Do You Want to Know When You Will Die?
ELDER MUSIC: Surf Side Ten

INTERESTING STUFF – 25 February 2017

There is such an abundance this week of “interesting stuff” that I hardly knew where to begin. Here are some of them.


Yes, it's true. Last month, four million Monopoly fans voted on which game tokens to keep and which to get rid of:

You can read more about the changes in this classic game here and here.

What's your favorite Monopoly token? I've always liked the top hat.


Astronomers have found a nearby solar system with seven Earth-sized planets, three of which circle their parent star at the right distance for liquid surface water, raising the prospect of life.

This is such exciting news that there are already hundreds of places online to read more about the newly discovered planets. Here is one.


For half a century or more, my go-to newspaper as been The New York Times and I doubt that will change in whatever lifetime is left to me.

But more frequently in the past year or so, I spend an equal amount of time with the Washington Post and that is attributable to the “new” editor since December 2012, Martin Baron.

If you saw the movie Spotlight, you know who he is and he has so improved the Post journalistically, that it is now about as far a you can get from the dreary little rag it used to be.

This past week, something new turned up on the front page nameplate of the paper. The New York Times has always had its motto: “All the news that's fit to print” and now the Post has added one:


Did you see that slogan just under the paper's name? “Democracy Dies in Darkness” seems to me to be a perfect choice for our times that will carry well into whatever the future brings.


A 3-foot by 20-foot banner reading "Refugees Welcome" was hung last week just below the observation deck of the Statue of Liberty. It happened on the day that the Department of Homeland Security announced expanded immigration enforcement policies.

You can read more about it at Talking Points Memo.


One reason the new president is so ubiquitous is that all other news seemed to have stopped and there is nothing to know unless it involves Trump.

For a week, The New York Times technology columnist, Farhad Manjoo, avoided as much Trump news as possible. Here are some of his observations:

”My point: I wanted to see what I could learn about the modern news media by looking at how thoroughly Mr. Trump had subsumed it," Manjoo wrote. "In one way, my experiment failed: I could find almost no Trump-free part of the press...

“President Trump is inescapable...

“I spent more time on international news sites like the BBC, and searched for subject-specific sites covering topics like science and finance. I consulted social news sites like Digg and Reddit, and occasionally checked Twitter and Facebook, but I often had to furiously scroll past all of the Trump posts...

“During my break from Trump news, I found rich coverage veins that aren’t getting social [media] play. ISIS is retreating across Iraq and Syria. Brazil seems on the verge of chaos. A large ice shelf in Antarctica is close to full break. Scientists may have discovered a new continent submerged under the ocean near Australia...

“In previous media eras, the news was able to find a sensible balance even when huge events were preoccupying the world. Newspapers from World War I and II were filled with stories far afield from the war.

“Today’s newspapers are also full of non-Trump articles, but many of us aren’t reading newspapers anymore. We’re reading Facebook and watching cable, and there, Mr. Trump is all anyone talks about, to the exclusion of almost all else...

“There’s no easy way out of this fix. But as big as Mr. Trump is, he’s not everything — and it’d be nice to find a way for the media ecosystem to recognize that.”

If you're not a subscriber to the Times and you haven't used up your monthly story allocation, you can read all of Farhad Manjoo's article here.


It's good to have John Oliver back at his weekly perch on the HBO program, Last Week Tonight. Most recently, he took on the man who appears to be President Donald Trump's new best friend, Russian President Vladimir Putin.


This is a fascinating little documentary on the commode, throne, privy, latrine, potty, whatever you want to call it. It is not as new an invention as you might think and no, it was not invented by Thomas Crapper (isn't that too bad.)


Just about every time I eat in a restaurant – any kind of restaurant – my bathroom scale shows me two pounds heavier the next morning.

It's not that I overeat in restaurants, it is that everything is salted beyond any reasonable amount that a human should consume in one day, let along one meal. So my body bloats with retained water, although the two pounds are gone by the following morning.

For some time, New York City restaurants have been required by the Department of Health to let customers know when menu items exceed recommended limits of sodium. The restaurant industry sued over that requirement and they lost.

Here is what the medical website STAT reported about that:

”The restaurant industry will have to stay salty about a New York City mandate imposed on high-sodium items on menus. An appeals court has affirmed that the city’s mandate — which requires menus to stick a salt-shaker symbol next to dishes that contain more than a day’s worth of sodium — was legal and well within the limits of the health department’s authority.

“The restaurant industry said that the menu symbols violated their right to free speech and could run the risk of confusing customers.

“The recommended daily limit of sodium is 2,300 mg [less that 1,500 for people 50 and older]. The CDC has estimated that around 90 percent of Americans, both adults and children, take in too much sodium.”

I wish restaurants where I live would let me know on the menu what the sodium amount is.


The Oscars are coming up on Sunday night and as MTV News online told it in a feature story last year, this dog will never win one but he seems to be the smartest dog on television:

”The most talented movie star in America is two and a half feet tall, 7 years old, and 39 pounds. He has brown eyes, a natural black vest and tail, and his pale chest, arms, and legs are dotted with tan freckles. His name is Jumpy.”

