Category Archives: Elders

Map of the day: A Europe that’s growing older


From Views of the World, the blog of Benjamin Hennig, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Click on the image to enlarge, and go the the link for a larger version:

The overall trend of demographic change is that of an ageing continent. The region with the largest percentage (27%) is Liguria in Italy. The elderly of Europe are also found in greater than normal proportions in northern Germany, and also along the Mediterranean coast and in the interior of France, in northern Spain and southwest England. A lot of these regions are typically attractive for retired people and may also be characterised by low fertility rates. The following map shows the regional distribution of the shares of elderly across Europe displayed on a gridded population cartogram where each of the grid cells is resized to the total number of people living there.

The overall trend of demographic change is that of an ageing continent. The region with the largest percentage (27%) is Liguria in Italy. The elderly of Europe are also found in greater than normal proportions in northern Germany, and also along the Mediterranean coast and in the interior of France, in northern Spain and southwest England. A lot of these regions are typically attractive for retired people and may also be characterised by low fertility rates. The following map shows the regional distribution of the shares of elderly across Europe displayed on a gridded population cartogram where each of the grid cells is resized to the total number of people living there.

Greeks take to the streets in rage over austerity


Any hope that a Greek coalition government led by the leftist Syriza party of Alexis Tsipras could save the country from the domination of the IMF/European Commission/Eurobank Troika’s harsh asuterity demands has proven illusory, and Greeks are once again hitting the streets to express their outrage of the immiserization of lives.

From the Guardian:

Farmers’ roadblocks, ferries immobilised in ports, pensioners taking to the streets: protest has returned to Greece in what many fear could be the beginning of the crisis-plagued country’s most confrontational winter yet.

From the Greek-Bulgarian frontier to the southern island of Crete, farmers are up in arms over the spectre of more internationally mandated austerity.

“It’s war,” says Dimitris Vergos, a corn grower speaking from the northern town of Naoussa. “If they [politicians] go on pushing us to the edge, if they want to dehumanise us further, we will come to Athens and burn them all.”

From PressTV, a look at one protest, a tractorcade — a form of agrarian protest launched here in the U.S. in the 1970s by the National Farmers Union:

Greek Farmers Block Roads In Anti-Austerity Demo

Still more on the farmers action from euronews:

The Greek government’s plans for pension reforms have brought thousands of farmers out on the streets in protests in the north of the country, and in Athens it was pensioners who voiced their anger.

The farmers have threatened to block key roads with their tractors on Wednesday.

“We have to stop this pension reform plan, because in the end we will be left both without pensions and without health care. They just keep cutting and cutting with each bailout that comes,” said one elderly woman in Athens.

“Their goal is for social security as we know it to cease to exist,” said an 82-year-old man.

Reuters covers another aspect of today’s actions:

Public and private sector workers plan a national walkout on Feb. 4 but ship workers took early action on Wednesday by starting a 48-hour strike that brought passenger shipping activity in the seafaring nation to an effective standstill.

Ferries remained docked at Greek ports and farmers poured milk onto the streets on Wednesday in protest over plans to revamp Greece’s pensions system, a condition for the country’s multi-billion euro bailout.

Public anger is growing over the leftist-led government’s drive to cut its costly pension bill by some 1.8 billion euros this year, the equivalent of about 1 percent of national output.

This footage from the Adalou Agency shows the action — or rather inaction — today at Piraeus, port for the city of Athens, where the engines of the normally bustling ferries are silent and the ships remained moored. Via Video-News:

Protest against government’s plans on social insurance and pension reform in Athens

Program notes:

Mooring ferries during a 48-hour strike of National Seamen’s Federation against the government’s new social security reform, at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece,on 20 January 2016. The National Seamen’s Federation (PNO) announced a 48-hour nationwide strike on 20 and 21 January, during which no ships will set sail from ports around the country. People take fruits and vegetables as open-air fruit and vegetable vendors block with their products the entrance of Labor Ministry, downtown Athens, Greece, and gave away their produce to passersby. The protesters oppose government’s plans on social insurance and pension reforms.

Ekathimerini covers the so-called “necktie protest” in Athens itself:

More than 6,000 Greek white-collar professionals including doctors, lawyers and engineers protested in Athens on Thursday, waving their neckties as they marched against proposed pension reforms required by the country’s creditors.

“No to the law that dumps us in the street,” read one of the banners of the workers who joined in what the Greek media has dubbed the “Necktie Revolution”. Police estimated the crowd at 6,000-strong.

Greece’s leftist government recently proposed reducing the highest pension benefits and increasing social security contributions by both employers and staff.

“According to this proposed law, 84 percent of our earnings will go to taxes and other contributions (to the state),” said a 35-year-old engineer who gave his name as Haris.

