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April 10: Letters to the editor Add to ...

Blubbering Bubba

In your article Bubba's Shot At Glory (Sports, April 9), golfer Bubba Watson is quoted as saying: “Y'all are going to forget about me tomorrow.” No, Bubba, we won't forget you. Your victory at the Masters tournament, your miracle shot and your tears of joy as recorded in Phil Noble's iconic photo will resonate for decades.

Geoff Smith, Kingston, Ont.


Though some might snigger at the sight of a blubbering Bubba Watson, it's nice some men aren't afraid to let it all hang out. Mind you, getting a cheque for $1.4-million is worth a tear in itself.

Geoff Rytell, Toronto

Penalty killer

Given the vibrant market for hockey memorabilia, I was wondering by how much my retirement fund might increase if I sold my rather well-used vintage brown paper bag that my father first wore over his head at Toronto Maple Leafs games toward the end of the 1968 season.

Bryan Caddy, Red Deer, Alta.

Ministry of Bafflegab

Defence Minister Peter MacKay tells us that, in order to find the “true” cost of any acquisition, we must include “all-up” costs, “sunk” costs and “operating” costs (MacKay Stands By F-35 Jets, Calls Cost Jump An Accounting Issue – front page, April 9). Excuse my accounting ignorance, but, for the sake of transparency, why can't we limit all-up costs to aircraft, sunk costs to submarines and operating costs to robo-calls?

Bill Kummer, Newmarket, Ont.


Peter MacKay says that it's standard practice to exclude operational costs such as pilots, fuel and maintenance in costing F-35s and that this explains the $10-billion discrepancy. Fortunately, accountants can clear this up.

But this accounting practice may help explain another high-profile contradiction in estimates: the cost of prisons. Perhaps the government's estimates don't include the cost of prisoners, security, food, clothing, health care and other “maintenance items” – just empty cellblocks. Another mystery solved.

Allan W. Gregory, Kingston, Ont.

Trading with Mars

I was sorry to learn that Canada has suffered a “leakage of output, jobs and incomes to other countries” as a result of our current account deficit (Our Current Account Deficit Is A Huge Drain – April 9). Unfortunately, wouldn't the cure prescribed by Arthur Donner and Doug Peters (emulate Germany, with its “strong trade surplus”) lead to a similar leakage of output and jobs in Canada's trading partners?

Too bad every country can't run a trade surplus. Perhaps they could, if we could export to Mars.

Eric Monkman, Oakville, Ont.

Titanic tribulation

I'm surprised that letter writer Carl Abbott (Titanic Truths – April 9) would fail to recognize Willy Stoewer's famous 1912 painting of the Titanic sinking on the jacket of my book RMS Titanic: Gilded Lives on a Fatal Voyage. This illustration is prized for its drama and period charm rather than its historical accuracy.

Yet, the Titanic's fourth funnel was not such a dummy as is popularly thought. It was used to ventilate exhaust from the galleys, smoking rooms, turbine engine rooms and hospitals. And on its last night, excess steam shot into the night air from all four funnels after the engines were stopped.

Hugh Brewster, Toronto


Will passengers on the Titanic Memorial Cruise (A Chance To Commemorate – April 9) have the opportunity to spend a few hours in evening dress in an open lifeboat or half an hour in the water in a period life vest?

Freya Godard, Toronto

Happiness is …

As a gastroenterologist, I was delighted that a World Happiness Report associates the colonoscopy with happiness, even if that association is only with a technique of measurement (The Joy Of Hygge – editorial, April 7).

But, as a Canadian, it would have made me even happier if you had reported that the study being quoted was a local endeavour, conceived and executed by Donald Redelmeier, a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.

Gabor Kandel, Toronto

I'm 75, not stupid

Re Young, Old Drivers (letters, April 7): I'm 75. I admit I'm not as good a driver as I was when I was 30. Oh wait – I don't drive as fast. And I don't talk on my cellphone (though I see plenty of younger people doing just that).

I admit my blind side seems to be a bit blinder, so I often check it twice and, yes, it takes a bit longer to change lanes in busy traffic. I've managed to figure out how to deal with the growing number of roundabouts in my hometown and navigate them rather well, thank you very much, while noticing others not doing nearly as good a job.

I don't want to be a menace on the road, so I'd gladly take a road test as often as necessary to set other people's minds at ease, and also my own. I'm 75, not stupid.

Sheila Mackenzie, Waterloo, Ont.

Erotic power

Perhaps we should leave the final comment on the male gaze (The Male Gaze, And Why I Miss It – April 7) to Mae West: “I believe that it's better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked.”

Larry Davies, Toronto

Antibiotic resistance

I was impressed by the fact that you just dedicated two editorials to antibiotic resistance (The Revenge Of The Microbes – April 4, and How To Say No To Too Much Prescription – April 5). But it will take much more effort than this to excite public opinion and lead to government action.

I urge you to publicize the threat of antibiotic resistant infections. What about using space on the sports pages with photographs of amputees as a result of infections with flesh-eating disease? A few tables showing deaths from such infections in Canadian hospitals every week or so would also be helpful.

Julian Davies, professor of microbiology and immunology, University of British Columbia

Forget 33 metaphor

Re The Rise Of The Jesus Year (Focus, April 7): As a Jew, I'm waiting to reach my Moses year at 120.

Frances Budden, Toronto

E-murder. Or not

Re The Perfect Heart-Stopping Murder (April 9): While staying at a high-tech Las Vegas hotel, my remote control light switch would regularly open the window blinds in a neighbouring room. Did I inadvertently stop someone's pacemaker when I clapped my hands to flush my toilet? As they say, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Farley Helfant, Toronto

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