When You are Well Again

INTERESTING STUFF – 10 February 2018


Botin Restaurant has been open for business every day for the past 293 years. In that time, since 1725, the oven fire has never been extinguished.

”According to deputy manager Luis Javier Sànchez Alvarez, the oven is the crown jewel of the restaurant and the fundamental element of their most popular dish, the roast suckling pig.

“The recipes used today have been passed down from generation to generation, keeping the legacy of these traditional dishes alive. With the honor of being the oldest restaurant in the world, Alvarez hopes to keep the doors open for centuries to come.”

Take a look:


Remember 20 or 25 years ago or so when the idea that plants can feel pain, communicate with one another and respond to audio input.

Although the idea lost some of its cache over time, it's never gone away and now some scientists are saying that plants can count and can even communicate with caterpillers.

“'Plants are not just robotic, stimulus-response devices,' said Frantisek Baluska, a plant cell biologist at the University of Bonn in Germany and co-author of the study. 'They’re living organisms which have their own problems, maybe something like with humans feeling pain or joy. In order to navigate this complex life, they must have some compass.'

“Plants sometimes use that compass to deal with stress, competition or development. They take in information from their environment and produce their own anesthetics like menthol, ethanol and cocaine, similar to how humans release chemicals that dull pain during trauma. These may act within the plant itself or float off in the air to affect neighboring plants.

“Our anesthetics work on plants too, the study confirmed, although what exactly they’re working on is unclear.”

Read more at The New York Times.


In reference to Crabby Old Lady's post on Monday about advertising prescription drugs to elders, TGB reader Richard Lombard, sent this video from several years ago of comedian Chris Rock's take on the same subject.

The usual disclaimers about language apply.


Late night comedians have been having a fine ol' funny time this week with the announcement that Pepsico is developing a Dorito chip just for women.

The idea, apparently, is that women are not supposed to make audible crunching noises when they eat chips and Pepsico has taken a lot of heat for considering such a dumb product.

Here's a video about some other misbegotten women-only products. The voice at the beginning of the vid is Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico:

You can read more at the Washington Post.


It is all but established fact now that people who hold positive views of ageing and of old people live a lot longer – up to seven-plus years – than people who hold negative views.

Now comes a new study suggesting that negative attitudes toward ageing are a risk factor for dementia.

”The difference was hardly trivial: Study participants who had positive beliefs about aging were 44% less likely to develop dementia over the next four years than were their counterparts with negative beliefs.

“Even after the researchers accounted for other risk factors for dementia — including smoking, diabetes and cardiovascular disease — they still found that the odds for the condition were lower among those with a positive attitude toward aging.

“Also striking: The apparent benefits of positivity were even greater among the subgroup of adults whose genes put them at greater risk of dementia. In fact, the researchers said, a positive attitude toward aging could essentially erase the handicap associated with carrying a risky variant of the APOE gene.”

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.


As the YouTube page tells us, the traditional Arab headdress, the kaffiyeh, is a symbol of the Palestinian struggle and an important part of Palestinian heritage.

”Unfortunately, the Al Hirbawi factory is the last remaining institution in the Palestinian territories producing the original kaffiyeh. Brothers Jouda, Abdelazim and Ezzat have been working in the factory since they were kids, inheriting the family business and continuing the proud legacy.”

Here is a video about them:


Last December, the Editorial Board of The New York Times objected to a proposal from the Trump administration's Department of Labor. It would allow

”...employers to pool tips and use them as they see fit...Officials argue that this will free restaurants to use some of the tip money to reward lowly dishwashers, line cooks and other workers who toil in the less glamorous quarters and presumably make less than servers who get tips.

“[However,] a simple reading of the government’s proposal makes clear that business owners...would be free to pocket some or all of that cash, spend it to spiff up the dining room or use it to underwrite $2 margaritas at happy hour. And that’s what makes this proposal so disturbing.”

What it boils down to is allowing employers to pick the pockets of their employees. Legally. Since The Times editorial, the public has made its objection loud and clear, as reported at Daily Kos:

”The tip-stealing proposal is also unpopular with the public: a poll conducted for the National Employment Law Project found 82 percent of people opposed.

“None of this means that Trump’s labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, is going to back down. But once again the Trump administration is making clear where it stands—definitely not with workers.”

You might think about joining the chorus and let that Labor Secretary know where you stand.


Elvis impersonators have been an entertainment fixture for about 40 years, nearly a dime a dozen. But I like this short documentary about one of them. As the YouTube page tells us:

”When Dave Groh began impersonating Elvis Presley, he felt it made him 'a sexier person than I had been just being Dave.' In the short documentary Cab Elvis, director Andrew Franks follows Grohl, a cab driver, across Seattle as he picks up passengers—some of whom describe the experience as the best taxi ride of their lives.”

