Saturday, 23 June 2012
INTERESTING STUFF – 23 June 2012
IN WHICH I TAKE ON DRUG COMPANY PFIZER
Well, not that I intended to do so, but when Judith Graham, topic leader on aging at the Association of Healthcare Journalists website, asked my thoughts on Pfizer's new website about getting old, I couldn't resist a few choice words:
"The site fails aesthetically from page one; there is nothing inviting there, nothing engaging, nothing to pique anyone’s interest. It’s badly conceived and executed."
Judith has since published that and the rest of my Pfizer rant along with some kind words about Time Goes By. You can read it here.
LAMENTATIONS OF A FATHER
All right. I know it's a week late for Father's Day, but this 15-year-old lamentation from Ian Frazer is priceless. And if I, childless by choice, find it fall-down funny, parents and grandparents will, I am certain, kvell. Here is taste:
”And if you are seated in your high chair, or in a chair such as a greater person might use, keep your legs and feet below you as they were. Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet upon the table, for that is an abomination to me.
“Yes, even when you have an interesting bandage to show, your feet upon the table are an abomination, and worthy of rebuke.
“Drink your milk as it is given you, neither use on it any utensils, nor fork, nor knife, nor spoon, for that is not what they are for; if you will dip your blocks in the milk, and lick it off, you will be sent away.
“When you have drunk, let the empty cup then remain upon the table, and do not bite it upon its edge and by your teeth hold it to your face in order to make noises in it sounding like a duck; for you will be sent away.”
You can read the entire lament at the Atlantic magazine.
BILL MOYERS ON HIS GRANCHILDREN'S FUTURE
Last week, Bill Moyers had some thoughts on the nature of our political climate and what it means for his grandchildren's future. (Hat tip to TGB reader, John Starbuck)
SECURITY CAMERA FOLLIES
Mostly, we think of security cameras as just that, security, in place to catch the robbers and other criminals at their nefarious deeds. But this video, sent by Cathy Johnson, shows something else again. Wonderful.
CURSIVE WRITING BEING PHASED OUT
Remember the hours we spent in grade school practicing the loops and curves of cursive writing?
It may turn out that boomers become the last generation that knows how to write cursive. Forty-five U.S. states have signed on to Common-Core State Standards for education which does not require teaching cursive but insists on “keyboarding.” I wonder if that means future historians won't know how to read documents like this one:
You can read more here.
HOW LUNCH WAS INVENTED
An exhibit opened this week at the New York Public Library called Lunch Hour NYC about how the Horn and Hardart Automats helped invent the lunch hour. Watch this terrific short history video:
The Automat was so ubiquitous in the first half of the 20th century that it was featured in many movies of the era. You can watch clips from more than half of dozen of them here with such stars Joan Crawford, Jean Arthur, Sylvia Sydney and more.
And there is more good information about the Automat in this New York Times story.
RYAN BUDGET INCOME STUDY
Presumptive Republican candidate for president Mitt Romney has endorsed Paul Ryan's Medicare and Social Security-killing budget plan. So have most Republicans in Congress. This week, a group of Catholic nuns took to the hustings against that proposed budget in the midwest with their Nuns on the Bus tour:
According to a study prepared by the congressional Joint Economic Committee and verified by independent experts, here is how the Ryan budget would change after-tax income of various income groups [larger image here]:
Whew! After the awful news in that immediately preceding story, something warm and wonderful and cuddly is in order:
Have you ever heard of Stumble Stones? Me neither until this week. Here is what they look like:
The stumble stones - stolpersteine in German – are the project of German artist, Gunter Demnig who in the past 15 years has installed more than 34,000 brass-capped cobble stones in countries throughout Europe in front of the homes or stores of victims of the Nazis.
The stones are engraved with the barest details of the person's life beginning with HERE LIVED followed by name, birthdate, deportation destination and date of death. As Demnig told The New York Times,
"'Six million is an incomprehensible figure,' said Demnig, referring to the number of Jews murdered by Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime. 'But to carve the name of a single person on a single marker is to say, Look, this individual lived - lived right here at this actual address. He or she looked out this window or stepped out that door every day. This was someone just like you or me. Not just an anonymous victim of history.'"
There is much more worth seeing and reading at the Stumble Stones website.
SLEEPING LIKE A BABY KITTEN
I have been remiss in not posting Saturday kitty pictures of late, so here is one I found at Colette's French-language blog, Nifty and Fifty and the City.
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.