My part of the U.S., northwest Oregon, escaped the extreme cold that plagued most of the nation early last week. The extreme sub-zero temperatures produced an avalanche (sorry) of odd news coverage. Here are several:
You might have caught one of the dozens of weather reporters and ordinary people who couldn't resist the boiling water freezes trick:
At Huffington Post,
“...scientist and author Dr. Ainissa Ramirez explains that the hot water freezes - changes from a liquid to a solid - as soon it comes into contact with the cold air. That's why the water appears like mist; it's no longer water but many tiny ice crystals.
"The same can happen if you toss out water from a cup from the ledge of the building. The people below will never feel it, because the water will freeze on the way down (to something like snow)."
AMAZING SNOW SHARK
Anybody can build a snowman but the Bartz brothers – Connor, Trevor and Austin – spent 95 hours building a 60-foot shark in their Minnesota front yard:
There are many still photos at Buzzfeed and here's another video showing how they built the shark. Well done, guys.
HELL FREEZES OVER
Yup. Hell really did freeze over last week – that is, if you believe hell is in Michigan. Take a look:
FOLLOW UP ON OUR LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT STORY
Last Monday, I wrote a blog post detailing what long-term unemployment means in real life to real people. A new study from the Urban Institute delves deeply into the consequences for individuals:
“Workers who have been out of a job for longer than 27 weeks typically see their incomes fall by 40 percent,” explains the Washington Post, reporting on the study.
“Even if they do find a new job, it tends to be lower-paying, and their long-term earning prospects are usually impaired. These workers tend to have worse health, higher rates of suicide and strained relationships with their families.
“They see a massive drop in self-esteem. Their children do worse in school and earn less over the long run.”
The entire study is here [pdf].
NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN – THE GOVERNMENT SPY VERSION
You might remember back in 1971, when the entire files of a Pennsylvania FBI office were stolen revealing that thousands of Americans were being spied upon. The burglars were never found.
Now there is a new book, The Burglary, by the Washington Post journalist, Betty Metzger, who first reported, in 1971, the FBI spy operation based on the stolen documents.
There is a big story about the burglars and their operation at The New York Times along with this fascinating Times video that includes interviews with the burglars and Ms. Metzger. Fascinating.
THE FIRST TIMEGOESBY CAPTION CONTEST
I don't know what else to do with this photo. But I couldn't get it out of my head and there's no explanation at Naked Capitalism, where I found it, except that the horse was “brought inside due to cold.”
So let's have a caption contest. Leave yours in the comments below.
THE PERILS OF A TV ANCHOR MAN
According to Mediaite, Fox News anchor Bret Baier joined some Real Clear Politics guys on their morning commute to work and told them the story of this awkward event at work. Just silly fun.
HEALTH COVERAGE RELIGION CARTOON
Surely you've heard of the upoming Supreme Court case involving the Little Sisters of the Poor nuns who do not want to be forced by the Affordable Care Act to pay for employees' birth control medication.
Daily Kos posted this cartoon about what might happen if the idea were to be applied more widely:
THREE-WEEK-OLD KITTEN SLEEPS
Absolutely nothing happens in this video. Just infinite cuteness.
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.