383 posts categorized "Interesting Stuff"

INTERESTING STUFF – 19 May 2018

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:

You can read more and see other videos at the websites of the two companies who created this project, New Story and Icon.

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.

But…

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.

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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.



INTERESTING STUFF – 12 May 2018

THE AVERAGE PERSON HIDES 13 SECRETS

Secrets, the YouTube page tells us, are not something you should keep locked away. Do that, and they'll eat you from the inside out:

Curiosity reports:

”According to a May 2017 study, you likely have around 13 secrets brewing in that head of yours — five of which you'll never tell a soul. The researchers say that it isn't the number of secrets you keep that's significant. Rather, it's the burden of those secrets — they weigh on you, literally.”

There are other effects you can read at Curiosity and at The Atlantic.

I don't recall 13 secrets, but most of the ones I do have, that I'll never tell you, are the times I behaved badly and am still ashamed of. What about you?

REAL-LIFE RAPUNZELS

The YouTube page tells us that for thousands of years, the Yao women of Huangluo Village have been keeping up an incredible beauty regimen, growing long, luxurious locks.

Believed to symbolize beauty, wealth and longevity, long hair is considered sacred, and women in the village only cut their hair once in a lifetime. Take a look:

REANIMATING PIG BRAINS

This story freaks me out, a nightmare to end all nightmares. MIT Technology Review explains:

”In a step that could change the definition of death, researchers have restored circulation to the brains of decapitated pigs and kept the reanimated organs alive for as long as 36 hours...

“The work was described on March 28 at a meeting held at the National Institutes of Health to investigate ethical issues arising as US neuroscience centers explore the limits of brain science.”

Ethical issues? No shit. Imagine your living brain sitting in a box somewhere – wait. It's better if I quote MIT:

The setup, jokingly dubbed the 'brain in a bucket,' would quickly raise serious ethical and legal questions if it were tried on a human.

“For instance, if a person’s brain were reanimated outside the body, would that person awake in what would amount to the ultimate sensory deprivation chamber, without ears, eyes, or a way to communicate? Would someone retain memories, an identity, or legal rights? Could researchers ethically dissect or dispose of such a brain?”

It is madness to contemplate this act, even on a pig or any other animal.

More at MIT Technology Review and at Alternet.

WHAT ARE BITCOIN AND BLOCKCHAIN?

According to The New York Times, Goldman Sachs will open a Bitcoin trading operation on the New York Stock Exchange:

”Some of the biggest names on Wall Street are warming up to Bitcoin, a virtual currency that for nearly a decade has been consigned to the unregulated fringes of the financial world...

“Many corporations and governments have expressed interest in the technology that Bitcoin introduced, particularly a form of database known as the blockchain.

“The moves by Goldman and Intercontinental Exchange, or ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, mark a dramatic shift toward the mainstream for a digital token that has been known primarily for its underworld associations and status as a high-risk, speculative investment.”

Oh dear. Apparently the time has come for me to figure out what Bitcoin and blockchain are.

I've tried to understand this without much success. It's a huge puzzle. But this New York Times video gave me my first inkling that with some more work, I might just figure it out.

Clear as mud, right? Read more at The New York Times.

FAKE FOOD FOR REAL RESTAURANTS

In Japan, it's customary for restaurants to display their offerings inside their front windows. Think restaurant window shopping.

The displays come from one city only: Gujo. This ancient town is the epicenter of artificial food. The people who make the displays are real artists, but the "food" they create is not.

It may be one city in Japan, but I have seen this amazingly real-looking food in U.S. restaurant windows in several cities.

SAVING DUCKLINGS FROM CERTAIN DEATH

Is bad news the only kind there is these days? It sure feels that way but then TGB reader Joan McMullin sent this video. My god, there just keep coming and coming and coming.

(This is getting irritating. You may need to click the link in the video to watch on YouTube. If I had time, I would substitute another video but not today. I'll be more careful with my choices in the future to avoid this.)

LETTER TO MY BOSS

All of Congress, both houses, even those members who are not rabid opportunists feeding at the public trough, enrage me these days. A handful come out of their caves now and then to “bravely” denounce the president's latest stupidity or outrage, but then scurry back to hibernation bunkers.

They do nothing at all and every one of them deserves to be booted. So this email from Darlene Costner that is making the rounds gave me some relief for a few moments:

“I have enjoyed working here these past several years. You have paid me very well, given me benefits beyond belief. I have 3-4 months off per year and a pension plan that will pay my salary till the day I die and a health plan that most people can only dream about.

“Despite this I plan to take the next 12-18 months to find a new position. During this time I will show up for work when it is convenient. In addition I fully expect to draw my full salary and all the other perks associated with my current job.

“Oh yes, if my search for this new job proves fruitless, I will be back with no loss in pay or status. Before you say anything, remember that you have no choice in the matter. I can and will do this.

“Sincerely,
Every Senator or Congressman running for President."

Try that at your job and tell me how it works out.”

ANOTHER FROM DARLENE COSTNER

A baby elephant who appears to believe he is a lapdog. Irresistible.

THE WORLD'S TOUGHEST JOB

Interviews for the world's toughest job. Yes, it's a joke, but it's a good one. Stick around for the ending.

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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.



INTERESTING STUFF – 5 May 2018

[EDITORIAL NOTE: At last, a new Interesting Stuff that has been missing for two Saturdays in a row due to my hospital visits. I always have fun doing this so I'm glad to be back at it.]

OLDER VOTERS LEANING AWAY FROM THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

Particularly since the 2016 election, it has baffled and embarrassed me that the majority of elder voters identify as conservatives and/or Republicans often when it is in their own best interests to vote otherwise.

Now, after more than a year of President Donald Trump, that may be changing. Here is a new survey from Reuters about how Americans 60 and older are moving toward the Democrats:

”The potential impact of any swing to Democrats is magnified given that older, educated adults are reliable voters. They also make up a sizeable portion of the voting population in many districts where elections are close.

“How they vote could decide elections in as many as 26 competitive congressional districts where Democrats have a shot at winning a seat.”

Personally, I think it is way too early to predict what will happen in the midterm elections – a lot can happen to sway people in different directions between now and then. Here's the Reuters chart:

ReutersVotersOver60Poll2018B

You can Read more here and here.

HISTORY OF BREAD PACKAGE CLOSURES

I've always been a sucker for the history of small, unimportant things. Here's one about the humble bread bag clip:

”The tiny piece of plastic keeping your bread fresh is all thanks to one family. Through the company Kwik Lok, the Paxton sisters have been carrying on their grandfather’s legacy, selling over a billion bag clips every year.”

Let's go to the video tape:

CHOCOLATE TO GO EXTINCT?

Oh, no. Just because my sweet tooth has inexplicably faded since my Whipple surgery nearly a year ago doesn't mean I don't care about this news. As my Salem, Oregon, friend John Gear says, “this is serious.”

”Cacao plants are slated to disappear by as early as 2050 thanks to warmer temperatures and dryer weather conditions,” reports the World Economic Forum. “Scientists at the University of California are teaming up with Mars company to try to save the crop before it's too late.

“Cacao plants occupy a precarious position on the globe. They can only grow within a narrow strip of rainforested land roughly 20 degrees north and south of the equator, where temperature, rain, and humidity all stay relatively constant throughout the year.

“Over half of the world's chocolate now comes from just two countries in West Africa — Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.”

You can read more here.

FRIEND AND TGB READER LAUDED FOR ELDER ORPHAN WORK

My long-time friend Wendl Kornfeld has been given the Samuel Sacks Achievement Award for her volunteer work at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.

She also works with and is an expert on elder orphans, people who are without family in their old age. Congratulations, Wendl, for the award and thank you for your ongoing hard work.

You can read more here.

WHERE DO CORPORATE PROFITS REALLY GO?

John Oliver tells us on his HBO program, Last Week Tonight. It's a long-ish video but always worth the time.

MEDICARE CARDS BEING MAILED

U.S. Medicare has begun mailing out the new Medicare cards – the one's that do not expose our Social Security numbers. They look like this:

NewMedicareCard

Medicare has now posted a chart showing whether the cards have been mailed yet to your state. Here is the current update:

MedicareMailingMap

You can sign up here to be notified when mailing begins for your state.

LUCKIEST UNLUCKY MAN

Any one of the accidents this man has lived through would be enough for me to consider myself lucky.

LITTLE PINK HOUSE

TGB reader Bill Griffith sent this movie trailer for the film, Little Pink House about the U.S. Supreme Court case, Kelo v. City of New London and the doctrine of eminent domain.

I followed the case closely over the years it was happening, eventually disgusted with the outcome. You might be interested too – that a big, fat, billion-dollar company can take your home just because.

TINY DOORS IN U.S. CAPITOL BUILDING

Here's a little bit of political history for you – the reason for tiny doors throughout the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

NOTE: For some reason this video refuses to play. There is another video about the tiny doors in the Capitol Building at Roll Call. Just click the link.

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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.



Interesting Stuff – 28 April 2018

Oops – I don't mean to fool you. My intention, after missing last week, was to post an Interesting Stuff today but there was just too much catchup to accomplish yesterday after nearly a week in hospital again.

There is, however, a growing collection of Interesting Stuff so you can look forward to that in coming Saturdays.

For today, here is a simple one I can show you – the Mission Impossible squirrel. It's nearly eight years old so you may have seen it but I don't think you'll enjoy it any less this time.

They're clever littler buggers aren't they, those squirrels?



INTERESTING STUFF – 7 April 2018

REFLECTION ON A LONG LIFE

Following up on last week's poetry day here, this is from long-time TGB reader, former contributor to The Elder Storytelling Place and master of what he calls doggerel, Henry Lowenstern: Reflection he titles it:

In my life so far, I have fit the mold
of husband, father, head of household
and have generally assumed that my role
was to be in full control.
But now, the years have passed,
and I am at last,
retired and relaxed,
though not yet collapsed,
and, despite some aches and pain,
in full possession of my brain.
In sum, I want you to behold,
that I am enjoying being old.

