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.
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.
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.