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From juniors to seniors
Jun 20th, 2021 by Warren Swil

Retirement brings a chance

for a second (or third) act

Like many folks in their 60’s, I approached my retirement in

The Raconteur, retired at 67

the summer of 2019 with a mixture of glee and trepidation.
Freed from my classroom obligations, I was anticipating many wonderful days of leisure and relaxation. Simultaneously, I was concerned about how to include productive and fulfilling activities in at least some of those days.
Finding a second – or even third – act is often a challenge for many of us after our work life is over. For me, it was a matter of “graduating” from juniors (teaching students mostly under 25) to seniors (those over 60).
I spotted a teaching opportunity at the Pasadena Senior Center and barely a month after my last class at Pasadena City College, began my first semester as an instructor at the PSC.


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NUCLEAR POWER: Unseen revolution that could change the world

THORIUM SEEN AS NEW SOURCE OF ATOMIC ENERGY
A new source of fuel for atomic energy reactors is under development in several countries and researchers report encouraging results.
Thorium is said to be more plentiful and much safer than Uranium.
But two of the world’s leading economies – Germany and Japan – are abandoning nuclear power altogether, moving towards renewable energy.
Does the source of a new, supposedly safer and more easily disposable fuel change the equation?
The jury is still out on the answer.


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OPEN GAMES: An answer to Russian homophobia

EVENTS FOR LGBT ATHLETES TO BE HELD AFTER OLYMPICS
With the controversial Winter Olympics in Sochi less than 100 days away, a little-known alternative for the gay community has emerged.
A courageous group is now sponsoring the “Open Games” with an invitation specifically to the global LGBT community.
It certainly would be a slap in the face to Russian Dictator-wannabe Vladimir Putin, who surely deserves one.


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‘ALONE TOGETHER:’ How the vast interconnected world keeps us apart

MIT PROFESSOR, NOTED AUTHOR EXPLAINS ONLINE ILLUSION
We are all more interconnected than ever, thanks to the world wide web and all the different ways we can connect to it.
But, paradoxically, the more connected we are, the less we are truly connected to each other – the way we always were and the way we were meant to be.
Get up. Go out. Breathe the fresh air.
Look at the person you are with.
Don’t be the one to miss out on life because you are too preoccupied with your online illusions.


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SNAFU AT SOCHI: Russian Olympic stadium ‘a disaster,’ media say

DID ANTI-GAY LAWS SABOTAGE GIANT CONSTRUCTION PROJECT?
With just a few months left until the Opening Ceremonies at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Russian media over the weekend called the main venue “a disaster.”
The entire Sochi event, however, has been clouded with controversy since the summer enactment of anti-gay laws by the Russian parliament.
Homophobic President Vladimir Putin may be a strong man and a strongman, but not even his superhuman “strength” can ensure the construction is complete.
There may be no need for a boycott after all. The world may just decide to stay away rather than risk attending in an unsafe and half-finished Fisht Stadium.


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Public art in LA hard to find, but not rare

RENAISSANCE EXPECTED AFTER CITY LIFTS BAN ON MURALS
Public art is hard to find in Los Angeles except in a few notable locations like world-famous Venice Beach.
Aficionados are expecting something of a renaissance now the City Council has lifted a long-running ban on murals.
Imagine, therefore, my delight, when discovering there is actually a veritable smorgasbord of art – from crude to rude and inspiring to insipid – scattered all over the ethnic enclaves of the inner city.
In a three-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard (made famous by so many Hollywood references) and also east of downtown, examples abound.


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Immersive, participatory art exhibit transforms beach into unique playground

‘GLOW SANTA MONICA’ LIGHTS UP THE NIGHT AND THE IMAGINATION
It was a night of inspiration, expanding the imagination to realms unfathomable, immersive, spectacular… pick your own superlative.
Anchored by a half a dozen major installations glowing against the balmy summer night sky, “Glow” is billed as an “all night cultural experience that re-imagines Santa Monica Beach as a playground for original, participatory works of art.”
It definitely fulfills is mission.
As an expression of one of the most creative communities on the planet, “Glow” should be on everyone’s bucket list.


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Walls, checkpoints can’t give Middle East security

ONLY COMPROMISE CAN END PERPETUAL VIOLENT STALEMATE
It is totally understandable that in Israel, tight security checks at every public place have become a way of life. Residents don’t seem to notice; visitors, unaccustomed to it, hardly can not notice.
On two occasions during my recent 10-day visit to the region, security was both overwhelming and, seemingly, futile.
They are the strongest indications I got anywhere that security cannot be bought with walls and checkpoints. It is a chimera.
Security can only be attained through peace. And peace, it seems, can only be accomplished through compromise.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But, I do have a lot more questions.


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Holy Land’s fourth major religious shrine a place of peace, harmony

BAHAI FAITHFUL CALL HAIFA TOMB, GARDENS ITS HOLIEST SITE
As if being home to the holiest shrines of the world’s three major religions is not sufficiently complicated, Israel is also the location of a fourth – lesser known – holy shrine considered by millions the holiest of all.
The Bahai Gardens surrounding the tomb of the religion’s founder, The Bab, sit on the steep slope of Mt. Carmel affording a commanding view of the city of Haifa on Israel’s north coast.
The gardens abound with symbolism.
It is a place of peaceful harmony – quite unlike the bitterly contested Old City in Jerusalem, where the holiest shrines of the world’s three major religions are located.


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Not-so-world famous Hollywood landmarks: the tour

MANY OF THEM SHOULD BE WORLD FAMOUS
Living a stone’s throw from Hollywood is one of the fringe benefits of life in L.A.
But, for so many of the past 50 years, there was no “there” in Hollywood.
Visitors from around the globe had few choices when it came to checking out world famous landmarks. The community was run down, filled with derelict buildings and people.
That has changed recently.
The revitalization is proceeding apace.
Join us on a tour of some of the not-so-world famous landmarks, some of which should be on everyone’s list.


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