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INTERESTING STUFF – 2 September 2017

About half of this week's items are about animals. Maybe after such a horrendous political and weather week, it was just time to enjoy the sweet innocence of our furry and feathered friends.

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A lot of websites posted photos of people and their pets in the watery mess of Hurricane Harvey. Here are a couple of examples.



You can see more at The Atlantic and many other places around the web.


In terracotta jars in a Sicilian cave, researchers have discovered what may be the worlds oldest wine, made in Italy more than 6,000 years ago.

”Previously scientists had believed winemaking developed in Italy around 1200 BC, but the find by a team from the University of South Florida pushes that date back by at least three millennia,” reports The Guardian.

“'Unlike earlier discoveries that were limited to vines and so showed only that grapes were being grown, our work has resulted in the identification of a wine residue,'” said Davide Tanasi, the archeologist who led the research.”

The article also reports that some people believe winemaking goes back as much as 10,000 years. You can read more at The Guardian.


As the YouTube page tells us:

”Sloths spend most of their time eating, resting, or sleeping; in fact, they descend from their treetops canopies just once a week, for a bathroom break. How are these creatures so low energy?

The video explains:


Some people are just amazing at what they can do. Thank TGB reader Darlene Costner for the video of this tree stump sculptor.


Many decades ago, I produced a short-lived TV program hosted by Matt Lauer long before the Today and when he still had hair. One of the best interviews we did was with William Wegman who was just then gaining renown for his photographs of his pet Weimaraners being oh so human.

Many books, gallery shows, calendars and more followed and now there is a new Wegman book of his Weimaraner photos through the years. A couple of examples:



Wegman's dog images are always haunting, sometimes disturbing and definitely fascinating. There are more images in a story at The New York Times.

The new book, William Wegman: Being Human, contains photographs going back decades and will be available at the usual book outlets early in October.


When I was a kid growing up in Portland, Oregon, I frequently saw skywriters – usually advertisements but sometimes personal messages.

I don't recall seeing skywriting airplanes in any city where I've lived since then but last week I ran across this video about a company that has been skywriting all these years. If you want someone to do that for you, as the YouTube page explains,

”...Greg and Steven Stinis are the guys to call. The father-son team run the Chico, California-based company, SkyTypers, where they pilot airplanes to "write" messages and advertisements in the sky using specialized smoke.”


Sometimes it's just amazing how smart animals can be and it's not only crows. Darlene Costner sent this fascinating video from the BBC.


For TGB word lovers, here's a terrific video about the origins – or, rather, possible origins - of what we call our parents, which is amazingly similar across cultures. Take a look – from Mental Floss.


It's hot here in northwest Oregon and it's been a hot summer all over the place. Here's a refreshing video of how hummingbirds deal with it. As wildwingsla, who posted this at YouTube, explains,

“A record 30 hummingbirds bathe together at one time during this morning’s wash! You’d never know they will be harassing each other in five minutes’ time...”

If this video has piqued your interest in hummingbirds and you want to know a whole bunch of interesting facts about them, Darlene Costner (yes, she's been busy watching videos this week), sent this additional video you can watch here.

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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.


Good stuff this week, really enjoyed the sloth and Mama/Papa videos.

Thank you for the link to Atlantic's pet rescue photos capturing a desperate situation, relentless devotion, daring rescues, fortitude, fear.

Thank you, Ronni, and thank you, Darlene, for a welcome respite.

So that's why sloths are so slow. It makes perfect sense. And the pet rescues ... I'm convinced that's a lesson learned from Katrina. You don't traumatize a flood victim even more by forcing them to leaves their pets behind. Love the skywriting too. Hadn't thought about them in years but like you, watched them as a kid. There was plenty of sky in Oklahoma!

Love the tree sculptor.

Thank you for this entertaining bunch of information!

There is only one problem with the Saturday feature: click on one of those links - such as the feature on MOM - and get waylaid. I was stuck in the Mental Floss site for a very long time and only surfaced after reading the Mom article, the entire "Pun" article and a couple of others.

And so goes a very fine Saturday morning and perhaps a few others. Wandering around my computer.

Thx for the pet rescues story! I posted it at my FB account.

Thanks Ronni for more interesting stuff this weekend. The scenes from the Atlantic of pets being rescued was both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. But I'm so glad that the animals are being helped too. This is an enormous situation that it going to take many people a very long time to get beyond. They will need all the help they can get.

A delightful gift to us all.

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