Saturday, 31 May 2014
INTERESTING STUFF – 31 May 2014
OLD PEOPLE CAN BE SO UNEXPECTEDLY COOL SOMETIMES
This elder Italian joins some kids in a game of street soccer and shows some serious moves. Take a look:
Huffpost has a some more information.
U.S. LEADS THE WORLD IN OBESITY
Although a whopping one-third of the global population is fat according to a 33-year study reported in The Lancet this week.
In its summary of the study, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) notes:
”An estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight. Nearly three-quarters of American men and more than 60% of women are obese or overweight.
“These are also major challenges for America’s children – nearly 30% of boys and girls under age 20 are either obese or overweight, up from 19% in 1980.
“When looking at obesity alone, there are more obese adults living in America today – 78 million – than in any other country in the world. China follows at a distant second with 46 million obese and India with 30 million – countries which together represent 15% of the world’s obese population.
“Approximately one-third of American men (32%) and women (34%) were obese in 2013 compared with about 4% of Chinese and Indian adults.”
GENERAL JERUZELSKI DIES AT AGE 90
You are to be forgiven if you don't know that Wojciech Jaruzelski was the last Communist leader of Poland, the man who declared martial law in 1981 and sent tanks to crush the Solidarity movement there.
I might not know him except that in 1985, when he lifted martial law (well, only sort of but it's a long story), I produced an interview in Warsaw with him and Barbara Walters for the ABC News program 20/20.
And none of that matters to us today except that his death is an excuse for me to publish a photo of me with the general. He is the only person who ever kissed my hand not in jest:
The photographer shot this when we were first introduced. I had no idea how to behave in the circumstance, how to hold my hand, what my response should be. If I embarrassed myself, no one told me and I appreciate that.
GOOGLE'S LATEST DRIVERLESS CAR
I've been closely following the development of Google's driverless car eagerly anticipating how important it will be to elders. Here is a video with the latest release:
ELIZABETH WARREN IN PORTLAND
Last Wednesday, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, populist hero and hope for the future to many of us on the left-leaning side of politics, made a speaking and fundraising appearance in my town, Portland, Oregon.
During the two weeks leading up to her visit, as a card-carrying leftie I was bombarded with email to attend her speech. I would kvell to watch Ms. Warren in person, but the minimum ticket price - $100 – was unconscionably high for ordinary people.
I understand the need to raise money but if I were running these things, I would arrange at least a short public appearance (remember whistle stops – actual ones on the back of trains - in the olden days?) in addition to paid speeches.
THE GREAT FLYDINI
Speaking of the olden days, here is a 33-year-old video of Steve Martin as the Great Flydini. So funny. Thank Darlene Costner for this and by the way, on Thursday she celebrated a big-deal birthday - number 89.
3D PRINTED CAST
It is still in prototype but it looks to me like this new kind of cast for broken bones is a real advancement and seems to me that it will really work:
”Combine this cast with the accompanying low-intensity, pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) bone stimulator system (shown above) and, according to Karasahin: “'For single 20 minute daily sessions this system promises to reduce the healing process up to 38% and increase the heal rate up to 80% in non-union fractures.'”
TEENY TINY W.T.F. BUGS
With no apologies for the colorful headline, I am baffled by these itty bitty link bugs appearing on websites in the past year:
Sometimes there is a name when you roll over each one with your mouse: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email, etc. but the vast majority have no title on rollover. If you look very closely, there are miniscule letters and numbers in those tiny boxes but they have no apparent meaning.
So how is this better than the colorful little icons we are accustomed to? How is anyone supposed to know what they are? And what is the point of such extremely obscure iconography?
DON'T MESS WITH OLD PEOPLE STORY
Come on, now. You know you love them – the don't f**k with old people stories even if they are all variations on the same theme. Here's a good one from Darlene:
George Phillips, an elderly man, from Meridian, Mississippi, was going up to bed, when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed which she could see from the bedroom window.
George opened the back door to go turn off the light but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.
He phoned the police, who asked, "Is someone in your house?"
He said, "No," but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me.
Then the police dispatcher said, "All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available."
George said, "Okay."
He hung up the phone and counted to 30. Then he phoned the police again.
"Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I just shot and killed them both. The dogs are eating them right now," and he hung up.
Within five minutes, six police cars, a SWAT Team, a helicopter, two fire trucks, a paramedic, and an ambulance showed up at the Phillips' residence and caught the burglars red-handed.
One of the policemen said to George, "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"
George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"
The moral of the story is, of course, don't mess with old people.
Ronni here again: The email states it is a true story. I would like to think so but Snopes debunks it and even provides a warning about lying to 911 operators. They do, however, provide a couple of similar stories that are 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.