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INTERESTING STUFF – 30 June 2018

WHY BRITISH AND AMERICAN SPELLING DIFFER

A quick little history of why the Brits (and Australians for the most part) spell it “colour” and Americans spell it “color.” It was probably more ad hoc than you thought.

ONE REASON TO DISLIKE GETTING OLD

From cartoonist Jimmy Johnson, sent in by TGB's Sunday music columnist, Peter Tibbles. All I can say about the punch line is, me too.

Cartoonhatemybody

TWO TOWNS THAT TURNED OUT THE LIGHTS AT NIGHT

As the Youtube page tells us:

”As our cities grow bigger and brighter, fewer Americans get to take in the breathtaking grandeur of the Milky Way. Sensing this, the residents of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, two small towns in Colorado, purposefully dimmed their towns' lights.

“Their night skies are now among the darkest on the planet and have become a Mecca for stargazers.

Have any of you visited these towns?

FED PLAN TO STOP REPORTING HOSPITAL INFECTION RATE

Each year, more than 600,000 hospital patients contract an infection, and sepsis alone kills about 270,000 people a year. Now, according to USA Today, a new Trump administration proposal will

”...halt the public disclosure of the 'super bug' MRSA, post-operative sepsis and surgical site infections, as well as accidents and injuries ranging from bedsores to respiratory failure after surgery.”

Since 2005, that kind of information has been (and still is for now) available at the Medicare Hospital Compare website. Further, reports USA Today,

"'I am shocked that they want to reverse course on this,' says Jeanine Thomas, who founded the MRSA Survivors Network after nearly dying of the infection after ankle surgery 18 years ago. 'In fact, they should do more.'

“CMS [The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] chief medical officer Kate Goodrich said the agency 'is committed to transparency of quality and cost information' and denied that it was proposing to remove the information from Hospital Compare. She also emphasized that the changes are up for public comment.”

Unless the proposal is removed from the plan, the information will stop being released in 9 November this year. You can sign a letter of protest here. And you can see the entire 500-page plan here.

1947 PSA LOOKS AND SOUNDS LIKE IT WAS PRODUCED YESTERDAY

This public service announcement was produced by the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Army and the Office of the Chief Signal Officer in 1947. Given political events of the past 18 months, it could have been produced today. Take a look:

That video (thank you, Jim Stone, for sending it) prompts me to publish again this famous statement from Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). If you are unfamiliar with his name, he was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.

“Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.

“Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

(If you are familiar with other versions of this, it is due to the fact that Niemöller usually spoke the words publicly and they changed slightly from telling to telling.)

U.S. FDA APPROVES FIRST MARIJUANA-DERIVED PRESCRIPTION DRUG

Although people have been using cannabis to treat a wide variety of ailments for centuries, it has taken this long for the U.S. Federal Trade Administration to approve one for medical use.

Epidiolex680

As STAT reports, the medication

”...treats two rare and devastating forms of epilepsy.

“The drug, GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, is made of cannabidiol, or CBD, a component of marijuana that does not give users a high. It is given as an oil, and in clinical trials, it was shown to reduce the number of seizures by about 40 percent in patients with Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut syndromes.”

Read more at STAT and at Leafly.

DON'T JUDGE TOO QUICKLY

My friend Tony Sarmiento sent this video – a collection of TV commercials for Ameriquest produced from 2005 to 2007. These are the sort of things that make me laugh out loud but I don't recall ever seeing them. I can't imagine how I missed them.

DOES THAT ELEVATOR CLOSE-DOOR BUTTON REALLY WORK?

Like me, you probably suspect that those “close door” buttons in elevators don't really work. Now we are vindicated in our belief:

”Karen W. Penafiel, executive director of National Elevator Industry Inc., a trade group, said the close-door feature faded into obsolescence a few years after the enactment of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990,” reported The New York Times.

“The legislation required that elevator doors remain open long enough for anyone who uses crutches, a cane or wheelchair to get on board, Ms. Penafiel said in an interview on Tuesday. 'The riding public would not be able to make those doors close any faster,' she said.”

Recently, Mental Floss reported that the buttons DO work in Britain:

”A spokesman for the Lift and Escalator Industry Association told the newspaper that not all elevators have the button, but when they’re present, they do work. Again, the time it takes for the doors to shut after pressing the button varies from lift to lift.”

There is more than you would think to read about all this at those two links.

THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT

As you have undoubtedly figured out from reading this Saturday post, I really like stories of interspecies friendship. In addition, I think owls are fascinating and I love all sorts of kitty cats. So this is the perfect story for me. Maybe for you too?

There are a bunch of videos of Fum and Gebra at play together here.

* * *

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.


Comments

Hilarious Ameriquest videos - just what's needed to end this discouraging week and change up the mood!

By the way we spell it: colour, centre etc., like the Brits here in Canada.
And yes we still like America.

I especially loved the cat and owl video. Even if they didn't go to sea! Have you seen the video from some years ago of a cat on a sailboat nuzzling a dolphin? Amazing.