SECRETS OF THE SNOWY OWL

Some researchers hooked up a young snowy owl named Baltimore with a solar powered tracker. And then, one guy followed Baltimore from a beach in Maryland to a island way up in Canada. This video follows the journey. (Thank you, Cathy Johnson, for this.)

NO ONE OVER 40 INVOLVED IN THE ROYAL WEDDING???

Next month, the world will watch what is shaping up to be the biggest royal wedding since Charles and Diana: the nuptuals at Windsor of Prince Harry and his American bride, Meghan Markle.

According to Vanity Fair magazine, the couple is calling on friends for some of the preparation instead of relying entirely on the usual royal wedding planners who are steeped in ancient royal protocol.

”Although Markle and Prince Harry have hired two leading events organizers and catering firms to help them oversee their wedding (there’s apparently a ban on anyone over 40 getting too involved)...”

What can we make of this? Surely Queen Elizabeth will be allowed to attend.

THIEVING SEAGULLS GOT A MAN BANNED FROM VICTORIA HOTEL FOR 17 YEARS

There are no photos or video to show you with this story, but it's really funny. Here's a starter for you:

Back in April 2001, Nick Burchill was traveling for business from Nova Scotia to Victoria, B.C. He arranged also to visit with some old Navy buddies while he was there and he filled a suitcase with a local Halifax delicacy for them, a special pepperoni.

The airline lost the suitcase for day and when Nick retrieved it, he was concerned about the sausage spoiling. So, he left it all on a table near the open window at the Empress Hotel in Victoria to keep it cool while he went out and until he could deliver the gift to his friends.

Here is his description of the hotel room when he returned:

”I remember walking down the long hall and opening the door to my room to find an entire flock of seagulls in my room. I didn’t have time to count, but there must have been 40 of them and they had been in my room, eating pepperoni for a long time.

“In case you were wondering, Brothers’ TNT Pepperoni does NASTY things to a seagull’s digestive system. As you would expect, the room was covered in seagull crap. What I did not realize until then was that Seagulls also drool. Especially when they eat pepperoni.”

That is an excerpt from a letter to the management of the Empress Hotel that Nick recently sent to try to get his ban from staying at their hotel lifted. You can – and should - read the entire story on his Facebook page.

There is some additional information at the CBC and at Bored Panda.

Thanks to doctafil for this funny story.

GOOGLE INTRODUCES ACCESSIBILITY MAPS

Google announced in a blog post that it is introducing to its maps wheelchair accessible information for city streets, transit and general navigation.

”To access the 'wheelchair accessible routes,' type your desired destination into Google Maps. Tap 'Directions' then select the public transportation icon. Then tap 'Options' and under the Routes section, you’ll find 'wheelchair accessible' as a new route type.

When you select this option, Google Maps will show you a list of possible routes that take mobility needs into consideration. Starting [15 March 2018], this feature is rolling out in major metropolitan transit centers around the world, starting with London, New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney.

“We're looking forward to working with additional transit agencies in the coming months to bring more wheelchair accessible routes to Google Maps.”

This is useful not only for those who use wheelchairs, but for people pushing baby carriages, pulling grocery carts, who use crutches and for elders for whom walking and stairs have become difficult.

Here is Google's promotional video:

Google will be rolling out accessibility maps for other cities soon.

THE DIFFERENCE AMONG CARAMEL, TOFFEE AND BUTTERSCOTCH

You are free to say that my taste buds are less discerning than they might be, but I have never been able to tell the difference among caramel, toffee and butterscotch. Apparently I'm not the only one. Here is Mental Floss's explanation:

”[Caramel and butterscotch] are both made with melted sugar, but they use different ingredients. Caramel is a mix of white granulated sugar, heavy whipping cream, butter, and a dash of vanilla. Butterscotch, on the other hand, is made with brown sugar instead.”

Go visit Mental Floss to find out where toffee fits into the mix.

THE PAPER AIRPLANE GUY – WOW, AMAZING

John Collins, better known as 'The Paper Airplane Guy,' has devoted himself to designing, folding, and flying the world's finest paper airplanes.There is no reason for me to say more – just watch this vedeo and be amazed:

You can read more at Wired. John Collins' website is here.

THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH

This, the great Pacific garbage patch has been giving me heartburn and heartbreak since I first learned of it several years ago.

”Accuweather.com tells us that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - the massive collection of plastic and floating trash - continues to expand in a region halfway between Hawaii and California - is now three times the size of France...

“A recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports on Thursday, March 22, found that the GPGP has grown to more than 600,000 square miles, which is twice the size of Texas or three times the size of France.
“Accumulated in this area are 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing 80.000 metric tons, the equivalent of 500 jumbo jets.”

Here is a video about the patch and what it will take to clean it up:

Read more at accuweather and at CNN.

SQUIRREL GETS REPLACEMENT PAWS

Humans can be so evil. And they can be so kind too.

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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.



INTERESTING STUFF – 31 March 2018

REST IN PEACE, RAMONA MOORMAN

About 10 years ago, I posted several stories from readers who were of the “oldest old” generation. One of them was Ramona Moorman who, when her husband died, took over publishing a local weekly paper, the Marcellus News, in Marcellus, Michigan.

On Thursday, TGB reader Beth left a comment on that post to tell us that Ms. Moorman had died on 24 March:

”We knew her from that little town in Southwest Michigan,” wrote Beth. “She was the cornerstone of our community and the mortar that held it together. She not only edited, owned and operated the Marcellus News, she WAS the Marcellus News, and so much more. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.”

You can read Ramona Moorman's Oldest Old story here.

DISTRIBUTION OF NEW MEDICARE CARDS BEGINS

Starting on Monday and continuing for a year after that, new Medicare identification cards will be mailed to every beneficiary.

The card will be mailed to you automatically. You don't need to do anything. But if your snailmail address is out of date, you can correct it at Medicare.gov. The most important reason for the change to to protect your Social Security number from fraud and/or identity theft.

Here is a little video with all the information you need:

MILLION-DOLLAR MINIATURE RAILROAD

I have always liked miniatures. As a kid, my dollhouse was a big favorite. Later in life my mother built dollhouses – electrified ones – from scratch and even built a lot of the furniture. She surprised me one birthday many years ago with a dollhouse that perfectly replicated my New York City apartment.

I have zero interest in living in a tiny house, but watching online videos about them has become almost an addiction. I have no explanation for my interest in miniatures – it just is.

So of course, I couldn't resist this video for you:

SNOOPY ON LIFE AND DEATH

In response to a TGB blog post last week, reader Nana Royer sent this single panel of Charlie Brown and Snoopy philosophizing. Perfectly.

Snoopylives

WILLIE NELSON AND KRIS KRISTOFFERSON REMEMBER JOHNNY CASH

”Johnny Cash: Forever Words” is a collaborative album, to be released in April, consisting of 16 songs created from Johnny Cash's unknown poetry, lyrics, and letters set to music by an astounding array of contemporary artists.

Rolling Stone explains:

”Opening the album is a moving performance from Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, both of whom collaborated with Cash throughout their careers.

“Led by Nelson's acoustic guitar and Kristofferson's narration, the song features an instrumental version of Cash's 1958 single I Still Miss Someone, which is repurposed as the backdrop for the final poem the Man in Black ever wrote.”

Here is that opening track:

You can read more about the album and its artists at Rolling Stone.

THE MOST CROWDED ISLAND ON EARTH

Two hours off the coast of Colombia is a small island home to over 1,200 people. As the entirety of Santa Cruz del Islote only spans the length of two soccer fields, residents live in close quarters, the YouTube page tells us.

“Despite the circumstances, the community makes the most of their limited surface area, packing in a school, two shops and one restaurant. Only 150 years ago, the island was uninhabited; today, generations of families are proud to call Santa Cruz del Islote home.”

You can read more about the island at The Guardian with a lot of photos showing more of the island than the video does.

TINY, PERFECT HANDMADE STAIRCASES

From the Atlas Obscura page:

”Since the Middle Ages, France’s 'compagnons' have lived idiosyncratic existences, steeped in mystery, ritual, and a devotion to their trades...

“The name 'compagnon' translates to 'companion,' relating to the brotherhood between members and the shared identity of a movement that, today, encompasses around 12,000 permanent, active members...

“Professions usually fall into one of five “groups,” depending on their principal material: stone; wood; metal; leather and textiles; and food...

Historically, woodworkers have often chosen to produce a tiny, intricate staircase as their 'masterwork.' Over 30 years, the art dealer and collector Eugene V. Thaw, who died at 90 in January 2018, amassed an incredible collection of these staircase models, dating from between the 18th and 20th centuries. Measuring only a few inches in height, they are self-supporting, graceful, and impossibly delicate.”

Here are three of them:

Stair4

Stair2

Stair3

There are more tiny staircases and more fascinating information about the compagnons and their work at Atlas Obscura. The BBC has an equally interesting story about the compagnons' modern-day work.

THE MAN OF A THOUSAND VOICES

As the man behind over 250 of your favorite characters, Phil LaMarr is one of the most prolific voice actors in the biz, says the YouTube page.

But beyond his vocal prowess, LaMarr has left his mark on all your favorite movies and TV shows, from an appearance in Pulp Fiction, to a featured regular role on MADtv. Here's a video about him.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN ANCIENT ATHENIAN

Here's a good, little explanation of how democracy worked in ancient Athens – From TEDEd.

CAT WATCHING GOLDFISH

There is nothing I need to say about this – just laugh.

Funny-Cat-Watching-Gold-Fish-HD-Wallpaper

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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.


INTERESTING STUFF – 24 March 2018

NEW CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET PRESERVES FUNDING FOR IMPORTANT ELDER PROGRAMS

Remember three weeks ago when I told you about the cuts to elder programs that President Trump, in his budget, wanted to cut? Things like cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, to the Social Security administration budget and replacing about a quarter of SNAP funding with what became the much derided box of food delivered to SNAP beneficiaries by the Department of Agriculture.

