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Byline Burton

Lynn Burton

“Something is happening here and you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones.”- Bob Dylan, 1965Mr. Jones, the befuddled middle aged journalist who Bob Dylan ridiculed in “Ballad of a Thin Man,” is getting the last laugh now.Young folks were so smug when Dylan sang the sarcastic tune back then, because unlike Mr. Jones, they understood why the times were a changin’, and where their generation, if not the whole nation, was headed.It’s 37 years later, and lots of us baby boomers are as clueless as Mr. Jones about what’s right around the corner and approaching fast.Don’t believe it? Take a test. Which of the following terms are you familiar enough with to explain the definitions to someone else:-ADLs.-Biologic aging.-ODOs.-Bachelor herds.That last term is particularly interesting. Bachelor Herds will occur with increasing frequency in societies where older men are allowed to acquire young, new wives. As a result, younger males become hostile and aggressive. This creates “bachelor herds” who are poor, young men without mates prone to violence and crime.The bachelor herd is just one term explained in the new book, “Dictionary of the Future: The words, terms and trends that define the way we’ll live, work and talk,” by Faith Popcorn and Adam Hanft.This is a handbook to a future that is either already here or approaching fast.The four terms listed above come from the first chapter, on aging.ADL stands for Activities of Daily Living, and the book says, “you don’t know how important ADLs are until you can’t do them anymore.” These activities include dressing, bathing and eating.A couple of entries down, the term Biologic Age is introduced. This is an indicator which is calculated by measuring and assessing one’s own physiological age through various tests, including DNA degradation, oxidative stress, hormone levels, bone density and more. With medical and technological advances, the book says, biologic age will be more important than chronological age.An ODO is the term for those 100 years old or older. It’s the acronym for “odometer,” as a car’s odometer moves past 100,000 miles.The book has 35 chapters, covering such topics as children and families, crime and terrorism, education, homes and gardens, new behaviors, new jobs, technology, transportation and more.Some of the terms we’ve already heard, such as Starter Castle, Smart Growth, New Urbanists and Restorative Justice.Most terms or activities were news to me, including Wind Tunnel Running. This type of tunnel already exists, but it hasn’t come to a gym near you. For this one, treadmills are set up in wind tunnels, and the incoming wind velocity is adjusted, based on the desired intensity of the workout. It provides a full body workout, and is compared to upright swimming.A Girlcott is the act of women joining together to boycott products or organizations that are discriminatory or that stereotype.Hip Bumpers are small, oval devices that will be worn by seniors to protect their hips in falls.My personal favorite comes in the Fashion and Style chapter, and it already exists in some parts of Japan.The term is Waki, which is defined as “armpit art.” For this one, practitioners decorate their armpits with multi-hued paintings and glitter.”It’s a deep reflection of a subculture (if not a culture) that believes any part of the body can be beautiful,” the book says.What do you figure Mr. Jones would have thought about Waki?Lynn Burton is a staff writer for the Post Independent.


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