Last Week’s Links

Old not Other

Kate Kirkpatrick, tutorial fellow in philosophy and Christian ethics at Regent’s Park College of the University of Oxford, and Sonia Kruks, Danforth Professor of Politics Emerita at Oberlin College in Ohio, write “In Western societies, the shocked realisation that we are growing old often fills us with alarm and even terror.”

The two scholars examine Simone de Beauvoir’s “magisterial study of the topic [old age], La vieillesse (1970) – translated in the UK as Old Age, and in the US as The Coming of Age (1972)” for answers to the question:

What, then, should a society be like, so that all may flourish in their last years of life?

Creating an Aging-Friendly Space

We hear a lot about “aging in place,” a movement to help older adults remain in their homes as long as possible. Here AARP offers offers some advice on how to prepare your home “for your senior years.”

What Good Are Our Memories If We Never Share Them?

“Esther Cohen considers the importance of preserving the experiences we recall, by writing them down and sharing them.”

Scholar and activist ANGELA DAVIS has spent more than 50 years working for social justice. This summer, society started to catch up

This moment is a conjuncture between the COVID-19 crisis and the increasing awareness of the structural nature of racism. Moments like this do arise. They’re totally unpredictable, and we cannot base our organizing on the idea that we can usher in such a moment. What we can do is take advantage of the moment.

Angela Davis

Paul McCartney turns 80: a look back

A pictorial review of the musical career of Sir Paul McCartney in celebration of his 80th birthday.

Dorothy E. Smith, Groundbreaker in Feminist Sociology, Dies at 95

“Starting in the 1960s, she sought to re-center her discipline on the experiences of women, people of color and other marginalized groups.”

I had not heard of Dorothy E. Smith, “a feminist scholar and sociologist whose extensive criticism of her own field led her to establish groundbreaking theories and sub-disciplines that pushed sociology away from its foundations as a male-dominated, male-centered endeavor.” 

11 Romances Featuring Older Couples

I haven’t read any of these novels, but I appreciate the fact that someone—anyone—is interested in focusing on the topic of Older Adults in Literature.

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

Last Week’s Links

‘Napalm Girl’ at 50: The story of the Vietnam War’s defining photo

Though officially titled “The Terror of War,” the photo is better known by the nickname given to the badly burned, naked 9-year-old at its center: “Napalm Girl”.

50 years after ‘Napalm Girl,’ myths distort the reality behind a horrific photo of the Vietnam War and exaggerate its impact

W. Joseph Campbell, Professor of Communication Studies at American University School of Communication, examines the legacy of the famous photo.

Microsoft to retire Internet Explorer browser and redirect users to Edge

Microsoft has announced it will kill off its much-maligned legacy internet browser Internet Explorer close to 27 years after it graced desktop computers in 1995.

From 15 June, the desktop app will be disabled and users will be redirected to Microsoft’s Edge browser instead.

The More I Wrote, The More I Remembered: Q & A with Laura L. Engel

In 1967, a teenager’s parents drop her off at a home for pregnant unwed women in New Orleans, heartbroken and ashamed at the scandal their daughter has brought upon them. In You’ll Forget This Ever Happened: Secrets, Shame, and Adoption in the 1960s, Laura L. Engel movingly recounts her unsuccessful struggle to keep her baby against the implacable social forces of the era.

I’m nearly 60. Here’s what I’ve learned about growing old so far

“What have I learned about what it’s really like to get old? Not a lot, but here it is. I thought I’d better write it down before I forget it,” writes Tim Dowling.

An endearing mixture of humor and wisdom.

Watergate at 50: System worked in ousting Nixon, but lack of reform led to Trump

UPI examines history and how Nixon lead to Trump.

A Fast Way to See If You’re Wise

We’ve all heard some variation of “with age comes wisdom.” What exactly is wisdom, and how do we know if we have it?

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

Watergate at 50: A viewers guide to remembering the scandal – CNN

Watergate is having another made-for-TV moment, in concert with the 50th anniversary of the original break-in that ultimately led to Richard Nixon’s resignation. Combine that with a new round of televised hearings about alleged White House corruption, and everything old really does seem new again.