As I noted then, any president's budget has little or no chance of passing Congress - it is a formality - and late Thursday night, saner minds in Congress passed their own budget which preserves important programs for elders and even slightly improves a couple of them.

Here is how Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) explained on Friday morning:

"[Social Security Administration] gets an increase of $480 million over the previous fiscal year, including $100 million for reducing the backlog in Social Security Disability Insurance hearings – which some 10,000 Americans died waiting for in 2017.

"The funding bump – which the National Committee has long advocated – should also alleviate some of the excessively long wait times for customer service on SSA’s toll-free phone line and in-person at SSA field offices.

"The Omnibus bill also includes $59 million more for Older Americans Act Senior Nutrition programs and an increase of $250 million for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), while the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) receives a modest increase in funding.

"The spending plan also gives a $414 million boost to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for Alzheimer’s and dementia research.

"We applaud Congress for maintaining spending for senior programs that President Trump proposed to eliminate in his FY 2018 budget, including the Senior Community Service Employment Program, the Community Development Block Grant, and the Community Services Block Grant, which helps to pay for Meals on Wheels."

This is a small amount of good news in what is generally a terrible budget. I have zero proof of this but just maybe all our telephone calls, email, snail mail letters, etc. to our Congressional representatives helped get these important elder programs into the mix. Even if that's not true, let's be grateful and celebrate a little for a day or two. Elders need these programs and need them properly funded.

STEPHEN COLBERT PUMPS IRON WITH NOTORIOUS RBG

This week, Late Show host, Stephen Colbert went to the gym with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. What I makes me feel terrific about a healthy future is that all the exercises she does in the video are ones I've done for years.

There is a nice story at Mental Floss about 15 Things You Should Know About Justice Ginsburg.

HOW TO DELETE YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT

With the revelations this week about Cambridge Analytica's use of personal information from millions of Facebook pages to nudge the U.S. presidential election toward the winner they wanted, many users are trying to delete their Facebook accounts.

Here's a hint: you can't. Take a look.

There is additional information at The New York Times. If you want more, maybe different, information about how to extract yourself from Facebook, just google “delete facebook” without the quotation marks. You get nearly four million returns.

FOR WORD MAVENS

Mental Floss gives us some wonderful, old-fashioned synonyms for “happy.” Here is a sampling:

Chirky: for cheerful

Gaudeamus: From the Latin for “let us rejoice,” this oldie refers to a merry jamboree

Delira and Excira: A term the Irish use to mean “delirious and excited”

Gladsome: This classic is from the 14th century

Read the rest of the 15 here.

JOHN OLIVER WRITES A BOOK TO TROLL MIKE PENCE

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has a pet bunny rabbit named Marlon Bundo. This month, he published a book about Marlon Bundo. Then John Oliver came along and published his own book about Marlon Bundo that immediately shot to number on Amazon's best seller list.

And that's all I'm going to tell you. Just watch Oliver explain it on his HBO program, Last Week Tongiht from last Sunday. It's wonderful as only Oliver can be.

By Tuesday, Oliver's bunny book was number 1 on Amazon, such an instant hit that all copies were sold out. More are being printed and I've bought mine. Here are the bunny book covers side by side.

Bunnybooks

A NEW SONG FOR THE MARCH FOR OUR LIVES

Today in Washington, D.C. and other places around the U.S., young people are taking to the streets for gun control in the March for Our Lives. Maybe some of you are participating.

Two Broadway musical superpowers recently teamed up to release a song for the march. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Dear Evan Hansen's Ben Platt unveiled the video for Found Tonight, a mash-up of songs from their respective shows.

Here's the official video from Atlantic Records featuring Miranda and Hansen.

OH MY, THE FUTURE OF COMPUTING IS HERE - ALMOST

And it is the world's smallest computer. Wait until you read this:

”IBM kicked off its Think 2018 conference today with a bombshell announcement: It has made the world’s smallest computer...,” reports Digital Trends.

“The computer itself is smaller than a single grain of salt, coming in at 1 millimeter by 1 millimeter and reportedly has about the same computing power as a 1990s era CPU.”

TinyComputerSalt

CNET explains further:

”...despite its size and cost (each will be less than 10 cents to make)[it] can 'monitor, analyze, communicate and even act on data.' Each computer can hold as many as one million transistors, while network communication is handled by LEDs and a solar cell provides power.”

Okay, I won't pretend to understand all this; I just think it's cool. But it be awhile until we see how it will be used in real life. CNET reports that according to IBM, “...clients could have samples in the next 18 months and within the next five years they'll reach the marketplace.”

LAST MALE SOUTHERN WHITE RHINO IN THE WORLD DIES

This makes me cry. Rhinoceroses have been on earth a whole lot longer than humans have been - 50 million years.

Take a good look. Sudan was the last of his kind. Oh, there is a daughter and granddaughter but there is the obvious problem with that. And all other species of rhinos are endangered too.

You can read more at BBC News.

DOONESBURY NAILED TRUMP 41 YEARS AGO

TGB reader Joan McMullen sent this Doonesbury panel from 41 years ago in which Gary Trudeau nails Trump.

Doonesbury_mao

URBAN FALCONRY AND THE POOPMASTER 6000

Downtown Portland, Oregon, had a crow problem. Thousands and thousands of crows were befouling the streets, sidewalks and parks.

“They left us a lot of droppings on the sidewalk to clean up, so much so that it just became impossible to keep up with it,” said Jeri Jenkins of Portland Mall Management...

“'And then I had a friend say to me, “Have you thought about falconry?’” she recalled...

“'There were a lot of unknowns going into this. One of the most obvious was how well the hawks would operate at night. We also weren’t certain how well the crows would respond to hawks,'" says [Kort] Clayton, a biologist who turned falconry into a business.

Although the OPB website provides what what they say is an embed code for the video story, I can't make it work – undoubtedly my failing. But you can view it at the OPB website. It's a terrific story, worth the effort to make the click and you'll find out what the Poopmaster 6000 is.

* * *

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.


INTERESTING STUFF – 17 March 2018

A VERY SHORT HISTORY OF ST. PATRICK'S DAY

Are you wearing green today? How is it, do you think, that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day?

This video doesn't answer all the questions anyone might have about this holiday, but there were a couple of things I didn't know.

FIRST WOMAN ON CANADIAN MONEY

Civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond this week became the first woman to be featured on Canadian currency. This is how Desmond's sister reacted to the honor for her late sibling. (Thank you Jim Stone.)

More about Viola Desmond here.

HELEN MIRREN BEFORE AND AFTER

My friend Chuck Nyren (May I call you my friend, Chuck?) posted a terrific blog story last week about his love for actor Helen Mirren:

”I hate it when I love someone everybody else loves. I feel like I’m just a boring, average, celebrity-obsessed dunderhead. But I do love Helen Mirren.

“Not just lately. I remember her in the 1970s (Oh, Lucky Man!), before long she hid out (from me) doing theatre in England, then popped up again in the 1990s. She was great in The Madness of King George.

“Since then Helen’s made a few flicks and TV shows. What she did a few days ago knocked me out.

What she did was allow herself to be photographed sans makeup for the Oscar show with a followup photo after the artists finished their work on her face and hair. And then, AND THEN, she published the photos to Instagram. I would expect nothing less from her because she is as much a favorite of mine, for all the many good reasons, as for Chuck. Here are the before and after:

MirrenFinal

You can read Chuck's entire post at Advertising For Baby Boomers.

SHKRELI'S JAILED BUT 5000% PRICE HIKE IS STILL IN EFFECT

Remember that little creep Martin Shkreli who bought the rights to the drug Daraprim and then increased the price by 5000 percent?

This past week he was sentenced to seven years in prison – but for a different lawbreaking, not Daraprim:

”Martin 'Pharma Bro' Shkreli was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison and a $75,000 fine after he was found guilty of defrauding his investors last year,” reports Huffpost.

“Shkreli, however, is best known for an affront to the American public: hiking up the price of the lifesaving drug Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent in September 2015.”

But guess what. Even with all the terrible publicity and condemnations, the drug still costs $750 per pill:

”HuffPost contacted a representative Vyera Pharmaceuticals, Turing Pharmaceuticals’ new name. A company representative confirmed that Daraprim still costs $750 out of pocket, with a reduced price for patients who meet certain federal poverty guidelines.”

What makes it even worse is that there is no alternative for Daraprim. You can read more here.

A NIGHTCLUB DEEJAY BRINGS HIS SKILLS TO A BUDDHIST TEMPLE

”Gyosen Asakura’s temple is not your average place of worship,” the Youtube page tells us. “Using his training as a professional DJ, Asakura combines Buddhist scripture with techno beats to create a unique experience. His innovative services have attracted a new generation of people with hundreds flocking to witness the DJ Monk bring his temple to life.”

Take a look:

LONDON BEEFEATERS' SECRET PUB

For hundreds of years there has been a secret pub hidden inside the Tower of London. It is private, just for the Beefeaters and their guests. Here's a short video:

Read more about the pub at Atlas Obscura.

VENEZUELAN EAGLE PROTECTOR

Watching harpy eagles being destroyed in the wilds of Venezuela, Alexander Blanco Márquez decided to take matters into his own hands.Now, he’s going to extremes to protect these eagles, often putting his own life on the line.

A FEEL GOODER

That's what Jim Stone said in his email sending me this and I agree:

AN AMAZING MOMENT WITH WILD GORILLAS

Damian Aspinall and his wife, Victoria, made a special trip to a gorilla sanctuary in Gabon. The Gorillas had met Damian before but they had never met his wife. This is the moment where the gorillas decide if Victoria is welcome or not.

Thank you, Darlene Costner, for this.

* * *

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.



