What to make of AI?

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on July 27, 2023

Efforts to develop computer systems capable of “artificial intelligence,” or AI, have been underway and making progress for decades. What is AI? In brief, it’s the ability of computer applications to understand language and answer questions or solve problems in a human-like way. Some signs of the success of these efforts include the current embedding of AI into our daily lives... READ MORE

Layers of reality

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on May 25, 2023

Since the invention of microscopes and telescopes some four centuries ago, our view of the world around us and the universe in which we live has changed markedly. What we used to believe about how our bodies worked, how stars and planets moved, and the very nature of reality have been repeatedly disrupted by new knowledge thanks to scientists and their steady improvement in developing... READ MORE

From ageism to age pride

By Ashton Applewhite
Posted on April 27, 2023

[Ed. Note: In honor of May, Older Americans Month, we are pleased to excerpt this essay, which appeared in the Jan./Feb. issue of Generations Today, a publication of the American Society on Aging, www.asaging.org.] It doesn’t take a lot of head-scratching to realize that much of our apprehension around aging is really about how our minds and bodies might change as we move through... READ MORE

Who’s your real friend?

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on March 31, 2023

You probably either watched or read about the impromptu exchange at the recent State of the Union address between President Biden and congressional Republicans concerning Social Security. Did the rare display of politicians apparently in agreement that Social Security is “not to be touched” give you goosebumps — or chills? I ask it that way because I firmly believe that any... READ MORE

Critical thinking

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on March 02, 2023

As I’ve noted in earlier columns, I was rather critical as a youngster. (Some would say I haven’t changed all that much.) My parents and older brother weren’t always thrilled with my perfectionist attitude about, well, pretty much everything when I was growing up. Fortunately, my family didn’t just sit there and take it. They argued back. Especially my brother, whom our father... READ MORE

Dear grandson…

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on January 23, 2023

My wife, Judy, and I were blessed with our first grandchild last month. Of course, the more pertinent fact is that our son and daughter-in-law were blessed with their first child. It’s heartwarming to see one’s child become a parent. How clearly I remember when our son was an infant, and Judy and I were just figuring out what to do with him. Now he has made it to adulthood and we... READ MORE

What “Silent Generation?”

By Robert Tiller
Posted on December 23, 2022

Everyone knows about the Baby Boom Generation, born from 1946 to 1964. Likewise, we all know “The Greatest Generation,” who were born 1901-1925 and fought World War II. Those two iconic cohorts loom large as we recount American history over the last century. But what about the generation born from 1926 to 1945? What do we call them, the Americans who grew up during the Great... READ MORE

A time for thanks

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on November 23, 2022

I want to thank all our Beacon readers and their guests who attended our two 50+Expo events in late October. After two years in which we could host only virtual events, we were finally able to return to in-person Expos. I think all who came will agree that it was wonderful to see each other face-to-face and simply to be out and about on a beautiful day in a bustling building, visiting... READ MORE

Our Expos return!

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on September 22, 2022

As longtime readers know, for more than two decades we have held annual 50+Expos in both Maryland and Virginia to provide a fun and informative event for our readers. These events each attract more than 1,000 people to obtain important health screenings, flu shots and other vaccines, hear a top-notch keynote speaker, and obtain valuable information from dozens of exhibitors and sponsors... READ MORE

Music lessons

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on August 25, 2022

Readers won’t be surprised to learn that I was a pretty nerdy kid. All right, a very nerdy kid. In addition to being a diligent student and editor of the school newspaper, I was a classical music buff, very fond of Bach and Beethoven even in my early years. Oh, but there was one thing I definitely didn’t like about music: what my piano teacher called music “theory.” That... READ MORE