The Right to Die
ELDER MUSIC: The Johnny Mercer Songbook

INTERESTING STUFF – 14 November 2015


I'm pretty sure I've published a story about this place before but this is a new video and such a good idea is worth repeating: young music students living with old people and using their talent to entertain the elder residents.

Take a look – this report gives a lot more detail than those I've seen in the past:

You can read more here about the arrangement and thank doctafil for letting us know.


In this 2003 speech, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson explains that he started out as an adult neurosurgeon but changed his specialty to children because – well, see what you think.


Many of us at Time Goes By have undergone cataract surgery. It is generally easy and I think it is a modern miracle. Now there may be an even easier treatment. Two recent studies

”...showed that an injection followed by eye drops containing lanosterol reversed clouding in the lenses of dogs after treating them for just six weeks...

“Until these two new studies came along, no one even thought that restoring the transparency of the lens was an alternative. These papers change that perspective and open a completely new therapeutic strategy to treat cataracts in the future.”

This breakthrough is doubly important due to a shortage of ophthalmic surgeons. You can read more about the discovery here along with other uses that are being investigated.


I should know better by now. Every week I think, “Oh, come on, Oliver, don't bore me with this.” And every week he fascinates me, teaches me, enlightens me.

This man who insists he is a comedian is doing important work. If I were a different sort of believer, I'd say he's doing god's work.


This is called an arctic calving event. It's not about newborn cows, it's about ice in bigger chunks than you have ever seen, as big as whole cities, breaking loose into the ocean.

Read more about this astonishing event here and thank the Sunday assistant musicologist, Norma Gates, for sending it.


Unless you've been under a (yule)log this past week, you've been hearing, like me, way too much outrage from Christian Americans about how un-Christmas-y Starbuck's seasonal coffee cup is.

FOR GOD'S SAKE, FOLKS, IT'S A PAPER CUP. THERE ARE ACTUAL IMPORTANT THINGS IN OUR LIVES TO GET RILED UP ABOUT. (Sorry for yelling, readers. The many varieties we have of home-grown crazies are beginning to get the better of me.)

It's bad enough that before we've finished eating the Halloween candy and haven't had time yet to plan Thanksgiving, we are already into the patented, annual war-on-Christmas-quarrel.

But Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show on CBS (what would we do without him and John Oliver?) – came to my rescue this week, taking on the Starbucks Christmas cup lunacy. And we know about it here because TGB reader Gertrude Kappel emailed me. That you, Gertrude.


There was a three-day hullabaloo this week (a minor big deal; hullabaloos usually last only two days) about some quotes from 91-year-old President George H.W. Bush in the new biography about him by John Meacham.

”Mr. Cheney, [the elder Bush] said, was 'very hard-line' and too eager to 'use force to get our way'; Mr. Rumsfeld was an 'arrogant fellow' full of 'swagger.' He used the same phrase, 'iron-ass,' to describe both men,” reports The New York Times.

That drew what The Times characterized as a “biting retort” from Cheney:

“'Bush 41 is getting up in years and misjudges Bush 43, who I found made his own decisions,' Mr. Rumsfeld said in a statement.”

When they can't think of anything smart to say, they always, always, always go for the age disparagement, don't they. Bush 41 looks to me to have all his faculties in recent appearances.

Whatever, as they say these days. And Mr. Meacham got a whole lot of extra attention for his new book.


If you loved Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp as a fantastical Mad Hatter as much as I did, the sequel is coming.

Here is the first trailer for Alice Through the Looking Glass again with Depp as the Hatter and most of the rest of the original cast.

I'll be first in line when it's released in May 2016. I don't see many movies in theaters these days but this is too beautiful to miss on a big screen.


A new cat cafe named Koneko has opened, this one on Clinton Street in New York City.

Such cafes have been popular in Japan for a number of years and there are about a dozen in other U.S. cities. What is different about Koneko is that all the cats are available for adoption.

Here is the owner talking about his new establishment.

There is more information at The New York Times.

* * *

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.


I would live at a local cat cafe, if there were one. Of course, my existing cat might never let me back in the house ...

As for the politics, best not get me started on W., Cheney, and Rumsfeld. Don't want to ruin a perfectly good weekend.

I don't know which is more reprehensible: Carson's reasons for not wanting to operate on older adults or the audience members who are laughing.

It takes one's breath away.

As usual, love the Saturday selections. Not surprised by the arrogance and insensitivity of Dr. Carson. Imagine if Obama would decide to be a neurosurgeon after his presidency. Why not, he’s smart and he would assemble a great team!!?? He may even have an opportunity to operate on Dr. Carson’s back.

The Arctic calving event is truly astonishing; mesmerizing to watch.

Being a total cat-person, I love the cat café story. I already knew that Ben Carson was a super right winger (which defies logic since he has an "M.D." after his name that would normally indicate a nodding acquaintance with science), but I didn't realize that he was ageist, as well. Wonder how many of his 65+ tea bag-hatted followers are aware of his views about operating on "old people"? The glacier event was amazing, also totally alarming. I don't see how anyone who views that sequence can remain a climate change denier, but most of those folks haven't seen it and won't. If they did, they'd probably find some way to blame the whole thing on President Obama!

At some point -- I think maybe we've already reached it -- "climate change denier" will belong in the same category as "flat earther."

Ben Carson, on the other hand, is a mannerless clod. Sure, it's great to find fulfillment in helping kids, and no, one neurosurgeon can't be expected to help everyone, and yes, you do have to choose where to spend your time... but only the most ill-bred oaf would express that thought by dismissing as valueless the people he isn't helping.

Oh, wait. He's a Republican presidential candidate. From the current field of candidates, that appears to be one of the requirements.

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