348 posts categorized "Interesting Stuff"

INTERESTING STUFF – 4 February 2017


It's been several months since Darlene Costner sent this video and I've waited too long to show it to you. It's a promo for the Rio Paralympics last year. Not the Olympics; the Paralympics.

This is one of the most awesome but even more important, joyful music videos you've seen. Most of us can probably do more than we think we can and I don't mean just physically. Enjoy. Be inspired.


The YouTube page explains that the Breckenridge Resort in snowy Colorado has its own canine rescue team, the first line of defense for people when an avalanche or other disaster strikes.


Christian-crossNew research released on Wednesday by Pew Research asked people in a bunch of countries what it takes to “truly belong” in their countries.

”Thirty-two percent of Americans said one should be Christian to really be American, compared to just 13 percent of Australians, 15 percent of Canadians and 15 percent of Europeans who felt the same way about belonging in their homelands,” reports the Washington Post.

“The same number of Americans — 32 percent — said that being born in the United States is key to being an American. More Americans — 45 percent — said that sharing 'national customs and traditions' was important, and many more — 70 percent — said being an American meant speaking English.”

One third of Americans says these things. I am so embarrassed. You can read more here.


A week ago, President Trump issued the now-infamous executive order banning Muslims from entering the U.S. For all the protests, many Americans agree with the president.

According to Pew Research last fall, a majority of Americans say that the U.S. does not have a responsibility to accept Syrian refugees and there is a lot of additional evidence that America's xenophobia is nothing new.

Huffington Post reports:

In 1938, 65 percent of Americans told Gallup that the persecution of Jews in Europe was at least partially their own fault, and nearly three-quarters opposed allowing 'a larger number of Jewish exiles from Germany to come to the United States to live.'”

In 1939, according to HuffPost's research, 67 percent of Americans disapproved of taking in 10,000 refugee children from Germany.


In 1984, 62 percent of Americans said the number of refugees entering the U.S. should be lowered either “a little” or “a lot”:


There is much more such evidence through the years that you can see in more charts at Huffington Post.


According to the YouTube page, Warrick Mitchell lives with a small community of others in one of the world's most remote locations: a national forest in Fiordland, New Zealand.

His home is four day's walk from the nearest road and is otherwise accessible only by boat or small plane. But it is gorgeous, so gorgeous. Take a look.


If you watch cable news channels, you might have seen David Frum. He is a long time journalist, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine.

He has written a long cover story for the magazine's March print issue titled, “How to Build an Autocracy” in which he explains “how it can happen here.” This is a video lead-in to the story he recorded:

You don't need to be a subscriber to read the piece. The Atlantic released it early to everyone. You will find it here.


The redwoods are Earth's oldest trees and due to California's years-long drought, they are stressed. As the YouTube page explains, to save them,

”Anthony Ambrose and his team of researchers climb several hundred feet into the canopy, braving (sic) life and limb in the name of conservation.”

That and the photography is breathtaking.


Did you know that Theodore Geisel, Dr. Seuss, worked as a political cartoonist for a couple of years during World War II? I didn't. In particular, he opposed the “America First” movement.

The Atlantic (yes, again – you really should be reading this magazine; they do good work) recently published a story about that episode in Geisel's life and resurrected a few of those cartoons. Here is one:

Seuss WWII

Amazingly relevant now, don't you think? You can read more here where there are also a few more of Geisel's World War II cartoons.


The resurrection of the word “resistance” is perfect for what is required of us in the times we are living through now. But cats don't need to be reminded; they are born knowing all about resistance.

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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 January 2017


In 1971, I got through the first horrible weeks of separation prior to my divorce by listening to composer Carole King's “Tapestry” album over and over and over and over again . She has been a favorite ever since.

Last Saturday, 74-year-old King took part in the Women's March in Stanley, Idaho, in a snowstorm with 29 other people, almost half the population of that town where she now lives.

She also released a video of her 1983 song, One Small Voice. Here it is:

You can read more about the song and her small-town march in Rolling Stone magazine.


Our political cartoonists are doing a better job than many news pundits of capturing the zeitgeist, day-to-day, of what is happening to our country under the new president.

And then there is this lovely one from Tom Toles about the Women's March.



There is a tiny village in China, just 300 residents, where they continue a centuries-old tradition of making nine-foot, thread-thin noodles by hand. One maker, 51-year-old Lin Fagan, worries that only the old people now know how to do this and when they die, the art will be lost.

Here is how it is done:


It will not save us from the worst developments to come out of the Trump presidency and the Republican-majority Congress, but our terrible predicament has given rise to a widely varied universe of comedy perpetrators who, along with the cartoonists (see above), help us laugh through our resistance.

TGB reader Joe Zeee was the first of at least 50 readers (the most ever for a single item) to send this fantastic video made in The Netherlands. Tens of millions of people have watched it now so you may have seen but it's so good that I keep going back to it and you might like to also.


TGB reader Peggy B sent this quotation from the “Sage of Baltimore” that could have been written yesterday.



Certainly by now you know of the folks who turn out the Bad Lip Reading videos and if you don't, their name tells you all you need to know.

This one, Bad Lip Reading the Inauguration, is one of their best:


TGB reader Bob Fenton sent a link to this collection of photographs from a recent big snowstorm in Kyoto, Japan. They are gorgeous:



More photos from the Kyoto snow storm at Bored Panda.


I'm pretty sure Jimmy Kimmel is the last late night talk show host who regularly does the once-ubiquitous (back in the Steve Allen days) man-in-the-street interviews on topics of interest and, always, comedy too.

In the past week or so, you may have read that there are people who voted for President Trump because he promised to repeal Obamacare but who are surprised now to find out that their own recently-acquired health coverage, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is the same thing.

Kimmel's crew went out into the streets of Los Angeles to ask people whether they prefer Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act.


Not too long ago, TGB reader Trudi asked for an update on Ollie the cat. It's hard to tell anyone about him because he doesn't actually do anything these days.

He will be 13 years old later this year. He is lazy, has no interest in toys and although we talk to one another several times a day, Ollie has hardly any interests beyond food and sleep.

This is where he takes his major daily nap, after breakfast and until early afternoon:


Did I mention that he doesn't like to have a camera pointed at him? He is amazingly adept at avoiding it:


You might have noticed that he's quite fat. That might be because sleep his favorite activity. Also, if there is not enough food forthcoming, he bites my ankle - sometimes hard enough to draw blood - which is a powerful motivator to keep at least a few nibbles in his bowl.


He's so fat that he's looking a bit like a furry beached walrus these days:


If it doesn't involve food or getting to a favorite napping spot, he doesn't like to move around but after many attempts, I did catch this rare (and fuzzy) shot of him strolling through the living room.


He doesn't like to be wakened from any of his various daily naps. This shot pretty well expresses his attitude about that – although not as grumpy as he can be:


And now you know why there hasn't been much to say about Ollie in recent years.

He has a lot of rules about how our household should be run and I break them at my peril. But somehow we have come to accommodate one another and we're good friends, good roommates.

My father-in-law, half a century ago, explained that he and his wife often went all day, from breakfast to dinner, in different parts of their house without running into one another. But, he said, “you know there is another heartbeat in the house.”

Yes. That's Ollie and me. If you are interested, here is an adventure tale about how Ollie the cat, ten years ago when he was three, lost his outdoor privileges.

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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 – 21 January 2017


This is a video about what happened when the U.S. Department of Labor stepped in to enforce their employment regulations against piece workers in a retirement home.

It was produced last year by students in The Academy of Integrated Humanities and New Media (AIM), a two-year film program for juniors and seniors at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California, which happens to be my alma mater.

What do you think?

Each semester AIM students produce short documentaries and other projects. You can find a collection of their videos at their YouTube page.


We have been hearing about antibiotic resistance for years but until now, the variety of antibiotic medicines we have seemed to keep us from catastrophe. No more.

”Public health officials from Nevada are reporting on a case of a woman who died in Reno in September from an incurable infection,” reports STATnews.

“Testing showed the superbug that had spread throughout her system could fend off 26 different antibiotics.

“'It was tested against everything that’s available in the United States...and was not effective,' said Dr. Alexander Kallen, a medical officer in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s division of health care quality promotion.'”

After being treated for a broken femur in India where drug-resistant infections are more common than in the U.S., the 70-year-old woman was found in Nevada to be infected with

”CRE — carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae. That’s a general name to describe bacteria that commonly live in the gut that have developed resistance to the class of antibiotics called carbapenems — an important last-line of defense used when other antibiotics fail,” explains STATnews.

“CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden has called CREs 'nightmare bacteria' because of the danger they pose for spreading antibiotic resistance.”


There is additional information on this deadly infection at Huffington Post.


Maybe you've seen that phrase during movie credits. They are the sound artists, an amazing and important part of all television and movie crews.

When I was producing television shows, it was one of my favorite parts of the process, getting together with men and women who tweak and even create needed audio, sometimes from nothing.

Once, I needed to add the missing sound of two tap shoes hitting the floor simultaneously – one each for Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire - to punctuate the end of their dance routine in a movie clip. The Foley artists didn't have anything appropriate in their library so they set about inventing the sound.

They tried slapping a piece of metal on wood. It didn't sound right. They tried the various shoes among all of us in the room, each one on different surfaces. All wrong.

After about an hour, one of the guys went into the sound booth and tried slapping his hand against his thigh. Amazingly, it was close but still short of what it should be. So another guy, wearing denim jeans instead of whatever the first guy was wearing tried. Voila!

We had a good tap sound for Crosby and Astaire that had somehow been lost from the clip.

As the YouTube page for this video explains, when you are immersed completely in a movie much of that is due to the magic of Foley artists. When the work is done right,

”...you won’t be able to tell that the 'natural' sounds on screen are manufactured with studio props. That's the challenge for Warner Bros. Foley artists Alyson Moore, Chris Moriana and mixer Mary Jo Lang. Theirs is a practice in recreation, one creative element at a time.”

Enjoy this little little documentary about how they do their work.


And a great, good laugh, too.


Long before he became a founding father, young Ben Franklin went into the printing business.

What appears to be his first piece of printing at age 17 went on exhibit this week at the University of Pennsylvania after not being seen for nearly 200 years.

”Penn Libraries recently acquired the only known surviving copy of a 1723 Franklin broadside, showing an elegy for a Philadelphia poet and printer named Aquila Rose, and topped with a bold skull and crossbones motif.”


The scrapbook in which the broadside was found will also be on display at the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center until February 10 – if you happen to be in the area. You can read more at The New York Times.


I've known that for most of my life. When I've stubbed my toe or cut my finger in the kitchen – particularly anything that hurts, a long string of #$%^&*() always makes it feel better.

Now there may be some scientific backup for my belief:

There is more than you ever wanted to know about how and why swearing is good for you at the BBC.


According to Us magazine, the White House will be renovated to include what they call a “glam room.”

"'There will absolutely be a room designated for hair, makeup and wardrobe,' [Nicole] Bryl, who has worked with [Ms.] Trump for more than a decade and helped 'soften' her look during her husband Donald Trump's presidential campaign...

