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Saturday, 26 January 2013

INTERESTING STUFF: 26 January 2013

THE WRITER WHO COULD NOT READ
Imagine if overnight words on a page all looked like gibberish. Imagine then, too, that you make your living as a writer. Take a look:

You can read more here:

WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE THESE?
Weird eerie pyramid sand dunes, right? Where do you think they could be?

Sand Dunes NY

Well, not so mysterious, after all. Bulldozers made them in Queens, New York when they were cleaning up sand after Hurricane Sandy. Boring explanation, but they are still startling to see.

There are more photos here with some additional explanation. (Photo by Stephane Messier)

FIVE MINUTES WITH MICHAEL CAINE
Nothing important or startling here. Just a nice little chat with a wonderful actor of our generation talking about his role in Batman and some other things.

WHAT'S INSIDE THE BIGGEST CHICKEN EGG EVER?
No, this is not a goose egg and certainly not an ostrich egg. Just a plain old chicken egg the size of which you've never seen. What could possibly be inside?

MOVING THE SELLWOOD BRIDGE
The pylons under Portland, Oregon's Sellwood Bridge are in need of replacing lest the bridge fall down. After building temporary supports, last week engineers moved the bridge from its failing foundation.

The big trick was that one end needed to move 33 inches and the other end 66 inches. Wow. It took a whole day and this is a time lapse video of the maneuver:

Five days later, cars were using the bridge again. You can read a lot more detail of the operation here.

COMPARING AUSTRALIA AND U.S. WORKING CONDITIONS
TGB's Sunday music columnist, Peter Tibbles, found this news story comparing salaries and other working conditions of the United States and Australia.

”...full-time permanent employees in Australia, from toilet cleaners to chief executives, get at least ten sick days, 20 vacation days and (depending on the state) ten or more paid holidays every year. Everyone. All over Australia.

Of course, there is a catch. Part-time and temp workers don't get these benefits. Instead, they get paid an extra 20 percent to 25 percent in cash compensation. As a result, a part-time, entry-level adult fast food worker in Australia makes a minimum of $21.25 an hour. Oh, plus health insurance. That's universal in Australia.”

There is a lot more to make an American envious of Oz working conditions. Go read the whole story here.

SUTRO BATHS
Since 1977, I've had this framed poster of San Francisco's famous Sutro Baths on either my office wall or at home:

Sutro Baths Poster

I couldn't tell you why I've kept it front and center for so long; I've just never stopped liking it.

This past week, I ran across a short documentary about the history of the baths that were destroyed by fire in the 1960s.

You can read more about Sutro Baths here and you can see more footage of it in this clip from the 1958 movie, The Lineup that starred Eli Wallach.

PEOPLE ARE AWESOME
Instead of ending with a cute kitty video (don't worry, there will be more in the future), here is a collection of amazing feats of human derring-do. There are definitely a lot of “don't try this at home” moments, but they are all astonishing.

The video was made recently to promote a song, Levitate by the band, Adouken. You can read about the video and the song 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.


Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

All good! I loved the last one, the bridge takes technology beyond my ken and mr. kenju says he is grateful that his stroke did not leave him with the lack of ability to read!

Thoroughly enjoyed all of them ... but the last one was wowowow so much fun! Thank you, Ronni!

That Australian comparison is a real eye opener. Our discussion group is tackling the growing gulf in America between the rich and poor. We'll use that piece as background, for sure. Thanks.

Thank you, Peter, for showing just how backward the US has become. I think we are already an oligarchy.

Most of those stunts were scary. It takes nerves of steel to attempt them.

Thank you Ronni for a wonderful five minutes with Michael Caine!

Discovered Michael when he appeared in "Alfie." He was the good, bad guy in that film and have loved him ever since.

All Americans should read the article about work life in Australia. I don't have the answer to why we Americans just take it, but we do. I envision life in American looking more like the 19th century than the 21st century very soon if things don't change.

Thank you for finding and sharing with us. I forwarded the article to others.

When my mom had her stroke, one of my biggest concerns was that she would lose her ability to read...she has always been a huge reader. Luckily, she still reads voraciously.
I have to wonder how those people think up all of he stunts that they do, and how many times it takes to get it right. A few nasty falls/injuries to get to this point on the video, perhaps?

We are still dealing with the changes Katrina wrought on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. My personal experience is nothing near what others here and in the path of Sandy experienced and what the survivors are still living with in both regions.

But personal experience does make me doubt that I will ever find any explanation related to hurricanes "boring."

Neat stuff! Thanks, as always!

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