, a bit have liked to be part of like me, he likes the – unlikely communities were formed, like this platoon, and sound of his own voice.” Jones sees parallels between the you adopt the nostalgia for that time.” Jones’ character Captain George Home Guard’s war and remaking Mainwaring, famous for his rejoinder, Dad’s Army. “There’s that sense that “You stupid boy!”, is a bank manager although they should take it seriously, they find a way not to take it seriously. who lives in fear of his wife. “She’s the only person he fears,” There’s the reassurance that you know laughs Jones, who surmises that, as a exactly how each character is going to grammar-school boy, Mainwaring respond. So it’s gentle in that way; feels inferior to his second-in-com- there are no great shocks. “It’s very reassuring for people and mand, Bill Nighy’s ex-public schoolboy Wilson, both in the Home Guard the whole family can watch it; it’s not going to offend anyone. But it genuand at the bank where they work. “I think he’s constantly intimidated inely has great moments of slapstick by that, and the way he deals with it is or stupidity or idiocy. The primary thing is that we hope people come out by attacking,” points out Jones. “He’s abrasive, so he’s a bit short- as a family and laugh. It’s like visiting ish with everyone. He’s like those an old friend.” younger actors very quickly. So we gelled because there was no standing on ceremony. We all tried to make each other laugh.”

April•2016

|

81


WORDS OF LASTING INTEREST

the

Secret

Lives of

BY I A N URBINA FR O M T H E NE W YO R K TIMES

We despise them – yet we imbue them with our hopes, dreams and dearest memories HOWARD LUTNICK, the chairman and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, one of the world’s largest financial services firms, still cries when he talks about it. Not long after the planes struck the World Trade Center twin towers in 2001, killing 658 of his co-workers and friends, including his brother, one of the first things on Lutnick’s mind was passwords. This may seem callous, but it was not. Like virtually everyone else caught up in the events that day, Lutnick, who had taken the morning off to escort his son Kyle, to his first day of kindergarten, was in shock. But he was also responsible for ensuring the viability of his company and the support 82

|

April•2016

it provided for employees’ families. The biggest threat: no-one knew the passwords for hundreds of accounts and files that were needed to get back online in time for the reopening of the bond markets. Cantor Fitzgerald did have extensive contingency plans in place, including a requirement that all employees tell their work passwords to four nearby colleagues. But now a large majority of the firm’s 960 New York employees were dead. Hours after the attacks, more than 30 security experts dispatched from Microsoft arrived at an improvised Cantor Fitzgerald command centre. Many of the missing passwords would prove to be relatively secure – the


P HOTO: ALI BLUMENTHA L

JHx6fT!9 type that the company’s IT department had implored everyone to choose. To crack those, the Microsoft technicians performed ‘brute-force’ attacks, using fast computers to begin with ‘a’, then work through every possible letter and number combination before ending at ‘ZZZZZZZ’. But even with the fastest computers, brute-force attacks, working through trillions of combinations, could take days. Microsoft’s technicians knew that they needed to take advantage of two facts: many people use the same password for multiple accounts, and these passwords are typically personalised. The technicians explained that for their algorithms to work

best, they needed large amounts of trivia about the owner of each missing password, the kinds of things that were too specific, too personal, and too idiosyncratic for companies to keep on file. “It’s the details that make people distinct, that make them individuals,” Lutnick said. He soon found himself on the phone, desperately trying to compartmentalise his own agony while calling the spouses, parents and siblings of his former colleagues to console them – and to ask them, ever so gently, whether they knew their loved ones’ passwords. Most often they did not, which meant that Lutnick had to begin working his way through a checklist that had been April•2016

|

83


T H E S E C R E T L I V E S O F PA S S WO R D S

But there is more to passwords than provided to him by the Microsoft their annoyance. In the fact that we technicians. “What is your wedding construct them so that we (and only anniversary? Tell me again where he we) will remember them, they take on went for undergrad? You guys have a secret lives. Many of our passwords dog, don’t you? What’s her name?” are suffused with pathos, mischief, “Remember, this was less than sometimes even poetry. Often they 24 hours after the towers had fallen,” have rich back stories. A motivational Lutnick recalled. Families had not mantra, a hidden shrine accepted their losses. to a lost love, an inside C o nv e r s at i o n s o s c i l joke with ourselves, a lated between cr ying There was the defining emotional scar – and agonising silences. “Awful,” he said. Somethese keepsake passwords former times it took more than are like trinkets of our prisoner whose inner lives. an hour to work through the checklist, but Lutnick My biggest surprise has password said he made sure that been how eager people included his he was never the one to are to openly discuss old inmate ID hang up first. their keepsakes. There was the former In the end, Microsoft’s number prisoner whose technicians got what password includes they needed. The firm what used to be was back in operation his inmate identiwithin two days. The fication number same human sen(“a reminder not timentality that made Cantor to go back”); the Fitzgerald’s passwords ‘weak’ fallen-away Catholic whose passwords ultimately proved to be the company’s incorporate the Virgin Mary (“it’s sesaving grace. cretly calming”); the childless 45-yearold whose password is the name of the SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I began asking baby boy she lost in utero (“my way of my friends and family to tell me their trying to keep him alive, I guess”). passwords. I had come to believe that Sometimes the passwords were these tiny personalised codes get playful. Several people said they used a poor deal. Yes, I understand why incorrect for theirs so that when they passwords are universally despised: forgot it, the software automatically the strains they put on our memory, prompted them with the right one the endless demand to update them, (“your password is incorrect”). their sheer number. I hate them too. 84

|

April•2016


READER’S DIGEST

Some keepsakes were striking for their ingenuity, folding big thoughts down into tidy little ciphers. After being inspired by Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Cortni Kerr, a running partner of mine, began using Ww$$do13, which stood for “What would Sheryl Sandberg do” plus “13” for the year (2013) of the password’s creation. TnsitTpsif was the password of another friend, a computer scientist who loves wordplay. It stands for “The next sentence is true. The previous sentence is false”, which in philosophy is called a liar’s paradox. For my friend, it was a playful reference to the knots that language can tie. Of ten, t hese d i sclosu res had an emot ional edge. One woman described the jarring realisation that her sister’s name was the basis for all their mother’s passwords. Another recalled needling her husband, Will, after their wedding in 2013 because he was still using the digits of his ex-girlfriend’s birthday for his debit card PIN. “I’m not a jealous person,” she said. “But he changed it to my birthday the next day.” While asking strangers about their passwords is a touchy proposition, it’s not every day that you stumble across something that teaches you new things about people you’ve known for years. The 4622 that my wife uses in her passwords was not just the address of her own father’s childhood home

but also a reminder of his fragility and strength. Apparently when the former 120 kg football standout was a small boy, he had to sing his home address (4622 South 28th West Avenue) in one full breath rather than try to say it normally; otherwise, his debilitating stutter would trip him up. While computer scientists would prefer that our passwords be a hardto-crack jumble, precisely what makes passwords so flawed is also what computer scientist Joseph Bonneau finds uplifting. “People take a nonnatural requirement imposed on them, like memorising a password,” he said, “and make it a meaningful human experience.” In 1993, when she was 22, Maria Allen used for her password a combination of the name of her summer crush, J.D., with a month and the name of a mythological female deity (she wouldn’t tell me which) to whom he had compared her when they’d first met. The fling ended, and they went their separate ways. But the password endured. Eleven years later, out of the blue, Allen received a message through classmates.com from J.D. They dated a few years, then decided to marry. Before the wedding, J.D. asked Maria if she had ever thought of him during that interim decade. “About every time I logged in to my Yahoo! account,” she replied, before telling him her secret. He had the password inscribed on the inside of his wedding ring.

