NEW SHINGLES VACCINE FOR ELDERS
I'm betting that most TGB readers had chicken pox when they were kids. That means we are at risk for shingles. The vaccine that has been available, [Zostavax], is not all that effective but a new one, called Shingrix, is:
”In clinical trials,” reports the Washington Post, “Shingrix was 96.6 percent effective in adults ages 50 to 59, while Zostavax was 70 percent effective.
“The differences were even more marked with age: Effectiveness in adults 70 and older was 91.3 percent for Shingrix, compared with 38 percent for Zostavax. Shingrix also provided longer-lasting protection than Zostavax, whose effectiveness waned after the first year.”
For those reasons and others, I've never taken the Zostavax shot but Shingrix will be at the top of my questions for my primary care physician when I see him in a few weeks.
”The [Centers for Disease Control] CDC,” reports AARP, “estimates that for every 1 million people 60 to 69 years old who receive Shingrix, there will be 87,000 fewer cases of shingles, as well as 10,000 fewer cases of postherpetic neuralgia (severe pain in the location of a previous shingles rash).”
Shingrix can be pricey - $280 for the two-shot series – so check your drug coverage.
IT'S OFFICIAL – I WILL NEVER FLY AGAIN
At a trade show in Hamburg, Germany, in April, a new kind of airline seat – actually a sort of standing saddle – was offered as a way for airlines to cram more passengers into economy class.
As the video notes toward the end, certain existing rules probably won't allow this new “seating” to be installed in planes anytime soon. But if you live in the United States these days, you know how easily regulations can ben ignored or ditched entirely.
Photos and more information at Newsweek.
3D PRINTED HOMES FOR THE WORLD'S 1 BILLION HOMELESS
On the brighter side, a company is making very low-cost 3D printed homes that could provide that could provide affordable, sustainable and customizable homes for the one billion global homeless population. Here's a video:
THEY KEEP TRYING TO TELL US BRAIN GAMES WORK, BUT...
Study after study says they don't, as I've mentioned here many times.
Last fall, the fellow-blogger Chuck Nyren had had just enough when the latest overblown research claimed that brain games could ward off dementia:
”Those who did the speed of processing training” Chuck quotes, “were 29 per cent less likely to have developed dementia than people in the ”control group.”
“It is possible that any improvements seen in the processing speed training group may have been due to chance, and not directly caused by the training itself.”
And then he laid out his own inimitable thoughts:
”I’m having trouble directly speed processing the above information. It sounds to me like you could’ve had them all play tiddlywinks for ten years and had the same results – a chance that a certain percentage might or might not have developed dementia, but not necessarily because they played tiddlywinks.”
There is more at Chuck's Huffpost piece.
THE PUPPETEER BEHIND YODA AND JABBA THE HUT
I've lost track of the more recent Star Wars movies (are there nine films in the series now?), but the first three? I'm still a fan of those – particularly of Yoda, Jabba the Hut and I'm one of the few people on earth, apparently, who thinks Jar Jar Binks is a hoot.
Here's a new video about David Barclay, the puppeteer behind Star Wars characters.
HOW THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM WORKS
You can understand, after having my gall bladder, duodenum, part of my pancreas and a few other bits and pieces surgically removed a year ago, why I'm interested in how the digestive system generally works. Maybe you are too. Here's a good TEDed Talk on that.
NET NEUTRALITY WIN IN THE SENATE
On Wednesday, Senate Democrats, joined by three Republicans, pulled off 52-47 vote approving a resolution that would undo the FCC’s 2017 repeal of Obama-era net neutrality rules.
To reinstate the net neutrality rules, the House now needs to vote on the bill. Even though polls show that 86 percent of Americans want to keep the net neutrality rules, Congressional Republicans
”...described the effort to reinstate 'net neutrality' rules as 'political theater' because the GOP-controlled House is not expected to take up the issue and the Senate’s margin could not overcome a presidential veto,” reported Talking Points Memo.
“Democrats, however, were undeterred, saying their push would energize young voters who are tech savvy and value unfettered access to the internet.”
Maybe once again you could call your Congressional representative and urge him or her to help bring the bill to the floor of the House and vote for it. You can do that here.
LIVE ANIMAL CAMS
Just what you need, right – more sites to keep you glued to your screens.
I've just discovered explore.com which bill itself as the “world's leading philanthropic live nature cam network and documentary film channel.” There many live cams include dozens of kinds of animals. Here is the famous Decorah Eagle came with this year's brood of chicks.
At explore.org, you'll find live cams for many types of birds and fish; walruses and seals brown, grizzly, polar and panda bears; tigers, lions and elephants; farm animals; even dogs and cats and much more along with highlight reels from the hundreds of cams.
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.