April 22, 2012 |
Stories pour out of Gabriela Lena Frank like music. Sitting on an old brown leather chair in her little house, where she lives with her grand piano, books and black Labrador retriever, she is describing her upbringing and musical education with passion and joy and not a note of calculation. The composer has electric-black curly hair and a mind as alive as morning light. Before she finishes her cup of tea, she has described, like a magical character in a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel, the influence on her music of her father, a Jewish Mark Twain scholar who grew up in the Bronx; her mother, a Peruvian whose Chinese grandfather sold shovels to miners in the 1800s; her congenital hearing loss; Graves' disease, which has diminished her eyesight; bodybuilders and Andes Mountain Indian runners; and her perfect pitch, which Frank's piano teacher discovered when Frank was 10, after Frank informed her that a harp recording of Bach's Prelude in C was really in the key of F. Frank, 39, is also glad to help journalists who stammer like flummoxed tourists to categorize her. "I'm a Berkeley gringa, Latino, Peruvian, Chinese, Lithuanian Jew, deaf, short composer!"
January 9, 2012 |
Imagine yourself in a country where nobody speaks your language. It becomes a necessity to rely on your other senses and hone your powers of observation. You welcome the times when you can "fill in the blanks" and get the gist of a conversation. Each situation is stressful: Will you be a participant or an observer? This is the life of a hearing-impaired person. We are not deaf, and, therefore, most of us do not read lips, sign or wear hearing devices 100% of the time. We try to preserve whatever hearing we have left.
March 1, 2011 |
If you're older, chances are you're at a higher risk for hearing loss -- in a recent study about 63% of adults over 70 had it. But the same study found that being black may have a protective effect. While about 64% of whites in the study showed some hearing loss, only 43% of blacks did. The study, published online recently in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences , analyzed data from a two-year cycle of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an ongoing national health research program.
January 17, 2011 |
If you think Bluetooth is a rare dental condition and an app is what you eat before the entree, you might not be a candidate for today's high-tech, whiz-bang smart phones. Instead, you might be happier with a mobile phone geared toward seniors. Those phones typically don't have Web-surfing capability, GPS maps and video games. Instead they have large buttons, oversized digital readouts and hearing-aid compatibility, along with a relatively simple calling plan. Although senior-friendly phones aren't new, their lower prices and variety are. A recent price skirmish among wireless companies means seniors can get an easy-to-use cellphone and cheap service to go with it, said Mac Haddow, senior fellow on public policy for the independent and nonprofit Alliance for Generational Equity.
October 17, 2008 |
Two moments that showed what UCLA tailback Derrick Coleman could accomplish and what he had to overcome came before he was 3 years old. "We had an Easter at his grandmother's house when he was 1; the kids had to wait while we hid the eggs," said May Hamlin, Coleman's mother. "When it was time, Derrick just plowed through everyone, running over the other kids. "His older cousin said right then, 'That kid is going to be a football player.'
March 29, 2008 |
The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it wanted to fine Advanced Bionics, a Sylmar-based maker of cochlear implant hearing aids, $2.2 million for alleged manufacturing violations that put patients at risk. The FDA accused Advanced Bionics of failing to follow manufacturing standards to ensure the safety and quality of the hearing aids.