NEW YORK TIMES (NOVEMBER 23, 2014). © 2014 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES CO., NYTIMES.COM.

April•2016

|

85


86

|

March•2016


SEE

THE WORLD ... Turn the page

March•2016

|

87


... DIFFERENTLY The streets of London are in fact a canvas. Or, to be exact, the city’s flat-trampled blobs of chewing gum are. Since 1998 artist and sculptor Ben Wilson has made it his goal to transform these unsightly splotches into colourful works of art. So far, a keen eye has about 10,000 chances to discover one of these miniature paintings in the British capital and that number is steadily increasing. Although he is often questioned by the police, he doesn’t need to fear any fines as he only paints the surface of the gum, and not city property. P H O T O S : A L M AY

88

|

March•2016


March•2016

|

89


DRAMA IN REAL LIFE

90

|

April•2016


In the distance, a wolf howled and Brian Koonoo howled back. Then he made his decision: if he was ever going to see his family again, he would have to walk

LOST ARCTIC in the

BY NICH O LAS H UNE - BROWN ILLUSTRATIONS BY MICHAEL BYERS

April•2016

|

91


LOST IN THE ARCTIC

O

N BRIAN KOONOO’S FIFTH DAY ALONE in the wilderness, the snow stopped and the sun warmed the Arctic air. Koonoo ventured out of his canvas tent, huddling into

his parka and adjusting his sealskin pants. He looked out at the snowdrifts, which stretched towards the horizon in every direction.

It was May 17, 2015, and Koonoo, then 36, had been out of communication range since the 13th. People were surely searching for him, he reasoned, but what were the chances they could find him and his broken snowmobile, alone in a bleak, snowy expanse just above the Arctic Circle? Koonoo climbed the hill next to his makeshift camp and scanned the dial on his hand-held radio, hoping to catch a signal. He built a fire, using what garbage he had and a little cooking oil, but it burned hot and clean, producing a smokeless flame. He looked back at the way he’d come. Snow had covered his snowmobile tracks. Any search plane looking for the stranded Inuit hunter would have a hard time spotting him – a blob of colour in an infinity of white. For the first time, Koonoo felt an overwhelming sense of despair. He thought of his wife and five daughters, who would be worrying about him back at their home in Pond Inlet. He began to cry. In the distance, a wolf howled and Koonoo howled back. Then he made his decision: if he was ever going to see his family again, he would have to walk. 92

|

April•2016

THE TRIP HAD STARTED out as a hunt-

ing expedition. Pond Inlet is a hamlet of nearly 1500 people, at the northern tip of Baffin Island– a collection of corrugated metal houses out on the floe edge, where the sea ice melts into the open ocean. It’s the fifth largest island in the world, lying between Greenland and the Canadian mainland. In recent years, the caribou hunt had been heavily restricted on the island to let the dwindling herd recuperate, but on the mainland, the animals were still plentiful. Koonoo’s plan was ambitious: he would travel almost 500 km across tundra and sea ice by snowmobile, dragging a fivemetre sled laden with supplies. Somewhere south of the mainland’s Hall Beach, 450 km south of Pond Inlet, he would meet up with friends, spend a few days hunting caribou and then, if he was lucky, bring the much-needed game home to his family. On May 10, Koonoo left his wife and daughters, travelled 20 hours southeast across snow and sea ice, took a short nap and kept going until he reached Igloolik, nearly 400 km to the south, on May 12. He spent the night with his childhood pal Perry


READER’S DIGEST

Atagootak and resumed his trek the next day, passing through Hall Beach. As a Parks Canada employee who had been hunting since he was three, Koonoo was an experienced outdoorsman. After leaving Hall Beach, however, his bad luck began. The plan had been to travel to a series of cabins in the wilderness – simple structures the locals used. He would use his SSB radio, powerful enough to reach long distances, to determine exactly where his hunting companions were. Now, as he stopped at the first cabin, he realised the sack containing that device and his sleeping bag had fallen off the sled during the bumpy ride – lost in the snow somewhere. Koonoo had no way of communicating except through a hand-held radio with a signal so weak it barely extended beyond eyeshot. He spent the night there, then decided the best option was to get to Repulse Bay, a day’s journey away. Further south, the flat terrain turned into hills and valleys, with rocks and drifts that threatened to swallow the snowmobile. That afternoon, the vehicle died, felled by a transmission issue. Realising he was stranded, Koonoo knew the best course of action was to stay put and wait for rescuers. He set up his tent and hunkered down, keeping the Coleman stove burning to try to stay warm without a sleeping bag. WHEN KOONOO SET OFF, his wife Samantha, didn’t know exactly when she would hear from him again. On a

hunting trip in the north, communication is unreliable, and plans are quick to change. Samantha, 34, was working on a degree in early childhood education while raising the couple’s five daughters, aged three to 13. She was confident her husband could handle himself. But on Friday, May 15, Atagootak wrote a Facebook post wondering if anyone had seen his friend. It had been three days since Koonoo had spent the night in Igloolik. When Samantha read the note, her stomach dropped. “I called his mom and told her, ‘I’m worried about Brian,’” she says. Koonoo’s mother contacted his Parks Canada coworker, who notified search and rescue.

IN THESE SPARSELY POPULATED AND UNFORGIVING PARTS, A SIMPLE MISTAKE CAN MEAN DISASTER Over the next four days, while Koonoo braved the cold on his own, search and rescue teams assembled across the Canadian North. In this sparsely populated part of the country with its unforgiving environment, a simple mistake can mean disaster. One afternoon in November 2011, the mayor of Kimmirut, on Baffin Island, went caribou hunting and April•2016

|

93


LOST IN THE ARCTIC

disappeared into the wilderness. His body wasn’t discovered until the summer thaw the next year. Three snowmobiles set off from Pond Inlet but were initially thwarted by blowing snow. Four searchers left from Hall Beach, more from Repulse Bay, all volunteers using their own snowmobiles to scour the trail for any sign of the missing hunter. That Saturday, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ontario, got involved, sending a Twin Otter and a C-130 Hercules to fly between Repulse Bay and Igloolik, searching for Koonoo.

KOONOO WALKED ALL DAY AND WELL INTO THE NIGHT, UNTIL HE COULDN’T WALK ANY MORE

At home, Samantha felt like she was losing her mind. Should she jump on a plane to try to find her husband? What should she tell their girls? She lay in their bed, trying not to look at the spot where Koonoo should have been. Why can’t they find him? she fretted. Did I lose my husband? ON MAY 17, KOONOO decided to take advantage of the momentarily clear skies to make his move. He had brought a GPS system, but it needed 94

|

April•2016

to be plugged into the snowmobile. With a jerry-rigged connection to his radio, the unit flashed to life. He was 60 km from Repulse Bay, the closest hamlet. It would be a tough walk over hilly terrain in the snow, but he had no other choice. Koonoo boiled water and filled his thermos. He gathered the stove and tent into his tarp, but soon realised that dragging the weighty bundle would be impossible. Koonoo made the decision to fill his knapsack with essentials: his remaining ham and bread, emergency candles, plastic bags, a hunting knife, radio, GPS and ammunition. He wrapped the knapsack in the tarp and cinched it tight with a rope. He checked his coordinates and fixed his eye on the far horizon. Then he slung his rifle over his shoulder and started walking. Koonoo maintained a steady pace, tracking the wind direction and keeping the dunes aligned so as not to veer off course. He moved methodically through the snow, which was more than 50 cm deep, trying not to sweat too much or become too exhausted, taking sips of hot water from his thermos as he travelled. In mid-May, the sun doesn’t set above the Arctic Circle. Warmer weather would soon melt the snow, but for now, temperatures remained below freezing and felt much colder when the wind picked up. Koonoo walked through the afternoon and well into the night, making his way


READER’S DIGEST

about 25 km until he couldn’t walk any more. On the bank of a creek bed, he found a snowdrift against a rock. With his knife, he carved out a snow cave – an emergency shelter his father had taught him to build. He sliced out enough room for his body and covered the hole with his tarp. He crawled in, ate and fell asleep. When he woke up a few hours later, Koonoo felt energised and ready to walk. But the next stretch was harder, the terrain hillier. He began playing the mind games you indulge in when you’re on your own and desperate. Keep climbing, he would tell himself, and you’ll see a hunting cabin just over the ridge. Then he’d make it to the top only to see another hill.

