Impact of Recession on Elders
ELDER MUSIC: Marty Robbins

INTERESTING STUFF: 28 May 2011

Category_bug_interestingstuff 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.


SHORT SHEEP SHORTAGE IN AUSTRALIA
This item comes to us via email from our own Peter Tibbles of Sunday's Elder Music column:

”It seems there’s a short sheep shortage (try saying that three times quickly) here. Now, you may wonder about that (as did I when it was mentioned on the ABC).

“It seems there’s a breed of sheep that only grows to 60cm (two feet) tall. Again, how’s that useful I wondered when I heard it.

“Apparently wine growers love them. They let them loose among the vines and they keep the weeds down but they’re not tall enough to reach the grapes. Even I didn’t know this and I have a keen interest in these things (well, mostly the wine).”

Here's a photo of a short sheep and you can read more about them from a vintner who, as in Peter's story, uses them to keep down the weeds.

Small sheep with dog

THROWING GRANDMA OFF A CLIFF
The Agenda Project, a liberal activist group, released a video this week in opposition to the Medicare privatization portion of Representative Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget proposal. The point of the video, Erika Payne who is founder of The Agenda Project told Fox News host Neil Cavuto is that it is meant to

"...highlight that we have got a lot of senior citizens who are going to be in a really bad spot if we don't make the right moral choices in this budget debate."

There is no doubt the man pushing the wheelchair is meant to represent Paul Ryan. Take a look:

Although I agree with Ms. Payne's point and I always like a good metaphor, I'm uncomfortable seeing the phrase, “throw grandma off a cliff,” portrayed with such violent reality. What do you think?

OH, TO BE IN NEW YORK CITY
Over nearly 40 years, I must have racked up the equivalent of at least a couple of months at the main branch of the New York Public Library. It is a magnificent place both in its intended purpose and its architectural glory.

I wish I could be there now. The library is currently presenting an exhibit of some of its holdings including a Gutenberg Bible:

New York Library Gutenberg Bible

The New York Times reporter takes a dim view of the exhibit, but that's mostly from a curating point of view. At least he gives some sense of what's is displayed which you can read here. And you can see a slide show of a few items here.

TAKEDOWN OF A CELL PHONE BOOR
During my last three-and-a-half working years, I commuted 90 minutes each way on a Metro North train. It was amazing how frequently some ill-bred cretin screamed into his or her cell phone for the entire trip.

Last week, a woman was ejected from a train and charged with disorderly conduct after talking loudly into a cell phone for 16 hours in a designated quiet car on an Amtrak train traveling from Oakland, California to Salem, Oregon.

Although I cheered when I ran across the news item, I still think her punishment is not enough. But the real question is how the Amtrak conductor allowed the disruption to go on for the entire trip. Couldn't he have thrown her out of the quiet car? Read more here.

THIS IS WHAT'S WRONG WITH TECHNOLOGY
At the risk of sounding like a Crabby Old Lady (where has she been lately?) who can't keep up with modern gizmos, this week Microsoft announced their new Windows Phone 7.1 Mango WITH 500 NEW FEATURES.

Notice that the noun is “phone” but MobileCrunch reported this event without once mentioning voice communication. Doesn't anyone developing these toys understand that too many choices is no choice at all? Grrrr. Read more here.

MAN SAVES DOG FROM “NUISANCE ALLIGATOR”
I have a lot of trouble thinking of an alligator as a mere nuisance as mentioned by the reporter but the story from the dog's owner of what happened is extraordinary:

THE MOST AWFUL MEMBER OF CONGRESS?
Undoubtedly you have seen and read about the near-total destruction of Joplin, Missouri due to a killer tornado.

Now comes House Majority Leader and wannabe Speaker, Eric Cantor (R-Va), who said last week that federal emergency funds to help the destroyed community would not be released until spending cuts are made in other federal programs to pay for them.

Republican colleague, Representative Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri, disagrees:

“'...quibbling over how we’re going to offset it, and you look at the devastation and tragedy these people are facing? They just want help right now,'” she said.

Not just “want" help; they desperately need it.

Did you know the average income in Joplin is about $30,000 and many people who lost everything could not afford insurance on their homes. Certainly there must be one of those special rooms in hell reserved for any person as heartless as Cantor.

OBLIGATORY CUTE ANIMAL IMAGE
During the week, there is not much opportunity to post cute animal videos at TGB and somehow none appeared on my radar for today's Interesting Stuff. So instead, here is a photo of an adorable chipmunk I found somewhere online a while back.

Chipmunk with Flower


Comments

My first reaction? I love the granny video.

How fascinating about the sheep, nope...won't watch the video tho I too agree, Yup, the dog is dumb, and yup, that's a cute critter. The flower must taste great.

