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.
You Can't Say They Didn't Warn Us: Long before such giant financial institutions as AIG, Countrywide and Washington Mutual, among others, helped sink the economy, they were boasting in television commercials about how they were doing it. In light of what we have suffered in the past year, this Countrywide commercial makes me feel a bit queasy.
More of such revealing commercials at Huffington Post.
Twitter is for Old People: Or so says a 15-year-old British kid. Bankers worldwide are hanging on every word of a report Matthew Robson wrote for Morgan Stanley in London about how young people use media. Among his observations - Twitter is for old people and:
“No teenager that I know of regularly reads a newspaper, as most do not have the time and cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text while they could watch the news summarised on the internet or on TV.”
It's an eye-opening report. Don't miss it here.
Elder Computer: There is a “Go” computer being marketed to seniors that is easy to use, web safe and includes a large-key keyboard, 19-inch screen, trackball mouse and proprietary software that is easy to understand if the person is new to computers. It seems a pricey to me at $799 and a required $19.95 per month subscription, but maybe some people will find it useful. More here. (Hat tip to Sandra Mosley)
Consumer Beware: It has always been fashionable to deride the public education efforts of government agencies, but often there is useful information presented in an easy-to-understand manner. The Federal Trade Commission produces some excellent consumer videos. This latest one is on fraudulent business opportunities which flourish during economic hard times.
Find other Federal Trade Commission videos here.
Being Green and Safe: Alternet posted a story about "ten dangerous household products you should never use again":
“Air fresheners, disinfectants, and cleaners found under your sink are more dangerous than you think. Mix bleach with ammonia, for example, and you’ve got a toxic fume cloud used by the military in WW I.”
Alternatives are offered for the ten items (from chemical fertilizers to plastic bags). More here.
Generous Grandparents: According to a MetLife Quick Poll, nearly two-thirds of U.S. grandparents provided an estimated $370 billion in financial assistance and gifts to their grandchildren over the past five years. Some of the purposes:
There is a lot more information about this poll here [pdf].
Cats Rule! A researcher at the University of Sussex in England has concluded that house cats are able to control their humans through the use of “urgent-sounding, high-pitched meows” that are similar to a baby's cry.
“[Karen] McComb suggests that the purr-cry may subtly take advantage of humans' sensitivity to cries they associate with nurturing offspring. Also, including the cry within the purr could make the sound 'less harmonic and thus more difficult to habituate to,' she said.”
I don't mean to be a grinch, but money is being allocated for this research? More here.
Elderbloggers Rule! It's always fun to see what elderbloggers are doing away from their computers. A couple of weeks ago, I posted a photo of Pete Sampson (who blogs at As I Was Saying) with his singing group, The Grateful Dads, when they recently sang the national anthem during a Red Sox game at Fenway Park in Boston. Now, here's the video. Pete is the second man from the left.
Another Sign the World is Ending: A large blob of mystery goo is floating in the Chuchki Sea in Alaska and no one knows what it is.
"'It's certainly biological,' [Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Terry] Hasenauer said. 'It's definitely not an oil product of any kind. It has no characteristics of an oil, or a hazardous substance, for that matter.
"'It's definitely, by the smell and the makeup of it, it's some sort of naturally occurring organic or otherwise marine organism.'
"Something else: No one in Barrow or Wainwright can remember seeing anything like this before, Brower said."