Archive for November, 2007

Love and respect never grow old

Love never grows old condom card

Safe sex for older people is a major concern of A Little Red Hen http://alittleredhen.typepad.com/a_little_red_hen/ who has been reminding people with her condom amulets.

2007-11-30 [revised] Stop the ‘tubes! A Little Red Hen has a new blogzine announced here–
Knit A Condom Amulet, the Blogzine

and click image to see the new site–
button for knitacondomamulet

Fortunately, there has been recent news coverage about the need for HIV and STD testing, and practicing safe sex, by those over 50.

Experts and older patients are teaching a belated lesson to battle a risky HIV generation gap that has left many unprotected and infected.
By P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 26, 2007

…although the number of HIV and AIDS patients in the over-50 crowd nationwide had grown in recent years, some of the increase was attributed to people who are living longer with the virus or disease, thanks to improvements in therapy treatments.

But without widespread testing, “we don’t really know what the true prevalence [of STD infection] is in this group,” Lieb said. “There’s reason to think, at least anecdotally, this is a combustible situation that is being overlooked.”

That’s why some social service and public health officials have turned to HIV-positive patients like Fowler to speak out and try to get their peers’ attention…. Fowler recently met up with a graying group to commiserate about sexually transmitted diseases, and recounted her cautionary tale. How a divorce in her 50s led her back into the dating pool, and how she enjoyed a New Year’s Eve fling with a former co-worker. Fowler said she never considered using condoms, given that she had already gone through menopause.

“I had lived what I considered a conventional, traditional life. I had been a virgin on my wedding night in 1959,” said Fowler, a founder of the National Assn. on HIV Over Fifty, who now coordinates the speakers bureau at a local AIDS organization. She has spoken before hundreds of groups over the years, including medical researchers and HIV/AIDS advocates to senior centers.

“I remained monogamous for 23 years of marriage. . . . After the divorce, I didn’t consider myself promiscuous. I didn’t frequent the singles bars. I went out with men my age who, like me, had been married and were divorced.”

Her own physician, she said, dismissed her questions about getting tested for HIV as unnecessary for someone her age. Her early symptoms were dismissed as routine ailments of aging.

Read the rest at

The National Association on HIV Over Fifty (NAHOF) was founded at the National Conference on AIDS and Aging in October of 1995 in New York City. Our mission is to promote the availability of a full range of educational, prevention, service and health care programs for persons over age fifty affected by HIV.

People over age fifty are affected by HIV in numerous ways. People in their mid or later years may be infected with HIV, the virus associated with AIDS. Ten percent of all AIDS cases are persons age fifty and up, a quarter of these are over age 60. Older women appear to have higher incidence rates than older men, and persons of color are especially at risk.

AIDS and HIV affect families, both traditional and families of choice. Increasingly older adults care for relatives and friends infected with HIV. Many adults with HIV turn to older parents for help and care. Increasingly grandparents are substitute parents for their grandchildren whose own parents are unable to care for their children due to HIV-related needs. Many of these are “AIDS orphans” and grandparents have stepped in to be full or part time caregivers for the children; middle-age and older adults with adult children may need emotional support….

Older people with HIV/AIDS face a double stigma: ageism and infection with a sexually-or-IV-drug transmitted disease.
http://www.hivoverfifty.org/tip.html

Safe sex is needed especially in what seems to be a new tourism–

By Jeremy Clarke, Sun Nov 25, 2007
Older white women join Kenya’s sex tourists

MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) – Bethan, 56, lives in southern England on the same street as best friend Allie, 64….

Hard figures are difficult to come by, but local people on the coast estimate that as many as one in five single women visiting from rich countries are in search of sex.

Allie and Bethan — who both declined to give their full names — said they planned to spend a whole month touring Kenya’s palm-fringed beaches. They would do well to avoid the country’s tourism officials.

“It’s not evil,” said Jake Grieves-Cook, chairman of the Kenya Tourist Board, when asked about the practice of older rich women traveling for sex with young Kenyan men.

“But it’s certainly something we frown upon.”

Also, the health risks are stark in a country with an AIDS prevalence of 6.9 percent. Although condom use can only be guessed at, Julia Davidson, an academic at Nottingham
University who writes on sex tourism, said that in the course of her research she had met women who shunned condoms — finding them too “businesslike” for their exotic fantasies.
[…]


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Funding, grants available 2007 2008

Brookdale Foundation: Relatives as Parents Program

This program is designed to encourage and promote the creation or expansion of services for grandparents and other relatives who have taken on the responsibility of surrogate parenting due to the absence of the parents. The program awards seed grants of $10,000 over a two-year period in two categories: local agencies and state public agencies. Deadlines Local proposals are due January 10, 2008 and State proposals are due by February 8, 2008. For more information see http://www.epa.gov/aging/index.htm#2007_0110_grant_1

National Center on Senior Transportation: Requests for Proposals for Demonstration Grants Deadline December 17, 2007

The National Center on Senior Transportation is soliciting proposals from aging/human service agencies, tribal organizations, faith-based organizations, units of state and local government, public and private transportation providers and other entities interested in developing and implementing innovative approaches to increasing senior transportation options and improving older adult mobility. Successful projects will be collaborative, replicable, and consistent with senior transportation-related goals of the national United We Ride initiative of the Federal Transit Administration. The goals are to: 1.Increase transportation options for older adults; 2. Simplify older adults’ access to transportation services; and 3. Increase the quality of transportation services for older adults. Successful applicants will receive grant awards ranging from $50,000 – $90,000. For more information see http://www.seniortransportation.net

Proposals are due Deadline Monday, Dec. 17, 2007, and should be submitted electronically via email to twilson AT n4a DOT org or using the online form which can be reached through the center’s Web site ( http://www.seniortransportation.net). Electronic or online submission is preferred but hard copies will be accepted. Hard copies of the proposal must be received on or before Dec. 17, 2007. The mailing address is Tabitha Wilson, Assistant Director, NCST, 1730 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Suite 1200, Washington, D.C. 20036


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More on the Aleutians war (WWII)

In the comments to the Special Projects page about the Aleutians War and the building the Al-Can highway, I’ve been tracking the newest documentary about the little known battles of Attu Island and others of the Aleutians, including Dutch Harbor / Unalaska.