"'Melania wants a room with the most perfect lighting scenario, which will make our jobs as a creative team that much more efficient, since great lighting can make or break any look,' she said.”

Bryl also tells the magazine that

”...that each makeup session takes 'about one hour and 15 minutes of uninterrupted focus. If you want the look to be flawless and have it last [throughout the day], you do have to take a little extra time to make that happen.'”

Oh please. These next four years are going to be even harder to get through than I had imagined.

If you must, you can read more here.


As you might have noticed from my photos in last Saturday's Interesting Stuff, we had a big snowstorm in the Portland, Oregon area about ten days ago. Much more than happens in most winters.

That made some of the animals at the Portland Zoo really, really happy. Thank my friend Jim Stone for this video:

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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 – 14 January 2017


Between an old person and a four-year-old kid.


On 6 January at the White House, Michelle Obama gave gave her final speech as First Lady. In case you missed it, here it is:

You will find the full 20-minute version here.

Then, on Tuesday 10 January, President Barack Obama gave his farewell speech in Chicago. You can watch that at full length here.


When the words “feather,” “dinosaur” and “baby” are in the same phrase, how can you not pay attention.

There is additional information at NPR.


My friend Jim Stone sent this video from a TV series titled Trackdown that was broadcast in 1958. See what you think:

The video doesn't look tampered with to me but I didn't quite believe it either. So I checked around to web to see what I could find. Here's what Snopes says:

”The television series Trackdown really did produce an episode featuring a 'Trump' character who came to town claiming that only he could prevent the end of the world by building a wall (and also sold special force propelling umbrellas to deflect meteorites).

“The episode (S1, E30) aired on CBS in 1958 and was titled 'The End of the World,' featuring actor Lawrence Dobkin playing the role of 'Walter Trump.'”

Weird, huh?


With threats from the Republican Congress and president-elect Trump to repeal Obamacare and voucherize Medicare there are a lot of questions. AARP answered five of the most important. Here is one:

“Q: I’ve heard about the voucher-type plan that House Republicans hope to implement soon. How would this plan change Medicare?

“A: (in part)...opponents — including AARP — say the amount of the voucher may not be enough to keep up with health care inflation, so older adults could end up paying more for care and for insurance that has fewer choices of doctors and other providers>”

You can read the entire answer to this question and the other four questions and answers at AARP. They are clear, concise and to the point.


I'm late to this story. It first turned up last September when a new show from Italian artist, Maurizio Cattalan opened at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan. According to a page at the museum's website, it is

”...the first piece the artist has exhibited since his 2011 retrospective at the Guggenheim...a working toilet cast from gold that has been installed in a bathroom on the museum’s fifth floor.

“Cattelan intends visitors to use the toilet just as they would any other facility in the building.”


The artist gave his piece the title, “America”, and explains that

“'...the title came after [the work], and it was a matter of trying to deconstruct the object,' says Catallan. Separately, he said, the title and piece didn’t mean anything. 'Together, it has meaning.' Come spend a little alone time with 'America,' and you can ponder that meaning for yourself.”

More information here.


Bumper stickers are a long-time American communications medium – most frequently, I think, for political statements. You see a lot of them during election seasons.

Sometimes, however, a good pithy statement is still too long for a bumper sticker as my friend Jim Stone pointed out about this one so let's give it a day of life on this blog post.



It has been more than six years since I last woke to that special kind of hush there is after an overnight snowfall. But that happened Wednesday morning. Here is the first photo I shot in the dark.

Snow 1

It was a big-deal snowstorm which doesn't much happen in this part of Oregon. Depths ranged from three or four inches to more than a foot in some places. About seven or eight inches in my neighborhood.

This was the first snowfall worthy of the name since I moved here in 2010, and I hadn't realized how much I miss a "real" winter storm as in New York and Maine where I lived before. This is what it looked like as I was leaving my apartment.

Snow 2

It was still snowing at that point so I decided to wait before sweeping my walkways but when I suited up to do that, I was amazed to see that some good Samaritan had got there before me and done a beautful job. Here is the gorgeous winter wonderland from another window.

Snow 3


Monday the 16th of January is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. My friend Richard Lombard sent this video a couple of days after the holiday last year so I saved it for this year.

Certainly you know that Lin-Manuel Miranda is the genius behind the ground-breaking and fantastic Broadway show, Hamilton: An American Musical. Manuel attended Hunter College Elementary School in Manhattan when he was a kid and as he explains on the YouTube page:

”Our elementary school music teacher, Barbara Ames, wrote THE BEST Martin Luther King song so that her students would have something to sing in January, in addition to We Shall Overcome.

“It's a crime that the world doesn't know this song. So I put out a call, and over 50 alums spanning 15 years showed up to sing it with me.

“Huge thanks to Arthur 'The Geniuses' Lewis on piano, Lisa Siegmann and Danny San Germano at Hunter, and Jennifer Raab, president of Hunter, for letting us go back home to make this.”

I'm pretty sure you will want to clap along with them. That's Lin-Manuel Miranda in the lower right of the screen giving the introduction.

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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 – 7 January 2017


What a great New Year's Day prank. Someone in Los Angeles changed the giant Hollywood sign. Take a look:

You can find out about who pulled this off at Buzzfeed.


In case you think they've already done that, this video from nerdwriter is here to disabuse you of that belief but show you how the company WILL do so.

You can read more about this on the YouTube page.


Donald Trump regularly tells us how smart he is, how he knows things other people don't know and that he knows how to do everything. TGB reader EmmyJay found this cartoon that takes him down a peg or so.

New yorker Plane Cartoon


Some scientists believe there is a gigantic planet in our solar system that we cannot see and it might obliterate Earth in October. Take a look:

You can read more about this at the Washington Post.


Isn't this the happiest thing you've seen all day?


You can see more photos of this kid and his dog along with other small children and their great big dogs at Bored Panda.


Philip Gould, who was an adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair, a visiting professor in media and politics at the London School of Economics and a member of the House of Lords, was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in 2008.

In the summer of 2011 he was given three months to live. This video titled When I Die, made during the last two weeks of his life, “reveals his quest to find meaning in what he called 'The death zone.'

“Gould believed that for the terminally ill and those close to them, there can be moments of joy, resolution and inspiration just as intense as those of fear, discomfort and sadness.”

Thank TGB reader Tom Delmore for this joyful - yes, joyful lesson about both life and death.


Since 2008, Charles Blow has been an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times writing about politics, public opinion and social justice.

His final column for 2016 was titled “Donald Trump, This is Not Normal!” In it, he wrote:

“...the election of Donald Trump poses such a significant — and singular — threat to this country that for me all other issues are unfortunately, temporarily I hope, subsumed by the unshakable sense of impending calamity he presages...

“The next four years could be epochal years in the history of this country. They could test the limits of presidential power and the public’s passivity.

“I happen to believe that history will judge kindly those who continued to shout, from the rooftops, through their own weariness and against the corrosive drift of conformity: This is not normal!”

Yes. But there is so much more to this column that is worthy of your attention. Please take the time to read it all. You can do that here.


Peter Tibbles, who writes the Sunday Elder Music column here, sent me this audio. Take a listen and see who you think the singer is:


If you didn't guess correctly, it is Willie Nelson's son, Lucas. It sent chills down my back, the first time I listened, at how much he sounds just like a young verion of his dad. Here's a video of the same, live performance of Lucas singing Stardust with Red Young on keyboards.


You know the Internet Archive, right? It is a massive and amazing online, digital, searchable library that includes text, audio, video, software and images totaling, at the moment, 279 billion web pages.

One section of it is called the Wayback Machine where you can view images of websites from “wayback” in the past. In fact, you can even see one of TimeGoesBy's first iterations before the photo banner.

Not long ago, Internet Archive founder, Bewster Kahle (who is a true hero of free speech) announced that in the wake of the election of Donald Trump, he is moving a copy of the vast archive to Canada.

Recently, he explained the reasons to host Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:

You can read more about the move at Alternet and you can explore the Internet Archive for yourself here.


Watch the drongo bird of the Kalahari Desert take advantage of the local meerkats. From the BBC:

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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 December 2016


Here we are today at the end of another year. This is the final Interesting Stuff and the final post overall for the year of 2016, which passes into history tonight.

My first inclination was to collect information we will need to pursue our resistance next year. We have a lot of serious work to do in 2017 and need to keep ourselves well educated and up to date.

But then I had a second thought, a better one I think: How about some items that please or amuse me for a variety of reasons - nothing too serious; just a group of things I like that you might enjoy too.

Before we begin, however, here is a thought to keep in mind during all of 2017: It is possible to live in terrible, even frightening political times and still delight in the pleasures great and small of day-to-day life.

Happy New Year, my friends.


When I first moved to New York City in the late 1960s, my husband and I lived in Riverdale, just beyond the northern tip of Manhattan, and he hosted an all night talk show at a radio station in midtown.

Sometimes, when I would need the car first thing in the morning, I would drive him to his job late in the evening and on my way home, in an almost empty city, I would play a game with myself: how many green lights could I get through on Park Avenue without being stopped by a red one.

The best I ever did was nine in a row.

Noah Forman, the YouTube page tells us, is now a New York City ride-share driver who previously drove a yellow cab. In this video, he attempts a record run at hitting consecutive green lights while driving in Manhattan.

He gets an estimated 240 of them. The video is, in its own way and unrelated to the game, quite mesmerizing. Take a look.


Many publications publish the best-phofos-of-the-year at during this final week. The New York Times is no exception and they posted some stunning news photographs that together tell a pretty good story of the 2016.

In January, the seat for Justice Antonin Scalia was draped in black at the Supreme Court after his death on 13 February. (Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)


In April, after nearly a year under the brutal control of Islamic State forces, the city’s celebrated ancient ruins sustained significant, irreparable damage. (Bryan Denton for The New York Times)


In August. Can anyone forget this now-iconimc Omran Daqneesh, age 5, who was rescued after an airstrike. (Mahmoud Raslan/Aleppo Media Center)


You can see many more of the news photographs at The Times.


More than 20 years ago, maybe even 30, in a restaurant, a friend saved me from a choking death with the famed Heimlich maneuver. By now there are thousands of stories like mine, maybe millions. Surely we all know how to do it:

Earlier this month, Henry Judah Heimlich died at age 96. The New York Times explained in graphic terms how important his maneuver is:

”In the 1970s, choking on food or foreign objects like toys was the sixth-leading cause of accidental death in America: some 4,000 fatalities annually, many of them children.

“A blocked windpipe often left a victim unable to breathe or talk, gesturing wildly to communicate distress that mimicked a heart attack. In four minutes, an oxygen-starved brain begins to suffer irreversible damage. Death follows shortly thereafter.”

Not many of us get to make such an important contribution to the wellbeing of humankind. Hail Dr. Heimlich and godspeed.

You can read the full obituary here.


In the Alps – 35.5 miles which translates to 57 kilometers. It is called the Botthard Base Tunnel. Here's the story:

If you want to know or see more, here for more video choices. And you can read more at the BBC.