Source: Watergate at 50: A viewers guide to remembering the scandal – CNN

Last Week’s Links

 It’s Pride Month. Here’s what you need to know

From CNN, a look at the origin and history of Pride Month.

What’s It Like?: Joining the Peace Corps at 80

“Veta Jacqulin Talmadge recalls her time as a volunteer in Lesotho, Africa.”

Got long Covid? Seniors should prepare to go slow

“Identifying long Covid in older adults with other medical conditions is tricky,” said Dr. Nathan Erdmann, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Heersink School of Medicine. Failing to do so means older Covid survivors might not receive appropriate care.

Here are some suggestions for older adults who “don’t feel well weeks after becoming ill with the virus.”

Can Protein Powders Help Aging Muscles?

“Older adults typically need more protein than younger people. Here’s how to ensure you’re getting enough.”

Advice from the New York Times.

During the Omicron Wave, Death Rates Soared for Older People

“Last year, people 65 and older died from Covid at lower rates than in previous waves. But with Omicron and waning immunity, death rates rose again.”

Ann Turner Cook, original Gerber baby, dies at 95

The Associated Press reports “Ann Turner Cook, whose cherubic baby face was known the world over as the original Gerber baby, has died.” The famous drawing of her “became the company’s trademark in 1931 and has been used in all packaging and advertising since.”

Reviewer Melissa Wuske Interviews Gillian Ranson, Author of Front-Wave Boomers: Growing (Very) Old, Staying Connected, and Reimagining Aging

According to Gillian Ranson, “there’s no such thing as a fail safe plan to growing old, but there’s a few adjustments you can make that will have a positive effect.”

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

Last Week’s Links

‘You can fake anything on the internet’: Professors host day to teach WA students to combat misinformation

Seattle-area students participated in learning to examine information found on the internet. Some of the lessons they learned could benefit us older folks as well.

Excessive napping could be a sign of dementia, study finds

CNN reports on research results recently published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association: “Elderly adults who napped at least once a day or more than an hour a day were 40% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who did not nap daily or napped less than an hour a day.”

Love, Loss, and Sensory Memories

This article on the several different types of sensory memory helps explain how “sensory memories of a lost loved one may become activated during everyday activities.”

Our Brains Want the Story of the Pandemic to Be Something It Isn’t

Two years of living with the coronavirus has been spirit-depleting for obvious reasons, but this weariness has been compounded by the fact that the pandemic has defied our attempts to snap it into a satisfying story framework. . . . The coronavirus’s volatile arc has thwarted a basic human impulse to storify reality—instinctively, people tend to try to make sense of events in the world and in their lives by mapping them onto a narrative. If we struggle to do that, researchers who study the psychology of narratives told me, a number of unpleasant consequences might result: stress, anxiety, depression, a sense of fatalism, and, as one expert put it, “feeling kind of crummy.”

These Ripped-From-the-Headlines Dramas Are Taking Over TV This Spring

“a surprising number of this season’s dramas are based on real events and real people,” and some of them even feature getting-older actors.

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

Last Week’s Links

The new Golden Girls: Baby boomers are moving in together to save money

In 1987 Betty White told an interviewer for NPR that the older women in the hit TV show Golden Girls lived together not for economic reasons but for social ones, namely companionship. Although loneliness and social isolation remain crucial problems as people age, economic necessity is now forcing many to look for a roommate.

Soo Youn reports for The Washington Post:

Faced with escalating home prices and rents in tight housing markets, as well as careers or earnings curtailed by age or the pandemic, some boomers are looking to share their homes. Enter the boommates.

The article includes references to nonprofit, commercial, and municipal programs that help older adults looking for shared housing.

Margaret Atwood is not your ‘elderly icon’ or ‘witchy granny.’ She’s better than that

Carolyn Kellogg profiles Canadian author Margaret Atwood: “Audiences want to hear from the 82-year-old author whose fiction foresees the rise of a patriarchal fascist state and cataclysmic environmental collapse.”

The piece centers on Atwood’s recently published book Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces, 2004 to 2021.

