Maximizing a maxim

By Stuart Rosenthal
Posted on June 01, 2012

One of the aphorisms I’ve been partial to since childhood says a person should “live each day as if it were your last.”Though I’ve liked and remembered the maxim, I only recently found myself wondering what it really means. Perhaps getting older (and attending more funerals) has started to make the concept more thought provoking to me.On first blush, it sounds... READ MORE

No patience for politics

By Stuart Rosenthal
Posted on May 23, 2012

It’s been a few years since I attended the national convention of the American Society on Aging, one of the major associations for professionals of all types who work in the field of aging.This year’s event took place in this area, so I went to the opening session to hear the featured speakers. The hotel ballroom was set up for 3,000 convention attendees, with huge screens... READ MORE

Lots of candles

By Barbara Ruben
Posted on April 26, 2012

One of my favorite authors, Anna Quindlen, published a new book this week. Titled Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, the 58-year-old fiction writer and journalist takes a look back at her life. I first read Quindlen when she wrote her “Life in the 30s” column in the New York Times about raising her young kids as a 30-something. Now a chapter of the book is called “Life in the... READ MORE

Some operating instructions for grandparents

By Bruben
Posted on March 20, 2012

Back in 1993, one of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott, published a witty, self-deprecating journal about her son’s first year. Called Operating Instructions, it chronicled her joyful, exhausting days as a single parent with her baby Sam. How time flies. Sam is now 19 and recently became a father himself and Lamott a grandmother. Today a sequel of sorts to that first book was published. ... READ MORE

How ill are we really?

By Stuart Rosenthal
Posted on March 19, 2012

Having good mental health is probably as important as having good physical health, if not more so. But when our mental health is “not so good,” would most of us call ourselves ill, as in “mentally ill?”Suppose you find it difficult to sleep or lose your appetite for a couple of weeks because you’ve been diagnosed with a serious physical illness or suffered the... READ MORE

A California Beacon

By Stuart Rosenthal
Posted on February 01, 2012

I am pleased to announce the “birth” of a new Beacon this month. Not exactly a sibling of our Washington, Baltimore and Howard County editions. More of a cousin perhaps.I am referring to the new Coachella Valley Beacon — serving residents 50 and over in Palm Springs, Palm Desert and other cities in California’s Coachella Valley, situated about 100 miles east of... READ MORE

Beating the February blahs

By Bruben
Posted on January 31, 2012

While much of this winter has been downright balmy, February can still be a month where leafless trees, early sunsets and frigid early mornings can wear you down. And with leap year, we have to slog through 29 days.Check out the Beacon for some fun February activities to brighten the month. Consider chocolate for breakfast for Valentine’s Day in a decadent-yet-healthy chocolate bread... READ MORE

Of rats and men

By Stuart Rosenthal
Posted on December 26, 2011

Scientists have long experimented on mice and rats to test new drugs and treatments for human illnesses.I’ve always imagined that there must be many similarities between our species — at least on a cellular level or in organ systems — for that to make sense. But I haven’t been much bothered by the fact that these physical similarities exist because I subscribe to the ... READ MORE

Downsize and do good

By Bruben
Posted on December 05, 2011

Shera, a lioness at the National Zoo, swipes a paw across a swirl of blue paint. Her claw punctures the paper. A volunteer quickly pulls the “painting” out of her enclosure before she can take a bite out of it, as lion cub Baruti likes to do with his artwork.Sans berets, smocks or palettes, the animals at the zoo are getting their paws dirty with non-toxic, water-based paint and ... READ MORE

Holiday shows help make the season merry and bright

By Barbara Ruben
Posted on November 21, 2011

The jack-o-lanterns were still glowing when the Christmas trees lit up at Macy’s. My local mall began piping in holiday music before Veterans Day, and Black Friday is beginning on Thanksgiving Thursday this year.  Bah humbug, I say. But beyond the Christmas creep and the showdown for parking spaces at the mall, the holiday season brings a bounty of plays and concerts that more than... READ MORE