Mike P...

Of course, Canada too. How did I miss that?

Interesting timing on the post about the drug derived from marijuana to treat epilepsy. I'm working on my family tree, and a distant relative (referred to as an "inmate") escaped from the Indiana Village for Epileptics in 1942. Doing a bit of research, I found that in many states epileptics were considered socially unfit. Oregon, for example: "The 1923 sterilization law set up a state board of eugenics with power to examine persons who are feeble minded, insane, epileptic, habitual criminals, moral degenerates, or sexual perverts to determine whether they should be sterilized." Gah! My, how times have changed.

Herr Drumpf's office needs to be bombarded with copies of the 1947 PSA--except, of course, they wouldn't get that it absolutely applies to them! It is SO spot-on when we consider where we are today. Totally frightening.

Could not locate where to sign the hospital-acquired infections protest letter but will check again. I think access to this information is absolutely vital for patients.

As readers of Sunday’s column know, I am an Australian. I swing both ways (as it were) when it comes to spelling – I prefer the American color, labor and so on, but go with the British with centre, theatre and the like.
Also, you’re both wrong on football, Australia’s game is football (and I’m not talking about that awful game rugby). Britain’s is soccer and American’s is gridiron (that should stir things up)

That video "Don't be a sucker" is so powerful that I sent it to my two Trump voters and I do hope they watch it. Many are warning about the creeping fascism Trump is infesting out nation with.

One -rump follower no longer forwards things to me and the other one hasn't mentioned it. It is so obvious as to what is happening I think my daughter is right when she calls it willful ignorance. For the first time in my life I am frightened for our country.

I want to sign the Medical Infections letter, but I don't see a place to sign it on the link. One is allowed to read it (and I did). Did I just miss the link for signing or is it not there any longer?

My intent is to read the entire 500-page report that, at least, covers MRSA and hospital infection reporting for public perusal. I'm forwarding this to my physicians asking their opinion, and what they will do.

The insurance and health care providers and facilities are keeping us from being able to make decisions based on what are now considered public record, and only covering their ass-ets makes sense as to why they'd implement and support this.

Stanford is mine. It's a hospital, but with motivations and principles of a corporation. The focus has changed. Many if not all sizable clinics on the SF peninsula have been purchased by Stanford, other large hospitals and major health companies, like Sutter, Dignity, etc., and combined they're a mighty force.

They hold the best cards already, so I want to retain the right to information to make decisions myself when it's something this personal and important.
----------------------------
Darlene, I'm with you in the now-scared department and think your daughter is right on. There's a repressive, punitive streak that speaks power to these people along with a need for a 'genius leader' who demands their willing allegiance.

Vote and help others gain the right and ability to do the same.

I vacationed in Colorado for decades before I finally managed to move here, and one of the most memorable things about being in the mountains was/is the night sky. It should be on everyone's bucket list.

Really enjoyed Fum and Gebra. These days it often seems like animal stories are the only good news available.

Interesting and fun-filled collection of videos. Re word spelling differences — I apply my own criteria on some usage: I use theatre to apply only to real stage shows. Theater describes everything else I.e. movies.

Recently finished reading a book a Midwest minister friend deeply engaged in immigration issue referred me to when I expressed some concerns about some religious individuals and groups failure to speak out against, in fact even support ideological behaviors contrary to professed beliefs. No Ordinary Men— Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi by Sifton and Stern.

The Ameriquest videos were funny and well done, but I can't recall ever having seen them either. I wonder if their distribution was limited to certain areas?

The "Don't be a sucker" video was very interesting. Today it would likely not only not have been approved, but Trump and his supporters might be the ones speaking in the town square and handing out the vile pamphlets.

I have seen the cat and owl video sometime a few years ago, but still find it delightful.

Ann Garry and others...

Early last week when I found this item, I had a link to signing a letter in regard to dropping the hospital infection rate. Now I cannot find it and I have to stop looking - too much else to get done today.

You could send a link to the letter to your Congress people. Sorry I screwed up.

Well, Ronni, the important thing is getting the word out and about - so we can pick it up and run with it.

I gave serious thought to political downer feelings yesterday and last night. I'm finding reasons for positivity however. We(non-drumps) outnumber the others. The press is beginning to challenge what they're told but still have a loooong way to practice equal reporting(drumps got more coverage for their gatherings than women marches, a lot). Partially but importantly vital that drump is lying outright, it's provable, like the one about oil increases that HE made happen with the Saudi leader(WhiteHouse had to walk this back), and msm(main stream media) are printing these obvious lies. I think he's going bonkers.

Also, Fox is being sold to Disney, who has viable products that are ripe for boycotting, etc. And yes, there's more silence from pro-drumpers lately. He's scaring and exhausting them now. All the cruelty he displays and insane claims are being questioned. It's far from what is needed, but it's one star shining brighter at a time, with mathematical proportions to feel good about.

Sorry for misprints, etc., I'm not rechecking.

Fight. Hard. Write publications in your area.


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