This is from the Weather Channel and it is lovely. As it explained:

”In the placid creeks of Boulder, Colorado, you may find alien-looking stacks of rocks, seemingly defying gravity in their precarious carriage. These cairns could be the work of Michael Grab, a Yoda-like master of the art of rock balancing.

“Grab isn’t alone in his craft—a growing global community of like-minded artists are mastering rock balancing with a zen-like discipline that will surely boggle the mind.”


On Boxing Day last Monday, Montreal was hit with a freezing rain that left behind layers of ice coveriing the streets.

One of TGB's Canadian readers, doctafil, who blogs at Jive Chalkin', emailed links to some videos showing how people took good advantage of the rare street freeze.

(Be patient – this is an amateur video and there is a black gap beginning at 12 seconds that lasts until about 30 seconds. It's a nice video and worth the wait.)


Dr. Kenneth Libbrecht was a consultant on the wildly successful movie, Frozen. He is also a physicist at CalTech who studies that most ephemeral of nature's beauty – snowflakes.


I no longer read beyond the headlines of stories about the ravages to nature of climate change. If I did, I would never stop weeping. Maybe I'll write about that here one day.

What I cannot avoid, however, are the oft-repeated photographs of polar bears stranded this winter with no snow in their ranges. They will die in this circumstance.

Here is something wonderful for us to keep in our mental library about these magnificent creatures:

”In March of 2010, nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen traveled to Hudson Bay in northern Manitoba to photograph polar bears and their young emerging from their winter dens. Watch as these tiny, months-old cubs play and wrestle while their mother keeps a close eye on them from the den.”

There is more video at Mengelsen's YouTube page.


The Writers Almanac website tells us that poet David Budbill

”...has lived on a remote mountain in norther Vermont for more than three decades writing poems, reading Chinese classics, tending to his garden and, of course, working on his website.”

Budbill's work has been read by Garrison Keillor on The Writers Almanac more than any other poet. TGB Reader Tom Delmore sent this one. Winter: Tonight: Sunset. which you can also listen to it at the website.

Tonight at sunset walking on the snowy road,
my shoes crunching on the frozen gravel, first

through the woods, then out into the open fields
past a couple of trailers and some pickup trucks, I stop

and look at the sky. Suddenly: orange, red, pink, blue,
green, purple, yellow, gray, all at once and everywhere.

I pause in this moment at the beginning of my old age
and I say a prayer of gratitude for getting to this evening

a prayer for being here, today, now, alive
in this life, in this evening, under this sky.

(This poem is from David Budbill's 2005 collection, While We've Still Got Feet.) His website it here.


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Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog IF you include the name of the blog and its URL.

INTERESTING STUFF: 24 December 2016

SHORT IMPORTANT UPDATE: On Wednesday I linked to an excellent guide for resisting the Trump agenda. Now, the group producing the the guide, all former Congressional staffers, have posted a "prettier" version in pdf format at their brand new website, Indivisible Guide.

You can download the full document here and you can enter your email address there to receive updates as they are added.

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Most of the western world uses the Gregorian calendar based on the solar year. Because the Hebrew calendar is based on the lunar year, Hannukah can occur almost anytime between the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday in late November and early January. More or less. It's complicated.

But this year, 2016 on the Gregorian calendar and 5777 on the Hebrew one, Christmas Eve and the first night of Hannukah (which begins at sundown), fall on the same day. This is only the fourth time this has happened since 1900.

An excellent reason to wish everyone both Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah as they both begin this evening.

So here is a combined Interesting Stuff today for the two holiday celebrations including a couple of old favorites and some new stuff too.


Let's start with a Christmas reality check specific to this year from Stephen Colbert – I promise, it gets better from here.


I mentioned in last week's Interesting Stuff that I have come to appreciate Christmas commercials from some large advertisers. Not all, but most seem to be from Merry Olde England. I wish they were as creative at telling good stories the rest of the year.


The Swedish retailer engaged actor Adrian Brody and director Wes Anderson for this terrific Christmas tale.


This wonderful story was first published too late (1956) to be part of my childhood holiday memories but I've read it many times so it's fair for me to pretend that it's part of my youthful history.

This time it is read by NBC News correspondent Keith Morrison with plenty of great and familiar drawings from the book.


This is the fourth year I have featured Penelope Keith's marvelous reading, as Miss Cynthia Bracegirdle, of And Yet Another Partridge in a Pear Tree: A Cautionary Tale for Christmas Showing That it is Better to Give than to Receive.

In the comments on last year's posting of the story, the writer, Brian Sibley, left a note for us about the recording:

”You might like to know that I wrote this piece and that it was first broadcast on the BBC (Radio 4) on 25 December 1977.

“You can hear the original recording on my Soundcloud page here. You can read the script here.

And it seems only fair to let you know that Mr. Subley blogs here.

He also let us know that Timothy Bateson appears as Mr. Graball of Graball, Twister and Fleesum, and it was directed by John Theocharis. Here then is the marvelously funny Penelope Keith “Partridge.”

Penelope Keith - And Yet Another Partridge in a Pear Tree


This one from Temptations cat treats.


And one more, this from Apple: Open Your Heart to Everyone.


It really is a terrific story of a wonderful miracle and like so many holiday stories, it doesn't matter if it is true. Here's a short version from the History Channel:


My Israeli friend, Yaakov Kirschen, has been writing and drawing his Dry Bones cartoon for more than 40 years. (You can follow him at The Dry Bones Blog.) This is his entry for Hannukah from last year.



Hannukah is also called the Festival of Lights. The Atlantic magazine this month has published a gorgeous series of photographs of Christmas lights from cities around the world.

The title, Festivals of Light gives the presentation a nice ecumenical feel for the double holiday this year.

The illuminated Christmas tree stands at the Christmas market behind the Astronomical Clock at the Old Town Square on November 28, 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic.


People release floating lanterns during the festival of Yee Peng in the northern capital of Chiang Mai, Thailand, on November 14, 2016.


Christmas lights are seen illuminated on Oxford Street in London, Britain on December 9, 2016.


These photographs are much more beautiful full size. See them and many more at The Atlantic.


We began up top with Stephen Colbert and let's end with my most favorite elder actor, Dame Helen Mirren. On a recent Graham Norton Show, she was asked to deliver an inspirational Christmas message of hope for the audience. Here is what she said:

Whatever you celebrate this time of year, Ronni, Crabby Old Lady and Ollie the cat wish you


* * *

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 December 2016


Here is another of those heartwarming holiday television commercials. Thank TGB reader Heidi for this one.

Too bad TV advertisers aren't this good at storytelling year round.


Last Monday, I posted a story about the latest Republican attack on Social Security. You'll be hearing a lot more about this but for now:

One of the people I quoted is Nancy Altman who knows more about Social Security than almost anyone and has fought fiercely to secure and expand it for many years. She is relentless in working for all American old people.

This video is from September where she is speaking about a nation-wide coalition that works to protect the program. There is nothing new in this video; I just thought you should see a few moments with this tireless, fine woman – a hero to all Social Security recipients.


Or so says at least one researcher.


You probably know the story of the the gorilla Koko who is so proficient at sign language. That is remarkable but the ultimate would be to actually speak with another species, to have a real conversation.

Now, according to The New York Times, it has become known that various kinds of primates have the vocal equipment for speech, but their brains are not up to the task:

”The two researchers argue that the key to the acquisition of speech lies somewhere in the brain.

“'If they had the brain, they could produce intelligible speech,' Dr. Ghazanfar said.

“Our ancestors may have evolved special brain circuits that allowed them to learn new sounds as babies. Humans also developed a special set of nerves for the fine motor control of their vocal tracts.”

Other researchers disagree, believing that primates do not have the necessary vocal equipment to speak. You can read the whole story here if you are interested.


Everything you every wanted to know about the inner workings of London's Big Ben clock on the Parliament Building. From Darlene Costner.


For most of my life, you could wake me from a deep sleep and I could tell you within a few minutes what time is was. I'm not so good at that in my old age. But during waking hours, I don't often need a clock to know what time it is.

According to the YouTube page,

”Being able to sense time helps us do everything from waking and sleeping to knowing precisely when to catch a ball that’s hurtling towards us. And we owe all these abilities to an interconnected system of timekeepers in our brains....Marco A. Sotomayor details how human bodies naturally tell time.


Late night talk show host, Conan O'Brian, says he somehow obtained audio recording of telephone calls between President Barack Obama and the president-elect. TGB reader Alan Goldsmith who blogs at Pixietera, sent us this:

There are several more “recordings” here.


This video is a gorgeous time lapse of earth as seen at night from the Internatiional Space Station. Here's what NASA says about it:

“Many wonders are visible when flying over the Earth at night. A compilation of such visual spectacles was captured recently...and set to rousing music. Passing below are white clouds, orange city lights, lightning flashes in thunderstorms, and dark blue seas.

“On the horizon is the golden haze of Earth's thin atmosphere, frequently decorated by dancing auroras as the video progresses. The green parts of auroras typically remain below the space station, but the station flies right through the red and purple auroral peaks.

“Solar panels of the ISS are seen around the frame edges. The ominous wave of approaching brightness at the end of each sequence is just the dawn of the sunlit half of Earth, a dawn that occurs every 90 minutes.”

There is a list of locations at the YouTube page.


Tiny, little mouse-sized stores and restaurants have been popping up on the streets of Malmo, Sweden. Here is one to give you the scale:


Here is another of the same mouse restaurant in closeup.


According to Huffington Post, these are being created by an artists' group called Anonymouse:

“'It’s just too darn charming to imagine a world where mice lives parallel to ours but just slightly out of sight,' said one representative of the artist group Anonymouse MMX, who wishes to remain anonymous. (The group has no connection with Anonymouse.org, a site devoted to online privacy.)”

There is even a mouse-sized menu on the wall next to the restaurant:


And here is another photo of a mouse-sized charcuterie with a movie poster on the wall.


You can find out more and see additional mouse-size locations at Huffington Post, Bored Panda and the Anonymouse Instagram page.


A large portion of the United States is living in frigid temperatures this weekend with piles of snow. We even got a small amount of snow here in northwest Oregon.

Simon's Cat is here to show us how to survive winter.

* * *

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 December 2016


Yes, it's a television commercial. Yes, it's sentimental and it's sappy. But it's really cute too.


Undoubtedly you know of the terrible warehouse fire in Oakland, California that killed 36 of the artist residents last week. It is an unspeakable tragedy.

From news descriptions, I thought it must have been a sort-of indoor homeless encampment but then I saw a group of pre-fire photographs of the interior in Rolling Stone magazine. Here are a couple of them:



Apparently, the fire was the result of unsafe electrical wiring but it certainly was a thousand times more beautiful than I imagined. There are more photos here.


Yes, you read that right. United Airlines intends to start charging for space in overhead bins.


As the Washington Post reports:

"As part of the company’s new pricing tier, Basic Economy, passengers who purchase the airline’s cheapest fares will only be allowed one personal item that must fit under a seat...

"The move marks the first time a large U.S. airline limits low-fare customers to one carry-on bag that fits under a seat, Reuters reported. The company expects such fare initiatives to add $1 billion to its annual operating income by 2020, as more customers pay to check luggage or select higher fares for two carry-on bags."

