TWO FRIENDS FIND SOMETHING IN COMMON
There are all kinds of reasons to feel ambivalent about Amazon.com but this is not one of them.
TGB reader Tom Delmore sent this Amazon television commercial – images and an idea we need more of in this time of troubles we live in.
DEMENTIA RATE DROPPING IN ELDERS
When I was a kid and for years beyond, the universal bad news about health was cancer. In fact, for a long time, people whispered the word.
Times change and so do fears. For quite awhile the equivalent terror has been dementia and I have mentioned here more than once that I wonder, when I forget why I walked to the bedroom or have misplaced my keys, if that was indicative of incipient dementia. I know I'm not alone in those thoughts.
Now, a new nationwide study from the University of Michigan involving 21,000 people 65 and older reports that between the the years 2000 and 2012, the dementia rate dropped by 24 percent.
And nobody knows why. A greater amount of education may contribute to the drop but there are plenty of other possible reasons:
”Interestingly, the researchers noted that the drop in dementia prevalence occurred despite increases in the rates of certain conditions that can increase the risk of dementia: diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity...
“Still, more research is needed to identify all the factors contributing to the decline in dementia prevalence, the investigators said," reports Live Science.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST TRAILER
When Disney announced it would produce a live-action movie of Beauty and the Beast, the critics came out in droves – no, no, no, only animation can work with such a story, they said.
For several years when I was a young girl, Beauty and the Beast was a favorite. I must have read it several dozen times, word for word and I still remember it fondly. From this trailer, I think the live action version looks marvelous.
DID YOU READ A BOOK IN THE PAST YEAR?
Here is a shocker. A 2016 Pew Research study turned up the information that 26 percent of American adults have not read a book in the past year – barely changed since 2012.
Groups more likely to read books are college graduates, women and young adults. 67 percent of people 65 and older had read a book in the past year compared to 80 percent of young adults.
Here is a demographic breakdown of readers:
Although people are reading in many formats these days – tablets, ereaders, cell phones, desktop and laptop computers – the largest group, 38 percent, read print-only books. 28 percent read both print and electronic (as I do) and just 6 percent read in digital formats only.
There is a whole lot more information about American book reading habits at Pew Research.
A GOOD READ: FROM CHARLES SIMIC
Books are good things, but these days, even as a lot of embarrassingly awful crap is published online, there is also an abundance of great thinking and writing being done.
This week's contribution is from The New York Review of Books, written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Serbian/American, Charles Simic. He is acclaimed as a poet but I particularly like his prose (he has been writing essays for the NYRB for many years) which in his hands, on any subject, is poetry too.
His latest is titled, “Expendable America,” which captures in the most horribly beautiful way what I have been feeling but not capable expressing - at least not this well or as emphatically. Simic:
”The basic requirement for democratic governance – that the majority of the population agrees on the parameters of what is true and what is false – has been deliberately obfuscated in this country...
“To mislead one's fellow citizens on such a vast scale is evil. We've seen it before. Never the good old days, of course, but the vile stuff we imagined we'd never see again...
“Once the new president settles in and brings the dregs of our society into his administration and they appoint other corrupt and worthless men and women to other positions in the government and start settling scores with their political and personal enemies and keeping their most rabid following happy by deporting, persecuting, or physically abusing some minority, we won't need a crystal ball to tell us what's in store for us.”
It is unfair to quote these three out-of-context paragraphs. Read Simic's essay – as it should be, in full - here.
NYU STUDENT/ELDER HOUSING
There is a lot of support for intergenerational living projects but for the most part it doesn't get beyond research studies and TED talks.
One important exception is Judson Manor, a retirement community in Cleveland that since 2010 has been giving college music students free housing in exchange for the occasional concert. Here's short video about it:
As the Washington Square News reported,
”Ellen Lovitz, the Senior Advisor to the President for Policy Analysis, explained via email that the pilot will initially consist of about 10 students.
“'During the first year we will assess how the program is working, and make any necessary adjustments, with the expectation that we will be able to scale up to larger numbers by the fall of 2018,' Lovitz said.
“'Our planning process will include consultation with students and with residents of the housing complex identified by University Settlement.'”
There are students and others who complain that the project isn't useful enough (of course they complain; it's New York). I think it's a great start at expanding elder/senior shared living.
You can read more here.
2016 TOP 50 BLOGS ABOUT AGEING
A TGB reader pointed this page out to me: The Healthcare Administrator website's list of top 50 ageing blogs for 2016.
It is published by an Alabama public school health teacher. I am not sure I understand the five criteria and the majority on the list target professionals in ageing services and businesses rather than old people themselves. Still, you might find some of them useful. The list is here.
A MARVELOUS COLLECTION OF PETE SOUZA PHOTOS
All eyes are on the president-elect these days as though President Barack Obama doesn't have another two months to go in his term.
But The Atlantic is on the case in the loveliest way. A fantastic collection of selected photographs covering eight years of the Obama administration from the official White House photographer, Peter Souza. (Souza was also official White House photographer during the Ronald Reagan years.)
In this one, a temporary White House staffer, Carlton Philadelphia, had brought his family to the Oval Office for a farewell photo with President Obama. Carlton’s son softly told the President he had just gotten a haircut like President Obama, and asked if he could feel the President’s head to see if it felt the same as his.
Here is Obama visiting with victims of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
And this is Obama working past dark in the Oval Office.
There is a large collection of even better photographs at The Atlantic.
*'S NAME REMOVED FROM APARTMENT BUILDINGS
Residents of three apartment buildings successfully petitioned to have *'s name removed from their New York City dwellings. Here is short video report.
DOES A BEAR...
...scratch in the woods?
Apparently so. A lot. Thank reader Momcat Christi for this video.
Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.
You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog IF you include the name of the blog and its URL.