RT’s RUPTLY has raw video of the Athens protest:

Greece: Rise of the professionals – architects, engineers and lawyers take to Athens’ streets

Program notes:

Thousands of engineers, lawyers and freelancers marched through Athens, Thursday, to protest against government-proposed reforms to social security payments and pensions, as mandated in the latest tranche of Troika measures.

SOT Katerina Fasoula, Protesting Egineer (Greek): “I voted for Mr. Tsipras two times, because I believed in him and his word, I thought he would understand us engineers, but unfortunately they do not understand anything and only care about strictly personal benefits.”

SOT Vassilis Donas, Protesting Engineer (Greek): “It is impossible for us freelancers to be paying more than 90% of our income in insurance contributions and taxes to the state.”

Syriza campaigned and won on a pledge to overturn the Troika’s austerian regime, and now that it has knuckled under, one wonders what impetus their failure will give to the hopes of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, the only other significant party with a firm anti-Troika stance.

One shudders to think.

Cannabis oil eases Alzheimer’s symptoms


From AlterNet:

The administration of liquid cannabis extracts containing THC is associated with the mitigation of various symptoms of Alzheimer’s-related agitation and dementia, according to observational trial data published online ahead of print in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Israeli investigators assessed the use of cannabis oil as an adjunct pharmacotherapy treatment in ten Alzheimer’s disease patients over a period of several weeks. Researchers reported that drug administration was associated with a significant reduction in patients’ symptom severity scores. Specifically, cannabis oil ingestion corresponded with decreased levels of aggression, irritability, apathy, and delusions.

Investigators concluded, “Adding medical cannabis oil to Alzheimer’s disease patients pharmacotherapy is safe and a promising treatment option.”

Chart of the day II: Shingles rates in the U.S.


Shingles, the agonizing legacy of chicken pox infections, arises decades after the original infection. Rates have been declining in recent years as the result of a vaccine. From the Centers for Disease Control:

Shingles Rates in People Older than 65 Years, United States, 1992–2010

Shingles Rates in People Older than 65 Years, United States, 1992–2010

And now for something completely different. . .


This time it’s every hipster’s worst nightmare.

Your grandparents turn stoner.

We begin with a professional production from WatchCut Video:

Baked – Episode 1: Grandmas Smoking Weed for the First Time

Program notes:

We found three grandmas who had never smoked pot and gave them an opportunity to try it for the first time. Then we gave them snacks and had them play cards against humanity.

Talent
Paula
Dorothea
Deirdre

Crew
Eric Soma – Audio
Mike Gaston – Director
Brian Liepe – DP | http://www.brianliepe.com/
Blaine Ludy – Producer/Weed Expert
Jason Hakala – Producer/Camera Operator

Next, via Sarilyn Young:

Grandma Ate A Pot Cookie

Program notes:

Take a medical marijuana facility, pot cookies, and Grandma…what do you get? a hilariously high grandma who thought she was having a stroke or heart attack at first…then discovered her hidden potential. Like the man in limitless she thought she became smarter, like a wanna be on americas got talent, she thought she could sing! no grandparents were harmed in the filming of this video.

And to give equal edibles exposure to both sexes, from J Grizzly:

grandpa ate my weed

Program note:

Laughing Hysterical Abuelito

Next, another first-timer, who begins by trying to use crack pipe methods, presumably gleaned from TV shows and films, to a pot pipe, via Discovery Channel’s Weed Wars:

Grandpa smokes weed for the first time in his life

Another first-time grandma and another professional production, via PsychedSubstance:

Mom gets High for the First Time (Smoking Weed)

Program notes:

My mother, who’s also a grandma, smokes weed for the first time on camera.

Next up, is Dad and Grandma both toking up for the first time, via Opensky Richard:

93 year old Great Grandmother tries Marijuana Legally in Washington State

Program notes:

Law abiding citizen waits 93 years to try marijuana, then smokes son under the table.

The way sonny was acting in the part of the video brings to mind another video, a song from Berkeley’s own Country Joe McDonald:

And finally, from StonySmokey, a grandpa who’s obviously anything but inexperienced:

BEST BONG HIT EVER // Grandpa smokes WEED

esnl wasn’t a grandpa when he first burned one down. He was a 19-year-old reporter in Sin City, when getting caught with a single seed or flake of leaf could get five years in the state pen.

We were handed our first doobie by a member of the faculty of the state university, with this Byrds LP pouring from a really sweet sound system — and good sounds are a good idea for any first timer, a sure way to find the answer to the perpetual first-timer question, “Are we there yet?”:

Chart of the day: Old soldiers, just fading away


From the U.S. Census Bureau [PDF]:

WWII

Chart of the day: Life expectancy in the U.S.


From the Centers for Disease Control [PDF]:

Life expectancy, by race and sex: United States, 1999–2013

Life expectancy, by race and sex: United States, 1999–2013