12 May 2011


OBI-WAN. If you are able to read the following simply in the context of the Star Wars film franchise, it will come across as brilliant satire. If you read the following through the lens of recent events, it will also come across as brilliant satire, a poke at American imperialism. Here is a teaser -- "'Obi-Wan Kenobi, the mastermind of some of the most devastating attacks on the Galactic Empire and the most hunted man in the galaxy, was killed in a firefight with Imperial forces near Alderaan,' Darth Vader announced on Sunday. In a late-night appearance in the East Room of the Imperial Palace, Lord Vader declared that 'justice has been done,' as he disclosed that agents of the Imperial Army and Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion had finally cornered Kenobi, one of the leaders of the Jedi rebellion, who had eluded the Empire for nearly two decades. Imperial officials said Kenobi resisted, and was cut down by Lord Vader's own lightsaber. He was later dumped out an airlock.

" .... Obi-Wan Kenobi's demise is a defining moment in the Stormtrooper-led fight against terrorism, a symbolic stroke affirming the relentlessness of the pursuit of those who turned against the Empire at the end of the Clone Wars. What remains to be seen, however, is whether it galvanizes Kenobi's followers by turning him into a martyr, or serves as a turning of the page in the war against the Rebel Alliance and gives further impetus to Emporer Palpatine to step up Stormtrooper recruitment.

"In an earlier statement issued to the press, Kenobi boasted that striking him down would make him 'more powerful than you can possibly imagine.'

For further details, read Obi-Wan Kenobi Is Dead. But don't believe all that you read.

ILLUSION. A mysterious illusion that illustrates how motion can render color changes invisible won the "Best Illusion of 2010", and it also taught researchers something they didn't know. Click on the link to view the 14-second video, and learn more about how your mind is processing what your eyes see. It's quite stunning.

SENIORLAND 2050. As recently as 1960, people over 65 accounted for under 10 percent of the U.S. population, and the average age at the time of death was just under 70. Since then, advances in medicine and increasingly widespread health-consciousness have caused these numbers to rise precipitously. Demographers predict that by 2030, average life expectancy will have climbed past 80, and people over 65 will account for more than 20 percent of the country's population. Old age in the future -- particularly if you're looking at 2050 or later -- promises to bear little resemblance to old age as it is experienced in 2011. If you're 30 now, and would like a glimpse at what to expect at age 80, learn more in The Future of Old. It's an issue of special interest to those whose families, like mine, already tend to live well into their 80s. The prospect of old age being less limiting and more fulfilling is appealing indeed.

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