And Chemo Begins

INTERESTING STUFF – 16 September 2017


Today is the birthday of TimeGoesBy's inimitable Sunday musicologist. I'm not sure which one exactly but it's in the area of early 70s. His musical knowledge is phenominally wide and deep, and he's funny too.

Let's start the celebration singing along with a short version of the standard birthday song sung, in this case, by The Beatles, supposedly before they were well known.

Peter and I have known one another now for at least nine years; he and his assistant musicologist, Norma, have visited me twice. In between internet chitchat about his columns, Peter is wont to send me funny or messed up news stories from his local, Australian press.

This is his most recent from the Sydney Morning Herald. It's a serious story about a sex offender but someone screwed up the image beside it big time:


I have a fondness for fireworks on birthdays so here, Peter, is a video of one of the most creative and beautiful ones I've ever seen:

But no birthday is right without the obligatory cake and I found one that Peter will defintely approve of:


So wish Peter a HAPPY BIRTHDAY and don't forget to visit his music column on Sundays.


In Kassel, Germany, at the very site where Nazis once burned over 2,000 books by Jewish and Marxist writers, one artist has built a colossal tribute to free speech.

“The 'Parthenon of Books', YouTube tells us, is a giant temporary replica of the famous Greek temple in Athens. The installation is covered by more than 100,000 books that have been banned at various stages throughout history.

“Created by Argentine artist Marta Minujín, the exhibit is meant to spark debate over censorship in literature. Once the exhibition is over, these books will be handed out to allow the banned to enter literary circulation once more.

As far as I am concerned, there is no book that should ever be banned. Even the hateful and incorrigible should be retained to impart an understanding of evil and as warnings.


As YouTube explains:

”Filmmaker John Downer has spent much of his life capturing footage of wildlife, but it wasn’t until he and his team created robotic animals with built-in spy cameras that he was able to record rare footage of animal behavior in the wild, essentially from the perspective of the animal.”

The robots are so realistic that at first I thought it wasn't nice to fool animals this way but then I changed my mind. Take a look:


Remember when I posted a video about eagles in a tiny town in Alaska called Unalaska a few weeks ago? Apparently, for such a small place, a lot of things of interest go on there.

Here is a video about Unalaska's bell ringers:


It has been 11 years since I left New York City and as I tell anyone who is willing to listen to me, I miss it every day. This week, I ran across a website called Women that held a little quiz titled, “Can You Finish These 16 NYC Phrases West Coasters Just Don't Get?”

Of course, I took the challenge and here's my result:


I'm pleased to know I haven't lost my New York chops. You can try the quiz here.


It has been more than a decade since Japan's first cat cafe opened and they are so popular, many countries have adopted the idea. Just recently, one stationary cafe in Japan expanded to include a cat cafe on a train:

You can read more about this cat train at Atlas Obscura.


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been all over television this week talking up her just-published book about the 2016 election campaign titled, What Happened. Here is the cover the The New Yorker had ready if she had won the presidency.



With all the horrendous hurricane damage thse past two weeks, there has hardly been any reporting on the many large and terrifying wild fires throughout the western United States.

One of them in Oregon, named the Eagel Creek Fire, has taken out much more area than I'd realized from local new reports. As of Thursday, it had been confirmed that the fire was started by kids setting off fireworks. Here's what the YouTube page says:

”This Google Earth flyover integrates infrared scanning data to highlight the Columbia Gorge landmarks threatened by the Eagle Creek fire including the Bull Run watershed, the source of the Portland area's drinking water.

“Areas shaded in orange are inside the fire perimeter; red spots indicate intense wildfire heat. The approximate ignition point has been confirmed by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group and eyewitnesses.”

The fire is still raging.


Last Monday was the 16th anniversary of 9/11 when terrorists (successfully) drove airplanes into the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and a field in Pennsylvania killing everyone aboard all three planes.

Here is a tribute to the rescue dogs that helped recover the injured and dead at the Twin Towers.

All working dogs, but especially rescue dogs, awe me with their selflessness and eagerness to help 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.


Happy Birthday Peter! I look forward to you Sunday posts. You have taught me so much about music, artists and composers. I appreciate you!

That's a scary fire story. However we have heard from a Portland friend who is a naturalist that this is the sort of fire that the forest in question is well adapted to; most trees should survive it. That doesn't help people who have buildings in its path tho ...

And happy birthday Peter!

Peter, here's wishing you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I always look forward to your Sunday contribution to TGB. Not only is it all informative, and often very nostalgia producing, it's just plain fun. Many thanks to you.