Midway through that day, Koonoo spotted planes in the far distance. At first he assumed they were heading to one of the small communities to the north. When they came back, he realised they were looking for him. Koonoo waved his gun in the air, hoping they’d notice the glint of the metal. As they approached, he turned on the radio, fruitlessly trying to catch their frequency as they winged past. That night, snow was scarcer, barely deep enough to build a shelter. Koonoo cut a few blocks of snow from a drift and stacked them, then stretched his tarp between a rock and the improvised wall. He lit an emergency candle and filled his thermos cup with snow, holding it above the flame until he could

April•2016

|

95


LOST IN THE ARCTIC

drink. Shivering, he pulled his arms inside his parka, buried his face in the lining and fell asleep. THE NEXT MORNING, KOONOO was

still shivering – his breath had created condensation inside his parka during the night. It was an ugly day, with blowing snow that reduced visibility to a few metres around him, and 60 km winds that cut through his damp parka like a blade. For the first time, he began to panic. His core body temperature was falling, and hypothermia was setting in. He knew that if he didn’t move quickly, he would die. Koonoo hurriedly tossed his meagre supplies into his knapsack. As he pulled the zipper shut, it broke, so he abandoned the bag. He stuffed his knife, GPS and radio into his pockets, filled a zip-lock bag with snow and stuffed it into his parka to melt for drinking water. Then he grabbed his rifle, wrapped the tarp around his shoulders and started walking again. Three days into his voyage on foot, with little food, sleep or water, Koonoo was suffering. He would walk 50 m before collapsing into the snow, lying still until he summoned the energy to trudge forward again. At one point, the wind caught the tarp, ripping it from his hands. He chased after the scrap of plastic, but it was out of reach. Weak and exhausted, he watched it sail away. With little water, he was becoming dangerously dehydrated. One leg cramped, and 96

|

April•2016

Koonoo silently prayed for strength, limping along until he regained mobility. Then the other leg cramped. Weary, he collapsed once again. This time he didn’t rise. This is how it feels to give up, he thought, gazing at the snow swirling across the sky. His legs were at rest. He let his mind drift. Lying there, Koonoo dreamt of his family. At home in Pond Inlet, their life was simple – watching movies at home, hunting seal on the ice. In his mind, he heard his youngest daughter, Alina, a rambunctious preschooler who seemed to be constantly laughing, impossibly happy. “Ataata,” she said, Inuktitut for father. Suddenly, he was jarred awake. A nearby ptarmigan kept calling, an irritating cluck that seemed to grow louder and louder. Koonoo sat up. OK, I’ll start walking, he thought. I want to see my wife. I want to see my kids. I want to see them grow up.


READER’S DIGEST

Koonoo trudged on. At times the hills were so steep he needed to use his knife to cut footholds into them. About 8 km from Repulse Bay, he spotted radio towers – the first sign of a community. He staggered forward until he glimpsed a cabin at the top of the hill. With the last of his energy, he climbed up and broke in. Inside, Koonoo turned on a Coleman stove and immediately heated some snow, gulping down the warm water. He found a package of vegetable soup mix and ate that. He removed his boots for the first time in a week and saw his feet – pale as snow, curled and wrinkled. Then he found a warm blanket, hunkered down on the couch and slept for 12 hours. THE WALK INTO TOWN the next day, May 20, was easy, and Koonoo arrived at 5.30am to find everyone asleep. He suddenly felt shy. Koonoo didn’t know anyone in Repulse Bay, and he surely looked like a crazy person. He saw a taxi pull out from a house and figured its inhabitants would be awake. He approached the home, removed his rifle and knife and opened the door.

A woman was dozing on the couch. Koonoo knocked on the wall and awkwardly began to explain who he was, what he had been through. He didn’t get far before he broke down. The woman stared at him. “You’re the guy we were looking for,” she said. The woman’s husband had been part of the search and rescue operation, trying to find the man who had just stumbled through her door. TODAY, KOONOO gets emotional when he recounts the welcome he received. “Everyone was very happy everywhere I went,” he says. He recalls how the woman and her husband made him hot drinks, the  feast in the school gym, the way the hamlet’s elders came to meet him – the man who had survived in the wild, the man who had refused to give up. Back in Pond Inlet, he had another homecoming. At the edge of town, where the sea ice meets the shore, his community came out to welcome him. When Koonoo held his wife and kids in his arms, he broke down again. He cried – everyone did – and then the throng clapped and cheered as he took his last steps home.

AMUSING BUMPER STICKERS Money Isn’t Everything, But It Sure Keeps The Kids In Touch. If We Quit Voting Will They All Go Away? Watch Out for the Idiot Behind Me.

SEEN ON THE INTERNET

April•2016

|

97


All in a Day’s Work HUMOUR ON THE JOB

OLD DOG, NEW TRICKS

A woman called our airline customer-service desk asking if she could take her dog on board with her. “Sure,” I said. “As long as you provide your own kennel.” I further explained to her that the pet carrier needed to be large enough for the dog to stand up, sit down, turn around and roll over. The customer was flummoxed: “I’ll never be able to teach him all of that by tomorrow!” Source: gcfl.net MODERN COUPLE

After texting back and forth with my wife on my iPhone, I jokingly commanded Siri to pass along this message: “You need to get back to work now; you have a husband to support.” Here’s what Siri sent her: “You need to get back to work now; you have a has-been to support.” SUBMITTED BY JOHN BROWN

much work to do around the house.” Taking my hand, and with the wisdom of one who has lived many a lifetime, he said, “Mum, I have advice for you. When people tell me to do work, I don’t listen to them. Then I don’t have work to do. It works for me. You should try it.” SUBMITTED BY A. CALDWELL

WHO, ME? LISTEN TO REASON

“Can you play with me, please?” my pre-schooler asked. “Not now,” I said. “I have too 98

|

April•2016

My good friend is more aggressive at work than she realises. After she had her annual performance review, I asked, “How did it go?”


“They had written that I was overbearing,” she replied. “I made them take it off.” Source: gcfl.net

CARTOON: HA RLEY SCHWADRON; PHOTOS: iSTOCK

THAT’S A FAIL

Just before the final exam in the university finance class I teach, a less-than-stellar student approached me. “Can you tell me what grade I would need to get on this exam to pass the course?” he asked. I gave him the bad news. “The exam is worth 100 points. You would need 113 points to earn a D.” “OK,” he said. “And how many points would I need to get a C?”

find it or how they can get the best possible picture of it. One day though, an elderly woman walked up to me and asked, “When do they fire the noonday gun?” We stared at each other awkwardly for a moment, then she quickly left.

SUBMITTED BY AIMEE PRAWITZ

SUBMITTED BY LUKE AHERN

“Your poor wife told me so much about you.”

CLASSROOM PARITY

T H AT ’S A B A D S IG N

I recently ran into an old student of mine, who said, “I always liked you. You never had favourites. You were mean to everyone.”

