Hannukah 5773

INTERESTING STUFF: 8 December 2012

It happened eight days ago right here at the Portland, Oregon zoo. After a 21-month pregnancy and five days of labor, Asian elephant Rose-Tu gave birth to a 300-pound daughter.

This video was shot on 30 November, the day the adorable baby was born. Isn't she the cutest thing. (There is no audio on the clip)

In Last week's Interesting Stuff, I told you about the origin of the emoticon dating to 1982. But then, TGB reader John Gear emailed with some additional information – antecedents to modern-day smilies and frownies:


These were published in Puck magazine in 1881. There is a lot more information about pre-emoticon emoticons at Wikipedia.

An age-old question worth pondering. This answer is from philosopher Alan Watts via South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. (Hat tip to Pam Gallagher of Costa de la Luz Gardening)

A bigger question by magnitudes than the item just above. An answer and animation from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson:


”Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has been taking his daughter hunting for years, but this Thanksgiving she took a successful shot of her own.

“Ryan’s 10-year-old daughter, Liza, brought her own weapon for the first time, and matched her Dad by bagging her own deer in the woods of Oklahoma.

"'Congressman Ryan was grateful to spend time with his family over the Thanksgiving holiday. He was able to hunt with his daughter Liza,' said Kevin Seifert, Ryan’s spokesman. "'Both of them had successful and safe outings, each shooting a buck.'"

If you really want to know more, you'll find it here.

Residents of the Erickson Living Maris Grove retirement community in Delaware County, Pennsylvania obviously had a lot of fun producing this video. They took all the acting parts too. Nice.

I've been reading Sherlock Holmes for half a century. Maybe a decade or more goes by for me between stories, but I always return to them. Now, an interview with Holmes's creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has turned up.

According to a commenter at YouTube, this was shot in October 1928 for Movietone News. The location is Doyle's garden at his Windlesham estate in Surrey, England, with his Irish terrier, Paddy.

Gallup recently took the temperature of American's attitude toward Congress. As you might guess, in honesty and ethical standards, the only job the nation rates lower than Congress is car sales.

Click here to see the Gallup chart and what job ranks number one.

This White House sure knows how to charm us. Take a look at the first dog checking out the eye-popping Christmas décor.

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.


I will have to come back when I have more time, but I loved the one of Bo in the White House and my husband will love the one of Conan Doyle.

Love today's blog as usual. But 21 months preggers seems daughting. Have a great w/end. Dee


The Santa Claus video was perfect,the Conan Doyle interview, marvelous.

The Gallup rating for Congress was 10 points too high; I prefer used car salesmen.

Congress's failure to ratify the UN disability treaty is despicable.

They disgust me.

Those folks sure enjoyed making the Santa video!

Loved (and stole - please forgive) the two videos on purposes.

On the gallup poll: I'm not fond of the statistical model employed. I would have employed weighted measures of responses rather than basing my sole measurement of perceived honesty on "very high/high" ratings. I do appreciate that they at least included the actual numbers; but, they have evidently already added the results of two answers to get "very high/high" and to get "very low/low", muddying the statistical waters.

Loved it all...thanks!

I actually came back! Good stuff this week.

Happy Hanukkah to you dear Ronni who keeps us awake and on the ball.

This is one of the very best TGB presentations....

On the which is the best profession.... What about teachers? Where do they rank?

Great post today! The baby elephant was adorable, and retired Santa was brilliantly done! Any why am I not surprised that Paul Ryan has his 10 year old daughter out shooting deer?
Thanks for all the goodies this morning, and Happy Hanukkah Ronni!

The Conan Doyle interview was very interesting. I like Sherlock Holmes in almost all his iterations - books, TV, movies. His comment about Watson was interesting, calling him Sherlock's very stupid friend. I never thought of Watson that way; naive at times as compared to Sherlock, but not stupid.

A very good video of Sir Conan Doyle. It's surprising how good the quality is considering how old it is. I think that may go for me too, since I was two years old when it was filmed. ;-)

I have no problem with Paul Ryan taking his daughter hunting. After all, he's from Wisconsin. That's part of the Wisconsin culture. Of course, he did take her hunting in Oklahoma.

Thank You for the Conan Doyle interview. That was amazing!

A big part of the disconnect about guns is that rural people grow up hunting and eating wild meat. The problems of Saturday night specials, drive-by shootings and assault guns are not something they experience in their day-to-day lives. Many of them think city people want to destroy their culture.

Urban people, on the other hand, walk down the street knowing that gun-related killings happen in their city, if not in their very neighborhood, every day. Many of them think hunting is a barbaric sport practiced by rednecks.

I wish the well-meaning, law-abiding citizens on both sides could find some common ground.

Unless you and your family are starving, there is no reason to shoot living creatures who have as much right to be here as humans.

I have never understood how hunting - that is, murdering an innocent animal for bragging rights - is considered a sport.

I loved the Doyle interview, what a precious gem. But as a Sherlockian for well over half a century now, I have to take issue with Sir Arthur's description of Watson as "stupid." Of course, that is how Nigel Bruce played him in the Basil Rathbone film series, but it is unfair: the Watson of the books was intelligent, well-educated, and courageous, but he only seemed intellectually inferior when compared to Holmes. Many of us are intelligent, but relatively few are geniuses. The portrayals of Watson in the BBC's Jeremy Brett series are more faithful to the books.

As for the elephant birth: five days in labor? To paraphrase the comedienne Rita Rudner, I don't want to do anything that feels good for that long.

I could almost hear that baby elephant say, "Mommy, stand still for pete's sake! How am I supposed to get a drink of milk?"

As far as the deer-killing Ryans go: white tails are a plague in some places and I eat meat so I'll not put them down for their shooting "sport." But somehow I doubt that they dressed out those bucks and carted the meat back to Wisconsin (or Washington) for their dinner table.

Wonderful - that Bo is a handsome dog; loved Sir Arthur's account of his brilliance. Great post!!!!

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