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(No. 140) Who will access your digital legacy?
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I received many emails last week from readers who absolutely will never, ever, not ever, swish coconut oil through their teeth, even if it does help prevent all kinds of gum and tooth problems, as I suggested it does. The letters expressed outrage, disbelief and downright disgust. Yet the same people are all happy to rub their teeth with unsterilized plastic sticks and bristles dotted with chemicals a couple of times a day, and thread unwashed plastic string through their molars. Just another sign of end times. (What’s worse is that I do both — coconut oil and plastic.)
A few minutes ago I smelled smoke, but unless it was rising up five stories from the street below my office window, I was imagining things. Smelling imaginary smoke is an early warning sign of dementia, according to some. That’s a little disturbing. Which leads me to a study of 465 people over age 75, that found a strong correlation between lack of leisure activities and the development of dementia. By leisure activities, the study’s authors meant cognitive stuff, such as reading and writing for pleasure, playing cards. The people who regularly did cognitive leisure activities had a much lower risk of dementia than those who didn’t. Physical leisure activities, such as badminton, golf and water polo, didn’t make much difference.
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Osvaldo, who is a 62 year old Uruguayan artist, told me he uses “squash balls, point blue” for his workouts.
Are you slowly depriving your body of oxygen as you check your endless emails? Yes. Apparently, the stimulation of email (and other on screen messaging) leads your autonomous nervous system to shut down your breath. Is email worth pseudo suffocation?
Yesterday I walked 9 miles to meet my daughter for an Uzbek dinner in Brooklyn. Wonderful dumplings. Tomorrow I will hike 13 miles up and down a steep mountain in Cold Spring, New York. Next weekend I’m going to walk 12 miles to Brighton Beach, and maybe 12 miles back. All this because In 5 weeks I am walking 24 miles from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon down to the Colorado River and back up to the South Rim. Why? I am a late convert to hiking, and I really love it. And because walking is good.
One thing I don’t often do is stretch. Yet I know I must. I must. I really must. But I don’t. Why? I do not know. Other than that stretching can be challenging and a little painful while you are doing it. Here’s a great guide to a series of stretches that I hope I will start doing soon.
When you die, your phone and data tend to die with you. Meaning it can be very difficult for your family to get access to your digital legacy, unless you give them permission before the fateful moment. Apple has made this very easy. On your phone or iPad, Go to Settings → tap your name on the top → Password & Security → Legacy Contact. On your Mac computer, it's also in Settings → Password & Security → Legacy Contact. Your descendants will appreciate your thoughtfulness, and might refrain from badmouthing you at the memorial.
Happy Labor Day!