This article is from the May 2019 Issue of Forever Young

FYng May 2019 Feature

By Melanie Cummings

While waiting in a Calgary airport on route to a show in Winnipeg, Fred Penner is considering writing a how-to book for travelers.

After 45 years in the music business, he’s learned a thing or two about life on the road, including how to eliminate travelling stresses. He relies on a Buddhist practice called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to help with the unpredictability of travel life.

Surprisingly, being on the stage in front of fans of all ages is where he is most at ease. No matter the venue – from church halls to auditoriums across the country — he loves every aspect of show life: from the sound check to meeting fans afterward. “It’s all a blessing,” said the longtime children’s entertainer. 

 Even with four Juno awards bearing his name already — for Children’s Album of the Year in 1989, 2003, 2015, and 2018 — he continues to write and perform. And he said he has no plans to retire anytime soon. 

“I’m happy to be this age (72) and still able to do this for a living,” said Penner. 

His latest release is “Somebody Believes”, a song the World Vision ambassador wrote after meeting Edgar Gonzales, a former sponsored child from the Philippines who now works for World Vision. In the course of his impassioned speech Gonzales said he escaped his life of poverty because “someone believed in me”. 

Penner took the phrase to heart and wrote the song in an hour. He performed it the next day. “The song is a celebration of the role all Canadians play in sparking positive change globally. When we believe in a child’s potential, we transform lives, around the world and here   cont. on page 04 in Canada too.”

This article is from the April 2019 Issue of Forever Young

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By William Thomas

ESAA – Emotional Support Animal Absurdity

Today’s flight attendant must feel like Noah of the Ark – animals boarding the plane one after the other taking their places on and under the seats. Dogs, cats, rabbits and pork belly pigs – all of which their owners claim to be emotional support animals and approved by doctors as well as the airlines themselves.

Actually, it wouldn’t be so bad if that list of ESAs (and yes, they now have their own anagram!) was limited to those four species. Recently a woman showed up at the United Airlines counter at Newark, New Jersey for a flight to Los Angeles with an emotional support peacock named Dexter. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard the shrill scream of a peacock but flight attendants would be better off dealing with a drunken Guido from Jersey Shores than a bird who’s cry tops out at 115 decibels.

Yet another woman had her ESA rejected upon checking in and was quoted as saying she could not “think about life without Stormy,” her emotional-support snake. (Didn’t Trump say the same thing about Stormy, the one who dances with poles?) Snakes on planes – bad – but not possibly as bad as the movie.

Delta Airlines has banned “creatures with tusks” which could well avoid the embarrassing situation of a real elephant in the room. On a Frontier Airlines flight from Columbus, Ohio to Las Vegas someone’s emotional support marmoset got loose and disappeared on the plane. Oscar a seven-foot boa constrictor ESA must have been sleeping at the time otherwise he’d have found that varmit!

Jet Blue has since banned “unusual animals” like “snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents and spiders.” Spiders! Really, there’s a person out there who experiences calmness when a black widow crawls down his shirt?!?

Jet Blue’s initial experience with a bad ESA flight came when many passengers complained about a duck walking up and down the aisle unaccompanied. The duck’s name was – not making this up – Daniel Turducken Stinkerbutt and he was wearing a Captain America diaper and tiny red shoes. Are you kidding me? I’d pay 50 bucks extra to sit back with a drink and watch a duck wearing a nappy and sneakers walk up and down the aisle. I once had a woman change a diaper next to me during the inflight meal so yeah, I’m definitely going with that duck.

In Albany, New York a passenger left a support goldfish on the luggage carousel. (Oscar was salivating in his cage nearby.)

What truly boggles the mind is that although they banned ESA rodents and reptiles, miniature horses were allowed to fly on all Jet Blue flights. I suppose it comes down to how everybody aboard feels about miniature horse buns. My worst nightmare on long flights is the crying kid so I’m thinking… yeah, pony rides.

This article is from the March 2019 Issue of Forever Young

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By Carol Patterson

David Rosen partners with sea lions

It’s hard to decide if Dr. David Rosen is more like James Bond or Dr. Doolittle. His coolest coworkers are free-swimming sea lions carrying enough gadgets for an action hero while Rosen deciphers the secrets of west coast wildlife.

