Six Months Into Cancer Treatment
ELDER MUSIC: Various Classical

INTERESTING STUFF – 9 December 2017


The New York Times has a beautiful collection of department store Christmas windows from around the world:

Saks Fifth Avenue, New York City:


Selfridges, London:


Many more to see at the NYT.


When the Apple iPhone X was released a few weeks go, a big deal was the facial recognition to indentify the owner and unlock the phone.

Apparently, it is not quite as secure as advertised as the parents explain:

”We were sitting down in our bedroom and were just done setting up the Face IDs, our 10-year-old son walked in anxious to get his hands on the new iPhone X. Right away my wife declared that he was not going to access her phone.

Acting exactly as a kid would do when asked to not do something, he picked up her phone and with just a glance got right in.”

Here's a re-creation of the event with mom and the kid:

More explanation at the Wired magazine story.


According to the 2017 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults 65+ in 11 nations finds those in the U.S. are the sickest and most likely to face economic hardship.

The survey focuses on the challenges that adults 65 and older face in 11 countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Here's the salient chart:


Even with Medicare for this age group in the U.S.,

”A disproportionate share of U.S. elderly face economic challenges,” states the report.

“One-quarter reported they often worry about having enough money to buy nutritious meals or pay for necessities like housing. Rates of economic vulnerability are lowest in Norway (3%) and Sweden (4%).”

See more of the health discrepancies among the 11 countries at the Commonwealth Fund website.


As the YouTube page explains,

”In Samut Songkhram, about an hour outside Bangkok, is Maeklong Railway Market, one of the largest produce and seafood markets in Thailand. But beyond the selection of fresh fruit and fish, the market has become infamous for one thing—the train that runs directly through it.

“In 1905, the Maeklong Railway built a commuter train line through the center of the popular market. But rather than move, the vendors adapted to the new conditions, working around the train that passes through eight times a day, seven days a week.”

Here's a video of it:


There has been a lot of agonizing in the news medis among psychiatrists about whether they are allowed to diagnose President Trump without examining him in person.

It seems to me that one doesn't need a medical degree to know something is not right with the president, but then I ran across this article not by a psychiatrist, but a physician who is a neurologist, a specialist in the diseases of the brain.

Here is part of his overview:

”In turning my attention to the president, I see worrisome symptoms that fall into three main categories: problems with language and executive function; problems with social cognition and behavior; and problems with memory, attention, and concentration.

“None of these are symptoms of being a bad or mean person. Nor do they require spelunking into the depths of his psyche to understand. Instead, they raise concern for a neurocognitive disease process in the same sense that wheezing raises the alarm for asthma.”

Read the whole article at Stat.


The biology and mythology of the Christmas mistletoe tradition from TEDtalks.


This doesn't need an introduction – just enjoy.


When the big threats to net neutrality emerge every now and then, the host of HBO's Last Week Tonight show, John Oliver, has stepped in with a forcible rebuttal:

“Oliver’s net-neutrality pieces speak to one of the HBO comedian’s strongest qualities: his ability to inspire passion even around the most arcane of subjects,” writes Laura Bradley at Vanity Fair. “Oliver’s explanations,” she continues, “always replete with humor and gimmicks like the creation of the Web site “,” help combat apathy. That might be why he and his viewers have seemingly managed to crash the F.C.C.’s website both times he addressed the subject.”

That's just one short take from Bradley's about the renaissance in 2017 of late-night talk shows – much to the betterment, in my opinion, of needed public political discourse.

Read the whole article at Vanity Fair.


From the YouTube page:

”This is just an awesome rescue of a raccoon by some kindhearted individuals who came across him on a Jeep Club outing.

“It appears that the raccoon got trapped when a tree fell and pinned him to the ground. They used the jack from their jeep to raise the tree and free the raccoon. The raccoon appears to OK as he scampers off and climbs another tree.

Here's the video:

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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.


Would love to see each of those splendid windows. Or to have helped design and implement them. What talents!

Re John Oliver (item)whom we all adore for what he brings to our aching psyches. I've noticed many politically-savvy articles from Vanity Fair recently and assume they've stepped up their reporting this past year. I wasn't expecting that from them; no surprise that The Atlantic has also.

Bear and raccoon are heart-warming. All the "mess" turns to gold when we come together. Imagine.


I hope you know there's always appreciation for your Saturday posts, especially with all you put into them. Thanks, Ronni

Thank you for the link to the article from Dr. Ford Vox re: Trump's brain health. I did follow the link to read the entire article. I completely agree with Dr. Vox: Trump needs to immediately have an INDEPENDENT medical evaluation of his brain health. Before it is too late and he inflicts more damage (in the US and the world at large).