You know if one airline invents a new charge, others won't be shy to copy it. I think I'll stay home from now on if it involves a commercial airplane. You can read more here.


The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed Thursday that the ban on using cell phones on airplanes be lifted. Another agency, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been making efforts to allow phone calls in flight since 2013. As USA Today reports:

"FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler argued the ban is obsolete because planes essentially carry their own cell towers, preventing cellphones from interfering with ground-based relay stations, which justified the original ban. But the availability of voice calls via Wi-Fi prompted the FAA's action."

If phone calls become permitted in flight, the prospective rules require that passengers be told if calls are allowed on flights before they purchase tickets. The DOT is soliciting public comment on whether this notification is sufficient or if calls should be banned on airplanes within, to or from the United States. You can do that here for the next 60 days.

Since I no longer need to fly for work this, along with fees for the overhead bins, is pretty much enough to keep me out of airplanes for the rest of my life because here is how I think it will go:

  1. Phone calls will be allowed on airplanes
  2. The requirement to tell passengers before they purchase tickets will stand
  3. The airlines will charge extra for flights will no phone calls

(The cartoon is by Bill Bramhall of The New York Daily News.



It has been too long since I've included comedian Jeanne Robertson in these Saturday lists. This one came from Sunday TGB music columnist, Peter Tibbles.


According to a report in Buzzfeed about a new survey from Ipsos Public Affairs, fake news headlines fool Americans about 75 percent of the time:

”The results paint a picture of news consumers with little ability to evaluate the headlines that often fly toward them without context on social media platforms,” explains Buzzfeed.

“They also — surprisingly — suggest that consumers are likely to believe even false stories that don’t fit their ideological bias. And the survey calls into question the notion — which Facebook has reportedly begun testing — that consumers themselves can do the work of distinguishing between real and fake news.”

Perhaps I'm fooling myself, but I don't think I've ever believed a fake news story. But then, I rarely go far afield online from traditional news sources and well-known alternate news sources.

This new data comes from an online survey of 3,015 U.S. adults conducted between November 28 and December 1. You can read more about it at Buzzfeed.

Here's a video example of what some American grownups believe. This is an interview with some * voters conducted by CNN's Alisyn Camerata this week:

Dear god, how will our country survive.


Yes, another sappy holiday commercial, this one from the German supermarket chain Edeka. But this old man is really clever about getting his family home for Christmas. (I think this is from 2015 and I may have posted it last year, but who cares.)


As I alluded to above, I don't stray far from mainstream websites of any kind and I certainly don't download from anywhere that I don't believe is 100 percent safe. Not everyone is as careful as I am:

”For criminals, the malicious Android app business is booming,” reports Wired. “It’s easy for a hacker to dress software up to look novel, benign, or like the dopplegänger of a mainstream product, and then plant it in third-party app stores for careless browsers to find.

“Once downloaded, these apps may even seem normal (if a little janky) but they can spread ransomware or types of malware that exploit system vulnerabilities to steal data or take over a whole device.

“Don’t want this drama on your phone? The key to protecting yourself is staying away from sketchy app stores, and only downloading software from Google Play.”

Wired further reports that Google vets all the products in the Play store for safety. A few slip through but are usually caught quickly. Although the Apple store is much less severe, malware does sneak through sometimes.

You can read more here.


Once in my life I saw this phenomenon in person and it is awesome – in the best sense of that word. It is stunning to see.

This one was filed by wildlife cameraman and travel journalist Dylan Winter. When he shot this five years ago, says the YouTube page, he was sailing around the United Kingdom in an 18-foot boat. You can find out more about his journey here.

Meanwhile, besides being amazing and beautiful, I find this murmuration wonderfully calming to sit back and watch.

* * *

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 December 2016


Maybe it's not enough, all those red Make America Great Again hats. Now you can have a miniature one as a Christmas ornament at a whole lot more than a miniature price:

If you need to know more about it, you can read it at The Hill. Merry * Christmas.


The standard reporter question when old, old people are interviewed is always about what they attribute their longevity to. A whole lot of men mention whisky and cigarettes and there are often other funny answers – I always think they're pulling our collective leg.

The current oldest person in the world is Emma Morano of Rome, Italy, who turned 117 last Tuesday and is, according to the story, the last person alive in the world born in the 19th century. She lives at home helped by a niece and two other caregivers.

Marano at Home

Ms. Morano attributes her longevity to eating three raw eggs a day since her teen years (she recently cut back to two a day) and also to the fact that she has been single for most of her life.

”On Tuesday, Ms. Morano took it all in good stride. She blew out the candles, posed graciously for countless photographs and accepted cheek kisses galore.

“Then at one point she said, ‘Hey, isn’t there anything to eat here?’ and she ate,” said [her physician] Dr. Bava, who honored her Tuesday morning.

“Then she took a nap.”

Sounds like a smart idea to me after a big birthday party. You can read more about Emma Morano at The New York Times.


My friend Jim Stone sent this video song which is a raucous recap of the events of 2016. It's wildly funny and all too true so I sent it to a couple of other friends wondering if I should post it today (it is a whole, hell of a lot more crude that other stuff I post).

The friends said yes so here it is. You've been warned. Also, this is a disclaimer from Flo and Joan on their YouTube page: “We got our facts wrong and it wasn't a bombing in Nice. We're sorry for any offence this may have caused.” Enjoy.


I really like 3D street art and usually Darlene Costner sends them to me. I found this one all my own and the entire first half of the video is new to me.

I've seen the second half - “the making of” - before but it was just as interesting to see again. I hope it delights you as much as it delights me.

There are more “best of 3D street art” videos at YouTube.


Utne or Utne Reader has been around in one form or another since the 1980s when it was founded by Eric Utne to reprint the best of the alternative presses on politics, culture, and the environment along with some original stories.

Although Eric sold the magazine 10 or so years ago, he still writes for it now and then and a few years ago I was privileged to have lunch with him and his wife when they visited Oregon.

It's one of the magazines I check in with regularly online and last week I was surprised to find this at the top of the third paragraph of one story:

”Let’s start with Ronnie Bennett...who puts out a must-read blog on aging called Time Goes By. She writes...”

I'm abashed to be included with the likes of Rebecca Solnit, Naomi Klein and Bill McKibbon among others that Eric quotes in his essay of a sampling of post-election ruminations.

Utne's essay is this week's “Good Read” (which it would be even without me in it) and you will find it here.


Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, age 74, has had a couple of busy weeks predicting disaster for humanity – first in November, as reported by Raw Story, during a speech at Oxford:

“'We must also continue to go into space for the future of humanity,' he said. 'I don’t think we will survive another 1000 without escaping beyond our fragile planet.'”

And then this:

More about the second prediction at Esquire.


The shock of the election result was still new and raw when, on November 9, Matthew “Levee” Chavez came up with Subway Therapy in Manhattan's Union Square subway station to help people cope:

The idea quickly spread to other subway stations in New York and to other cities. See more about it and more photos at Chavez's website.


I've read a lot of stories about how certain kinds of apes make tools to get to otherwise unreachable food. But birds? YouTube explains:

”Researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna and the University of Oxford report that Goffin cockatoos can make and use elongated- tools of appropriate shape and length out of amorphous materials, suggesting that the birds can anticipate how the tools will be used.”


Why not two animal stories in week. There are never enough animals, right?

More than 500 cats(!) live together at the Lanai Cat Sanctuary in Hawaii. This video is three years old but the sanctuary is going strong and if you happen to live in Hawaii, you might want to adopt one of their cats.

Find out more at the sanctuary website.

* * *

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 – 26 November 2016


There are all kinds of reasons to feel ambivalent about Amazon.com but this is not one of them.

TGB reader Tom Delmore sent this Amazon television commercial – images and an idea we need more of in this time of troubles we live in.


When I was a kid and for years beyond, the universal bad news about health was cancer. In fact, for a long time, people whispered the word.

Times change and so do fears. For quite awhile the equivalent terror has been dementia and I have mentioned here more than once that I wonder, when I forget why I walked to the bedroom or have misplaced my keys, if that was indicative of incipient dementia. I know I'm not alone in those thoughts.

Now, a new nationwide study from the University of Michigan involving 21,000 people 65 and older reports that between the the years 2000 and 2012, the dementia rate dropped by 24 percent.

And nobody knows why. A greater amount of education may contribute to the drop but there are plenty of other possible reasons:

”Interestingly, the researchers noted that the drop in dementia prevalence occurred despite increases in the rates of certain conditions that can increase the risk of dementia: diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity...

“Still, more research is needed to identify all the factors contributing to the decline in dementia prevalence, the investigators said," reports Live Science.

The study is here. You will find reporting on the study here and here.


When Disney announced it would produce a live-action movie of Beauty and the Beast, the critics came out in droves – no, no, no, only animation can work with such a story, they said.

For several years when I was a young girl, Beauty and the Beast was a favorite. I must have read it several dozen times, word for word and I still remember it fondly. From this trailer, I think the live action version looks marvelous.

Read more about the production here.


Here is a shocker. A 2016 Pew Research study turned up the information that 26 percent of American adults have not read a book in the past year – barely changed since 2012.

Groups more likely to read books are college graduates, women and young adults. 67 percent of people 65 and older had read a book in the past year compared to 80 percent of young adults.

Here is a demographic breakdown of readers:


Although people are reading in many formats these days – tablets, ereaders, cell phones, desktop and laptop computers – the largest group, 38 percent, read print-only books. 28 percent read both print and electronic (as I do) and just 6 percent read in digital formats only.

There is a whole lot more information about American book reading habits at Pew Research.


Books are good things, but these days, even as a lot of embarrassingly awful crap is published online, there is also an abundance of great thinking and writing being done.

This week's contribution is from The New York Review of Books, written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Serbian/American, Charles Simic. He is acclaimed as a poet but I particularly like his prose (he has been writing essays for the NYRB for many years) which in his hands, on any subject, is poetry too.

His latest is titled, “Expendable America,” which captures in the most horribly beautiful way what I have been feeling but not capable expressing - at least not this well or as emphatically. Simic:

”The basic requirement for democratic governance – that the majority of the population agrees on the parameters of what is true and what is false – has been deliberately obfuscated in this country...

“To mislead one's fellow citizens on such a vast scale is evil. We've seen it before. Never the good old days, of course, but the vile stuff we imagined we'd never see again...

“Once the new president settles in and brings the dregs of our society into his administration and they appoint other corrupt and worthless men and women to other positions in the government and start settling scores with their political and personal enemies and keeping their most rabid following happy by deporting, persecuting, or physically abusing some minority, we won't need a crystal ball to tell us what's in store for us.”

It is unfair to quote these three out-of-context paragraphs. Read Simic's essay – as it should be, in full - here.


There is a lot of support for intergenerational living projects but for the most part it doesn't get beyond research studies and TED talks.

One important exception is Judson Manor, a retirement community in Cleveland that since 2010 has been giving college music students free housing in exchange for the occasional concert. Here's short video about it:

The idea is slowly growing and now, New York University in Manhattan will be trying a pilot project next year. Here's a short radio report:

As the Washington Square News reported,

”Ellen Lovitz, the Senior Advisor to the President for Policy Analysis, explained via email that the pilot will initially consist of about 10 students.

