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

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

Jean Thompson, who formed the U3A UK International Subject Group and encouraged our adoption of the Internet and helped to start our website as our medium of exchange, has decided to retire. Looking back on Jean's astonishing career one quickly realises that she is not your average busy Third-ager.

After 4 years in the Royal Air Force as an Education Officer she moved to Cyprus just in time for the civil war that broke out. Then - 4 more years of teaching in the USA - followed by 4 years teaching at Trinity College Dublin. Then spent some years rice farming in Brazil where, after the loss of her husband, she managed to bring up her five children single-handed.

Her work with the Third Age Trust is equally amazing. Six years on the NEC, chairman for part of that time, started the Subject Networks, and since she had by then acquired 10 languages (including Russian, Mandarin Chinese and Esperanto) she spent 6 years as the UK's Third Age Trust representative for AIUTA - the International Association of the Third Age. "It's been a busy life" she says, "and I think the time has come for me to take it easy". She will continue to support us and remains a part of our WorldU3A Steering Group.

Please send greetings to the just-forming U3A Cork group above. As part of the Cork Lifelong Learning Festival, Adult Continuing Education UCC hosted an enlightening Interactive open book session - pictured above. Their website can be seen at and their director Dr. Séamus Ó Tuama says "we've been in existence for about 3 months now, and came across U3A while looking for resources on the Internet. Our programme and aims are so much like a U3A group that we have decided to start one here in Cork".

Summer Outings: At Compton Verney our 'Flight and the Artistic Imagination' exhibition is now open. It contains some amazing paintings, photos, sculpture and film pieces which illustrate how flight has inspired artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Mark Wallinger.

Listen to Richard Cork's review on BBC Radio 3 Night Waves
Find out more about events at
Buy the accompanying publication from our online shop

Daily exhibition tours start 7 July at 12 noon - and you can sign up on arrival.

All Internet Users (yes, all): You should check your computer for a malicious bit of 'malware' known as THE DNS CHANGER. The check is perfectly safe to run online and you can carry out the check here. There are also instructions on how to clean your computer.

On November 8 2011, the FBI, the NASA-OIG and Estonian police arrested several cyber criminals in “Operation Ghost Click”. The criminals distributed DNS changing viruses, variously known as TDSS, Alureon, TidServ and TDL4 viruses. You can read more on the FBI website.

Under a court order, expiring July 9, the Internet Systems Consortium is operating replacement DNS servers for the Rove Digital network. This will allow affected networks time to identify infected hosts, and avoid sudden disruption of services to victim machines.

Online Learning with TED: In 2011 Peter Norvig taught a class with Sebastian Thrun on artificial intelligence at Stanford attended by 175 students in situ -- and over 100,000 via an interactive webcast. Here he shares what he learned about teaching to a global classroom.

Peter Norvig is a leading American computer scientist, an expert on artificial intelligence and the Director of Research at Google Inc.

Every year, up to £5.5 billion of Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit – money intended for people on low incomes – goes unclaimed by older people in the UK. Last year, Age UK helped half a million older people put more money in their pockets by advising them on the benefits they were missing out on.

If you’re aged 60 or over, you could be entitled to benefits that you haven’t been able to claim before. These can help you keep your independence and improve your standard of living by helping with housing costs, care needs and general expenses. So it’s well worth reading through this guide from AgeUK to see whether you’re claiming all that you’re due.

All Subject Groups: If you've ever wished that YouTube was more serious, in-depth, or intellectual, then here's a treat for you. A web site from which you can watch more than 6000 thousand full-length documentary programmes on everything from money to health to music to sexuality.
(Thanks Gizmos Best Freeware and Rick Swindell's GEMS)

Current Affairs Groups, Members Meetings: Not just a story for children, but actually a serious programme about a very serious subject. This award-winning documentary looks at the economic systems that drive our world, and sometimes fail us. Two hours in length, it may be too much for a full members meeting, but when downloaded from YOUTUBE it can be shown in two parts.

As with all other YOUTUBE offerings, it can be downloaded onto a laptop with Replay Media Catcher and shown with a digital projector. (Thank you Tone Nolan).

GEMS from U3A Online Rick Swindell's newsletter surely merit a wider audience. They can be found online at

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