INTERESTING STUFF – 10 March 2018

THE BABY WHISPERER

According to the YouTube page:

”Over the last 12 years, David Deutchman has held and soothed over 1,200 babies at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital. He’s a 'baby buddy,' a person who spends time comforting babies who are delivered prematurely or who may require special medical attention.

“Nicknamed 'the baby whisperer' by nurses, David’s nurturing support has become a godsend for parents while they are away at work or caring for children at home.”

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME TONIGHT

Don't forget to “spring forward” tonight by changing your clocks by one hour as daylight saving time begins.

Daylight-saving-time

Most of us loathe this ritual each March and November – I certainly do - and the state of Florida is trying to do something about that:

”Lawmakers in Florida are tired of the whole fall back and spring forward rigamarole. So they've approved a bill to keep Daylight Saving Time going throughout the year in their state,” reports CNN.

“It took the state Senate less than a minute Tuesday to pass the "Sunshine Protection Act." There were only two dissenters. (The House passed it 103-11 on February 14.)

“The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott -- but it's far from a done deal after that, Even if the governor approves, a change like this will literally take an act of Congress.”

But it's a step in the right direction. Maybe more states will join in to convince Congress it is time to let go of this irritating semi-annual ritual. You can read more about Florida's move here.

HOW PEOPLE WOKE UP BEFORE ALARM CLOCKS

The Mental Floss website, ever eager to pass on obscure information, historical and contemporary, gives us seven ways people woke up at the hour they wanted before there were alarm clocks. Here are two of them:

The Knocker-Up
“The Knocker-Up (also referred to as a Knocker-Upper) gained prominence during the Industrial Revolution, using a long stick with wire or a knob affixed to the end to rouse customers at a desired time. Clients would agree verbally in advance, or simply post a preferred time on doors or windows.

“For a few pence a week, clients could rest assured knowing their Knocker Upper would not leave until he (Knocker Ups were almost always men) was certain a person was awake. Larger factories and mills often employed their own Knocker Ups to ensure laborers made it to work on time.”

Bladder Control
“Early man drank tons and tons of water if he needed to wake up before the sun. Why? Well, if you're over the age of 30 or so, you probably know what getting up in the middle of the night to urinate is all about. The custom of 'over-drinking' before bed was even utilized by Native Americans well into the 20th century.”

You can read about five more early wake-up systems at Mental Floss.

JOHN OLIVER ON THE NRA

On his HBO program, Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver explores the weird world of NRA-TV (National Rifle Association). As always, he has most of the best political jokes of the week and it is definitely worth the investment of your time.

If you're interested in checking out NRA-TV for yourself, you will find it here.

MATTEL'S 17 NEW BARBIE DOLLS

In honor of International Women's Day this past week, toymaker Mattel released three new “inspiring” Barbie dolls along with 14 Shero dolls. Here's a video report from a local TV news program in Columbus, Ohio:

You can see each of the 17 new Barbies side-by-side with photos of their real-life counterparts at Bored Panda.

20 DESIGNERS

TGB reader and friend, Darlene Costner, sent this video of 20 designs for modern homes, mostly space savers that are quite cleverly thought out. They may not all be to your taste, but be sure to stick around for the last one: so silly.

SOME GOOD NEWS: NET NEUTRALITY GOES TO COURT

As reported in these pages a couple of weeks ago, Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai, filed a ruling to take effect on 23 April that will reverse the net neutrality provisions put in place to protect consumers by the Obama administration.

Go to the link above to get the full story on why net neutrality is so important to consumers and to the the country.

Several states had threatened to sue and now a judicial review panel announced that challenges to the rollback will be heard by a San Francisco appeals court. Reuters reports:

”The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict litigation said it randomly selected the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court...to hear the consolidated challenges. The FCC declined to comment on the decision.

“A dozen challenges have been filed by 22 state attorneys general, public interest groups, internet companies, a California county and the state’s Public Utilities Commission seeking to block the Trump administration’s repeal of landmark rules designed to ensure a free and open internet from taking effect.

“The suits were filed in both the Ninth Circuit and District of Columbia appeals court. Of the Ninth Circuit court’s 24 active judges, 18 were appointed by Democratic presidents and six by Republican President George W. Bush. There are six current vacancies and President Donald Trump has nominated two candidates.”

You can read more here about this important challenge to one of the many Trump administration efforts to curtail public access to information.

SOME BAD NEWS: TRUMP TO REINSTATE IMPORTATION OF WILD ANIMAL TROPHIES

On Tuesday, Trump revoked another Obama administration ruling disallowing import of wild animal trophies from Africa. Here is an NBC News report about the change:

You can read more details here.

MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE CAT VIDEO

Most Saturdays I end this Interesting Stuff column with a cat or, at least, an animal video. There is no dearth of such material on the internet so that I am never at a loss for something new to show you.

Sometimes, however, a repeat is more than worth it. This video of a cat watching a horror movie was the number one viral video of the year in 2016, so I am certainly not alone in laughing out loud no matter how many times I see it.

* * *

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.


INTERESTING STUFF – 3 March 2018

MACARONI AND CHEESE RECIPE FROM 1784

I often think “mac and cheese,” as it appears to be called nowadays, has been fetishized beyond on all reason. Nevertheless, it is a great winter or comfort food that I like a lot.

So it was fun, this week, to run across this video of a macaroni and cheese recipe from 1784. Take a look:

This also turned up recently – count them - 38 macaroni and cheese recipes.

THE BEAST FROM THE EAST BLOWS INTO BRITAIN

As I write this on Friday, the east coast of the United States is being pummeled by a massive and destructive nor-easter. In Britain this past week, they called a similar storm with freezing Arctic winds, “The Beast From the East.”

The New York Times put together a video of it from around the country.

REMEMBER THAT TERRIBLE TAX OVERHAUL TRUMP SIGNED?

According to CEO Warren Buffet, Trump's recent tax cut for the rich, has given Buffet's company, Berkshire Hathaway, a $29 billion dollar windfall without his having lifted a finger:

”Berkshire’s $29 billion bonus stems from unrealized gains on equity investments getting taxed at a rate of 21 percent instead of the previous 35 percent rate,” reports the Daily Beast.

“The gain helped push Berkshire’s net earnings in 2017 up to $44.94 billion, nearly double the $24.07 billion recorded a year earlier. Buffet said while the gain is 'real,' it 'did not come from anything we accomplished at Berkshire.'”

LONDON'S SLIM HOUSE

It seems like every big city has a skinny house. The one in New York City, on the street where I lived, was 9.5 feet wide.

This one, in London, measures only 7.5 feet wide. According to the You Tube page:

”The narrow building features 3 floors, 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and was renovated by architects alma-nac, who added features to the house to maximise every inch of the limited space.”

Here is a video tour:

JOHN OLIVER ON HIS HBO SHOW, LAST WEEK TONIGHT

You may think Oliver's topic last Sunday, Italy's political difficulties, are irrelevant to the U.S. and a lot of other countries, but you would be wrong. Oliver at his best and funniest.

THE MOST FAMOUS ACTOR YOU'VE NEVER SEEN

This guy has been in more than 150 movies, but you would probably not recognize him if you saw him in the street.

”Doug Jones has been every creature, monster and villain known to Hollywood having portrayed the Amphibian Man in The Shape of Water, the Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four and the Thin Clown in Batman Returns, for example.

Here's an interview with him with a whole bunch of clips of the monsters he has played.

LIFE WITHOUT PAPER

Nothing ever dies on the internet and I suspect I posted this five years ago when it was new. But I had such a good laugh at it again that I didn't even check to see if I'm repeating myself. Enjoy.

A WALK THROUGH A FLOODED NATURE PRESERVE

When it rains a lot, the Rio da Prata river runs of slower form, causing its damming, thus increasing the water level of the Olho D'Água river, explains the YouTube page.

”Despite the flood, on the day the video was recorded the waters of the Olho D'Agua river remained crystal clear due to their conserved riparian forest and being inside a Private Reserve of the Natural Patrimony - PRNP, a type of Conservation Unit.

“This was a rare episode, and by the end of the day the river had returned to its normal level.”

ELEPHANTS RESCUE A BABY WHO FELL INTO A POOL

If the number of internet videos are an indication, baby elephants have a habit of falling into and getting stuck in waterholes. Then the grownups step in to save them. It is always heartwarming and fun to watch.

This one is from TGB reader Joan McMullen.

* * *

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.


INTERESTING STUFF – 24 February 2018

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO RIDE A FOUR-PERSON BOBSLED

This video, shot with a GoPro camera, gives us a glimpse of the excitement involved with bobsledding. This is a four-person bobsled but the camera is at the front so we don't see the driver of other three men.

FEMALE VERSIONS OF MALE U.S. PRESIDENTS

A Reddit user who calls him/herself ygdrssl created these makeovers of American presidents with an app called FaceApp using only an iPhone.

There is no reason for this. There is no statement to be made. But it's fun to look at – every president since 1900. Thank Jim Stone for sending this. Here are some samples.

FemalePresidents

There are more at the Bored Panda website and this is the Reddit page.

JOHN OLIVER ON WHAT TRUMP HAS DONE TO AMERICA

Hurray! John Oliver is back hosting a new season of his HBO program, Last Week Tonight. Among the questions he tackles is this: Is anything about Trump funny anymore?

Be sure to stick around for the end where Oliver manages to work dinosaurs and the New York Gay Men's Chorus into the finale.

SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT WINTER

It's been extra cold for the past week where I live in Oregon. Even a bit of snow. But the crocuses are already up and the daphne is blooming so spring can't be too far behind.

But before we leave this season behind, here are some surprising facts about winter:

More than 22 million tons of salt are used on U.S. Roads Each Winter. That comes to about 137 pounds of salt per person.

The Snowiest City on Earth is in Japan. Aomori City in northern Japan receives more snowfall than any major city on the planet. Each year citizens are pummeled with 312 inches, or about 26 feet, of snow on average.