Cannot believe I scored 100% on the New York quiz. I've never been there! Just guessed on many of them.


Have a grand birthday, Peter.

You truly fill my Sunday morning with the loveliest and liveliest of sounds, or a thrill of something new. Of course, there are those rare times I press the pause early on, but that's an exception.

You are a treasure.


Enjoyed all articles this week, though with grief over the fires of areas loved and lost.

Good stuff today Ronni. I especially like the interview photo you added to the top banner. :)

Happy birthday Peter!! The bell ringer segment was wonderful. Montana's many fires have raged all summer, so yesterday's dramatic shift in temperature and soaking rains were a huge relief and resulted in snow in the mountains. PBS aired a five-part series on the animal robots, Spy in the Wild that is absolutely excellent. Wonderful assortment today, Ronni.

VERY grateful to learn from Heidi that things are better in Montana, confirming what my sister who lives there had told me.
VERY happy to wish Peter a VERY happy birthday. Auguri di cuore! We are all so grateful for your contributions to TGB and to our lives. Thank you.
VERY grateful for all the wonderful interesting stuff you pulled together for us, Ronni. Thank you.

I grew up outside NYC, but left for the Midwest 60 years ago. Still I scored 100 on the True New Yorker quiz. Its mark is indelible!
Happy birthday to Peter and wishes of support and friendship to you, Ronni.

So much great material this week! Happy Birthday, Peter.
Here in CO, I'd gotten used to the big fires being right here. It saddens me that there are so many big fires farther west that their smoke was enough to blot out our mountains (even webcams in Boulder couldn't see the mountains) and cause pollution warning days. I hate forest fires with a vengeance.
The rescue dog video made me cry. I love those dogs so much, have always had a dog, and some of them looked just like my dog Annie (golden retriever mix).
The bell ringer was amazing! I guess that's how it was done before keyboards were invented.
Amazed I got 100% on the NY test. It has to be from watching so much TV. So many shows are set in NY.

The rescue dogs flooded me w awe, gratitude, sadness, and love. I adore animals. Why doesn't everybody? The Alaskan bell ringer filled me w joy and admiration for one family's legacy down the generations, each contributing to sustaining their faith and community traditions.

Happy birthday, Peter!

Happy Birthday Peter.

From birthday to bells to rescue dogs. Great post. Although the planes flew into the buildings, in my language, not drove them. :-) Your posts are great, that just caught me.

happy, happy birthday, Peter, and thank you for the great pleasures of your musicological gifts on Sundays. I trust and hope you will enjoy many returns of this day --- and continue to delight and educate us.

As to this Saturday's offerings, Ronni, I was grateful that you included the Kassel Parthenon of Banned Books -- I can well imagine, had I been able to visit the Dokumenta, I would have probably spent most of my time here. Cheers to the creators and their plan to get these books back into circulation again.

I was also taken with the moving New Yorker cover that never got to be shown, to my knowledge until you came along. Having spent a few glorious hours this week listening to both Hillary interviews I had access to, the one with Rachel Maddow and the one with Ezra Klein [on his VOX program] - I awoke the next morning thinking that best of all was hearing clear and intelligent talk between extremely articulate and smart people -- something I have desperately missed since January 20, 2017.. It felt as if sanity had returned [see today's WashPost piece called "Trump is Killing Us" -- about the physical effects of his presidency on the health of those who are forced to listen to him far too often].

The rescue dogs moved me greatly, and I thank you for that clip.

And of course the cat cafe train! I want to ride on it every day.

thank you, thank you. ruth-ellen

Happy birthday to Peter! One of the recent So Cal fires reportedly was started accidentally by fireworks, but had read the Oregon teen(s) allegedly may have been a bit more malicious and/or uncaring.

P.S. My inaccurate quote from the Washington Post needs correction:

the piece is actually called "President Trump is Killing Me. Really."

It is by Dana Milbank, a regular commentator, and initially appeared on 9/15/17.

I do recommend it. Have a look. Ruth-Ellen

I wonder if the 'True New Yorker' quiz might be a come-on to gather electronic data. I'm not going to try it, but I suspect that perhaps everyone gets 100% right...even if they do it again with different answers....

Have a musical birthday, Peter. I can't tell you how much your Sunday selections have meant to me. Even though I do not always comment I always listen. They are helping me to recover the sound of music that I lost when I had a cochlear implant.

Music means so much to me and I do appreciate being able to listen to one beautiful piece after another. It has really helped my old brain recognize each instrument now. When I started the violins were so faint and squeaky that I had no idea what they were playing and the French Horns and other lower treble instruments were just a loud rumble drowning everything else out. You have helped me teach my brain to recognize them and music is coming back.

