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Saturday, 14 December 2013

INTERESTING STUFF – 14 December 2013


All it says at the YouTube page is that they don't realize yet they have been born – I'm guessing that means they don't know yet they're in a new environment. It is magical. (Thank you and hat tip to Nikki Lindquist)


My friend Steve Oppenheim turned me on to these guys. Funny premise, fun video.

If that's not enough for you, there is more in Part 2.


According to accuweather.com, there are so many variables that influence a snowflake's design that it's entirely possible no two are alike.

Moscow photographer Alexey Kljatov has produced dozens of high resolution photographs of dramatically different snowflakes.

Snowflake 1

Snowflake 2

Bored Panda website tells us that Kljatov is an amateur photographer who has made these stunning close ups with a homemade camera built

”...out of old camera parts, boards, screws and tape. His pictures give us an enchanting close-up view of snowflakes that we could never hope for without specialized equipment.”

You can see more of Kljatov's snowflake images at the two links above and even more at this website.


I don't know why it's called that – it seems to be no more than just a name. The YouTube page tells us,

”Top Secret Drum Corps is a precision drum corps based in Basel, Switzerland. With 25 drummers and colorguard members, the corps became famous for its demanding six-minute routine performed at the Edinburgh Tattoo in 2003.”

It's been nothing but uphill for the Corps ever since. This routine was performed in 2012:

Hat tip to Darlene Costner.


Sal Bracco has been fixing watches in New York City for 65 years. When he retired this week to his home on Staten Island, the 79-year-old had been fixing watches since he was 13 or 14. That was when he began serving

”...an apprenticeship with a cousin who had a shop on a narrow street in south Brooklyn, sitting by his side for a year and watching him work. Young Sal also cleaned the outhouse for his cousin.

“'He was a tyrant,' Mr. Bracco said. 'Most watchmakers were in those days. You had to keep your eyes open. After a year of watching, I came in one day and he said, 'Sit down and start working.’”

This story appealed to me because Bracco may be near the last of a breed now that so few of us wear watches. But I was interested in this idea too: Bracco told the reporter that “nothing,” when he apprenticed, appealed to him about watchmaking. “I was making a living,” he said.

Not the sort of thing any parent today would think is good enough for their kid. You can read the whole story at The New York Times.


This has been all over the internets in the past week or two. That doesn't make it less funny.


I like doll houses. I also like gingerbread houses. I just like miniature houses and every year, the White House chefs create a miniature of the place where they work.

It's a nice thing to make this house every year. I just wish they'd let me produce the video – they do a very unsatisfactory job of it. Watch for a brief glimpse of the two first family dogs inside the little house.


TGB Reader Bev Carney sent this newest Simon's Cat video. Apparently, from the title, there will be a Part 2. I'm relying on you, Bev, to let me know when it's available.


Big corporations don't have much of a reputation these days and that's mostly deserved. I don't know anything about Canadian airline Westjet's reputation but after this, there are at least two planeloads of people who must think it's a cool company. Take a look.

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


The video of the babies is mesmerizing; I could watch it for hours. Simon's cat is always a good time, and I'll be looking for Part II. But the Westjet thing I had seen earlier this week, and still don't know what to think of it. A lot of money and time obviously went into this, if it's authentic, which I'm assuming it is, all for people who may have absolutely no need of these gifts for a happy Christmas. I just wish people would think more about where they're putting their resources, especially at Christmas. I'm sure it was written off as a marketing event, as these folks will most likely think much more fondly of Westjet in the future, although the guy who said he just wanted underwear and socks may feel a bit different now, seeing his fellow fliers with their big screen TV's and electronic gadgets. It's just such a reinforcement of the idea of Christmas as a big party of conspicuous consumption. And now I'll get off my bah humbug rant. Happy holidays!

Cat vs. Dog personality was hilarious

Cats, cats, cats. I loved all the videos about felines, but especially Simon's cat.

I agree with Larry that the cat vs dog personality was very funny and apt.

I always appreciate the Saturday selections, loved the babies and snowflakes this week.
Plus a shout out to Ronni for the blogging article republished in the Wall Street Journal, see

You know me, I loved it all. From the perfection of the babies through the toe tapping of the drums.

Why not write the White House about next year. You can do better than they did.

Thank you.

Really great stuff today. Thanks.

Westjet are the best. I am flying Westjet to Trinidad from Toronto tomorrow and use Westjet to fly to the other side of the country to visit part of my family.
So much fun and personal service. Beats Air Canada hands down.
Every employee is part owner.

My goodness, Mia, I wrote that for WSJ in 2008 - I'd forgotten about it.

Priceless selectoins, Robbie. As always.

In response to Cathy,

The event was incredibly astute marketing and pr, with an amazing ROI.

The number of exposures West Jet got from this "Christmas Giving Miracle" easily justifies the cost. The reach was not to these passengers but to every person who heard about it or saw the video. WAY cheaper than running ads, and far more exposure. Great marketing/pr which did its job, plus made a bunch of people happy, without harming anybody. It's all good.

If you knew how much companies spend during the rest of the year to run a typical, run-of-the-mill sweepstakes with far less reach and only a few Grand Prizes, you'd be surprised at how economical this was to produce: a very efficient use of corporate resources.

You can always make the argument that any marketing, pr or ad spending at all would be better used for charity. I do agree that the holiday is now a shop-i-day, though, and long for a different tone, right along with you.

Loved this week's Interesting Stuff. I look forward to the Saturday post every week because I always find something new and funny or entertaining or informative here. There is seldom a week when I don't send at least one story or video on to others.

Thanks for doing this each week. It's great!

Thumbs up again, Ronni. But the best for my "guffaw of the day" is the "dog you shall not pass." What a hoot. Sending it on to a dog lover.........& as others have have remarked, it took Charlie Brown's annual TV show to remind me of the true meaning of this day. Dee

All good; some I had seen before. The friends as cats and dogs is ingenious!!

God Bless those babies, I hope they have a wonderful life. As for West Jet, good for them! What a thrill for those passengers. Nice to see those happy faces and the employees all seemed to be enjoying themselves, too. Who could find fault with that?

You made my day with the dogs and cats video. I've always had both in my home.

I'm watching the cat dog one again. Laughing all the way.

The funny part is the dogs seem to know the cats will take a backhand swipe to it. Dogs never forget, and cats are stealth whackers.

I love gingerbread houses and doll houses too. This YouTube of Holidays at The White House was interesting but I wished it'd been slower and more detailed. I continue to enjoy your Saturday posts.

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