Elders, Stress and the U.S. Government
ELDER MUSIC: A Fifth of Classical Gas

INTERESTING STUFF – 18 February 2017

It's almost over – just one more day of the annual TGB donation week. If you have been AWOL this week, you can learn more here. If you have donated, I thank you. If you have not, that's fine too.

If you do want to help support the work that goes into this blog, click the Donate link just below. If not, nothing will change for you here and you can just scroll down for today's Interesting Stuff.

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NOTE: It is getting harder to find non-Trump-related items for this Saturday post. I'm sure the explanation has something to do with Trump fatigue that increasing numbers of people are writing about.

With that caveat, I've done my best this week to make the list as interesting as possible. Like everyone, I have not yet adapted to this new Trump world. Please bear with me.


Fifty women in the 80s, 90s and 100s, took part in the women's march without leaving their Seacrest Village retirement home in Encinas, California. And it wasn't a one time thing for them. Now they spend their time writing their representatives:

“'You can’t leave it up to someone else,' said Bertha Fox, 91, who raised four sons in Los Angeles and dedicated much of her life to volunteering,” reported KPBS News. “'If something is important, you have to do it.'

“They have witnessed a lifetime of historic protests and movements, from Civil Rights and anti-war to abortion and labor rights. Some of the women, including Appleby, have done a lot of marching through the decades.

“'In college I was for solidarity and I came home and I thought my father was going to throw me out of the house,' said Appleby, who also marched for union rights in the 60s, and Roe v. Wade in the 70s.

“Immigration is also on the mind of Rudolph, who said she can’t stop thinking about the uncertain future of Syrian refugees. The crisis echoes the Holocaust, she said. 'There’s no place for them to go in this world,' Rudolph said. 'My God, it just brought it all back.'”

Watch the entire video report frm KPBS-TV and thank Darlene Costner for letting us know about this. We should all be working this hard to resist.

You can read more about these women here.


The Wall Street Journal for many years has had a tighter paid firewall online than many mainstream newspapers but there was a way around which I've sometimes mentioned to you.

If you landed ona WSJ page where most of the story was grayed out, you could copy the headline into Google search and the resulting link would take you to the full, readable article. No more. They turned it off last Monday:

The Journal tested turning off the feature with 40 percent of its audience last year. But the eye-popping moment was when the Journal turned it for off four sections for two weeks, resulting in a dramatic 86 percent jump in subscriptions. The Journal said the full turnoff is a test, but didn’t say how long it would last, reported Digiday.

I'll miss the hack but I can't afford to subscribe to everything I want to read. I'm at my limit now. You can read more here.


It's only about three weeks old but Matt Kiser's new blog is already wildly popular. As Poynter explains:


”The concept of his blog was pretty simple: Matt simply wanted to log what he called 'the daily shock and awe in Trump’s America' and make it easy for others to consume.”

He's right that it's hard to keep up these days and to help us out, Kiser spends six hours a day on the blog in addition to his paid job. He explains further:

”There was no grand plan or vision. I'm winging it here. I kind of made a blog, shared it on Facebook, and then it went nuts. Like many, I'm a news junkie, and I was having a difficult time keeping up with the cadence of news coming out of the White House...”

Read more about Matt at Poynter and check out his WTF blog here.


Let's break up today's list with good laugh. It's a letdown to find out at the end that it's just a Coca Cola commercial but until that's revealed I had fine ol' time laughing at people laughing together.


How is it that some idiots don't know that? A bill currently in the state legislature of Tennessee would, if passed, make children born by artificial insemination illegitimate.

”The text of the new bill,” reports Raw Story, “says it immediately 'repeals statute that deems a child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman’s husband, to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife.'”

I have no idea what it means in day-to-day life for a child to be named “illegitimate” but it doesn't sound good. You can read more here and here.


