Issue number one hundred and thirty-eight (June 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.

HEALTH: Eating a curry once or twice a week could help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, a US researcher suggests.

The key ingredient is curcumin, a component of the spice turmeric. Curcumin appears to prevent the spread of amyloid protein plaques - thought to cause dementia - in the brain. But the theory, presented at the Royal College of Psychiatrists' annual meeting, has been given a lukewarm reception by UK experts.

In addition, suggests that a chemical found in curry is to be tested for its ability to kill bowel cancer tumours in patients. Curcumin, which is found in the spice turmeric, has been linked to a range of health benefits. Studies have already shown that it can beat cancer cells grown in a laboratory and benefits have been suggested in stroke and dementia patients as well.

Gardening Groups: Something different... SEEDBOMBS! Australian gardening guru Jerry Coleby-Williams explains how to make seed bombs for Australia and other southern hemisphere climates, the recipe for which is very different to those you will find for seed bombs in the UK, Europe and other northern hemisphere areas.

For the UK version learn all about making them with Josie Jeffery's video on YOUTUBE at

Cheap holidays: One way to keep holiday costs down is to exchange your home with someone somewhere else. It's a mutual exchange of homes, usually at the same time, for a holiday in your own country or abroad. As it's a direct swap of homes, there are no rental charges for either party, making it a very economical way to travel.

You can find out more at and there's a three-minute video about it here.

Computer Groups: Welcome to Udacity! We currently offer the following computer courses, with many more to come. All our courses are free, and you are welcome to sign up at any time. CS101 (Building a Search Engine) and CS373 (Programming A Robotic Car) are now open classes, you can enroll and follow along at your own pace. The remainder of our classes are being offered for the first time, new units will be posted once every week starting April 16th for seven weeks, and we suggest you follow along if you can although it is not required. We currently offer exams for all classes every eight weeks.
Book Groups: Here's an interesting blog - well worth your group discussing it - Literature as therapy. The tagline is "How great literature can change your life" and the owner/lecturer says "Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so". Strongly recommended, it can be found at

Computer Training: ALISON is the 'Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online' and they offer a wide range of free lessons in computing and management skills.

"ALISON provides a new world of free online learning opportunity” UNESCO Director General, Dr Irina Bokovo.

“ALISON opens up the world of knowledge offering new, flexible, and exciting ways to learn” Dept. of Innovation, Universities & Skills, UK GOVT

Smartphones a boon to the elderly. China will improve its cultural service coverage for members of minority groups, handicapped people and other special groups, according to a cultural development plan for the 2011-2015 period issued on Wednesday.

"Public cultural services will be improved for women, minors, the elderly and the disabled. We will also support the creation of cultural products for ethnic groups and translate more quality Mandarin products into minority languages," said the Outline for the 12th Five-Year Program (2011-2015) on Cultural Reform and Development. Full text here.

Walking and Rambling Groups: Guides to 5,872 (and still growing) routes in England, France, Scotland, Spain, Wales, Norway, Portugal, and Northern Ireland.

It's costs £18 p.a. for your group to register, but all guides are free to download. Alternatively you can buy an individual walk for £1.95 using a credit card or PayPal. For more information and a sample guide click here.

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

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