Eleven Over Sixty: A Reading List of Later in Life Debuts

Kathleen Stone recently published her first book, They Called Us Girls: Stories of Female Ambition from Suffrage to Mad Men. “With a career in law behind her and over 60 herself, she was thrilled to discover 11 other writers who debuted between 60 and 93 years of age.”

Al Pacino on ‘The Godfather’: ‘It’s Taken Me a Lifetime to Accept It and Move On’

“Fifty years later, the actor looks back on his breakthrough role: how he was cast, why he skipped the Oscars and what it all means to him now.”

In this interview with Dave Itzhoff, Al Pacino, now 81, recalls “making ‘The Godfather,’ the weight of its legacy and why he never played another film character like Michael Corleone after it.”

Denzel Washington tackles Shakespeare and life’s fourth quarter with grace

Denzel Washington has been one of my favorite actors for a long time. I regret that I haven’t yet seen him and Frances McDormand in The Tragedy of Macbeth, which is still available only on the streaming service Apple TV+.

I don’t read many celebrity-lifestyle pieces, but I’m glad I read this one, in which the 67-year-old Washington talks with Glenn Whipp, film and television critic for the Los Angeles Times. They talk about the Bible, Shakespeare, music, and preparing for life’s fourth quarter:

The only way to get overtime is doing the work now. If life has four quarters — zero to 20, 20 to 40, 40 to 60, 60 to 80 — you’re about to enter the fourth quarter. Anything after 80 is overtime.” He pauses, then reconsiders. “This is a sliding scale now that I’ve passed 65. Let’s say, 65 to 85. But the principle remains: You prepare for war in times of peace.”

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

MLB Lockout Ends and 162-Game Season Will Be Played – The New York Times

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Theresa Malkiel, a Jewish socialist immigrant, inspired International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day began with a Russian-born Jewish woman in New York City, before traveling to the Soviet Union and back again.

Source: Theresa Malkiel, a Jewish socialist immigrant, inspired International Women’s Day – The Washington Post

Last Week’s Links

Older people in Ukraine want peace

HelpAge International has been working in Ukraine since the conflict began, providing support to older people in the east of the country. There are 17 HelpAge staff in Ukraine, most of whom are in the east. Almost all the locations where HelpAge operates are within the five-kilometre demarcation line in Ukrainian government-controlled territory. Some communities are located on the very line of contact.

After talking to older people in Ukraine, HelpAge International reports that they “all want one thing – peace, and to see their children and grandchildren from whom they have been separated for so long.”

At 83, Here Are Things I’d Like to Do Before I Reach 100

Annie Korzen just turned 83. Since “Living until 100 is no longer an impossible dream,” she here offers her “bucket list of things I am raring to do and things that I would never, ever do.”

How lockdown loneliness is still impacting our mental health

“The worst of the pandemic might be over, but we’re still learning about the effects of lockdown on mental health.”

This article reports that “loneliness has hit young people the hardest,” but social scientists have long known that social isolation can also have a big impact on the health and wellbeing of older adults. 

Niellah Arboine reports that “now nearly two years on since the first nationwide lockdown [in the U.K.], and even with restrictions lifted, we’re still feeling the consequences.”

You Are Not Your Traumas. But Here’s How to Write About Them

Many people use the time available after retirement to write about their lives, either for their families, for publication, or for themselves. But most people’s lives contain some kind of trauma.

Traumatic experiences can be so intense they hijack the brain. Some defy language. Sitting with them for too long can trigger responses that feel a lot like pots boiling over. Do this often, and you might snuff out the passion fueling your project.

Here Lisa Cooper Ellison, an editor and writing coach with an Ed.S. degree in clinical mental health counseling, offers some advice on how to approach the difficult task of writing about trauma.

How to support a struggling friend

We’ve all had the experience of sitting with a friend who’s experiencing a problem—“from a friend burning the food at their dinner party, to struggling with the loss of a loved one”—and not known what to do, what to say, how to react, how to help. 

Elise Kalokerinos, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Melbourne, advises that providing support is a skill that can be learned. Moreover, giving social support benefits both the recipient and the giver. Here she explains :five strategies to help you provide more effective emotional support to those who are struggling.”