Spotted on a restaurant’s website: “Glutton-free menu available .”

SUBMITTED BY LOIS HENRY

AT THE SOUND OF THE BOOM IT WILL BE…

I work as a historical interpreter. Visitors often ask me about our signal gun, which we fire every day. Most of the time they want to know where to

SU BM ITT ED BY EM ILY PAYN E

Got a good joke, anecdote or real-life gem to share? Send it in and you could win cash! See page 6 for details. April•2016

|

99


BONUS READ

When Ann Walmsley agrees to share her love of reading with a group of prison inmates, it reshapes her view of the world

I’d Like to Help Find You Some

GOOD BOOKS F R O M T H E PR I SO N B O O K C LU B ILLUSTRATIONS BY TARA HARDY

100

|

April•2016


April•2016

|

101

P HOTOGRAP H BY CLAIRE BENOI ST


N

I ’ D L I K E TO H E L P YO U F I N D S O M E G O O D B O O K S

ot far from my stack of book-club books, in another section of my shelf, is an old red cloth-bound volume: The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats. Several pages have the corners turned down, including one featuring ‘Under Ben Bulben’, which has lines my father quoted often: Cast a cold eye On life, on death. Horseman, pass by! Those lines are the epitaph on Yeats’s tombstone, and they are the lines we said over my father shortly after he died. I had always imagined that the horseman was the horseman of death and that the poet was asking to be spared. But another interpretation came to me recently: the horseman was fear. Through books, I found some of the courage my fath er had wanted me to find. I created meaning with men who represented the very thing I feared. SIX YEARS AGO, when my friend Carol Finlay invited me to join a book club she had started in a Canadian men’s prison, everything about it screamed bad idea. I admired the work she was doing but wasn’t sure I could take part. In England in 2002, at the age of 46, I had survived a violent mugging. Two men had chased me down a dark lane beside my London house, choked 102

|

April•2016

me until I’d lost consciousness, then fled with my mobile phone. It had taken me months to overcome the trauma, and during my remaining three years in the city, I was too frightened to walk alone at night. I wasn’t sure I could enter the prison without triggering my earlier response. But then I remembered that, in the weeks after the attack, I had felt an unexpected maternal impulse as I’d imagined how distressed my assailants’ mothers must have felt about their errant sons. Something my father once said to me also came to mind: “If you expect the best of people, they will rise to the occasion.” As an Ontario Court judge, he had seen people at their worst. I knew Carol had the men at Collins Bay Institution, a federal penitentiary in Kingston, Ontario, reading good literary fiction and non-fiction. They met once a month to discuss a chosen book. It was, in some ways, just like the club Carol and I belonged to in Toronto, except we were all women and not in jail. By the slimmest of margins, my curiosity began to outweigh my apprehension. I couldn’t resist seeing what the convicts would say about the books. WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW until my first visit was that Carol and I would meet the 18 or so heavily tattooed book club members in a remote building within the prison walls, with no guards present and no visible security cameras. Carol’s idea was to put


READER’S DIGEST

the men at ease. Our only protection would be a chaplain wearing a personal security alarm that would alert guards in the main building, some 80 m away. Built in the 1930s, Collins Bay is a grey castle fronting a vast square of limestone rampart, with red-capped guard towers at each corner. This was my view as I walked up, in October 2010, for my inaugural session with the prison book club. I had followed Carol’s instructions to downplay my curves and eliminate showy jewellery. I was wearing a turtleneck, a tweed jacket

I DON’T RECALL WHAT THE MEN SAID ABOUT THE BOOK. I WAS BUSY REHEARSING SELF-DEFENCE MOVES IN MY MIND and pants, my gold wedding band and simple pearl stud earrings. I was also wearing my nerves. My hand shook as I signed the guest logbook at reception. From that moment on, I remember only brief impressions. I was fearful to the point of shock. After the set of metal doors at the entrance slammed behind me, I recall being hit by the smell – an unpleasant yeasty odour I couldn’t quite identify, as though

decades of hardship, hate and regret had condensed on the walls. The prison chaplain, Blair,* was escorting Carol and me. We passed lots of men in white waffle-weave long-sleeved shirts or blue T-shirts and jeans, some pushing carts or carrying mops, and I remember thinking, Gosh, they have a lot of staff here. Blair was saying something about the ‘telephone pole’ design of the prison – a main corridor, known as ‘The Strip’, with cell units branching off on both sides. He led us to a secondary building that looked like a parish hall. And then somehow I was sitting on a wooden chair, waiting for the inmates to arrive, wondering whether to peel off my name tag, which announced to them all that I was Ann. The men who walked in the door were dressed like the guys I thought were cleaning staff. Those were the inmates? Why were they roaming around freely? Why was the chaplain, the only one wearing a security alarm, leaving the room briefly? And why did Carol look so relaxed? Then one man came towards me smiling, with his arm extended. “Hello, welcome,” he said. I stood up and grasped his hand and thanked him. Many of the others followed his lead, gracious and non-threatening. Carol introduced me as the head of the prison book club’s book selection committee, saying I was an award-winning magazine journalist

* T H E N A M E S O F P R I S O N W O R K E R S A N D I N M AT E S H AV E B E E N C H A N G E D.

April•2016

|

103


I ’ D L I K E TO H E L P YO U F I N D S O M E G O O D B O O K S

who had majored in English literature at university. I was sitting in to get a better sense of which books might appeal to them. After that, she led them in a discussion of Dave Eggers’s wonderful non-fiction book Zeitoun, about a Syrian-born landlord and house painter in post-Katrina New Orleans who is swept up by Homeland Security. It’s a book I had read and loved, but I have no recollection of what the men said about it. Instead, I was busy rehearsing in my mind the self-defence manoeuvres I had learned in London. The men seemed baffled by my presence, by my decision to drive two-plus hours from Toronto, given

THE NOVEL OFFERED INSIGHTS INTO THE LONELINESS OF A PERSON WHO VIEWS THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY THAN OTHERS that I wasn’t proselytising religion and I wasn’t being paid. After the meeting, an inmate approached me and asked, “Miss, why would a nice person like you want to spend time with bad guys like us?” That’s a very good question, I thought. But I said, “I’d like to help find you some good books.” 104

|

April•2016

W I T H I N A F E W M O N T H S , I had figured out my role at the Collins Bay Book Club. Carol and another volunteer (a former radio host) alternated leading the club, tapping into her skills as a high school English teacher and his as a broadcast interviewer. I was a writer-in-residence of sorts, offering comments on the authors’ styles and observing from the point of view of book selection. For our May 2011 meeting, I had suggested The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by British writer Mark Haddon. The book, which journeys into the mind of someone with what appears to be autism spectrum disorder, is narrated by a 15 year old named Christopher, who lives according to a strict routine in order to avoid sensory overload. But when the teenager discovers his neighbour’s poodle impaled with a pitchfork, he travels outside his comfort zone to search for the killer, using detective skills he has learned from reading Sherlock Holmes mysteries. The boy’s investigations unveil adult secrets at home and throughout his neighbourhood. In fact, just about everything in adult life seems deceptive and irrational when viewed through the factual and literal lens of a person with autism. What made the book worthy of our club, I thought, were its insights into the loneliness of a person who finds himself approaching the world differently than others.


