Happy Thanksgiving 2015, Everyone

INTERESTING STUFF – 28 November 2015


There are gazillion ways these days to track our health stats like blood pressure, heart rate, temperature not to mention how many steps we've taken and who knows what else.

A new style of monitor, not yet available, can be “tattooed” right on our skin. Take a look?

I think this is going to provide a lot good uses for elders. You can read more here.


About 10 days ago, I told you about an interesting National Geographic special hosted and directed by Ron Howard about breakthroughs in longevity. I've seen it and it's fascinating whether you believe these developments will come to be or not.

The documentary will be broadcast tomorrow evening, Sunday, at 9PM on the National Geographic Channel. Check your local listings.


It has been two weeks now since the terrorist attacks in Paris killed so many. World leaders continue to meet about how to work together against ISIS and just about all cities in the west are on alert.

Last Sunday at the American Music Awards, Jared Leto spoke for many people and introduced Celine Dion singing Edith Piaf's wonderful Hymne à L'Amour. Here is that performance and thank doctafil for sending it.


My pennies go in the same jar with all the other loose change. Every few months, I load it up and drag it to the bank where I keep my checking account. They have a machine that counts it up.

That service used to be free, now they charge three percent of the total which for some reason irritates me beyond all reason. I felt a lot better after watching John Oliver's take on pennies in his HBO show Last Week Tonight.

On the same episode, Oliver also presented a terrific essay on presidential candidates' responses to refugees but HBO did not make that video available. Someone else posted it to Youtube. Check here to see if the non-HBO vid is still available.


Some researchers got together and analized 150,000 high school year book photographs through the 20th century.

”They then grouped the portraits by decade and superimposed the images to produce an 'average' face for each period. This process revealed other 'average' features for each period such as hairstyle, clothing, style of glasses...”

But what stands out the most is how smiling (or not) has changed. Take a look:


“'These days we take for granted that we should smile when our picture is being taken,' say Ginosar and pals.

“And the data backs that up. The team developed an algorithm for determining the degree of lip curvature in the photographs and this showed a clear trend in increasing smile intensity over time.”

There is more interesting information about this study at Technology Review.


During the 40 years I lived in Manhattan, I didn't often shop at Macy's but when I did I was always charmed by the wooden escalators.

In a story at The New York Times this week, I learned that Macy's has been undergoing renovation for four years but they preserved those ancient escalators. It was a popular decision:

“'When I would tell people about the renovation,' Steven Derwoed, the senior vice president for store design and merchandising, said, 'without exception, the first thing they’d say was, “Please tell me you’re keeping the wooden escalators.”’”

Inexplicably, the Times did not include a video of the refurbished escalator but I tracked down an older one at for you.(Is there anything at all that isn't no the internet these days?)


Unless you've been under a rock for the past two weeks, you cannot have missed the hysteria from Republican presidential candidates about the U.S. taking in Syrian refugees. Here is how they do it in Canada:

Canada expects to resettle about 10,000 refugees before the end of this year along with another 15,000 by the end of February. Although policy is still being developed, Canada may accept only families, not single men unless they are homosexuals fleeing persecution. You can read more about that here.

Additional information here and here.

Among Americans, Canada has a reputation for being boring. I'd take that kind of boring here in the United States. Please. (Another hat tip to Canadian TGB reader, doctafil)


It has been 45 years since we first heard James Taylor sing Fire and Rain. Recently on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Taylor updated the song to include some of the things he's seen since 1970 and Colbert helps him out.

Take a look and thank reader Marian Methner for reminding me that this is worth including today.


Every month, People are Awesome publishes the best viral videos of amazing tricks, skills and stunts. Here is the November 2015 video:

There is a website where you can submit a video.


Okay, Thanksgiving has come and gone and we, in the United States anyway, are deeply into our relentless holiday season. You might as well just go with it because without leaving the country there is no way to escape.

To get us started here is the traditional annual Christmas advert from the U.K.'s well-known supermarket chain, Sainsbury's.

* * *

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 appreciate the reminder about the "Age of Aging"; have it marked to record the series.

I salute Canada for taking refugees in. I have said if "the real nut" becomes President that I am moving to Canada.

While I think that "TechTats" may be a good idea, I'm just worried that it may become a bit too "Big Brother- ish". We often are too willing to give up our freedoms for something that is purported to be "Good for us."

"Here is how they do it in Canada." So poignant. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

If you use Coinstar and opt for a gift certificate, you keep the full value of your coins. I get gift certificates for Amazon and treat myself to a new book at full price.

The inspiring words of Jared Leto are in sharp contrast to the hateful and despicable words coming out of the mouths of those Republican candidates and governors of Red states. I am shocked and horrified that people cheer them on. It sometimes makes me ashamed to call myself an American.

That said, I am grateful that we are not all so ignorant and unfeeling. I c0-signed a letter written by a resident to the governor of one of those states who have unconstitutionally closed their borders to the refugees . She informed her governor that she would defy his orders and take a refugee family in for as long as a year while they became adjusted to the American world.

There are still some caring and compassionate Americans and the world should hear more about them. The image of stupidity being spread by the haters is doing great damage to our country.

Great posts today. The People are Awesome videos are truly awesome. I can't imagine how many times people have to do most of those things before they get a perfect one on video. They have much more patience and time than I do.

The escalator reminds me of one that was in an old factory building here. A big industrialist, back in the days when we still had such things here in our little corner of the Rustbelt, was enamored of the escalator he saw at a World's Fair display and had one installed in one of his buildings here. I was on it once many years ago, before the building was abandoned and fell into total disrepair. It was very narrow, with only one lane and was switched, going only up in the morning and down in the afternoon. The single set of stairs to its side would have to be used otherwise.

I wonder how much of the evolution of smiling for the camera is a testament to improved dental care and commercial teeth whiteners, and how much indicates happier people since the 1940's?

We should only take families that are refugees. No single young men. Why are so many men leaving their family behind? Just as Canada is doing.

Loved Moggie.

"TechTats" gives me a mild case of the creeps. I wasn't happy when I got my newest c-pap that can send data out. My son just got one too and thought the data was going to his doctor but no it turns out it's going to his insurance company. If they don't get the data the don't pay for it. Apparently monitoring by his doctor is not part of this equation.

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