The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine. Aging Population. The All-Star Game. An Angel? Go Big. Chill.

What Has Changed In The Last Year ? Is Age Just A Number? Hey NBA: Changes Must Be Made. One Of Netflix’s Best Ever. A Category-Killer In The C-Store Space. Take A Few Moments.

  • Last week marked one year since Russian military forces invaded Ukraine. One year that has seen thousands of casualties on each side, with Ukraine also seeing many of its civilians displaced with many women and children lost to Russia’s relentless barrage of missiles. There are many questions that will need to be answered into the second year of this battle, with the NATO alignment being a big one. Some questions to ponder:
  • To what level does the west continue to be Ukraine’s arsenal, advocate, and banker?
  • Does Vladimir Putin’s announcement, suspending Russia’s nuclear arms treaty, change the west’s level of support with Ukraine?
  • Does the west become Ukraine’s full-fledged military ally?
  • Does China seek to support the Russians in the same way the west supports Ukraine?
  • How far will the west go, into the future, to be future guarantors of Ukrainian liberties and maintain economic and military stability?
  • Will Vladimir Putin ever compromise on his stance that the territories of the Ukraine are Russian regions?
  • Can the Russian forces maintain their level of consistent assault on Ukraine?
  • How long can NATO stand down with their support of Ukraine?
  • How long before NATO and the EU place peacekeeping troops on the ground in the Ukraine? What are the consequences of doing so?

There are many more questions as this sad and unfortunate conflict continues into its second year. I cannot imagine the pressure and concern that exists with the leadership of Russian ‘flank’ countries of Finland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, North Korea, and of course, Ukraine. We can only hope that Putin’s ambition to demolish Ukraine subside – a hope that may be dashed by a narcissistic dictator with a skewed sense of reality.

  • Here is an update on CNN anchor Don Lemon: ( you fill it in )

  • I agree with the adage that age is just a number. With that said, I find it alarming that the aging population of the United States continues to face issues and concerns that are life-altering. One of these issues is Covid-19 and other variants. According to the National Vital Statistics System, between 2020 and Thursday of last week (February 23, 2023), 838,016 people, sixty-five years and older, have died due to Covid-19 and its variants. That number is alarming in itself, and then you do the math which tells us that the 838,016 number is 80% of all Covid-19 related deaths in the U.S. in that same period.

My point: there is no doubt that the aging population has been affected by Covid-19 and its variants, as well as the systemic healthcare issues that surround diabetes, COPD, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. As referenced from the U.S. Census Bureau: People age 65 and older represented 16% of the population in the year 2019 but are expected to grow to be 21.6% of the population by 2040. The 85 and older population is projected to more than double from 6.6 million in 2019 to 14.4 million in 2040 (a 118% increase).

Obviously, the areas of pharmaceutical research and medical device development have targeted the aging demographic. In fact, neuroscientists at Ben-Gurion University have developed a new artificial molecule to help people suffering from Alzheimer’s. It is just in the beginning stages, with this artificial molecule given to thirty mice suffering from Alzheimer’s, with all of them recovering and regaining full cognitive abilities. Yes, these were mice, and it is just a start, but we must hope the healthcare researchers around the world continue to work hard to help the aging.

For the first time in U.S. history, older adults will outnumber children by 2034.

  • I am calling out the NBA. The All-Star game, which in yesteryear and before the onslaught of cable and satellite TV, gave us a look at the great players of the game, has turned into a disappointing debacle. I am raising my hand to help Adam Silver and his lieutenants create a better format that has some semblance of competitiveness and meaning. Why do I care? I have been a huge fan of the NBA for as far as I can remember. It is a great sport, played by incredible athletes, and playoff time in the NBA is great fun. My hand is raised.

  • It could be many things, but I certainly have challenges watching and giving a movie or sporting event my full, undivided attention. To my delight, and on the recommendation of a friend, I watched, without interruption, the Netflix movie, The Angel. I had no idea that this fact-based two-hour movie was so intense and thought-provoking. This is the story of Ashraf Marwan, who was Egyptian President Nasser’s son-in-law, and special advisor and confidant to his successor Anwar Sadat. The twist: Ashraf Marwan simultaneously was one of Israeli Intelligence’s most precious assets of the 20th century. To say the least, two hours of intense intrigue.
A must watch movie, The Angel.

  • Headline of the Week: Scorpion spotted on British Airways flight from Texas to London. Huh, I guess this must be better than Snakes on a Plane, the epic drama starring Samuel L. Jackson?

  • Big is the way of today’s world, especially in the United States. I never thought a convenience store could generate headlines and be iconic, but the Texas-based chain of BUC-EE’s is doing just that. I had a BUC-EE’s experience over Christmas, driving from Orlando to Amelia Island. Adjacent to Interstate 95, near Daytona Beach, sits Florida’s first BUC-EE’s, which in short is the epitome of ‘everything big’ in the United States. The store itself was mobbed, with people browsing the aisles as if they were at a Walmart, which now that I think of it, BUC-EE’s aligns with Walmart in many ways. BUC-EE’s just announced their second Florida location, this one located off I-75 near Ocala. This location includes an 80,000 square foot ‘travel center’ and 120 gas pumps. Yes, 120. I never thought there could be a category-killer in the convenience store world. Trust me, there is one now.

The BUC-EE’s massive convenience store near Daytona Beach, Florida.

  • Just a suggestion: put your phone AWAY for ten minutes, sit back, and listen and watch this video. No, I have not hit my head, joined a cult, or indulge in narcotics of any kind. 🙂 With everything we all have going on, it is cathartic to lose your phone once in a blue moon and RELAX. By the way, where is this beautiful place?
Destination Unknown?

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and have a Funday Sunday!

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