P HOTO: iSTOCK

READER’S DIGEST

Carol’s co-lead, who was moderating the discussion that day, kicked things off by saying that it took him a long time to like the protagonist. Graham, a 1.9 m blond inmate, agreed. “The writing style drove me absolutely crazy. If I saw the word ‘and’ one more time, I was going to go totally insane.” It was true that large parts of Christopher’s narrative were told in a breathless “and I said... and he said... and I said,” but it was damned believable. Carol always sympathised with readers’ frustrations. “The first time I read it, I really liked it,” she said. “But the second time, it drove me bonkers, and perhaps it was all the ands.” She went on to give the men a primer on autism, including that people on the spectrum could be quick to anger

and had enormous difficulties with social interaction. “I liked the part where he hit the cop,” said Frank, who was serving ten years for aggravated assault and weapons offences. This got a hearty laugh from everyone. The scene comes early in the novel, when the police question Christopher about why he was found holding the dead dog. The boy goes into sensory overload from the interrogation and lies on the ground groaning. As a rule, he doesn’t like being touched, so when a policeman takes hold of his arm, Christopher hits him. It was the moderator who first advanced the idea that we could all, in some way, identify with Christopher. Not that any of us is autistic, he said, but “we’re all, in some way, standing April•2016

|

105


I ’ D L I K E TO H E L P YO U F I N D S O M E G O O D B O O K S

on the outside of the circle, or the periphery, of life.” “Oh, yeah,” said Ben, an eager book enthusiast whose heavy-lidded eyes drooped at the outer corners, giving him a slightly hurt look. “Especially being in here, I guess we can all get to where he’s at sometimes.” Carol reiterated that we are all on

THE ESSAY WENT ON TO DESCRIBE ONE INMATE WHO DRINKS HIS OWN URINE, ANOTHER WHO SNORTS COFFEE GROUNDS the margins in some way. She told the men about a trip she’d made to France a couple of years earlier to visit Canadian humanitarian Jean Vanier and his L’Arche community, where developmentally delayed people live with their caregivers. When she was there, a resident had approached her and asked, “Are you normal?” Carol’s story inspired Frank to describe the Exceptional Person Olympiad the prison sponsors each summer, bringing in people with intellectual disabilities for two days of games and sports with the inmates. “One of them gave me a hug!” he said. Several of the men had positive stories about the event. One large man 106

|

April•2016

with a sleepy voice said, “Here, you’re in an institution. You’re surrounded by hate. You’re surrounded by opinions. Everybody in prison has an opinion. At the Olympiad you’re with people who don’t. They’re very loving, very outgoing, very easy to be around.” Graham had one more gloss to add on the subject of autism in the novel. He suggested that maybe autism was a metaphor for a failure of communication between all of Christopher’s family members and the suffering that ensued from that breakdown. With that comment, he came closest to Haddon’s own declaration about the book – that it was really about everyone.

W

hat I’d failed to understand when I’d proposed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was how uncomfortable most inmates are with the idea of neurodevelopmental disorders and mental illness. ‘Bugs’ is prison slang for the mentally ill, and bugs are generally avoided in the yard because they are perceived as volatile. Graham highlighted this in a brief essay he had written, which he shared with Carol and me in the wake of our discussion. “Imagine living in a world where a variety of mental illnesses were rampant and patients received little or no treatment,” read the opening line. “Now imagine you weren’t allowed to leave this world


READER’S DIGEST

for any reason. Imagine violence was common and the population extremely unpredictable. Such a world exists right here in Canada, and I live in it every single day.” The essay went on to describe an inmate who drinks his own urine, one who snorts coffee grounds, others who don’t shower or who hear voices. Graham cited the suicide rate among federally incarcerated inmates in the country as 84 per 100,000, versus 11.3 for all citizens. Later, I double-checked Graham’s data. He was right. CAROL’S EFFORTS to make the Collins Bay Book Club feel more like a book club on the outside led her to invite prominent authors to visit and answer the men’s questions about the books. The first writer she recruited was Lawrence Hill, whose 2007 historical novel, The Book of Negroes (published as Someone Knows My Name in many countries), was an international hit. That book’s protagonist is a stoic West African slave who preserves her dignity despite her deprivations – a situation with which men in prison could identify. And Hill was well positioned to have additional street cred with many of the club’s members: he was a role model as a successful black man. Hill had initially declined Carol’s invitation because of a busy writing schedule and the three-hour drive to the prison. Eventually, Carol asked him out for coffee. Hill had showed

up intending to say no to the visit but found that he was no match for Carol’s persistence. That was in 2010, before I joined the book group. Frank, Ben and Dread (a tall man with dreadlocks dangling from under a tam) were among the members in attendance at that first meeting with the author. “It was the most intimate, detailed, focused, sustained conversation about the book I’d had with any group,” Hill later told me. “And that includes PhD students, graduate seminars and everything.” The experience was so rewarding he let Carol know he would be happy to return. And so, on my fifth session with the Collins Bay Book Club, in the early summer of 2011, Hill was back to talk to the inmates.

SOME 30 MEN SHOWED UP ON THAT JUNE DAY TO MEET WRITER LAWRENCE HILL. IT WAS THE LARGEST TURNOUT TO DATE I WA S C A P T I VAT E D by Aminata Diallo, the fictional main character in The Book of Negroes. At the age of 11, in the 1700s, she is kidnapped by slavers from her native West Africa and sold to a South Carolina indigo plantation. She survives the horrific conditions of the slave ship, years of April•2016

|

107


labour in the fields and having two children taken from her. This could have been the voice of some of the black inmates’ female ancestors. The book club’s key members had done a good job of advertising Hill’s visit, and some 30 men showed up on that hot June day. It was the largest turnout I had seen to date. Ben kicked off the conversation by commenting, “You cultivate this grace in all your books, I noticed.” Since Hill’s visit the previous year, Ben had read his debut novel, Some Great Thing.

WHEN IT WAS TIME FOR THE INMATES TO HAVE THEIR BOOKS SIGNED, I WAS MOVED BY HOW EAGER THEY WERE

108

|

April•2016

The author’s eyes opened wide, and he smiled at Ben. He talked about imbuing his characters with admirable qualities like courage because he liked to ask himself whether he would have that courage under those circumstances. “It’s the same thing with grace,” said Hill. “There’s something to be said for people who keep their dignity, even when all hell is breaking out around them and they’re enduring horrible things. They keep their dignity and don’t forget they’re just as human as everybody else.” Hill was answering Ben’s question, but he appeared to be slipping in a stealth message to the room: he admired their courage and their humanity in how they were enduring prison. I felt the power of his words, and his comments affected the men, too. A muscle twitched in Graham’s cheek, and Ben smiled his slow smile. Many of the others sat rapt. Towards the end of the meeting, Carol asked Hill to share a couple of passages from The Book of Negroes. He read two of the most memorable sections: when Aminata has just disembarked from the slave ship and is frightened by the ‘smoke’ coming from her mouth as her breath condenses in the cold morning air; and when another slave inoculates Aminata against smallpox by implanting a lesion under her skin. Then it was time for the inmates to come forward to have their books signed. I was very moved to see how

ILLUSTRATION: iSTOCK

I ’ D L I K E TO H E L P YO U F I N D S O M E G O O D B O O K S


READER’S DIGEST

eager they were – how precious this opportunity was for them. Sitting beside Hill, I had the chance to hear him talk to each man. Dread was second in line and asked for his book to be signed to his wife and ten-year-old daughter.