Watergate: The Scandal That Never Goes Away

Douglas Brinkley examines the Watergate era in a review of the recently published book Watergate: A New History by Garrett M. Graff.

Words: Technologies of Power

In the face of censorship efforts in China and here in the United States, Flynn Coleman, international human rights lawyer and author of A Human Algorithm writes:

Words are technologies of power. They are life rafts in the seas of a terrifying, miraculous, complex world. They can be earth-shattering, hilarious, and uncomfortable. Books are the conduit to what Atticus Finch tells us in To Kill A Mockingbird (a frequently banned book) about people: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Op-Ed: The first treatment for Alzheimer’s taught us some hard lessons

The Food and Drug Administration’s surprise approval of Aduhelm for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease last year was a mess on practically every level. Three agency advisors resigned, and skeptical doctors such as myself were left to advise patients — all desperate for hope — that, yes, it is a treatment option but, no, we have no idea whether it will work.

And by the way, it is extraordinarily expensive.

In this opinion piece Keith Vossel, director of the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA, argues that “Because this was the first drug ever prescribed to fight the progression of Alzheimer’s, it revealed just how much work the medical community still needs to do to prepare itself to treat Alzheimer’s patients, not just study them.”

Vossel explains the need for the creation of a large network of clinicians qualified to treat Alzheimer’s patients and of facilities where those patients can be treated, along with support systems such as transportation to and from those facilities. He also emphasizes that it’s important to work on those preparations now if researchers are to adquately evaluate the “new drugs on the horizon” for treatment.

The Surprising Science of How Feelings Help You Think

Recent developments in neuroscience have revealed how little we really know about what’s going on in our brains. In particular, new research is highlighting the role that our feelings play, often subconsciously, in affecting our behaviors. No matter how rational or objective we might think we’re being, we’re always under the influence of how happy, or sad, or anxious, or even hungry we are. . . . a better understanding of the emerging science of emotions can help us become more aware of just how much our emotions affect our thinking.

GQ features an interview with Leonard Mlodinow about his latest book, Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking.

New technologies, treatments could slow vision loss from macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration remains a leading cause of vision loss in the United States, but new advancements could help manage and, in some cases, prevent its devastating symptoms, experts told UPI recently.

The article discusses possible improvements in treatment for the 13 million Americans, most of whom are older adults, who suffer from the disease.

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

Last Week’s Links

They Took a Chance on Collaborative Living. They Lost Everything.

“A group that sought to create Connecticut’s first experiment in collaborative living fell short. Some of the investors lost their life savings.”

Category: Housing

What’s the difference between ‘pandemic’ and ‘endemic’?

This important difference may be the “new normal” we’re heading for.

Category: Health

Dick Van Dyke Proves Age Is Just a Number As He Dances with Wife Arlene Silver for Valentine’s Day

96-year-old Dick Van Dyke and his 46-year-old wife Arlene Silver celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary.

Category: Aging

In Twilight of Life, Civil Rights Activists Feel ‘Urgency to Tell Our History’

“Young people who marched and organized during the civil rights movement are now in their 70s and 80s. With fewer and fewer remaining, historians rush to record their stories.”

Categories: Aging, History

The Trouble with Immortality

“Stories about immortality are present in many cultures throughout time. How cultures perceive immortality—as a blessing or a curse—can differ widely.”

Categories: Aging, Health

Gary Brooker, Singer for Procol Harum, Dies at 76

Gary Brooker, the singer and pianist of the early progressive rock group Procol Harum, who co-wrote songs including “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” the improbable but overpowering hit during the 1967 Summer of Love, died on Saturday at his home in Surrey, England. He was 76.

Category: History

I Admit it. I’m Retired and Have Started to Feel Irrelevant

“The challenging search to find a sense of purpose.”

“Now there is a vast emptiness where my relevance used to live,” writes Ann Brenoff about the end of her 40-year career as a journalist. 

She explains that most planning for retirement focuses on the dual topics of health and wealth, “and very little thought is given to the emotional adjustment required when we step off the playing field and move to the sidelines.”

Categories: Aging, Retirement, Work

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

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