Making New Friends in Old Age – Meditation No. 2
ELDER MUSIC: Songs About Cities - Santa Fe

INTERESTING STUFF – 3 December 2016


Maybe it's not enough, all those red Make America Great Again hats. Now you can have a miniature one as a Christmas ornament at a whole lot more than a miniature price:

If you need to know more about it, you can read it at The Hill. Merry * Christmas.


The standard reporter question when old, old people are interviewed is always about what they attribute their longevity to. A whole lot of men mention whisky and cigarettes and there are often other funny answers – I always think they're pulling our collective leg.

The current oldest person in the world is Emma Morano of Rome, Italy, who turned 117 last Tuesday and is, according to the story, the last person alive in the world born in the 19th century. She lives at home helped by a niece and two other caregivers.

Marano at Home

Ms. Morano attributes her longevity to eating three raw eggs a day since her teen years (she recently cut back to two a day) and also to the fact that she has been single for most of her life.

”On Tuesday, Ms. Morano took it all in good stride. She blew out the candles, posed graciously for countless photographs and accepted cheek kisses galore.

“Then at one point she said, ‘Hey, isn’t there anything to eat here?’ and she ate,” said [her physician] Dr. Bava, who honored her Tuesday morning.

“Then she took a nap.”

Sounds like a smart idea to me after a big birthday party. You can read more about Emma Morano at The New York Times.


My friend Jim Stone sent this video song which is a raucous recap of the events of 2016. It's wildly funny and all too true so I sent it to a couple of other friends wondering if I should post it today (it is a whole, hell of a lot more crude that other stuff I post).

The friends said yes so here it is. You've been warned. Also, this is a disclaimer from Flo and Joan on their YouTube page: “We got our facts wrong and it wasn't a bombing in Nice. We're sorry for any offence this may have caused.” Enjoy.


I really like 3D street art and usually Darlene Costner sends them to me. I found this one all my own and the entire first half of the video is new to me.

I've seen the second half - “the making of” - before but it was just as interesting to see again. I hope it delights you as much as it delights me.

There are more “best of 3D street art” videos at YouTube.


Utne or Utne Reader has been around in one form or another since the 1980s when it was founded by Eric Utne to reprint the best of the alternative presses on politics, culture, and the environment along with some original stories.

Although Eric sold the magazine 10 or so years ago, he still writes for it now and then and a few years ago I was privileged to have lunch with him and his wife when they visited Oregon.

It's one of the magazines I check in with regularly online and last week I was surprised to find this at the top of the third paragraph of one story:

”Let’s start with Ronnie Bennett...who puts out a must-read blog on aging called Time Goes By. She writes...”

I'm abashed to be included with the likes of Rebecca Solnit, Naomi Klein and Bill McKibbon among others that Eric quotes in his essay of a sampling of post-election ruminations.

Utne's essay is this week's “Good Read” (which it would be even without me in it) and you will find it here.


Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, age 74, has had a couple of busy weeks predicting disaster for humanity – first in November, as reported by Raw Story, during a speech at Oxford:

“'We must also continue to go into space for the future of humanity,' he said. 'I don’t think we will survive another 1000 without escaping beyond our fragile planet.'”

And then this:

More about the second prediction at Esquire.


The shock of the election result was still new and raw when, on November 9, Matthew “Levee” Chavez came up with Subway Therapy in Manhattan's Union Square subway station to help people cope:

The idea quickly spread to other subway stations in New York and to other cities. See more about it and more photos at Chavez's website.


I've read a lot of stories about how certain kinds of apes make tools to get to otherwise unreachable food. But birds? YouTube explains:

”Researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna and the University of Oxford report that Goffin cockatoos can make and use elongated- tools of appropriate shape and length out of amorphous materials, suggesting that the birds can anticipate how the tools will be used.”


Why not two animal stories in week. There are never enough animals, right?

More than 500 cats(!) live together at the Lanai Cat Sanctuary in Hawaii. This video is three years old but the sanctuary is going strong and if you happen to live in Hawaii, you might want to adopt one of their cats.

Find out more at the sanctuary website.

* * *

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” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I 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.


Great collection of postings today - thank you, and congratulations on the Eric Utne endorsement.

Thanks for the reminder of Utne Reader; I used to have a subscription. I've bookmarked it for future reading.

You absolutely belong on Utne's recommended writers/links to follow! TGB is one of few blogs I read regularly and share with others when I think a post (or the whole blog) is relevant. I also follow Sherman Yellen on FB who is another sage, compassionate, passionate, brilliant, and witty writer with a clear understanding of history, ethics, and what makes for a democratic society and leadership. The 82-year-old man's FB wall is open, and anyone can read and comment (respectfully). Sometimes, Huffington Post publishes one of Sherman's FB entries. I am comfortable sharing his name because commenters often ask permission to share his posts, and he always says, Yes.

Great song from two young women from England. But.. if more of their age group had voted in the referendum, then we wouldn't be in this Brexit nightmare.

Love the Lanai cats and wish I could donate to their sanctuary. At this time of year I'm inundated--as everyone else probably is also--with email and snailmail soliciting money. One (other) thing I don't much like about being old/retired is that I no longer have the resources I once had to support the causes I believe in. I still do what I can, but it's not enough to help much. Of necessity, I've pared down my list of causes and the amounts I contribute.

Our area's network of senior centers lost most of their United Way funding this year (in the greater Seattle area, older people are no longer considered a "priority" by UW). In one of the nation's fastest-growing and most affluent cities--our housing costs are currently the highest in the country--the Meals on Wheels program for homebound elders must now compete with hundreds of other nonprofits for basic operating funds.

I've donated to this program in the past so they could expand services; now they need donations to continue providing services at or near the current level. For some elders, whether we can give anything and, if so, how much can be a dilemma. If we're "too" generous, we risk running out of money and needing help ourselves!! So. . .it's a balancing act.

The "2016" video is great--F*** words and all. I couldn't agree more!

A clever assortment, Ronni, enjoyed several of them.
Bye about *s red hat... since he now is threatening to sue and/or jail anyone who makes fun of him I be cautious about putting this on a tree. It isn't very "Presidential!!"

Thank you for all this great interesting stuff and for the link to Utne. As Tamar said above, TGB is a must-read for me and I frequently share your posts and always discuss them. Very impressive cockatoo, who obviously does NOT forget something he/she has done "the very next day".

Love the kitties. How's Oliver doing?

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