Who wants self-destructing messages? 1

Who wants self-destructing messages?
“This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds.” Those words were immortalised by the Mission Impossible spy thriller TV series. This warning of the imminent self-destructing of the taped message to the Impossible Missions Force launched every episode and cued the theme music. Since Hollywood helps us share memories across the ages, younger people will also recognise ...

Telomere care – it’s up to you!

Telomere care - it's up to you!
Want to live longer? Here’s how: “Have fun, get exercise of any kind, say something warm to somebody every day and enjoy healthy food.” If you think that sounds like a touchy-feely tip from a credentials-free healer, you’re wrong. Those are the words of a molecular biologist who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Dr. ...

Snowflake Generation: Insult of the Year

Snowflake Generation: Insult of the Year
I am not happy about the Insult of the Year. Not because it was hurled at me – I’m too old for it. This insult is targeted at the young. Their elders call them the “Snowflake Generation”. “Young adults of the 2010s, viewed as less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations” ...

Are you a Superager?

Are you a Superager?
As a known sucker for the introductory phrase, “Studies show…” I have been studying yet another new study. It’s about a very small group of old people who the gerontological world has dubbed Superagers. This elite crowd are not just “good for their age” in the memory department. Their brains are measurably as sharp as ...

Y2K + Millennials 1

Y2K + Millennials
The Not-so-new Millennium As 2016 nears its end, I’ve been thinking back to that famous New Year’s Eve when we welcomed the 21st century – and all the fearmongering leading up to it. You remember Y2K – which turned out to be Apocalypse Not. You remember the widespread hoarding of canned food and candles in response to dire ...

Family Tech Support Guy to the rescue 1

Family Tech Support Guy to the rescue
“Do you have any games?” asked a boy of 5 who was visiting. Surrounded by grown-ups, lacking any kids his age to play with, he was understandably bored. I had to think a moment before responding, for it has been awhile since my home was geared for children’s activities. I was trying to remember where ...

Holiday shopping – Lucky I’m Too Old 1

Holiday shopping - Lucky I'm Too Old
The year-end holiday shopping season is well underway, launched last week on the US retail calendar’s top-selling date. Black Friday seems to be colonising the world. So now is a good time to use that acronym I coined: LITO – Lucky I’m Too Old! Battle the crowds at the malls in pursuit of bargains? LITO! ...

I’m with Stupid – that’s the post-truth 2

I'm with Stupid - that's the post-truth
You have probably seen that T-shirt with the words “I’m with Stupid” and an arrow pointing to whoever is walking next to you. Now there’s a new version of that joke online, a satirical response to the US presidential election results that flummoxed the pollsters and shocked the world. This comparison of the June referendum ...

What should we get for free?

What should we get for free?
“I got it for free!” How we love to boast about this. For me it’s a rare claim, usually born of luck. In contrast to those younger than me, who seem to see non-payment as the norm. This is yet another of the many differences between my generation and the one below. The youth have ...

Lifelong love affair with paper 1

Lifelong love affair with paper
Top of my list of things never to leave home without? (Aside from the obvious, like keys, phone and wallet.) Pen and paper. I always try to be in close proximity to a notebook and a pen or two. This is a habit I maintain, despite the fact that writing on paper seems to have ...