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And she writes about it brilliantly, as she writes about so many things.

Excerpt (but this isn't the best part. Go read the whole thing. And definitely read the poem she uses as a frame):
Americans believe strongly in positive thinking. Positive thinking is great. It works best when based on a realistic assessment and acceptance of the actual situation. Positive thinking founded on denial may not be so great. (Like, look at Lance Armstrong.)

Everybody who gets old has to assess their ever-changing but seldom improving situation and make of it what they can. I think most old people accept the fact that they’re old — I’ve never heard anybody over eighty say “I’m not old.” And they make the best of it. As the saying goes: Consider the alternative!

A lot of younger people, seeing the reality of old age as entirely negative, see acceptance of age as negative. Wanting to deal with old people in a positive spirit, they’re led to deny old people their reality.
(via Body Impolitic)

A meme

11 Jan 2013 02:11 am
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
'If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them?'

This is a strange meme. I know plenty of people who were alive during the 1950s. If they are any indication, the most difficult thing to explain is how to use a modern cell phone or smart phone to make a phone call while not accidentally doing anything else with it.

(I recently got my dad what was advertised as a basic, unsmart cell phone. Every time I picked it up, I managed to trigger the voice recognition function.)

I think the other most difficult thing to explain would be certain kinds of humor that have come about since the 50s. I'm not sure how to explain which kinds, though.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Feminist Perspectives on Elder Care
Track: Feminism and Other Social Change Movements

Panel description
Like child care, the vast majority of elder care is done by women and is frequently unpaid. (When it is paid work, it is often paid extremely poorly.) Many WisCon attendees are dealing with elder care issues, either because they have aging parents, or because they are the aging parent. Are there political solutions we could be working toward? Are there pragmatic solutions we can share with each other? Are there new ideas (for caregiving, accessibility, communities, etc.) that we can offer as a shared vision?

twitter hashtag: #ElderCare

(I did not list most panelists' journal/blog info, for reasons of privacy; if you want your panelist name associated with your blog or journal, leave a comment or send me a private message.)
Criss Moody 
Janice Mynchenberg
L J Geoffrion [personal profile] ljgeoff
[personal profile] firecat
Naomi Kritzer 

I was a panelist and I was not able to take notes. This is what I remember, and I hope others on the panel and attending the panel —and anyone with questions or information—will contribute comments/resources.

During the panel I was wondering if it would be useful to create a DW and/or LJ community and/or mailing list for eldercare resources for people who are fannish and/or alternative in other ways. Thoughts?
Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
First things first: Benedict Cumberbatch alert! He plays Smiley's protegé in the movie. So now he has played the super-detective (in the BBC Sherlock) and the sidekick, with equal aplomb.

I got very confused while watching this movie, even though I've read the John le Carré book it's based on. It has been a long time since I read the book, but I was sitting there thinking "I'm just not cut out for watching twisty movies any more." (It didn't help that I watched it in the theaters with no subtitles, and I've lost what little facility I had with hearing softly spoken dialogue, especially in non-American accents.)

So for me the movie was as if someone had taken the book, cut it up into scenes, put the scenes in a hat, and picked out a few of them at random to film them. They were beautifully, lovingly filmed. So it was actually as if the book were cut into scenes and then haikus were written out of the scenes, and then the haikus were filmed.

Afterward, I saw Roger Ebert's review, and he said, "the not a model of clarity. I confess I was confused some of the time and lost at other times....perhaps...I don't have a mind suitable for espionage." So if he couldn't follow the story either, then I guess I don't have to feel bad. I might re-read the books and then re-watch the movie to see if it makes more sense.

