Cheating Death is an Ancient Dream



Yesterday, I posted instructions for John Oliver's direct link to the FCC comment page on the agency's net neutrality changes. In case you missed it, here it is again:

To get to the page, go to this URL, click on the word, “express” at the far right of the page. At the next page, you can fill in the form and let them know that you support net neutrality and Title 2.

Here is the procedure – Oliver has made it so much easier than the FCC does:

  1. Navigate in your browser to
  2. Click the word “express” on the right side of the page
  3. Fill in the form to support net neutrality and Title 2

It will take you only a few minutes to do this and if enough people do, we can save net neutrality – like last time, three years ago. (If you need a refresher about this issue, click here and scroll down about halfway.)

* * *


This is my president at the NATO meeting in Brussels this week. That's Dusko Markovic, prime minister of Montenegro, he's shoving aside. Watch:

That wasn't Trump's only moment of boorishness in Brussels. I am so embarrassed these days to be an American.


Pew Research released its latest survey of technology use among Americans age 65 and older. Although elders' adoption of internet, broadband, tablets, smartphones, etc. is still slower than younger people, it is growing – at least among the youngest old:


It doesn't thrill me the way Pew uses such language as “especially limited” among the oldest cohort, particularly when referencing individual devices. Maybe some people aren't interested or don't believe they need a tablet, for example. I don't. And a “dumb phone” may meet the needs of some.

But that's a small quibble in a fairly extensive survey.

Unsurprisingly, many say they need help using technology. All the more reason to have the terrific young women we talked about this week who started GTGTech to help elders get the hang of it.

There is much more the Pew survey than I've covered. You can find it here.


When we discuss loneliness versus being alone here, a large number of commenters – me too - insist they like their alone life. According to this video, that may be because we are among the smartest.

I'm not sure we should take any of this video seriously but it's fun and there is some interesting information.


According to this video, lion dancing is a demanding a sport. It is also

” age-old Chinese tradition meant to ward off evil spirits and welcome good ones. The dance—with its giant, dual-dancer costumes and kung fu-based movements—dates back to the Tang Dynasty of the 7th century.

I enjoyed the lion dancers dozens of times in New York's Chinatown. Here's a video that shows how they are trained:


Pretty much all media refuses to use the “O word” when referring to “old” people. There are more euphemisms than can be counted and I've written here about how it took me awhile, when I started this blog, to be comfortable attaching the word “old” to myself and to others. Now I barely notice.

Recently, reporter Mary Jacobs wrote an excellent piece (I would have said that even if she hadn't quoted me) titled Getting Old, Getting Loud: Be Proud of the “O” Word. A taste:

”Age may just be a number, but 90 is a really different number than 40, no matter how good you feel. And if it was 'just' a number, California legislators wouldn’t have felt compelled to pass a law last year requiring [the online movie database] to remove ages of actors and directors who don’t want the numbers published on the website.

“Supporters described the law as an effort to combat age discrimination, because actors, especially females, get passed over for roles as they get older. (A judge recently blocked the law.)

“But think about that for a minute. The way to stop age discrimination is to pass a law to enable older people to go underground? Old age is so embarrassing and shameful that we need to legally protect the right to hide it?”

Regular readers of TGB will instantly understand that Mary Jacobs is a woman after my own heart.

Before I link to Mary's website, I must show you the Dumbledore quotation from the Harry Potter books that she uses – it's my new favorite so you'll probably be seeing it here in the future more than once:

“Call him Voldemort, Harry,” he said. “Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”

Listen to Dumbledore, and read the rest of Mary's story at her website.


That's how old Richard Overton, America's oldest veteran, was when this video was shot. He turned 111 this month and returned home from the hospital just this week after a bout with pneumonia.

In this video shot two years ago in and around his home in Austin, Texas, he gives up some of his secrets to long life. Presented by National Geographic.


As The Guardian explained last week, the Global Seed Vault, near the Arctic Circle, was flooded recently due to global warming:

“The vault is on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen and contains almost a million packets of seeds, each a variety of an important food crop. When it was opened in 2008, the deep permafrost through which the vault was sunk was expected to provide 'failsafe' protection against 'the challenge of natural or man-made disasters.'”

None of the water gushing in reached the seeds. This time. Here is a short video of the vault:

You can read more at The Guardian and at The New York Times.


On a similar subject, the Trump administration wants to make further cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), of which the Weather Service is a part, even though the United States already lags behind European weather prediction models:

“'It’s gotten to the point that most meteorologists are just discounting the American models, especially for more than three days,' says Doug Kammerer, chief meteorologist at NBCUniversal’s WRC-TV in Washington, DC.,” reported in Wired magazine.

