The oldest prom date ever, passwords you can swallow – and more from the week online

From news you can use to finds you might love, click through our picks from the week online.


Oldest prom date ever?

Drew Holm turned himself into something of a local legend last week when he showed up at his junior prom with a senior on his arm – that is, a 93-year-old senior. Holms’s great-grandmother, Katie Keith, had offered to be his date when the Indiana teenager told her that he couldn’t find a date. She was joking; he wasn’t. “The heck with it,” she said, and took him up on his invitation. Holms had to get permission to break the school’s no-over-21s rule, but his classmates thought his prom date was “pretty cool.” Watch the story on NBC local news, below, and read more here.

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Who’s to blame if you don’t live to 100?

Why do news of global aging and calls for more senior programs seem to fall on deaf ears? Because the subject is a turn-off – literally. Americans see aging as something to avoid, a team of researchers has concluded, and that’s partly a result of the way life as a senior is presented in the media. Old age is either a triumph – wise and adventurous elders jumping from parachutes thanks to their excellent lifestyle choices, or decrepit old people on a downward slide. Who’s fault? A webinar last week made recommendations for how aging specialists, media and others can better frame the aging conversation, most important by countering the “successful aging” model in which we are all responsible for how well we age and introducing the idea that how we age is in large part a product of our environment and circumstances. Read more here.

An experiment in senior living becomes a PBS special

Premiering on PBS on May 16, “Homes on the Range: “The New Pio­neers”  is a two-hour documentary that takes a close look at what happened when the townspeople of Sheri­dan, in North­ern Wyoming, decided that the time had come to change how the town cares for its elders. In 2004, community leaders got a glimpse of what heir town’s future could become when they learned about the Green House Project. Despite the Great Recession and other setbacks, the community persisted and accomplished its goal. You can see the trailer below. To read more and check the documentary schedule, click her

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Is ageism to blame for senior technophobia?

Seniors – and especially people over age 75 – are notoriously slow to adopt new digital technologies; in 2011 AARP  reported that 62% of people 75-plus didn’t even own a computer. While the common explanation is that physical aging affects visual perception and motor control, making it harder to see the screen or manipulate a mouse, researchers at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University believe that attitude – and especially internalized notions of what older people are capable of – might be a factor, too. Could the stereotype of older people as incapable of learning new technologies become self-fulfilling? To read more about the study, click here.

When old people dress like hipsters

According to Urban Dictionary, a hipster belongs to a “subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.” Well, Urban Dictionary, think again. The blog t0daynewz has pulled together a collection of 21 images from around the web of “old people who dress like hipsters.” Given the pressures to “dress our age,”we can be pretty sure these old people are way more independent-thinking than their younger counterparts and also that they have been hipsters since long before indie-rock existed. Check out all of 21 photos here.


Bizarre noise violation news

In this week’s bizarre news, police withdrew a $148 ticket for a noise violation. Loud music? No! The offending noise was made by a rocking chair. Last week police in Saquenay, Quebec ticketed the 91-year-old woman whose chair it is after a neighbor complained. The police later reviewed the matter and decided to cancel the ticket. No word yet on if the chair will still be rocking. To read more, click here.

Would you swallow your password to make life easier?

We all hate having to create and remember new passwords – so we should all be excited about an innovation that could spell the end of password hell, PayPal’s little microchip password pill. Swallow the pill, and an embedded microchip ends up inside you and works like an electronic key. Whenever you’re by a computer and need to log in to a site, the pill logs you in with no muss or fuss. Of course, there are drawbacks! To read more, click here.


Morgan Freeman talks about his new movie and marijuana

Actor Morgan Freeman did his bit to promote the legalization of medical marijuana last week while he was promoting his new movie, “5 Flights Up. Freeman claims that ever since a bad accident seven years ago, pot is the only thing that helps to ease his pain. “They’re talking about kids who have grand mal seizures, and they’ve discovered that marijuana eases that down to where these children can have a life. That right there, to me, says, ‘Legalize it across the board!’” In the interview, Freeman also talks about his admiration for “5 Flights Up”co-star Diane Keaton. The movie tells the story of an interracial older couple dealing with a classic New York real estate crisis. To read the interview interview, click here. Watch the trailer below.

Could that “senior moment” be a sign of epilepsy?

Seizure symptoms in older people sometime go unnoticed, because when seniors space out on something that just happened, they tend to brush it off as a sign of old age. Can’t remember why you came into the room? Dr. Megdad Zaatreh says these momentary lapses can be caused by partial (mini) seizures resulting from epilepsy; some people aren’t diagnosed with this disease before age 60, having never had seizures earlier in life. To read more about the warning signs, click here.

Why we should connect across generations

Silas House grew up among his family’s elders. They were a part of his life and taught him not just family stories, but also what “old” means – especially his aunt Sis. “Sis challenged my notions of what it meant to be elderly. Sis loved the most current music. She cussed. She took me to concerts and sneaked me into R-rated movies. Sometimes she and I danced in her living room to the latest Bob Seger record.” In an op-ed piece for the New York Times, House makes the case that intergenerational connections are disappearing as young people drift away from hometowns and lose interest in community activities – and that’s a loss for us all. “Members of the older generation… are certainly not innocent in this. They, too, congregate with those their own age,” he writes. It’s up to all of us to bridge the gap. Read “The Growing Generational Divide.”


And finally…

Prada jumps on the older-model bandwagon with this elegantly fun video.


Happy clicking!

1 comment
  • westomoon

    Great collection!

    I wanted to comment on “Senior Technophobia.” This term seems too blanket for accuracy, at least to me. Some tech strikes me as just what I need, while much of the rest — Facebook? texting? — just bores me.

    I don’t think I’m technophobic — I drive the hybrid car I bought back in 2003, and have been living with a rooftop solar electricity system for 8 years now, and have been addicted to my home computer since I bought my first in the early 80’s — from Atari.

    But by now, I’ve seen tech come and go — whoopee, My Space! — and a lot of it just strikes me as dumb, or way too two-edged to be sensible. Is that technophobia? Or just techno-anomie?

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