A TED Talk on Preparing for the Inevitable

When the annual Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference began in 1984, the Los Angeles Times called it “an obscure gathering of engineers, theorists and artists.” But in the nearly three decades since then, TED has morphed into a series of mind-expanding showcases staged in several countries that attract scores of celebrity visionaries, ranging from physicist Steven Hawking and neurologist Oliver Sacks to former President Bill Clinton and rock stars Bono and Peter Gabriel. Better yet, the nonprofit Sapling Foundation, which stages the …

All the Lonely People

I received word the other day that a long-time acquaintance had died. We had worked together in the beginning years of my newspaper career, and while we hadn’t been that close, he nonetheless had represented a link in a circle of friends that was growing smaller every year. I was losing my history. Join the discussion: Grief and Loss – How do you cope? We were a hard-drinking, cigarette-smoking, fun-loving bunch back then, not eating right or exercising or generally …

SXSW 2013: 5 Life Lessons from South by Southwest

The music, film and interactive gathering called South by Southwest (SXSW or just South by to its friends) has just wrapped up in Texas. The artist once again known as Prince was there, along with 2,200 young bands; so was the “inventor” of the Internet, Al Gore. Bill Gates and Stevie Nicks were in the house. If something was new or cool, like 3D printing or Google Glass, it was there, too. Everyone was talking about “storytelling” – and the …

Living Longer Than Ever: Is That a Good Thing?

CHICAGO – The good news: We’re living longer than ever. The bad news: We’re living longer than ever. In an oversimplified way, that was the message from Laura Carstensen, Ph.D., director of Stanford University’s Center on Longevity, in her remarks to this year’s Aging in America Conference here, sponsored by the American Society on Aging. Carstensen, a well-known researcher who delights in debunking stereotypes of older adults, had less of the expected  “older is better” happy talk, and more of …

The Wealthier You Are, the Longer You’re Likely to Live

The more money you have, the longer you just might live. What’s more, there seems to be a widening gap between the life expectancy of Americans at the upper end of the income spectrum and those at the lower end, according to research from the University of Washington and published by the Washington Post. While life expectancy has risen for the nation – it was  78.5 years in 2009 – research shows that this progress has eluded lower-wage earners. To illustrate that point, the …

Watch: Geriatric Sea Otter Stays Fit By Shooting Hoops

Meet Eddie, a 15-year-old sea otter at the Oregon Zoo. At 15 he’s considered a geriatric in otter years, but he isn’t letting his age - and his arthritis – get in the way of having lots of fun, as you can easily see from watching him shoot hoops in his aquatic basketball court. Eddie’s signature move? “The slam dunk,” says Jenny DeGroot, the zoo’s lead sea otter keeper. “Eddie almost never misses,” DeGroot adds. “And if he does miss, he …