BEFORE WE GET STARTED TODAY...
With the amount of time it takes to be a cancer patient, I haven't kept up with many of the websites and blogs that I used to check regularly so I am grateful to Cop Car for letting me know that elderblogger Marianna Sheffer, the proprietor of Hattie's Web blog, has stopped blogging.
Here are the two most recent posts:
November 09, 2017: Hi. I am very unwell. Hope to be able to visit your blogs when I feel better and do a real posting but struggling right now. Thinking about all of you.
November 22, 2017: This is Alice, Marianna's daughter. The cancer has progressed and is no longer treatable and Marianna is starting hospice care at home. She says she is thinking of all of you. She is comfortable at home with her family, visiting close friends and her kitty. I will keep you all updated.
Followup from Alice: Thanks everyone for your kind comments. She is able to read your comments on her smart phone. She just doesn't have the energy for typing. I know it means a lot to her to hear from all of you.
Of course, my thoughts are with Hattie (she's always been Hattie to me) and her family and if you are inclined, you can leave a note for them at Hattie's Web.
WHY WE LOVE CERTAIN BOOKS
This is one explanation of the reason certain books are important to us. I'm sure there are others but I like this too.
REGARDING OLD LOVE LETTERS
Last week, we had a terrific discussion about what to do with old love letters as we get older. My friend Jim Stone was moved to email me this lovely and touching excerpt from John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath.
This is much lengthier than I usually quote but worth it.
”Ma was just through the door, and she heard his words. Slowly her relaxed face tightened, and the lines disappeared from the taut muscular face. Her eyes sharpened and her shoulders straightened. She glanced about the stripped room. Nothing was left in it except trash.
“The mattresses which had been on the floor were gone. The bureaus were sold. On the floor lay a broken comb, an empty talcum powder can, and a few dust mice. Ma set her lantern on the floor. She reached behind one of the boxes that had served as chairs and brought out a stationery box, old and soiled and cracked at the corners.
“She sat down and opened the box. Inside were letters, clippings, photographs, a pair of earrings, a little gold signet ring, and a watch chain braided of hair and tipped with gold swivels. She touched the letters with her fingers, touched them lightly, and she smoothed a newspaper clipping on which there was an account of Tom's trial.
“For a long time she held the box, looking over it, and her fingers disturbed the letters and then lined them up again. She bit her lower lip, thinking, remembering. And at last she made up her mind.
“She picked out the ring, the watch charm, the earrings, dug under the pile and found one gold cuff link. She took a letter from an envelope and dropped the trinkets in the envelope. Then gently and tenderly she closed the box and smoothed the top carefully with her fingers. Her lips parted.
“Then she stood up, took her lantern, and went back into the kitchen. She lifted the stove lid and laid the box gently among the coals. Quickly the heat browned the paper. A flame licked up and over the box. She replaced the stove lid and instantly the fire sighed up and breathed over the box.”
THE BUCKET SNATCHERS
This is amazing. From 1958 to 1986, the U.S. Air Force’s 6594th Test Group and 6593rd Test Squadron operated from Hickam Air Force Base retrieving film capsules dropped from satellites.
This newly declassified video  details the history of the program and its final mission in April 1986.
CHARLIE AND THE SEAL IN ANTARCTICA
Irish journalist and broadcaster Charlie Bird has a wonderful up close experience with animals and nature when he encounters some seal pups on the beach.
He met the seals while traveling through Antarctica following the route of explorer Tom Crean’s final expedition alongside Ernest Shackleton aboard the Endurance in 1914-15.
OLD, LOST APPLESApples have long been a hot commodity for the people of Washington state, but in recent years, many orchards have been left abandoned. As orchards are neglected, many varieties of apples are being lost to culinary culture. David Benscoter is bringing them back.
THE DISTURBING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT PROBLEM
Cartoonist Tom Toles gets it exactly right.
TIME MAGAZINE'S PERSON OF THE YEAR
Time magazine is asking for the “people's choice” for their annual Person of the Year. The final choice is up to the magazine's editor's but you can vote here until 3 December.
MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION BY THE NUMBERS
Here's a little video about how legalization of recreational weed is working out in Oregon, Washington state and Colorado.
OVERDOSING ON CUTE: PANDA CUBS
Researchers have been working for decades in the Wolong National Nature Reserve and Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to boost the numbers of giant pandas in captivity, and to reintroduce some of them into the wild.
Since 2006, the breeding program has released seven captive-bred pandas into the wild, two of which have died. At the moment, there are an estimated 1,864 giant pandas living in the wild in China, with a bit more than 225 living in captivity.
Recently, Atlantic magazine posted a whole lot of great photos of baby pandas at the research base. So cute.
Here, researchers dressed as pandas, give one of the babies a checkup:
Here's one of the babies playing in the snow:
A whole passel of baby pandas as one tumbles off the platform:
There are at least a dozen more baby panda photos at The Atlantic.
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.