Big brother is getting smarter and watching workers more closely than ever before. Technology Review reports

”...that an increasing number of companies are outfitting offices with sensors to keep track of employees. These sensors are hidden in lights, on walls, under desks—anywhere that allows them to measure things like where people are and how much they are talking or moving.

Among many other things, the surveillance can track keystrokes, card swipes and what software employees are using on their computers. Or

”...maybe an employee looks at a lot of sensitive data and schedules a large number of external meetings, so the system flags them as a potential security risk. These are, after all, the problems that keep senior management awake at night.”

“Of course, the such schemes can also be read as creepy, Big Brother-style surveillance.”

Ya think? How far, I wonder, will surveillance go in the future. You can read more here.


Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has been holding forth on GQ's YouTube channel since early in the election cycle and he continues now. I hesitate to post his monologues sometimes due to how hyperbolic he can get but even so, he is smart, politically observant and his arguments are cogent.

Here he is a couple of days ago on how Trump's “deportation obsession” will help cripple our economy.


Thank Elder Music columnist Peter Tibbles for this:



Did I ever tell you my moose story? During my first month living in Maine, I looked out the window and saw a moost sauntering down the street. He strolled up a driveway across the street, strolled back down, walked a bit further and turned the corner.

Moose are weird looking – prehistoric. And I had no idea if a moose on a city street was an event or if it happened all the time. The photo on the front page of the morning newpaper the next confirmed that it was an event and it's one I never forgot.

Here's another moose story. As the Youtube page explains:

”...we saw the moose make several attempts at getting out of the water, but it could neither get up nor break the ice to get into shore. My partner, Sigrid Sjösteen, eagerly started to chop a pathway to shallower water, where it could reach the bottom and get out.

“We took turns chopping for about 30 minutes before the moose was out of danger.”

Here's how the moose good Samaritans did it:

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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.


Enjoyed the article about the senior ladies being active in politics.. good for them.

For what it's worth, I'd like to pass on some information from my Senator Jon Tester, D, MT. that might help others who want to writer their Senators.

He held a Facebook Town Hall Meeting the other day (answering questions people sent in) and at the end suggested the best way to contact him was NOT to sent letters to his D.C. office because the mail system there took too long to reach him. He recommended emails or phone calls.. or if we wanted to mail a letter, send it to one of his Montana offices.

To underline Peggy B: As we have mentioned here many times in the past couple of months and the Indivisible Guide tells us, snailmail has little or no impact. And as Peggy also says, telephoning DC and local offices are the best ways to contact representatives as email has little impact these days either.

In person is even better - in D.C. but also important at home offices.

Senate and House aides (in D.C. and in home offices) count phone calls in particular and lately, when representatives are interviewed for cable news shows, they mention those numbers to help advertise the public response. This informs everyone else and calls attention to the size of the support (or not support depending on what's being discussed).

This is one of the reasons it is important to call your representatives even if they vote the way you believe they should. When a rep can say he/she received 20,000 calls in just a day or whatever it is makes a difference in public perception.

Thanks so much for the Coca Cola ad. I was laughing right along with them!

I'm glad the moose got out of the icy water.

While working in a hospital years ago, I was standing at a lunch counter beside 2 young docs who were talking about illegitimate children/bastards. I interrupted long enough to tell them that by their definition I was one - and I didn't appreciate being called illegitimate - as I had done nothing wrong and it was my parent's fault. They were dumbfounded and apologized. I reminded them that they ought to be careful when and where they talk and about whom.

My representatives apparently do not want to hear from their constituents because their phones always go to Voice Mail and it's always full. This is especially true if they are about to confirm another unqualified person for *'s cabinet. My representatives include Jeff Flake (Tea Party member), John McCain (grumpy old man). I have tried numerous times to call them and have yet to make contact.

Love stories about good Samaritans. I hope the Moose was grateful.

I was disappointed when MSNBC dropped Keith Olbermann for being too controversial. Yes, he is bombastic, but he always makes his point. He knows how to cut to the chase.

