Saturday, 16 June 2012
INTERESTING STUFF – 16 June 2012
A SONG FOR SENIOR MOMENTS
On the telephone a few days ago, I laughed when a friend had difficulty recalling a name and said his proper name recall wasn't working. It's a funny idea that there would be one place in our brains for proper nouns and another for common ones.
We're not usually so specific about our memory slips. Darlene Costner sent this video of Golf Brooks singing Senior Moments with closed captioning if you need it.
CLICK AND CLACK RETIRING
Even I, with no interest in cars beyond getting me to my destination and not much more interest than that in NPR, enjoy listening to Click and Clack now and then. But they are soon to be no more.
Come fall the Tappet Brothers, Tom and Ray Magliozzi – age 74 and 63 respectively - are retiring their radio show, Car Talk, after 35 years of weekly broadcasts. There is more information here and here.
MR. ROGERS REMIXED
The gentle, soft-spoken children's television host, Fred Rogers, died in 2003. Video mashup artist, John D. Boswell, (aka melodysheep) worked with PBS to create this tribute to Rogers' iconic TV show for the PBS fundraiser this year. It's simply terrific.
AVERAGE FAMILY HAS LOST 38 PERCENT OF WEALTH
A new Federal Reserve study released this week shows that average family net worth plunged by a shocking 38 percent between 2007 to 2010 going from $126,400 to $77,300. Here's what it looks like on a graph:
Median family income also fell over the same period of time from $49,600 to $45,800 a year, adjusted for inflation.
The New York Times notes another statistic from the report:
”The average income of the wealthiest families fell much more sharply than the median, indicating that some of those at the very top of the ladder slipped down at least a few rungs.
“[T]he top 10 percent of households still earned an average of $349,000 in 2010. The average net worth of the same families was $2.9 million.”
Sounds tough, doesn't it. The full Fed report is here [pdf].
SPEAKING OF THE TOP 10 PERCENT...
Last week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon held a love fest in Congress with members of the Senate Banking Committee (did you expect anything else?).
For his latest program this weekend, Bill Moyers sat down for a few minutes with one of my favorite political journalists, Thomas Frank, the author of What's the Matter with Kansas? and more recently, Pity the Billionaire.
It's a short, little piece and worth every one of the three-plus minutes as the two men discuss Dimon and how the world works for the rich and powerful.
You might also be interested in reading this story, “Too Smart to Fail: Notes on an Age of Folly” by Thomas Frank in the latest edition of The Baffler, a magazine he founded and edits.
REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS DISAGREE ON MORE THAN THE ECONOMY
We know the two U.S. political parties now seem to be living on different planets, maybe even solar systems, but who knew they also disagree on everyday purchases. According to a study from Buyology, Inc., which advises on marketing strategies, our political divide extends to brands.
Democrats like Starbucks; Republicans go to Dunkin' Donuts. Democrats watch Animal Planet; Republicans the History Channel. But they both use Visa to buy their Coca Cola.
KEVIN SPACEY IN THREE NEW FILMS
A year or so ago, Jameson Irish Whiskey teamed with actor Kevin Spacey and Trigger Street Productions for an international film competition with the idea of finding up-and-coming film talent.
I have no idea how successful it is as a marketing idea, but it is a great pleasure for you and me. According to Jameson, the three winners
“...were selected for their creativity and directing skills in portraying a legendary, humorous tall-tale.”
The three short films premiered on YouTube last week. Here is Ventriloquist starring Spacey and directed by Benjamin Leavitt from the U.S.
The two other films, both starring Spacey, are Spirit of a Denture from South African director, Alan Shelley and Envelope from Russian director, Alexsey Nuzhiny. You can see them at YouTube here and here.
GREGG ALLMAN WITH STEPHEN COLBERT
It's evident that some rock legends, in their old age, show effects of – oh, let's just say overindulgence in certain excesses through the years.
Others, Gregg Allman is among them, have strange ideas about how to promote their books – in this case, by not allowing the interviewer to talk about anything he wrote in the book.
Even with this handicap, Colbert managed a fine, funny interview. I've saved the best item today for last:
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.