GRACE AND FRANKIE
Four of our most venerable actors – Jane Fonda (77), Lily Tomlin (75), Martin Sheen (74) and Sam Waterston (74) - are starring in a new Netflix series, Grace and Frankie.
As with the Kevin Spacey show, House of Cards, Netflix released the entire first season all at once - yesterday. Here's how the network explains the show:
”Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin co-star as two [70-something] women forced to reinvent their lives...
“Elegant, proper Grace and freewheeling, eccentric Frankie aren't friends, even though their husbands Robert and Sol have been law partners for decades.
"But when Robert and Sol announce that they're leaving their wives for each other, the two women start to bond in ways they never expected.”
I haven't watched any of it yet but this trailer is good enough thatat that I've put it on my to-do list. See what you think:
JOHN OLIVER ON STANDARDIZED TESTNG
I'm pretty sure I have mentioned that John Oliver and his crew at Last Week Tonight on HBO are so good at their mini-documentaries, I'm fascinated even by topics I don't think I care much about.
This is one of them and I was riveted; I also enjoyed the laughs, of course.
JANE BRODY ON AGEING MEMORIES
Jane Brody has been reporting on health and medical issues at The New York Times for 50 years and she has earned the respect of all as a trusted source.
This week she reported on memory issues in old age and athough there isn't much in her article that we have not already covered here, it's nice to have our information confirmed and extended a bit.
”Nor are those who do less well cognitively suffering from a brain disease,” writes Brody. 'Just as you wouldn’t say that a marathon runner who slows down in his 80s has a motor disease, age-related cognitive decline isn’t necessarily pathological,' said Molly V. Wagster, chief of neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging. 'We may just be slower to retrieve information, and slower to learn new things.
“Besides, Dr. Wagster told me, 'the older brain retains plasticity; it’s capable of making adaptive changes. Certain regions of the brain operate in slightly different ways that may actually be better than at young ages.'
“Some of the changes, like depth of comprehension and wisdom gleaned through experience, are improvements that can compensate for less positive age-related, she said.”
Brody, who is my age, reports twice a month in the Well section of The Times, often on subjects related to ageing.
KATMANDU BEFORE THE EARTHQUAKE
Along with the horrific death count, the photos and video of the destruction caused by the earthquake in Nepal are heartbreaking. Few us ever travel there but this short, little video from The New York Times gives a small peek at what has been lost in Katmandu.
BARON THE GERMAN SHEPHERD'S TRICK
Back in the mists of time before the internet, before YouTube and a gazillion animal videos, I had a cat I trained to use the toilet.
No litter box, no daily cleanup. Just a framed note on the bathroom wall for visitors to always leave the seat down and the lid up.
At work one day, I had professional reason to talk with a producer of a TV show titled, Those Amazing Animals. When we finished our business disussion, I told her she should book my cat on the show, that he used the toilet.
Imagine how deflated I was when she said, “Oh, Ronni, that's nothing. We already featured a cat that uses the toilet and that one flushes.”
Cats using toilets are not uncommon. But a dog??? Take a look at Baron the German Shepherd.
SCARE THE PANTS OFF YOU MEDICAL BILLING
Elizabeth Rosenthal reports in The New York Times that a recent study, “found that up to 90 percent of hospital bills contain errors.”
That's not a typo. 90 percent.
And it is unlikely that you will ever know if that is so with your bill. Ms. Rosenthal continues:
”For a simple needle biopsy that would require 24 hours of observation afterward...The hospital bill ended up being around $15,000, for which Ms. Meuel owed $665.46. There were also bills from the radiologist ($1,263) and pathologist ($3,799.25) for which she owed smaller amounts.
The explanation of benefits from Blue Shield listed a few line items that had been paid to the hospital labeled 'hospital,' 'miscellaneous or 'labs.' All further explanation appeared in CPT codes. Only the explanation of payouts to the pathologist was given in words...
"The itemized bill the hospital sent at her request offered minimal elucidation, containing items like: '1. 25030731 HC RT OXYGEN DAILY CHARGE — $2,132.25.'; '2. 0305 30516895 LAB HCT-CHRG ONLY — $104.81'; '3. 35033106 HC CT GUIDED NEEDLE PLCMNT ASP BlOP — $1,828.50.'"
This is not a one-time problem. It is almost universal among all hospitals and nobody, not anyone in government cares enough to require that consumers know what they are paying for.
The rest of the story is here.
LAST OF THE ORIGINAL SESAME STREET PUPPETEERS
I was a bit too old to grow up with Sesame Street, but even as an adult I came to love the puppets as much as anyone else. In fact, I once interviewed Big Bird for a television show I worked on.
TGB reader and poet Tom Delmore sent along the news that Caroll Spinney, the last of the original Sesame Street puppeteers, continues to work as Big Bird and Oscar Grouch, as he has done since 1969. And now, there is a documentary about him. Here is one of the official trailers for the film:
AND WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?
Members of certain political factions in the United States get all weird and indignant at the word socialist, as they predictably did when Senator Bernie Sanders, a self described Democratic Socialist, announced that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president.
Here's Bernie explaining what Democratic Socialism is. “And what's wrong with that?”
19 BADASS CATS
That's what the YouTube page says and I wouldn't dream of changing it. Neither will you after watching this video:
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.