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Saturday, 22 March 2014

INTERESTING STUFF – 22 March 2014


LOVING GETTING OLD

The British charity, AgeUK, created this gorgeous video – 100 people age 1 to 100 – to help promote age acceptance. Roger McGough's poem is read by Sir Christopher Lee.

I was surprised when it was pointed out to me that a blogger who expends a lot of energy pushing back against ageism thinks the video is ageist. I suppose one can disagree with a couple of points in the poem, but that is hardly enough to condemn such a lovely video and sentiment. You can read the objection here for yourself.

There is more about AgeUK's campaign for age acceptance at the AgeUK website where you can read other's stories about getting old and tell your own if you choose. (Hat tip to Jan Heigh and Chuck Nyren for sending this beautiful video.)


THIS WEEK'S BIG SCIENCE ANNOUNCEMENT

If, like me, you are stupid about science, perhaps you too had trouble understanding the significance of the big space/time announcement this week.

As The New York Times reported:

“[A young physicist named Alan Guth] discovered what might have made the universe bang to begin with. A potential hitch in the presumed course of cosmic evolution could have infused space itself with a special energy that exerted a repulsive force, causing the universe to swell faster than the speed of light for a prodigiously violent instant...

“On Monday, Dr. Guth’s starship came in. Radio astronomers reported that they had seen the beginning of the Big Bang, and that his hypothesis, known undramatically as inflation, looked right.”

Uh-huh. As if that means anything to my science pea-brain. But this video from the journal Nature helped a bit.


THE WORLD'S LARGEST PASTA MAKER

At The New York Times this week, artist Nicholas Blechman reported in cartoons the amazing story of Barilla, the world's largest pasta maker, located in Italy.

The factory is so huge that workers get around on bicycles.

Barilla

You can go here to see Blechman's entire visual "field trip" to Barilla's Parma headquarters. It's charming as well as informative.


ARCHIE BUNKER AND THE DOCTOR

Most of us at this blog are old enough to recall that when All in the Family first hit American TV screens in 1971, Archie Bunker's bigotry was startling and controversial.

It didn't take long for critics and viewers alike to understand the humor. Thanks to Darlene Costner, we have a video clip today of Carroll O'Connor as Archie having a little trouble dealing with a black, female physician. So funny.


FDR'S SECOND BILL OF RIGHTS

According to the YouTube page of this video, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recorded this proposed second Bill of Rights just after delivering his January 1944 State of the Union address.

It is uncanny how accurately FDR's appeal applies to our world 70 years later. Take a look:


FISH ON WHEELS

Here's what the YouTube page says about this video:

”By using a camera and computer vision software it is possible to make a fish control a robot car over land. By swimming towards an interesting object, the fish can explore the world beyond the limits of his tank.”

See what you think:

It has been noted that the fish is placed into a normal fish tank after driving.


THE FOUNDING FATHERS ON CHRISTIANITY

The religious/political right wing in the United States never stops trying to whack away at the separation of church and state. Among their arguments is that the founding fathers intended the U.S. to be a Christian state.

Oh yeah? It doesn't take much digging to find out that is as far from their position as anyone can get. This week, Daily Kos provided a lot of smart rebuttal to the false notion. Here are three of their quotations:

Thomas Jefferson (1787): “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of blindfolded fear.”

Benjamin Franklin (1758): "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."

James Madison (1774): "Christian establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects."

There are a bunch more at Daily Kos.


JEANNE ROBERTSON

It been going on four years since elder comedian Jeanne Robertson was last featured here and it's high time we rectified that. Thank Darlene Costner for these laughs:

You'll find more video from Robertson's standup act at her website.


MOVIE STAR MORPH

Darlene and Nancy Leitz sent this video titled the “50 Most Beautiful Women Ever.” Whether you agree or not, they are lovely and it's fascinating to watch the morphing from Greta Garbo to Natalie Portman.

I had to giggle when I realized that the biggest difference between the oldest and youngest stars seems to be the change from styled hair to completely uncombed.


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

Outstanding blog today. Thanks so much for a lovely intro to the w/end. Everyone's contribution a treasure.........will return to visit the links later. Thank you, thank you & have a great w/end. Dee...PS: and not one clip of an animal!

"...presumed course of cosmic evolution could have infused space itself with a special energy that exerted a repulsive force, causing the universe to swell faster than the speed of light".

While this theory may explain how the universe was formed, it also may explain why my knee swelled up over night.

BTW: I can't wait for your weekend stuff Ronnie, it's all over the place and I love it.

