Scaring Elders - Part 3: A Bad Week for America's Elders

INTERESTING STUFF – 19 January 2013

The phrase “herding cats” has always delighted me as a perfect description of any task involving too many unruly participants – someone is always escaping the net.

A similar thought led to artist Barry Blitt's New Yorker magazine cover this week. As he explained, he sees it as

”...a nice metaphor for this president dealing with this particular Congress over the so-called fiscal cliff (among other things).”


As if the National Rifle Association's whackjob of a president isn't enough, this week the organization released what is to me the most offensive political propaganda piece I've ever seen. It is disgusting on every level.

Maybe it says something about how grotesque our culture is in general that this story barely made a dent in the nation's consciousness this week:

The mystery was solved a day later when it was revealed that the heads, having been used for medical research in Italy, were being returned to the U.S. for cremation. Read more here.

Really, really big dogs – you know, the ones that are the size of small horses – have always made me laugh and feel all warm and fuzzy. Buzzfeed put together a photo series of a couple of dozen of them. Here's one:


You can see a whole lot more gigantic dogs here.

The great Studs Terkel died in 2008 at age 96. But he lives through the magic of video. Tamar Orvell of the Only Connect blog sent along this one that is a delight – not to mention, so true.

A year ago, John Newson of Birmingham, England, made a new years resolution to fill only one bag of trash for the entire year:

”Each week John has carefully sifted through his household rubbish, composting everything he can, while separating out paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and cans for his fortnightly kerbside recycling collections.”

Here is Newson with his one 2012 trash bag.


You can read more here.

Steve Cutts is a London-based, freelance artist who has produced work for Coca-Cola, Bacardi, Toyota, Reebok, Sony PSP, The Guardian, Kelloggs and Phillips, among others.

TGB reader Bev Carney sent this animation from Steve which he titles, MAN:

I “waste” a lot of time at the National Geographic website watching nature videos and looking at astonishing photos.

Recently, the magazine released the winners of its 2012 photo contest. This one from Ashley Vincent is the winner in the nature category and the grand prize winner – a photograph of “Busaba, a well cared for Indochinese Tigress whose home is at Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Thailand.”


You can see all the 2012 winning photos here.

Another TGB reader, Alice, sent this terrific video of a bunch of old men – age 50s to 90 – singing barbershop harmony at a Tim Horton's restaurant in Ontario, Canada. The video has gone viral and you can read more about the barbershop singing group here.

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.


Love the barbershop singing, and the photos.

I also recycle as much as possible, but I can't get down to one bag per week, let alone for the year!

Re the barbershoppers: why "old men"? If the singers had been Sweet Adelines(women barbershoppers) of the same ages, would they have been described as "old women"? Singing wasn't bad, but I was offended by the caption.

They are described as "old men" because that is what they are. And certainly, if the video were of Sweet Adelines and they were the same age as these men, I'd describe them as old too.

What do you think is wrong with describing people as what they are?

Dogs and cats. I love the interesting stuff today. The dog that didn't want to go to the Vet has me laughing still. The photo of the big cat, Busaba, is one I wish I had taken.

The "New Yorker" front page is, indeed, a great metaphor of Obama trying to deal with the herd of Republicans (although I won't insult the cat family by comparing them to the Republican idiots in Congress now).

The Steve Cutts video says it all. Mankind is a wasteful and greedy self serving bunch of idiots.

Among the StoryCorps, Man, and Old Men Singing.... videos, WOW! Thanks to you, Ronni, and to Tamar, Bev, and Alice.

Felt like crying as I watched Steve Cutts' animation, but I just loved Studs Terkel and the BIG dogs and the National Geographic photos and the Horton Harmonizers. Thank you, Ronni.

"Speaking of trash", I have now and have had for several years a complete recycling set up in my kitchen -- a line-up of 6 clean tall garbage cans that I fill with separated recyclables, all washed, folded and crushed.

I take these once a week to our local recycling company which has separate containers that we can put these things in. Local newspaper took photos and wrote an article on my system 8 or 10 years ago!

Sadly, the rest of our city has a curb-side pickup recycling system, but my senior mobile home park does not participate.

These gentlemen brought a smile to 99% of the people in the restaurant and boosted their mood for the remainder of the day - if not the remainder of the week. Wish I'd been there.

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