As always, I love your blog, and this one was no exception.
Just wanted to say a little about the seniors' health statistics. Neither the graph nor the underlying article took into account the higher taxes we in Canada pay in order to have cradle to grave coverage. This is likely true as well for the other countries where costs are low. And we have a not for profit hospital system.
Also, because our GP's do not earn a lot, grossing $170,000 to maybe $210,000, and that's Canadian funds(deduct 30% to convert to US$), many are heading to the US to earn more, consequently causing a shortage in some areas. Here, they are really employed by the government medical system.
Our big advantage is that generally we don't wait until we're really sick to see a doctor. Hence our seniors are by and large healthier.
And when confronted with an emergency or a serious condition the care is exceptional.
I think of you a lot as among my family and friends there have been two pancreatic cancer incidents in the past year. They were inoperable. We're all cheering for you like mad!

I truly agree with Dr. Ford Vox's analysis. I agree with his analysis and he's right if our parents or grandparents had behaved that way we would have sought out a doctor asap.

As usual the rest of your post was entertaining and informative. Thanks. I especially enjoyed the clip about facial recognition. My sisters and I all have very similar faces; we all look like our mother, and it wouldn't surprise me if we could open those phones for each other - eek. That cute little boy is certainly a facial clone of his mom. :-)

The rabbit rescue from the fire in Calif., and this raccoon rescue, have been the top stories for me this week. Humans taking time to help even the smallest creatures. Doubt anyone in Washington would noticed or cared.

I cheered when the raccoon was rescued!

Our two daughters who, to human eyes look little alike, trip 100% match on software; so, not surprised about the phone.

As to health care statistics. There are so many intricacies in designing such studies that I have about 50 questions concerning the design of that one. I grew up in a mostly-rural setting where a doctor might be a great family friend, but not a great physician. Consequently, I rarely consult my physician except for my annual physical - and that is something that has only happened since I was put on Statins about 20 years ago.

I've done my own versions of physical therapy (once, for two years) to get my body back to normal working order following a fall or other mishap. Never having broken a bone, there didn't seem to be a need for medical intervention. I read that the study authors didn't really think much of my approach. I accept that they are smarter on the subject than am I.

Thanks to you and your readers for keeping us, all, entertained!

While it's true that other countries pay more in taxes to enjoy great medical care (and other benefits) I think most of us would prefer that instead of running the risk of becoming bankrupt in the event of a catastrophic illness or unexpected accident. Not to mention other benefits such as not having the uncertainty of rising health insurance costs, and whether our insurance policy will even cover our condition.

I think many of us have always wondered if the president is sane or not, but I read the entire article and the case has been made that he is unfit mentally to hold office. If only the Republicans would make a principled demand that he submit to an independent mental evaluation or face the amendmet (Is it the 25th?) and be removed from office for inability to carry out his duties.

I could be wrong but think I remember hearing that The Orange Apparition is scheduled to undergo a physical exam at Walter Reed after January 1. No mental of a mental health component, but I sincerely hope there is one.

I SO detest what that man and the GOP in general are doing to this country and people. It's hard to be objective about him at all. I think I may have strayed into forbidden territory in one of my TGB comments, in which I stated that my personal feelings went WAY beyond mere dislike. If I did, I apologize for straying in print, but it was a totally honest opinion.

I wanted to emphasize that The Orange Apparition is doing much more damage behind the scenes than many Americans realize. He and his uber-rich sycophants are systematically dissembling government as we know it, including programs that many ordinary people depend on for sustenance, health, safety and even basic justice. Yes, it's REALLY hard to be objective!

I have stopped listening to most news programs, absorbing just enough to remain informed. Imagine: what if huge numbers of Americans just ushered Agent Orange off stage by turning off their TVs whenever he appeared and not following him on Twitter?!

The presence of language and cognitive problems have seemed obvious to many medical professionals who have discussed this among themselves since this Prez was a candidate. Professional considerations have prevented most from publicly saying so without having conducted a formal diagnosis. Even then confidentiality issues would be present for results release without the Prez’s permission. Would he grant such disclosure?

This does prompt some interesting thought. What is to prevent uninformed or unscrupulous individuals from exploiting impaired persons for their own purposes? It’s one thing if someone becomes impaired in office as we all saw with President Reagan. We know Alzheimer’s develops over time, so others may have had to compensate for subtle behavioral changes he may have begun experiencing while still in office.

Perhaps we need to require our Presidents have mental examinations in addition to their routine physical exams — just as we expect them to provide their income tax returns. Oops! Didn’t our Prez insult the American people by not releasing his tax return and he got away with it. What makes anyone think he’d accept a mental exam?

Trying to gain candidates/Presidents acceptance for mental testing may be challenging. People will more readily accept medical physical exams than even a simple routine cursory examination of their speech-language and mental functions. Some who are asked their name, address, who is the President, what day, date, month, or year is this, where are we right now, and other very simple questions to which they can answer yes or no, for example, can become anxious, fearful evidencing in anger, may resent these efforts to screen even those basic everyday mental functions.

Oops! I should always go back and proofread 2X before hitting Send. The 2nd sentence of my comment yesterday obviously makes no sense--it should read, "No MENTION of a mental health component. . ." I hardly ever screwed up grammatically when I was younger--arrgh! Once more for my go-to mantra: it is what it is.

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