“'During the first year we will assess how the program is working, and make any necessary adjustments, with the expectation that we will be able to scale up to larger numbers by the fall of 2018,' Lovitz said.

“'Our planning process will include consultation with students and with residents of the housing complex identified by University Settlement.'”

There are students and others who complain that the project isn't useful enough (of course they complain; it's New York). I think it's a great start at expanding elder/senior shared living.

You can read more here.


A TGB reader pointed this page out to me: The Healthcare Administrator website's list of top 50 ageing blogs for 2016.

It is published by an Alabama public school health teacher. I am not sure I understand the five criteria and the majority on the list target professionals in ageing services and businesses rather than old people themselves. Still, you might find some of them useful. The list is here.


All eyes are on the president-elect these days as though President Barack Obama doesn't have another two months to go in his term.

But The Atlantic is on the case in the loveliest way. A fantastic collection of selected photographs covering eight years of the Obama administration from the official White House photographer, Peter Souza. (Souza was also official White House photographer during the Ronald Reagan years.)

In this one, a temporary White House staffer, Carlton Philadelphia, had brought his family to the Oval Office for a farewell photo with President Obama. Carlton’s son softly told the President he had just gotten a haircut like President Obama, and asked if he could feel the President’s head to see if it felt the same as his.


Here is Obama visiting with victims of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.


And this is Obama working past dark in the Oval Office.


There is a large collection of even better photographs at The Atlantic.


Residents of three apartment buildings successfully petitioned to have *'s name removed from their New York City dwellings. Here is short video report.


...scratch in the woods?

Apparently so. A lot. Thank reader Momcat Christi for this 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 – 19 November 2016


Wow – it's been a hard slog to get through this past week, hasn't it. As a result, I wasn't paying as much attention as usual to collecting items for this post.

Given what I was spending most of my time on, about half today are related to our great political upheaval. If you're tired of that, well there are a handful of others that will, I believe, brighten your day.


Whew – work restoring the interior and exterior of the U.S. Capitol dome has been going on since 2013. Surely you've noticed the scaffolding during these three years every time the news used a shot of that building.

Apparently, the project came in under budget at about $60 million dollars. Here is a video about it:

There are a lot of before-and-after photographs at The Atlantic website along with some terrific historical photos dating to the dome's original construction in the 1860s. Worth your time.


On Tuesday, the Oxford Dictionaries announced the international “word of the year.” It's a hyphenated word this time, “post-truth,” an adjective. The official definition as it will appear in the dictionaries:

”Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

You can read about why it was chosen at the Oxford Dictionaries website where you can also find out about the other words on the shortlist – alt-right, Brixiteer and coulophobia among them.


There is a lot of reporting like this these days:

”On Sunday night, Hadas Gold, a Politico media writer, began receiving threats on Twitter. One image superimposed a yellow star of David on her shirt and a bloody bullet hole in her forehead. Another photoshopped her face on a corpse in a concentration camp oven.

“The message that came with the photos: 'Don’t mess with our boy Trump, or you will be first in line for the camp.'”

Horrendously explicit anti-Semitic images and pamphlets are being snailmailed to Jewish journalists. I won't post examples on my blog; you can see some here.

In addition, there are many incidents of anti-Muslim attacks and slurs. One of the most heartbreaking is Muslim mothers trying to keep their daughters safe by imploring them to not wear hijab out of the house.

And of course, our country's old standby - many more aimed at African Americans. There is a long list of examples from Twitter here that will make you cry.

This is how it is now for non-Christians and people of color in the United States.


Remember last Monday when I told you about how Americans are wearing simple safety pins to show their solidarity with people of color and immigrants who are too often now in danger? I explained that it had begun last June by people in Briton who disagree with the Brexit vote.

Now it turns out that the history of wearing simple pins as protest is even older than that. In case you missed the comment from 83-year-old Patricia Read on that post, here is what she wrote:

”I had the enormous good fortune to live in Uruguay and Argentina in the early 1960s. One of the stories I learned from my British, Australian and other expat friends was that during WWII the custom was to wear a straight (common) pin.

“Generally it was worn in the lapel. This was also being done in England. The reason was to 'prick Hitler's balloon.'

“Imagine how happy I was to see that same spirit come out of England again. But how unhappy that it has to be so.”

So for people who say the safety pin trivializes the issue, instead of that we now know - thank you, Patricia Read - that it carries a powerful, historical precedent.


Vice president-elect Mike Pence attended last night's performance of Hamilton in New York City where the audience loudly booed him as he entered the theater.

After the final curtain call, Brandon Dixon who plays Aaron Burr, addressed Pence directly from the stage with the cast gathered around him

Some of the audio is muffled so here is a transcript of the main point:

"We have a message for you, sir. We hope that you will hear us out. Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton American Musical, we really do.

"We, sir, we are the diverse America, who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights.

"But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.

"Again, we truly thank you for [inaudible] this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men, women, of different colors, creeds and orientations."


That's the contention of this video. What do you think?


A solitary dish washing robot living out his life in the back room of a restaurant is enlightened to the world that exists beyond his four walls and with the help of a small friend he breaks free of confinement.

A lovely, little short film by student Tom Teller which was produced on a budget of $2,000 in the spring semester of 2015.

You can see more of Teller's work at Vimeo.


TGB reader Katie send me a link to a story about * that ends like this:

”When the levers of power are seized by the small hands of hateful men, you work hard, you stand with those who are most vulnerable, and you don't give up until it's morning again. The rest is commentary.”

That's not giving anything away because the story that gets to that final paragraph is haunting, smart and compelling. It is called, What to Do About Trump? The Same Thing My Grandfather Did in 1930s Vienna.

There are important things to learn between the title and the ending. You can do that here.


What's a Scottie pinwheel? It's so cute your smile will break your face. And thank Darlene Costner for that.

* * *

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 November 2016


The New York Times tells us this guy, Deshun Wang, is known as “China's hottest grandpa” and, indeed, he is a charmer, hard to resist. Take a look.

Read the rest of the story at The Times. It will make you feel good.


Chuck Nyren, who calls himself writer, gadfly, troublemaker is, more soberly, an international creative strategist, consultant, copywriter, columnist, author, and speaker who also keeps a blog called Advertising for Baby Boomers.

I've “known” Chuck online and via email for at least a decade, admiring his insight into boomers and and his humor about old age. A short while ago, this appeared on his Huffpost page titled Mouth Hunters. Given my two-year, ongoing odyssey with teeth, I understand entirely:

I’ve been thinking about buying this house. Then I was told that it might be time to buy a new mouth.

I can’t afford both.

Let’s say I go with a new mouth. I don’t know if I should buy a mouth that’s move-in ready or a fixer-upper.

A move-in ready one would have great curb appeal. And of course an open floor plan is a must.

The downside: It would be way over budget – and even though brand-new, would have no resale value.

A fixer-upper would be much cheaper, at least on paper. But I’d be taking my chances. Digging into drywall could expose mold and rot. I might have to demolish the whole thing, except for the front. The front might have good bones but I’d probably have to replace a few boards and give it a big-ticket weatherproofing paint job.

Or I could go with the house. The problem would be that after a cleaning, check-up and X-Rays, no honest contractor would guarantee their work because the place is so rickety. A sneeze would knock it down.

It’s all part of getting old. When I was younger all I had to do was move into some place and not forget to floss and brush it twice a day.

Chuck's blog is aimed at marketers who target boomers but even if you're not one of those, you'll enjoy this blog post about how marketing people are too ready to ignore old people and hey, a lot of them actually have money to spend. It's worth your time to take a look.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Here are four short items related to our recent election I have saved up for us. The results of this vote are not going away for a long, long time, folks. We need to be aware.


During an election-night discussion on CNN, author, political activist and well-known influencer Van Jones schooled a Republican surrogate about the meaning of the outcome of this campaign. Take a look:


On the precipice of a new regime in the White House that has revealed little in the way of serious policy positions, I was reminded of this recent survey involving “about 1,000 respondents in each of eight countries — the United States, France, Britain, Turkey, Egypt, China, India and Indonesia." Emphasis is mine:

”The survey, commissioned by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), showed that many people think their governments are not doing enough to combat violent extremism.

“And a majority in every country polled, including the United States, overwhelmingly approved all 21 options presented to them — among them, requiring identification cards for citizens and visitors; rigorous screening of immigrants; bans on incendiary religious speech; and monitoring of phone calls, emails and social media.”

The last item was the least popular idea. Nevertheless, “overall, 7 in 10 people deem it a good idea. Even in the United States, where the idea had less support, 6 in 10 back it.”

It took a much lower percentage than that to choose the new president-elect. You can read more at the Washington Post.


Like the item directly above, this one is a bit dusty, a month or two old, but is pertinent now. It involves a beautiful interview by Late Night host Stephen Colbert with civil rights icon and U.S. Representative John Lewis.

Listen to him and take heed about stirring up trouble. Also, don't miss the ending; it's a delight.


The new administration has already launched a transition website. Note the .gov URL combining a campaign slogan with an official governmental web address.

The idea, apparently, is to provide regular updates on what the new administration is doing during this interim period or, at least, what they want us to know about what they are doing.

And look at this: you too can aspire to work in the the new administration. Information is here and you will find the online application here.


I know, it sounds like a yawn. But as is now routine with John Oliver on his HBO program, Last Week Tonight, there is no such thing as dull. You laugh, you cry, you learn and it is always fascinating.


Apparently, “amezaiku” - or candy crafting - is an ancient Japanese art of carving and painting lollpops into intricate edible sculptures that is in danger of disappearing.

Twenty-seven-year old Shinri Tezuka is, according to the YouTube page, one of only two amezaiku artists remaining in Tokyo. Tezuka hopes his elaborate goldfish, frog and octopus designs will inspire the next generation of candy crafters to keep the tradition alive.


Petra, in Jordan, is the number one place in the world I would like to see. I have missed it on each of my trips to Israel and I'm not likely to get there again. It is an astonishing place.

There is a short overview of the ancient city on the YouTube page of this video. In part, it reads:

”Petra is home to over 800 monuments, buildings, halls, tombs, temples, and gateways sculpted from kaleidoscope sandstone. Its access is guarded by a narrow, protracted 1,000 ft high (300 meter) canyon.

“This remote desert city thrived in its prime because of an intricate, ingenious aqueduct system that carried water over great distances to store in cisterns. Arab tradition believes that Petra was the site where Moses of the Old Testament struck the rock to draw forth water.”

Recently, two men who call themselves The Piano Guys, John Schmidt on piano and Steven Sharp Nelson on cello, went to Petra to perform including, at about 50 seconds into this video, one melody from Rimsky-Korsakov's musical telling of the ancient Middle Eastern tale, Scheherazade.

If you would like to know more about Petra, just type the name into your favorite search engine – they is plenty of fascinating stuff to know about it.


In September, a two-year-old Belgian Malanois service dog named Jeb was sentenced to death.

