Saturday, 29 March 2014
INTERESTING STUFF – 29 March 2014
LET'S BRING BACK JONATHAN WINTERS
In April 1964, late night host Jack Paar handed comedian Jonathan Winters a stick. It's just an old stick and all Paar says is, “Do something with it.” Watch as Winters riffs for four minutes of unrehearsed, brilliant funny stuff.
I don't think there are any contemporary comedians half as inventive as Jonathan Winters was. Give a big round of applause to Darlene Costner for forwarding the clip.
INEQUALITY MAP – YOUR STATE
You would think that having more money by magnitudes than everyone else on earth would be the best revenge but hardly a day goes by now that a billionaire isn't whining that people are saying saying not-nice things about him (they are mostly male).
Now, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) has issued a report showing the width of the income and wealth inequality gaps between the one percent and the 99 percent grew from 1979 to the most recent years for which numbers are available. Here's the United States average:
In Oregon where I live, average income of the one percent in 2011 was 17.6 times that of the 99 percent. In Texas that year it was 26.3 times the 99 percent and in New York State is was a whopping 40.5 times more than the 99 percent.
You can check your state on the interactive page here, and the full EPI report is here.
MAGIC TRICK FOR DOGS
It turns out that dogs are puzzled by a magician's disappearance tricks in about the same way we humans are. It's good fun – take a look.
The magician is Jose Ahonen and the YouTube page wants us to know that the dogs were not deprived. They got treats both before and after the trick.
HE CAN SING ONLY IN THE SHOWER
Last Sunday, TGB's resident music columnist, Peter Tibbles, referenced the old standard, O Sole Mio.
That reminded my friend Jim Stone about a rather obscure 1999 movie titled Shower. I'll let Jim set up the scene:
”...the singer hung out at an old Chinese bath house with a bunch of older guys, and he always sang that song under the shower. But he was so shy that he couldn't get a note out in public.
“[In the clip], the kid working the hose is the mentally-challenged son of the old bath house owner, whose business is slated for demolition to make way for modernization...Keep Kleenex close."
Jim also mentioned that it is “a warm, touching, sentimental, wonderful movie.” I checked and it's available at Netflix via DVD but not for streaming. You can find out more about the film at Wikipedia.
FULL COURT VIDEO
TGB reader Bill Griffith send this video and a good thing that is because I'd never track it down – I pretty much ignore all sports. Really. All. But even I am impressed with this.
From the YouTube page:
”Quince Imaging, in partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers' Q-TV team and Think Media Studios, projected full court video in anticipation of the halftime ceremony honoring Zydrunas Ilgauskas.”
Amazing. Take a look:
SARA DAVIDSON AND THE REBBE
Ten days ago or so, I told you about Sara Davidson's new book, The December Project, which is a report of the two-year conversation she conducted with widely revered Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi on the topic of “how not to freak out about dying.”
In doing that, I jumped the gun – the book would not be officially published until 25 March. It's published now and is available here and at all the usual booksellers online and off.
THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF FOOTLOOSE
Back in 1984, Footloose was a gigantic hit movie that helped make Kevin Bacon a star and is still thought of today as iconic.
Here is Bacon's amazing parking garage dance:
A week or so ago, Bacon visited Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show and recreated some of that dance proving he still has the moves at age 56. Take a look:
HOW CORPORATIONS BECAME PEOPLE
Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States heard the case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. in which the issue of corporate personhood plays a central role.
Corporations with the rights of people. Uh-huh. Not something anyone not a billionaire can much get his or her head around.
To help us out, MSNBC host Joy Reid gave us a history of how corporations became people in a short, little video that is easy to understand.
(On a news network increasingly populated with hosts who are either hysterics or deeply uninformed, Reid is a standout adult on the roster – smart, reasoned and well-informed. Her show is broadcast at 1PM Eastern.)
You can read more about the Hobby Lobby case here.
THE GUINNESS RECORDS CARD STACKER
This guy, Bryan Berg, has been all over the web, television, elsewhere for 20 years but I'd never heard of him before Darlene Costner send some photos of his card stacking work.
Berg holds Guinness World Records for largest and tallest houses of cards. Here is a profile of him from Guinness:
HEART STOPPING RESCUE VIDEO
The spectator commentary on this video is a little weird but don't let that keep you from cheering the rescue. It seems like a make-believe movie scene but is all the more riveting for being real.
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.