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Interesting Stuff – 2 August 2010

Category_bug_interestingstuff EDITORIAL NOTE: In response to the Interesting Stuff story posted recently with short takes on and links to news and web items that caught my attention, a number of readers emailed to say that they were sorry when a similar feature, This Week in Elder News, was discontinued a year ago, and are happy to see this revival.

Me too. There are many items I run across - useful, funny, intriguing, newsworthy or simply good to know - that I would like to share with you but don't lend themselves to full posts. So under this new title, collections will be published here two or three times a month.

All readers are welcome to submit items for inclusion. Just click Contact in the upper left corner of any TGB page to email them. There is no guarantee of publication and I won't have time to acknowledge receipt.


HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS REUNITE
Jalena, emailing on behalf of a website called Guideposts, sent this video about the reunion of Jack and Betty after a lifetime of 62 years apart.

Heartwarming, but see if you can spot Jack's less than gallant remark about Betty.

THE PUBLIC OPTION ACT
Last Tuesday, Representative Alan Grayson [Dem. FL] introduced an amendment to the Social Security Act that would allow all citizens younger than 65 to buy into Medicare. This is how health care reform should have been done, was not done and will not be done with this bill. Nevertheless, it's good that someone in Congress is keeping the idea alive.

You can read the entire, four-page bill here [pdf].

A NEW THING TO WORRY ABOUT
Hardly a day passes when a scientist doesn't announce that something we eat or do is a bad idea only to have another researcher later refute the study. Coffee is good and then it's bad. An aspirin a day is good for your heart versus well, not so fast.

And so on. What's an old woman to do?

Among the latest is a New Zealand researcher who says that people who take calcium supplements to help ward off osteoporosis may be increasing their risk of heart attack by 20 to 30 percent. Oh no. I've been taking daily calcium for at least 10 years. I think I'll stick with it for the time being. Read more at WebMD.

STILL MORE TO WORRY ABOUT
Wait until you read this. The controversial chemical, bisphenol-A, widely used in the manufacture of food containers and which, some research suggests, can cause a range of health problems, including cancer, has been found in purchase receipts.

StoreReceipt2

“In some cases,” reports the Washington Post, the total amount of BPA on the receipt was 1,000 times the amount found in the epoxy lining of a can of food.”

Good grief. I'm sure if I never got out bed, someone would tell me that the sheets would kill me.

COOL STORY ABOUT WHITE HOUSE TELEPHONE OPERATORS
Reporting on the difficulty the federal government had in tracking down Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod by telephone during the Breitbard video fiasco, New York Times reporter, Ashley Parker, took the opportunity to recall some of the storied history of White House telephone operators.

”Mr. Kennedy seemed particularly fond of the operators, and often showed off their skills as a parlor trick. Once, he ordered them to track down a staff member who, unknown to them, was standing next to him in the Oval Office. They found him minutes later.”

Read more here.

TOOTIN' TIMEGOESBY'S HORN
It's always rewarding when people say nice thing about you and I missed this, in March, when it was published, naming Time Goes By one of the ten best blogs for boomers.

”The blog's subtitle "what it's really like to get older" describes perfectly the purpose of this blog. Refreshing perspective and Intelligent commentary on subjects ranging from politics to coming to terms with aging.”

I am not being disingenuous when I say that a large part of what is good about Time Goes By is the intelligence, wit and value-added commentary from readers who take part in the discussions here. So congratulate yourselves. You can find links to the other nine best boomer blogs here.

A KITTEN STORY TOO CUTE FOR WORDS
This story begs for a photo or video, but there is none. It involves a mewling kitten that took hours to find and who would probably have been killed if it hadn't been located. Be sure to read the whole story; it's the last sentence that makes it so much fun.

PETE SEEGER PROTEST SONG ABOUT BP
Surely 91-year-old Pete Seeger is our most conscientious elder troubadour. Here he is with a new song about the BP Gulf oil spill. Like he sings, we're going to have to fix this - and a bunch of other things - ourselves.


At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Peter Tibbles: Civic Duty

Comments

Great video about the 81 year olds reuniting after so many years. How fun for them to have the companionship of their young loves now in their senior years. I stopped taking calcium a couple years ago. Not that I had a good reason, just decided to stop all supplements. One of the other blogs on the Best Boomer Blogs list is The Fifty Factor, one of my favorite blogs and I don't miss a post of hers ever. Good job, Pete Seeger.


I loved the story of Jack and Betty and spotted his less than gallant remark,as you so nicely called his unfortunate gaffe, "Betty didn't age so well."

But the best was the statement alluding to the fact that his Mother was still living in Alabama. If he is 81 and even if she had him when she was 16, it would still make her about 97 years old.
And he was going to go live with her if Betty turned him down?

Do you think Mom will take the kid in or will HER Mother object?

Congratulations on making the 'Ten best Boomer blogs". It is a well deserved honor.

It would be interesting to have a 'follow up' on the 81 year old sweethearts story next year. I wonder if it will last. ;-)

The kitten story is an example of no good deed going unpunished. Ha!

Good to know that Pete Seeger is alive, well, and still writing and performing!!! Talk about a beacon of hope!!! I'm sending this vid to all the elders I know!!!

SPOT ON, RONNI....

I found the address of my first High School sweetheart on the internet too.
I must confess I was tempted to send him a greeting Card.
The kids advised against it.

Please don't lose any sleep over the calcium story, Ronni. For one thing, most calcium supplements include various other minerals such as magnesium and also Vitamin D, which has been shown to have a cardiac benefit whereas these studies were deliberately limited to calcium only. Secondly, not one of the individual studies had a statistically significant result. Thirdly, the pooled results only showed a small increased risk in participants who already had a dietary calcium intake above the median of 805 mg/day, but not in those with lower dietary intake.
So you're only at risk if you eat a lot of dairy food and also take calcium by itself as a supplement, and even then you might not be!

This is such a cute story!

For help with your search for an assisted living facility check out silvercensus.com!

On calcium and per Roseanne Roseannadanna: it is always something. The thing that kills me will be the one I forgot to worry about. So far, according to the Worry Meter, I'm going to live a long, long time.

Congratulations on yet another encomium well-earned!

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