”The Michigan judge who ordered the dog be euthanized said he had no choice,” reported the Washington Post.

“A neighbor had testified that he saw Jeb standing over the lifeless body of his Pomeranian, Vlad. And state law requires that dangerous dogs — ones that cause serious injury or death to people or other dogs — be destroyed.

“But Jeb’s family did not believe he was capable of killing Vlad, said Kandie Morrison, who had given Jeb to her disabled father for use as a service animal.

“This was a dog whose body 80-year-old Kenneth Job relied on to hoist himself up when he fell, she said; a dog that ignored the rabbit he lived with.

So the body of the Pomeranian was tested for Jeb's DNA and like too many mis-convicted (is that a word?) humans, Jeb was exonerated and is now back home working as canine caregiver to 80-year-old Kenneth Job.


Of course, the story is more complicated than I have told you and if you go read the whole thing here, it will make you feel good.

* * *

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 November 2016


It's that ti-i-i-i-me again – fall back. In most of the United States, we turn back our clocks one hour tonight. It hardly seems worth the effort these days when “standard time” lasts only about four months until 12 March 2017.

The Boston Patch website has some facts and a short history of this semi-annual ritual. (Hint: it's not just the United States.)

EDITORIAL NOTE: Once again this week, I find myself with enough items on one subject to take up nearly half the column. We're winding down to the culmination of this awful election period so I'm sure you can guess the topic.


From EmmaJay and several other readers, it's comedian Louis CK on Conan O'Brien's late-night show on Tuesday explaining why he is voting for Hillary Clinton. Very funny.


This is from a list at of 17 signs that deserve a medal or, as they put it, a fucking medal. After this past 18 months, I couldn't agree more with this one.



Someone in Copenhagen shot this video mocking Donald Trump and urging Americans in Denmark to vote for Hillary. As he writes on the YouTube page:

”Hi my friends. Look what I saw in Copenhagen today! Here in Denmark we are very focused on what’s going on in USA. We believe our children deserve to grow up in a safe world ! Please vote!”


Last Tuesday evening, former Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, appeared at a fundraiser for military veterans: Stand Up for Heroes in New York City. He told this amazing, funny story about a run-in with Donald Trump:

You can read more here.


Twenty-seven-year-old Heather Krueger was out of options. It's hard to find organ donors. Chris Dempsey heard that a co-worker's cousin, a woman he did not know, was dying of liver disease. He did not hesitate to have the blood test which showed he was a match.

And last month, they were married. This is their story:

You can read more here.


TGB Reader Pat said in her email with this cartoon, “Some days, not hearing so much from my 'adult children,' I feel I'm not 'people'.”


More Pickles here.


I never get over how brilliant and compelling the HBO program, Last Week Tonight, can make any topic. They have never failed me.

I might skim over a newspaper think piece on school segregation; “Yeah, yeah, I'm aware of it.” But not John Oliver and his staff who never fail to make it riveting. Last Sunday's feature is a don't miss.


Turkish immigrant to the U.S., Hamdi Ulukaya, the owner of the Chobani Yogurt company, hires a lot of refugees at his two factories, one in New York state and the other in Idaho:

”...he and his company have been targeted with racist attacks on social media and conspiratorial articles on websites including Breitbart News,” reports The New York Times.

“Now there are calls to boycott Chobani. Mr. Ulukaya and the company have been taunted with racist epithets on Twitter and Facebook. Fringe websites have published false stories claiming Mr. Ulukaya wants 'to drown the United States in Muslims.'

“And the mayor of Twin Falls has received death threats, partly as a result of his support for Chobani.”

Here is a short news story from a year ago about Ulukaya, his factories and his refugee workers:

There are not enough people like Hamdi Ulukaya in the world. Read more about his refugee efforts at The New York Times and buy more Chobani. May the gods keep this good man safe from the haters.


Until this week, I didn't know there was anything called the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. It appears to have begun in 2015 and this is it second year.

This finalists for this years awards have been posted at the website and yes, they are really funny – mostly appearing to do human things. Here are some examples:




Take some time to go see all the finalists at the Comedy Wildlife Photo website where you can also see the 2015 winners. You won't be sorry.

* * *

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 – 29 October 2016


Times Square

As the Bradenton, Florida Herald reported this week,

”Some of the roughly 50 residents of the Windsor of Bradenton's assisted living community started walking Wednesday toward Times Square in New York City, where they hope to arrive just in time to see the ball drop for 2017.”

Well, sort of. Actually, it is a new health regimen to get staff and residents exercising more and they hope their pedometers will show they have covered the 1163 miles there are between Bradenton and Times Square by 31 December.

"'I love the whole idea of it,' said Faythe Askew, Windsor's life enrichment coordinator. 'Getting the residents to exercise is one thing, but to actually have them prove the program is working by taking their step record to their doctors and being able to tell them they walked miles is also great.'”

What do you want to bet that they'll all be watching the ball drop together this year too. You can read more here.


And the opioid epidemic on his HBO program, Last Week Tonight.

Besides always learning from John Oliver's essays and admiring the excellent research and writing that goes into them, I love how he finds the humor too – both silly and often sophisticated. John Oliver has become a national treasure.


I was surprised to learn that the Peanuts cartoon dog, Snoopy, has been shilling for MetLife for ONLY 31 years. I can't remember a time in my life without him doing that.

But now, the association is no more. This week, MetLife fired the little guy.

You can read more here.


Last Monday The New York Times published two-page spread of the (so far) 281 people, places and things Donald Trump has insulted on Twitter during the presidential campaign.

NY Times Trump List

Actually, the total is up to 282 as of this writing. You can see the full-size list here where the most recent insults – tracked within the past 30-odd days – are highlighted in yellow.


I think this is the absolute best video of our entire sorry election campaign. It features the wife of Gerald Daugherty who is running for Travis County Commissioner in Texas. Enjoy.


However much his ignorance helped sink Libertarian presidential candidate, Gary Johnson, Aleppo is not a political joke. It is a tragedy.

Here is one before-and-after photo. You can see more here.

Aleppo Before and After

And here is a short drone video of the city:

What had been the largest city in Syria is in ruins. Many residents have fled but a quarter of a million people are trapped in east Aleppo. Last week, one of them, a student name Omair Shaaban wrote about what it is like for him and his wife to live in this war-ravaged city.

"If you want to stay alive in Aleppo, you have to find a way to keep yourself safe from explosions and starvation.

"Here’s how.

"First of all, to survive the many different kinds of airstrikes, shells, rockets, phosphorus bombs and cluster bombs, you’ll need to live on the lower floors of a building. They’re less likely to be hit than the upper floors are...

"Listen for scouting planes, which sound different from fighter jets on bombing runs. The scouts fly lower, and they make a constant buzzing sound. If you hear them, you’ll know that shells will be falling soon, bringing death with them...

"Staying cooped up at home all the time will get boring, and you’ll eventually want to try to live some semblance of your normal life — to see friends, to attempt to find food. People want to go out. But if you leave, remember that you might not make it back. Whenever I run into friends, I keep in mind that I might never see them again...

"It’s so easy to lose your mind here. You might go out one day to look for food and come back to find that your building has been destroyed and your family killed. I’ve seen people standing in front of bombed-out buildings, screaming and crying in disbelief."

Go read Shaaban's entire story at the Washington Post and remember how blessed you and I are to live where we do.


TGB reader John Starbuck sent me a link to this important story about elders and prescription drugs.

”The National Center for Health Statistics reports that 75 percent of Americans age 75 and over take at least five prescription medicines daily....

“Although taking multiple meds may be appropriate, it also can lead to problems such as interactions between drugs, difficulty following directions, problems communicating with health-care providers, and problems getting all the information patients need.”

The article also notes what I have, in past written about at some length, that most medications are not tested on old people and no one knows for sure what dosages are appropriate compared to mid-age people.

There is an important source for such information mentioned that I had forgotten about, the Beers List. It contains what little is known about the effects on old people of many well-known prescription medications and was revised most recently in 2015.

It is free for everyone. One source is at the American Geriatrics Society but if you can figure out how to see it, you're a better man or woman than I am.

However, I did track down two other sources. There is an html version here (scroll down to the chart). And a PDF format at Wiley. The Wiley charts are sideways on the screen so you may need to print it to check your drugs.


I want this so bad I can taste it. Take a look:

That pretty well explains it all but you can read more at the Gajitz page.

The goal of the original Kickstarter campaign was US$50,000 but they raised US$1,581,506 within the time limit. So many more people want in that the Indiegogo campaign is now live here. There is also a website and a Facebook page.

The price is US$150 plus shipping and the company expects to ship in February 2017. Even with all the amazing technology of recent years, it's been a long time since I wanted something new as much as this. Yes, I've put in my pre-order.


Veterans suffering from PTSD now have a variety of options other than traditional treatment and medication. One is wolf therapy. At Lockwood Animal Rescue Center, these veterans are getting back their nature.

Many more videos at the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center website.

* * *

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 – 22 October 2016


Our own Peter Tibbles, who writes the Sunday Elder Music column here, reports on a recent conversation at the fish market when a young woman who served him mentioned that her name is Bianca.

PETER: Oh, like Bianca Jagger.

YOUNG WOMAN: (blank stare)

PETER: Mick Jagger's ex-wife.

YOUNG WOMAN: (blank stare)

PETER: Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones.

YOUNG WOMAN: (blank stare)


YOUNG WOMAN: That'll be $10.90.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Ronni here. In last week's Interesting Stuff, nearly half the items were about Donald Trump. This week, four good items related to books turned up. Here they are all bunched together. (Better idea than Trump, hunh?


Long before there was Google or even the internet, back in the 1970s, I started using the New York Public Library's telephone question service – mostly for work but for myself too.

It was a lot easier than a subway trip to the library itself when I was in a hurry and unless I'm fooling myself, I do not recall ever stumping the human Google service.

Recently I discovered that even now, in the age of Google, the telephone service still exists at the NYPL. Take a look at this little video about it.


Maybe you know about the Little Free Library movement in many communities in the United States and beyond. Sometimes it's referred to as Take a Book, Leave a Book.

Usually, the mini-libraries are built in someone's front yard or a neighborhood park and are quite fanciful. Here are some examples:


Who could object, right? Well, recently, CityLab reported that in Kansas, some curmudgeons did that:

”The Leawood City Council said it had received a couple of complaints about [nine-year-old] Spencer Collins' Little Free Library. They dubbed it an 'illegal detached structure' and told the Collins' they would face a fine if they did not remove the Little Free Library from their yard by June 19.”

The CityLab reporter, Conor Friedersdorf, closely represents my opinion about this:

”...a subset of Americans are determined to regulate every last aspect of community life,” he wrote. “Due to selection bias, they are overrepresented among local politicians and bureaucrats. And so they have power, despite their small-mindedness, inflexibility, and lack of common sense so extreme that they've taken to cracking down on Little Free Libraries, of all things.”

Friedersdorf documented a couple of similar churls in other cities who wanted to take down Little Free Libraries. This is an old story now, dated February 2015, and I don't know the outcome. But Little Libraries are not going anywhere.