Snowflakes aren't always unique. Snow crystals usually form unique patterns, but there’s at least one instance of identical snowflakes in the record books. In 1988, two snowflakes collected from a Wisconsin storm were confirmed to be twins at an atmospheric research center in Colorado.

There are 12 more facts about winter at Mental Floss.

A SHORT HISTORY OF SPORTS

According to this video, the first recorded sport in history was spear throwing which started in about 70,000 BC. Bowling was the first known ball game – in Egypt in 3200 B.C.

There is plenty more to know about the history of sports in this video.

5 PLACES REPUBLICANS BAN GUNS FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY

It is doubtful you have missed the news of the terrible shooting in Florida last week and the continuing inspiration of the high school's survivors to confront our lawmakers about better gun control.

During all the discussion, town halls, funerals, sadness and pain, this turned up - a list of five places Republican ban guns for their own personal safety:

  1. The White House
  2. The Republican National Convention
  3. Mar-a-Lago
  4. U.S. Capitol Building
  5. Republican Town Halls

It's worth your time to read the full story at Alternet.

TEMPERATURE DROPS 70 DEGREES IN 40 HOURS IN DENVER

A lot of winter items in this list today. This one is ab out the astonishing 72-degree drop in the temperaturfe in Denver in fewer than 48 hours:

There is a bit more information at CBSnews.

HEDGEHOG HIGHWAYS IN LONDON

They are cute little buggers, hedgehogs are. London has always had a large population of hedgehogs but numbers have been dropping precipitously due to habitat destruction.

To the rescue is an organization building tiny little highways to help the critters get to the parks and gardens wooded areas and other vegetation they like. Here are some photos:

HedghogHighway

Hedghog

Find out a lot more at Atlas Obscura.

YALE WHIFFENPOOFS ADMIT FIRST WOMAN EVER

Yale's Whiffenpoofs just admitted the first woman into their a capella singing group.

”The campaign for the Whiffs to accept women gained momentum only recently,” reports The New York Times. “After the Whiffenpoofs voted against admitting them in 2016, a record number of female singers auditioned anyway and an online petition circulated urging the Whiffs to reverse the decision.”

Here are the 2017 Wiffenpoofs singing their signature song.

Read more about the first woman Wiffenpoof and how it came about 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.



INTERESTING STUFF – 17 February 2018

TIME GOES BY DONATION WEEK
Hurray. Just one more day left of the 2018 TGB donation drive to help support the increasing costs of maintaining Time Goes By. You can read the details on Monday's post.

Whether you donate or not, nothing will change. TGB will always remain advertising-free with never a membership fee or paid firewall. If you would like to help support the work that goes on here, click the button below. If not, which is perfectly fine, scroll down for today's post.

* * *

MAN SURPRISED TO FIND OUT HE'S 99 YEARS OLD

A lot of people have gotten a good laugh out of this video from Jukin Media: It got more then 3.5 million views on YouTube in only 10 days:

JIMMY KIMMEL'S OLYMPIC COVERAGE

As he reminds the audience, NBC, where the Olympics is being broadcast in the U.S., does not allowed Kimmel to show clips on his ABC show. So he did this.

THOSE MAGAZINES JUST KEEP COMING

Thank TGB's Sunday music columnist, Peter Tibbles, for this cartoon from Pearls Before Swine. I know just how the guy feels and for me, it's about this particular magazine.

As much as I love The New Yorker, I'm always playing catchup with it.

PearlsBeforeSwineCartoon

Find more Pearls Before Swine cartoons here.

B.B. KING IN A DRESS

That headline is what a commenter said about Sister Rosetta Tharp on the YouTube page. A lot of people don't remember her or never heard of her but my mother was a fan so I grew up singing along with recordings of Ms. Tharp.

She is often referred to as “The Godmother of Rock and Roll” or “The Original Soul Sister”. This video is from 1964 in Manchester, England: Didn't It Rain. See what you think.

WATERFALL SWING

Wait 'till you see this: Swinging in the rain (ahem) without getting wet.

The Big Geek Daddy page explains how swingers stay dry:

”Sensors mounted on the swing set send data to a software program that determines when to release the water so it misses the person swinging beneath the waterfall. The water used for this is recirculated from the collection pool beneath the swings so it’s not using a lot of water.”

STUNNING REPORT ON COST OF SOLAR/WIND POWER

The U.S. president is doing everything he can to promote old, dirty energy production which, as it turns out, is actually more expensive that renewable energy.

”A widely-used yearly benchmarking study — the Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE) from the financial firm Lazard Ltd. — reached this stunning conclusion: In many regions 'the full-lifecycle costs of building and operating renewables-based projects have dropped below the operating costs alone of conventional generation technologies such as coal or nuclear,” reports ThinkProgress...

“Since power from new renewables is cheaper than power from existing coal and nuclear, it’s no surprise that the lifetime cost of new renewables is much cheaper than new coal and nuclear power. And that gap is growing.

“Lazard notes that in North America, the cost for utility scale solar and wind power dropped 6 percent last year, while the price for coal remained flat and the cost of nuclear soared.”

The cost savings are even greater in some other countries. Read more at ThinkProgress.

THE SNOW GUARDIAN

Gothic, Colorado is one of the coldest places in the United States. It is also been a ghost town since the 1920s. As the YouTube page further explains:

”For more than 40 years, current resident billy barr has lived in a small cabin, recording data about the snowpack to pass the time.

“In this short film, Morgan Heim of Day’s Edge Productions profiles the legendary local who inadvertently provided scientists with a treasure trove of climate change data.}

AT LAST, JOHN OLIVER RETURNS

Tomorrow night, Sunday, the inimitable John Oliver returns for Season 5 of his HBO show, Last Week Tonight. My god I've missed him. Here's the trailer for his new season:

If you don't subscribe to HBO, you can watch it on the YouTube page or see the best part here next Saturday.

SHE SAYS SHE IS NOT A CRAZY CAT LADY

Lynea Lattanzio is a certified cat lady who would "rather have 800 cats than another man." The founder of The Cat House on The Kings oversees a 12-acre sanctuary in California with close to 800 adults and 300 kittens.

* * *

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.


INTERESTING STUFF – 10 February 2018

THE OLDEST RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD

Botin Restaurant has been open for business every day for the past 293 years. In that time, since 1725, the oven fire has never been extinguished.

”According to deputy manager Luis Javier Sànchez Alvarez, the oven is the crown jewel of the restaurant and the fundamental element of their most popular dish, the roast suckling pig.

“The recipes used today have been passed down from generation to generation, keeping the legacy of these traditional dishes alive. With the honor of being the oldest restaurant in the world, Alvarez hopes to keep the doors open for centuries to come.”

Take a look:

PLANT CONSCIOUSNESS

Remember 20 or 25 years ago or so when the idea that plants can feel pain, communicate with one another and respond to audio input.

Although the idea lost some of its cache over time, it's never gone away and now some scientists are saying that plants can count and can even communicate with caterpillers.

“'Plants are not just robotic, stimulus-response devices,' said Frantisek Baluska, a plant cell biologist at the University of Bonn in Germany and co-author of the study. 'They’re living organisms which have their own problems, maybe something like with humans feeling pain or joy. In order to navigate this complex life, they must have some compass.'

“Plants sometimes use that compass to deal with stress, competition or development. They take in information from their environment and produce their own anesthetics like menthol, ethanol and cocaine, similar to how humans release chemicals that dull pain during trauma. These may act within the plant itself or float off in the air to affect neighboring plants.

“Our anesthetics work on plants too, the study confirmed, although what exactly they’re working on is unclear.”

Read more at The New York Times.

COMEDIAN CHRIS ROCK ON DOCTORS AND DRUGS

In reference to Crabby Old Lady's post on Monday about advertising prescription drugs to elders, TGB reader Richard Lombard, sent this video from several years ago of comedian Chris Rock's take on the same subject.

The usual disclaimers about language apply.

NOW, DORITOS ONLY FOR WOMEN

Late night comedians have been having a fine ol' funny time this week with the announcement that Pepsico is developing a Dorito chip just for women.

The idea, apparently, is that women are not supposed to make audible crunching noises when they eat chips and Pepsico has taken a lot of heat for considering such a dumb product.

Here's a video about some other misbegotten women-only products. The voice at the beginning of the vid is Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico:

You can read more at the Washington Post.

PESSIMISM ABOUT OLD AGE AND DEMENTIA

It is all but established fact now that people who hold positive views of ageing and of old people live a lot longer – up to seven-plus years – than people who hold negative views.

Now comes a new study suggesting that negative attitudes toward ageing are a risk factor for dementia.

”The difference was hardly trivial: Study participants who had positive beliefs about aging were 44% less likely to develop dementia over the next four years than were their counterparts with negative beliefs.

“Even after the researchers accounted for other risk factors for dementia — including smoking, diabetes and cardiovascular disease — they still found that the odds for the condition were lower among those with a positive attitude toward aging.

“Also striking: The apparent benefits of positivity were even greater among the subgroup of adults whose genes put them at greater risk of dementia. In fact, the researchers said, a positive attitude toward aging could essentially erase the handicap associated with carrying a risky variant of the APOE gene.”

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

THE LAST PALESTINIAN KAFFIYEH MAKER

As the YouTube page tells us, the traditional Arab headdress, the kaffiyeh, is a symbol of the Palestinian struggle and an important part of Palestinian heritage.

”Unfortunately, the Al Hirbawi factory is the last remaining institution in the Palestinian territories producing the original kaffiyeh. Brothers Jouda, Abdelazim and Ezzat have been working in the factory since they were kids, inheriting the family business and continuing the proud legacy.”

Here is a video about them:

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO STEAL WORKERS' TIPS

Last December, the Editorial Board of The New York Times objected to a proposal from the Trump administration's Department of Labor. It would allow

”...employers to pool tips and use them as they see fit...Officials argue that this will free restaurants to use some of the tip money to reward lowly dishwashers, line cooks and other workers who toil in the less glamorous quarters and presumably make less than servers who get tips.