However, because comments and pages have separate notifications on the Internet, I thought I would also post a separate notice, especially for those who read this web log with an RSS feed reader.

The latest published film was televised last week on the US Public Broadcasting System, Independent Lens. The film focuses on intimate interviews with Bill and Andy, the film explores what it means to be a soldier then and now. And for Bill, that means continuing the battle—even at the cost of his own peace of mind. and not on the battle details, per se. However, there is fascinating blended footage from the present day terrain morphing into the WWII terrain (actual footage or photos of the battle).

It is also a good presentation of the mixed emotions (and some rather unmixed) of veterans of the Pacific war. I had an uncle in Attu (Claude I. Green) who never spoke much of the Aleutian horror– part of the horror was the transfer from the tropical Marshall Islands to Attu without a change in uniforms (he was in the Navy). The monument is dedicated to all in the campaign (the necessity of which is also controversial still, as is the forced removal and internment of Alaskans by the USA.)

Aleutian Island documentary RED WHITE BLACK and BLUE is going to have a special one-hour broadcast on PBS November 6, and it’s going to be released on home video on November 7. We’re also finishing up some community screenings around the country, mostly in Florida, Michigan, and Indiana.

You can click the link below to read more about the film, get a list of upcoming local screenings, and broadcast information for your area, as well as information about how to purchase the film.

Thanks so much, and if you do get a chance to see the film we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Take care,
Tom Putnam

Here’s their website, http://www.alaskainvasion.com/

The Independent Lens website has a summary, several references to additional information, and a viewer feedback. Read more about the making of RED WHITE BLACK & BLUE »

See also previous
John Huston movie from the Aleutians
Al-Can Highway and the Aleutians War, Alaska in WWII


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Nonagenarian passion for solar

The problem with being ahead of one’s time is that it isn’t conducive to ever getting caught up. There must be a better way.

By Elizabeth Douglass, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 10, 2007

Forty years ago, Harold Hay came up with a way to heat and cool homes using water and the sun….

Now 98, Hay is making what he knows will be his final push.

The retired chemist promotes his cause by funding research. He vents his frustration in letters, e-mails, phone messages to anyone who will listen, and on his own website,

“The main point that he’s trying to make now is that all of our hopes are pinned on all of these complicated technologies, and it’s not that complicated. We could solve a lot of the problems by building our buildings correctly.”

Hay calls his invention the Skytherm system, and it was a wonder in the 1960s because it used the sun to heat and cool a home. The earliest version operated without any electricity, making it a purely passive solar technology.

Skytherm was the first of what’s known today as a roof-pond system….

Hay says he spearheaded the creation of the St. Louis Progressive Party, which helped get him labeled a communist. He came up with a chemical to purify drinking water, and he found a way to chemically toughen fiberboard to broaden its use. During World War II, the self-proclaimed pacifist worked on the development of synthetic rubber to avoid military service and jail. Along the way, almost as a hobby, Hays did groundbreaking research in the origins of medicine. […]

Read the very interesting article here
http://www.latimes.com/news/la-fi-haroldhay10nov10,0,3607880.story

His website is
This series of Needles is written by Harold R. Hay, Trustee, H.R. & E.J. Hay Charitable Trust, Los Angeles, CA. at the age of 97. Fifty years of dedicated research in solar energy, plus prior successes in government, industry and academia permit a broad evaluation of reasons why solar energy (not renewable energy – a culprit) is not more uniformly accepted. The fault is with all involved – including me.


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Paul Tibbets, nonagenarian

Reuters | Friday, 2 November 2007
Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the US bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan on Aug 6, 1945, died on Thursday at age 92, a newspaper reported.

Tibbets, who died at his home in Columbus, Ohio, had suffered strokes and was ill from heart failure, the Columbus Dispatch said in its online edition.

An experienced pilot who had flown some of the first bombing missions over Germany during World War 2, Tibbets was a 30-year-old colonel commanding the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress bomber named for his mother <http://www.stuff.co.nz/4259151a12.html

Pilot Who Dropped A-Bomb on Hiroshima Dead at Age 92 – Cleveland Leader

and others,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/secondworldwar/story/0,,2203557,00.html

General Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay, dies at 92International Herald Tribune
Hiroshima bomb pilot dies aged 92BBC News
Hiroshima bomber dies at 92 TV3 News
Bloomberg

all 292 news articles

Tibbets was just the pilot, but certainly a more approachable person than the massive Manhattan Project. Unfortunately, the Hiroshima airdrop has to be put into the historical context of the Tokyo air raids and the Dresden air raids, as well as the Bataan campaign, Nankin, the Aleutians, etc. No wonder the 20th century experienced the worst mass disasters, maybe even given the smaller world population of earlier times, such as the Black Death. Maybe excepting whatever the Africa bottleneck was that supposedly reduced all humankind to just a handful of mothers.


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O’Folks (off their rocker)

Old age isn't a disease.

Arctic sunset

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