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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Boomers: You’re only as old as you feel

Boomer bits. That was the original name for this column. Thank goodness for alert Spokesman-Review copy editor Ruth Reynolds who reminded me that “bits” can sometimes be slang for “parts.” And I don’t mean car parts.

So this no-name column will feature boomer statistics and studies and other items of interest, as well as boomer-related social-media eruptions and some upcoming events of interest to readers. In other words, bits of information.

Bad tapes: Older people can shave seven years off their lives by feeling bad about being old. Source: Yale School of Public Health.

Nostalgia manipulation: Hasbro, makers of the Monopoly game, got oodles of free press when it announced recently that it was retiring some of its traditional game pieces and asked people to vote which pieces should go, replaced by newer contenders: guitar, helicopter, robot, ring or cat. Companies will shamelessly use nostalgia to generate boomer’s attention and buying power. So beware.

One of my fondest childhood memories is playing Monopoly for hours at the Kopet’s house while it rained or snowed outside. Hours! Whoever had that much time? And no batteries or screens. Hasbro, don’t you dare touch that iron.

See how this nostalgia manipulation works?

Survey land: AARP regularly publishes surveys that shed light on boomer reality.

• People still like paper. Approximately seven in 10 respondents say they would be more likely to read (70 percent) and save (73 percent) retirement plan documents if they were delivered on paper versus online.

• Don’t hang up yet. Six in 10 people surveyed own a telephone landline and a cellphone, and nine in 10 will keep the landline indefinitely.

• Big, better, best. Seventy-eight percent of those surveyed are satisfied with the size of their family, but those who were not wished their families were bigger.

Trending in social media: Photos of cookware popular in the 1960s, including plug-in skillets and CorningWare casserole dishes with blue flowers.

From the news vault: “The hippies have emerged on the U.S. scene as a wholly new subculture, a bizarre permutation of the middle-class American ethos from which it evolved. Hippiedom (is) a cult whose mystique derives essentially from the influence of hallucinogenic drugs. Unlike other accepted stimuli, from nicotine to liquor, the hallucinogens promise those who take the trip a magic-carpet escape from reality in which perceptions are heightened, senses distorted, and the imagination permanently bedazzled with visions of teleological verity.” Time magazine, July 7, 1967.

This week, a sampling: Snowshoeing Basics, 7 p.m. Thursday, REI, 1125 N. Monroe St., Spokane. (509) 328-9900. Spokane Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, 1206 N. Howard St., Spokane, (509) 835-5011. For more activities, go to