RONNI HERE: In producing this Saturday list, I aim for a balance with a little something for everyone – sort of an update of an old-timey variety show from our generation's youth.
At first, this week, I thought there was too much cute animal stuff but they are all good and two of them become stale if not used before the Superbowl tomorrow. So, here goes.
AL PACINO ON GROWING OLD
A new film titled, The Humbling, is about a has-been, aging actor taken from a novel by Philip Roth starring Al Pacino who says that although he personally relates to the character in some ways, he's not ready to stop acting.
”At 74, Pacino says that at times he feels his age, reports inquirer.net “'I do feel differently. I don’t quite get up from this table the same way. I may want to but I don’t.'
“'Acting, especially if you’ve done it as long as I have,' he said, 'it becomes such a part of your nature you rarely ever think about quitting or anything like that.'”
Here's the trailer for The Humbling currently in theaters in the U.S.
DEAR KITTEN – SUPERBOWL EDITION
In case you missed it (yeah, right), the Superbowl is tomorrow. Here is an extended commercial from Friskies: the chief house cat explains the TV ritual of the annual game to the newly arrived kitten. (Hat tip to Cathy Johnson)
YOUR REPUBLICAN CONGRESS AT WORK
The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week named the chairs of the subcommittees. Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas snagged the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.
Except that it's not called that anymore. Somehow, with the announcement of the new subcommittee leaders, the name got changed to the Subcommittee on the Constitution – no more civil and human rights. As Huffington Post reported,
”In his press release, Cornyn never used the phrase 'civil rights' or 'human rights.' Instead, the release said he would be a 'watchdog against unconstitutional overreach and will hold the Obama Administration accountable for its actions.'”
We can look forward in the coming months to watching how more congressional bodies become partisan arms of the Republican Party.
BUSY AS A BEAVER BUILDING A NEW DAM
That's exactly what happens here - nothing spectacular except to the extent that nature is spectacular. A beaver family rebuilding its damaged home.
THE PROBLEM WITH STUPIDITY
I have no trouble wanting to crawl under the desk and never emerge when it is pointed out to me that I have said or done something spectacularly dumb. In fact, I usually realize it even before someone tells me.
So it drives me nuts that people such as climate deniers, anti-vaxxers, too many elected officials such as Louis Gohmert and Steve King and others don't even suspect how dumb they are – so dumb that it's hard to know how they keep breathing.
Here to help me out is John Cleese explaining stupidity in less than one minute – and a fine job he does of it.
DOG HELPS CAT
From TGB reader Alan Goldsmith, here is a lovely, little example of interspecies kindness.
UPDATE 6:30AM PST: My apologies if you can't watch this video. The license states that it's public but now I can't view it. On the other hand, maybe it's fine - this is, unfortunately, not a perfect medium.
IT'S NOT CHOCOLATE ANYMORE
And probably hasn't been for a long time.
Just a week ago, I did something I allow only about once a year: I bought a Hershey's chocolate bar with almonds. (Since I lost 40 pounds, certain things are mostly gone from my life.
I love chocolate. I grew up eating many kinds but Hershey's chocolate bars with almonds were my favorite. Nowadays, I like other chocolate even better but Hershey's has been with me all my life and it all but leaped off the shelf into my basket at the supermarket checkout stand that day.
After dinner, I sat down to savor that old favorite and was mightily disappointed. It wasn't as satisfying, it didn't taste quite right and I wondered if I had finally outgrown Hershey's for more sophisticated types of chocolate. Within a day or two, I read this:
”'Chocolate in Britain has a higher fat content; the first ingredient listed on a British Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (plain milk chocolate) is milk. In an American-made Cadbury’s bar, the first ingredient is sugar...' "The ingredients they're using for American Cadbury candy not only affects the taste, it changes what we call the 'mouth feel.'" writes Susie Madrack at Crooks and Liars. “It feels more like a mouthful of Crisco, and not the pure melting goodness of quality chocolate.”
The reasons for the difference, explains Ms. Madrack, relate to Hershey's and Archer Daniels Midland lobbying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “to permit them to change the essential ingredients and substitute chocolate flavoring, yet still label candy 'chocolate.'"
Read the whole sorry story here.
BRIGHT OLD THINGS
In 2011 and each year since then, Selfridges department store in England has highlighted young creative talent with their Bright Young Things sales promotion. This year, they have turned the tables:
”Bright Old Things is our celebration of the retirement renaissance. In collaboration with illustrator and director Todd Selby, we introduce 14 inspirational individuals who have created a new vocation for themselves in later life.”
Here's the video about them (Hat tip to TGB reader, Sandra Mosely):
It's a fun collection of old folks doing interesting things. However, I feel obliged to point out that every “celebration” of elders who remake themselves in old age - there are many – honors only those in the arts: painting, music, writing, design, sculpting hedges into elephants, etc.
If you are not talented in those mostly graphical ways, you are no less worthy of attention in old age.
You can read more here about the elders and Selfridges' campaign.
PUPPY/CLYDESDALE SUPERBOWL FRIENDSHIP
For the second year in a row, Budweiser set out to break our hearts and bring a tear. They have succeeded again:
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 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 include the name of the blog and its URL.