Crabby Old Lady Wearies of Stupid Retail Tricks

INTERESTING STUFF: 15 October 2011

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.

It was a set up, a wonderful surprise set up for this girl taking part in a spelling bee when her dad returned home after many months. Take a look.

It was announced this week that Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren – running to become the Democratic candidate for senator from Massachusetts – raised twice as much money as current Senator Scott Brown.

That's good news for progressives who support Warren. There's a terrific profile of her in Vanity Fair. You can read it here.

You and I, of course, are smart and informed enough to know these, but most Republicans are not. You can read the seven at Huffington Post or watch Reich's video.

And expensive too.

Hail the flush toilet. For a century or more, it has served one of mankind's most urgent needs well and with few moving parts, most of the time it's so easy to fix even I can do it.

Not one to leave well enough alone, however, Kohler has created the $6,000 toilet operated by computer. Take a look.

Recently, a Florida judge imposed the longest sentence ever in a Medicare fraud case – 50 years for fraud, money laundering and conspiracy that cost U.S. Taxpayers $205,000 in losses to the program.

However, that's a tiny drop in the bucket. The federal government estimates that fraudulent pharmacies, clinics and medical supply companies, many based in south Florida, cost the program $60 billion annually.

I wish I could try this but it is undoubtedly not as easy as it looks. (I'm pretty sure I owe someone a hat tip for this video, but neglected to make note of the name – sorry.)

Mainstream media keeps asking what the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators want. What are their demands, ask pundits, what do they stand for. It is enough, I believe, for the protesters to point out the problem; it is legislators' duty to supply solutions – it's what we pay them for.

Of course, it is one of the few grownup, serious people in Congress who has stepped forward to do this. This week, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders published six Wall Street proposals he is working on – first supplying his rationale [emphasis added]:

”More than three years ago, Congress rewarded Wall Street with the biggest taxpayer bailout in the history of the world. Simultaneously but unknown to the American people at the time, the Federal Reserve provided an even larger bailout.

“The details of what the Fed did were kept secret until a provision in the Dodd-Frank Act that I sponsored required the Government Accountability Office to audit the Fed’s lending programs during the financial crisis.

“As a result of this audit, the American people have learned that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in low-interest loans to every major financial institution in this country, huge foreign banks, multi-national corporations, and some of the wealthiest people in the world.

You can read the senator's six Wall Street proposals here.

chlost of Just My Life sent along the link to this video – well, tall paintings. I'm not sure what to make of it, but enjoyed watching.

It is just plain embarrassing what our political system is becoming. Now Joe the plumber is running for Congress against the estimable Marcy Kaptur who, as the longest serving woman in Congress, has been a reliable Democratic moderate since 1983.

Our own Saul Friedman wrote about Represenattive Kaptur here at TGB a year ago. If you're an Ohioan, you might want to do what you can to help out Ms. Kaptur in next year's election. We need her in Congress.

Among all the cat videos on YouTube, Simon's Cat is one of my favorites. I had forgotten to check in on him for awhile and this week discovered a new one – to me anyway.


The trampoline acts looks similar (sans costumes) of what we saw at Cirque du Soleil OVO last year. If you ever get a chance to attend one of these performances you won't regret it

Japan has had automated toilets for a long time now. The funniest story I heard was when my friend's husband had a run-in with one in a Japanese department store, pushed the wrong button and sprayed his pants thoroughly right in the - ahem!- crotch! He had to try to dry them using the mega-powerful hand dryer by the sink in the public washroom! Strangers eyed him carefully!

Oh, yes, yes, yes. I love Saturdays here. The young can fly, and everybody else, including the cats, can be entertaining or instructive. Thank you.

Yup, the art is interesting. Morris Louis did it first in the sixties, and no one ever figured out how he did it.

Reunions always make me cry.

The trampoline ... in college I learned how to do a simple flip on a trampoline, and that was complicated enough!

That toilet ... I hope it has a manual override for when the power goes out. And I hope it doesn't TALK. AND, for $6000, I sure hope it's self-cleaning.

I wonder how many gallons of paint are used in making those tall paintings.

Simon's Cat videos, always fun to watch.

Fun, and interesting, as always!

The tall paintings... cool!!

Appreciate the link to Warren's profile.

The trampoline video won't work for me, but I loved Simon's cat and the tall paintings!

I loved the trampoline unit in phy ed each year. I never imagined, though that you could do that on a trampoline! How fun. And I LOVE Simon's cat.

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