Attitude Can Keep You Healthy
ELDER MUSIC: Felix Mendelssohn

INTERESTING STUFF: 12 January 2013

Okay, I'll admit my signature is not readable either, but I have not been nominated to be Secretary of the Treasury. If Lew is confirmed by Congress his signature, previewed by New York magazine, will appear on all U.S. paper money:

Jack Lew signature

The media has been having fun with Lew's doodle-sig and even President Barack Obama took a whack:

With gun safety now the front-and-center controversy in the U.S. for a few more days, Mother Jones showcased about 20 print advertisements for guns – present and past. Here is one:


Apparently I do not read publications that advertise guns; I have no memory of ever seeing one and they even target kids:


I was shocked at these and others from Mother Jones which you can see here.

Following the fall and concussion that landed her in the hospital, Secretary of State Clinton returned to work last Monday and her staff welcomed her with some gifts:

The number 112 football jersey that goes with the helmet is to commemorate the number of countries Clinton has visited as secretary of state.

It's been half a dozen years since any snow worth speaking of has fallen in Jerusalem but the Israeli city got hit with a big one this week. I like this image with the Dome of the Rock in the background. Don't overlook the foregound snowman. [credit: Abir Sulton/EPA]

Dome Snow

More Jerusalem snow images here.

Extreme weather is busting out all over the globe from paralyzing cold – 50F below zero in Russia - to such terrible wildfires in Australia and Tasmania that a new descriptive category had to be created: catastrophic.

The New York Times has a slide show of extreme weather photos from around the world including this one from Tasmania of Tammy Holmes and her grandchildren clinging to a jetty while flames raged around them Wednesday. [Credit: Tim Holmes/Holmes Family, via Associated Press]

Fire Tasmania

I've seen probably a dozen cats riding Roombas, but this is the first kid I know of. Her name is Aria.

Wondering if that headline is another language? Or a typo I didn't notice? Wrong on both counts. It is the order of frequency of those letters in the English language. Here is a chart of the entire alphabet.

Letter frequency

There is a long and fascinating story about who did this research, how it was done and more about the distribution and length of words.

The most common word is what you would expect: the. But do you think you know the second most popular word? Check it out here to see if you're correct, and word lovers? Enjoy.

Master coffee roaster Gerry Leary runs the Unseen Bean coffee cafe in Boulder, Colorado, where he does all the roasting. Nothing unusual about that except that Mr. Leary has been blind since birth.

Here's the story of his coffee cafe in his own words.

You can buy Mr. Leary's coffee online via his website where you can also watch some videos on the proper way to make an American or a latte.

Darlene Costner sent along this lifespan calculator from The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.


Answer about a dozen questions and watch the number of your years change up and down depending on what you tell it. According to my answers, you're stuck with me on this blog for another 20 years. Please remember, this is a toy.

You can play with the calculator and see your lifespan here.

The folks on this boat were expecting a whale watching tour and got instead an amazing display of dozens of dolphins leaping through the ocean near Dana Point, California.

It is beautiful and the thrill expressed by the passengers is contageous. But beginning at about :45 seconds, you might want to turn off the audio. The damned tour guide seems to think his never-ending chatter is an improvement on nature.

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.


Enjoyed all. The "signature" is laughable, the baby is leery of her perch and the lifespan test says I will live to 93. I will like that as long as I maintain brain and body function!

We're in Kauai on a much needed vacation and two days ago watched a pod of spinner dolphins cavorting off Kilauea Wildlife Refuge. All we could think was that they jump about for the sport of it.

Our family saw a similar dolphin spectacle off Hermosa Beach in southern California last August. Amazing!

Eexcellent stuff!

Lifespan calculator for us says 91 for me and 96 for him. That gives us another 25 years, though honestly I doubt we'll make it that far.

Who was it that said, "If I'd have know I was going to live this long I'd have taken better care of myself!"? LOL

Whoa, the lifetime calculator has me living 29 more years; but, I'm suspect of this result coming from an insurance company. Aloha from Maui!

To live is one thing, just to be alive is another whole ballgame! :) Dee

The mother seems to be enjoying the baby's Roomba ride more than he/she is. Maybe that's what I need for my second childhood - a giant Roomba to scoot around on.

I love Dolphins and it was wonderful to see so many at one time.

As for loopy Lew's signature, what can I say?

What a great story about the coffee roaster who is blind! I wish I take a trip right now to his shop in Boulder. Maybe some day. And the study of the frequency of words and letters in the English language was fascinating!

Thank you for all the interesting stuff today. The word frequency chart reminded me of two items concerning lipograms I used to include in my workbook when I taught:
1) Ernest Vincent Wright's "Gadsby" ( and
2) Christian Bok's "Eunoia" (
And I will be profoundly grateful to you, Ronni, for each year more you give us.

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