Lighting up with Leonard

Two years ago, at a conference in Miami on Alzheimer's disease, after a session about risk factors and biomarker predicton models, a colleague remarked to me how Leonard Cohen has been saying onstage that when he turns 80, he will resume smoking. Following that afternoon's data dump of risk models and stratifed risk curves and homages to biomarkers' divinatory properties -- all to foretell our brain's future decline and fall, Cohen's plan had a certain kind of appeal, and I've been turning it over ever since. The Times picked up my essay

Times' readers have left some thoughtful and engaging comments. Here's one from Judy in New Zealand:

"All I can say is that some of the best moments of my dotage were spent in our salt water swimming pool, temperature turned up to 30 degrees, naked, with my husband, flicking glasses of wine at each other.(Did you know that glasses of wine float in salt water? ) Invariably, after we completed the second bottle, I would fall into the pohutakawa hedge while staggering back into the house ... and so to bed. That's right, in our 70s, we took up drinking as a hobby and found it great fun. Next week my husband turns 80 and we're not drinking nearly as much. That's probably because we downsized from our big house and no longer have a swimming pool although we do have the beach. I miss those dissolute twosomes terribly (I think the warm water and space of a big pool were the key) and recommend self indulgence of all kinds to older adults. Take your pleasures while you can. Smoking wouldn't do it for me, I gave it up too long ago and now find it disgusting, but oysters, smoked salmon and sleeping in the nude help. So does playing lazer tag in the forest with the grand kids."


USA Today reports that he is ready to light up. 

More important and worth reading are several reports on him, his life at 80 and his new album, such as in the Financial Times, and the Irish Examiner.