“THOSE GUYS ARE LIKELY TAKING A LOT MORE FROM BOOKS THAN OTHER PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY HAVE MORE NEED” When Ben reached the front of the line with his copy, they chatted about Some Great Thing, which draws on Hill’s years as a reporter for a Winnipeg paper. Once it was his turn, Graham thanked Hill for coming in a way that communicated gratitude from all of the men. Carol told Hill that Graham hoped to work with youth once he was granted parole. I had a feeling she would try to get them together ‘on the outs’, prison slang for ‘on the outside’. AN HOUR LATER, over lunch in Kingston, Hill told me there had been one question in particular from the men that he had never considered before. “When Ben asked me about

grace – nobody’s ever put that to me,” he said. “Those guys are likely taking a lot more from books than other people because they have more time, they have more energy, they’re able to focus on it and they have more need.” Hill had engaged with people inside before, it turned out. A few years earlier, when a secure-custody facility for juveniles was frustrated with its inability to get a group of teen boys to read, the corrections authorities had called Hill and asked if he would give helping them a try. The kids, who were serving long terms, could read – they just wouldn’t. Hill had succeeded after getting together with the boys once a week over lunch in the prison library. “How did you do it?” I asked. “I gave them each books individually,” Hill told me. “I figured out what a kid would like after talking to him for a couple of hours.” It was never a book from the prison library – too uncool. The books were gifts from him – personal recommendations. The boys would come back sometimes complaining they’d disliked a book he’d given them. “They hated the beginning, where the character did this; the climax, where the character did that; and the ending that was so unsatisfying,” he recalled. In other words, they had read the book.

EXCERPTED FROM THE PRISON BOOK CLUB, BY ANN WALMSLEY. © 2015 ANN WALMSLEY. PUBLISHED BY VIKING CANADA, A DIVISION OF PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE CANADA LIMITED. REPRODUCED BY ARRANGEMENT WITH THE PUBLISHER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

April•2016

|

109


Starting a book club is easy – all you need is to love reading. Here’s how to get yours off to a flying start FINDING FELLOW READERS Ask around your existing personal networks, including neighbours, friends, social media, or a community noticeboard. Once you mention you want to start a club, you’ll be surprised how many people may want to come along. Ask at your local bookshop and library for ideas – many run regular reading groups and can point you in the right direction for good books. Identify what common interests you and your group have and use these to help draw like-minded people. Once you start looking, you’ll find book clubs for men or women, seniors, sci-fi lovers, teenagers or cookery buffs.

So You Want to Start a Book Club? BY J E NNY B YRN

E

THE TIME, THE PLACE Once you have a group, agree on how often you want to meet – typically clubs meet monthly, though the time-poor may want to make it bi-monthly. For many clubs, meeting at home works best as you don’t have to get dressed up, and noisy public venues can make talking hard. If members bring a plate of food or a bottle, it takes the pressure off the host. But try rotating your meeting location as this will help to stimulate fresh thoughts. IDEA Tailor your venue according to the book’s subject matter. The Light Between the Oceans by M.L. Stedman was discussed over fish’n’chips by one club, while The Red Tent by Anita Diamant was chewed over at a Middle Eastern restaurant. 110

|

April•2016


SIZE MATTERS According to Christine Callen, a book club veteran of 15 years, you need a minimum number of people per meeting to make it interesting. “Seven is the magic number – fewer and there’s not enough for healthy debate,” she says. “You can have ten people in the club – not everyone will be able to make it every time – seven provides enough opinions.”

?

PHOTOS: I STOCK

CHOOSING THE BOOKS If you’re the club instigator, it’s easier if you pick the first book. Seek out book reviews in good magazines and newspapers and at bookshops. The flavour of the books you choose will be largely dictated by the personalities attending – you might like to have a wide range of genres from sci-fi to romance to travel epics. Or stick to one genre, such as history books. Decide on a strategy and a time frame – say five to 12 books across the year – then review how everything appeals to the majority. Take turns to come up with a list of four or five titles, then circulate the list via email shortly after your last discussion. Members can then vote on their preferred next book and meeting time. The member scheduled to host the next meeting coordinates the responses to decide the title and date most voted for.

Tip There is no one way to interpret a book. In fact, differing opinions are good

STARTING DISCUSSION Callen recommends beginning by asking all members to briefly give their opinion on the book. “Everyone arrives and has a drink to loosen up,” she explains. “Then we take it in turns to go around the room and each give the book a mark out of ten, saying in a few sentences what we liked or disliked about it. This gives everyone a chance to speak early in the night and stops one person dominating the conversation from the start.”

Puzzle Answers

See page 120

SHORT-HANDED

Each hand must have all four suits. The number on the fourth card in each hand is the sum of the numbers on the first and third cards, and the number on the second is the sum of the numbers on the first and fourth cards.

MISSING MIDDLE

15. The number in the centre square of each grid is found by adding the numbers in the corners, then reversing the digits in their sum. For example, in the first grid, 2 + 5 + 4 + 1 = 12, and by reversing the digits, we get 21.

BURIED TRIANGLE

HIDDEN MEANING

A. Down and out B. Parting gift C. A big fuss over nothing D. Cuts down to size

April•2016

|

111


Unbelievable TRUE TALES TOLD TALL

I Label Myself as a Potato IT’S 2055. Phones are painted onto our palms. There are no genders. There are no races. All countries have combined into one, North Zuckerberg. No, wait. Maybe life won’t be that weird in 2055. It will be that unrecognisable much sooner, like maybe in a couple of weeks. 112

|

April•2016

The week I realised exactly how bizarre life was becoming started normally enough, when a reader sent me a heartwarming email of a news report about a pet dog that accidentally won a marathon race. Ludivine, a two-year-old bloodhound, stepped out of her home and saw humans starting to line up. She joined them and ran the entire

ILLUSTRATION: GETTY IM AGES

Nury Vittachi asks why identity has to be so confusing


21 km route, coming first in her age American, and an adult male who group and seventh overall. Officials identified as a little girl. chose to identify her as a human so A feature writer who defies the laws she could receive a medal. Her of physics by being lazier and more surprised owner said that the dog had sluggish than I am, said that he been let out to poop in the woods and identified as Brad Pitt and all women must have decided to run the Alabama should henceforth be legally forced half-marathon on a whim. to respond accordingly. The women I found this hard to take in, as present enthusiastically received I need a lengthy period of his proclamation with psyching myself up just a synchronised wave to move from sofa to of vomit gestures. Authorities fridge. I once watched a The next day I heard agreed to issue from friends in Bangkok 40-minute documentary on Latvian railways Hobo the goat that Thai Airways has because the remote was a permit to go said it will henceforth on the other armchair. recognise luk thep for walks since (fashionable life-sized That email was he ‘identifies’ child dolls) as humans immediately followed by one with a link to a news and sell them air tickets. as a dog report about Hobo, a  Some restaurants already British goat who thinks accept seat-bookings he is a dog and likes to go ‘walkies’ for luk thep, although I foresee twice a day. Walking goats is illegal disputes regarding buffet charges: where Hobo lives, but the authorities Diner: “The doll didn’t eat anything.” agreed to issue a special permit since Waiter: “That’s what they all say.” he ‘identifies’ as a dog. As a Modern Scientific Person, I mentioned these news items at I think only thinking creatures should lunch with a group of journalists who be allowed to identify as sentient were struggling with the whole beings, so that takes dolls, bacteria identification issue. One worked for and nationalist politicians out of the a corporation which had instructed loop. As for us couch potatoes sitting its staff that if a person born male on sofas staring at screens, we’re kind identified as a woman, reporters had of in a grey area. Anyway, most of us to use the pronoun ‘she’, and vice already spend most of our time in the versa for people born as women. vast empire of Zuckerberg. This seemed fine to her, but then she had to edit reports about a natural Nury Vittachi is a Hong Kong-based author. Read his blog at Mrjam.org blonde who identified as a black April•2016

|

113


What Like out about &We NEWS

MINISCAPES Create Your Own Terrarium Clea Cregan Hardie Grant Books Living in an apartment with no access to a garden? Short on time, but love the idea of growing plants? Then cultivating a tiny landscape in a clear glass container – a terrarium – may work for you. Miniscapes features 16 projects covering four biomes (desert, forest, carnivorous plants, air plants) and reveals how these miniature worlds can be up and flourishing in little time, with minimal expense and few skills. Author’s warning: terrarium gardening can be very addictive!