It was nice to see Oldman play someone other than a sociopath. Although I have to say he went as far as he could toward making Smiley sociopath-like.

tiny spoiler. also, possible spoilers in comments )
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via [personal profile] andrewducker
"This startling fact was first noticed by the British actuary Benjamin Gompertz in 1825 and is now called the 'Gompertz Law of human mortality.' Your probability of dying during a given year doubles every 8 years." The article goes on to explain what we can conclude from this statistic: "By looking at theories of human mortality that are clearly wrong, we can deduce that our fast-rising mortality is not the result of a dangerous environment, but of a body that has a built-in expiration date." (Also, the law refutes the popular notion that thin people don't die.)

via [personal profile] onyxlynx

Face-recognition camouflage:

Four rhetorical techniques the media or government can use to increase fear and hatred in the populace:
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Via [ profile] moominmuppet

"Mortgage defaults are causing health problems in people over 50" by Annalee Newitz

The study was led by University of Maryland epidemiologist Dawn E. Alley, who said:
More than a quarter of people in mortgage default or foreclosure are over 50. For an older person with chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension, the types of health problems we saw are short term consequences of falling behind on a mortgage that could have long-run implications for that person's health.
While this information may seem like common sense, this study is one of the only examples where such "common sense" has actually been confirmed scientifically.
Well, I'm glad research like this sometimes sees the light of day.

Original study
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
This is awesome.
Designed as a tongue in cheek response to and criticism of the FDA’s Food Guide Pyramid, the “Food for Thought” Pyramid offers an alternative approach to enhancing your health. The “Food for Thought” Pyramid will help you become more conscious of the bigger picture of your health.

You can buy it as a poster.
firecat: too much coffee man looking discouraged (too much coffee man)
If you're maybe noticing that you're older than you used to be, and are feeling sad/angry/confused/worried/frustrated that you haven't accomplished as much as you/other people in your present or past/annoyingly critical voices inside your head think you should have, and if you're maybe feeling something like "I'm not a real grownup like everyone else," and if you're maybe also feeling sad/angry/confused/worried/frustrated that your body isn't working the way it used to, and you're maybe thinking, "if that's true then how am I going to DO all those accomplishments that I/other people/voices in my head think I ought or want to do?", and maybe you're also wondering how are you going to dig out from under the accumulation of habit and procrastination and self-doubt to some sense of satisfaction in your life again, then post this same sentence in your journal.

Friends keep saying stuff like that where I can see it, and I've been feeling it for a while now too. One said it really well in a friends-locked post:
It's been hard for the last some-odd months, with my age catching up to me, not to feel that I've been a continual failure in school, work, and my personal life. ...

I've been trying so hard to hide from my friends -- most of them not very close, even if they were before -- the fact that I'm not in their league in any sense of the word. ...

Come to think of it, I don't do yard work because I'm afraid of being looked at/judged by passersby. I don't do artwork because I'm afraid of ill-judgment and meaningless or worthless praise. This has gotten as bad as it ever was in the worst years of my adolescence. Worse, because I don't have the energy or the twenty years ahead of me to think I have plenty of time yet to pull myself out of it.
It was a revelation to read this, especially the part about "as bad as it ever was in the worst years of my adolescence," because that's exactly what bugs me about the similar feelings I have—"WTF? I thought I was DONE with these feelings of self-consciousness. No one told me they would come back, dammit! I thought 'mid-life crisis' just meant you went out and got your virtual red sports car and had done with it."

When a whole bunch of my friends and acquaintances are having similar uncomfortable feelings, and especially when each one is having these feelings privately and feeling shame about it because it seems like no one else has them, I ask myself whether there's some kind of cultural pressure going on, and I ask myself whether maybe we would do better examining these tendencies and pressures together, so we can figure out where we stand, and which of the beliefs and tendencies to embrace, and which to say pbtpbtpbtpbt!!!! to.

I wonder how that could be accomplished.

Do you have those feelings? Could you use a way to talk about those feelings with other folks who struggle with them?
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Thoughts on reading this post by [ profile] jackwilliambell via [ profile] supergee; the former post includes a link to this article from USA Today (warning, Firefox told me it tried to give me pop-ups):
"This is the Google side of your brain"

I find it interesting that the USA Today article doesn't make the connection between the usefulness of search engines and the aging of the population. More often than before, words and facts I used to know temporarily go missing. If I'm at my computer, I can look 'em up again.


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firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

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