Rewind the Week – 30 May 2014
ELDER MUSIC: Songs About Cities - Melbourne



This elder Italian joins some kids in a game of street soccer and shows some serious moves. Take a look:

Huffpost has a some more information.


Although a whopping one-third of the global population is fat according to a 33-year study reported in The Lancet this week.

In its summary of the study, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) notes:

”An estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight. Nearly three-quarters of American men and more than 60% of women are obese or overweight.

“These are also major challenges for America’s children – nearly 30% of boys and girls under age 20 are either obese or overweight, up from 19% in 1980.

“When looking at obesity alone, there are more obese adults living in America today – 78 million – than in any other country in the world. China follows at a distant second with 46 million obese and India with 30 million – countries which together represent 15% of the world’s obese population.

“Approximately one-third of American men (32%) and women (34%) were obese in 2013 compared with about 4% of Chinese and Indian adults.”


Full infographic is here.


You are to be forgiven if you don't know that Wojciech Jaruzelski was the last Communist leader of Poland, the man who declared martial law in 1981 and sent tanks to crush the Solidarity movement there.

I might not know him except that in 1985, when he lifted martial law (well, only sort of but it's a long story), I produced an interview in Warsaw with him and Barbara Walters for the ABC News program 20/20.

And none of that matters to us today except that his death is an excuse for me to publish a photo of me with the general. He is the only person who ever kissed my hand not in jest:

Jerzelski and Ronni

The photographer shot this when we were first introduced. I had no idea how to behave in the circumstance, how to hold my hand, what my response should be. If I embarrassed myself, no one told me and I appreciate that.


I've been closely following the development of Google's driverless car eagerly anticipating how important it will be to elders. Here is a video with the latest release:

You can read more at Time and see Google's story about the car at their official blog.


Last Wednesday, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, populist hero and hope for the future to many of us on the left-leaning side of politics, made a speaking and fundraising appearance in my town, Portland, Oregon.

During the two weeks leading up to her visit, as a card-carrying leftie I was bombarded with email to attend her speech. I would kvell to watch Ms. Warren in person, but the minimum ticket price - $100 – was unconscionably high for ordinary people.

I understand the need to raise money but if I were running these things, I would arrange at least a short public appearance (remember whistle stops – actual ones on the back of trains - in the olden days?) in addition to paid speeches.


Speaking of the olden days, here is a 33-year-old video of Steve Martin as the Great Flydini. So funny. Thank Darlene Costner for this and by the way, on Thursday she celebrated a big-deal birthday - number 89.


It is still in prototype but it looks to me like this new kind of cast for broken bones is a real advancement and seems to me that it will really work:


”Combine this cast with the accompanying low-intensity, pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) bone stimulator system (shown above) and, according to Karasahin: “'For single 20 minute daily sessions this system promises to reduce the healing process up to 38% and increase the heal rate up to 80% in non-union fractures.'”

Read more details at Techcrunch.


With no apologies for the colorful headline, I am baffled by these itty bitty link bugs appearing on websites in the past year:


Sometimes there is a name when you roll over each one with your mouse: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email, etc. but the vast majority have no title on rollover. If you look very closely, there are miniscule letters and numbers in those tiny boxes but they have no apparent meaning.

So how is this better than the colorful little icons we are accustomed to? How is anyone supposed to know what they are? And what is the point of such extremely obscure iconography?


Come on, now. You know you love them – the don't f**k with old people stories even if they are all variations on the same theme. Here's a good one from Darlene:

George Phillips, an elderly man, from Meridian, Mississippi, was going up to bed, when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed which she could see from the bedroom window.

George opened the back door to go turn off the light but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.

He phoned the police, who asked, "Is someone in your house?"

He said, "No," but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me.

Then the police dispatcher said, "All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available."

George said, "Okay."

He hung up the phone and counted to 30. Then he phoned the police again.

"Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I just shot and killed them both. The dogs are eating them right now," and he hung up.

Within five minutes, six police cars, a SWAT Team, a helicopter, two fire trucks, a paramedic, and an ambulance showed up at the Phillips' residence and caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the policemen said to George, "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"

George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"

The moral of the story is, of course, don't mess with old people.

Ronni here again: The email states it is a true story. I would like to think so but Snopes debunks it and even provides a warning about lying to 911 operators. They do, however, provide a couple of similar stories that are real.

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.


Happy Birthday, Darlene!

And thanks for all your contributions on TGB - they're much appreciated and enjoyed.

Happy Birthday, Darlene......


You looked so cute in the picture with General Jeruzelski. I tried to compare that photo with the ones along the top of your site. I think the nearest one to the picture you printed is the 4th one from the right. Am I close?

