Issue number one hundred and ninety (November 2016) from the WorldU3A Service, the U3A Asia Pacific Alliance and the UK Third Age Trust International committee.

Sent on the first day of every month to U3A members and kindred groups anywhere in the world.

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

Effects of Ageing: A report in the UK Financial Times points to a possible need to shift retirement age from 65 to 70 or even 75 - this is due to changes in demography and widespread unemployment; not enough youngsters to support the growing numbers of oldsters. This clearly has implications for U3A.

Since 1990, starting in Japan and now in Western Europe and the US, the number of people in work has fallen compared with all dependants (young and old). There will soon be fewer than 1.5 workers for every dependant. See (subscription) here >>>

This has financial implications because workers tend to do the most saving, while children and the very old tend to spend the most. Hence ageing population tend to save less.

This effect will be reduced if people work longer. Nations with more generous pension provision also have the lowest proportion of workers opting to stay in employment after 65. They have scope to raise retirement ages.

Astronomy Groups: The picture left is a condensed version of 'Picture of the Day' from NASA- the 'Ghost Head Nebula'. Click on it to go to a larger version.

Image Credit: Mohammad Heydari-Malayeri (Observatoire de Paris), ESA, NASA
Explanation: Halloween's origin is ancient and astronomical. Halloween's modern celebration retains historic roots in dressing to scare away the spirits of the dead. Perhaps a fitting tribute to this ancient holiday is this view of the Ghost Head Nebula taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. Similar to the icon of a fictional ghost, NGC 2080 is actually a star forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way Galaxy. The Ghost Head Nebula spans about 50 light-years and is shown in representative colors.
(Thanks to Geoff Boswell, Science Advisor to U3A UK).

Gardening Groups: Raised beds are a great way of growing a wide range of plants, and are particularly popular for growing fruit and vegetables. They are a good way of boosting drainage and can be used to introduce a different soil type to your garden. Raised beds are also a useful way to garden if you have restricted mobility, as they reduce the need to bend. Learn more here >>>

Learning French: Whether beginner or simply wanting to improve existing speech or pronunciation, this is an excellent site for free video and audio lessons. All teachers are French natives.

Weekly lessons available for a fee for advanced speakers. Click here >>>

Learning with U3A: Improving and enlarging month by month -- 54 excellent online self-study courses available to all older people and disabled younger people anywhere in the world. They are especially suited to older members of the community who are isolated either geographically, or through physical or social circumstances (including carers). Click here to learn more >>>

Report from JR Gupta, President of Indian Society of U3As: For the very first time, Senior Citizens Council of Delhi in association with Confederation of Senior Citizens Associations of Delhi organized a meeting with the New Police Commissioner in which more than 500 senior citizens participated. After hearing all suggestions, the following instructions were ordered-

--- 1. Identity cards would be issued by Delhi Police to lonely senior citizens living with their children.
--- 2. Prompt action would be taken to reduce the grievances of senior citizens and Delhi Police would meet
them at their place rather than calling them to the police stations.

U3A Online: A complete GEMs Archive - Rick Swindell's newsletter - pdf printouts of all prior editions can be found at

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