The Fourth of July is at the end of this week. Many towns have festivities and spectacular fireworks displays at night. Some big cities, too. In New York, the Macy's spectacular is moving from the Hudson River side back to the East River. The Boston Pops' concert will be streamed online for the first time. PBS will continue its tradition of broadcasting from the US Capitol in Washington, DC. This year also is the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner, penned by Francis Scott Key at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Philadelphia is having its own share of festivities as well. All in all, it should be a fun time anywhere along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, and a time to reflect on the privilege and responsibility of living in a free society, guided by a Constitution, where the free flow of ideas allows us to debate the merits and drawbacks of an infinite stream of ideas.
Sometimes these ideas and ideals are challenged, as on September 11th, but then these challenges have a way of bringing us closer together. Last summer, throughout the month of July, it was an amazing sight to see the new World Trade Center lit up in red, white, and blue. In the hills of West Orange, New Jersey, perhaps 10 to 15 miles away from lower Manhattan, stands a beautiful tribute to the events of September 11th, overlooking an incredibly panoramic view of the New York skyline. Engraved on a wall are the names of those who lost their lives on that horrific day. What strikes me is the diversity of names, whether they are from the USA or abroad. Our differences are what make us strong.
Growing up in Brooklyn in July 1969, I remember the days when our family gathered around the single black-and-white television to watch the landing on the moon. In this case, it was probably downstairs with my grandparents, because my parents were on their way to The City (aka, Manhattan) for the birth of my youngest brother. That was a pretty exciting year for my family and for the Big Apple. One of my older brother's Bar Mitzvah was on the weekend the Jets won their one and only Super Bowl, against the Baltimore Colts, led by Joe Namath. The Mets would follow in October with their first World Series win, versus the Baltimore Orioles, with a pitching staff that included Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan.
Flash forward to 2014. You can get a ton of information about the moon landing and future space exploration on the internet. The web also is a treasure chest for sports statistics enthusiasts. Google works wonders for researching both. Most households now have two or more color televisions, and in many cases smartphones and tablets allow viewers to access programming on their mobile devices as well. This all leads to the question about how older seniors are adapting to the new technological choices. According to the Pew Research Center, seniors have tended to embrace the technology up until around age 75, then usage tails off due to health and other factors. Interestingly, tablets and e-readers are the devices of choice among seniors — perhaps because the screens are more reader-friendly and larger than on smartphones.
Here are some noteworthy items from the Pew study:
Interestingly, when Apple last week announced new upcoming features for its operating systems, the ability to answer iPhone calls on a Mac or an iPad was mentioned. It will be interesting to see if this increased user-friendliness will resonate with seniors in new ways.
Blog Author - Ken Felsher
With over 25 years of writing, editing, and research experience. I enjoy sharing with my readers my love of working with content on a variety of subjects.
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