Saturday, 21 January 2012
INTERESTING STUFF – 21 January 2012
WHY THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS LUDICROUS
This is a clever explanation of why English spelling is so difficult for school kids. The presenter is typographer Edward Rondthaler. He was 102 when he made this video; he died in 2009 at age 104.
You can read a bit more about Mr. Rondthaler here. (Hat tip to Midori Barstow)
TISSUE BOX RECALL
Here's something you don't read every day. This metal tissue box has been sold at Bed Bath and Beyond online and in some of its stores since last July. Seems innocuous enough.
Innocuous, that is, until earlier this month when it was discovered to contain radioactive cobalt-60.
“...radiation alarms were triggered during a check of a truck at an inspection station in California.
“[A Bed Bath and Beyond spokesperson said,] 'The NRC has also informed us that the material is believed to be in the tissue holder itself and cannot be inhaled, nor can it contaminate other objects (such as tissues).'”
Although the tissues boxes are considered to be safe, they have been recalled and also pulled the shelves – physical and virtual. You can read more here.
FREE EYE CARE AMERICA
It's been going on for more than 25 years and I only just found out about it. You should know too.
Since 1985, Eye Care America has been providing eye exams and up to one year of care to U.S. citizens and legal residents within the continental U.S, Hawaii and Puerto Rico through volunteer ophthalmologists often at no out-of-pocket cost to those who qualify.
You must be at least 65 years old and not have seen an eye physician in three or more years. The exam covers diseases of the eye such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. The service does not prescribe or pay for eyeglasses. 7000 ophthalmologists through the country who donate their time will waive co-payments and accept Medicare as full payment.
Crowboarding in Russia. Damn, crows are smart.
Not only has Bill Moyers returned to television, billmoyers.com is not just a show promo page; it's a full service website.
Videos of each week's shows are posted there along with additional material – videos and print stories - that there was not time to include on television. There are videos from his previous programs. There is a daily blog titled, “What Matters Today” and an “Anthology” where the body of Moyers' life work is gradually being collected. And there is a place where you can ask Bill Moyers a question; he will answer one per week.
It's a great educational site worth bookmarking and subscribing to. Also, it appears that the video of each week's episode of Moyers & Company is being posted to the website by mid-afternoon or so on Fridays.
Last week I showed you an interesting set of shelves built under a staircase. This week, thanks to TGB reader, Cathy Johnson, we have a video from someone with way too much time on his or her hands.
I posted a similar video last March, but it has been removed from YouTube and this one is much more elaborate. Keep your eye on the wall clock.
WONDERFULLY ABSURD PAGE TURNER
Joseph Herscher lives in Brooklyn where he builds fabulously complicated Rube Goldberg contraptions. This one is a page turner:
The New York Times has helpfully provided a step-by-step explanation.
NETI POTS CAN KILL?
There is no end to the weird stuff that can happen in the world. First, neti pots are weird enough in and of themselves.
What? You never heard of a neti pot? It's a method of sinus irrigation. You can find out about them at WebMD and you can even buy a neti pot at Amazon and other online stores.
Now it has been reported that two people in Louisiana have died from fatal infections caused by neti pots causing the state health department to issue a warning.
”A 51-year-old woman from DeSoto Parish and a 20-year-old man from St. Bernard Parish, a suburb of New Orleans, died after using Neti pots containing tap water to flush their sinuses. Both became infected with Naegleria fowleri, a parasite known as the brain-eating amoeba.”
Ew. You can read more here.
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM ROBERT REICH
It will be a long, hard slog over several years but if Citizens United is not overturned, American democracy and its ideals, however flawed they may be, are doomed. This is Robert Reich's latest animation.
Hat tip to Rachel Eggleston for this great animal video that needs no introduction.
Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.
You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” in the upper left corner of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I probably won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog if you have one.