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INTERESTING STUFF – 30 January 2016


Remember Barney Miller? And remember the loveable Detective Fish on that show. His daughter announced this week that he died in his sleep at age 94.

But he had died once before – sort of – when it was erroneously reported and believed by many news outlets in 1988, that he had died. Here's how David Letterman handled that on his show.

And here's a little clip from Barney Miller with Vigoda as Detective Fish:

You can read more about Abe Vigoda here.


As you may know, astronaut Scott Kelly's year in space will soon end. It's been an important trip to study, in preparation for future long trips to Mars, what happens to the human body when it lives in a weightless environment for a long time.

What's unique about this is that Scott has left an identical copy of himself back on earth, his twin and also astronaut, Mark Kelly. Researchers will be able to compare their bodies to when Scott returns.

Mark and Scott Kelly

That's Mark Kelly on the left and Scott on the right.

Meanwhile, a week or so ago, RawStory pubished a list of five things that are known to happen to the human body in space. The short version is:

  1. You get weaker
  2. So does your heart
  3. Fitness suffers
  4. You lose bone
  5. Your immune system suffers

Go to RawStory to read full explanations of those five bodily changes in space.

You can read more about the Kelly brothers twin study here.


Not being a resident of Iowa or New Hampshire or South Carolina, I probably would have missed this if not for reading Charlie Pierce's blog in Esquire magazine each day. Here's what he wrote:

”Call me an aging Boomer sap, but I think this Bernie Sanders ad is just about the best political commercial I've ever seen. The song is perfect. The selection of visuals is dead on—the little kid carrying the calf just kills me—and it's so welcoming and positive that it makes the old Reagan 'Morning In America' ads look like death-metal videos.

“If all the Sanders campaign does is inject the spirit of this commercial into our money-drenched, dead-assed politics, then it is already far more than merely a worthwhile endeavor.”

I sure don't disagree. See what you think.


Hey, my fellow elder woman friends here, were you a Brownie when you were a kid? With at least one troop of them in California, it ain't their mothers' or grandmothers' Brownies anymore:

”The Radical Brownies, a social justice-oriented version of the Girl Scouts, was set up only a few weeks ago to 'empower young girls of colour to step into their collective power, brilliance and leadership to make the world a more radical place,' reports the Guardian.

“The group of 12 girls are not affiliated to the Girl Guide movement and there are no badges for hostessing.

“Instead, the members, aged between eight and 12 years old, learn about black history, civil rights and social justice; their reward system includes a 'Black Lives Matter' badge and lessons in sustainable agriculture for a 'Food Justice' badge. 'Radical Beauty,' 'Radical Self-Love,' and 'LGBT Ally' badges are also on the curriculum.”

Fantastic. When my friend Jim Stone forwarded the story to me, he noted in his email, “This picture slays me.” Me too. Take a look:


Read some more about the Radical Brownies here.


Washington, D.C. took a big weather hit with last weekend's blizzard and wasn't nearly as well prepared for cleanup as New York City. Even so, some Congress members turned up for work on Tuesday. And some did not. Can you guess who they were?

What happened to the men? Senator Lisa Murkowski told Huffington Post that

”...she spent much of her weekend shoveling and was ready to 'be back at work where it's a little less rigorous.'”


As I think I mentioned last week, I still lived in Manhattan in 2006 when the last gigantic snowstorm hit town. Big blizzards make the city so beautiful and force everyone - everyone - to stop and take a break for a day or two. In my case, I can't resist behaving like a kid - last time it was making snow angels.

I suffered a bad case of envy for not to be in New York last weekend and I sure did enjoy watching these guys who defied the rules (and, apparently, paid the price) to have a great time in the snow, big city style.


Peter Tibbles sent this story about Oorik the wedge-tailed eagle who “works” at the annual matches:

”With uncommon vision, an enviable wing span and an inbuilt killer instinct, he belonged in this place as much as any tennis player. Holding court on centre court, he walked slowly, claw foot by claw foot, exploring the now empty space where Daria Gavrilova​ had only just dispatched Petra Kvitovz.

