New York’s Own “Living Landmark”: “Raise a Chianti bottle and a salami to the lovely Rosa Castaldi, Manhattan’s own Kitty Carlisle Hart, who helped make ‘A Night at the Opera’ watchable, all the way through,” writes Lawrence Downes in this New York Times appreciation of Kitty Carlisle Hart, who died last week at age 96.

Hart “began her career in the theater in a 1932 musical comedy revue on Broadway, acted in films and opera and was still singing on the stage, into her 10th decade, as recently as last fall,” according to the Times.

“I’m more optimistic, more enthusiastic and I have more energy than ever before,” she said just after her 79th birthday. Energy, she said, came from doing the things she wanted to do.

“You get so tired when you do what other people want you to do,” she said. When she was 90, she started work on a second book.

Rising Women Float All Boats: Writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, Ruth Rosen reviews Ellen Bravo’s new book, “Taking On the Big Boys: Or Why Feminism Is Good for Families, Business and the Nation.” Bravo is the former head of 9 to 5, the National Association of Working Women. In a blurb for the book, Jane Fonda writes that this book picks up where her movie “9 to 5” left off.

High Health Costs Hit U.S. Women Harder: “American women are more likely than men to go without needed health care, because they can’t afford it, a new report finds,” reports Health Day News. The study, which is available online, was released by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation advocating for improvements to the U.S. health system, and prepared by researchers at the National Women’s Law Center.

Still Searching?: Another website for health news and information has officially launched: — the brainchild of AOL founder Steven Case. The site is aimed primarily at women, reports The New York Times. Users will be able to create their own pages, where they can save information and, if they want, share it with other readers. So: What’s your favorite go-to site when looking up an illness or finding health news?

Advancing Women in Academic Medicine: According to a release from Tufts University, men and women attend medical school in equal numbers, but in academic medicine the numbers are far from equal: 12 percent of women faculty members are promoted to full professor, compared with one-third of male faculty. Among the nation’s 125 medical schools, on average there are only 35 women full professors compared with 188 male full professors per school. And women hold only 8 percent of clinical science department chairs and 8 percent of deanships.

In response to these numbers, five medical schools and the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) are participating in the National Initiative on Gender, Culture and Leadership in Medicine — a five-year study to “explore and address the dramatic under-representation of women and minority faculty in leadership and senior positions in academic medicine.”

Happy Birthday to All Of Us: Cynthia Samuels describes a fantastic 60th birthday party and the memories sparked by seeing old friends and the transformative power of music. “Not until I hit 60 did I realize you really DO get older – that some things are in the past for good. When the music is there, though, nothing’s really gone. Memories and senses arise in all their glory and float me back where I came from. Not for long – and not entirely – but enough to remind me of the privileges of my life and the wonders of life itself.”

Global Diary: Glamour magazine has a real activist streak — since last summer, Marianne Pearl, widow of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, has been been writing Global Diary, a monthly column about women activists around the world. So far, nine women in nine countries have been profiled. Via Have Fun-Do Good; blogger Britt Bravo hopes, as we do, that this one-year series lasts a lot longer.

Combining Our Activism: Naomi at A Little Red Hen recently discussed some environmental and political activism and wishes “there was a way to get across to the general public that we are FOR many issues that have to do with the lives of those younger than us.”

She continues: “It was OWL Older Women’s League whose email I first received urging that Don Imus be fired by the broadcasters who employed him. I’d like to see more of that from organizations/websites/blogs directed toward the aging population. […] I propose we add to our national celebrations — Older Americans for Younger Ones.”


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