Issue number one hundred and thirty-three (January 2012) in a series of Signposts from the WorldU3A Service, sent once a month to U3A members anywhere in the world.

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

The Royal Institution's new website is a rich compendium of dozens of fascinating educational videos. My favourite is http://richannel.org/200-countries-200-years-4-minutes - an astonishing video that can surely be used to generate a discussion in any U3A Current Affairs group.

History Groups: "The aim of Maritime Great Britain is to provide a web portal for those that have an interest in the time of Nelson and the Georgian Royal Navy. We aim to support the conservation, education and celebration / commemoration of this dramatic time.

It is our goal to share our 'passion for nautical history' among like minded history buffs and to fire the imagination of those yet to tread the decking. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with comments or questions that you may have or indeed to share any research and findings that you have made."

Going abroad this year? The BBC Languages 'Quick Fix - essential phrases in 40 languages' might be useful. We have given it before, but at this time of year it's worth repeating.

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 5,009 groups with 8,862,750 members around the world. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.

Each local group is moderated by local volunteers. Membership is free. To find your community enter it into the search box or by clicking on 'Browse Groups' above the search box.


Philosophy Groups: The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP) (ISSN 2161-0002) was founded in 1995 as a non-profit organization to provide open access to detailed, scholarly information on key topics and philosophers in all areas of philosophy. The Encyclopedia receives no funding, and operates through the volunteer work of the editors, which consists of editors, authors, volunteers, and technical advisers.

Most of the articles in The IEP are original contributions by specialized philosophers; these are identifiable by the author’s name at the foot of the article. Others are temporary, or “proto articles,” and have largely been adapted from older sources. They are identifiable by the inclusion of the initials “IEP” at the close and will in time be replaced by original articles.

All Groups: The web is absolutely stuffed with fascinating educational videos on every subject imaginable. No Internet connection where you meet? No matter - these videos are easily downloaded to a laptop to be played back and projected later onto a screen or a convenient wall.

The software to do this is 'Replay Media Catcher' and in the opinion of this writer every local group should have it as well as the digital projector that turns every home or hall into a private cinema. Both software and hardware are well worth the purchase price.

NEW YEAR: This issue of SIGNPOST comes a day early in order to help you with your resolutions for 2012. For a start, forget all those boring resolutions like 'Losing weight', 'Managing your money', 'Eating healthy food', 'Drinking less'. That's old stuff, and has it ever worked in the past?

Instead why not emulate the Stoics? A Masterplan provided by N.S. Gill consisting of 5 resolutions to live by next year can be found here.

Don't clickaway yet... have a look first. It will only take you five minutes and it may change your life!

Creative Writing Groups and Newsletter Editors: Writing a piece on some subject or other and are stuck for a turn of phrase that you haven't already used? The Phrase Thesaurus unsticks you. It generates lists of phrases and sayings related to the topic you are interested in - often including imaginative selections that you may not have first thought of. Not free, but a group could club together to subscribe.
Do you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter in future? Ask them to email tom@worldu3a.org with a request and they will be put on the list. This webpage may be printed onto both sides of an A4 page and distributed to those with no Internet.