114

|

April•2016

BOOKS

FILMS


READER’S DIGEST

THE JUNGLE BOOK Live animation, Adventure, Family Disney gives Rudyard Kipling’s familiar tale of Mowgli, the orphan boy raised in the jungle with the help of wolves, a bear and a panther, a hightech overhaul. Mowgli is played by 12-year-old Neel Sethi who is the only actor to appear on screen. The movie features an all-star voice cast with Sir Ben Kingsley voicing the black panther Bagheera, Bill Murray the fun-loving bear Baloo, and Lupita Nyong’o as mother wolf Raksha. Even though this is a darker adaptation, it holds true to Kipling’s tale, and with the inclusion of ‘The Bare Necessities’, sung this time by Bill Murray, this is a film everyone will enjoy.

PENGUIN BLOOM: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family By Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Greive HarperCollins An active, adventurous couple – Sam and Cameron Bloom – take their three sons on a trip to Thailand. When a handrail gives way, Sam plunges six metres and, after seven months of hospitalisation back in Australia, she is wheelchair-bound, angry and contemplating suicide as an ‘endless gloom’ descends on the family. Then, another accident victim comes into their lives: a magpie chick that has fallen from its 20-metre high nest. ‘Penguin’ the magpie eventually pulls through and becomes an “ambassador of love and chief motivational officer” for the family. With its touching photographs and honest, open text, this inspiring book reminds us that “no matter how lost, lonely, defeated or damaged we feel, accepting the love of others and loving them in return … will help to make us whole again.”

April•2016

|

115


OUT & ABOUT

THE BOSS Comedy Michelle Darnell is a business mogul – and not a very pleasant person. The richest woman in the US, Michelle (Melissa McCarthy) is the epitome of the boss from hell. But when she’s convicted of insider trading and jailed for six months, the tides turn for former employee Claire (Kristen Bell). When Michelle is released, she is forced to live with Claire, whose life she once made miserable. Although Michelle is ready to reinvent herself as America’s newest sweetheart, not everyone she cheated is ready to forgive and forget.

Robot Waiters

Singapore’s Rong Heng Seafood Restaurant doesn’t have to worry about its waiters calling in sick: they’re robots! Finding it hard to secure sufficient staff, the owners settled on an electronic option to deliver plates to tables. Although curious customers like to touch their steely servers, no damage has occurred so far, and sensors that keep the robots 15 cm away from any obstacle have ensured no toes or handbags have met a crushing fate.

Can a leopard change her spots? Melissa McCarthy

SMILING MIND Mindfulness Made Easy Jane Martino & James Tutton Relax, let it go. That’s easier said than done as we grapple with the adversities of everyday life. But a build up of stress can and does make us sick over time. So, what to do? Smiling Mind helps provide the tools to managing anxieties with mindfulness meditation. What is it? A series of ways of resting your mind in the present moment so that you can improve your focus, connect better with others and enjoy a sense of wellbeing. It’s as important to our mental and physical health as exercise and nutritious food. 116

|

April•2016

PHOTO: (ROBOT) GETTY IMAGES

Hardie Grant Books


READER’S DIGEST

WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? Dr. Seuss HarperCollins Children’s Books For children, and the child in all of us, the publication of a new Dr. Seuss story, written more than 50 years ago, is reason to celebrate. Hundreds of millions of copies of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s books have found their way into homes and hearts around the world and this one will surely do the same. What Pet Should I Get? is a story about a classic childhood moment of choosing a pet, and about learning to make decisions. Turn to the end for charming information about Dr. Seuss, his pets and how this book came to be.

I took one fast look … I saw a fine dog who shook hands. So we shook. So I said, “I want him!” But then, Kay saw a cat. She gave it a pat, and she said, “I want THAT!”

ILLUSTRATION: (LION ) iSTOCK

Wrong Way Animals The lure of a quick dip in the sea is understandable, but it’s not for everyone. Back in November, Bob Wilton and Craig Wilson were out fishing at a lake in Central Tasmania, some 250 m from shore, when they saw a swimming wombat struggling to stay afloat. The kind pair scooped the stricken animal into their boat, then headed to shore. It wasn’t the only marsupial taking a wrong turn in the water – students from the National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour, Australia, were on a diving trip in December in nearby waters when they spotted a 30 kg

swamp wallaby swimming more than a kilometre off shore. Using towels and a rope they brought the animal on board, managing to evade its claws. Although it was exhausted when they returned it to land, it quickly made a full recovery. Meanwhile, in January, an Asiatic lion plunged into the waters off Gujarat, India, and swam out to sea after emerging from the nearby Gir National Park and being alarmed when it encountered crowds. Emergency services sedated the lion and lifted it from the water, before returning it to the park’s animal care centre. April•2016

|

117


OUT & ABOUT

DAD’S ARMY

Comedy

HIGH SEAS & HIGH TEAS Voyaging to Australia Roslyn Russell National Library of Australia Between 1787 and 1900, more than 1.6 million immigrants including around 160,400 convicts, sailed to Australia, mostly from the British Isles. Many of these voyages lasted more than 100 days, nonstop. In this beautifully illustrated book, historian Dr Roslyn Russell uses stories from the immigrants themselves, told in diaries, journals, letters and shipboard newspapers to provide insights into the vicissitudes of life at sea. Despite the hardships, there were some moments of levity.

The boys from the British Home Guard first hit the big screen in 1971, but this latest version boasts a whole new cast, including Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Courtney and Toby Jones (see interview on page 78). Expect slapstick laughs and incompetence aplenty. All together now: ‘Who Do You Think You Are Kidding, Mr Hitler?’

“After 10 o’c[lock] a lot of fun went on, a gang of fellows joined together, and annoyed the rest, by putting pepper on the pillows of the others, when they caught anyone sleeping. I can tell you there was a great amount of sneezing.” SAMUEL SHAW,

aboard Tyburnia, January 26, 1878. “Today we played our first cricket match versus the gentlemen, they with broomsticks, left-handed, their right arm in a sling when they were fielding, & only under-hand bowling … Of course we lost, we were very nervous & our fielding was very bad but EDITH GEDGE, it was rare fun.” aboard Sobraon, November 26, 1888.

118

|

April•2016

“Would you all mind terribly falling in, please?” Bill Nighy (left) and Toby Jones


READER’S DIGEST

THE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR CURE Essential Recipes and Remedies to Heal Your Body Inside and Out Madeline Given Sonoma Press

A popular folk remedy, apple cider vinegar has, over centuries, been used as a wound-healing agent, preservative, condiment, tonic, preventer of scurvy, disinfectant and even an elixir of youth. (Note: this reviewer’s mother is 98 and has taken it with water and honey for decades.) Madeline Given, a holistic nutrition consultant, shares some of the history and science behind ACV, and presents healing home remedies, natural body and hair care treatments and simple sweet and savoury recipes that showcase this modest multi-tasker.

THE NICE GUYS Thriller, Action, Comedy

Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe star in this fast-paced comedy thriller. The Nice Guys is set in 1970s Los Angeles, with down-and– out private investigator Holland March and muscle-for-hire Jackson Healy forced to put their differences aside and work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star.

