Old People's Take on the 2016 Presidential Campaign
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INTERESTING STUFF – 7 May 2016

LONDON MARATHON IN SPACE

Last Sunday, the city of London held it's annual marathon. British astronaut Tim Peake ran the race in real time in the International Space Station. Peake is not the first astronaut to run a marathon in space; two preceded him and it's not easy.

Take a look:

You can read more about marathon running in the space station at The Guardian.

JOHN OLIVER – CICADAS

John Oliver's HBO program, Last Week Tonight, was off last Sunday but he delivered a short web exclusive about this year's cicada return in the eastern United States after their 17 years underground.

It's not what you think.

A NEW WAY TO TRACK YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN D.C.

ProPublica has taken over a data project from The New York Times that will expand and make it easier for us to track what our elected officials are doing in Congress:

”While the original interactive database at The Times focused on bills and votes, our new project adds pages for each elected official, where you can find their latest votes, legislation they support and statistics about their voting.

“As we move forward we want to add much more data to help you understand how your elected officials represent you, the incentives that drive them and the issues they care about.”

And there is more:

“This isn’t the only congressional data site out there, and our goal is to send visitors to other sites that offer valuable features. That’s why we’re linking to individual lawmaker and bill pages on GovTrack and C-SPAN, for example.”

The service is named Represent, is easy to navigate and updated daily. Here is a screen grab of its main page:

Represent

Try it out here, and you can read about how it came about, what it can do for you now and what is planned for the future at ProPublica.

SLACK COMMERCIAL FOR AMAZING TEAMS

Those of us long out of the workforce may not know that Slack is an online messaging service for teams that, they tell us, reduces the number of emails and meetings needed.

I've never used Slack – I probably don't need it - but like the two commercials I showed you last week, this one is a standout – the animal workers are rendered magnificently as individuals.

JIMMY KIMMEL AND REAL SCIENTISTS TAKE ON SARAH PALIN

There's a movie going around that purports to disprove climate change and Sarah Palin has been promoting it. Last week, on his ABC-TV late night show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel along with some real-life scientists, took on her misguided allegations:

THE OLDEST SAKE DISTILLERY IN THE WORLD – 850 YEARS

Maybe I've told you before that what I like best when I visit Israel is walking the streets of the old city in Jerusalem where, knowing that for 4,000 years people have lived and loved and fought and died and walked exactly where I am, I can feel my place in the continuity of human life through all those generations as I can nowhere else.

Once, a man selling household goods told me his family had operated that stall for a thousand years. Maybe that's true, maybe it's not. The point is that it could be.

Below is a video about the oldest sake distillery in the world. Situated in Obara, Japan, it has been in the same family for more than eight centuries.

”After the 2011 earthquake and nuclear meltdown, they feared the water in their ancient wells had been poisoned and they would have to close. Luckily, the water was deemed safe and today they carry on their (very long) time-honored tradition.

I found this video at Great Big Story.

NEW TIME-KEEPING FOR A DIGITAL AGE

In the Metropolitan Diary column of The New York Times this week, reader Martin Hochbaum reports:

”Dear Diary:

“My commuter bus home from New York City leaves from Gate 20 in the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The sign posted next to the bus line’s departure schedule reads, 'Due to the inconsistencies of Port Authority clocks, all buses will leave on cellphone time.'

“Surely it won’t be long before CPT becomes accepted as the standardized acronym for all scheduling.”

EVOLUTION OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Time Goes By reader Cathy Johnson sent this video about how far back in history you and I would be able to understand the English language.

There is an interesting discussion of the historical language changes covered in the video at the YouTube page.

DARING RESCUE OF A CAT IN A TREE

The cat has been stuck high up in a tree in the Bronx for five days or so. Finally, an animal activist, Pedro Rosario, said he'd climb the tree in a rescue effort:

”Rosario is originally from the Dominican Republic, where he said people climb trees all the time, but he had not climbed one in a while, so he was initially very nervous about his rescue attempt.

“However, he eventually summoned the courage to start his ascent, rented a ladder to give him a boost and was ultimately able to get Missy down safely - although she did not seem that grateful to be rescued.

"'I got on the tree,' he said. 'I climbed all the way up to the top, grabbed the cat, got bit by the cat, got scratched by the cat. But we got it down.'”

You can watch the rescue in this video, and read more at dnainfo.com.

* * *

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” 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.

Comments

Good morning Ronni. Happy weekend!

Another great, purely factual and informative site for political education is Vote Smart. Records of votes, clear explanations of issues and wide ranging.

Although I've been to England at least a dozen times, have had countless friends from all over the Empire, lately I have to watch favorite UK TV series with CAPTIONS on, for crying out loud, because I can't quite grasp the accents and vernacular anymore -- and it has nothing to do with the volume. How humiliating to need subtitles for the same language you can hear perfectly well!

Ronni

I loved the Slack commercial,especially the beaver sharpening his pencil with his teeth.. The whole thing is so clever and entertaining.
Thanks for posting it...

I loved the video on the English language. It's fascinating to learn about the evolution of a maddening and difficult language. And it's still evolving. Not for the better, I fear.

Cats are usually ungrateful for things we do for them. After all, they own us and we are their slaves. It's not surprising to me that the kitten bit and scratched it's rescuer. I have been bitten and scratched by our resident cat when I moved his paw that was digging in my leg, even though I had been giving him loving strokes when I did so.

Very entertaining Interesting Stuff today, Ronni; thank you. John Oliver's attempt to explain Donald Trump to cicadas was pretty amusing. The sake video was fascinating, and the trees in it are awesome!

I subscribed to Slack not too long ago and find pretty much everything about it very well done.

And kudos to Pedro Rosario for climbing that tree and performing that rescue. I hope he soon recovered from his treatment by the cat. I suppose it's a good example of the saying, "No good deed goes unpunished."

I loved the climate change video. Also John Oliver's brief explanation of the last 17 years to cicadas.

The man climbing a tree and throwing down the cat was great. Probably the cat didn't appreciate being rescued, but it was exciting to watch the cooperation among the humans.

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