I can also see Barbara Walters in the background.
I saw her retirement show on the View and she still looks very attractive,and so do you!

Jaruzelski may have been a tyrant, but he knew a good looking dame when he saw one.

The driverless car may work in a mass transit type situation but, as a means of personal transportation it will not be accepted. People like to be in "control" of their environment. This is why I can't go on rollercoasters, I keep looking for the brake.

I was 44 when the Jeruzelski photo was taken. The fourth from the right was taken on my 40th birthday so - close enough.

Happy Birthday, enjoy your posts and Saturday contributions! The magic video is great. Keep them coming.

Ronni, if Barbara Walters isn't already aware of your blog, someone should tell her. Think she would be proud of her association with you.

Happy birthday Darlene. And thanks for the smiles and laughs Ronnie. You look distinguished while having your hand kissed. :)

Happy Belated Birthday Darlene!

We would love to see more photos of your exploits Ronni.

I think it is shortsighted to fly someone across the country for a fund raiser and then not use that opportunity for a public appearance.

Maybe the handlers are afraid to have the politicians appear in a public arena that they can't control. After what happened to Gabby Giffords it might be prudent.

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes.

R. S. I agree that you were a beautiful woman, Ronni. In fact, you still are.

With the obesity problem in this country I find it incredible that some politicians want to put up road blocks to teaching young people how to eat healthier.

I hope I live long enough to see Elizabeth Warren run for and win the White House. She is one smart, cool and capable woman.

Love the 'don't mess with old people' story even if isn't true.

Darlene, where on earth did you find that Steve Martin bit? It's hilarious. And best wishes on your 89th.

I didn't find the Steve Martin skit, Charlotte. It came from a friend who forwarded it to me. I just passed it on because I thought it was funny.

I don't have a clue as to the person who first found it. Sorry.

I agree that there should be more public venues for those who cannot afford to pay for the privilege of seeing politicians. I am very weary of receiving emails offering me opportunities to win backstage or other up-close and personal meetings with the POTUS at various fundraisers around the country. I almost always end up making a contribution so I can be put into the drawing, though the amount is always very small, since it's not something that I should be spending my very limited funds on. And I always feel like a dope for having done so. A duped dope, since I never win.

I loved seeing the Steve Martin Flydini routine after all these years. Who do you suppose is in those pants with him?

Darlene, you enrich my life every week, through your contributions to this blog, and to your cogent comments. I enjoy TGB every day. And I wish you a most sincere HAPPY BIRTHDAY and many more! :-)

The woman with the ball was just getting warmed up.

Happy Birthday Darlene!
And thank you for all your comments. I still miss reading your blog because your postings were so interesting. Is there any way you can elaborate on your comments the other day concerning the true nature of the second amendment?

Google Car: I wonder how long it will be before the first revolutionary automotive window-restyling: maybe curtains? Or one-way mirrored glass? Then what? I wonder if Google has tested the cars to compensate for rocking or rolling passengers ;-) I predict that will be one of the first news items, perhaps with a hashtag of #Gspot or #GoogleNoodle


WTF itty bitty link bug numbers: when I entered them all at once (blanks between them)to google, I got this:
\e002 download:
\e003 link:
\e004 plus:
\e005 check:
\e006 mail:
\e00a twitter:
\e00b facebook:
\e00c rss:
\e00d linkedin:
\e00e skype:

Note the backslashes starting each one.

FYI these are the numbers for each WTF hexidecimal (base 16) number, assigned to each WTF graphic character we ought to see, but can't because somehow the webpage didn't get them interpreted correctly -- A BUG. Aren't you happy you asked?

See also
for a broader example...

I think you and I look similar at our respective ages. I'll find a photo to send you.

Love the Jeruzelski photo. I sometimes feel as if we've all dipped toes into so much history ... and I enjoy to see my younger friends making their own. (That latter comes from attending a kiddie birthday party yesterday where squads of what I consider young people --40ish -- were chasing their offspring about in the sun.)

We'll, Bruce, when you have to turn in the car keys, I'll bet you will change your tune. That day looms for me and , as far as I'm concerned, they can't move fast enough to get in production .

So, there's another translation of WTF out there?

I have enough trouble playing passenger to someone else's driving. I can't imagine being relaxed and happy in a driverless car. Maybe someday when ALL cars are driverless ...

Love the new cast. Lightweight, airy, very attractive. And you can reach all the itches!

Why is it "unexpected" that an old person is cool? We're old, not dead. Besides, we invented "cool."

If there is, we heard it first from Ronni! At least that's the first place I heard it...

Favicon is the actual name for those little WTF boxes above.


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