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RAGING GRANNIES PUSH FOR ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: Ottawa’s raging grannies belted out a musical plea for action on behalf of the Earth and their grandchildren at a rally in front of Ottawa City Hall on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013.

Their message: we need to change the way we produce and use energy.

The rally for the Rideau River and climate action was organized by Ecology Ottawa and the Ottawa chapter of

The Ranging Grannies rally for the environment in front of Ottawa City Hall on Sept. 29, 2013 (Ecology Ottawa)

The concerned citizens rallied as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its fifth report on the physical science of global warming, identifying human activity as the driving force behind dangerous climate change.

LEISURE PURSUITS: Looking for new program ideas for your local library or community centre in 2014?

Why not invite older adults to share their passionate pursuits: quilting, mountain hiking, amateur theater, woodworking, collecting model trains, tour guiding, traditional crafts or whatever.

The idea is to spark new conversations among community members and to provide individuals with opportunities to share pursuits that thrill and invigorate them.

Keep it informal and fun. Instead of presentations, think sharing circles.

Add intergenerational twist

Tap into your local school community. Talk to the principal about arranging an opportunity for older adults to share their pursuits with the students.

Intergenerational programs can enrich the school curriculum, build bonds between generations and boost older people’s image in the community.

NEW GUIDE HELPS DOCTORS DISCUSS END-OF-LIFE CARE: The Canadian Medical Association journal has published a guide to make it easier for doctors in hospitals to discuss end-of-life issues with patients and their families.

“A lot of the patients I care for are seriously ill and in fragile health, and my observation has been that as a health care team we don’t spend that time to understand what their priorities are,” said Dr. John You, one of the authors and associate professor at McMaster’s departments of medicine and clinical epidemiology and biostatistics. “I think it’s an important gap that we need to close.”

The guide is endorsed by the Canadian Researchers at the End of Life Network and offers advice for doctors on when to start talking about long-term planning with patients.

More broadly, the authors urge Canadians to consider advance care planning and to discuss their wishes with family members.

Source: with notes from

TREASURED LETTERS: So when was the last time you wrote a handwritten letter?

Around the world, letter mail volumes have plummeted with the rise of electronic communication. But a new journal hopes to buck the trend by encouraging people to put pen to paper.

The brainchild of novelist Jon McGregor, The Letters Page is dedicated to exploring what letter writing means to writers and readers today.

“Letters are one of the earliest forms of writing, and they are quite a big part of literary culture and history,” writes McGregor. “They’re like a [vinyl] record or a piece of handwriting. They’re valued as distinct.”

Letters published in the first edition of the journal came from Canada, the United States, France, Spain, Germany, Cyprus and Donegal. The correspondence sparkles, carrying news, expressions of love and a sense of time and place.

The Letters Page is published three times a year as a free downloadable PDF.

Interested? Get out your pen and paper and fire off a handwritten letter. The mailing details are here.