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Saturday, 07 December 2013

INTERESTING STUFF – 7 December 2013


According to this story from KARE-TV, this man gave up a six-figure income as executive chef at one of the finest restaurants in Minneapolis/St. Paul for a Salvation Army soup kitchen. And wait until you see the meals he serves.


From illusionist Criss Angel. That's all I'm gonna say.

You can find out more about Criss Angel at Wikipedia. (Hat tip to Darlene Costner)


This from Michael Caronaro may not be as spectacular as Criss Angel's but it is funnier and it's kind of sweet too – a segment from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (Thank you to Nancy Leitz)


A so-called “relationship banker” refused to honor the request of a 93-year-old to close an account without penalty because she was one day past the deadline date that had fallen on a holiday. When the 93-year-old's son, Mike Frenkel, asked to speak to a manager,

”I learned that this branch had no supervisor on the premises,” he wrote. “After an uncomfortable silence, my Relationship Manager then offered to call the 'Advocacy Team' to see if they could waive the penalty.

“She whispered into what looked like a real landline phone, nodded a few times, hung up the receiver, smiled and then shook her head. 'Sorry. They said it's not possible.'"

Back home, Mr. Frenkel took a shot at rectifying the issue by sending an email to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) via its website.

”I expected one of those, 'We're sorry' replies from the CFPB. Instead, a mere four days after I had filed my complaint, I received a written apology from the bank, a waiver of all penalty fees and the promise to 'escalate this matter for further policy review.' I couldn't believe it. Elizabeth Warren's crew had come to my rescue.”

A government agency that helps real people. Amazing. Thank Senator Elizabeth Warren for that but you should also go read the Mike Frenkel's whole story. It's worth the effort of one click.


Israeli pianist Astrith Baltsan performs Gershwin with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra – an amazing performance of a familiar and beloved piece. (Again, thank you to Darlene Costner)


Let me know if you get tired of these because I don't. This one is a world record, says Guinness - 100,000 dominos.

It was created by the people at Austria Domino Art and you can read more about it at the YouTube page.


Bernard Durin, who died in 1988, was a French artist who painted bugs. Yes, bugs. Insects.

Recently, a book of some of those paintings, Beetles and Other Insects, was reissued in an enhanced edition from its 1980 original. And wow – what a book it is. Reporter Dana Jennings writes in The New York Times:

”Painted with passion and precision, each insect here is a marvel of evolutionary architecture and engineering, but also a wonder of color, texture and detail. I’d forgotten how hairy so many insects are, and the hues and patterns on many of these exoskeletons suggest ancient mosaics or fine Italian tile. These are mere vermin?”

They may be but look how beautiful the Sphaerocoris anulus is:

Sphaerocoris anulus

Look at the gorgeous pantaloons on the Anisocelis flavolineata.

Anisocelis flavolineata

You can read a lot more about the artist and see more of his beautiful bug paintings at The New York Times, and the book is available at Amazon and elsewhere.


This got almost more publicity last week than the ACA website so you may have seen it but I couldn't skip it. Drones to deliver Amazon products in 30 minutes.

It was a good stunt but I don't believe it. Too many trees at my house for it to work. What about power lines? And apartment houses. Can it ring the bell like the UPS guy does at my house when he delivers a package?

But even if you don't believe in it, the video is fun to watch.

You can find out more at Amazon Prime Air.


They built the snow maze just for him but the dog doesn't see any reason to follow human game rules – it's too much fun to just play.

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


"It was a good stunt but I don't believe it. Too many trees at my house for it to work. What about power lines? And apartment houses."

Not to mention the crazy gun nuts who'll see drones as a tool for the Obama "dictatorship" and use them for target practice.

I loved the chef story!!!!

I can just imagine what would happen if I tried to set up those dominoes. I am such a Klutz I would probably get near the end and accidentally touch one and watch with horror as they all fell down prematurely. No thank you - there is already too much stress in my life to tackle that.

I wished those Amazon drones were real yesterday when I had to drive to two different stores to get printer ink cartridges.

But then again, if they ever happen, I bet they won't be delivering in inner cities. :-)

Gosh, I sure do love you Darlene! Every time I read some controversial item, my first thought is "what does Darlene think?" Don't know where you come up with some of your 'interesting' things but I sure do enjoy them!
Love you too Ronni!

Thank you for that beautiful and stirring version of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. It always bring me to tears. I love this masterpiece of music. It's like listening to Michelangelo's David or one of Rembrandt's paintings.

When my fingers were much younger and far more nimble, it was my favorite piece to play.

Dr Baltsan plays so marvelously well. Thank you!

Poor misunderstood bugs. "Mere vermin" indeed! So useful and so beautifully illustrated.

Thank you to Darlene, this was extraordinary. It lit up the end of a not so good day.


If I could think of a more vile, loathsome bunch of bottom-feeders than bankers, I would be hard-pressed. I wish them all a lot of luck; all bad.

As always wonderful! Loved the Rhapsody in Blue. Thank you. I look forward to seeing what you are going to create for this blog! Bless you.

Ah, the dog has the right of it. Perhaps the chef does too. Blessings on Elizabeth Warren. :)

Oh my goodness, NWD. You made my day. Thank you for that.

Darlene--I'm guessing there are dozens out here who love you, too. We just aren't good about letting you know.

NWD--Thanks for the boot in the butt to activate at least one more of Darlene's admirers.

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