Girls Scouts and Elders Playing Games Together

INTERESTING STUFF – 19 October 2013


Nobody doesn't like 91-year-old comedian/actress Betty White. Her TV Land series, Hot in Cleveland, is going into its fifth season and she's widely sought after as a spokesperson.

In this new commercial video, White represents Air New Zealand. The treatment of old people makes me squirmy. Maybe I'm wrong. See what you think.


Do you know about this? I didn't – soccer played in bubble wrap. Depending on the country, it might be known as boblefotball, bumperz bubble, zorb ball soccer, loopyball, fussball.


Here's more information from Buzzfeed, with photos.


It's been almost ten years since I gave up a landline to rely exclusively on a cell phone. Now, in the wake of devastation from Hurricane Sandy, a small island community in New Jersey has been given no choice in the matter:

” [resident] Peter Flihan’s view, Verizon Communications has delivered a second blow: the telecommunications giant did not rebuild the landlines destroyed in the storm, and traditional telephone service here has now gone the way of the telegraph.”

There's more information at The New York Times story. However much some people want to hang on to their landlines they will, before too much time passes, be gone. But it is a mixed technology advance.

The upside, of course, is that mobile phones go everywhere with us. The downside is that signal quality never seems to improve. Perpetually, there are dead spots, dropped calls, faint volume and other glitches that never happen with landlines.

Do you still have a landline?


Business Insider has picked the most famous book set in each state. I don't know their criteria and I have, as you certainly will, many objections.

My current state, Oregon, gets Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. In Oregon, a location where few books are set, that may be acceptable. But The Great Gatsby for New York? I can name a bunch of equally iconic choices.

They picked Stephen King's Carrie for Maine but any of his novels would have worked as well.

Click the map above for a list of all the states and their books. Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik has some interesting commentary on the choices and I'm sure you do too.


Nancy Leitz was the first reader to send this email that's gone viral. It made me laugh even if it also makes me furious.

”The Washington Redskins are changing their name because of all the negativity, shame, humiliation, dissent, polarity, adversity, defiance, hatred, animosity, contempt, discrimination, division, violence, counter-productivity, ill-spirit, un-Godliness, and hostility associated with their name.

"From now on they will be known simply as the Redskins."


I found out about this because Jon Stewart on The Daily Show interviewed the author of a new biography of Jim Henson.

It's been 23 years since the Muppets creator died but his creatures are as fresh as the day they were born. This lovely piece of television is their tribute to Jim Henson. It was the climax of the Henson memorial broadcast around the world soon after his death and features more Muppets than you can shake an Elmo at.

I dare you to not tear up.

You will find many other bittersweet moments from the memorial here.


I'm pretty sure that at sometime in their lives, almost everyone feels that they don't fit in. Take a look at this from ZeFrank:


I was fortunate enough to spend the last decade of my working life side-by-side at websites with young techies and designers who made sure I was as up to date as they were.

So I thought I didn't have anything to learn from this video. Wrong! The New York Times's tech reporter David Pogue has ten handy-dandy tips most of which you probably don't know but will make your computer life easier.


I publish a lot of interspecies friendship videos here because - well, they seem so marvelously unexpected and I never tire of them. (This one is from Darlene Costner)

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.


I think the Kiwis did good; no worrys.

By the way,Australia and New Zealand have always had a friendly rivalry.

When I was in Auckland, as we left the airport on our way into town, after I told him I was leaving for Sydney in a few days, my taxi driver asked me, "Do you know what's wrong with Australia?

"What's that?" I asked.

"It's abov water," he replied.

Great links -- a couple made me cry -- it's that kind of day, I guess.

Always good stuff here! I think the Betty White video is good. We learn more through humor, and they are making fun of themselves.

Love the TED speech!

I grinned through the Air NZ video. Loved the package tied with string. :)

Nope on the bubbles. I don't want to fall even in a bubble. But yes, we still have a landline, and during the last blackout, it was the last phone standing in our neighborhood.

I'll check the rest of your goodies out when we come home.

Ack, Twilight for Washington, I am offended. How about authors such as Sherman Alexie, Raymond Carver, or David Guterson! How about "The Corner of Bitter and Sweet," historical fiction. It is a bestselling novel (2009) by Jamie Ford. I imagine the rest of the list would get similar reactions from other states. Reminded me my favorite Maine novel is "The Beans of Egypt Maine."

I'm still hanging on to my landline, much like Mage, in storms our landlines still work with a corded phone when the cells and portables are out.

Really enjoyed all topics today. I do still have a landline which has been invaluable in the past when power has gone out in storms. But that was before cell phones and the ability to charge same in the car, so when the landline is no more will adapt. Also, the computer tips in David Pogue's TED talk are useful and appreciated. Thanks for all the selections today.

The Betty White video makes me squirmy too.

As always, good stuff.

Mixed feelings about the Betty White ad. She is funny but seems always to include the stereotype.

