Aging as an Extreme Sport
Aging is not for wimps. Think about it. As you change your environment remains the same. Your kitchen cabinets are still the mess they were, but now the height seems like a stretching exercise. Your home's stairs now qualify as a steeple chase. And, what was once a simple shopping trip or bus ride is now something that feels like the last few yards of a swim meet.
Living at home, preparing a meal for friends and everyday mobility should not be a triathlon event. Aging demands new thinking. New thinking demands new tools that give true innovators more than a quote from a survey or an observation from a product clinic but the opportunity for designers, engineers, product developers, marketers and even policy makers to feel the 'aha moment' for themselves. The 'aha' that things can be made better not just for the 'old' but better for all of us.
Below is my recent TEDx Boston talk describing the new opportunity of old age and highlighting, with the capable tolerance of my research assistant Angelina Gennis, MIT AgeLab's AGNES (Age Gain Now Empathy System). AGNES serves as a teacher to researchers, businesses and governments but also serves as an instructor to all of us to prepare our environments and to proactively invest in our well-being to live independent, engaged, healthy and better lives tomorrow.
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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