"Young at Heart"
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The following was on the cover of a special edition 2/16/11 in the


"Young @ Heart"

Rick Newman has advice on how to bring out your inner child

By Marci Shatzman

South Florida Sun-Sentinel & Forum Publishing Group
Posted February 16, 2011

Robot buff collects toys and plays with them, too.

   Rick Newman will officially become a senior next month when he turns 55, but don't remind him. It's not that he cares about aging so much; it's just that he looks and acts so, um, boyish.

   "Watch this", Newman says in his workshop, as he elevates a flying saucer type robot that someone gave him to test drive. "I know all the robot makers and they give them to me because they know I can get them out there", he explained, showing off the AR Drone Quadracopter that can be flown with an IPhone. "See" he said with obvious glee. "It hovers on it's own!"

   What people forget as they age is how to have fun, and that's not just his credo, he lives it.

   A former stage manager in the Catskills, and long-time theatrical sound and light designer for rock concerts, resort hotels, nightclubs and discos, Newman is known in Boca for his own sound and light shows. He stages them every Halloween and Christmas/Hanukah holidays for free, and at his own expense, at his home in the Old Floresta area of Boca Raton.

   Although he was never formally schooled in computers or robots, he assembles and collects them. And he's proud of lending his extensive robot collection of about 2000 all over Florida. He has also set up science centers in 22 schools across the country.

   Locally, you've probably seen his robots from "Star Wars" or early sci-fi TV shows at one of the local science museums. And those are his toys in the foyer of the community center in Sugar Sand Park.

   "These kinds of things should be enjoyed by everyone", he said. "I didn't start collecting them to hoard them".

   Robotics is an interest he's pursued since he won first-place in Flushing, New York in the 60s. "It started as a little kid watching "Lost in Space", and I absolutely fell in love with the robot", he said. He just never outgrew it.

   His home business, High-Tech Productions, duplicates and converts tapes into DVD's for businesses and individuals. That allows him to concentrate on his real love.

   I'm a big kid", is how he describes himself.

Rick, what can people do to keep that sense of wonder as they get older?

   "At least once a year they should go to Toys "R" Us and indulge themselves. Where's the law that says you have to stop playing with toys after you're in your 20s?"

Why do you think people lose the ability to enjoy themselves in that way?

   "I don't understand why people want to sit around and dwell on bad news, or people who act older than they are".

Do you have any advice for people getting old before their time?

   "I would say, do something you did and enjoyed as a kid. I had a minor stroke six years ago and I got into making and flying RC helicopters to help with my eye-hand coordination. How can you not have fun with that stuff".


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High-Tech Productions
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This web site is intended for educational purposes & to
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Our purpose is to bring new technologies to the youth of America
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There is never an admission fee or cover charge
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The Science Centers are donated by High-Tech Productions,
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