This important international U3A conference will bring together the combined Governing Boards of AIUTA, the International Association of Universities of the Third Age, and the U3A Asia Pacific Alliance.
For the Conference Registration Form (pdf) please click here >>>

Issue number one hundred and eighty-three (April 2016) from the U3A Asia Pacific Alliance and WorldU3A Service.

Sent on the first day of every month to U3A members and kindred groups anywhere in the world.

Feel free to copy any or all of this information in your newsletters.
Please send items of possible interest to the editor, Tom Holloway.


LANGUEDOC: Prof François Vellas visited Agde U3A to deliver a lecture on invitation from UTL Bas Languedoc (France). Meetings with President Ravaille focused on inter-borders cooperation between U3A. An initiative will be conducted joinly with Catalogna U3A. AIUTA President will support all initiatives to develop trans border U3A cooperation such as E.U. Inter-Reg programmes.

Le Professeur François Vellas s'est rendu à Agde à l'invitation de l'Université du temps libre du Bas Languedoc pour une conférence sur le tourisme des seniors. A cette occasion les discussions avec le Président de l'UTL M Ravaille ont porté sur la coopération entre U3A avec la possibilité de développer une coopération trans frontalière avec les U3A de Catalogne dont la présidente est membre du Conseil d'Administration de l'AIUTA. Des initiatives seront conduites dès la rentrée 2016/2017.

MOROCCO: On tuesday March 29th 2016, the President of AIUTA Prof François Vellas participated in a meeting on University of Third Age at University of Marrakech with the Dean Prof Youssef EL Bouhairi. This meeting focused on the development of U3A in Morocco. Prof El Bouhairi will participate in the next AIUTA International Conference in Reims next 12th 14th May as representative of the University of Marrakech and will apply to enter AIUTA as the first Morrocan University. The dean proposed to organise in Marrakech a next AIUTA International Conference.

Mardi 29 mai le président de l'AIUTA Professeur François Vellas a rencontré le doyen de l'Université de Marrakech. M. le Porfesseur Youssef El Bouhairi a confirmé son intention de participer à la prochaine conférence internationale de l'AIUTA à Reims et d'être candidat à entrer dans l'AIUTA en tant que première université marocaine. Il a également émis le voeux d'organiser à Marrakech une prochaine conférence de l'AIUTA.

Science/Technology Groups: An entertaining and free e-book introducing physics – the science of motion. Now in its 26th year - and in various languages. This is a new version of 28th February 2016, including the latest information of 'gravitational waves'.

Explore the motion of wheels, birds, lightning, planets, light and empty space itself! Be fascinated by molecular motors, black holes, the beauty of nature and the concepts of modern physics, from the principle of cosmic laziness – least action – to gauge symmetry – the symmetry of charges and quarks!

U3A Volunteer for one-way Mars trip.
Alexander Selkirk, a member of U3A Brobdingnag, Queensland, Australia, has been accepted for an ambitious flight to Mars due to take place in 2020.

When interviewed recently he said "I don't think it's right that only young people should be asked to give up the remainder of their lives, when there will be no possibility of their return to Earth. On the other hand, I'm reasonably fit, and if I'm still available, if you know what I mean, I'm very happy to offer my service so that U3A can feel that they have a place in humankind's exciting future in space".

From Monique Harvey, Ph. D. Directrice de l’UTA, Université de Sherbrooke.
Sherbrooke Université du troisième âge, Quebec, will organize in May 2016 an event about 40 years of foundation. That will be the 6th May 2016. We will invite 200 representatives from the province of Quebec. It’s a small event limited to volunteers and teachers who participate at our organisation.

Our UTA is French speaking and the campus is streched on 26 campuses in Québec. We have around 8,000 members from city and rural area.

Art History Groups: LA BELLE EPOQUE -The Study Day on Thursday 28th April 2016 in Newbury, UK was quickly filled. However, tutor Maria Chester intends to repeat it at other locations later in 2016.

A Study Day has four presentations: one, introducing the students to La Belle Epoque itself, as well as the influence of photography and cinema on fine arts and fashion. The other three are focused on art movements that changed for ever our perception of what is art: Fauvism (France), Cubism (Spain, France) and Futurism (Italy)

Signpost will keep you informed about these UK Study Days. Let us know if your U3A wishes to organise one. Please contact Maria here >>>

Sci/Tech Groups/Researchers: Google can do maths. The image you see left is the result of putting "Graph for 5+?(-sqrt(?1-?x^?2-?(y-?abs(?x))^?2))*?cos(?30*?(1-?x^?2-?(y-?abs(?x))*?2))" into google image search.

In fact there are several search engines that go way beyond GOOGLE. To give you just a taste we describe two of them here.

This is a meta-catalogue of cultural heritage collections from a range of Europe's leading galleries, libraries, archives and museums. The catalogue includes books and manuscripts, photos and paintings, television and film, sculpture and crafts, diaries and maps, sheet music and recordings.

A so-called ‘answer engine’, the service answers queries directly based on the search terms rather than providing a list of results. “WolframAlpha is probably the most innovative of the answer engines. It attempts to answer free-text questions or provide information about things rather than supply a list of web sites tagged as connected with a subject.”

Botany and Gardening Groups: Gardens shouldn’t just be a luxury for suburban dwellers. A growing body of evidence shows that they can make a significant contribution to our health and well-being, not just as a way to get some physical exercise but also to improve our mental state. Here are five creative ways city dwellers can still grow their own, one of the most interesting being 'Hydroponics', which you can easily try and demonstrate at your regular group meetings. Click here to learn more >>>

Indian Society of U3As, Central Zone UP Conference was held over two days and a full report from Dr Pradeep Sinha (seen on the left above) can be found here >>>

A report from A K Malhotra, U3A Bhavana Lucknow. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare launched the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI). Launching the project, B P Sharma, Secretary (HFW) stated that this is the largest survey of its kind. It will survey more than 60,000 elderly over 25 years plan.

"The importance of the study derives from the increasing portion of elderly population in the country. The study will provide valuable data on their health needs, and issues faced by them given the changing social structures, and help us to draw policy tools to address their issues," said B P Sharma, Secretary Health. He also informed about the Health Protection Scheme announced in the recent Budget, which has a special component of Rs 30,000 for the elderly in the family. The International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and University of Southern California (USC), USA is undertaking "The Longitudinal Ageing Study in India" under the aegis of the Ministry of Union Health and Family Welfare. LASI is jointly funded by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the United States' National Institute on Ageing, and the United Nations Population Fund-India.

From Dr Vyasamoorthy, convenor of 'Indian-Society-for-U3A':
In a village 95 km from Mumbai, grandmothers are strapping on bags and skipping spiritual 'baithaks' for school time. Shikshanala vayache bandhan naste (learning has no age limit) sounds platitudinous. The cliché, however, gets a real-life sparkle when put on a blackboard facing 28 non-literate grandmothers who have enrolled themselves at the Aajibainchi Shala in Phangane village.

All aged 60 to 90 years, students of Aajibainchi Shala in Phangane, one of the remotest of 206 villages in Murbad taluka of Thane district, walk 1 km to get to school where they spend two hours every day learning from kindles and charts.

U3A Online: A complete GEMs Archive - Rick Swindell's newsletter - pdf printouts of all prior editions can be found at

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