Rosen grew up in Toronto and started his career with a degree in biology at University of Guelph. Perhaps an unusual location for someone fascinated by marine mammals until one realizes it is equidistant to Canada’s three oceans and has employed some of Canada’s most esteemed marine mammal experts.

Pursuing Masters and Ph.D. degrees Rosen moved to Memorial University of Newfoundland. There he got involved in the harp seal controversy, eventually switching coasts to work on another political issue, this time involving Stellar sea lions and pollock populations.

In 1995 he settled in Vancouver, splitting his time between UBC and the Vancouver Aquarium, an cont. on page 4

Wise initiative. Now his day may start with a boat trip up Burrard Inlet with one of his sea lion

Based at Ocean Wise‘s Open Water Research Station are four free swimming Stellar sea lions that leave their pens to help scientists. Rosen develops the research question and Sitka, a 21-year-old sea lion, and her sea lion coworkers help solve it.

This article is from the February 2019 Issue of Forever Young

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By AJ Williams

The Highest, the Newest, the Largest, the Most Expensive, the Fastest….. all descriptions we heard on a recent “Quick Trip” to the middle east. Dubai’s glittering skyline and high end shopping are omnipresent, but there’s a contrast to this place that’s not to be missed. It’s a fact that the world’s tallest building sits smack dab in the middle of downtown, and going to the top is an absolute must while in Dubai. But it’s also true that there are architectural marvels that don’t tower above the city - even the Metro is gleaming and modern.

The city is truly the playground of the rich and famous, rapidly becoming the ‘Las Vegas of the Middle East.’ But with apologies to Sin City, Dubai takes it all to a much newer (and dare I say classier) level! Dubai has more than 3 million residents, but despite its size, it’s clean, organized, virtually crime-free, easy to navigate and an urban planning marvel.

We decided on Dubai for an epic mother-daughter adventure, and it was a great choice. Flying on very chic Emirates Airlines made the 14-hour jaunt from Seattle to Dubai a breeze. Even in economy, the service, food and beverages are outstanding. An in-flight entertainment system with thousands of options helps the time pass quickly. For a real treat, upgrade to Business Class or better yet, First Class, where you’ll enjoy a private cabin experience like none other.

With just five nights in Dubai, we hit the ground running for the ‘musts’ while there. Regular followers of our ‘QuickTrips’ know that we often do a ‘hop on, hop off’ bus tour when visiting a new place. It’s a great orientation to a city, and we found it a helpful way to start our Dubai adventure. Sitting up top in the air conditioned, covered section avoids a nasty sunburn on day one.

After getting our bearings, it was time for our afternoon and evening adventure – a desert safari. In a very comfortable Land Cruiser, we made our way to a nearby nature conservation area, but before you think it was all just air-conditioned leisurely driving through the desert, not so fast. Once our tires were deflated to the acceptable level, we kicked into high gear (or probably low actually) and the hoots and hollers could be heard as we 4X4’d in the sand dunes – courtesy of our adept but daring driver!

This article is from the January 2019 Issue of Forever Young

fyng 2019 january feature

There are endless winter health myths that we have heard from well-intentioned grandparents and parents. They have become so ingrained in us that we take them as cold hard facts. Of course, everyone wants to stay as healthy as possible during the frosty months. In order to do so sensibly, internist and gastroenterologist Dr. Niket Sonpal offers the following myth-busting advice.

Myth: Allergies go away in the winter

Allergies might be the real source behind your stuffy nose and scratchy throat. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one in five people suffer from indoor/outdoor allergies, and the indoor variety can actually be worse in the winter. Dr. Sonpal cautions that, “If your symptoms last longer than 10 days or ease up after taking an antihistamine, it might be time to visit an allergist.”

Myth: I wash my hands all the time with hand sanitizer, so I should be fine

Hand sanitizer will kill most viruses, but not all. You must make sure you use the right amount of hand sanitizer and let it dry completely. Dr. Sonpal points out that, “Some viruses, like norovirus, which causes vomiting, is not killed by hand sanitizer. Soap and water are best to get rid of all bacteria and viruses, but the hand sanitizer is better than nothing at all.”

Myth: It’s cold out, I don’t need sunscreen

The sun’s rays are just as strong in the winter months as they are in the other seasons. Snow and ice can reflect even more sunlight, up to twice as much. Grab the SPF 30 and put it on, regardless of the temperature. Don’t forget those sunglasses to keep your eyes safe as well.