The reason I keep a landline is that it will contine to work in a power outage. It soon will be a thing of the past where I live. The phone company here will no longer issue new phone service via landline.

Hi Ronni,

Yes, I still have my landline because I live alone and without a landline I would not be able to have the burglar alarm system that makes me feel safe when things go bump in the night.

I also have a personal alarm to signal help if I should take a fall or suffer an attack of any kind. It will call 911 for me. It will not work without a landline.

I enjoyed the Betty White ad so ditto what Kenju said.

Loved the elephant and the dog.

The bubble idea might work well for football players these days, considering the incidences of head concussions we are now finding prominent among football players of all ages, even in Pop Warner football

Always love your Saturday gems.

I still have a land line, along with an inexpensive cell phone. Would love to see a post and discussion on telephone options, relative costs, who uses what and why.

It was a very good week - loved all the "interesting stuff". Not sure I get Betty White, but the bubble soccer will thrill my grandson and I will sit down with the Ted and get all that info into my fingers (my head will not remember, but muscle memory is great). But you gotta love the elephant and dog - pure joy as are the Muppets.

Oh please, let me join your bubble football team. Use my land line, I still have one.. call me.

I'm right now sitting by the phone, waiting for that call.

Whoever invented the sport is a genius. It's about time we had some fun.



"Hi, it's the bubble football team captain."

"Dominic Romano."

"We heard you wanna play for our team."

"Yes I do."

"You're in luck. One of our team members moved to Costa Rica. He saw your message on TGB and wants you to replace "Fast Freddy."

"We need a fast kick butt woman on the team. When can you be here?"


"All righty."


"U huh."

"I just got a job kicking balls inside a ball."


"An inside ball- ball kicking gig."

(Scratches his head..)

"Whatever you say..."

"Am I invited?"

"Where I go, you go."


Ronni--Great assortment! I'll try to read the books that I've missed, and I've signed up to receive weekly updates on the TED talks. I keep a landline (although, a couple of years ago I canceled our 2nd line) because it is more reliable than our cable. (Our home is a communications hub with - 2 cell phones, 1 landline, 3 ham band transmitter/receivers, and cable which carries our TV & wi-fi signals.

The tribute to Mr Henson is a tear-jerker!

I certainly agree on one thing: This is all interesting stuff! The ad does make me a little squirmy; but then ALL ads make me squirmy since they're usually making fun of men, or women, or kids, or old people, or somebody else. Love the map. And as for me I'll keep my landline as long as they'll let me precisely b/c of the cellphone dead spots, dropped calls, faint volume and other glitches.

The ONLY phones that worked after 9/11 were landlines. I am amazed how much people spend on their smartphones for the apps etc when the phone part of it hasn't really gotten better in ages. The sound quality doesn't compare to a landline. But alas, it is getting harder and harder to reconcile keeping a landline. When cable companies bundle their services so that you can have phone, tv, and internet for $99 (over $150 after the first year) and when I am charged $105 for JUST cable alone (no pay channels) and another $32 from Verizon for DSL internet, and over $100 from Verizon to have regional and long distance calling on my landline. They have forced people into a corner with these bundle prices. BUT a landline is the only thing that works when there is an emergency..

We have a land line because even when the power goes out here and cell phones run out of charge, the phone lines continue to work.

I still have a landline. I have had a mobile (that's cell phone for Americans readers) for about 18 months now that I seldom take anywhere. I've used it 3 times.

As others have said, A LOT of great stuff today. Thank you.
To answer your questions:
1) I have thoroughly enjoyed witnessing Betty White's enormous popularity over the past few years, but I'm afraid she's been "boxed" as a "feisty, funny old person" and the remarks she used to make spontaneously are now being written for her and defining her and forcing her into playing the same character over and over. I minded the ad much less than "Off Their Rockers".
2)I still have a landline over here; my sister who lives in the US doesn't but my mother does.

Still have a landline - much more reliable. Enjoyed the ad with Betty White - life is too short to be offended by most things like that. I save my concern for some of the more egregious comments by politicians. Loved the tech tips. Used one of them while taking an on line class last night.

Liked the info in the Betty White ad; don't see why it's targeted to old people. Still have a land line - it's just simpler; I don't have to worry about charging it. Also have a pay-as-you-go cell phone.

Still have landline & use it all the time.
I have an Apple computer. Here are some more tips(called shortcuts):

1) k = mark email read
shift k = mark read email

2) l = apply star to messa
ge for 'important'

3) p = print

4) command m = minimize page

5) command n = open new
window while
another is
open (good
when going
between them,
like resetting
6) command w = close open

7) command enter = send email

No way to type the command symbol. None need caps.
I often have 2-4 minimized as I want to read them later or save my place on page.


3) command p

Also, for 2), that is small Ls

I think the Betty White video isn't a commercial - it's the safety video shown on flights.

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