Issue number one hundred and thirty-five (March 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.

A Very Special Event: On March 16th the first meeting in Iceland of a University of the Third Age will take place in Reykjavik. You are invited to send greetings from your City or Town or Group to the meeting convener, Ingibjörg Rannveig Guðlaugsdóttir - and a selection will be read out at the meeting.
The elderly are disproportionately affected by environmental problems, but their voices are not often heard on these issues. A University of York project aims to change that.

The EnviroSurvey55, which will be distributed by researchers in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia and can be taken online from anywhere in the world, seeks to identify difficulties that people over age 55 face in personally taking action to reduce their environment footprint.

The survey can be found at

Confirmation at last.... loneliness is bad for our health. Seriously bad. Doctors have known this for decades. People with fewer social relationships die earlier on average than those with more social relationships. But, even though many prospective studies of mortality (death) have included measures of social relationships, the idea that this is a risk factor, comparable to smoking or alcohol is still not widely recognized by health organizations and the public. See

This important website is run by the Joint Information Systems Committee, an organisation that funds and supports the use of technology in the UK Further and Higher Education sector. It provides an introduction to digital collections for education. They are mainly aimed at university students, researchers and librarians but many of the online archives are open to anyone. The collections cover history, social sciences, or science and engineering and include journals, newspapers and images.

These credible, trusted sources of information collections are supported via JISC and JISC Collections. They are provided in association with publishers and institutions including The British Library, The National Archives, Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomson Reuters, Oxford University Press and many other leading universities and libraries.
Thank you Angela Doughty, Thanet U3A UK.

Internet Campaigns: We have not previously reported on websites such as 38degrees on the grounds that it could be seen as 'special pleading', but perhaps the time has come to put the question to our readers. Please look at this website and respond to the editor with your views (which will be reported in a later issue).

"38 Degrees is a community of UK citizens working together to bring about real change in the UK by taking action on the issues that we all care about. In nature, avalanches begin when they reach the tipping point angle of 38 Degrees. We work together in our hundreds of thousands to defend fairness, protect rights, promote peace, preserve the planet and deepen democracy.

We are not connected with any political parties, and are funded by donations from members. Our independence means that we can campaign on issues that we feel passionately about and that we decide on together. We are driven by issues and outcomes, and judge all politicians by the same standards".

Railfuture is the UK's leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for both passengers and freight. Our regional groups and volunteers campaign to get stations and lines reopened, for the benefit of the community, economy and environment. We have had a major part in getting 300 new and reopened stations to join the network since 1970. Click on for more information.
Thank you Graham Collett, U3A York, UK.

The Third U3A Asia Pacific Alliance International Conference at Chinmaya Vibhooti, Pune, India, is now calling for papers and presentations.
   A registration form and further information can be found at the website

Computer Groups: These TECHNICAL GEMS from U3A Online Rick Swindell's GEMS newsletter surely merit a wider audience. If you have diffiiculty with 'tinyurl' the originals are online at (Great stuff Rick - maybe we should get together?!?!)

How Did My Email Account Get Hijacked?

How Often Should I Defrag?

You need a portable arsenal of troubleshooting tools to solve common computer
problems. These Free Tech Support Software Tools can be stored on a USB flash drive

Why spend money on Adobe's outrageously expensive Acrobat Suite in order to manipulate PDF files
when there are freebies available that will do just about anything you want? Annotate PDF pages,
edit pages, extract pages, append pages, merge pages or whatever

Online Virus Scanning. Upload a file and, within half a minute or so, it'll be scanned by no less
than 43 different programs and the results instantly displayed

Stop Web Trackers and Protect Your Privacy with This New Free Browser Add-On

TIP: How to Get the Most Out of the 7-Zip File Archiver Program

100 Excellent Hints and Tips for every Computer User

How to Tell if a Link Is Safe Without Clicking on It

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