You can read the CityLab story here. The Little Free Libraries organization has a website here. And this link will take you to their map where you can see if there are any Little Free Libraries near you.


The rise of Amazon and other online booksellers have killed a lot of bookstores in the past 20 years. Borders is gone, Barnes & Noble has closed a lot of stores but it's the independents that have been most harmed.

Now, however, things may be turning around for them.

”...after years of losses, they are emerging from the decimation,” reports The New York Times, “with the number of independent bookstores rising 21 percent from 2010 to 2015.

“In a twist of fate, it is the internet — the very thing that was supposed to wipe them out — that is helping these small stores.

“Retail sales of new books, which include chains but not online retailers such as Amazon, increased last year for the first time since 2007, according to Census Bureau data — and are up another 6 percent this year. By contrast, Barnes & Noble’s sales fell 6.6 percent last quarter.

“'Bookstores are being reinvented by taking advantage of how the world has changed,' said Oren Teicher, chief executive of the American Booksellers Association, which represents independent sellers. 'The whole ability to put technology to work for you has changed everything.'”

“Some bookstores are investing in infrastructure, such as in-shop e-book printers and new back-end systems, while others are embracing social media as an inexpensive way to connect with new customers.”

Read more at The Times.


Not literally the last, although that might not have been obvious when Josh Spencer opened the store in downtown Los Angeles just over a decade ago. As the YouTube page explains.

”Against the closure of massive bookstore chains and the rise of eReaders, Josh has been able to create a local resurgence of the printed word.”

It's an uplifting personal story too. Take a look:


With the wall-to-wall coverage of this presidential campaign for the past 18 months, it's been easy to overlook the fact that President Barack Obama will be ending his two-terms in office in January.

But a week ago, The Late Show host Stephen Colbert did notice and helped the president prepare for upcoming job interviews. Enjoy.


Take a look at this: drivers stuck in traffic jams in Mexico City are being buzzed by drones carrying advertising signs:


In Spanish, some of the signs say, “Driving by yourself? This is why you can never see the volcanoes” — a reference to the smog that often hovers over the mega-city and obscures two nearby peaks, explains MIT Technology Review.

”It wasn’t exactly a plea for environmentalism, though—it was an ad for UberPOOL, part of Uber’s big push into markets across Latin America.”

I don't know about this; I think traffic accidents are the all-too-logical and dangerous conclusion to this experiment. More here.


As a TV producer, John Marshall has won nine Emmys. He is also an artist who says that as a kid, he dreamed of being a cartoonist.

He's done that now in a form he calls Sunset Selfies and they are a delight. Take a look yourself:

There is a slideshow of more sunset cutouts at his website.


All at once, all together and they are having so much fun.

* * *

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 – 15 October 2016


On Thursday, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature was announced in Stockholm and it was one of our generation – the poet/troubador Bob Dylan, age 75.

Here is the moment when Sara Danius, the Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, announced the name of the winner:

It was reported that Dylan's selection was nearly unanimous and that he is the first American to win the Literature Prize since Toni Morrison in 1993. You can read more here.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Let me take a few lines here to say that, starting with the next item, nearly half this week are about Donald Trump. Normally I wouldn't do that but each one of these four are either so pathetic, outrageous or funny that I couldn't resist.

Needless to say, you may not want the kiddies in the room for these and keep in mind also, that these are a few days old and events develop quickly in Trumpworld, so much has happened since these were first published.

We are living through what is probably the most extraordinarily awful election campaign in history so we need our laughs – as lamentable as some may be – where we can get them. See what you think.


On his HBO program, Last Week Tonight, last Saturday, John Oliver opened with a four-and-a-half-minute take on that video tape we all now know by heart. Here it is:


Alleging that the Clinton campaign released the Access Hollywood video, Donald Trump's 32-year-old son, Eric, explained his father's lewd conversation with Billy Bush this way:

“I think sometimes when guys are together they get carried away, and sometimes that’s what happens when alpha personalities are in the same presence.”

Yeah, right. You can read more at Raw Story.


You will recall from several years ago, the Russian contretemps over their punk rock protest group Pussy Riot. This week, when CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour was interviewing Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, this exchange took place. Commence laughing now:

This is the transcript:

AMANPOUR: Can I just try one last question? One last question. A bit cheeky but I'm going to ask you. Russia had its own Pussy Riot moment. What do you think of Donald Trump’s pussy riot moment?

LAVROV: Well, I don't know what this would… English is not my mother tongue, I don't know if I would sound decent. There are so many pussies around the presidential campaign on both sides that I prefer not to comment on this.

Obviously, there is nothing wrong with his English. You can read more here.


There is no way I could avoid clicking on this headline:

NSW Parliament Officially Calls Donald Trump: “Revolting Slug”

The man who said that about Trump is MP Jeremy Buckingham as he introduced a motion in the New South Wales parliament officially calling Trump by that name. Here is Buckingham reading the motion:

The motion was agreed to – unanimously, according to Buckingham. You can read more here.


In keeping with yesterday's post on the benefits of even small amounts of exercise in old age, Harvard has published a list of what it calls the five surprising benefits of walking:

  1. It counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes

  2. It helps tame a sweet tooth

  3. It reduces the risk of developing breast cancer

  4. It eases joint pain

  5. It boosts immune function

Go to Harvard Health Publications page for more details about the list.


My mother was knitter. A constant stream of sweaters, scarves, mittens, hats and more flowed from her hands.

She hardly ever sat down without picking up her current knitting project. She even read books while knitting. Knit, perl, knit, perl, knit, perl – turn the page. Knit, perl, knit, etc.

Tom Delmore sent this video about the importance of handwork in modern life.

Renata Hiller is the co-director of the Fiber Craft Studio at the Threefold Educational Center in Chestnut Ridge, New York. You can read more about her and handwork at On Being.


Most people I know use a credit or debit card for almost all their purchases these days, no matter how small. Not me. I withdraw an allowance of two hundred dollars every couple of weeks to use for groceries, restaurants, entertainment, a print newspaper occasionally and other small-ish purchases.

I live on a carefully worked-out budget and by just glancing in my wallet at how much cash remains, I know if my spending is on target or needs to be adjusted. I like it this way. It's what I've been doing all my life.

There are quite a few good reasons to switch from cash to cards or electronic payments with smartphones in today's world. I understand that. But I keep hoping it won't become widespread until after I die because it is way too easy to overspend when you don't handle the cash.

Last week, it was announced that in an effort to reduce traffic congestion, toll booths in New York State will eliminate cash options for payment.

”Instead of charging drivers who are stopped at toll plazas,” explains The New York Times, “the [Port] authority will use sensors and cameras to automatically charge cars that have been equipped with E-ZPass; those without it will have their license plates recorded by camera, and a bill will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.”

One more step in the race to eliminate cash money that I think will lead to widespread debt because it's so hard to track how much money you spent when it's just pixels on a screen.

Obviously I'm being a dinosaur about this. The world is passing me by.


YouTube explains that 24-year-old Frenchman Guirec Soudée is seeing the world in his 30-foot sailboat, alone at sea with only his pet chicken, Monique, for company. He says he is fulfilling a life-long dream.

It's a lovely, charming story. Take a look.

* * *

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 – 9 October 2016


Today, 91-year-old Adolfo Kaminksy lives in Paris with is wife. A long time ago, during World War II when the Nazis occupied Paris, he saved hundreds of Jews from certain death by forging travel documents for them.

The New York Times produced a short (16 minute) documentary about Kaminsky's life. Watching it, I was transfixed:

The video was adapted from Adolfo Kaminsky: A Forger's Life, a book written by his daughter Susan and published last Tuesday. You can read more at The Times.


As long as I'm already talking about long-ish documentaries, John Oliver's HBO program, Last Week Tonight returned from hiatus last Sunday with his take on police accountability.

It is an important and timely story and Oliver delivers the high quality we now expect from him but I have a quibble this time: I wish someone had told him that the word “police” has not one, but two syllables. He is otherwise so well spoken.


It's that time of year again – when the Oxford English Dictionary folks announce the latest additions their compendium of words, phrases and definitions. Among the more than 500 new ones was this Brooklyn word immortalized on a sign at the Verazano-Narrows Bridge in 2004:


The word, according to Oxford, is "used indicate that a suggested scenario is unlikely or undesirable.” Close enough for this New Yorker. You can see all the words added for 2016 here.


One of the many attractions of the internet is the large collection of videos – useful, educational, silly and more. One of the many drawbacks of the internet is the large collection of videos – useful, educational, silly and more.

I've become a fan of the British Pathe collection which goes from 1910 to 1970. Sometimes they dig into their archive to create new videos with old footage with some interesting topics. This one shows the menus of meals at eight historic events.


Many years ago in a restaurant, a friend saved my life with the Heimlich Maneuver. I am eternally grateful but sometimes I wonder what would happen if I were choking at home alone.

Here is firefighter and paramedic Jeff Rehman with a solution:


Two weeks ago, a neighbor who was in her eighties died after a long illness. The day after her husband returned from the burial in another state, he fell in his home and broke two bones in his neck.

At first, the doctors were optimistic about the outcome of surgery, even at his age but as sometimes happens, it did not go well and my neighbor died. The couple had recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

It happens that way – that a husband or wife dies soon after the spouse – more often than I would expect except that the incidence of it among people I know of keeps growing. Who knows how the mysteries of life and death operate.

However, this week there was an interesting piece by the estimable Jane Brody in The New York Times about a new study that looked into resilience in the surviving spouse after one dies. It's worth reading the entire story, but here is the conclusion:

”Based on their data, the researchers concluded that 'it can take two to three years or even longer for some to recover from bereavement' and return 'to their pre-loss levels of functioning.'”

“What they found to help most was remaining socially connected and engaged in the usual activities of everyday life and knowing where they could turn for help and comfort and receiving support when they needed it.”



As you probably know, “Notorious RGB” is the wonderful nickname bestowed upon Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. This past week, her new book, the only one since she was appointed to the Court in 1993, was published. My Own Words is, according to the Amazon page, a collection of

”...witty, engaging, serious, and playful collection of writings and speeches from the woman who has had a powerful and enduring influence on law, women’s rights, and popular culture.”

Last Sunday in The New York Times, Ginsburg published an essay titled “Advice for Living,” adapted from the book. Here is an excerpt from that essay:

”Another often-asked question when I speak in public: 'Do you have some good advice you might share with us?' Yes, I do. It comes from my savvy mother-in-law, advice she gave me on my wedding day.

“'In every good marriage,' she counseled, 'it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.' I have followed that advice assiduously, and not only at home through 56 years of a marital partnership nonpareil. I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court.

“When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.”

It crossed my mind that Hillary Clinton knows this and Donald Trump does not.

You can read Justice Ginsburg's entire essay here.


It has been two years since these grand reading rooms - the Rose Room and the Bill Blass Room - at the main branch of the New York public library were shut down for a total renovation. For all the years I lived in Manhattan, the main reading room (the Rose) was my favorite place to spend quiet time except, of course, at home.

Finally, last Wednesday, there was a ribbon-cutting to reopen the rooms. Here is a time-lapse video showing the re-shelving of thousands of books.

