Seeing Is Believing: Mars, the Moon, and Stars

Photo of the Moon taken on a camera and placed on the eyepiece of the 60" telescope. Photo by Janet Greene.

Photo of the Moon taken on a camera and placed on the eyepiece of the 60″ telescope. Photo by Janet Greene.

OLLI members enrolled in Seeing Is Believing: Mars, the Moon, and Stars enjoyed a special treat on Saturday, January 7. They were taken by chartered bus to the top of the Angeles Crest Forest to look through the 60-inch telescope at the Mt. Wilson Observatory, considered the birthplace of modern astronomy. Highlights included  craters on the Moon, globular clusters, planetary nebulae, and stars and the grand finale — Saturn and its rings. Luckily for us, the Session Director of the Mt. Wilson Observatory 60-inch telescope happens to also be the instructor of this annual OLLI course.

Some comments from students:

It was low risk to take a class in astronomy for the first time.  Am I delighted that I did!  I had no idea how meaningful it would be and expand my own limited universe. Mt. Wilson made me feel so much more intimate with the skies.  It was a connection that gave me a whole new appreciation and curiosity for something that I never had expected to encounter in my life.  Shelley Bonus’s teaching style is inclusive, entertaining and rich with opportunities to ask questions, no matter how elementary.  She makes learning FUN!

The trip to Mt. Wilson gave new meaning to “special”! Now I know what an “out of this world” experience is. It raised so many philosophical issues for me that will give me lots to think about in the coming years.

The class was followed by an incredible field trip to the Mount Wilson Observatory for a night of star and moon gazing. It was an experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Going to the Mt. Wilson Observatory and viewing the Moon, Saturn, Mars, globular clusters, planetary nebulae were the highlights of the class and “out of this world.”

If all instructors had the dynamic presentation and informed and informative content as was delivered by Shelley Bonus, there would be no drop out rate and all places of learning would be overflowing. There is room for discussion; all questions are considered. Exemplary!

 

Saturn through the 60" telescope. Photo by Janet Greene.

Saturn through the 60-inch telescope. Photo by Janet Greene.

The 60" telescope inside the dome. Photo by Janet Greene.

The 60-inch telescope inside the dome. Photo by Janet Greene.

Session Director and Instructor, Shelley Bonus. Photo by Mary Ann Wilson

Session Director and Instructor, Shelley Bonus. Photo by Mary Ann Wilson

The moon through the 60" telescope. Photo by Janet Greene

The moon through the 60-inch telescope. Photo by Janet Greene

Olli Spring Luncheon

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On June 9, OLLI members were treated to a free lunch. Wayne Smutz, the new Dean of UCLA Extension, gave a presentation on the state of education, his vision of UCLA Extension, and development opportunities for OLLI.

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John Snibbe

John Snibbe

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Woody Hanaro

Woody Hanaro

Ted Bennett

Ted Bennett

Marlene Zweig

Marlene Zweig

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Retiree Volunteer Opportunity List

retireeThe UCLA Volunteer Center values providing service opportunities to all members of the community. Please check out their new Retiree Opportunities List, a curated collection of service opportunities geared specifically towards retirees. These opportunities are fun and exciting ways in which retirees can continue their involvement within local communities while using their lifetime experience, bringing wisdom and expertise to every project they participate in.

Young blood reverses effects of aging in mice

An old mouse, left, may benefit from the blood of a young mouse, right.

An old mouse, left, may benefit from the blood of a young mouse, right.

In a group of studies published May 4, 2014 in the journals Science and Nature Medicine, researchers say old mice who were infused with the blood of spry younger mice showed clear improvements in memory, sensory function, strength and endurance.

Led by Stanford School of Medicine in California, the study introduces the idea that age-related decline is reversible, pointing the way to potential new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Researchers say a specific protein, found in the blood of mice and humans, appears to be at the root of this rejuvenation. They say they hope to test the protein’s effect on humans in clinical trials in the next few years.