I wouldn't call it "styled hair" versus uncombed. The sad fact is that the horrible hairstyles up until the late 60s ruined the appearance of most average looking women.

You had to be extremely attractive like Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak or Liz Taylor to carry off those short helmet heads. Many women ended up looking like Mamie Eisenhower.

Today you have many more styles to choose from so you don't have to settle for tight permed "do-s" and short bangs.


”Uh-huh. As if that means anything to my science pea-brain.

I began watching Discovery Channel’s “The Origins of the Universe on Netflix and one of the things I could not wrap my brain around was that when the Big Bank occurred it exploded at a rate that was a million, million, million, million times faster than the speed of light. The fact that this occurred over 14 billion years ago and yet we can send a vehicle back to the point of the explosion and see it’s origins also blows my mind.

Loved the Archie Bunker clip where he meets his black doctor.

The beginning of the universe is truly mind boggling. I can't wrap my mind around it.

In spite of these fascinating videos showing galaxy after galaxy and the explanation of science as to how it all began it is simply astounding that the religious right want to include the theory of creativity in the new "Cosmos" show [to be fair and balanced]. What is wrong with these people? Personally I think they are the ones who are unbalanced.

Not "Big Bank" but Big Bang, Sheesh. But it might be nice to see Big Banks explode leaving little local ones. :-)

Thank you for the excerpt from KOS on our Founding Fathers and their thoughts on Christianity and religions in general!

This group of quotes (and the many others that exist from our forebears)really refutes all that the religious zealots have to say about our Democracy and its roots.

I have agreed with all of these sentiments since I was a young girl and sadly discovered all of the hypocrisy and ugliness of organized religions for myself, up close and in a very personal way.

The AgeUK video is ageist. The general feeling I got was that someone had died.

Where is Archie Bunker today? It doesn't seem like we have anything on television today that "speaks out" like "All in the Family" did.

Love the bit on the Founding Fathers and Christianity. Also the Big Bang. It all fits in nicely my current discussion of "Cosmos" and the creationists. It takes a heap o' denial to maintain old religious ideas in the face of today's science. And a heap o' something else to keep trying to interject religion into our government, schools, and other people's lives.

Great posts today Ronni! My
fave's are all of them! Especially, the FDR video, the
quotes on religion by our "founding fathers", the morphing of the beautiful movie stars, and Archie Bunker!
It is good to know via these comments that so many of the
TGB readers are also not champions of religious ridiculousness!
We can separate church from state at the ballot box!!!!

You hit the jackpot this week! FDR was a humanitarian and did the citizens of the USA a world of good.

I spent a half hour laughing at Jeanne Robertson clips. Maybe it's just a Southern thing, I find her hysterical, my Canadian husband (Left-brained and also hard-of-hearing) is just puzzled. LOL

Archie Bunker was right for the times. Today new shows, like Mike and Molly and The Big Bang Theory challenge today's bigotries, against science, immigrants, colour (still), stereotypical ideas of beauty.

The Nature clip is *wonderful*! What a time to be alive!

Must say I agree that the AgeUK ad is ageist.

Another terrific collection of videos this week. I laughed so much at "Archie Bunker and the Doctor" and at the always-hilarious Jeanne Robertson. It's been quite a while since I've even thought of either of these super-talented performers.

I don't want to pick nits and the beautiful women morphing video was not your creation but where, I wonder, were women of color? There have certainly been many beautiful black and Latino and Asian women over the years who could easily have been morphed into the video. Someone should tell the creator (someone probably has) that he came up short on this.

Very entertaining and educational Interesting Stuff this week. I love Jeanne Robertson and had not seen any of her things in quite a while, so this was a special treat. She always gets laughs out of me, no matter what. The FDR piece was chilling -- will things every change? And though I am usually more cynical about things movie star-related, I did enjoy the morphing video. The long hair back in the 1930's-50's was especially beautiful.

Ronnie,

I don't buy that you're stupid about science. A lot of elder women (like me) grew up thinking that way. Well, you can understand it. Just send me your questions, and I'll show you that most science is understandable, with the benefit of a clear explanation. It takes more than that to be an expert in a scientific discipline, of course, but you can achieve a basic understanding of more than you think. By the way, I got my PhD in genetics when I was 55 years of age.

Oops. In my excitement about posting, I spelled your name incorrectly. My sincere apologies!

Oh, if we only had Roosevelt today. He was the greatest.

Wonderful selection this week -- and not a cute kitty or puppy in sight!

Thanks for this post. Loved the explanation of this new discovery re: our origins mostly because I understood it. Also appreciated the quotes of our founding fathers- but certainly you're not suggesting policies should be based on facts!

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