Sounds – and pictures – of South Africa’s musical past

Sounds - and pictures - of South Africa's musical past
What were you up to in the 1980s? Humming a tune can sometimes jog your memory. An image can also take me back in time. Because we played records then. And they came in cardboard album covers. This protective package for the vinyl inside was a canvas for 20th century pop art. Listening to music was ...

Sitting is the new smoking? Stand up and live longer 6

Sitting is the new smoking? Stand up and live longer
What’s the secret of a long life? You can’t open a newspaper or web page these days without finding some new anti-aging strategy. What to eat, how to exercise, when to sleep – scientists seem to be continually investigating what makes us live longer. There are so many studies there’s hardly time to read them ...

Embrace boredom – become a Boring Old Fart 1

Embrace boredom - become a Boring Old Fart
Ask an older person, “So when are you going to retire?” The reply you often get is: “Never! I’d get bored.” If that’s your stock answer, you should check out the revisionist view of boredom that has emerged in recent years. According to research and expert opinion, getting bored has its up side. In fact, ...

Boomer’s Bash at Bad Grammar Tops the Music Charts 1

Boomer’s Bash at Bad Grammar Tops the Music Charts
Quit complaining about bad grammar. It makes you seem old. That was the tip I was going to offer you: that whining about the decline of the English language does not make for a youthful and hip image. It’s also nothing new. Bad grammar has been annoying people as they get older for centuries. It really infuriated ...

Art in late life – a fountain of youth?

Art in late life - a fountain of youth?
My New Old Self is intrigued with the notion of old age as a second childhood. Not a baby-like return in one’s dotage to being fed, dressed, bathed and having diapers changed. I mean In A Good Way. Throughout Western history scholars and writers have characterized old age as a period of a second childhood and ...

Growing old in Greece means just surviving

Growing old in Greece means just surviving
Ask Greeks how they’re doing and they no longer answer “Fine”. Now they shrug and say “We’ll survive” or “What can we do?” The ever-present backdrop is the debt crisis that erupted following the 2008 global recession that continues to shake and shape Greece’s 11-million people. The older generation has been especially hard hit by ...

How to be old and happy in Denmark

How to be old and happy in Denmark
My New Old Self is taking an occasional look at the wide world through the lens of aging. The idea is to check out what’s it like getting old in various places around the globe. This is a quick look at Denmark. Without this Scandinavian country of only 5.6-million people, there would be a lot ...

Help! – a tough ask

Help! – a tough ask
A group of scuba divers and snorkelers were observing manta rays deep in the sea off Hawaii one night last year when one of them got an unusual request – from a bottlenose dolphin entangled in fishing line. “The way he came right up and pushed himself into me there was no question this dolphin ...

This is not a list of 10 or 100 or 1,000 Things To Do Before You Die 1

This is not a list of 10 or 100 or 1,000 Things To Do Before You Die
  It’s become fashionable to make a Bucket List – what you aim to do before you “kick the bucket”. There’s even a Bucket List movie featuring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as terminally ill old codgers who go on a road trip to check things off their list. Which the late film critic Roger Ebert ...

Misleading reports on “senile dementia” as inevitable cause of writer Marquez’s death 1

Misleading reports on “senile dementia” as inevitable cause of writer Marquez’s death
Reports on the cause of the death of Latin American literary giant Gabriel Garcia Marquez have been greatly distorted – to paraphrase Mark Twain’s famous quote about “greatly exaggerated” reports of his own death. Misleading statements have appeared in many obituaries of the author of 100 Years of Solitude and many other acclaimed works, stating ...