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OUR CHILDREN ARE OUR LEGENDS: In Legends of Eavan Frances, Irish poet Eavan Boland addresses her daughter:

Our children are our legends.
You are mine. You have my name.
My hair was once like yours.
And the world
is less bitter to me
because you will re-tell the story.

Changes to the Earth’s climate is the biggest story confronting our children today. As James Hansen, leading climate scientist and author of the Storms of My Grandchildren writes: "The situation we’re creating for young people and future generations is that we’re handing them a climate system which is potentially out of their control."

Meanwhile, the Guardian is examining the climate crisis and how humanity can solve it.

 

 

NYC TOPS FOR OLDER PEOPLE: According to the World Health Organization, New York is a global leader in adapting to the needs of older people.

The city is home to some one million people over the age of 65. New York launched the age-friendly city initiative by consulting with older residents in town hall meetings across the city. The issues raised became the jumping-off point for the program.

Writing in Politico magazine, Debra Bruno reveals how New York became a leader.

Here are some highlights

The city:

  • installed 130 pedestrian "safety islands" (so that slower walkers can have a place to stop if they only make it halfway across the street before the light changes)
  • renovated 4,000 bus stops so that they’re enclosed by glass on three sides and offer benches with more seating
  • implemented seniors-only hours at some public swimming pools. For example, a pool in East Harlem is open for older adults 9-11 a.m. three times a week in summer. The pool has a disc jockey and a synchronized swim group for those 62 and older
  • transformed senior centres into bustling hubs, offering a host of activities, including Zumba workouts, guitar lessons, billiards, dance chorography, multimedia workshops and opportunities to work with computers
  • created a database of classes open to older adults for free or reduced rates at the city’s colleges and universities, and
  • used off-duty school buses to take older adults grocery shopping.

Neighbourhood businesses joined in, too

For example, the East Harlem Cafe on Lexington Avenue offers a Saturday crossword-puzzle club, a walking group and a popular 99-cent pancake deal each Friday.

And the owners of Settepani, an Italian restaurant on Lenox Avenue, was one of the first businesses in the city to win the "Age Smart Employer" award.

 

 
bookcover - time will say nothing
THE CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN: In 2006, philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo was arrested at Tehran airport, on his way to an international conference. He was accused of spying and trying to undermine the government in Iran. He then spent four months in solidarity confinement.

Now an associate professor at York University in Toronto (Canada), Jahanbegloo examines his experiences as a political prisoner in his new memoir Time Will Say Nothing.

This important and enthralling book is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. And it reminds us of the importance of upbringing and the enabling power of literature.

Jahanbegloo was locked up in Section 209 of Evin prison with only ants and cockroaches for company. "Man is not what he thinks he is: he is what he hopes," he writes. That spirit was infused by his parents, and it is what breathes through the pages of the memoir.

The book also shows Jahanbegloo’s love for particular writers, and what they say about the human condition guided his thinking and bolstered his courage. Among others, they include Primo Levi, Gandhi, Paul Ricoeur and Isaiah Berlin. The title itself is a nod to a verse by his favourite poet, W. H. Auden.

 

 

NEW ROBOT FOR NURSING CARE: First came the Paro robot companion, a cuddly version of the baby harp seals found on the Magdalen Islands (Îles de la Madeleine) in Canada.

Over the past decade, studies have found long-term interaction with Paro reduced stress among nursing home residents with cognitive impairments.

In 2015, enter Robear, a human-sized Japanese robot designed to help with nursing care. This experimental nursing-care robot can help lift patients from beds into wheelchairs or help them to stand up.

Researchers hope Robear will lead to advances in nursing care, relieving the burden on caregivers.