SFHF_Silvermagazine_April_2024_Allergy_LeaderboardThe Westin Nova Scotian Wellness

David Holt

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Cover Story

Call of Destiny

Veteran actor R.H. Thomson is also an athlete, an activist, and a storyteller. He has many projects on the go. Don’t get in his way. Canadian actor R.H. Thomson has the energy of someone much younger. Good thing, because he is a man on a mission, or rather, multiple missions. At age 75, his acting career remains in high gear and he continues to head “The World Remembers,” an international not-for-profit dedicated to pointing out the huge cost of war. As a sideline, he spent six years on and off writing By the Ghost Light, a memoir about his life and career, which weaves back over several generations. Robert Holmes Thomson always had a lot of energy. Growing up in Richmond Hill, Ontario, he and his friends were outdoors in all seasons. The family had a cottage in northern Ontario where the kids were left alone to roam in the

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Carla Furlong
Longevity

‘Not bad for an old shape’: Carla Furlong is ahead by a century

Now that she’s 101, Carla Furlong goes to bed early in her house in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she lives with her stepson. This, for her, is around 11:00 PM. Until recently, she stayed up late doing crossword puzzles, playing solitaire, and reading historical novels. She never needed much sleep. If you ask Carla what she did on her latest birthday, in March of 2023, she replies that the phone rang off the hook. “I don’t think people think I’m going to last much longer,” she says with a laugh. Carla carved her own way as a musician and music teacher in an era when it was hard for a woman to sustain an independent career in any field, much less a creative one like music. Both parents encouraged her ambitions, but she knew it would not be an easy path. The evidence is everywhere: her living room contains a

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Mind

The big small world of folk artist Maud Lewis

From a distance, the paintings of rural life in Nova Scotia by folk artist Maud Lewis are simple and unsophisticated. Her life followed a similar trajectory, with more than a hint of tragedy. She left school at age 14 after years of being mocked for her small frame and obvious deformities. She lived most of her adult life in poverty in a tiny house beside a rural highway outside Yarmouth, on the province’s southern shore. In her later years she received some recognition, but in her lifetime she never received more than $10 for a painting. Lewis’s difficulties began, in fact, before she was born in 1903. “She suffered from a series of birth defects that left her fingers painfully deformed, her shoulders hunched, and her chin pressed into her chest,” related a 1997 article in Maclean’s magazine. “She spent most of her adult life as a virtual recluse in

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Mind

The secret of creativity

We love to contemplate the fruits of creativity, whether it’s the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, or the latest iPhone with its advanced microelectronics and labyrinthine software. Even lesser art forms like the pop music of Taylor Swift and the teenage plotlines of the Marvel Universe are powerful creations. If you look at the geniuses of history, whether operating mostly in isolation or as part of a team, one stark fact emerges. Whether we’re talking about Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, or Steve Jobs, creating new things is a multi-layered process. It involves a lot of investigating of what had come before, punctuated by occasional moments of inspiration, some of which never pan out. In a phrase — trial and error. Yet there is one truth that rises above all the others. It is tedious, commonplace, and the opposite of inspired, but this is where a

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Featured

Baby, it’s cold outside – and inside too!

I’m kayaking on the Bay of Fundy in late October. The air is cool. The water is cold — about 12 degrees C at this time of year. The massive tides mean that even in summer the bay is cold. After pulling the boat up on shore, I walk out into the salt water up to my knees, go back to shore, then walk back into the water and start swimming. A practiced, even clinical approach. Still, it’s a shock. I’ve been doing this for a few weeks since the nights cooled off, so I am starting to adapt. Lately, I’ve learned, by trial and error, that if you keep your head out of the water at least for the first few strokes it’s less of a shock. But it’s still friggin’ cold. Back on shore, I soak up the sun. That wasn’t so bad, says one part of my

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Cover Story

Want to live to 100 and enjoy the ride? ‘Healthspan’ is the way.

Some people have accomplished so much in their lives, it seems as if they must be more than one person. And some of these got off to a slow start. As a teenager growing up in Toronto ON, Peter Attia, was, in his own words, a “screw-up.” He was always goal-oriented, but he had only one goal – to become a professional boxer, which he knew was almost impossible, especially in Canada. To get fit, he and a small group of friends trained six days a week in a grimy underground adult gym, but otherwise he wasn’t motivated, certainly not by school. Then, a single grade-12 teacher turned him around and he was accepted at Queens University. He ended up with two undergraduate degrees, one in math and one in engineering. From there he went to Stanford medical school in California and emerged as a star cancer surgeon – the

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Featured

God save the Queen

When a Queen, stepping out of a limousine, glances up briefly, surreptitiously, to a rooftop, what does it mean? What is she looking for? Why is she concealing her glance? We all live in many worlds, none more so than heads of state whose public appearances are complex, carefully scripted public relations events. What we don’t see can be as important, or more so, than the speeches and soundbites. Danger is often part of the equation, but it is carefully stage managed. We expect the police escorts and military pomp, but what of the actual danger itself? And what is the toll it takes on these public figures we may idolize or vilify, depending? The Queen and Prince Philip visited Nova Scotia in August 1994. One morning they would perform a ceremony on the Dartmouth waterfront. Max Brennan, publisher of Silver magazine, and I were working at Atlantic Progress magazine

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Featured

Time Travel Part II: Take a sad song, and make it better

Look back 50 years to 1972. The Vietnam War had spread to Cambodia, the US was bombing the jungles with the toxic defoliant Agent Orange, the Cold War with the Soviet Union meant the world was under the constant threat of MAD (mutually assured destruction). It was the era of Watergate, student protests, black power, and the birth of the modern feminist movement. The first Earth Day was in 1970, with the iconic first image of the Earth from Space on the cover of The Whole Earth Catalogue. “1968” was a symbol of global change, and not just a year on the calendar. In the background, rock music building on the blues, which had come out of slavery and the work songs on the plantations. As Canadian Gordon Lightfoot sang, “Motor City’s burnin’,” his apartment in Toronto was the hangout for other genius songwriters like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.

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Featured

Revealed: The increase in Canada’s social value from getting more active

The benefits of engaging in sport and physical activity on an individual level may seem obvious, but if you add them up on a national level, you find enormous savings to the Canadian taxpayer and economy through. Moreover, it demonstrates Canada could reap even more rewards from encouraging more people to get active.  These are the conclusions of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC). Two conclusions: The total value of health savings generated by sport and physical activity in 2019 was CAN$23.4 billion. Over 2.2 million cases of health conditions were prevented in 2019, as a result of sport and physical activity, including over 600,000 each for Coronary Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and Depression. Here’s the other side. The report – using the most recent data from before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic – shows the costs of not being physically active. This highlights the benefits to

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