Saturday, 24 August 2013
INTERESTING STUFF: 24 August 2013
As you probably know, I've been on a campaign since March to lose 40 pounds. My inspiration was and is FEAR with capital letters. When it had become difficult to bend over to feed the cat, I FEARED big time for the future of my health.
Although the pounds-per-month has slowed, it is steady and I'm now down 23 pounds. Sometimes, when the number on the scale doesn't budge for 10 days or more, it can be discouraging but I've not given up and eventually it drops another pound.
This week, I found a video that makes my effort seem puny. Don't take that literally – we each have our own burdens and personal ways of dealing with them. But this amazing man overcame a professional medical prognosis of complete defeat.
The music is a bit cloying but don't let that stop you from watching.
You can read more details at the YouTube page.
AUSTRALIAN ELECTION CRAZINESS
Australians will soon be voting in a national election after only four weeks of campaigning. (Let us pray: O, god, bring this system to the United States. Please.)
TGB's Sunday musicologist Peter Tibbles, who lives in Melbourne and is an early voter, emailed to fill me in on the ballot:
"There are certainly a bunch of wackos running for the Senate,” he wrote, “the usual lot of right wing cranks...Some of the interesting ones are (these are actual names): (Peter's commentary in parentheses)
"The Sex Party (who made some particularly interesting TV ads)
"The HEMP Party (that's Help End Marijuana Prohibition Party)
"The Pirate Party (these were new to me)
"A Shooters party (no doubt with money channeled from the NRA )
"The Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party (I'm not making these up)
"(And its rival no doubt), The Bullet Train for Australia Party
"The Animal Justice Party (getting wombats on juries, no doubt)
"The Bank Reform Party (sounds like a disgruntled mortgage owner there)”
Earlier in the week, Peter forwarded this video of current Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (running for re-election) commenting, according to Peter, on the election campaign. Turn up your audio and don't turn away – it's very short.
EMPIRE STATE OF PEN
Patrick Vale is an internationally recognized artist who specializes in cities and architecture. This time-lapse video of his drawing of a portion of Manhattan is a load of fun to watch.
You can find out more about Patrick Vale and see more of his work at his website.
Musical flashmobs are a delightful artifact of the internet age – they wouldn't exist without cameras and YouTube.
Our good friend Darlene Costner sent this one that took place in May at Hotel Cordial Mogan Playa in Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria. The 30 musicians are from the Band of the Municipal School of Dance and Music of Mogan. The music, of course, is Ravel's Bolero.
THE STUPIDITY OF AMERICANS CAN BE AWESOME TO BEHOLD
There are political issues about which there is legitimate room for debate. And there are others that cannot be argued, that are what they are - as real and true as sunrise every morning.
Facts, for example, like who was president of the United States when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on 23 August 2005.
And then there are Louisiana Republicans. Here are the results of a PPP poll as first reported at Talking Point Memo:
”Twenty-eight percent said they think former President George W. Bush, who was in office at the time, was more responsible for the poor federal response while 29 percent said Obama, who was still a freshman U.S. Senator when the storm battered the Gulf Coast in 2005, was more responsible.
“Nearly half of Louisiana Republicans — 44 percent — said they aren't sure who to blame.”
You can see the poll questions here.
ELMORE LEONARD DIES AT 87
I have always read crime novels and for most of my life Elmore Leonard has been a favorite. His spare, powerful prose fit the genre better than the styles of many other such writers and he has always given me a great deal of fun and pleasure.
The New York Times obituary is here and the paper also produced a video on the phenomenal number of Leonard's books that have been made into movies.
25 WAYS TO WEAR A SCARF IN 4.5 MINUTES
I buy scarves. Not in large numbers, but it's hard for me to resist pretty ones or interesting textures so I have a fair collection. Even so, I hardly ever wear them because draping scarves artfully and attractively is not a skill I have mastered.
Actually, forget “mastered.” I don't even get the rudiments of it and when I try to wear one, it always seems to slip its moorings and just look ratty.
I founds this video at the Travels with the Highland Drover blog. I keep thinking maybe I'll choose one style at a time to learn although I haven't done so yet.
BUDDHIST TEACHINGS ON OLD AGE
It doesn't matter what religion you practice – or if, like me, you have no religion. Buddhist teachings about old age are universal and Lewis Richmond is among the best Buddhist teachers.
Here is a short video from the PBS program, Religion and Ethics where Richmond discusses getting old.
GOING BACK TO WORK AFTER 40 YEARS
Watch carefully. It's only five seconds long. You'll definitely laugh and it's possible young people don't get it. (Hat tip to TGB reader Jim Hood)
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.