Radio, books and newspapers

1 April 2009
Some of you might remember that I did an interview with Radio National recently. That program will be broadcast tomorrow, Thursday, at 8.30 am Australian eastern time. The program is call Future Tense, here is their website, a description of the program is here.
And here is part of the Radio National email sent earlier this week:
"You can let your international readers know that they can either download the program (as a podcast) or listen to the streaming audio. All the audio options will be available on the site about 30 minutes after the program goes to air.

There will also be a transcript that will be available later in the day on Thursday.

This link might be of interest for some of your Australian readers. It lists all the different radio frequencies for Radio National across the country."

If you miss it, there will be a podcast for download about 30 minutes after the broadcast. They also interview journalist from I hope you enjoy it.

I have to do some catch up chores this morning - I'll make the bed, tidy up, bake bread, check the garden, skin some luffas and then settle in for some more book writing. I'm in the final stages of the book proposal, which will be sold to a publisher at the end of April. I'm enjoying the process, even if the transition from my voluntary work on Mondays and Tuesdays back to home, then writing is a bit of a jolt. I think it keeps my brain working well so I'm happy for that.

Speaking of working brains, I have been reading about Blue Zones lately. You might all know a lot more than I do because when I started googling, I found it had been the subject of an Oprah show a while back. So bear with me if I'm just repeating what you already know.

I find the concept of Blue Zones fascinating. Basically, they're fairly isolated areas around the world where people commonly live very long lives, often over 100 years. The Blue Zones already identified are Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, California, USA, Sardinia, Italy and there may also be one in Costa Rica. The diagram demonstrates the common factors in the communities in Japan, USA and Italy. (Click on the diagram to enlarge it.)

The following passage and list, in quotes, is from Wiki:

"The people inhabiting Blue Zones share common lifestyle characteristics that contribute to their longevity. Among the lifestyle characteristics shared among the Okinawa, Sardinia, and Loma Linda Blue Zones are the following:[2]

  • Family - Family is put ahead of other concerns.
  • No Smoking - Centenarians do not typically smoke.
  • Plant-Based Diet - The majority of food consumed is derived from plants.
  • Constant Moderate Physical Activity - Moderate physical activity is an inseparable part of life.
  • Social Engagement - People of all ages are socially active and integrated into their communities.
  • Legumes - Legumes are commonly consumed."

I find it really interesting, and affirming, that the five principles above link in very nicely with the way many of us live. We have an emphasis on family, I have never written about smoking before but Hanno and I don't smoke, we eat a plant-based diet, including a lot of beans, and I love these last two - social engagement with people of all ages socially active and integrated into their communities and constant moderate physical activity.

From what I've read, the constant moderate physical activity is often associated with gardening and the work needed to run a home well. These people look after themselves, and then reap the benefits of that moderate activity and social engagement. I hope to live to a ripe old age and it looks like I might have a chance if I keep living this simple life.

And finally, I found this charming newspaper article I want to share with you. I think it shows the benefits, for both young and old, when fellowship and generosity are explored. In our youth obsessed culture it's nice to find such a wonderful and enriching account of friendship.

Hello and welcome to all the new readers. Thank you for the comments left yesterday, and for all the links to labels. I'll try to get back to them, and some emails, later today.