You can read more about the renovation here.


As the YouTube page explains:

”Zookeepers at Symbio Wildlife park, Sydney, create most adorable home video ever seen as they take you on their touching journey of hand rearing tiny Imogen, the Koala joey.”

Thank Darlene Costner for this.


Or, perhaps the headline should be "The end of a presidential campaign." I wrote this post before the astonishing events of Friday afternoon and evening.

In case you, being more sane than I about following this election and haven't heard the news yet, yesterday Washington Post reporter David Farenhold, who has done such a remarkable job tracking down the possibly illegal doings of Donald Trump's foundation, released a 2015 "hot mic" video of Trump making remarkably lewd comments about how he makes sexual advances toward women and how they allow him to grope them because he is famous.

Well, send the kiddies from the room. Seriously: send the kiddies from the room. This is such a big deal in a presidential campaign, that I'm going to post it:

It's hard to fathom, isn't it, not that Donald Trump would say these things but that a candidate for president of the United States ever would or did.

During Friday evening, some Republican big-wigs withdrew their endorsements of Trump, there was loose talk of forcing Trump to withdraw from the race and after hours of constant repeats of that video, at midnight Donald Trump released a 90-second non-apology. Here it is:

More fallout will continue through today and tomorrow and even if I had not already intended to watch the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Trump on Sunday night, I wouldn't miss it now. It is serious business to have proof of a candidate's vulgar mysogyny even if we did know in our hearts all along that it is who he is and has always been.

Now, here is the original last item I wrote for today's Interesting Stuff post:


The debate is being held at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and will be moderated by reporters Martha Raddatz of ABC News and Anderson Cooper of CNN News.

This debate takes a town hall format in which half the questions will be asked by the moderators, the other half by uncommitted voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

You can check an earlier posting about the debates for information about where to watch.

This is a crucial election. It is likely that the United States and the entire world will have an entirely different future depending on which of the candidates wins. For that reason, the day after the debate, Monday, will – as with the past two debates – be open for comment.

* * *

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 – 1 October 2016


TGB's Sunday Elder Music columnist, Peter Tibbles, sent this Pearls Before Swine cartoon.


It seems to me that the older I get, the more obsolete objects from my younger life pile up. There are more Pearls Before Swine cartoon panels here.


There never was a time in my life that macaroni and cheese did not exist. (I refuse the modern habit of truncating the name to mac and cheese.) Anyway...

It never occurred to me to wonder where the warm, gooey comfort food comes from, who invented it and how long it's been around. Surprise! U.S. founding father Thomas Jefferson had a hand in it. Take a look:


Good question – for me, anyway. The closest anyone has ever come to explaining it are near-death experiences (NDEs) and I question a whole lot of the reporting and the research. Which does not, for a moment, keep me from reading at least some of it.

”One thing is abundantly clear, though,” writes Gideon Litchfield. “Near-death experiences are pivotal events in people's lives. 'It's a catalyst for growth on many different levels—psychologically, emotionally, maybe even physiologically,' says Mitch Liester, a psychiatrist.”

Here is a short video from The Atlantic that asks what happens inside a dying mind:

There is a lot more information in an investigation of NDEs at The Atlantic.


Among the zillions of lessons we are learning during this endless presidential campaign is something about how the minds of rich people work. As Fitzgerald said, they “are different” and this story about the Trump family children is – well, see what you think:

Donald Jr. and Ivanka wanted a lemonade stand. Their mother would not allow it on Fifth Avenue so they had to set up in front of their mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. Ivanka wrote about the experience in her 2009 book, The Trump Card.

As Raw Story reports, the kids' parents required them

”...to keep track of the lemonade cost and repay their parents from their proceeds.”

There's not much foot traffic in a rich suburb so the kids lost money. Here's what happened next:

”The pair persuaded their bodyguard, their parents’ driver and household staffers to buy enough lemonade to cover their costs.

“'We made the best of a bad situation, I guess — a lesson we’d utilize again and again as we moved on in business,' Ivanka wrote.”

I wonder where they learned to do that.


Most of the time I cannot bear to read news stories about our animal brethren disappearing into extinction so it raises my spirits when a story like this turns up.

Diego is a hundred-year-old giant hooded tortoise who lives in the Galapagos Islands and who, alone, saved his species from extinction. Here's the story:

You can read more about Super Diego at the Washington Post.


Remember Google Glass, the uber tech company's spectacles with a secret camera that flamed into oblivion over people's revulsion at the privacy intrusions?

Not only that, they were wildly expensive – US$1500 if I recall correctly.

Now Snapchat, corporately renamed Snap Inc., is releasing cheap ($129) sunglasses with a camera, calling them Spectacles. Here's what the glasses and the resulting video both look like:

Snap Inc. apparently believes this new version with become big with young people. We'll see. You can find out more at the product's website and at the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, Google Glass may be rising from the tech cemetery to new life as a conduit for long-distance transcribing of medical examinations and medical record-keeping:

”As the doctor examines Andrews, a new kind of medical scribe is watching the examination, transcribing everything he sees. The scribe, named Rahul, is thousands of miles away in India, and he is viewing the office visit live through the pint-size, WiFi-connected camera [Google Glass] attached to the doctor’s glasses.

“'When was his last physical?' the doctor, Albert Chan, asks as he listens to Andrews’s breathing and checks his reflexes. Rahul’s nearly immediate answer pops up in a text bubble display in the right corner of the doctor’s field of vision. 'June 3, 2014!'”

Knowing everything is being taken down and incorporated into his patient's record,

“...the technology is bringing health-care professionals back into the moment with their patients — returning a sense of humanity that has been lost as computers have become a fixture in the doctor’s office.”

Privacy is only one of the glitches that might get in the way of this technology and you can read more at the Washington Post.


According to the YouTube page,

”Media analyst Mark Dice offers random people their choice of a Hershey chocolate bar or a 10 oz silver bar (worth $150) in an experiment. You have to see what happened next!:


Last Wednesday, the Health and Human Services Department that controls Medicare and Medicaid funding issued new protections for nursing home residents.

Until this change, residents or their surrogates for forced to sign a document agreeing to private arbitration over issues of safety and quality of care.

”The system has helped the nursing home industry reduce its legal costs,” reports The New York Times, “but it has stymied the families of nursing home residents from getting justice, even in the case of murder.”

Until this ruling, arbitration clauses were often buried deep inside the contracts and people did not know what they were agreeing to.

”The new rule on arbitration came after officials in 16 states and the District of Columbia urged the government to cut off funding to nursing homes that use the clauses, arguing that arbitration kept patterns of wrongdoing hidden from prospective residents and their families.

“With its decision, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an agency under Health and Human Services, has restored a fundamental right of millions of elderly Americans across the country: their day in court.”

This is big and it is important. You can get more details of the ruling, expected impact and how it came about at The Times.


Here's a really nice animal story to end this Saturday's list. Youtube page:

”When Roderick Olsen's horse Zaxson went blind, he did not cast the animal aside. Instead, he embraced Zaxson, taking him for walks in the woods and acting as his eyes. Since then, the two have developed a close friendship built on mutual trust and love.”

* * *

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 September 2016


From the Youtube page:

”For 53 years, Justo Gallego has been building a cathedral by hand on the outskirts of Madrid almost entirely by himself. Gallego has no formal architecture or construction training, but that hasn't stopped him from toiling on this herculean task.

“At 90 years old, Gallego knows that he will not be able to finish the project in his lifetime. But he keeps at it anyway, day after day, driven by his faith.”


Most newspapers and many news websites have weekly quizzes where we can test our knowledge of what happened during the week. I'm not much interested in those but this one intrigued me. As The New York Times explains the latest update:

”A few months ago, we started a new feature of short, surprising items from all corners of the globe. We've now published 100 of these items, and we hope they have made you smile and maybe even taught you something about another culture.

“To celebrate, we offer this quiz, where you can test your new knowledge of peculiar facts about faraway places — or learn some new ones.”

Of the 10 multiple choice questions, I got only three right, she said with chagrin. You can check how you do here.


You have probably seen news stories about the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington D.C. Most of us will probably not get there but this week, the Washington Post published images of some fascinating artifacts. Here are two:

Slaveholders could earn money by hiring their slaves out as workers. A slave badge identified the slave by his or her profession and the date.

During the segregation era, caricatures of African Americans were an ubiquitous part of American life that ornamented household items, from candleholders to coin banks to these salt and pepper shakers, made in the 1950s.

The variety of items, from slave collars and leg irons to Michael Jackson's fedora and much more, is remarkable. You can see more in the Post story here.

And you can explore the entire museum “through an African American lens” at the museum website.


The night after John Oliver's HBO program, Last Week Tonight won an Emmy for outstanding variety series last week, he and his Emmy dropped by the Jimmy Kimmel Live late night show. Take a look:

This was the first Emmy for Oliver and his HBO show. He has three others for his work on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show. Also this week, Oliver appeared on CBS This Morning. The Emmy was mentioned but he also discussed his Edward Snowden interview in Moscow and the "dispiriting" presidential campaign.

At last, Oliver and his HBO show return from hiatus tomorrow night.


TGB reader Amanda reminded me about the live events of the New York Public Library that are then available to watch for free online. The range of guests is wide – from Nicholson Baker recently to Alan Cumming, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Helen Mirren. Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and many more.

Tickets to attend an event at the Library can be as much as $40. But after the live events, usually by the next day, you can stream them on your PC, tablet, phone or download them as podcasts. All for free. Find them here.


All you have to do to understand this idea is hear or read the name: solar roadways. It solves an enormous number of important problems and if anyone in charge is smart, we'll move forward with this immediately. Take a look – you will be impressed.

Find out more here:


Madeline Gonzales is only five months old. Her grandfather, who works at Costco, couldn't resist buying one for her when a load of humungously large teddy bears arrived at the store. Take a look at Madeline with her new plush toy:


There are more photos with the whole story here at Buzzfeed. I'm pretty sure this is the cutest thing you will see all day today.


During this presidential election campaign, a certain candidate's dog whistles have made him a darling the white supremacy/neo-Nazi movement which, renamed the "alt-right," is having its moment in the media sun.”

Here is a report about their recent conference from a gay Latino reporter:


This has been floating around the webisphere for several years but I was reminded of it this week after a long while and it's as much fun to read again, especially for pun lovers, as the first time around.


”Sad news today, so please join me in remembering yet another great icon of the entertainment community. The Pillsbury Dough Boy died yesterday of a yeast infection and traumatic complications from repeatedly being poked in his belly during his lifetime.

“The veteran Pillsbury spokesman was 71. Dough Boy is survived by his wife, Play Dough; three children, John Dough, Jane Dough, and Dill Dough; plus they also had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart. Services were held yesterday at 350 for about 20 minutes.

“Dough Boy (DB) was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.

“Longtime friend, Aunt Jemima, delivered the eulogy, describing DB as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. DB rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers.

“He was not considered a very 'smart' cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, but was thought of as a roll model for millions. Toward the end, it was thought he would rise again, but alas, he remained unleavened.”

* * *

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.