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” in the upper left corner of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I probably 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 have one.
We think we live in such modern times with miracles of technology and communication that were not even glimmers in the eyes of developers until the past couple of decades. But here's a forerunner of Skype from 1940:
The photo is from a short news story about it at The New York Times.
WHAT CAUSED THE DEFICIT?
This chart has been posted all over the web since it was released by the Center on Budget and Policies Priorities a couple of weeks ago. Take a good look and keep it close during the deficit arguments in Washington so you know who's lying and who isn't.
You can read more about it here.
Many are the ways our cats control us but few are as direct as this one.
LONGEVITY BLOOD TEST
Researchers at the University of California are considering creating a website containing tested geriatric calculators that can predict, they say, the odds of elders dying within the next six months or four years or nine years. The website would be restricted to physicians.
Paula Span of The New York Times's New Old Age blog asked her readers what they thought about this idea. She reports
”...they were fairly vehement about having access to such information. Not one thought the site should be restricted to people with medical initials after their names.”
You can read the story here. What do you think?
ANOTHER LONGEVITY TEST
Several companies are now selling blood tests that purport to assess customers' longevity and tell them how healthy they will remain. The test measures telomeres. They shorten with age so, apparently, the shorter your telomeres, the shorter your lifespan.
”Various studies have shown,” reports The New York Times, “that people with shorter telomeres in their white blood cells are more likely to develop illnesses like cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, or even to die earlier. Studies in mice have suggested that extending telomeres lengthens lives.”
Unlike the tests at the proposed website from the University of California, this one does not give a specific time frame. You can read more here.
PROVING THAT SOME PEOPLE HAVE TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS
Still, it's fun to watch.
HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT CIVICS?
The Intercollegiate Studies Institute created the Full Civic Literacy Exam testing knowledge of how government works. The average score for all 2,508 Americans who took the exam was 49 percent. College educators scored 55 percent.
They say it is not an easy test, but I got 84.85 percent correct (she said, bragging). It's those international monetary matters I'm no good at. You can try it out for yourself here. It's free. Hat tip to Darlene Costner.
HAWKCAM IN NEW YORK CITY
Remember when live webcams mostly monitored traffic and ocean sunsets? Now, it seems, every wild animal on the planet has his or her own.
This one comes to us via Tamar Orvell who blogs at Only Connect. A camera keeping watch on a mama hawk and her hatchlings on a window ledge in New York City.
As a bonus, click here to see a whole bunch of still photos of cats watching the HawkCam on computer screens.
NEVER, EVER GET BETWEEN A KITTY AND HER SMOKE