I'd not seen the wonderful Coke ad. Reminded me of when we played "Ha ha" as children. Laughter is infectious, and good for the soul. I was at the supermarket the other day and kept hearing a little girl giggle in the next aisle. It was that unbelievably infectious belly giggle you hear from 2-3 year olds and you just have to giggle along with them. It sure brightened my day.

Seems to me that Tennessee bill should have made artificial insemination itself illegal, if that was their issue. As it stood, how did or could they know how if a baby was the result of artificial insemination?

A bit off topic but a good reminder:
The story on the Tennessee legislature is a good lesson in why simply saying "the states should decide" on subjects like the EPA and other issues that will also impact the lives of people in other is idiotic at best.

Living in Indiana we are often reminded [when the legislature is about to do something dumb] that back in 1897 they almost passed a bill to make the value of Pi 3.2. (Pi is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of the circle and the value can't be legislated any more that saying 2+2 should equal 5). Google- Indiana state legislature and Pi for details.

While the US Congress may not be the "Brain trust" at times they are generally considerably more intelligent (as a group) than the state legislatures and bring a national viewpoint to issues that will impact people across several or all the states.

The current administration's effort to simply "enforce" the 9th and 10th Constitutional amendments (states rights), without serious consideration of the impact of letting the individual states decide, does not imply good governance.

Seriously folks, where do you get this quality of information and entertainment on a regular basis? Maybe PBS, but they are a large corporation. I gladly contributed to Ronni’s blog and hope you will do the same.

I was deeply touched by the humanity shown in the Belgium Coca Cola commercial and the Norse (?) moose calf video. I recently saw an animal rescue video on FB where a man kept saying "you're welcome" to the animal & at one point they poked it several Xs instead of acknowledging the animal's tiredness.

I deeply appreciate your blog, Ronnie. I am a retiree who tithed 10% of my income to animal & civil rights organizations 2 months ago because of the recent presidential election. I hope you'll understand.

The world is a crazy place. I avoid Keith Olbermann because he is a hater, just as much as some of the similarly right-wing haters are.

NatashaM: Of course, I understand and what good work it is you're doing.

Moose story made me cry. In a good way. As opposed to all the other cry-worthy news we're hearing these days. Thanks.

I watched the Keith Olbermann video. Initially I agreed with his comments but after a bit when it really sunk in I realized that while a valid commentary it actually misses the real point of why we should protest this.

Keith, in the end, makes this an economic issue. What he ends up saying is "If I (we) are ok with higher prices and us or our children doing the "dirty" jobs then these deportations are ok". He just explains how we will be economically impacted by deporting people.

This misses the real point. It is not the economic impact that is of real concern. It is the impact on us as humans. This is a humanitarian issue - not [just] an economic issue.

Deportations of this nature deny the humanity of person being deported and the person doing the deportation.

These aparently capricious and unnecessarily cruel deportations that rip families apart, dump people into a country where they have no place to go, no job or other support is in essence inhuman. They seem to be done with malicious intent and out of a sense of spite or anger. To hurt people. With no concern for them as humans.

They can also dehumanize the ICE people and people who agree with or even cheer as these deportations happen. How does a human become so insensitive or hardened to the pain of another. Is this not "inhuman"?

They also tend to create a fearful environment in the immigrant communities. People are living with a sense of dread or fear they are next. Does it make us feel good that we create this fearful enviroment? Is that not inhuman?

So in the end it is not the economic impact -it is the dehuminization that is the real issue.

It is this inhumanity we must protest!

Well stated, Bob. I wholly agree with you.

I think it's entirely possible that representatives' voice mail boxes are full (I've had that experience as well). That's why I also send emails. Even though these may not have as much effect, I'd bet that a staff member is also counting the number of emails on specific issues as part of the overall response. Registering where I stand will, I hope, make my voice part of the aggregate total.

Yay for the moose!

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