The Question of a Loneliness Epidemic

INTERESTING STUFF – 3 February 2018


My friend Jim Stone, who has been visiting from Massachusetts, sent this fascinating video of some of the oldest old in the U.S. talking on camera about their lives in 1929.


The Washington Post, now famously, posted Donald Trump's 2000 lies during his first year as president.

At New York magazine this week, Jonathan Chait wrote about Trump's four newest corruption stories that broke in just one day. One example:

”A report yesterday found that Trump’s infrastructure council is filled with business owners who stand to benefit from the policies Trump is advancing. For instance, Richard LeFrak, one of the developers on Trump’s

“The plan writ large would steer public funding toward privately owned infrastructure projects that would benefit the developers on Trump’s committee, as well as potentially members of his own family.”

You can read more here.


London cabbies famously study for several years before they are allowed to get behind the wheel of a London taxi. As the YouTube page explains, they

”...must pass The Knowledge, universally regarded as the world’s toughest taxi test. Applicants often take two to four years to prepare for the infamous exam, memorizing over 25,000 street names and 20,000 points of interest.

“Only one in five applicants pass the test, giving The Knowledge the same success rate as the U.S. Navy SEALs.”

Take a look:


TGB reader Pat Trimbell sent this video of artist Theo Janzen's Strandbeast creations.

”Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic materials of this new nature. I make skeletons that are able to walk on the wind so they don't have to eat,” writes the artist on his webpage.”


Although this video about wolves' return to Yellowstone Park was made four years ago, it is still valid. I wonder if the changes will survive Trump.


When I moved to Oregon in 2010, I was pleased to discover that all voting is done at home and submitted via snailmail. Now there is some research showing what Oregon has known since they began this kind of voting:

”The study found that vote at home increased overall turnout by 3.3 percent, and by even more among young and low-propensity voters. The implication is clear: Anyone who cares about improving turnout should make expanding vote at home a top priority.

“...Turnout rates in the states where everyone can vote at home — Oregon, Washington and Colorado — have increased since the system was adopted, and they’re now among the highest in the country.”

The issue is a bit more complex than that excerpt makes clear and you can read more here.


Many years ago, I produced a TV segment about dog photographer William Wegman and have been delighted with his work every since. (Long before his stint began on the Today Show, a young Matt Lauer was the interviewer on that program.)

As the YouTube page explains:

”Welcome to Wegman’s Wild World of Weimaraners, where dogs bake cakes and lounge like royalty. Known to the world as the 'dog photographer,' William Wegman has spent the past 45 years dressing and posing his canine muses in elaborate ensembles, finding whimsy in the absurd.”

* * *

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.


Oh, my. The Strandbeast creations are mesmerizing, and I'd likely have walked away in frustration long before seeing their fruition. He's a man of patience and persistence.
I love wolves. How wondrous to see nature do what it does best when we leave it alone! And now I'd like a return visit to Yellowstone.
The taxis of London were also covered somewhat in segments of "17 up," a documentary that follows the same children over decades and one of them took on the grueling task of becoming a driver/owner. A good show overall, btw.

Thanks Ronni for the treats!

I loved all of your choices, today. (Well, except trump. I’d mention what I really feel about him but you would pull it.) I knew there was a reason why I have an affinity for wolves; they are amazing!

I love the wolf video. We have a hotly contested pack in the Oregon mountains south of Washington . It's been a challenge keep it going.

Wish our cab drivers had more educations too.

Thanks for an interesting Saturday post again.

The strandbeests are absolutely amazing. How anyone could imagine and then construct such things is beyond me.

I've often written about wolves and probably have this video on my blog somewhere. I've wished we had them here in Rocky Mountain National Park, where a burgeoning elk population is causing all kinds of problems. Wolves were taken off the endangered species list much too soon.

Yes, I LOVE being able to vote by mail here (Colo). I can remember several times in the past, in other states, standing in line for hours to vote. I couldn't even consider such a thing now.

Excellent assortment today (well, minus Trump). My favorite is Interviews With Elderly People, so please thank your friend. I've been climbing my family tree (10,000 new relatives) and have found people from all walks of life with fascinating stories. We humans are a pretty interesting bunch.

Wonderful assortment! Glorious Strandbeests!

as always, a fascinating post, Ronni. The Strandbeest is an old friend and I often check the website to see if something new has been added.

The wolf video was superb photography and of course, told a fine story. It's one I'll watch again and again.

Wasn't it interesting to see these elders of ours, coping both with extremely advanced age and the new technology of their time. They handled both beautifully.

But I was entranced with the William Wagman (what an appropriate name) and his weimaraners. The intense cooperation and appreciation the photographer and his subjects showed us was uplifting to watch.

The Exploratorium here in San Francisco had a great exhibit in 2016 about the Strandbeests and Theo Janzen, including a demo of a full-sized beest. I love such intersections of art and science.

Thank Ronnie for all the interesting posts. I especially enjoyed the one about the wolf's changing the rivers in Yellowstone. It's just another example of how we are all connected. Also, thought the post about taxi driver's in London was very interesting. I have never been to London, but after viewing this post, if I ever end up there, I wouldn't hesitate to take a taxi no matter what the cost may be.

My husband and I are fortunate in being able to vote at home. The ballots are mailed to each or us at home. Included are references to editorials in the Seattle Times and information about each of the candidates such as current and previous offices held.

To vote we each open our ballot, read through the information provided, and mark our ballot. If we have any questions, we look for more information. We then each review our ballot, leave them for a day or two, then sign it, and mail it.

No waiting in line to vote or ballots getting lost.

Wonderful posts again today! The footage of the elderly from 1929 was amazing. It was interesting comparing it with an article on our local news today, which featured a woman who just turned 110. She was very articulate and looked to be in fairly good shape during her birthday party interview.

The Strandbeest constructions are remarkable. How does he do it? I would love to come across one on the beach.

The weimaraners are so patient and well-behaved, as William Wegman must be, as well, to get this cooperation from them.

Since becoming an election judge in 2016. I have had to vote early, which I like. In and out at the office a very short distance from my house, and I'm all done in about five minutes.

And what can I say about Trump that hasn't already been said? This latest nonsense with the "shocking" memo is just another one of the daily roll-outs that seem to be endless and surreal. When did our country slip through the looking glass?

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