Take a look. You'll be amazed at how often you've seen him.

* * *

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.


Interesting about the news & * . I also am so done with him & the news about him. Narcisistic hyperbole in the highest degree. I'm not sure I can put up with much more of him. I wish Canada weren't so cold.......LOL.

And Jumpy made the day. Thanks Ronni. Dee :)

Great post today. Had to share a couple of them, including the video on toilets, planets, and the Statue of Liberty's temporary sign. Thanks!

Interesting topics today, Ronni. But then, your Saturday posting is always that. Just to add to the Monopoly question, my favorite was always the iron which has been discarded as well. I always liked the little handle for ease in picking it up. Your video says it was replaced with the cat charm. I do like cats much better than I ever liked ironing (back in the day), but for playing the game the little iron was best!

Interesting posts again today. I heard an episode on NPR's Science Friday yesterday about the seven planets and find this discovery or revelation very intriguing. I think one of the things that makes me saddest about contemplating my own mortality is not knowing how this whole thing -- life, the universe and everything -- plays out. Are these planets being discovered now so that there may be an escape hatch for those who come after us and may need another planetary option after ours becomes uninhabitable for what ever reason. I've never been much of a fan of science fiction or fantasy literature, but these days I can more easily see the attraction.

I loved the video of the toilet history and the quote by the author of "The Big Necessity." It truly boggles my mind how those living in the first world so easily take for granted many basic things that billions of people in other countries live without and the absence of which leads to the illness and death of so many people each year. I often think about this when standing in front of literally hundreds of choices of frozen treats in the cream section of any modern grocery store in even an average size U.S. city. Oh the absurdity!

Oops -- that should have been "ice cream" section. I have never been in a grocery store offering hundreds of different selections of cream -- although options for coffee 'creamers' is getting close.

I haven't seen a Monopoly set since I was a kid, when we played for hours or even a weekend at a time. Makes me sad to think that if I went back to it, the tokens would be different. I think I played mostly with the dog, or the race car.

Love WaPo's new slogan. Certainly is timely.

I'm all for non-Trump news, and it can be difficult to find it. But isn't that exactly what he intends -- to always be the center of attention? I hate that the media keep obliging him.

I really appreciated Mr. Manjoo's column. I am tired of 45's drama. Could we have a day without 45? He would have a meltdown. He's going to have a meltdown after the Oscars. I guarantee it.

I follow the rogue federal agencies on SM & read about the EOs that have been signed affecting the environment which is an issue of mine. I also follow Indivisible on SM.

I follow news about the world in my local paper. I also attend a lecture series on foreign relations given by a local college.

I love the Washington Post's new slogan.

Well Lent is coming up next week Wednesday and I am going to try and do a "Trump News" blackout for the 40 days.

I may have to replace my NYT news feed with the BBC news and just read the funnies in the local paper in order not to get sucked into the articles. I also plan to limit PC and iPhone use as well. Probably be good for me. May even start reading books again.

I don't watch broadcast news and rarely watch TV at all. The TV in the Man cave (spare bedroom) does not even have a cable connection - just to the DVD/Blu-ray player and Netflix. So that medium will not be a problem.

This may be next to impossible but I am so weary of the never ending "Trump news" reporting, not to mention the antics of the Trumpster and his cronies, I just have to have a break.

I'll tell a friend to text me if WW3 breaks out :-)

The wooden milk bottle was my favorite.

the best thing in the country would be that the new WAPO subhead become more than merely a slogan. it had better become a rallying cry for any of the mainstream media expecting to survive this bitter battle to render them irrelevant and obsolescent. reporters had better hit the streets and start to dig like the great ones of old. the relevance the post desires...requires, will have to be earned every day. there is a clear majority of us who clearly understand whence the fake news cometh. /

My token was the ship – I always tried to get that one.
Unfortunately, those "Earth-like" planets only resemble us in size, and that they are in the theoretical habitable zone. Unfortunately, they circle a red dwarf star, which is only about 8% the size of the sun, thus, to be in its habitable zone, their orbits are all closer in than Mercury's. As they are so close to the star, they are tidally locked so the same side always faces the star – thus one size is searingly hot and the other freezing.

One thing the news is ignoring in their zeal to cover the president's every move is the impressive stock market performance over the past month. Am I the only person here whose well-being is (to a large degree) supported by a very modest IRA that is FINALLY earning some money?

I ignore most news articles except those that pertain to Social Security, Medicare and my little stash of IRA money. At this point in my life economic survival is paramount, especially as a single older woman who is making every effort to avoid being a burden to her grown children and grandchildren!

Oops, that should be one side, not one size.

I'm a daily NY Times reader (still the paper, not online). I think of it has a privilege to have access to it. I agree about the Post. I just signed up for a great deal for it via Amazon. Free for 6 months, then about $4 a month for another 6 months. The Times and the Post have been killing it getting leaks from intelligence people re Trump. At some point maybe we will be rid of him.

I loved the dog video.

Thanks Ronnie.

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