Read more at The Atlantic.


This baby bear was having himself a grand time on the Mountainside Golf Course at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in British Columbia, Canada.

Lovely to watch and a nice mini-vacation from the constant drumbeat of political news, don't you think?

* * *

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.


If I were in the area, I'd feel compelled to have a meal at the world's oldest restaurant. Fascinating story, assuming it's true.

Doritos for women!? Give me a break. When I eat chips, I expect a good crunch. That's what chips are for! I won't buy anything that's pink "for women" or for "breast cancer" (even though I've had it) and I resent those companies that charge more for a woman's version of their products. If that makes me weird, so be it.

On the subject of restaurants pulling tips from waitstaff, I have also heard that some restaurants take a cut of tips that are added to the credit card bill. I try to leave a cash tip to foil that attempt. Now it seems it's time to voice my displeasure with this new Trump administration assault on the working class.

I'm rather bothered by the article that seems to be trying to link negative feelings about aging with the development of dementia. Dementia has a physical cause, though we don't seem to have a clear understanding of what that may be yet. Just because two things are present at the same time does not necessarily imply a cause and effect relationship between them. The logical fallacy of 'post hoc ergo propter hoc' is probably one of the most commonly applied errors of thinking, due to superstition and our tendency to blame our shortcomings for what happens to us, especially when dealing with something very frightening and, so far, beyond our control.

I did like the article about plants, another thing we have relatively little understanding of. We would not be here, or at least not in our present form, without plants, and yet they are woefully undervalued and currently estimates suggest that about 20% of all species are threatened with extinction. They are much more complex than we give them credit for, and hold many answers that we may never have the opportunity to learn.

The bear playing on the golf course was delightful, though it also makes me sad to know how much of their environment we have encroached on and destroyed. And I hope he didn't try to eat that golf ball.

Free playing bears, cab Elvis, "the money's in the medicine," and more, wonderful.

As always, afine Saturday post.

The last time I voiced a political opinion, 4 people with my name voiced eloquent opposite opinions. So, maybe I will not bother the Labor Secretary with my opposite views. Oh, I can hardly wait for this time to conclude.

The bear video was cute, but with momma bear right there, the video guys were braver than I would have been.

Once again my settings have kept me from posting a comment so I will try one last time. I don't know how to fix it so I copy and paste later and hope it works. If I am lucky the following it what I wrote before anyone else has posted. If this sentence ends my comment you will know I failed.

The suckling pigs in the video on the oldest restaurant did not make me hungry. Quite the opposite, in fact. I would still dine there just for the atmosphere.

The baby bear having fun was so cute.

I was never an Elvis fan. We used to call him Elvis the pelvis. I would certainly not be a far of the many impersonators .

Thanks for the smiles.

The dementia thing may be true, but I still don't find a whole lot to celebrate about getting old. Keeping it real, many of those in the 80+ range may not either! I'm not necessarily pessimistic--it just is what it is. . .

Like Cathy, I think a lot of what happens to people--happens. I recall that some years back, there was a to-do about positive attitude and cancer. A few years later, the role of positivity was questioned in other outcome studies. I'm a bit leery of approaches that seem to reinforce blaming the victim/survivor.

Of course, reasonable optimism is a good thing, but quality medical care and following directions (as occurred in your case, Ronni) probably has more to do with a favorable outcome in potentially dicey situations.

Thank you Cathy and Elizabeth for pushing back on "negative attitudes lead to Alzheimer's." Ronnie is feeling a lot better and is back to her upbeat self, but this is just another "blame the victim" attack, pure and simple. My husband was kind, upbeat, humorous, had friends from every stage of his life, went backpacking in the Sierras for two weeks every summer, ran several miles every other day, etc. etc. He always had a positive attitude, but not a nasty "I'm better than you" type attitude. Plus, he liked me, a "negative" depressive from a family riddled with mental illness, lucky be only anxious and depressed, as opposed to my bipolar and schizophrenic siblings. So I wonder why he was diagnosed with Alzheimers at 65 and I'm still working at 71? Maybe he caught Alzheimer's from me? That would work -- blame me, I don't mind.

In defense of the company that makes Doritos, this story turned out to be a hoax. The company's comment: "We already have a Doritos chip for women--it's called "Doritos." This is just one of the many evils of social media. Anybody can say anything, and the main stream media will at least temporarily run with it.

Love Chris Rock! LOL

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