To read the Los Angeles Times article, click here

To read the study in Nature Medicine, click here

OLLI Partners with the American Language Center

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On February 18, 2014 our OLLI members partnered with UCLA Extension’s American Language Center to assist foreign students in refining their English. Our members helped by presenting a piece of their life story for examination and discussion. This is a phenomenon across many colleges campus whereby the young learn from opsimaths in the community. In a Friday April 11, 2014 Los Angeles Times supplement, a profile appeared on this subject which featured our own director, Lynda Wilson, providing the context of this concept: “Traditional learning is outcome-based, where students are motivated to learn primarily by external pressures from parents, teachers/trainers, employers, the consequences of failure, grade, certificates, etc.,” says Lynda Wilson, director of Humanities & Sciences, UCLA Extension. “Mature students don’t typically share this motivation. They are interested in the sheer joy of learning, so it is important courses aren’t designed to be strictly outcome-based. Lifelong learning courses also provide mature students with opportunities to stay engaged and meet new friends, which enhance longevity and vitality.”

Thank you to our OLLI participants!

Madeleine Albright to deliver Luskin Lecture, accept UCLA’s highest honor

The Next Generation of Global Leadership: A Conversation with the Honorable Madeleine Albright

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will present remarks and participate in a public discussion hosted by the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Prior to her address, presented as part of the Meyer and Renee Luskin Lecture Series, Albright will receive the UCLA Medal, the university’s highest honor, from former UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale.
 
When: Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, 7 p.m.
 
Where: UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles, 90095
 
RSVP required. For free tickets visit albrightluskinlecture.eventbrite.com.
 
Click here for more details.

The Corpus Christi Lifelong Learning Summer School

The Corpus Christi Lifelong Learning Summer School

31 August – 13 September 2014

After the great success of their first Lifelong Learning programs in the summer of 2013 the Corpus Christi College of the University of Cambridge is delighted to announce details of their 2014 Lifelong Learning Summer School. This residential summer school, based at Corpus, will give lifelong learners the extraordinary opportunity to experience something of Cambridge student life in the context of a program specifically designed for adult learners.

More information, including reviews written by last summer’s participants, is available on their website at www.corpus.cam.ac.uk/lifelong-learning

More Perry Wolff Screenings

In case you missed them, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute @ UCLA will show the three documentaries on the works of Michelangelo, Picasso and van Gogh again this March. The speaker, Perry Wolff, is the producer, writer and narrator of each documentary to be presented to OLLI members this December.  Mr. Wolff has won 15 Emmy awards, 14 Peabody Awards, numerous Writers Guild, Du Pont and Polk awards and a Motion Picture Academy nomination.

March 6: Michelangelo Restored 1:30-3pm, Reg# 246296: For 13 years, camera crews followed the painstaking restoration of the Sistine Chapel and the cleaning of Michelangelo’s frescoes. Michelangelo, Restored documents this amazing rebirth, as well as the complexity of the great master’s extraordinary accomplishment. This one-hour award-winning documentary will be followed by Q &A. Suggested book: Michelangelo and the Ceiling, Ross King.

March 13: Picasso Paints Picasso 1:30-3pm, Reg# 246297: Pablo Picasso is the most famous painter of the 20th Century.  In his lifetime he created twenty thousand works of art. His favorite subject was himself, often disguised, and almost everything he painted was a clue to his life.  The puzzle of Picasso is that he drew a diary of his emotions every day.  Every canvas was an entry into his personal Spanish journal. This one hour documentary, which won Mr. Wolff a third Writer’s Guild award, will be followed by Q &A. Suggested book: A Life of Picasso, John Richardson.

March 20: Becoming Van Gogh 1:30-3pm, Reg# 246298: Vincent van Gogh started as a poverty stricken impressionist, but his paintings became the most valuable canvases in the history of art. The artist may have suffered from mental illness but he never lost touch with reality, which is manifested in his letters and art. He said,  “I am not strictly speaking mad, for my mind is absolutely normal in the intervals, and even more so than before. But during the attacks it is terrible – and then I lose consciousness of everything. But that spurs me on to work and to seriousness, as a miner who is always in danger makes haste in what he does.” This one hour documentary, which was nominated for an Oscar, will be followed by Q &A. Suggested book:  Dear Theo, The Autobiography of Vincent van Gogh, Irving Stone & Jean Stone.

To reserve a spot, please call Registration at 310.825.9971 with the appropriate registration number, click on the course link, or visit www.uclaextension.edu and use the Quick Enroll tab as pictured below.

Quick Enroll