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Photos of people who have lived in three centuries

from bOING-bOING http://www.boingboing.net/2008/01/03/photos-of-people-who.html

Photographer Mark Story took photos of people who were born in the 19th century and are still alive in the 21th Century…. The photographs for this portrait series were taken in various locations around the world between 1987 and 2005…. The idea to photograph people who have lived in three centuries evolved over the course of the project. First, I was simply interested in taking portraits of people who appear worn beyond their years by living extraordinarily hard lives. Those experiences drew me to centenarians, and on to supercentenarians and their stories.

Link to the thumbnails http://www.markstoryphotography.com/tns.php

This review on the site gives a bit more background on how the photos were made and something of the people.
http://www.markstoryphotography.com/review-missindependent.php


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More on computer accessibility: let your uvula do the browsing

The notice of the Vocal Joystick for accessibility comes from

Opera browser uses voice commands. Now I’ll have to actually test it to see how well it works. The Vocal Joystick would work on all software that uses a mouse device. I thought something like Dragon Naturally Speaking can command more than the voice recognition software? Somewhere in the back of my mind is a little piece of software I’ve seen that also does voice commands ➡ not a mouse substitute but nevertheless slick and free (for Firefox) (originally noted at Paul Hamilton’s FREE online resources and downloadable programs for learners and their teachers.

University of Washington researchers are developing a new “Vocal Joystick” interface to make software more accessible for people who don’t have use of their hands or arms. The software converts simple vowel sounds and other intonations into cursor movement. The louder the sound, the faster the cursor moves. Saying “K-Ch” represents a mouse click and release….

“A lot of people ask: ‘Why don’t you just use speech recognition?'” (electrical engineering professor Jeffrey) Bilmes said. “It would be very slow to move a cursor using discrete commands like ‘move right’ or ‘go faster.’ The voice, however, is able to do continuous commands quickly and easily.” Early tests suggest that an experienced user of Vocal Joystick would have as much control as someone using a handheld device…

“The tool’s latest developments will be presented this month in Tempe, Ariz. at the Assets Conference on Computers and Accessibility.

Vocal Joystick detects sounds 100 times a second and instantaneously turns that sound into movement on the screen….

Versions of Vocal Joystick exist for browsing the Web, drawing on a screen, controlling a cursor and playing a video game. A version also exists for operating a robotic arm, and Bilmes believes the technology could be used to control an electronic wheelchair.” […] http://uwnews.org/article.asp?articleID=37134

Video demonstrations and publications are available on the group’s Web site,


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Newsbits for the elderlies

Nunavik elders raise voices at Quebec seniors’ parliament Last Updated: Monday, September 10, 2007

Four Inuit elders from the Nunavik region in northern Quebec will speak for the first time Monday at that province’s seniors’ parliament, in the hopes of raising issues specific to seniors in their area. Politicians in Nunavik have long lobbied to have the elders address the special assembly, which runs Monday and Tuesday in Quebec’s national assembly. They will speak in their own language and demonstrate the challenges they face as Inuit elders, including the lack of Inuit language in government documents. Currently, such documents are only offered in English and French.

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Is dignity at home too much to ask for our elderly?
Jo Revill, Denis Campbell and Amelia Hill, Sunday June 17, 2007

Hundreds of thousands of Britain’s elderly rely on home care visits to live a dignified life in their own house. But as local authorities reduce funding, an increasing number of our most vulnerable citizens are being neglected and are suffering as a result. Now, with our elderly population set to rise dramatically, we launch our campaign for the right to stay at home….

The Observer launches its Dignity at Home Campaign, to fight for the right of such people as Miss Tugwell to receive the care she needs in order to maintain a decent life in her own home. We have discovered that an insidious kind of rationing is happening in England and Wales, more covert – and in some senses more cruel – than the kind we read about when an expensive cancer drug is not prescribed by the NHS. It is a rationing that involves not giving baths to frail elderly people who are unable to clean themselves, cutting back on the daily visits from care staff, closing day centres, not visiting homes to ensure they have the right medication. No dramatic headlines perhaps, but home care is a lifeline for thousands of old people.’… More and more of us are seeing this indignity and disgrace inflicted on our elderly relatives,’ said Mervyn Kohler, director of Help the Aged [see sidebar]. ‘It is shameful that as people in such a wealthy society, we can treat our elderly in this way. The care services have been eroded to a point where they are no longer meeting the needs of people who really deserve more than this.’

read more Growing old

11m Number of pensioners living in Britain
20,000 Number of pensioners believed to be abused in their own homes and nursing homes every day, according to a report by Age Action
£2bn Amount of unclaimed benefit each year. Almost half of older people entitled to Pension Credit are not receiving it.
£21.50 Average amount spent each week by pensioners on food and drink
13 Percentage of elderly people who do not get out of their homes more than once a week
Tell us your stories, Write to Dignity at Home, The Observer, 3-7 Herbal Hill, London EC1R 5EJ or email news@observer.co.uk, placing ‘Dignity at Home’ in the subject field.
On the web
www.helptheaged.org.uk/
www.ageconcern.org.uk/

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Now the elderly will get equal rights Radical initiatives will benefit all older people Ivan Lewis Sunday June 24, 2007

As The Observer is rightly highlighting, there are few more important challenges than the way society treats older people. The realities of demographic change, the expectations of the ‘baby boomers’ and the values of a progressive centre-left government are all reasons why this issue must move from the margins to the mainstream of the government and public policy debate.

Equally, demographic pressures and a largely unreformed social care system are leaving too many older people with inadequate support. The quality of provision is patchy from service to service and area to area. People who pay for their own care are frequently left alone to make difficult choices and eligibility criteria take little account of loneliness and isolation. The current system was built in a postwar era when Alzheimer’s disease, elderly carers, scattered families and elder abuse were unknown forces. Today, 70 is the new 50. Older people view post-retirement as the next stage in their life; many grandparents are surrogate parents to their grandchildren; medical advances and greater affluence will continue to extend life.