“Then he sat still in the vacant stadium, perched on the net, feeding on a bit of fresh rabbit meat, like a dragon alone in his lair.”


Konrad Marshall, writing in The Age, continues:

”Such is life for the young rescued raptor, one of many birds raised in captivity and now a star. He is at the Australian Open under a pest control research program, with permission from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. It is the first major study of its kind locally.”

It's a fascinating story that you can read more of here. And this photo shows off Oorik's magnificent wingspan.



No, not the bugs. These are combat jet planes as they takeoff and land aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65).

“The video includes the aircraft flying in tandem formation at low altitude above the water, conducting banking and rolling maneuvers at high-speed, and making high-speed passes over the aircraft carrier. Filmed from the cockpit and pilot point-of-view.”

I'm not much fond of heights but this is amazing to watch. Maybe you'll think so too.


Betcha don't know what undercats are. I didn't but I do now. Photographer Andrius Burba explains that he was at

“...the international cat show which recently took place in Vilnius, Lithuania. The idea about taking photos from underneath came from the similar photo which I randomly found on the internet.

“I was fascinated by their cute little paws which were impossible to resist to look at. But the main idea which I wanted to express through these photos, is that cats feel embarrassed about this part of a body which people don’t get to see daily.”

Here are a couple of examples.



You can see a whole bunch more of Burba's undercats at Bored Panda.

* * *

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.


Fantastic post, Ronni.

Loved Abe Vigoda in all his roles.

Love cats.


We are Canadian Bernie fans.

The Sanders video is very fine, making me a little more interested in him.

But the story of the day is the women who don't shirk their Congressional jobs just because of a snowstorm. Women like this should be running the country! (At this point I won't compare Bernie to HIllary.) Obviously women know how to shovel snow, what the male Congress members mostly seem to shovel is also a four lettered word that beings with S.

I love Bernie & I think he stands a chance of winning the primary because deep inside I still believe the men in this great country are not ready to elect a woman president. However, Bernie with Elizabeth for VP at his side, just may do it. I know.........until pigs fly. But stranger things have happened. Fingers crossed!

I have discovered that my cable company has added the laff channel to my set & altho' not HDef......who cares...I can see repeats of Barney Miller. What a great show. I sit here alone belly laughing my way to a good night's sleep. Some things were better in the good ole' days! Dee

That's Elizabeth Warren of course. Dee:) Have a great w/end.

I heard the Sanders ad criticized as "too white." But after watching it, I'd say those who criticized weren't watching very closely.

The Brownies are adorable. I was a Brownie very briefly and was terribly disappointed when we didn't spend every meeting in the woods building campfires, hiking, and studying wildlife. I didn't need or want to engage in civic, domestic, or "girlie" activities.

Love the flying sequences, but darned that carrier looks small out there in the middle of all that ocean!

The Hornet video was remarkable, but I don't understand how the pilots aren't afflicted with vertigo. I get it just watching this. Gorgeous though. Oorik is another magnificent flying thing here.

The snow boarding in NY looks like great fun. And the women Senators demonstrate their dedication, grit and determination. As Sen. Murkowski says, women know how to slog through messes and don't wimp out from a snow storm.

I love the Bernie Sanders ad and sure hope that who ever prevails in this presidential contest helps us find America again. I miss it more and more each day.

Finally, I have to say that I wish this Brownies program had been around when I was in grade school. It would have been something I actually could have enjoyed rather than more domestic activities or what were considered "girlish" character building things like learning how to make potato candy and sit-upons.

Thanks for another entertaining Saturday morning Ronni.