113

Uut

Ununtrium

115

Uup

Ununpentium

117

Uus

Ununseptium

118

Uuo

Ununoctium

Tidy Chemistry After confirmation from the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, four new elements have been added to the periodic table, completing its seventh row around elements 114 (flerovium) and 116 (livermorium). Of the four, three were confirmed in the US – elements 115 (known as ununpentium for the moment), 117 (ununseptium) and 118 (ununoctium). Element 113, ununtrium, was discovered in Japan. The numbers all refer to the number of protons in each element’s atomic nucleus. Their official names and symbols are yet to be decided. Scientists believe even more elements await discovery, all ‘superheavy’, which means they are only found in artificial nuclear reactions. April•2016

|

119


BRAIN POWER TEST YOUR MENTAL PROWESS

Puzzles

Challenge yourself by solving these puzzles and mind stretchers, then check your answers on page 111 BY MARCEL DANESI

5

3

6

9

2

3

9

2

3 5

6

3

SHORT-HANDED Which cards are missing in the third and fourth hands?

8

2

10

6

2 6

10

2 2

8

MISSING MIDDLE Using the rule that these grids all follow, fill in the number in the centre square of the fourth grid.

2

5

12

21 4 120

8

94 1

|

2

April•2016

1

9

9

?

72 34

7

21

3

14

7


HIDDEN MEANING Identify the common words or phrases below

GI FT A

B

FUSS 0

C

C

CC UU TT SS SIGHS SIGHS

BURIED TRIANGLE Connect seven dots that form the outline of a right-angled triangle

April•2016

|

121


BRAIN POWER TEST YOUR GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Trivia

7. Which is the smallest bird in the world? 2 points

1. True or false:

there were 12 major bubonic plague outbreaks in Australia between 1900 and 1925, resulting in 535 deaths. 2 points

8. In which two Italian cities do the soccer teams Lazio and Juventus play their home games?

2. In 2011,

2 points

bodyguards with armour-plated umbrellas protected which unpopular European president? 2 points

9. What is the literal meaning of in vitro? 14. Do the mysterious Moai statues of Easter Island mainly face inland or seawards? 1 point

1 point

10. Which vegetable were Royal Air Force World War II pilots said to have eaten aplenty, to cover up the introduction of radar? 1 point 11. What is the island of Formosa now known as? 1 point

4. Which museum is home to the Mona Lisa? 1 point

12. Which of the following were once

5. What is the art of engraving whale bone and ivory called? 1 point

Olympic events: tug-of-war, pelota, polo, lacrosse or power-boating?

6. What are the chances of a pearl

being formed naturally: 1 in every 500, 10,000 or 1,000,000 oysters? 1 point 16-20 Gold medal

11-15 Silver medal

2 points 13. Which Ang Lee martial arts film won four Oscars in 2001, including Best Foreign Language Film? 1 point 6-10 Bronze medal

0-5 Wooden spoon

1. True. 2. French President Nicolas Sarkozy. 3. Cheese. 4. MusĂŠe du Louvre, Paris. 5. Scrimshaw. 6. 1 in 10,000. 7. The bee hummingbird, 5-6 cm long. 8. Lazio, Rome; Juventus, Turin. 9. In glass, or within glass. 10. Carrots. UK authorities attributed the exceptional night-flying of RAF pilots to eating high-carotene-content carrots, when in fact their successes were due to radar. 11. Taiwan. 12. All of them. 13. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. 14. Inland.

122

|

April•2016

P HOTO: iSTOCK

3. Chaumes, reblochon and chevrotin are all types of what?

2 points


BRAIN POWER

IT PAYS TO INCREASE YOUR

Word Power Editors’ Notes

The challenge is on, Word Power fans! We canvassed some Reader’s Digest editors for their favourite words, and they answered the call in top linguistic form. Are you game? Answers on the next page. BY E M ILY COX & H E NRY RATH VON

1. antediluvian adj. – A: at dusk, partial darkness. B: environmental. C: belonging to the period before the biblical Flood, old-fashioned.

8. echelon n. – A: braid of hair. B: medieval criminal. C: level of command, step-like formation.

2. bamboozle v. – A: get drunk on

snow sleds. B: lifting weights. C: exploring caves.

cheap alcohol. B: deceive. C: get quickly out of control. 3. blandish v. – A: coax with flattery.

B: wave like a flag. C: tone down. 4. pellucid adj. – A: easy to

understand. B: frozen solid. C: innocent of a crime.

9. spelunking n. – A: racing on

10. sanguine adj. – A: naturally

cheerful, confident. B: melodic. C: of or relating to the sun. 11. brouhaha n. – A: group of witches. B: practical joke that goes wrong. C: uproar.

5. debacle n. – A: annual celebration. B: sudden collapse, fiasco. C: utter surprise.

12. obfuscate v. – A: snatch away

6. bluster n. – A: sloppy kiss. B: aggressive or indignant talk with little effect. C: pitfall.

contemptuously. B: dismount. C: exterminate.

from. B: make obscure. C: set on fire. 13. deride v. – A: laugh at

7. onomatopoeia n. – A: the use

14. pusillanimous adj. – A: catlike. B: odorous. C: cowardly.

of words whose sound suggests the sense. B: repetition. C: speech impediment.

15. detritus n. – A: unpaid bills. B: loose material, debris. C: gap between two teeth. April•2016

|

123


WORD POWER

Answers faithful service, she is now in the 1. antediluvian – [C] belonging to upper echelon of city officials. the period before the biblical Flood, old-fashioned. Her parents had 9. spelunking – [C] exploring caves. antediluvian ideas about what time An interest in geology research led she should come home after a date. Andrew to adopt spelunking as his favourite hobby. 2. bamboozle – [B] deceive. Don’t let the smooth car salesman 10. sanguine – [A] naturally cheerful, bamboozle you with sales talk. confident. Jay’s sanguine disposition made him a pleasure to be around. 3. blandish – [A] coax with flattery. They blandished the 11. brouhaha – [C] guard into letting uproar. A brouhaha GOING BEFORE them through the erupted over her Ante– is a prefix derived prison gate. statements about from Latin meaning ‘before’, the president. 4. pellucid – and is used in the formation [A] easy to 12. obfuscate – of compound words such as understand. The [B] make obscure. anteroom (a waiting room ‘before’ a larger room) or physics professor Could these antedate (to date ‘before’ had a knack for instructions possibly another event in time). giving surprisingly obfuscate the pellucid lectures. construction of my shelves any further? 5. debacle – [B] sudden collapse, fiasco. The CFO took full 13. deride – [A] laugh at responsibility for the technology contemptuously. Alex derided his company’s financial debacle. sister for entering the talent show, but she got the last laugh after winning it. 6. bluster – [B] aggressive or indignant talk with little effect. The 14. pusillanimous – [C] cowardly. politician can bluster all he wants, Bert Lahr played the pusillanimous but he’ll have to let it go in the end. lion in The Wizard of Oz. 7. onomatopoeia – [A] the use of 15. detritus – [B] debris. Vinnie words whose sound suggests the photographed the detritus of the city sense. With on-screen bursts like streets for his abstract essay. kapow, the original Batman TV VOCABULARY RATINGS series was famous for its creative 5 & below: Good effort use of onomatopoeia. 6–10: Keen contributor 8. echelon – [C] level of command, 11–12: Dictionary devotee step-like formation. After years of 13-15: Word Power wizard 124

|

April•2016


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

readersdigest.com.au/contests

We give great advice

Get regular home, health and food tips from The Digest

Giving is an expression of gratitude for our blessings. L AU R A A R R I L L AG A-A N D R E E S S E N

We help you get motivated

#QuotableQuotes and #PointstoPonder to get you through the day


Explore, Interact, Explore, Interact, Inspire Inspire Available now, everywhere

Available now, everywhere


▼Reader's Digest - Royal Record