OBAMA CALLS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY EXPANSION
Several times during budget negotiations with Congress during his administration, President Barack Obama supported and even suggested cuts to Social Security:
”The cut Obama came closest to passing,” Huffington Post reminds us, “would have come from changes to the formula used to calculate annual cost-of-living adjustments that help benefits keep pace with inflation. The White House repeatedly offered it to congressional Republican leaders during fiscal cliff talks at the end of 2012.”
Apparently, he has now changed his mind. In a speech on Wednesday in Elkhart, Indiana, Obama backed the movement to expands Social Security. Take a listen:
More at Huffington Post.
CORNED BEEF SANDWICH IN SPACE
Nowadays, it is widely known that for all kinds of health and safety reasons, astronauts cannot have loose food in the weightless conditions of spacecraft. That wasn't entirely clear to at least one astronaut in the earliest days of our space program:
TRUMP BATHROOM TISSUE OUTSELLS CLINTON'S 6 TO 1
According to Raw Story, there is a lot of anti-Trump election paraphernalia being sold. The website recently highlighted one such item:
”The toilet paper rolls, which have been given the brand name 'Dump With Trump,' are being manufactured by Chinese company Qingdao Wellpaper Industrial Co Ltd, which says it started experiencing a spike in sales in mid-February this year.
“'At the start, orders were for around 100 rolls a time, but now we’re getting orders for 5,000 rolls,' a saleswoman told China Daily.”
The company also produces Hillary Clinton bathroom tissue but Trump is outselling that one six to one. Read more here.
JOHN OLIVER – HOW IS THIS NOT A THING?
John Oliver's HBO show, Last Week Tonight was off for the Memorial Day holiday last weekend but as has become a happy routine now, Oliver provided a short, Web-only exclusive.
This one is things that aren't things that ought to be things. You wonder about the kind of minds that can think up this stuff like this but I'm sure glad they exist.
THE GREAT WHITE SHARKS OF THE SKY
That's what they call falcons and some people are using the ancient art of falconry to protect airplanes and birds from one another. Take a look:
In a related story, eages are being trained to catch drones. As you have undoubtedly read, a lot of stupid people fly their personal drones near airports and other people are using them for nefarious purposes. Now, in The Netherlands, eagles are being trained to snatch drones right out of the sky:
”The birds of prey learn to intercept small, off-the-shelf drones — unmanned aerial vehicles — of the type that can pose risks to aircraft, drop contraband into jails, conduct surveillance or fly dangerously over public events,” reports The New York Times.
You can read more about this at The Times.
SOUNDS OF EXTINCTION
As the Youtube page explains:
”Bernie Krause has been recording wildlife sounds, or 'soundscapes,' for over forty years. He's amassed the largest archive in the world, and in doing so, can chart how wildlife sounds have changed over the course of climate change.
“Listen for yourself: the rising silence speaks volumes.”
TRY OUT AMAZON'S ALEXA
Even if we do not own an iPhone, most of us have heard of Apple's Siri, the disembodied personal assistant who answers questions in that device.
For the past year or so, Amazon has been selling a device called Amazon Echo that is operated by voice, connects to the internet and various devices around your home. Like the iPhone, Echo involves a personal assistant, this one called Alexa.
Perhaps the device has not been selling as well as Amazon desire because they have now created a web app that let's anyone talk with Alexa and ask her questions.
There is a full description of all that the Amazon Echo does here. You can try out the Alexa part of the Echo here.
You will, of course, need a microphone and speaker in your computer and you will also need an Amazon account – ID and password.
Be sure, when you are done playing with the Alexa app, to click off the microphone image so that you are not broadcasting everything you say over the internet.
EDIBLE SIXPACK HOLDERS
Too often, I find myself weeping for what we, humankind, have done to the environment of our one and only planet, at the immensity of the disaster we have wrought and that my puny efforts at recycliing are, in relation to the catastrophe, almost useless.
Some people, however, instead of wringing their hands like me, do something.
“A beer brewery in Florida,” explains the Gajitz website, “has created a set of 3D-printed edible and biodegradable can rings that double as food for sea turtles and other susceptible species known for getting their necks trapped inside of rings.”
Take a look at video:
Read more at Gajitz.
SALLY SELLS SEA SHELLS BY THE SEA SHORE
When I was a kid, I loved tongue-twisters. Surely you remember them too:
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood. Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches.
It turns out that one of my favorites is about a real person. Check out this about Sally sells sea shells by the sea shore.
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.