No Deathbed for author Karel Schoeman 1

No Deathbed for author Karel Schoeman
I would have thought that an author who wrote movingly of deathbed reflections would embrace such an eventual life review for himself. Yet acclaimed South African writer Karel Schoeman chose to end his own life at the age of 77, rather than carry on living, writing and reflecting. Afrikaans writer Karel Schoeman commits suicide President ...

“For You” = especially for me?

“For You” – that was the tag on a present I recently received. It wasn’t giftwrapped and tied with a ribbon, but delivered to me digitally. It was a collection of music put together especially for me. Kind of like those mixtapes we used to make back in the pre-digital era. Algo-Rhythm “For You” was ...

Are you a Superager?

Are you a Superager?
As a known sucker for the introductory phrase, “Studies show…” I have been studying yet another new study. It’s about a very small group of old people who the gerontological world has dubbed Superagers. This elite crowd are not just “good for their age” in the memory department. Their brains are measurably as sharp as ...

Mythbusting – not a bad thing 1

Mythbusting - not a bad thing
Mythbusting originally came from the name of a TV science show but now It’s a Thing, and not a bad one. In the past 20 years medicine has adopted an evidence-based approach to decision-making. This requires interrogating whether there is irrefutable proof for our beliefs – and busting the myths. This seems a good approach to ...

Vacation or anticipation – which is better? 3

Vacation or anticipation – which is better?
It’s nearly the end of January and my memories are fading. Not in general (that happens year round). I mean specifically, about what I did last month. My pleasant memories of my December holiday are getting dimmer. My cheery post-vacation mood is wearing off. So it’s time for… Not another holiday, it’s obviously too early ...

Time in nature can make you happy 6

Time in nature can make you happy
A new study has shown that spending time in nature can make you happy. Admittedly, this wasn’t a controlled and monitored experiment. There were no randomised control trials. However, while the sample was small, the lack of quantative data is made up for by qualitative research. Here is a brief summary of the findings of this ...

Meditate to make your brain age less?

Meditate to  make your brain age less?
If you meditate, keep it up. If you’ve been thinking of starting, you might give it a try. A new study shows that meditation may slow down brain aging. “While overall life expectancy has been increasing, the human brain still begins deteriorating after the first two decades of life and continues degrading further with increasing ...

Alzheimer’s – your worst fear or the real you?

Alzheimer's – your worst fear or the real you?
I’ve got some bad news and some good news. The bad news is in this recent headline… Comedians could have a field day with that story. Young ones, that is. Older people may laugh nervously, but inside they’re probably worrying that something like that recent incident in a UK care facility could happen to them ...

Hurry up and die, says the net to old people

Hurry up and die, says the net to old people
I started typing the words “old people should…” Here’s how Google finished the sentence. Do try this at home. Watch closely as you type “old people should” into Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s Bing, Mozilla’s Firefox – or a search engine that respects your privacy and doesn’t track you like DuckDuckGo or StartPage. Whichever one you use, it will immediately start ...

Help! – a tough ask

Help! – a tough ask
A group of scuba divers and snorkelers were observing manta rays deep in the sea off Hawaii one night last year when one of them got an unusual request – from a bottlenose dolphin entangled in fishing line. “The way he came right up and pushed himself into me there was no question this dolphin ...