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Saturday, 04 January 2014

INTERESTING STUFF – 4 January 2014


DIGITAL NATIVITY STORY

Yeah, I know – we're all sick to death of the holiday season but I think this makes one more Christmas-y thing worth it and then we'll put it to bed for the year. Hat tip to Darlene Costner.

(If the video does not play on your computer, you can see it at YouTube.)


EMPTY TIMES SQUARE BUILDING

You know that building where the ball drops on New Year's Eve? Although for many years it was The New York Times building, it hasn't housed the newspaper for eons and I was surprised to find out that in New York City at what may be the most traveled urban spot on earth, the building is almost entirely empty.

You can read more here about the history of the building and the ball that drops there each year.


U.S. BROADBAND SLOWER AND MORE EXPENSIVE

There is a certain class of politician, along with his and her supporters, who likes to tell us that the United States is number one at everything. Everything. Those of us in the reality based community know differently, know how far our nation is falling behind the rest of the world.

One of the latest ways we have lost the lead in is broadband service:

The World Economic Forum ranked the United States 35th out of 148 countries in Internet bandwidth, a measure of available capacity in a country. Other studies rank the United States anywhere from 14th to 31st in average connection speed...

“In Riga [Latvia], speeds average 42 megabits a second, but many users had service of 100 to 500 megabits as of mid-December...

“In San Antonio, broadband speeds average about 16 megabits a second. While higher speeds are available through cable television or phone companies, the expense is such that many households in the city cannot afford a connection.”

You can read more here about the discrepancies in broadband speed and what it means to United States business and technology future.


ENGINEERS' GUIDE TO CATS

Peter Tibbles writes the Sunday Elder Music column on this blog but he also has an abiding interest in maths and engineering. He sent along this video of two engineers explaining how cats function.

Actually, this video is a sequel to the same two engineers' first guide posted in 2008. You can find it here.


ACTIVE OLD AGE

I don't know about you but I get pretty tired of hearing how important exercise is to a healthy old age. On the other hand, it is so important that I don't think we can remind ourselves often enough.

Take a look at this powerful video from the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Canada and remember that even if you are physically limited, there are kinds of exercises that you can do to help maintain as much strength and good health as possible.


WHAT BORDER COLLIES DO WHEN NOT WORKING

I'm with the commenter at YouTube who wrote,

“I want to be like a border collie. I want to make something fantastically exciting out of absolutely nothing.”

See if you don't agree.


WHO DRINKS COFFEE, WHO DRINKS TEA

The British are known to be tea drinkers as are the Japanese. Brazilians drink coffee and so do Americans. Research agrees. Even so, it's still kind of interesting to see a world map of who drinks what. (Larger, interactive map at The Economist.)

CoffeeTeaChart

The Now I Know website has a short, little history of the coffee bean.


HOW GOOD IS THE SUCTION ON THIS VACUUM CLEANER?

You'll find out in the British TV commercial thanks to our good friend, Darlene Coster.


PERFECT CRIME

Another good friend, John Brandt, sent this video that combines our penchant for cute kitties, cute doggies and a good laugh. (If you have trouble viewing it here, try this link.)


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

Ronni--Thanks for giving An Engineer's Guide to Cats 2.0 the wide play of your blog community. At the time of my retirement, Paul Klusman had been in my organization for a year or two - an absolutely delightful person who was entirely dependable.

OK, so I thought the border collie piece was wonderful mostly because I like those dogs a lot, but the crime dog really had me laughing. Thanks.

I've only watched two of the videos so far, but the Engineer's Guide to Cats 2.0 video is worth the price of admission alone. Very dreary day here in the land of cold and snow, but this is really elevating my mood quickly. I am leaving the rest for later today when I'm going to need them after dealing with an obnoxious plumbing issue an hour away. Thanks for the therapy, Ronni.

Enjoyed all the videos but the cat item got me to thinking about cats and exercise.

Cats, at least my three do, sleep at least 23 out of the 24
hours in a day. How is it possible that they are so completely toned and ready at the drop of a hat to jump, run etc.? Can't we discover something of the sort for us 'elders' who simply detest exersize in all forms? It's
my New Year's project!

Maths and science really – the engineering turned up on a science site.

Don't know quite what it was about the border collies but I couldn't help laughing almost from the beginning. And then the last bit, the theiving dog was hilarious. Thanks for good laughs!!

Womderful assortment of videos.....Really enjoyed them all...

Did you notice that there were more tea drinkers in Peru and Bolivia? Interesting history behind that in Wikipedia. The empty building on a Times Square blows my mind. Who knew?

Spent a lot of time mulling over the Canadian clip from the Heart and Stroke Foundation and was disturbed by it. It seem to be implied that that poor fellow who was so ill could have avoided his suffering if he had only adopted a few lifestyle changes. If only!! I think i's called "Blaming the victim" I'm a retired nurse and have spent many hours with folks at the end of their lives. We don't really have as much control as we'd like to believe. Sure, sometimes chronic illness is caused by poor choices, but sometimes it's bad luck, bad genes, bad environment. Take your pick. The chronically ill deserve our help and comfort, not blame. Thanks for letting me vent.

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