When you consider what will happen to thousands of future elderly, I don't think it is too graphic at all. Where is an 80 year old supposed to come up with an extra $6000 per year to pay to an insurance company???

I'm with Mary and Florence re the granny video--in fact, I think it's brilliant and we need more of that kind of graphic imagery. I'm disgusted with these glib, cynical politicians chattering about "the elderly" and "the senior population" as if we were some amorphous, abstract blob. Ryan and his myriad supporters need to see the human faces on the people they keep trying to marginalize--and victimize. They need to see the real consequences of their callous idealogies.

Love the granny video, too. Here in Missouri, I am appalled but not surprised at Eric Cantor. Does anyone else notice all these extremes of weather this spring across the US. Could it be climate warming? Mary is Missouri

I found the granny video disturbing but I think its mild compared to what likes of Ryan have in store for our elders if they're sucessful. And Eric Cantor is just more of the same, sees people as just pieces in a game to further his own cruel ends. I'm ashamed for him.

"Although I agree with Ms. Payne's point and I always like a good metaphor, I'm uncomfortable seeing the phrase, “throw grandma off a cliff,” portrayed with such violent reality. What do you think?"

Likewise. It stoops to a level that Tea Party-types would use and funded by the likes of Karl Rove and the Koch Bros.

Re: “throw grandma off a cliff,” disturbing and I'm not sure I'm keen on Liberals acting like conservatives which is how it strikes me. I expect something more creative like when those kids did a flash mob dissing Target for supporting anti-gay policies. They filmed it and sent it to YouTube creating a boycott. They put the screws to the organization where it hurts, in their pocket books. I didn't shop Target until they made good on their poor decision. This is what I want to see from the conservative opposition. Something smarter that will rally the thinking person and get the Right where they live and call them out to be accountable. Embarrass them, if need be. [See video here: http://youtu.be/9FhMMmqzbD8 ] The throw Grandma thing strikes me as a pissing contest and the liberals I know just don't drink enough beer to compete properly (as a rule).

I like the chipmunk. I think I'll go outside and watch some squirrels right now. Thanks for the reminder!

Sometimes it takes fighting fire with fire--and in this case, I think it's warranted. No, I don't like stooping to the level of the right wingers, and I agree with Cile that something more creative would better represent older Americans in the long run. I have nothing but contempt for Messrs. Ryan and Cantor. They are devoid of conscience and empathy for others. However, what goes around (usually) comes around. . .

It must be lonely for Eric, being the only Jewish Republican in the House. It's as if he thinks he has to outdo all the other right-wing nuts in reactionary stands on every issue.

The video should have a Part 2.

Something like this:

Granny is thrown off the cliff, but she immediately does a few back flips off a friendly cloud.

She comes up sprouting wings, motorcycle boots, and a powerful sweet Vera Lynn radio voice which she uses to call in every single North American senior.

Meanwhile, wheelchair pushing man walks away from his deed, grinning, slapping his hands together in a "case closed" wasn't that a riot manner.

One less senior to worry about, eh?

No need to run. Hey, is that a pie stand in the distance?

But he can't help glancing back at the cliff. That's when he's struck dumb, no, even dumber, by the force of granny's flight over his bird brain noggin.

His hair immediately falls out. He tries to run, but his feet won't work.

He trips, hits the ground. Wallet falls from his baggy pants. A turkey vulture swoops down, snaps it up, it's so excited it poops on wheelchair pusher's head.

In New York City, seniors gather quietly, patiently, calmly, in one massive group, as far as the eye can see, for as long as it may take, simply refusing to sit at the back of the medicare bus a second longer.

To be continued..

Nothing gets done without seniors. Seniors are the backbone of our economy.

Seniors are the unsung heroes of the world.


I'm with the discomfited voices. I associate fear tactics with the right wing-nuts. I heard a New York Republican voter on NPR who, though she voted for Hochul because of the Medicare issue, strongly condemned the video's scary tone. She's the moderate Rep. that the Dems need to court. It's a win for the Dark Side and not to be proud of.

Ha Ha, Doctafill! Now that's a video I'd like to see!

I returned a cell unit after a week because I couldn't make a phone call with it. Once I figured out how to connect, I couldn't figure out how to hang up. Everyone who called me knew to call right back if I failed to answer. I couldn't be counted on to be able to answer it with certainty.

So nice to be back and commenting again. I've missed you, Ronni.
a/b

Sometimes extremes are taken in sn effort to make a point. I can be amused by them, but I don't take them seriously. Unfortunately, some people do. A video like this does them a disservice. I think this video was a bit much, instilling fear for too many -- a bit Machiavellian.

Rep. Cantor's actions are a good example of warped reasoning and what's wrong with Congress. His constituents should be outraged and tell him so.

Chipmunk cute! Thought for a minute the blog was going squirrely.

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