Issue number one hundred and thirtyone (November 2011) 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 Indian Society of Universities of the Third Age announce an International Conference, to be held at the Chinmaya Vibhooti Conference Centre, Pune, India.

It is assisted by the U3A Asia Pacific Alliance, an informal group of country representatives, meeting weekly by teleconference, which is currently run by a 'core group' of seven, listed here.

The Conference will be held on the 12th, to 14th of October 2012. Our Conference Theme is "One World, One Family, through U3A"

Full arrangements for travel and registration, plus details of the conference programme, will be announced on the website at as soon as possible.
A gallery of pictures can be seen here.

Current Affairs and Economics Groups: The new economics foundation is an independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being. Two events in their November programme illustrate their approach...
"Wellbeing statistics: How will Whitehall respond". A talk by Sir Gus O'Donnell, Head of Civil Service,
Wednesday 2 November 2011 14:30 - 15:30
Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, Bridge Street, SW1A 2LW
Can we live better with less? presented by Transition Minehead & Alcombe, Friday 11 November 2011 19:00 at West Somerset Community College, Bircham Road, Alcombe, Minehead, TA24 6AY
The National Archives is the UK government's official archive, containing over 1,000 years of history - from Domesday Book to the latest websites. It gives detailed guidance to government departments and the public sector on information management and advises others about the care of historical archives. (Thank you Maggie Roberts - Shoreham & Southwick U3A).

Non-Scots Groups: The wonderful website offers an instant illustrated translation service for such arcane terms as 'To stammle' - as in "Jings yer pulse is fairly fleein, but ah’m no a real nurse ye ken. I wiz jist bikin bye on the way tae a fancy dress foy when ye suddenly stammled intae the leerie stoup."

Non-Australian Groups can find a guide to 'Strine' at

Archaeology and History Groups: The PaleoBabble blog is strongly recommended in this New Gullible Age. It describes itself as "Your antidote to cyber-twaddle and misguided research about the ancient world". The banner it displays (right) of a flying saucer visiting the Great Pyramid of Cheops says it all.

The excellent U3A Dublin presentation by Helene Dooley is a comprehensive overview of U3A worldwide - its history and its international extent and influence. More than just a description of the various groups to be found, it is also an entertainment, with photographs of activities from many countries.

It is in pdf (Portable Document Format) but easily convertible to a slide-show using the 'Window/Full-screen' option.

Helene is second from right in our picture and says "I'm an Independent Researcher, living in Dublin, Ireland, specialising in Adult Education, Community and Overseas Development"

Sci/Tech Groups: Towards Eternal Flight - QinetiQ Zephyr Solar UAV, C Kelleher.
Zephyr is the first to demonstrate that solar aircraft are capable of "eternal" flight in the stratosphere with real payloads. Reaching an altitude over 70,000 ft in July 2010 at 14 days it is the world's longest flight by aeroplane without refuelling. Organised by the Institute of Engineering and Technology Hereford and Worcester Network. 7 November 2011, 19:30

Visit BBC Hereford and Worcester, Howard Bentham and Andrew Easton, Presenters. Meet the presenters, see the facilities at our local BBC radio station and find out how programmes are made. Organised by the Hereford and Worcester Network.

Railway and Engineering Groups:
Many of us will remember the days when anything chinese or japanese was assumed to be a cheap and shoddy imitation of British Engineering. When Movietone News could openly scoff at "the arrival on the Island (Man) of the little yellow men and their sewing machine motors" a reference to a company called Honda coming 1st 2nd and 3rd in the 97cc class. Difficult to scoff now at some achievements. The attached slideshow of the Beijing/Shanghai Bullet train lasts 10 minutes - please be patient when downloading, it's 6 Mbytes long. (Thank you, mysterious Nice Lady) and also on YOUTUBE here.
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