Sleeping – or Not - While Old

INTERESTING STUFF – 29 August 2015


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.


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:


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.


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.


The Oxford dictionary people have announced their 1000 new words for 2015. These words are for the modern language 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.”

Good idea. You can read about the new words and learn about many more of them here and here and here.


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.


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:

Tokyo Infinity Books

A gorgeous and elaborate pop-up book:


A street stall bookshop:

Sodewalk book shop

Read more about Jimbocho and see more photos at Abebooks.


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.

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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.


Well, it looks like I have a pretty good chance of making it through the next 16 years. While I was hoping for 20 (which would make me 90 +) , if the next 16 are relatively pain free, and my mind remains intact, I guess I can't complain. According to the report, the main reason for my stunted longevity outlook is due to my lack of physical exercise. Consequently, the calculator said I will be spending at least 13 days in the hospital over the next 16 years. Most likely, I imagine, due to the increased physical activity I have been prompted to do by the creators of this calculator.

"Pocket dial" seems like a more genteel substitute for "butt call" which is how I've always heard such calls referred to :)

Dubya did privatize the dissemination of our SS money, via a Texas bank. Or so I found out after a bit of sleuth work. Later the facts online changed, and I quit my determined search, deciding to spend my time in more worthwhile ways.

However, I still get my check from the federal government, with the monthly admonition to sign up for automatic deposit, which must be very convenient for many, perhaps most, recipients.

I doth protest like a wee fish in a big pond.

One of the many things I admire about Bernie Sanders is his consistency. They will never be able to say that he was against it before he was for it. His honesty is genuine and he's the real deal.

I took the heart attack/stroke test and am not sure whether I am a candidate for either one as my risk factor was half and half. I need to eat more green leafy veggies, exercise more and lose more weight. My BMI is okay, but my waistline is not. I already knew all of those factors but just can't seem to motivate myself to do much about it. Other than that I am fine.

I am not sure I want to increase my longevity and I am probably going to risk having a heart attack or stroke and hope the odds are with me. I know how stupid that sounds, but I am being honest with myself.

my goodness sakes that cat named Monkey is something else, if the dinner for my 3 cats is a little late they cry like banshee chickens and the older gal will run on top of my hubs who really is not crazy about her and or any cats and she will meow like she is being tortured so we leave bowls of cat food out so they can cruise their food supply not a lot but enough to hold them until dinner or when they need some nourishment..I don't think I will live as long as my mother in law at almost 87 the mother of 9 kids the last at 43 years old no less and no husband with her to help,she lived a long long while longer than anyone would expect, she smoked like a smokehouse had one child developmentally delayed who has worked for over 30 years, two sons crazy as loons, drugs and alcohol an husband who made the kids and never supported any of them, I am married to the oldest of the second family she had a first marriage and her oldest was `17 when my hubs was born and many more after that! No I had one, she wants someone like her dad but it looks like she will never settle for some yahoo, she is just like him, particular and tiny and wonderful..My hubs will probably outlast me by many years his mothers side of the family lived into their 100's and my aunt will be hundred in 2017 although my mother passed very young..It is all a crapshoot on the longevity card..I say be happy, be grateful and love those you love and peace and joy to everyone else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to you and Peter for sharing the old photographs link. Quite enjoyable. Also enjoyed the cat working on getting his supper video also...

I'm not really a Bernie Sanders fan; but I do think he brings an important voice to the political conversation. Looks like I'll be around to vote until at least the 2032 election.

Gene Kelly on skates was almost as good as Kelly dancing---a charming, fun to watch video. Where would I find interesting videos to forward to other people if not for TGB?

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