“[However,] a simple reading of the government’s proposal makes clear that business owners...would be free to pocket some or all of that cash, spend it to spiff up the dining room or use it to underwrite $2 margaritas at happy hour. And that’s what makes this proposal so disturbing.”

What it boils down to is allowing employers to pick the pockets of their employees. Legally. Since The Times editorial, the public has made its objection loud and clear, as reported at Daily Kos:

”The tip-stealing proposal is also unpopular with the public: a poll conducted for the National Employment Law Project found 82 percent of people opposed.

“None of this means that Trump’s labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, is going to back down. But once again the Trump administration is making clear where it stands—definitely not with workers.”

You might think about joining the chorus and let that Labor Secretary know where you stand.

ANY ELVIS FANS HERE?

Elvis impersonators have been an entertainment fixture for about 40 years, nearly a dime a dozen. But I like this short documentary about one of them. As the YouTube page tells us:

”When Dave Groh began impersonating Elvis Presley, he felt it made him 'a sexier person than I had been just being Dave.' In the short documentary Cab Elvis, director Andrew Franks follows Grohl, a cab driver, across Seattle as he picks up passengers—some of whom describe the experience as the best taxi ride of their lives.”

Read more at The Atlantic.

BABY BEAR AT THE GOLF COURSE

This baby bear was having himself a grand time on the Mountainside Golf Course at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in British Columbia, Canada.

Lovely to watch and a nice mini-vacation from the constant drumbeat of political news, don't you think?

* * *

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.



INTERESTING STUFF – 3 February 2018

SOME OF THE OLDEST IN U.S. IN 1929

My friend Jim Stone, who has been visiting from Massachusetts, sent this fascinating video of some of the oldest old in the U.S. talking on camera about their lives in 1929.

ONE DAY IN TRUMP CORRUPTION

The Washington Post, now famously, posted Donald Trump's 2000 lies during his first year as president.

At New York magazine this week, Jonathan Chait wrote about Trump's four newest corruption stories that broke in just one day. One example:

”A report yesterday found that Trump’s infrastructure council is filled with business owners who stand to benefit from the policies Trump is advancing. For instance, Richard LeFrak, one of the developers on Trump’s

“The plan writ large would steer public funding toward privately owned infrastructure projects that would benefit the developers on Trump’s committee, as well as potentially members of his own family.”

You can read more here.

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A LONDON CABBIE

London cabbies famously study for several years before they are allowed to get behind the wheel of a London taxi. As the YouTube page explains, they

”...must pass The Knowledge, universally regarded as the world’s toughest taxi test. Applicants often take two to four years to prepare for the infamous exam, memorizing over 25,000 street names and 20,000 points of interest.

“Only one in five applicants pass the test, giving The Knowledge the same success rate as the U.S. Navy SEALs.”

Take a look:

STRANDBEAST

TGB reader Pat Trimbell sent this video of artist Theo Janzen's Strandbeast creations.

”Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic materials of this new nature. I make skeletons that are able to walk on the wind so they don't have to eat,” writes the artist on his webpage.”

WHAT WOLVES BROUGHT TO YELLOWSTONE PARK

Although this video about wolves' return to Yellowstone Park was made four years ago, it is still valid. I wonder if the changes will survive Trump.

VOTING AT HOME INCREASES TURNOUT

When I moved to Oregon in 2010, I was pleased to discover that all voting is done at home and submitted via snailmail. Now there is some research showing what Oregon has known since they began this kind of voting:

”The study found that vote at home increased overall turnout by 3.3 percent, and by even more among young and low-propensity voters. The implication is clear: Anyone who cares about improving turnout should make expanding vote at home a top priority.

“...Turnout rates in the states where everyone can vote at home — Oregon, Washington and Colorado — have increased since the system was adopted, and they’re now among the highest in the country.”

The issue is a bit more complex than that excerpt makes clear and you can read more here.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A DOG PHOTOGRAPHER

Many years ago, I produced a TV segment about dog photographer William Wegman and have been delighted with his work every since. (Long before his stint began on the Today Show, a young Matt Lauer was the interviewer on that program.)

As the YouTube page explains:

”Welcome to Wegman’s Wild World of Weimaraners, where dogs bake cakes and lounge like royalty. Known to the world as the 'dog photographer,' William Wegman has spent the past 45 years dressing and posing his canine muses in elaborate ensembles, finding whimsy in the absurd.”

* * *

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.



INTERESTING STUFF – 27 January 2018

URSULA K. LE GUIN DIES AT 88

How odd that in the past couple of weeks, we discussed Ursula K. Le Guin's most recent book of essays. Her family announced this week that she died at home in Portland, Oregon, on Tuesday, 22 January:

LeGuin Tweet

Her son said she had been in poor health in recent months.

Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale, had this to say in her farewell to Ms. Le Guin at The Guardian:

”Right before she died, I was reading her new book, No Time to Spare, a collection of trenchant, funny, lyrical essays about everything from cats to the nature of belief, to the overuse of the word 'fuck', to the fact that old age is indeed for sissies...”

And in this following excerpt, she convinced me that my next big read will be Le Guin's The Earthsea Trilogy:

”But political thought and activity was just one facet of this astonishingly talented woman’s multifaceted life and work. The Earthsea trilogy, for instance, is a memorable exploration of the relationship between life and death: without the darkness, no light; and mortality allows all that is alive to be.

“The darkness includes the hidden and less pleasant sides of our selves – our fears, our pride, our envy. Ged, its hero, must face his shadow self before it devours him. Only then will he become whole. In the process, he must contend with the wisdom of dragons: ambiguous and not our wisdom, but wisdom nonetheless.”

A documentary film titled Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin will be released this year. You can find out more about it at Le Guin's website.

SWEDEN'S ICE HOTEL

In the time since I discovered there is such a thing several years ago, I've been fascinated with ice hotels that spring up in various places around the world when winter arrives and melt away in spring.

Here's a video about the original ice hotel in Sweden:

You can find out how the ice hotel rooms are cleaned at Mental Floss and visit the hotel's website here.

HACKERS STOLE $172 BILLION IN 2017

That's right 172 billion dollars with a B. Here are the key findings about this kind of cybercrime, according to the 2017 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report [pdf],

• 978 million people in 20 countries were affected by cybercrime in 2017. The most common cybercrimes experienced by consumers or someone they know include:

• Having a device infected by a virus or other security threat (53%)

• Experiencing debit or credit card fraud (38%)

• Having an account password compromised (34%)

• Encountering unauthorized access to or hacking of an email or social media account (34%)

• Making a purchase online that turned out to be a scam (33%)

• Clicking on a fraudulent email or providing sensitive (personal/financial) information in response to a fraudulent email (32%)

Fortunately for us this is more than just a survey. On page 9 of the report, you'll find good advice on how to prevent it.

IS COFFEE A HEALTH RISK OR IS IT GOOD FOR US

Every few years, “they” tell us that certain common foods are not good for us. Salt, of course, many fats, red meat and so on. Coffee comes up on that list now and then and I've never paid attention.

In this video, recorded in 2015, Dr. Aaron Carroll affirms research showing that drinking five cups of coffee a day is associated with a lower risk of disease, compared to drinking none.

I don't go quite as far as five cups a day, but I do like having my biases confirmed:

15 REASONS TO APPRECIATE SQUIRRELS

I've never had any trouble appreciating squirrels but these reasons are new to me.

Squirrel

They are Very Organized: A recent study found that eastern fox squirrels living on UC Berkeley's campus cache their nuts according to type. When given a mixture of walnuts, pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts, the squirrels took the time to hide each type of nut in a specific place.

Their Forgetfulness Helps Trees Grow: Though they may be careful about where they bury their acorns and other nuts, they still forget about quite a few of their caches (or at least neglect to retrieve them). When they do, those acorns often sprout, resulting in more trees.

They Can Lie: Gray squirrels know how to deceive. They can engage in what's called "tactical deception...When they think they're being watched by someone looking to pilfer their cache of food...they will pretend to dig a hole as if burying their acorn or nut, but tuck their snack into their mouth and go bury it elsewhere.”

You can read about the other 12 reasons to appreciate squirrels at Mental Floss.

BEST, FUNNIEST AND MOST POWERFUL SIGNS AT WOMEN'S MARCHES

Well, certainly not all all the signs – it was a big, big march in every U.S. state and many other countries as well last weekend. Here are a few samples:

Midterms

HarryPotterMarchSign

Toddler

You will find more at Raw Story.

23-YEAR-OLD FINGERBOARD ENTREPRENEUR

Who knew you could make a living at something like this. Obviously Michael Schneider does but his facial expressions seem to say that he's as surprised as I am at the success of such a silly thing:

CAN U.S. STATES RESCUE NET NEUTRALITY?

Some states are suing the federal government to restore net neutrality rules that were rescinded by the Trump administration in December 2017.

Taking a more immediate step is Montana Governor Steve Bullock who signed an executive order requiring internet service providers to accept net neutrality rules for contracts with the state. Take a look at a local news report about it:

Read more at Huff Post.

INGO THE DOG AND HIS OWL FRIENDS

Thank reader Kathleen Noble for these astonishing photos of a German shepherd hanging out with his tiny (compared to him) owl friends. Images are by animal photographer Tanja Brandt:

Ingo3

Ingo1

Ingo4

A lot more of Ms. Brandt's photos of Ingo and his owl buddies at Bored Panda.

* * *

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.



INTERESTING STUFF – 20 January 2018

LIVE JAZZ EVERY SUNDAY IN HARLEM APARTMENT

Every Sunday, Marjorie Eliot and Rudel Drears open the doors of their Harlem apartment to anyone in the mood for jazz. At first, this was a way for Marjorie to honor her son’s passing, but the concerts soon began attracting visitors from all corners of the world, according to the YouTube page.

