A recent study has concluded that multitasking—for example, using a cell phone while working—can interfere with seniors’ ability to perform everyday activities.  The study, conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and reported in the journal Psychology and Aging, experience “cognitive interference” when using cell phones.  For example, cell-phone conversations and other types of multitasking appear to slow down seniors’ mental and visual processing necessary to gauge the distance and speed of incoming cars.  Here’s more:

(Editor's note:  Roger Scime is a good friend of ours here at Great Places, having worked with us for several intriguing months as we optimized the website.  We truly welcome this guest blog from him.  You may contact him at

I'm the invisible man. I turned 62 in September, and in any group younger than 30, no one notices me, nobody listens to me, it's as if I'm, well . . . invisible.

I first noticed this in 2003, when I was a mere 54 years old and decided to go back to school for my Master's degree. Most of my fellow grad students were in their 20s-30s, and immediately made friends, bonded, grouped, swarmed. I tried joining in as naturally and unobtrusively as possible. Occasionally I would offer advice on one subject or another, which the youngsters would accept willingly, then turn their backs as my existence faded from their consciousnesses. 

I finally managed to make a few friends, upon offering to host a field trip to a nearby city where an event was occurring. Everybody seemed to have a good time, but only two exchange students—one from
China, one from India—showed any interest in continuing any kind of relationship. I asked my Indian friend about this just a few months ago, and he said, "In India, we look upon those older than us with respect, something Americans don't seem to be capable of."

I'm currently taking MBA classes (we seniors seem to be addicted to learning. Go figure), and the professor had us self-select into groups of 3-4 for the final project of the class. I went from group to group, offering my services (a highly desirable one, for which none of the others were prepared), practically begging to join one or another, but I was—for all intents and purposes—ignored.

Finally, an exchange student from
Bangladesh, asked me to join his group. Mind you, I didn't have to ask, beg, or abase myself. He just asked. Do you sense a pattern here?

Well, we're working on his project (a business plan for a multimillion- dollar hospital in
Bangladesh), and I'm making my contribution as wordsmith, editor, and social-media facilitator. Additionally, he's invited me to a cocktail party tonight, where Angels and other investors will be present. He told me he wants somebody mature there representing his venture and I was the best person he knew to be the face of his company.

It's a shame I'm invisible to my own countrymen, but not to others.

Posted by: Laurence Harmon on 3/13/2011 | 0 Comments

Naturally, the news cycle has been dominated for the past few days by the horrific tsunami in Japan. It turns out that there's a lesser--and equally interesting--tsunami story that's just happened to surface in the past year or so.  And it's coming to your local television via the National Geographic Channel tonight.

It's claimed that the fabled lost city of Atlantis has been located by means of satellite photography, ground-penetrating radar and underwater technology.  Experts are surveying Spanish marshlands, looking for proof of the ancient city.  If they can match geological formations to Plato's descriptions and accounts of the city, one of the world's most intriguing mysteries might be solved.

A U.S.-led research team believes that Atlantis was swamped by a huge tsunami thousands of years ago in mud flats in southern Spain.  Head researcher Richard Freund says the find illustrates "the power of tsunamis. It's just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland; that's pretty much what we're talking about."  

Read more here

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