And, of course, the old standards that were popular when I was young (yes, I wasn't always a grumpy old lady) have brought back so many memories.

So, thank you, Peter, so much. Have a wonderful birthday and drink that bottle of good wine you have been saving for a special occasion.

Happy Birthday Peter!
Cheers! to a Birth-year filled with music and laughter!

Sad to see the wildfires on the Columbia River. It was so lush and green when we were there with Ronni (in the rain, lunch at Multnomah Falls), it’s hard to imagine it so dry and flammable. But it happens here too. Some Aussie vegetation has evolved to depend on fire to re-seed, and some is killed off by hot fires. I don’t know how the US forests respond.

I did like the bellringer, and her comment “It isn’t as easy as it looks.”

I also got 100% NYC with several guesses, and thanks to Ronni’s reference to her neighbourhood ‘bodega’ a couple of days ago. Sadly there was no option to say “NY coffee with 2 creams and 2 sugars doesn’t deserve a name!” I wonder if I’d get the same result going back and guessing differently? As someone commented above “clickbait”, but entertaining.

Must be something amiss with the scoring mechanism on the New York quiz. I've never even been there, and it said I scored 100%. I find that pretty unbelievable. I'd always hoped to visit NY some day, but I've run out of some days as far as travel goes. I wouldn't fly coach in the unfriendly skies over the U.S. if the airlines paid ME.

Cat café on a train? Great. I'm for anything that helps kitties find loving homes or even companionship and affection. Some cats don't do well with noise, activity and crowds--that would be my only concern.

I live near Seattle, WA, and there's so much smoke from the wildfires in both Oregon and the Eastern half of our state that we're under a serious air quality warning. Any other time (i.e., absent two hugely destructive hurricanes and flooding in TX and FL) these fires would probably be receiving more media coverage but they've been upstaged. Unfortunately, it's all related to climate change, IMO, but The Orange Apparition, Scott Pruitt & Co. do not believe in climate change, so we can expect even more severe weather extremes in the future.

That's 72, which is not a prime number (I like primes). However, it does factorize to the first two primes: 2^3*3^2
Thanks everyone for your kind words. This was quite unexpected, but knowing Ronni, perhaps I should have anticipated it.

Happy Birthday, Peter, and many happy returns of the day. I always enjoy your Sunday columns, and there is always something new to me there. I've never been Down Under, but would like to visit one day. My husband's been to Sydney and loved it. Someday, maybe, I'll make it.

Great Saturday collection, Ronni. I've been in NYC since the mid-eighties, but somehow don't think of myself as a New Yorker, maybe because I have always had a love-hate relationship with this town. I'm rarely out on a Saturday night, but (at my daughter's request) ventured down to the San Gennaro fest tonight. Mulbery Street was packed from Prince to Canal, mostly a younger crowd...all the sensible folks my age were home in bed, methinks.

And that New Yorker cover! My soul sighed...

All the best, Peter for belated birthday greetings and many thanks to you and Norma, for your excellent blog

Hope Peter's birthday was great.

I'm very sad about the huge raging fires everywhere but the gorge is a heart breaker for me. From Astoria to E. Washington it has figured in my family's time together recreationally and in my father's work. While it's true it will eventually recover I doubt the protected area will really recover in my lifetime. Meanwhile thank God for snow in Montana, seems like the whole state is on fire. It will take the rains and snow to really put these things out.

As for the New Yorker would-be cover, I wish. Sigh. I may not outlive to see the damage repaired that tRump has done to our country. :-( But try we must for the next generations.

I took the True New Yorkers test and got 100% too. I guessed on a couple of answers which made me suspicious of my score, so I re-took the test and changed my answers on the questions I was unsure of. Surprise! I still got  100%. Maybe more than one answer was considered correct for a question, or maybe the test is more of a feel-good test than a real one. I suspect the latter.

The New Yorker cover is heart-breaking. if Hillary had won, seeing that cover would have filled us with excitement and hope for the future instead of dread, fear, and overwhelming disgust. This is especially true for elders who likely won't be around to see many more presidents. Tragic beyond words.

I too received a 100% score while guessing at answers. Hmmmmm, perhaps all answer are the 'correct' one.

Or perhaps it was meant to give us all the same feeling - a New York moment...?

Wonderful segments, as usual! Also 100% on the New Yorker quiz. I'm convinced there were no wrong answers as I guessed at them all.

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