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.
Stop me if you've heard this one. A man runs into an acquaintance and says, "It's funny, I was told you were dead.” He says, "well, you can see I'm still alive." The first man says, “You can't be. The man who told me you were dead is much more reliable than you.”
If you have heard that one, you're older than you admit because the story, from an ancient Roman book of jokes, is 1600 years old, discovered by a classics professor. Read more about it here. (Hat tip to Cowtown Pattie of Texas Trifles)
As the family story goes, Mommy and Daddy were taking pictures of eight-month-old Ronni in her bath when they heard on the radio in the background that Pearl Harbor had been attacked.
Anyone our age remembers that before there was television news, we got pictures of national and international events in movie theater news reels. Nikki Lindquist, who blogs at Nikki's Place, sent along a link to old, Universal news reel footage at YouTube. This is part of President Roosevelt's “Day of Infamy” speech, following the Japanese attack. [2:37 minutes]
That clip is the raw footage. This one, a report on the crash of the zeppelin Hindenburg in 1937 in Lakehurst, New Jersey, includes the dramatic narration and background music so common in those news reels. [2:59 minutes]
You will find many more historic news reels here:
Nikki has been busy tracking down other other kinds of old video too. Remember the 16mm educational films we sat through in school in the 1940s and 1950s? Embedding is not offered, but you can watch a slew of them at this website.
If you are a fan of Rumpole of the Bailey - the books or the television series – you will enjoy this lengthy interview with Rose Mortimer about her father, Rumpole author John Mortimer, who died at 84 in January.
Crowd sourcing as a method of garnering innovative solutions to social problems is popular these days (see whitehouse.gov). Now, United Cerebral Palsy with AARP and the Institute for the Future, has created a website about a fictional town, Deepwell, where a cast of characters interacts with online participants (you) to overcome a series of caregiving challenges. You'll find all the information and the story at Ruby's Bequest.
There is a new longevity calculator called “Vitality Compass” at AARP. It appears to be more comprehensive than the RealAge longevity quiz popularized by Oprah Winfrey. (I still don't believe I'm going to live to be 94.)
One caveat: Although there is no indication that it applies to the AARP calculator, this New York Times story reveals that RealAge passes on personal information collected from their longevity quiz to pharmaceutical companies who then email marketing messages to participants.
There have been uncountable dance fads through the years and you're sure to remember this one from the 1940s and '50s. Keep your eye on the guy – he is fantastic. (Hat tip to Melinda Applegate) [2:48 minutes]