I'm on the same page as Bernie in almost every way--the main one being that he refuses to be bought. If elected, he would definitely do all he could to make life a little less comfy for the 1% and less precarious for the rest of us. One big concern is that he may not be considered "electable" by some/many Democrat voters, which leads to an even bigger concern: President Trump! I'm not sure the country could survive under the "leadership" of the Carnival-Barker-in-Chief.

On further thought, "President Cruz" is equally scary, if not more so! I've never been a member of the Republican Party, but I can remember when they at least exhibited some semblance of sanity. Not now--the WAY Far Right has taken over.

Goodbye to Abe. I watched him for years in Hill Street Blues. He was a natural!

Ooops, that was Barney Miller, not Hill Street Blues..sometimes the memory does not hold up!

Bernie has some good views and as a Democratic Socialist myself, I find him hard to resist. But I do resist, because if he wins the nomination, it's President Trump, folks. Count on it. Haven't you wondered why the right wing is carefully avoiding calling Bernie a Commie at this stage of the campaign? He's the perfect target for the most pejorative accusation in the Republican bag of tricks. I'm no conspiracist, but it's easy to see why saving this particular bag of mud to sling until the real campaign makes perfect sense to the Kochs and their ilk. When they drag it out, it will destroy Bernie because the old Reaganesque Commie-phobia is still alive and kicking.

Bernie is a good candidate and he is bringing some issues to the people that should be talked about. But his qualifications begin and end with the socio-economic factor and I can't see him dealing with international politics. Since socio-economic issues are Warren's main strength as well, I don't think putting her on the ticket would help him. And much as I would love a Hillary-Elizabeth ticket, we all know that's not possible, even though almost every presidential ticket in history, Democrat or Republican, has been a male-male combination.

This is the most crucial presidential election in history and we can't allow a Trump or a Cruz to win it. Only Hillary can beat these guys, but she first has to win the nomination and I won't throw away my vote just because I love Bernie and want to see the underdog go after the 1%. They're a smart bunch of demagogues, who will wait for the right time to strike, and they will win when it counts.

Loved the cats, NYC snowboarding, and Hornets but most of all the very moving and inspiring "Alive and Kickin" show.

While I'm with Sanders 100% ideologically, I wish he'd lighten up a little. Timothy Egan in the NY Times calls him dyspeptic which I think is right on target. As for the TV ad, I can't see why anyone would think this is the best political commercial ever: Just another piece of romanticized fluff, as far as I'm concerned, on a par with all the other vacuous crap we hear from candidates.

I did look closely at the Bernie Sanders ad twice and really see a lack of diversity in the makeup of his supporters. Maybe because it was shot in Iowa or Vermont, not in a city landscape.

I am still an undecided Democrat.

We've had everything else. Maybe it's time we had a wise grampa in the Whitehouse.

After seeing those F-18 clips, I have decided to become a naval aviator.

I'm with you, Diane, on the diversity on Bernie's ad. Although I love the song, of course---who wouldn't?---I don't see anything special in the ad and no matter how many times I look, the only diversity I see is in the staged shots. Maybe they include various ethnic types in the blizzard of snapshot faces, but those could as easily come from clip art.

Hillary has earned this. She worked hard, lost to Obama, but wasn't too proud to accept a job from him to add to her experiential resume. She's smart. She's tenacious. She's presidential. We will not have this opportunity again and, by God, I want to see it in my lifetime. What do we know about Bernie except that he's a cute Grampa type who has captured the imagination of easily swayed white millennials. Bernie can't beat Trump---not after they start playing the Commie and other negative cards which they have thus far refrained from using because they want a beatable opponent. Hillary can win. Will win. They have thrown every bit of mud they can at her and she has survived it. It would be a disaster if we allowed a few small-town caucuses to change the course of history and saddle us with a blustering demagogue who would represent us to the world.

Fists up, indeed. Ta'Nihisi Coates is having more of an influence than I'd imagined. But they don't have to leave the Girl Scouts; the President of GSA is a woman of color, and her take on Black Lives Matter is worthy of examination.

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