Elders and Their Guns
ELDER MUSIC: Classical Families

INTERESTING STUFF – 16 June 2018

WHY THE TOWER OF PISA DOESN'T FALL OVER

And why it leans in the first place:

More at the Washington Post.

YOUR BRAIN ON READING

On Monday in these pages, Crabby Old Lady complained about video/audio only news stories and explained (along with many commenters) why she prefers reading. Then, a few days ago, she ran across this story at Medium.

”Your brain on books,” explains writer Thomas Oppong, “is active — growing, changing and making new connections and different patterns, depending on the type of material you’re reading.”

He goes on to explain that reading heightens brain connectivity, enhances the ability to reason, improves emotional intelligence and concentration. In addition,

”Reading involves several brain functions, including visual and auditory processes, phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension, and more.

“The same neurological regions of the brain are stimulated by reading about something as by experiencing it.

“According to the ongoing research at Haskins Laboratories for the Science of the Spoken and Written Word, reading, unlike watching or listening to media, gives the brain more time to stop, think, process, and imagine the narrative in from of us.

'Reading every day can slow down late-life cognitive decline and keeps the brains healthier.”

TGB readers probably don't need to be told to read but this is a good reminder anyway that audio- and video-only news reports fall short in maintaining brain health. Read more here.

WHY FLOWERS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN CONGRESS

Well, I can't say that I ever noticed or knew about the rule before watching this video but it's fun knowing this obscure little piece of political history.

This video has been removed due to complaints from readers. Sorry. I guess I screwed up the html although quite a number of readers have said they had no problem with it.

HOW NOT TO BE AN INVISIBLE OLD WOMAN

TGB reader NWpup sent this video from Alice Bad titled Se Cree Joven (She Thinks She's Young):

HAS SCIENCE INVENTED A WAY TO PULL CARBON DIOXIDE OUT OF THE AIR

Scientists at Harvard together with a company called Carbon Engineering, which is funded by Bill Gates, say they have created a way to cheaply pull carbon out of the air and that it can be done to scale.

“'What we’ve done is build a [direct-air capture] process that is—as much as possible—built on existing processes and technologies that are widespread in the world, said David Keith, a professor of applied physics at Harvard and the lead author of the new study. 'That’s why we think we have a reasonable possibility of scaling up.'”

And,

“'The strongest part of this paper, in my opinion, is the fact that they’ve actually tested the technology in a prototype plant for a few years. That’s a big deal, and offers a proof of principle that’s way stronger than simple calculations or computational models,' says Scott Hersey, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Olin College.”

Of course there is a lot more to know and a lot more development first. But it worth reading about at The Atlantic and at Technology Review.

JOHN OLIVER ON THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION

Among the many reasons to keep up with host John Oliver's weekly HBO program, Last Week Tonight are the clarity he brings to complex topics and his sense of moral outrage at the politics under which we live these days in the U.S.

On last week's show, he dismantled the right wing's “stupid Watergate” method of attacking the Mueller investigation.

NEW WAY TO TREAT CAVITIES WITHOUT DRILLING?

Terrible teeth run in my family. Both my parents lost all of theirs by the time they were 40 and what left of mine are a few on my lower jaw. So this story is too late for me, but if it is real, if it becomes fact, what a boon for people like me and my family:

”Scientists have developed a new substance to treat dental cavities without making a costly and unpleasant trip to the dentist.

“Inspired by the proteins in our bodies which form teeth, the new product uses peptides—which are structurally similar to proteins—to repair the enamel on the part of the tooth which requires treatment...

“The researchers hope that the formulation could one day be sold in over-the-counter products such as toothpaste to prevent and treat tooth decay, or put into clinical products used by dentists.”

Some scientists are skeptical about the new research but after a lifetime of having spent tens of thousands of dollars on my teeth, a girl can hope even if it's too late for her.

Read more here.

KLM'S CANINE LOST-AND-FOUND WORKER

If I cared to check, I'm almost certain I've posted this video before but I want to believe it's real - it's so damned cute so here it is again. (Apologies to whoever sent it; I misplaced your name.)

Okay, I'm sure you already figured out the real story is that the video is a publicity stunt. You can read about it at the Washington Post.

* * *

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.


Comments

About being an invisible old woman - There is a woman in my senior community who theme dresses – matching shirts, knee socks, hair bows etc.. I have never seen her in the same outfit twice. At first, I was judgmental but I have come to appreciate that this is her art form and seeing her outfits cheers people up.

I've been wondering, within earshot of family, if my white hair would be interesting with a streak of blue or green or red. I've tried to act my age but last week, for my 80th birthday, my granddaughter gave me a package of temporary color for my hair, little pots of red, blue, green and orange that can be applied with a sponge in streaks. Haven't done it yet but I WILL. And I won't just go to a family cookout -- I'll go out in public. Not as bold as the senora in the video but then I'm a New Englander and we try to be a little more restrained.i

thanks again, Ronni, for sharing John Oliver with those of us who don't get to hear him. He is, as always, spot-on.

But permit me to interject one small irritation for me. When he begins to describe a FoxNews audience, the ads he chooses all have to do with the old - with products that may seem ridiculous to anyone not old [like Oliver], but not presumably to those who use them. Yes, the Fox audience is, I seem to remember, statistically older. But his satirical nature gets the best of him, and for a moment there, the ageism really hit me. What with the roaring and appreciative audience and his own facile joking, I was turned off.

Still, I appreciate Oliver a lot - and you too, for sharing him.

Another major fan of Oliver here. And another who doesn't hemorrhage the money for HBO. But I can usually find him on YouTube, and of course, here on Time Goes By occasionally. Oliver is just great. (Total aside: I really do think his funniest-ever moment may have been some years back now when he was discussing the appointment of somebody (cable companies??) obviously biased to oversee net neutrality, said it was like needing a babysitter and hiring a dingo, and produced a fabulous photo of a darling eight-month-old with a slavering dingo right behind it. That kind of outrageous satire raises Oliver above practically anybody else doing what he does, which is, in any case, almost nobody. He's fabulous. (Of course, there was also his unforgettable Carlos Danger dance . . . )

I am going to forward this to a college educated Trump fan and I know his criticism will be Oliver's profanity. He and one of his lady friends walk out of a movie if there are a few f words so he probably is unable to see any movies now unless they are sponsored by Disney.

I agree that there are better words that could be used, but I ignore them because the content is the important message. Oliver really does his research and can't be refuted on not having the facts at his fingertips. But if the conservatives cared about facts we wouldn't have the president that is now occupying the White House.

Appreciated another great Saturday offering. The John Oliver explanation is so valuable. It's hard to believe all the people who eat up that whole Sean Hannity nonsense.

FYI no video or other than blank space appears on my screen about the flower bit and Congress following your intro.

Enjoy Oliver! I continue to feel alarmed we’ll never get to the truth on the Russia situation with so many not caring to know.

Always interesting “stuff” here!

Here in Canada, John Oliver links no longer work. They used to, but alas, no more. I can only look at them wistfully.

joared...
Some videos don't show up occasionally depending on viewers' browser settings. Obviously, I can't do anything about that. Sorry.

Sylvia...
Starting in the past few months, Last Week Tonight is blocked for a month in Canada, apparently an agreement between HBO Canada and local providers. If you search something like "can canadians watch john oliver", you might find some alternative ways to see it before it is unlocked after a month.

Loved the dog video. Even a publicity stunt is good if it wakes a smile.

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