“Time is brain”

Some good advice on recognizing and responding to the symptoms of a stroke a non-traditional source – a personal finance blogger, Asset Builder.


Imagine waking up in the morning with difficulty moving your arm. You assume your arm was in an unusual position while you slept. You wait for it to get better.

But it doesn’t.


Please, read the entire article for background on the importance of recognizing the symptoms of stroke, and remember F-A-S-T:


If you experience

  • Facial drooping
  • Arm drifting
  • Speech difficulty, then it’s
  • Time to call 911.

Don’t delay. As Dr. Janardhan reminds us, “Time is brain.”



via Asset Builder.

Why I Hope to Die at 75 – The Atlantic

Despite his protestations to the contrary, this guy (whose name I’ve already forgotten) is “crazy, posturing—or worse”, but he makes a lot of good points about how and why geezers should moderate their health care expectations and practices.

Let me be clear about my wish. I’m neither asking for more time than is likely nor foreshortening my life. Today I am, as far as my physician and I know, very healthy, with no chronic illness. I just climbed Kilimanjaro with two of my nephews. So I am not talking about bargaining with God to live to 75 because I have a terminal illness. Nor am I talking about waking up one morning 18 years from now and ending my life through euthanasia or suicide. Since the 1990s, I have actively opposed legalizing euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. People who want to die in one of these ways tend to suffer not from unremitting pain but from depression, hopelessness, and fear of losing their dignity and control. The people they leave behind inevitably feel they have somehow failed. The answer to these symptoms is not ending a life but getting help. I have long argued that we should focus on giving all terminally ill people a good, compassionate death—not euthanasia or assisted suicide for a tiny minority.

I am talking about how long I want to live and the kind and amount of health care I will consent to after 75. Americans seem to be obsessed with exercising, doing mental puzzles, consuming various juice and protein concoctions, sticking to strict diets, and popping vitamins and supplements, all in a valiant effort to cheat death and prolong life as long as possible. This has become so pervasive that it now defines a cultural type: what I call the American immortal.

I reject this aspiration. I think this manic desperation to endlessly extend life is misguided and potentially destructive. For many reasons, 75 is a pretty good age to aim to stop.

His arguments, detailed in his article, would be much more persuasive if one didn’t have to wade through the self-serving bullshit and aggrandizement.

via Why I Hope to Die at 75 – The Atlantic.

Jean Béliveau 1931 – 2014

Jean Béliveau was a regular on Saturday nights when I watched Hockey Night in Canada with my parents in Montreal, but so were Jacques Plante, Henri Richard, J.C. Tremblay, Bobby Rousseau, Claude Provost, coach Toe Blake, and many others. I didn’t understand the game and I didn’t appreciate, at the time,  what a contribution Le Gros Bill made to the team
But I have a very vivid memory of Jean Béliveau: I saw him walking towards me on University Avenue in Montreal.  He was obviously on his way to a business function.  An old guy, obviously down on his luck, was between the two of us and he stepped in front of Béliveau to say hello.  Béliveau’s reaction was heart-warming – gracious and welcoming. – no sense at all of that he was being interrupted on his way somewhere. “Gentleman” was the word that came immediately to mind, and the word that’s repeated and repeated in tonight’s remembrances.

That would have been about 1980.


Jean Béliveau, NHL legend, remembered as true gentleman – NHL on CBC Sports – Hockey news, opinion, scores, stats, standings.

Politics by telepathy – A lethal delusion

The Economist reminds us that following the Democratic rout of the 2014 mid-term elections President Obama referred to himself as, “the guy who’s elected by everybody, not just from a particular state or a particular district.” He said he heard a message from voters but also from “ the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday.”

The columnist’s conclusion: “That is perilously close to politics by telepathy: a lethal delusion that can afflict embattled leaders. Mr Obama is right that presidents enjoy a unique role in American democracy. It is true that voters are sick of gridlock. But many are also tired of him. If he misreads his mandate and overreaches, even in the best of causes, he may do real harm.”

Lexington: Barack Obama runs a red light | The Economist.


Toss the bastards in jail

Eric Reguly, writing in the Nov. 15 Globe & Mail, has the right approach to stopping banks’ bad behaviour: if fines and the odd firing are no deterrent to bad bank behaviour, … the obvious answer is shareholder rage. The trouble is, shareholders are not enraged. They have not grabbed pitchforks and torches and stormed CEOs’ houses when the multibillion-dollar fines are paid to secure settlements. Instead, they meekly accept the fines as if they are a cost of doing business, a sleaze tax, if you like.

In some cases, the bank shares actually rise when the fines are announced. The reason? Because in each of the settlements, the fines could have been far worse and, in no case, have the penalties threatened to put the banks out of business. The era of destroying terminally vice-ridden companies is, apparently, long gone. The last time that happened was in 2002, when Arthur Andersen, one of the Big Five accounting firms, was convicted of obstruction of justice for shredding documents in the Enron case. Some 85,000 employees eventually lost their jobs. Regulators and the governments that employ them no longer have the appetite for collateral damage in the form of massive job destruction.

So if fines don’t work, and regulators and government prosecutors won’t put the most corrupt companies out of business, what is needed to clean up the banks? That’s easy. Toss the bastards in jail or close the offending individual bank business for a few months or a year. That would hurt.

Banks’ bad behaviour won’t change until executives do the perp walk – The Globe and Mail.