This Week in Elder News: 31 January 2009
Saturday, 31 January 2009
In this regular weekend feature you will find links to news items from the preceding week related to elders and aging, along with whatever else catches my fancy that I think you might like to know. Suggestions are welcome with, however, no promises of publication.
Congress passed and our new president signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act this week. It amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other statutes so that each paycheck is a violation if the pay is discriminatory. This is an important and powerful legal tool for women, minorities and even elders to challenge discriminatory compensation in the workplace. More explanation here.
Nevertheless, 36 senators and 171 representatives voted against the Act – that is, voted against a civil right for all, not just some citizens. It’s good to track who voted how which you can do here for the Senate and here for the House.
Earlier this month, Bono wrote a lovely tribute to Frank Sinatra, particularly about what we gain as we get older and relating that to Old Blue Eyes’ changing interpretation through the years of My Way. That led me to track down one of Sinatra’s last versions of the song sung at a live concert when he was about 79 years old. His pipes may not be what they once were, but it is powerfully poignant. [5:38 minutes]
Elderblogger Tamar Orvell of Only Connect lives half each year in Atlanta and in Tel Aviv, but she won the 2009 Smile Project Award in Boston. Find out what it is, with photos, at Tamar’s blog.
Another elderblogger, Frank Paynter, has joined the ranks of writers at an excellent new environmental blog called Super Eco that is packed with useful information on going green. You can read more at the Super Eco website and at Frank’s blog, listics.
Among the many stories of the miracle plane landing in the Hudson River while I was on hiatus, The New York Times published this terrific human interest piece.
The Senate and House this month jointly introduced a bill (S.245 and H.R.468) titled the Health Care Workforce for an Aging America Act which is intended to restore education and training opportunities in the fields of geriatrics and long-term care that were allowed to lapse during the Bush administration. Only about one percent of U.S. physicians are trained in these fields and fewer new doctors choose geriatrics as a specialty each year while the number of elders is expanding by the thousands every day. Read more here.
The company that brought us Botox will soon begin marketing another drug that promises to give women longer, lusher eyelashes. It was originally developed as a glaucoma treatment, but Allergan discovered this “side effect.” Analysts say it will be the next big cosmetic drug. Just what we need, during a depression, at $120 per month to maintain its results. More here.
The White House website has long been a snore, poorly designed, hard to use and rarely updated with anything useful. But not more than five minutes after President Obama took the oath of office, a spiffy new whitehouse.gov was launched that is packed with detailed information about what is going on in the executive branch. This is definitely worth a bookmark.
Since I may as well not get out of bed in the morning if there is no coffee to be had, I was heartened to read of a new study that suggests a correlation between coffee drinking and reduced risk of dementia in late life. As with most new research, this is not definitive, but at least I have some ammunition for those who keep telling me I shouldn’t drink coffee. Read more here.
On the day of the inauguration, Jon Stewart interviewed openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson whose invocation at a celebration on the Sunday before the swearing-in was not covered anywhere in the mainstream media. If you are a regular viewer of The Daily Show, you know that few guests can break up Stewart, but the Bishop sure did. Check out the second question-and-answer in the video below. I’ve watched it at least a dozen times now and I'm still laughing each time. [3:08 minutes]
Well, that's a first for me. The first chess joke I ever heard. Cynic that I am, I have to wonder whether they set it up.
Posted by: Anne Gibert | Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 09:47 AM
Great stuff today, Ronni.
I salute you with my coffee cup.
Posted by: Kate | Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 10:27 AM
Very funny, I loved Stewart's reaction.
On the serious side, I see that the Congresspeople who voted against the Fair Pay Act used the same tired old argument. You know, the "By doing this we are headed for a financial disaster of biblical proportions" one. Idiots.
Posted by: la peregrina | Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 10:55 AM
Thanks for the links Ronni. And the Jon Stewart bit is priceless!
Posted by: fp | Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 11:37 AM
Interesting to note how the Republican vote fell along gender lines. They still don't get it.
Posted by: Tabor | Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 01:13 PM
I came via Havenwood to see what more I could find out about 'Elderblogging' and I meet the criteria of 'elder' which is funny because my daughter always calls my 'motherly advice 'sage elder advice'. LOL... --Michelle--
Posted by: ramblingwoods | Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 09:35 PM