CELEBRATED CELLIST YO-YO MA TURNS 60
With the commonplace time slippage in old age, it feels to me like yesterday or so that I first heard of Yo-Yo Ma in the early 1960s when he was a kid, a child prodigy.
Already now, he is 60 and he spoke on camera recently with the Washington Post about growing old:
LIVING BRIDGES OF INDIA
Having had all I can tolerate lately of glass bridges high above canyons, it was good to watch how the expertise of building and maintaining a living bridge for hundreds of years is passed on to the next generation.
This is from the BBC television programme, The Human Planet.
COUNTERPOINT TO ALABAMA RESTRICTIVE VOTING LAW
In the two most recent editions of Interesting Stuff, I mentioned the terrible new restrictions the state of Alabama has placed on voting, removing 75 percent of motor vehicle deparments in areas where mostly people of color live.
No one has fixed that yet in Alabama but here is an antidote: California just made voter registration automatic when people are issued drivers licenses:
"The law...puts California at the forefront of efforts across the country to increase electoral participation at a time when many states have added new hurdles, like voter identification laws.
“The new law will 'help improve elections and expand voter rights and access in California,' the governor’s office said in a statement."
You can read more at The New York Times.
THE “REAL” NEWS
From Jonathan Pie in England. This is brilliant especially if, like me, you sometimes find yourself screaming at the establishment pap that passes for news reports on way too much of TV, newspapers and the internet.
(For any who are humor impaired, this video is the definition of great satire. Also NSFW)
JOHN OLIVER ON NORTH DAKOTA
You know, John Oliver needs a new headline writer. “North Dakota” isn't much of a grabber but he is, as always, in top form in this segment from his HBO program, Last Week Tonight.
You will laugh, you will cry, you will wonder – as I do – why we are hearing such important information from a British comedian and not the U.S. news media.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE FAKE COMMERCIAL
The fake gun commercial with SNL guest host Amy Schumer caused a lot of controversy last week. What do you think?
THE MOST TERRIFYING THING I READ THIS WEEK
The current world population is about 7.3 billion, way more than the planet can support. Now, the United Nations has increased its estimate of the world population for the year 2050 to nearly 10 billion.
The reasoning is that people are living a lot longer and not nearly as many children are dying before reaching adulthood. This is good news for people; extremely bad news for the planet which is already overcrowded.
We already knew it but The Social Security Administration officially declared on Thursday that there will be no cost-of-living adjustment in benefits for 2016.
In making the announcement at the SSA.gov website, Assistant Deputy Commissioner Jim Borland wrote,
"This news isn’t necessarily bad. When inflation stays at the same rate, your cost of living also stays the same. Prices for goods and services, on average, haven’t increased enough to affect the COLA."
That's a disingenuous claim. Prices for the kinds of things elders spend most of their money on have increased - food, clothing and particularly healthcare. These increases are not offset, as they are for working-age people, by the decrease in gasoline prices since elders don't drive nearly as much or even at all.
Further, as congressional Republicans begin negotiations for raising the debt ceiling, the first thing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put on the table is a reduction in "entitlements" including a change to decrease future Social Security COLAs. (No surprise there.)
We can discuss these issues further next week.
WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT EDWARD HOPPER'S “NIGHTHAWKS”
From the terrifying (above) to the sublime.
From the Understanding Art series of Nerdwriter (aka Evan). This video about Edward Hopper's most famous painting is as beautifully produced as his explanations are fascinating.
CORGI PUPPY'S STANDOFF WITH A MINIATURE PUMPKIN
He's about 9 weeks old in the video made last month. His name is Bilbo. Beware of cute overload.
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.