Woman Who Ended Interracial Marriage Ban: “Mildred Jeter Loving, 68, a black woman whose refusal to accept Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1967 that struck down similar laws across the country, died of pneumonia Friday at her home in Milford, Va.,” Patricia Sullivan writes in a front-page Washington Post story.

“The Loving v. Virginia decision overturned long-standing legal and social prohibitions against miscegenation in the United States,” Sullivan continues. “Celebrated at the time, the landmark case sunk to obscurity until a 1996 made-for-television movie and a 2004 book revived interest in how the young, small-town black and white couple changed history.”

Happy to be Single: “Many older women are living their lives with a single-minded enthusiasm,” reports Newsday. “Of the nearly 60 million American women 45 and older, about half are unmarried, according to the Census Bureau. Some are divorced or widowed, but many are single by design. Despite significant cultural pressures to be married or find a partner, many are starting to realize they are content to be on their own.”

“The society is telling you that you won’t be happy unless you have a partner,” says E. Kay Trimberger, an author and researcher who has written extensively on the subject of single women. “But for many people, that really is not true.”

“Menopause Mama”
: Rose Weaver (left) stars in this humorous and thought-provoking one-woman show, now onstage at the Little Fish Theatre in San Pedro, Calif.

Check out the reviews from numerous publications.

An actress and singer who has performed in films and on television, Weaver conceived of the idea for “Menopause Mama” while working on her MFA in creative writing at Brown University. The degree was her 50th birthday present to herself, she writes in this history.

Barbara Walters Interviews Barbara Walters: “It’s tough not to distrust an autobiography in which the author refuses to disclose her exact age,” Salon’s Rebecca Traister writes of Barbara Walters’ new memoir, “Audition.”

“I am now in my seventies, and that is as specific as I will get,” she writes in an opening-sentence parenthetical in the chapter “My Childhood.” Too bad for the optimistically ageless Walters that Wikipedia, the Internet Movie Database, Yahoo and several prominent astrology sites have all felt free to get more specific than she: The television journalist was born on Sept. 25, 1929; she will turn 79 this year.

But Walters’ bizarre coyness at the start of what she clearly feels is a soul-baring work — “In this book I basically bleed for 570 pages, ” she told columnist Cindy Adams — is merely symptomatic of the slightly prim distance she keeps from her own beguiling, twisty, readable story.

Before the Fall: A record number of Massachusetts seniors died in 2006 after falling. The Boston Globe looks at why more falls occur among this age group and how to reduce the risk. Stephen Smith writes:

This much is for sure: Many of the falls that injure or even kill should never happen in the first place.

They are the legacy of tattered carpets and tired bodies, good intentions and bad choices. They reflect what happens when multiple doctors put one patient on multiple medications, fueling a fog of confusion. They suggest that physicians, nurses, and institutions caring for the aged need to devote more attention to signs that a patient is primed for a fall.

“There’s so much in medicine we don’t have evidence for, but falls are frustrating because we do know what works and we know how to attack it,” said Diane Mahoney, geriatric nurse-practitioner at the MGH Institute of Health Professions.

Plus: 10 tips to prevent falls — and, after the fall, a special report on hip surgery.

Exercise Your Brain: The New York Times looks at a mini-industry of brain health products inspired by baby boomers who fear forgetfulness. The industry includes supplements like coenzyme Q10, ginseng and bacopa and computer-based fitter-brain products.

“From Hula Hoops to Corian countertops, marketers have done very well over the six decades guessing the desires of the generation born after World War II,” writes Katie Hafner. “Now they are making money on that generation’s
fears, and it is not just computerized flash card makers with the money-making ideas. Doctors and geneticists have also tapped into the market.”

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