Today, Marjorie’s matinees have become iconic, continuing to restore, renew and unite people all through the magic of music. Take a look:

Without missing a single Sunday, the music has been going on for 25 years.

DNA CHECK

I'm not much interested in genealogy but as Christmas approached last year, there were a lot of commercials for discounted DNA checks so just for fun, I decided to see what my DNA says about me. I got the results this week. Here's how it breaks down:

Scandinavian - 19.7%
English - 19.4%
Irish, Scottish, Welsh - 19.4%
South Europe, Iberian - 10.9%
South Europe, Greek - 9.3%
Eastern Europe - 19%
North Africa - 1.1%
Nigeria - 1.1%
Middle East - 1.1%

The Scandinavian surprised me but the rest is pretty much what I expected. I had been told my maternal ethnic background was Spanish and Welsh. Period. They are there in this analysis, but not in as big a percentage as I had thought. Mildly interesting...

CAT VERSUS OCTOPUS

According to the YouTube page, this is a cat meeting an octopus for the first time. I doubt there is much opportunity for this kind of encounter so take a look:

A PAPER AIRPLANE LIKE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN

The detail that Luca Iaconi-Stewart has incorporated into this model of a Boeing 777 aircraft made entirely of manila folders is astonishing.

I'm pretty sure this takes an amount of obsession I'm unfamiliar with.

A PENCIL FACTORY IN PHOTOS

Photographer Christopher Payne, The New York Times reports, has visited the General Pencil Company factory in Jersey City, New Jersey dozens of times where he has been documenting every phase of the manufacturing process.

It is a beautiful and compelling photo essay. Here are some samples:

GraypencilsA

PencilMachineB

EditiingPencilsC

Because it is published at The New York Times not all of you will be able to see the rest of the photos, but you may enjoy reporter Sam Anderson's final paragraph. I did:

”In an era of infinite screens, the humble pencil feels revolutionarily direct: It does exactly what it does, when it does it, right in front of you. Pencils eschew digital jujitsu. They are pure analog, absolute presence. They help to rescue us from oblivion.

“Think of how many of our finest motions disappear, untracked — how many eye blinks and toe twitches and secret glances vanish into nothing. And yet when you hold a pencil, your quietest little hand-dances are mapped exactly, from the loops and slashes to the final dot at the very end of a sentence.”

More at The New York Times.

A COFFEE TABLE HARRY POTTER WOULD LOVE

The craftsman in this video built a “magic” coffee table full of hidden compartments and artwork. I've always loved hidden compartments and had one in the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves I had built in my Maine apartment. Take a look at this:

A CHAIN REACTION WITH MORE THAN DOMINOS

A YouTube contributor who calls himself DoodleChaos synchronized his chain reaction to Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers. The chain reaction includes not just dominos as usual, but also marbles, magnets and janga blocks. Here is what he said about doing that:

”After listening to parts of this song hundreds of times to match things up I went a bit crazy.”

I have no doubt nor will you when you see this final amazing video.

COLDEST PLACE ON EARTH

Oymyakon, a remote Siberian village, is considered to be the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world. BoredPanda reports:

”The official weather station at the 'pole of cold' registered -59°C (-74°F), but the new electronic thermometer claimed the weather was -62°C (-80°F). In fact, it even stopped working after reaching the painful mark. Some of the 500 locals go beyond that, claiming the temperatures are as low as -68°C (-90°F).”

Here are some sample photos:

FreezingVillageA

FreezingRussianTownB

Worlds-coldest-village-oymyakon-siberiaC

More photographs at BoredPanda.

MURMURATION OF STARLINGS

A short film that follows the journey of two girls in a canoe on the River Shannon and how they stumble across one of nature's greatest phenomenons; a murmuration of starlings.

There is an explanation of the science behind starling murmurations at Wired. Thank TGB reader Ruth-Ellen B. Joeres for the video.

* * *

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.



INTERESTING STUFF – 6 January 2018

A KID'S DESCRIPTION OF OLD PEOPLE

TGB reader, Marian Methner, sent this very short story about growing old and her grandson, Zeb.

“My mother, who was quite 'wrinkled' would often remind me to 'use moisturizer,'” wrote Marian. “I too have 'fragile' skin and 'wrinkled' early - whatever that means.

“When one of my grandsons was about 6, gently stroking my face, he asked me, 'do all grannies have ruffles?' So of course my friends and I all love our ruffles!”

No one is born with ageist beliefs – they have to be carefully taught.

ABOUT THAT STORM IN THE EAST THIS WEEK

It was a mess in New York, Boston and other cities where temperatures hit terrible and dangerous lows but what some were calling the “bomb cyclone” storm left only one little inch of snow in Washington, D.C.

The headline on that story by reporter Monica Hesse in the Washington Post read,

”Dear Northerners: We get that this weather is no big deal for you. Now please shut up.”

Hah! Great verbal jab. Read on at The Post.

COLDEST DAYS OF WINTER – HOW CANADA COPES

Another weather item: With record-setting cold temperatures this week, here's a nice, old comedy routine about how Canadians cope with it that TGB's Montreal reader, doctafil sent:

DOGS PLAYING IN THE SNOW

Okay, maybe I'm overdoing winter weather today but there was a whole bunch of good stuff this week.

This is a short compilation video of dogs having the best ol' time in the snow. Like me, you might recognize some of them – at least one clip hales from 2007 – but it's great fun to see dogs enjoying themelves like this. (Don't forget, nothing ever dies on the internet.)

THE STORY OF A 107-YEAR-OLD WORLD WAR HERO

On Thursday, Georges Loinger turned 107 years old. He is a World War II hero, a French resistance fighter who helped save thousands of Jewish children from the the Nazis. Here is a small part of his story.

”...Loinger was born in Strasbourg in 1910 to an Orthodox Jewish family. In an interview published in the French Jewish newspaper Tribune Juive in 2015, he says, 'I was born a German. Mein Kampf was sold in bookstores. On the radio, we heard the speech of Hitler, who was yelling: “The Jews. I will exterminate them.’”

“In 1939, Loinger was mobilized and fought with the French army. When Germany defeated France in June 1940, his unit was captured and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany. Because he was tall, blond and blue-eyed, the Germans did not suspect he was Jewish. He managed to escape, return to France and join the OSE as a resistant. By then he was married with two children of his own...”
After the war entered France, it became too dangerous for Jewish children to remain in France so Loinger and his cohorts began hiding the kids with Catholic French families:

“'I took the children to the border of France with Switzerland, next to Geneva, and told them we are going to play with a ball like we used to do. I threw the ball a hundred meters toward the Swiss border and told the children to run and get the ball. They ran after the ball and this is how they crossed the border.

“'This is how their lives were saved. After that, the Italians left France and the Germans came in. It became too dangerous to play ball with the children like this. With the Germans, we didn’t play these games,' he said.

“In this candid and modest narration and others, Loinger explained how he saved many children until September 1943, when the Italians signed an agreement with France and left the country.”

There is much more to the story of Georges Loinger's bravery at Tablet magazine.

BATA SHOE MUSEUM

There are some amazing shoes in this museum in Toronto, Canada, which holds a collection of footwear going back, says the curator, 4,000 years. Here is a video of more recent vintage shoes.

I was disappointed that I couldn't find a video of some of the ancient shoes but here's a photo of sixteenth-century Italian “chopines.”

ShoesItalinaChopines

You can read more about the museum at Atlas Obscura.

I DON'T LOOK GOOD NAKED ANYMORE

No kidding. You should see this wrinkled old body with its two foot vertical scar down my middle. Well, never mind. I didn't mean I would show you.

This is the Snake Oil Willie Band from 2014 singing about that predicament.

The band's website is here.

LONGEST TOWN NAME IN THE WORLD

At 58 letters, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch is the longest town name in all of Europe. The Youtube page tells us that

”...in the 1860s, the name was developed as a way to entice tourists to make the town a stop on their travels. It's an amalgamation of the Welsh words and names for local landmarks, and it's probably the best PR stunt of the 1860s—or today.

Here are the locals pronouncing the name for us:

LIVE BABY EAGLE CAM

This is from TGB reader SuzC who said,

“I'm attaching an entertaining webcam of 2 baby bald eagles, whose fierceness, strength and struggles seem to fit our day these days...“

The video is posted on the Dick Pritchett Real Estate website which explains that this 2017-2018 season is the sixth time the real estate company has provided the live look into this Southwest Florida nest. Three cameras are used that track the birds 24/7 and stream live video directly to this site.

There is more about the eagle cam and its birds at Dick Pritchett Real Estate.

* * *

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.


INTERESTING STUFF – 30 December 2017

ELDER UPTOWN FUNK

Canadian TGB reader doctafil alerted us to this video by a group of elders in Sarnia, Ontario. They call themselves the Landmark Village Players (after the name of their retirement community) and what they have done here, according to CBC News is

”...a remarkably accurate re-creation of the Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars music video for Uptown Funk.

I dare you not to smile and, maybe, even get out of your chair to dance along with them.

You can compare the Landmark Village Players version of the video to the original Bruno Mars vid here. Note there have been more than 2.8 BILLION views of this video since its release in November 2014.

GENEROUS PEOPLE LISTEN TO THEIR HEARTS – LITERALLY

Now who could resist a headline like that. Especially when it comes from a medical news website. In appears that some researchers in the U.K. and Sweden have discovered a link between altruism and people who listen – literally – to their hearts.

”Interoception — a fancy word that describes how in tune you are with your own body — has been found to be linked with how willing you are to give.

“...participants had to decide, in repeated scenarios, whether to give different amounts of real money to others or keep it for themselves...there was no way that the receiver of this giving act could penalize the giver in any way, and the giver was assured that they would never meet the receiver...

“To assess interoception, participants were [also] asked to complete a 'heartbeat detection task.' In it, they had their own heartbeat recorded with an electrocardiogram.

