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THE POET ON AGING: The 12th-century Chinese poet, Lu Yu, offers this gentle portrait of the old man in his poem Written in a Carefree Mood:

Old man pushing seventy,
In truth he acts like a little boy,

Whooping with delight when he spies some mountain fruits,
Laughing with joy, tagging after village mummers;
With the others having fun stacking tiles to make a pagoda,
Standing alone staring at his image in the jardinière pool.
Tucked under his arm, a battered book to read,
Just like the time he first set out to school.

Source: The Academy of American Poets: www.poets.org

PURPOSE PRIZE: Civic Ventures has announced 15 finalists for its first-ever Purpose Prize, a new initiative to tap the tremendous potential of American adults over 60.

In Jan. 2006, AHB called for a Canadian version of the Purpose Prize. With some 9.8 million Canadian baby boomers approaching retirement, according to Canada’s Urban Futures Institute, AHB believes the time is ripe.

The Purpose Prize awards $100,000 each to five people who combine their passion, experience, and entrepreneurial skills to find new solutions to community problems. The finalists include a social worker, farmer, car salesman, educator, health care worker and former Mayor. To find out who they are and what they are doing to change the world, visit: www.civicventures.org.

POSTPONING AGE? How does natural selection influence aging? Did you know that at a certain stage, aging hits a plateau? And what do Methuselah Flies have to do with it?

Interested? Check out The Long Tomorrow: How Advances in Evolutionary Biology Can Help Us Postpone Aging by Michael Rose (Oxford Press). Rose, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of California believes evolutionary biology holds the key to unlocking the secret of longer, healthier lives. In this hugely enjoyable book, he recounts his 25 years of pioneering research. It reads like a detective story. www.benford-rose.com.