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Health

Participating in a clinical trial in Canada

If you take any daily medications, or you’ve taken any medications, they’re the result of clinical trials. The pandemic has resulted in most of us hearing more about clinical trials than ever before. Did you know there are always clinical trials going on in Canada? They are a critical step in getting drugs approved in Canada and a lot has to happen before they come to market. There are four phases before Health Canada will give the nod to a pharmaceutical company. Phase one is all about understanding side effects and the safety of the drug. In this phase, there are a small number of participants, around 20-80. Phase two can involve up to 300 people and is all about understanding the impacts on different populations. In phase three, the trial looks at even larger groups, between 1,000 to 3,000 and also determines how the drug works compared to a

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Health

A mattress for the ages

As we age, the type of mattress we need often changes and they are critical to good sleep hygiene. And not all mattresses are made equal. Good sleep health is important for our overall health and wellness. That includes pre-midnight sleep (sorry night owls), a good stretch of time where we get REM sleep for our brains, and to give our physical bodies proper rest and recovery time. Edmonton, Alberta based Canadian mattress manufacturer GoodMorning.com believes this so much that they offered us a free mattress to try. If we were impressed, we’d write about it. If we weren’t, just like their 120 night guarantee, we could send it back. We ended up loving it. My partner and I are in our late 50’s. We’re very active. From Nordic Pole Walking to hiking and running, I’m regular with my daily yoga routine and pilates a couple of times a week.

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Longevity

Fighting climate change with Artificial Intelligence

In 2021 it would seem, we’ve reached an inflection point with regard to capitalism and climate change. In 2020, Bloomberg estimated some $500 Billion was being spent on technologies to fight climate change. Now, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is joining in. Now, governments and central banks are beginning to finance more technologies on the climate change front than ever before. This is good. First, a quick primer on AI. The term Artificial Intelligence is an umbrella term as AI is a combination of different technologies. They can be mixed and matched to work together or as stand-alone for various uses. For example, in search engines, two key AI tools are used; Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning. Then there’s neural networks and expert systems. There are other subsets and tools, so AI is a complicated mix of tools. When you think of AI in Hollywood terms such as the Terminator, that’s

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Resonance

You can’t always get what you want

Strange week it was. You know the feeling of being in the zone? It was the opposite of that. This feeling of being off increased as the week went on. It was hard to focus. Communication seemed stilted. On two of my morning Zoom meditation sessions with India there were major audio problems. This morning there was no audio at all. When the problem was fixed afterwards, the yogi said he gave some of his best instructions ever. So it goes. On the monthly breakfast Zoom call for our business group several members were absent. The organizer of the session was late. She was still feeling the effects of her vaccine. Still, it was a great theme: legacy. What do you want yours to be? Do you even think about it? Having lunch on the back deck, I broke a tooth. We found a black-legged tick on one of the

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Longevity

How robots will help the elderly

Yes, the robots are coming. But they may be a little friendlier and more helpful than we thought.  Across the world, our populations are ageing, except in Africa and India and while most of Asia has a younger population, Japan and China like North America are facing a rapidly ageing population and not enough young folks coming up to meet the care needs of the ageing, let alone many other jobs in these countries.  Perhaps no other country is advanced on this front with robots than Japan. There’s Pepper the little robot and Paro, a furry seal. Pepper is designed to be a companion to the elderly who live alone. Aside from being able to carry on some fairly decent conversations, it can also remind them when to take medications and when they haven’t eaten in a while. If set periods of time pass with no engagement with Pepper, the

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Resonance

Life on the fringe

Later in life Albert Einstein became a household name and a symbol, in a way, of the wise elder. While he had a healthy ego, he also had a sense of humour and didn’t take the opinions of the world too seriously. This is the picture painted in the biography by Walter Isaacson, a book that shows not only his scientific genius, but also how his life weaved in and out of many of the social issues of his time. Einstein was raised in a Jewish family. They weren’t religious, but they came from the ancient Jewish culture, a heritage Einstein came to appreciate only later in life. Part of the culture was a respect for learning. Although Jews could be relegated to the fringes of society, rabbis were scholars and the arts and sciences tended to be treated with respect. Across Europe, for centuries, Jews had been tolerated, or

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Longevity

Creativity doesn’t know age

It seems today that when we hear about creative geniuses, they all seem to be quite young, such as Mark Zuckerberg becoming a billionaire when he was in his early twenties. Or Bill Gates at just 29 years old. Pablo Picasso and Einstein having their breakthroughs at just their twenties as well. So are we to believe that a moment of creative insight and to be a genius is in our early lives? That as we move into our 50’s and our second phase of life our creative days are slipping away? Absolutely not. If you’re a reader of Silver Magazine, you know we don’t subscribe to such a silly notion! There are many cases of people who have their genius creative moment later in life. Mario Puzo wrote The Godfather when he was 45. Julia Child’s first book was published when she was 49. Grandma Moses began her painting

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