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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

TED Talks and a New Spin on Aging

Today we have a gift for you we think you'll enjoy – some videos of talks from TED conferences. So grab a cup of tea and watch Dr. Bill Thomas as he shares his innovative ideas about growing older. He calls his amusing but ultimately sobering presentation Elderhood Rising: The Dawn of a New World Age.

Half of the baby boomers born in 1946 have now turned 65 and there's a rapidly growing need for gerontologists like Dr. Bill Thomas. He's the self-appointed spokesman for Elderhood. Honored to act as the PRO aging ambassador, he's spreading the word.

According to Bill, our society has an excessive devotion to youthful adulthood. Isn't that obvious in all the ads for toned bodies, plastic surgery and sexual enhancement? But that obsession is misplaced as everyone eventually outgrows adulthood: "Every day we all wake up one day older and further removed from the epicenter of adult power."

Spearheaded by Bill, there is a rapidly growing movement excited about this new stage in the life cycle – Elderhood. After all, we're all aren't we all elders in the making? And getting older is nothing to be ashamed of - it's time to accept and embrace aging.

So you've been forewarned. There's a tsunami about to hit as boomers face the aging process head-on. Bill says, there's life after adulthood and "it is rich, it is real, it is deep, it is ancient and it is meaningful." I like Bill's humor and passion. You can learn more about him and the work he's doing at

Check out the links below if you're interested in other TED talks from experts in aging. Just in case you're not familiar with this great source of information that is bound to expand your brain cells, TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design:

Aubrey de Gray
says we can avoid aging: This talk is sure to pique curiosity and discussion: Cambridge aging expert Aubrey de Gray draws some compelling parallels between growing old and suffering from diseases. From these conclusions, he believes that age can actually be cured, outlining seven particular points that would need addressing. Slowing the process would certainly quell the suffering of billions and (in theory) allow them more time in which to enjoy life and accomplish goals.

Dean Ornish says your genes are not your fate: Sometimes, genetics seems like a ticking time bomb of bioterror, lurking in wait for specific ages to crop up so they can unleash hell. But Dean Ornish believes that mindful and healthy habits — such as chowing down on chocolate and blueberries – may actually override some of these factors. Trying some of the strategies he recommends slow the aging process and bulk up the brain cells, resulting in the longer, happier life most people seem to want.

Dan Buettner says we can live to be 100+: Blue zones, such as the ones found in Sardinia and Okinawa, boast more centenarians than anywhere else in the world. Dan Buettner has devoted his life to studying their secrets, and uses his lecture time to discuss how these individuals carved out such healthy and lengthy existences. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer lay in their simple, healthy lifestyle habits — some of which even date back all the way to the Bronze Age.

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