ENGLAND'S OLDEST STUNT MAN
Rocky Taylor has been a movie stunt man for 54 years, he's got the Guinness Record for it length of time at the job and he's not stopping any time soon.
”He’s been in over 14 Bond films, set sail (and sunk) aboard the Titanic, and swashbuckled alongside Indiana Jones,” the YouTube page tells us.
Even a near-death accident while shooting a stunt for Death Wish 3won't stop Taylor. Here's more of his story.
FIRST CHRISTMAS COMMERCIAL?
On Monday, 16 October, I saw a TV Christmas commercial for HSN.com.
Halloween is still two weeks away, Thanksgiving a month later and Christmas more than two months away. It makes me so tired. Can't we have one holiday at a time?
Has anyone else seen or heard a Christmas commercial yet?
REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
The workers are finally gaining control over much of the wildfires in California but there has been a horrible loss of life, of property and the forests themselves.
The families of those who died will live with that all their lives. Hundreds of others have lost their homes and everything they owned. The forests, although they will recover pretty much on their own in time, are gone for now too.
Here's a look at how magnificent they can be.
CHECKLISTS ARE BORING BUT BETTER THAN DEATH
The Harvard Gazette this week published a story about how checklists, boring old checklists, can and do save lives.
In the medical world, they started a few years ago at the urging of Atul Gawande, the Harvard professor, surgeon and writer for The New Yorker. He even wrote a book about value titled, The Checklist Manifesto – How to Get Things Right published in 2009.
As the Harvard Gazette reports:
”Checklists, smartphone apps, or other interventions are penicillin-like in their life-saving potential, said Gawande, who spoke Friday at Faneuil Hall as part of HUBweek.
“His checklist takes aim at preventable surgical deaths, the estimated cause of as many as half of all surgery-related deaths. Recently published research on a checklist trial in South Carolina hospitals showed a reduction of 22 percent of all surgical deaths.”
I've been using checklists pretty much every day of my life – for less that life-threatening reasons – and they have saved my bacon many times. So I have no doubt they save thousands of lives in medical situations. You can read more here.
WHY IS IT SO HARD TO CURE CANCER?
As you might imagine, this question is of greater interest to me these days than in the past. In fact, it was more than 50 years ago that I recall thinking cancer would not be an issue in my old age.
Yeah, right. This is a TED-Ed video that explains some of the intricacies that make curing cancer so difficult.
”LOOKING FOR THIS BOOK EVERYWHERE”
That was the message from my friend Jim Stone who sent along this book image he found somewhere online which seems particularly approprate this week as President Trump seems to be entirely off his rails.
HOW DA VINCI BROUGHT MONA LISA TO LIFE WITH SCIENCE
This video details how Leonardo Da Vinci made the Mona Lisa interactive using innovative painting techniques and the physiology of the human eye.
The video is adapted by The Atlantic from the new book, Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson and his story about it in the magazine:
Read more at The Atlantic.
GUNS, LAS VEGAS AND LIFE
Just so you know my friend Jim Stone is good for so much more than a quick profane laugh as above, he also sent a link to an essay by John Cole published at Balloon Juice following the horrific murders in Las Vegas. Here is a pertinent paragraph:
“It’s a fragile and short and wonderful thing being alive, and your life is really, truly, the only thing you have in this world. And that’s what is so damned maddening about these shootings.
“All of those people had the only thing that mattered stolen from them, literally robbed at gunpoint, just so a few people retain their unfettered right to own a little hand-held killing machine that makes their dick hard or gives them a grin for ten seconds at a firing range.”
Read the entire essay, titled The Selfishness of It All, here.
MONARCH BUTTERFLIES' WINTER MIGRATION
In recent years, the monarch butterly population has been declining while scientists try to work out how to stop it.
Meanwhile, however, they are still “the largest insect migration in the world which ends each year in Michoacán, Mexico.
”Millions of monarch butterflies travel from the United States and Canada to pass the cold months in the towering trees of this beautiful forest. On their incredible journey, the butterflies travel around 2,800 miles.”
Take a look.
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.