This week, I will be launching a new national framework for the funding of continuing care, the intensive, long-term nursing care for the elderly outside hospitals, mainly in nursing homes. This will seek to end the current postcode lottery that has seen some older people wrongly denied NHS funding for the nursing element of their care…. [continue reading Ivan Lewis is the Care Services Minister]

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Sunday, 2 September 2007, 23:03 GMT

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How To Steal an Estate

…Identify Elderly Affluent People Who Are Alone – Target people who do not have strong family relationships, who are either estranged from their families and children or whose families live and work out of state…. Aversion to Extended Care – Targets often exhibit a horror of nursing homes and extended care facilities and have a strong desire and determination to continue living in their home until they die. If they move, your years of hard work may be wasted…. Alcohol Helps – Alcohol lowers people’s resistance, raises their susceptibility to suggestion, makes them relax, feel good and festive. It’s easy to manipulate alcoholics and make them angry and emotional… People Are Especially Susceptible To Suggestion When Sleepy – During those hazy, lazy moments when they are just drifting off to sleep or waking up. Visit or telephone when the impact of your communication will linger in their minds long after you finish. …

[continue reading Protection – Defense and other helpful pages]

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Retirement out of sight? Working past 90: 1 million elderly Americans still in work force By John Chrisoffersen The Associated Press Article Last Updated: 09/02/2007 11:35:07 PM MDT

…Manpower has urged companies to start thinking about ways to retain and recruit older workers, through flexible scheduling, for example. This will help them fill positions as the labor pool shrinks. According to Holmes, companies need to extend their diversity training to include age, as well as race and gender.

…Experts cite several factors for the growth, including people living longer and the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act in 2000, which allowed workers 65 through 69 to earn as much money as they want without losing Social Security benefits. Other reasons include the gradual increase in the age for receiving Social Security benefits to 67 and a decline in traditional pensions and retiree health benefits. [read more, They’re all younger than Waldo McBurney, a 104-year-old beekeeper from Kansas who was recently declared America’s oldest worker.]

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Oldsters Help Propel Wii to Number 1

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TOKYO TURNING GREY…By 2020, about 14 percent of the population of greater Tokyo — around 4.9 million people of a predicted population of 35 million — will be aged 75 or older. Currently only around 7 percent of the greater Tokyo area are in this age bracket.

Within the next 15 years, the bustling city that never stops will be one of the world’s greyest metropolises…. Though greater Tokyo does not yet have a clear strategy for dealing with its greying population, some other Japanese cities are already taking steps of their own. [read more By Hideyuki Sano TOKYO, Sept 21 (Reuters)]

Tolstoy’s Bicyclist nonagenarian George Dawson and brain fitness

“Some people say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” Edwards said. “So I always like to mention George Dawson. He died a couple of years ago at age 102 or 103. What’s remarkable about George Dawson is that he learned to read at age 98.”

Dawson, of Texas, who was the grandson of slaves, then collaborated with co-author Richard Glaubman to write his autobiography, “Life is So Good,”‘ published in 2000 by Random House.

2011-05-28 Oprah recently posted this video about Mr Dawson’s legacy, George Dawson’s Legacy May 13, 2011

According to this entry, Mr Dawson published his first book at 102 years.

African American Read-In has a more detailed biography, “George Dawson also received two Doctorates of Humane letters from Texas Weslyan University and New School of New York City. In 2002, George Dawson Middle School was named in his honor in Southlake, Texas.” Click the photo to visit. George Dawson reading at 102

Mr Dawson’s accomplishments came up in a news summary of what the latest studies say about retaining or improving mental agility (caffeine in women. not men, is another finding). The summary is pretty good about the types of “neurobics” (stupid term, IMO) which are recommended more and more frequently. They also note the relationship between physical exercise and mental ability, “The general concept is: what’s good for your heart is good for your brain,” Mirza said.

In Bethel, they will probably just hide another jigsaw piece I hear they still won’t let the elderlies run the place.

Work your way to brain fitness
Posted by Linda S. Mah/Gazette August 21, 2007 17:14PM

…Physical exercise, social involvement, challenging activities and new experiences are all recommended as ways to help keep our brains in top-notch condition.

“The analogy may be trite, but the brain is like a muscle,” said Morry Edwards, a licensed clinical psychologist with Neuropsychology Associates in Kalamazoo. “The circuits strengthen when you use your brain. If you don’t, the circuits fade.”…

“Some more-recent research shows it’s not just the exercise but the type of exercise or variety of exercise that you do which is important,” Mirza said.
[…]

O’Folks off their rocker Add this to Bookmarks:

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Free audio books update

re: Audio versions of books in public domain, free, from Boing-Boing, http://www.boingboing.net/2007/04/02/librivox_releases_70.html

Cory Doctorow: Hugh from Librivox (a project that enlists volunteers to create free audiobooks of public domain texts) sez, “We just had an extraordinary month. We published 70 texts (as part of a March madness campaign to finish as many books as we could). Our effort makes us, I suspect, the biggest maker of audio books in the world (at least in March). Among the titles now available for all the world to hear for free:”

* Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Einstein, Albert
* Sense and Sensibility by Austen, Jane
*Moby Dick, or the Whale – Herman Melville
*Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
*The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan
* Candide – Voltaire
* The Sayings of Confucius – Confucius

Link
(Thanks, Hugh

See also:
Darwin’s “Origin of Species”: free audiobook
Audio of UN Declaration of Human Rights in 21 languages
Public domain books read aloud podcast
Collaborative audio-play of Wilde’s “Importance of Being Earnest”

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