From news you can use to the fun to know, check out these picks from the week online.
Teacher Turns 100
Madeline Scotto, a NYC elementary school teacher, has been climbing the stairs at St. Ephram’s in Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights neighborhood since she was a kid. Today she exercises her math skills by teaching math bee prep class at the school she graduated from. Scotto turned 100 last week, and retirement is not in her cards. Read her story here.
Trending on Twitter
Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky emerged from the shadows after more than 15 years and created a Twitter account. Her first tweet was retweeted 4.2 thousand times and she already has more than 75 thousand followers.
— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) October 20, 2014
Lewinsky says she is using twitter to speak out against online bullying, or cyber-bullying. The response? Some hating from isolated tweeters; plenty of love from those who admire her bravery; and questions about her timing, in light of Hilary Clinton’s anticipated presidential run. Click here to follow Monica Lewinsky. Click here to see tweets about Monika Lewinsky.
iPhone 6 – Is Bigger Better?
Looking for a bigger smartphone? Molly Wood, who calls herself “old,” reviewed the new large-size iPhone 6 and 6 Plus for the New York Times and compared them against some big Android phones. See what she had to say.
Hire the Older Worker Week
It’s easy to think of ageism in the workplace as a 21st-century phenomenon that rules Silicone Valley; it’s not. The Internet Archive last week dug up a video from a 1967 California Department of Employment campaign to persuade employers to keep and hire workers over 40. The campaign, which also ran in newspapers, emphasized older workers’ experience and knowledge. Time for a remake?
Good News on the Toothless Front?
A German company has developed a process for creating soft foods that look and taste like their less chewable versions by using liquified meat, carbs and veggies to 3D print a variety of meals. Heading to nursing homes soon (and private homes soon after, the company hopes) are soft and chewable versions of cauliflower, peas, chicken, pork, potatoes and pasta; more choices will be added to the menu soon. Get ready for “Gelled Asparagus Dish” and “Pork medallions with red cabbage and potato foam.”
Quote of the Month
The New York Times interviewed Frances McDormand, who produced and stars in the upcoming HBO miniseries, where she plays an older woman. She told the NYT”
“We are on red alert when it comes to how we are perceiving ourselves as a species. There’s no desire to be an adult. Adulthood is not a goal. It’s not seen as a gift. Something happened culturally: No one is supposed to age past 45 — sartorially, cosmetically, attitudinally. Everybody dresses like a teenager. Everybody dyes their hair. Everybody is concerned about a smooth face.”
What If Age Is Nothing but a Mind-Set?
The phrase “you’re only as old as you feel” might not be so nonsensical: A New York Times profile of psychologist Ellen Langer explains how since the 1970s, her work has shown that as long as we fail to pay acute attention to changes in and outside of our selves, we are easily led to feel and behave stereotypically. Our bodies and minds, she says, work together; if we think we’re supposed to be frail, we will be frail. “If people could learn to be mindful and always perceive the choices available to them, Langer says, they would fulfill their potential and improve their health.” Read about Langer’s definition of “mindfulness” and her fascinating experiments with older people here. The profile was part of a NYT Magazine special health issue, “The Fountain of Youth,” which also included “Old Masters,” a wonderful series of interviews by Lewis Lapham with people over 80 who are at the top of their game.
More Brain Game Naysayers
“We object to the claim that brain games offer consumers a scientifically grounded avenue to reduce or reverse cognitive decline when there is no compelling scientific evidence to date that they do…. In the judgment of the signatories below, exaggerated and misleading claims exploit the anxieties of older adults about impending cognitive decline.” That’s the crux of a statement signed last week by a review panel of some 70 neuroscientists and psychologists. What has been proven to help? “A healthy diet, regular exercise and a good dose of social activity,” one researcher said. Read more here.
New NYC Age Friendly Neighborhoods
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announces that 10 more NYC neighborhoods, primarily in the outer boroughs, will be designated age-friendly. What does that mean? Longer traffic signals, more benches, more senior centers, more park services and a program to teach landlords about how to help aging tenants (as if…). The over-60 population of NYC now stands at 17 percent and is projected to reach 20 percent by 2030. Read more here.
- Year-end strategies for retirees to control your 2014 tax tab.
- Three costly social security myths.
- The winners of this year’s Purpose Prize.