“Weather pros like Kammerer sometimes have to make a judgment call when the American and European models disagree. That’s no biggie when it comes to planning a backyard cookout or soccer game, but it has bigger implications when this year’s hurricane season starts on June 1.

“'When you are looking at a storm, a nor’easter or a hurricane coming up the coast, you need that lead time,' says Kammerer. 'The American models aren’t giving us the lead time we need to properly forecast storms.'”

This is serious stuff, folks. You can read more at Wired.


A week ago, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered an address about his city's efforts to remove monuments that prominently celebrate the “Lost Cause of the Confederacy” and promote white supremacy.

I would weep to have a president who thinks and speaks like this. (Thank my friend Jim Stone for this video.)


A guy put a camera in the bottom of a bucket of water, stuck it in the desert and waited to see what would happen. The YouTube page explains further:

”I was pleasantly surprised during the edit to see that George made an appearance. I know him from all the other rabbits because of the tiny notch in his ear. A burro just happened to come by in time to be included...Note: The swimming bees were rescued.”

* * *

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.


I lived in New Orleans from 1973 until Hurricane Katrina wiped me out in 2005. I spent many happy times hanging out with Mitch Landrieu and his kids at a neighborhood playground in the late 80s. He is very personable and people oriented. His speech really clarified for me why the monuments needed to be removed. Very stirring and eloquent!

Elbows himself forward..

"Step aside, losers, I'm The Wiz."

"I'm the Potentate of Pompous, the Master of Moonbeams, the Top of the Tops"

"My milkshakes are better than yours."

"By the way, some of you world leaders could use a total makeover, not mentioning any names, you know who you are. You've all got mirrors, I presume. I'm not saying the word "disaster, "but I'm thinking it, bigly."

Aside to SS agents..

"This Monte who something dude just looked at me the wrong way."

"Get him outta here."

How do we get Mitch, the mayor to run for president? How refreshing & intelligent! Have a great w/end, Ronni. Dee :)

I appreciate Mitch Landrieu's sentiment "put it all in the pot and make it better". I had some fantastic business related trips to New Orleans in the 1990s. He may have earned my tourist dollars.

Among all the cities I've visited, New Orleans is the favorite. It is a great city. I just learned that Mayor Mitch Landrieu is a great man. All Americans should hear him presenting the essential truth about our heritage. Thank you for sharing his speech.

It's excruciating to think we have a president like Donald Trump when there are people like Mayor Landrieu in this county.

Re: John Oliver's Net Neutrality site ""
When I clicked it yesterday and today using Google, I kept getting the same message that the FCC would not be taking comments for the next week or more.

In frustration I turned to Bing, where I got right into the site, found the comment form and filled it in. So if you're having trouble with Google, try Bing!

I just posted my comment using your link, Ronni, and it was fairly easy to do. Thank you for making it so easy. I would not want to thread the needle to do this without that help.

Then the smile that appeared on my face after viewing The Bucket video will remain there for the rest of the day. Priceless. Grand find.

Landrieu's been in government office since 1987 and I hope his star will soon be shining bright. He's a reminder of the possibilities this country possesses in its citizenry for leadership.

If there's something good to evolve from the 2016 election, it's the recognition for another political party, or for the Dems to reconsider their once-upon-a-time commitment to causes so everyone can seek and find what they need, including all those peering into the bucket.

So encouraging, to hear a man, a political man speak the way Mitch Landrieu does!!! Very heartening, indeed.

Nice and lively this week. Thanks. I have added The Field Lab to my blog roll and check it every day.

Having heard much about the Landrieu speech but never having heard it myself, it was great to learn that it was as good as its reputation. Whether he wrote it himself or not, he said it beautifully. He should be a rising star in the Democratic Party, and God knows we need one.

And then there's that other video, the one of our dear leader. How can we be anything except embarrassed. He has his Mussolini face on. He's preening and seems to be dreaming of a day when he's a real dictator, standing on a balcony reviewing his goose-stepping troops. How many of these Trump moments will we see over the next four years if he is not impeached?

I read Mitch Landrieu's speech on twitter. He spoke up for African Americans, inclusion and moving forward. He's a courageous man.

I'm 62. I know older people don't always have computers or smart phones. I was a trainer and worked in a 5 generation office. But, it's annoying to meet people who still have landlines and nothing else. Not even email. I understand but I feel like they don't want to be contacted. I use my landline primarily for business calls.

Loved the vid! Shared it on FB and twitter.

Tne first box website has me confuse. What they mean by proceeding? It says it's required and I don't know what to put in the box. Can someone please help?

It is already filled in when you arrive: 17-108. Or add that number yourself.

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