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Saturday, 18 January 2014

INTERESTING STUFF – 18 January 2014


JIMMY FALLON AND THE BOSS

Whether Bridgegate will become New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's Watergate is yet to be seen but for all the media overkill about it in the past week, this was the best.

Bruce Spingsteen and Jimmy Fallon did a great job of tweaking Christie in their reworking of Born to Run into a parody of the bridge closing and its effect on Fort Lee.


WEIGHT LOSS INDUSTRY

We have had several good discussions here recently about weight loss and I believe that an advantage old people have in this endeavor is that we have enough experience to understand there are no miracle cures.

With others, however, the weight loss industry still rakes in billions of dollars a year in weight loss aids of which, it is said, 15 percent or so are either useless or questionable. As reported in Marketwatch last week:

“...to avoid fraudulent weight-loss products, consumers should be on the lookout for labels that promise quick action (like losing 10 pounds in 10 days), and labels that use words like 'guaranteed' or 'scientific breakthrough.' She also cautions against using creams or patches that promise to help with weight loss.”

Reporter Catey Hill's Marketwatch story, 10 Things the Weight Loss Industry Won't Tell You, is one of the most useful articles on the diet business I've read in a long time. You will find it here.


DEVIL BABY PRANK

It's just a promotion for an upcoming movie and it's been all over the internet this week. But until the creepy animatronic devil baby in a remote controlled stroller gained wide exposure, it scared the crap out of whole lot of New Yorkers.


MAKING A VIRTUE OF DISADVANTAGE

TGB Reader Alan Goldsmith sent this video of 25-year-old Lizzie Velasquez. Due to a disease so rare only two other people are known to have it, she has zero body fat among other serious conditions.

All her life, her appearance has caused stares, fear and on the internet, a hateful label: the world's ugliest woman. But she has a indomitable spirit and her story is inspiring. Take a look.


SHUT DOWN 12 BLOCKS OF BROADWAY FOR SUPERBOWL?

Maybe this is too New York-centric and maybe the fact that I have less than zero interest in football is affecting my judgment but can it possibly be true that more than half a mile of Broadway in the center of Manhattan will be closed for several DAYS leading up to the Super Bowl game?

”The crown jewel of public Super Bowl events will take up 13 blocks of Broadway and call itself Super Bowl Boulevard,” reports northjersey.com.

“From noon to 10 p.m. Jan. 29 through Feb. 1, the NFL will own Broadway between 34th and 47th streets and fans can take to the streets.

Someone with the power to make this happen thinks it's a good idea to screw up the daily lives of millions of people in the busiest traffic city in U.S? For days? For a football game?


HOMELESS SIGNS

If you live in a large urban area, especially in hard times, you are accustomed to passing many homeless people holding up their homemade signs of desperation and need.

Photographer and artist Andres Serrano says he has never seen so many people begging as now and he set out on a project to purchase their signs. He approached more than 200 homeless and in part, this is what he explained about how it worked:

“I’m buying these signs because I see every sign as a story. There are many stories out here that should be heard. Can I offer you $20 for your sign? They would all say yes and it touched me how grateful many people were when I bought their sign.”

The simplicity of the video Serrano created of these signs belies its power. (Hat tip to Jim Stone)

Serrano explains more about the project here and this is his official website.


MICROCHIPPING BEES

One of the things I admire about scientists is their tolerance for repetitive minutiae which often is what it takes to achieve the breakthroughs that improve our lives.

One of the scariest natural phenomena in recent years is the massive death of bees worldwide. Without the free pollination service bees provide, food production would be nearly impossible.

In an effort to figure out a fix for the bee problem, scientists at Australia's national science agency, will microchip sensors to thousands of honeybees. They

”...will use tweezers to glue on the sensors, weighing about 5 milligrams and measuring 2.5 millimeters (a little more than 1/16 of an inch) square, after soothing the bees to sleep by refrigeration.

“Some young bees, which tend to be hairier than older bees, need to be shaved before the sensor can be glued on.”

God bless those scientists for their willingness to carry out this incredibly tedious kind of work. You can read more here.


ABANDONED DOG AND PARALYZED CAT

It is a fact of human life that unbreakable friendships can be born of mutual adversity. This time it happened in the animal world.


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

Comments

Love Jimmy Fallon & this was one of his best.........you made my Sat. morning again which is sorely needed. There's snow everywhere (again) & the wind chill is -11! Hibernation day, again. :) Dee

Wow, what a lot of interesting reading here today! Loved the bee story, the sign story and of course Jimmy Fallon!

Ronni, et al, New Yorkers lives are upset by something every day. but as long as it brings in revenue for the city I don't mind it. My main gripe is with the movie shoots that move into a neighborhood, stay a couple of days, disrupt everybody's lives and don't spend a dime. At every movie shoot there is a craft service truck that provides meals and snacks and coffee for the cast and crew. I worked in Greenwich Village where dozens of movies are filmed every year. Not once did I see any cast or crew patronize any of the many restaurants in the area. Sorry to gripe, but those things really upset me.

That was some powerful stuff this week. Thanks. I couldn't watch the baby video all the way through, but I truly understand the rest. Especially the homeless vets.

Thanks for all you do Ronni.

The little kitty and doggie
are so priceless!

I can't help but wonder how my
big kitty would respond to them!

It is shocking and shameless that the richest country on the planet has so many homeless people. What is wrong with us?

The video of Lizzy Velasquez is so inspiring. Her parents deserve a huge amount of credit for their support and encouragement, and Lizzy deserves many kudos for her spirit, her accomplishments, and her courage.

Except for WW, the weight loss industry and big pharma will continue to thrive as long as many of us keep looking for the non-existent "Magic Pill." Thanks so much for your detailed description of your own common sense approach.

The homeless sign video was wrenching to watch. We have many such signs on display here in our small remote burg and the daytime temps are below freezing again.

I am in tears over that paralyzed cat and sweet dog. I wonder what the cat's problem is and if she can be cured?

Best homeless sign I have seen so far:
"I just like to write on cardboard."

"What do you do for a living?"
"Oh, I shave bees."

Agree with you on the NFL takeover of Broadway. Anything for a buck. Why not use part of Central Park?

What a terrific connection-- Serrano video of MLK's speech and the homeless signs! Should be in public spaces like jumbotron in Times Square.

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