NEW LIFE EXPECTANCY CALCULATOR
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada has released what it says is a science-based online life expectancy calculator derived from research that followed 78,000 people
”... for up to 10 years. We basically looked at who died. Then we created predictive models based on whether they were a current, former or 'never' smoker, plus the amount they smoked, leisure time physical activity, alcohol (number of drinks per week) and diet.
“We included age, sex, body mass index and ethnicity, and neighbourhood for socioeconomic status – all things shown to be associated with increased risk. We also used our knowledge of epidemiology, of what’s been shown in past studies to cause increased mortality.”
The questionnaire takes only about five minutes. In my case, the report says my “health age” is 70.7 (I am 74.5 years old) and my life expectancy is 92.3 years. It also lists my risk factors comparing such indices as activity level, diet score, body mass index and more to their average.
You can check your own life expectancy here. Unfortunately, they say the upper age limit is 79. On the other hand, they don't require you to register or leave your email address so that saves a lot of annoyance.
The Foundation also has a heart and stroke risk calculator (upper age limit 90). In that one, my life expectancy is 94.5 years and my only risk factors are age and chronic conditions.
I don't understand the chronic conditions mention since I have none and there is no explanation for that. You can read more in the overview of the calculators here.
Remember folks, however much science is involved these are ONLINE calculators. They might be an indicator but are nowhere near a substitute for consultation with your physician.
ZION HARVEY UPDATE
Remember Zion Harvey, the amazingly cheery eight-yiear-old who underwent a dual hand transplant four weeks ago? Well, he went home from the hospital this week.
I was pleased to learn that the hands will grow with him – something I had wondered about but couldn't find in the first reports. Here are two videos. one to remind you of the background and a second, shorter one about his recovery from the surgery:
WHAT IF YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT HAD BEEN ON WALL STREET THIS WEEK?
Ten years ago, then-President George W. Bush tried to privatize Social Security. What if he had succeeded? What would have happened to your Social Security account this past week if it were invested with Wall Street bankers?
As the Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) noted this week:
”Take some solace in knowing that while your market savings have taken a hit, the good news is your estimated Social Security benefit today is the same it was on Wednesday.
“That’s why Social Security exists. That’s why it works. That’s why it’s beyond reason that so many in the GOP still support sending your Social Security to Wall Street and destroying the stable income protection (it’s not an investment) Social Security provides.”
Thank god we foiled dubya. Trading Social Security's benefit on Wall Street is scary, makes no sense and no one wins except the Wall Street investment advisers who take their fees out of your earnings.
TGB's Sunday Music columnist, Peter Tibbles, sent a link to a fantastic page of 24 of the earliest photographs ever made. This is Portsmouth Square in San Francisco in 1851:
Here is another astonishing photo, a self-portrait of a man named Robert Cornelius made in October or November of 1839. It may be the earliest portrait photo in the U.S.
Old, old photographs are fascinating peeks into long-ago life and you can see 22 more of them in much larger sizes at The Atlantic magazine.
BERNIE SANDERS FROM 30 YEARS AGO
As Nathan Heller wrote in the New Yorker this week about this 30-year-old video of Bernie Sanders, the senator
"...has held firm to his beliefs. The anachronism of his world view proves both his authenticity and his lack of hidden baggage as a candidate...The approach is striking in an era when even personal life is preconceived, polished, performed. Sanders is exceptional because he seems, demonstrably, the same guy who he was before the iPhone cameras first appeared.”
The footage is from a speech when Sanders was five years into his tenure as mayor of Burlington, Vermont. It's old and fuzzy and the audio is creaky at time, but stick with it. It's worth your time.
You can read more from Nathan Heller about Sanders at the New Yorker.
OXFORD DICTIONARY ANNUAL NEW WORDS
The Oxford dictionary people have announced their 1000 new words for 2015. These words are for the modern language oxforddictionaries.com and not necessarily the venerable Oxford English Dictionary.
My favorite new word is “hangry” – that feeling of irritability when you're hungry. “Pocket dial” is good - that accidental phone call from pressure on your cell phone when it's in your pocket.
Some seem quite old to me: I've known “beer o'clock” and “wine o'clock” for when it's time to start drinking, and I'm pretty sure I've been hearing or saying “brain fart” for 20 or 30 years. But here's a new one I had not heard before, Mx:
”...a title used before a person’s surname or full name by those who wish to avoid specifying their gender or by those who prefer not to identify themselves as male or female.”
GENE KELLY DANCING ON ROLLER SKATES
I'm pretty sure no one would put anything like this in a movie today. The style has long passed us by but you and I can remember musicals which always included something wonderful like this.
It's from the 1955 MGM movie, It's Always Fair Weather, starring Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse, Michael Kidd, and Dolores Gray. The song is I Like Myself. Thank Darlene Costner for sending it.
TOKYO'S BOOKSTORE NEIGHBORHOOD
Like New York City (maybe it's all large cities), Tokyo has neighborhoods dedicated certain businesses. One is called Jimbocho, a sort of booktown. Recently, Colin Laird wrote at Abebooks about his visit to this district:
”...there are around 175 bookshops, including about 50 stores devoted to used and rare books. The variety of shops in Jimbocho is stunning - manga specialists, huge stores dedicated to new books, academic and scholarly booksellers, used and rare sellers, and even pop-up bookshops that appear overnight to fill a vacant retail space for a few days.”
Here are some photographs. First, Infinity Books:
A gorgeous and elaborate pop-up book:
A street stall bookshop:
Read more about Jimbocho and see more photos at Abebooks.
MONKEY THE CAT EARNS HIS MEAL
Ben Millam doesn't just feed his cat, he makes Monkey work for his supper. Here's how he explains it:
”This all started after I read an explanation of why cats go about repeatedly exploring the same areas: it’s partly to establish and survey their territory, but they’re also practicing ‘mobile’ hunting: moving about, being curious, and poking their noses around in the hopes of upsetting potential prey and finding a meal.
“So what if my cat, while out on patrol, actually found its prey? Surely this would bring him one step closer towards a more fulfilled and self-actualized indoor kitty existence.”
Take a look at how it works:
This all took a lot of training and building and Ben has a full explanation and instructions at his website. A bonus for visiting is a blooper reel from the Monkey the cat's training days at the end.
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 at the top 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.