“They were then asked to listen to a range of sounds that were either in or out of sync with their heartbeats, and they did so without being able to feel their own pulse.

“Those better able to tell whether the sound was in or out of sync had higher interoception.”

Those are just some bare-bones explanation. There is much more at Medical News Today.

THE RARE WHITE STRAWBERRIES OF JAPAN

As the YouTube page explains:

”In Japan, there's a specialty fruit craze sweeping the nation, from square watermelons to grapes the size of Ping-Pong balls. Still, the crown jewel of the luxury fruit basket is the white strawberry, bred to be a whole lot bigger and a whole lot sweeter than its classic red counterpart.

“We took a tour of Yasuhito Teshima's farm in Karatsu, Japan, to find out why so many people are spending a pretty penny for a taste of these famous white berries.”

Take a look:

STEPHEN HAWKING'S PREDICTIONS FROM 2017

magazine rounded up physicist Stephen Hawking's 2017 predictions. Here are two of the six they found:

1. “Humans must colonize another planet within a hundred years.
In a BBC documentary released earlier this year, titled Stephen Hawking: Expedition New Earth, the physicist explained his prediction that soon, the human species will have to leave Earth and repopulate somewhere else in the universe, either on a spacecraft or on another planet.

“The physicist warned that if humans don’t become a multi-planetary species and settle on other worlds, our species could die out within the next century.

2. "Trump Will Push Earth Over The Brink
Hawking is not a fan of U.S. President Donald Trump, and earlier this year commented that the president’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement could lead to irreversible climate change, The BBC reported...

“According to Hawking, Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of this deal could be the final step towards drastic climate problems that may have serious effects on all life on Earth.”

More Hawking predictions at Newsweek.

HOW POOP SHAPES THE WORLD

I've explained in past posts what a surprise it has been to learn to speak about pooping with my various cancer doctors, nurses, etc. It doesn't come to me naturally.

Then this video showed up on my screen and it's amazing what it has to tell us. As the YouTube page explains:

”One creature’s waste is another’s fuel, and all over nature these leftovers help new life spring up. Here’s how whales, birds, worms, bats, and more help the world breathe clean, thanks to their poop.”

LEST WE FORGET – TRUMP'S 2017 RACISM

As The Root notes on its page with this video:

”Water is wet, the sky is blue and Donald Trump is a racist. And in 2017, Trump was on a roll. Here’s a quick rundown:

HOW ANIMALS SLEEP

A short, little video about how important sleep is to all earth's creatures.

2017 COMEDY WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS

This is the third year of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards and these three winners will leave you laughing for sure.

"What's Up Doc" by Olivier Colle:

WhatsUpDoc

"All Dressed Up and Ready for Church by Carl Henry.

AllDressUpAndReadyForChurch

"The Laughing Dormouse by Andrea Zampatti.

TheLaughingDormouse

You can see more winners here, and all the 2017 finalists here (which are just as funny as the winners to me), along with the finalists and winners from 2016 and 2015.

* * *

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.


INTERESTING STUFF – 23 December 2017

THE COFFIN CLUB

Reader Kathleen Noble send this music video from New Zealand about members of the Kiwi Coffin Club who “cope with death and loss while bringing some fun and personality to their own final journey” says YouTube.

U.S. GETS FIRST INTERNATIONAL DARK SKY RESERVE

In the early 1970s, I had a weekend home in the Catskill Mountains about a three-hour drive from Manhattan.

Through those years, I was awed every week, looking at the sky when we arrived each Friday night. More stars than any city dweller can imagine and I don't think I've seen that natural array since then.

Now it has been announced that Idaho is now home to the first Dark Sky Reserve in the United States.

DarkSkyReserve

”The International Dark Sky Association, an Arizona-based nonprofit that advocates against light pollution, designated an area covering more than 1,400 square miles as the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve on Monday.

“The reserve includes the Sawtooth Range and other wilderness areas that offer brilliant views of the night sky.”

You can read more at Huffington Post and at Awol.

AMAZON'S NEW SERVICE CAN BE USED FOR MORE THAN JUST GETTING MORE STUFF WE DON'T NEED

Rob Bliss produced this video about helping others and includes this introductory note on the YouTube page.

”Note: this video is NOT SPONSORED OR AFFILIATED WITH AMAZON. I'm sure this technique could be used with Postmates or whoever else too. I simply wanted to demonstrate how easy and convenient it can be to bring a person in need, what they need, and to encourage that behavior.”

Take a look:

AFTER U.S. KILLS NET NEUTRALITY, U.K. MAKES HIGH SPEED ACCESS A RIGHT OF ALL CITIZENS

As you know, earlier this month the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) killed net neutrality, the law that gave everyone, large corporations and little tiny blogs like this one, equal access to the internet.

Some advocacy groups are fighting back but it will be a tough uphill battle that may seep into the midterm elections next year.

So while the Trump administration is working to limit citizens rights, the United Kingdom has just enacted a law, The Digital Economy Act, that by the year 2020 will make high-speed internet a human right in the country.

”Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: 'We know how important broadband is to homes and businesses and we want everyone to benefit from a fast and reliable connection...[and] have decided that only a regulatory approach will make high speed broadband a reality for everyone in the UK, regardless of where they live or work', reports Engadget.”

“The government will now begin setting out what the Universal Service Obligation (USO) must include. It's expected that legislation will be passed in early 2018 and that it will take roughly two years to formally introduce the minimum expected speeds...”

Other countries are making strides, small and large, while the U.S. seems to be in retrograde.

JAPAN'S ZERO WASTE TOWN

It feels like I might have posted this video before but what the hell, I like it.

”The village of Kamikatsu in Japan has taken their commitment to sustainability to a new level,” reports the YouTube page.

“While the rest of the country has a recycling rate of around 20 percent, Kamikatsu surpasses its neighbors with a staggering 80 percent. After becoming aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide associated with burning garbage, the town instated the Zero Waste Declaration with the goal of being completely waste-free by 2020.”

Of course it is a very small town, hard to apply the same principles to big cities, nevertheless it is impressive what they have accomplished for themselves and as an guide to other towns' waste futures.

11 THINGS WOMEN COULD NOT DO IN THE 1920s

When I got married in 1965, I was not allowed to have a credit card in my name. It was in my husband's name.

Fortunately, that had changed by the time we divorced in 1971, but it's taken a long time for women to gain parity in some of the simplest things. Some examples:

⚫ Have Their Own Name Printed On A Passport
⚫ Keep Their Citizenship If Marrying A Non-Citizen
⚫ Work The Night Shift
⚫ Hold A Job While Pregnant
⚫ Serve On A Jury

You can see the rest of the prohibitions against women at Mental Floss.

VINTAGE U.S. GAS STATIONS

I could do without the treacly music but it's fun to recall what part of the local landscape looked like when I was a kid:

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO CURE CANCER?

Okay, this is your serious study video for the day. It does an excellent job of explaining how cancer works – or actually, what we understand at this point about how cancer works.

Forty percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime – everyone is touched by it personally so it's good to know a little about how this still-dread disease works.

The book that is promoted at the end. The Emperor of All Maladies from Siddhartha Mukerjee which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011, is a stunning achievement. Worth the read if you are interested in such things.

Here's the TEDed video:

CHRISTMAS PUPPY CUTENESS OVERLOAD

They tiny little puppies doing what puppies do – this time at Christmas – until they tire out and fall asleep.

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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.



INTERESTING STUFF – 16 December 2017

MEDICAL TERMS FOR MINOR MEDICAL PROBLEMS

An interesting thing that has happened from my cancer treatments with many visits to clinics and doctors is that I get to watch them at their jobs and pertinent to this, listen in on their conversations with one another. It's often filled with words I have never heard before.

This week I ran across a feature story listing some fancy medical terms that professionals use for commonplace health issues. Some examples:

Corn: That callus on your foot may be soft, in which case it’s a heloma molle. If it's hard, it's a heloma durum.

Getting the wind knocked out of you: This feels bad, but doesn’t last very long. Just a transient diaphragmatic spasm.

Sneeze: Why sneeze when you can sternutate?

There are about 18 more of these at Mental Floss.

HEATHROW CHRISTMAS ADVERT

British TV Christmas commercials are always beautifully produced. Here's a cute one this year for Heathrow Airport.

YOU CAN'T MAKE UP THIS STUFF

I've checked all over the web and this is a true story:

”A surgeon has admitted burning his initials into the livers of two transplant patients with a laser beam,” reports The Telegraph

“Consultant Simon Bramhall, 53, branded "SB" on the organs of a man and a woman undergoing transplant operations.”

I am speechless. I cannot imagine how doing this could even occur to anyone let alone follow through. You can read more here.

INTERNATIONAL SPY MUSEUM

I had no idea this existed. As the YouTube page explains,

”At the International Spy Museum, there's something for the spy in all of us. Gain access to world's largest collection of international espionage artifacts - gadgets, weapons, bugs, cameras, vehicles, and spy-tech that defies classification.”

Here's a short introductory video:

More at the museum's website, and here is the museum's YouTube page which has more than 200 short videos about the museum and espionage.

BEAR CUB QUINTUPLETES

Darlene Costner sent some still shots via email of this adorable and huge bear family. Then I found a video with those stills so you can now see them.

A FIVE-YEAR-OLD STARTS JOSHUA'S HEART FOUNDATION

At age five, Johsua Williams started a non-profit to feed the homeless where he lived. Since then he's fed 300,000 people. Now age 16, he continues his work with a whole lot of others helping out and expanding the project. Take a look.

Find out more about Joshua's Heart Foundation here.

CATS WHO CRASHED NATIVITY SCENES

Cats do what cats want to do – it's hard to dissuade them – and they are expert at making themselves the center of attention at any cost.

Cats-crashing-nativity-scenes3

Cats-crashing-nativity-scenes

CatNativity1

There are 17 more photos of cat-crashed nativities at Bored Panda.

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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.