Search Results for 'technology'

Maile Loloa, Tolstoy’s bicyclist teacher

Gran defies barriers to win degree
5:00AM Monday April 28, 2008, Maile Loloa can practice teaching with granddaughter Sepa. Photo / Glenn Jeffreyclick to view original By Martha McKenzie-Minifie
Maile Loloa can practice teaching with granddaughter Sepa. Photo / Glenn Jeffrey

In her class, Maile Loloa was almost 30 years older than her fellow students. But the grandmother of 11 didn’t let the age gap – or her lack of confidence in speaking publicly and writing in English – put her off.

She will graduate next month at age 67 from Manukau Institute of Technology with a bachelor of education, specialising in early childhood….

Mrs Loloa said the requirement for all teachers at most early childhood centres to have a degree or diploma by 2012 was one factor in her decision to go back to school. Manukau, where Mrs Loloa works, has low rates of participation in preschool and a shortage of trained teachers.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10506570&ref=rss


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Older, more able

This is an interesting summary of trends in aging in the US. Part of the reason for less disabling aging is the involvement of people in their medical and health decisions [see also Preventive health care in elderly people needs rethinking], technology (from microwave ovens to walkers), smokers died before now and quitters started quitting awhile ago, availability of surgery from eyes to knees, older people exercise more than in the past, changes in attitude towards aging capabilities (changing expectataions of older people by older people and others. Off those rockers!), better availability of foods, etc.

Frank Greve of McClatchy Newspapers says, “The remarkable thing about National Public Radio senior news analyst Daniel Schorr, 91, who only recently gave up tennis, and Landrum Bolling, 94, the globe-trotting director at large for the relief agency Mercy Corps, is the same: They aren’t as remarkable as you’d think they are.

A surprising decline in disability rates among older Americans since the 1980s is enabling millions more to lead longer, richer, spryer lives. … older Americans typically are disability-free for the roughly 10 months of life expectancy that were added from 1992 to 2003.

…According to Dr. Eileen Crimmins, a professor of gerontology and sociology at the University of Southern California, 25 percent of Hispanic and black Americans older than 65 need help with basic tasks. For whites, the rate is 17 percent. Differences in disability rates linked to income and education also persist, Crimmins and others have found, and while women live longer than men, they endure more disabilities. […]

Growing Older May Be Getting Easier, Tuesday 11 December 2007

http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/121107HB.shtml


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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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Reverend David Salmon, Athabascan nonagenarian

The first link to the audio story is quite good. Father Salmon and Peter John (another nonagenarian) were extraordinarily accomplished.
Rev. David Salmon

Flags are at half-staff across Alaska today, following the death of an Athabascan elder and leader. The Reverend David Salmon died yesterday. He was the first traditional chief for the Tanana Chief’s region, and the first Athabascan ordained to the Episcopal ministry.
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
http://aprn.org/2007/10/12/alaska-remembers-tanana-elder-david-salmon/

  • The 95-year-old cherished Gwich’in elder has been first traditional chief since August 2003, following the passing of Chief Peter John of Minto. The position is … held in high esteem.

  • Last Modified: October 12, 2007 at 02:43 PM
    Athabascan traditional chief Salmon dies at 95

    FAIRBANKS — The first traditional chief for the Athabascan people of the Interior died Thursday at his home in Chalkyitsik. The Rev. David Salmon was 95. “He was sitting in his favorite chair when he passed,” Salmon’s granddaughter, Patricia Salmon”

    http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/9374481p-9287881c.html

    Father Salmon’s biography is here, from the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments,

  • http://www.catg.org/gallery/elders/DavidSalmon.html
  • and another one is here, Tanana Chiefs Conference–

  • Chief Salmon, who was first made Chief of Chalkyitsik at the age of 29, helped shape the community and was instrumental in building a school and starting a store. He introduced the first Christmas tree and potlatch, and built the church by hauling 90 logs at the age of 70, using only a chainsaw.
  • Chief David Salmon – “My father saved my life”
  • He received an honorary degree from the University of Alaska.

    “Athabascan elder Rev. David Salmon, traditional chief of Chalkyitsik and second chief of Interior Alaska villages with the Tanana Chiefs Conference, just celebrated his 90th birthday, was the first Gwich’in to be ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church where he served for more than 42 years.

    Salmon has had a life-long interest in education and sharing his cultural knowledge with others through programs such as UAF’s Elder in Residence program and the Academy of Elders, an intense immersion program for certified teachers intent on developing K-12 curriculum and teacher training programs. Salmon has collaborated extensively with UAF’s anthropology department and has been a Geist lecturer at the University of Alaska Museum for the past five summers. Salmon is considered a master toolmaker and his tools, fish traps and canoes are on display at the museum and in other university buildings. Salmon is a founding member of Denakkanaaga nonprofit elders’ organization. In January, the David Salmon Tribal Hall was opened in Fairbanks and dedicated by TCC in recognition of a lifetime of service. Salmon will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws.”
    http://www.uaf.edu/commencement/2002/hdr.html

    Chief David Salmon 2006
    Chief David Salmon Traditional Athabascan Tool Collection, a new art acquisition purchased jointly by Doyon, Limited and the Doyon Foundation.

    “I knew that if I didn’t make the tools, that they would just stay back there to be forgotten… How can the young people learn without seeing the tool? The Athabascan way is to teach by showing you; then when you see, you will learn. That is why when I speak about a tool, it must be in my hand. That is how it always was; that is how it should be.” — Chief David Salmon

    … in the summer of 1994, Chief David Salmon began to craft a collection of tools, illustrating the pre- and early post-contact technology of theAthabascans of Alaska’s Interior. Most of these tools were used in the Athabascans’ subsistence lifestyle into the 1920s.

    http://www.doyon.com/pdfs/news_august04.pdf

    Both Chief Salmon and Chief Peter John spoke widely about their religious faith.
    “The history of this country is not known,” Salmon explains his reasons for doing that book, plus another on the oral history of his people. “Young people do not know it. Old people die with it. Well, I don’t want to die with it. I want the young people to have it.”O’Brien, Thomas A. 1997. Athabaskan implements from the skin house days as related by Reverend David Salmon. Thesis (M.A.)–University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1997. OCLC: 42066842

    The Gospel according to Peter John
    # Publisher: Alaska Native Knowledge Network (1996)
    # Language: English
    # ASIN: B000BSFGQY

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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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