How Elders and Their Physicians Might Collaborate
ELDER MUSIC: Classical Gas - Part 6



Shortly before he left the presidency, Barack Obama sat down for an extensive interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates to discuss what it is like to be a symbol of power and the recipient of people's anger and excitement.

This short excerpt stands out, in contrast to our new president, for its thoughtfulness, charm and intelligence.

Read Coates's full interview at The Atlantic.


The latest season of House of Cards starts streaming at Netflix on Tuesday 30 May. Is it possible that Kevin Spacey's president is scarier than the one we have? It seems so in this trailer.


Most of you, and certainly I, are old enough to remember the guffaws when the administration of President Ronald Reagan tried to name ketchup a vegetable in nutritional regulations for school lunches.

Now there is the Trump Department of Agriculture under Secretary Sonny Perdue lowering nutritional requirements put in place at the behest of First Lady Michelle Obama:

”As his first major action in office, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the Agriculture Department will delay an upcoming requirement to lower the amount of sodium in meals while continuing to allow waivers for regulations that all grains on the lunch line must be 50 percent whole grain.

“'By forgoing the next phase of sodium reduction, the Trump administration will be locking in dangerously high sodium levels in school lunch,' Wootan said.”

You can read more at the Washington Post.

In other political food news, a Republican Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama offered an amendment to the American Health Care Act that would ”...require sicker people to pay more in insurance costs than people 'who lead good lives,'” whatever that means.

Who ARE these people? Talking Points Memo has more detail.


Pretty much everyone complains about walking into a room and forgetting why they are there. It's mostly old folks who get tagged with that shortcoming but this research contends that memory isn't the difficulty, doorways are. See what you think.

Thank laura and her daughter Sara for this item.


My friend Wendl Kornfeld sent this – a very strange teenage girl fad from her ancestral homeland. Take a look:

Did you watch until the end? Did you see that his video is a trailer for the a full-length movie? There is even a whole website about it – the fad, not the movie. I do not know what to say about this. You can read a little more here.


If you were and/or still are a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, you certainly recall the tricorder, a hand-held medical instrument used by those future fictional physicians to diagnose disease and collect health information by just waving it over ther patient's body.

Now, there may be something similar for us in the not too distant future. It's called DxtER (pronounced Dexter) and is, according to a story in Salon,

”...a tablet-based system that uses several biological sensors and analytic software that can track vital signs and uncover medical conditions — 34 in all, from diabetes and pulmonary diseases to tuberculosis and Hepatitis A.”

The inventors, a seven-member team of friends and relatives from Pennsylvania, just won a Qualcomm international contest that gives them

The “tricorder” is even more impressive than I have indicated. Take a look at this:

You can learn a lot more about it in the Salon story.


As the YouTube page explains, Gordon Hempton, a “soundtracker” is on a personal quest to preserve silence in nature. Twelve years ago, Hempton resolved to find the quietest place in Washington's Hoh rainforest, itself a haven of silence. Take a look:


You may have noticed that a book by First Daughter Ivanka Trump was published this week. It has been pretty well trashed in many reviews and this item was every critic's favorite revelation:

"'During extremely high-capacity times, like during the campaign, I went into survival mode: I worked and I was with my family; I didn’t do much else,' Trump writes.

"'Honestly,' she continues, 'I wasn’t treating myself to a massage or making much time for self-care. I wish I could have awoken early to meditate for 20 minutes and I would have loved to catch up with the friends I hadn’t seen in three months, but there just wasn’t enough time in the day.'"

You can find the quotation all over the web including here.


What could be better, especially after that last item:

Edgar’s Mission is a not for profit sanctuary in Australia for rescued farmed animals that seeks to create a humane and just world for humans and non-humans.

* * *

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.


Ah, if only Gordon Hempton's lovely video had used subtitles rather than a voice-over.

In 1995 the League of Women Voters got a "Ban the Buzz" law passed that forever forbids commercial air tours in Rocky Mountain National Park. But that's only part of the problem.

Biologist Kurt Fristrup, creator of the park service’s soundscape project, explained:

“Imagine you’re an owl looking for your dinner. A three decibel increase in sound level cuts in half the area in which you could hear those sounds. So you are half as efficient in finding food, with a relatively subtle increase in background sound level.”

Prey animals, like small birds, have a harder time hearing predators as the background decibels climb, and all animals need to hear to communicate.

So please, don't litter our parks with either trash or noise.

I remember vividly the joy of silence around me on summer days when I was outdoors . No airplanes, motorized lawn mowers, or other sounds to interfere with the sweet sounds of bird song, insects buzzing or an occasional barking dog. Where I grew up, even cars were seldom driven.
BY the end of WW II it seems everything had become mechanized ( and noisier by the day)
I hope today we can at least protect our wonderful national parks from as much noise-invasion as possible

If only the tricorder were available now, Ronni. You might be able to have a diagnosis for your mystery malady.

I had a mystery malady some years ago and no doctor could diagnose it. It doesn't bother me anymore since it hasn't killed me or does not interfere with my life, so I have learned to live with it. Nonetheless, like you, I would like to know what is causing it.

A baby 'anything' is cute and those farm babies were a definite day brightener. Thank you for that.

Total silence is easy for me to achieve. I simply remove the sound processor from my head. :-).

What I knew as a Hobby Horse is not what they are showing. What they are doing seems rather strange to me.

I was fortunate to have been able to attend an evening program and an early morning listening outing in a local forest preserve with Gordon Hempton back in 2014. He very graciously sent all the participants a digital recording of the outing that I still enjoy listening to. The bird song, frogs, babbling stream and other natural sounds are very soothing, in spite of the hum of traffic on surrounding roads, even at 4:00-5:00 a.m. Yesterday, there was a program on NPR about noise pollution and a short time later I was at a condo in a subdivision just a few yards from the tollway going from the city where I live to Chicago. The traffic noise was awful and I can't imagine living with it day and night.

I find the words and thoughts of Coates, in everything I've read by him, to be very thoughtful and intelligent, as are those of President Obama. The excerpt here is an excellent example of the contrasts between our 44th and 45th presidents. :eaves me again asking, "HOW DID WE GET HERE?"

Thank you for ending, as always, on a high note that brings smiles. It can be hard to get enough of those these days.

Oops -- that first word of the last sentence in the second paragraph should be 'leaves.'

I watched the hobby horse video on YouTube and inadvertently left it running after the video ended. Naturally, as YouTube vidos do, it segued into the "up next" video, which was hilarious and not at all respectful of the feelings (real or feigned) of the little hobby horse girls. Strange is indeed the word.

The comments to this entry are closed.