in: Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends: April 12, 2024

A vintage metal box labeled "Odds & Ends" with a blurred background, photographed on April 14, 2023.

Why I Hope to Die at 75 by Ezekiel J. Emanuel. There’s been a lot of attention given in recent times to extending the lifespan. But Dr. Emmanuel, an oncologist and bioethicist, has a compelling, contrarian position: he hopes to die at 75. As he argues, a lot of people think they’ll be an exception to the rules of aging, that they’ll stay physically nimble and mentally sharp right up until death whisks them painlessly away. But as the capacity-robbing, burden-on-loved-ones-increasing toll of age eventually comes for all, Emanuel would rather go out before he falls apart. It’s not that he plans to kill himself at 75, but once he reaches that age, he’ll stop getting preventative screenings (no colonoscopies; no cardiac stress tests) and won’t accept treatments to extend his life.

The Vintage Slub Polo from Flint and Tinder. One of my go-to brands for clothing just dropped a new line of polos and tees that are made in the USA from slub cotton. I picked up a navy blue polo. It’s super soft and feels like you’ve worn it for years, but the fabric has a nice thickness; it’s not thin and gauzy as some slub shirts are. Polos are a great item to have in your springtime wardrobe because they’re so dang versatile. You can dress them up or down. Make sure to check out our guide to polo shirts.

The Last Lion trilogy by William Manchester. Quite possibly the best biography you’ll ever read. Epic in scale — about 3,000 pages split over three volumes — Manchester takes you on an enjoyable and edifying ride through Winston Churchill’s legendary life. You really feel like you’re there as Churchill comes of age, struggles to find his place as a politician, and leads his country through WWII. It’s hard to call any biography a page-turner, since you know what happens, but The Last Lion comes awfully close. Tragically, Manchester died before being able to finish the last volume, and another author stepped in to complete it. The third volume thus falls slightly short of the first two, but all are eminently worth reading.

The Searchers. In this film directed by John Ford, John Wayne gives the most intense acting performance of his career as the dark and vengeful Ethan Edwards, a man who vows to kill the Comanche raiders who murdered his beloved sister-in-law and brother and took captive two of their daughters. Wayne does a fantastic job embodying a conflicted, complex man whose desire for revenge sets up a situation far more morally ambiguous than Cowboys vs. Indians. The film is beautifully shot. So many epic and sweeping shots of the desert landscape. And the pacing of the film is spot on. Doesn’t drag at all but also doesn’t feel rushed. 

Quote of the Week

In those vernal seasons of the year when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against nature not to go out and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth.

—John Milton

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