Saturday, 26 July 2014
INTERESTING STUFF – 26 July 2014
MONTY PYTHON FAREWELL CONCERT
Several readers send this video of the final concert from the remaining members of British Monty Python comedy group.
This video is the final song on the final night of the final 10-night stand in London during which many of the other performers from earlier in the evening joined them on stage.
You can read more here.
A ROYAL BELLY LAUGH
From Darlene. You don't often see Queen Elizabeth II or her son Prince Charles having this kind of fun. Too bad we don't know what they were laughing at.
GEORGE TAKEI'S CHILDHOOD INCARCERATION
The actor George Takei, famously known as Mr. Sulu from the original Star Trek series, was on The Daily Show to talk about a new documentary about his life and host Jon Stewart zeroed in on Takei's childhood in one of the most shameful events in American history.
Takei was five years old, he tells Stewart, when he, after Pearl Harbor, his parents and siblings were forced from their home to the camp for Japanese American citizens at Santa Anita Racetrack where a friend of mine also grew up. Take a look:
There is an extended interview online at The Daily Show website.
SAD AND FUNNY AT THE SAME TIME
Once upon a time, in 2004, a pine tree was planted in Los Angeles in memory of Beatle George Harrison:
Now, the tree will be torn out and replaced because it was killed by an infestation of – wait for it – beetles. Heh.
You can read more here.
JIMMY FALLON AND KEVIN SPACEY
I've been meaning to show you this video since last May when actor Kevin Spacey appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
You may or may not know that Spacey is a decent singer. Although he is better known nowadays for playing Frank Underwood in the Netflix hit, House of Cards, in 2004, he directed and starred in Beyond the Sea, the biography movie of Bobby Darin, and sang all the songs himself. I have the album and still play it now and then. I like Spacey's voice.
On The Tonight Show, Spacey and Fallon joined the members of the barbershop quartet called Ragtime Gals to sing Talk Dirty.
There is more information with links to additional song videos here.
NO SELF DRIVING CARS FOR DECADES (?)
Some of us elders have been carefully watching the development of self-driving cars because they could be so useful to elders who, when they can no longer drive for various reasons, could be less dependent on the sometimes non-existent public transportation and the kindnesses of strangers.
Although it is only one step in the right direction, I was thrilled a few years ago, to try a self-parking car at Ford Motor headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan:
I was amazed at how well it worked. Now, however, if we can believe the MIT Technology Review (and I generally do), it will be decades before self-driving (also called autonomous) cars will be ready for urban use:
”For example, a fully autonomous car would need to understand that someone waving his arms by the side of the road is actually a policeman trying to stop traffic.
“When surveyed by the conference organizers, the 500 experts in attendance were not optimistic such problems would be solved soon. Asked when they would trust a fully robotic car to take their children to school, more than half said 2030 at the very earliest. A fifth said not until 2040, and roughly one in 10 said 'never.'”
I hope they're wrong. You can read the whole story here.
JOHN OLIVER TAKES ON THE U.S. PRISON SYSTEM
As I keep repeating myself – John Oliver may be the best news person on television even if he is a comedian. He has been specializing in in-depth coverage of important issues. Last Sunday on Last Week Tonight, he took on America's prison system.
POLITE CAT EXACTLY LIKE MY OLLIE
Just like the polite cat in this video, my cat Ollie taps me lightly on the arm or leg or face or whatever body part he's near when he wants a pet or a head scratch. Take a look:
For Ollie, however (and who knows – maybe this cat too), when food rather than affection is the question, he's more insistent. Well, “vicious” would be the better word and I've got the scarred ankles to prove it.
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 include the name of the blog and its URL.