WHY BRITISH AND AMERICAN SPELLING DIFFER
A quick little history of why the Brits (and Australians for the most part) spell it “colour” and Americans spell it “color.” It was probably more ad hoc than you thought.
ONE REASON TO DISLIKE GETTING OLD
From cartoonist Jimmy Johnson, sent in by TGB's Sunday music columnist, Peter Tibbles. All I can say about the punch line is, me too.
TWO TOWNS THAT TURNED OUT THE LIGHTS AT NIGHT
As the Youtube page tells us:
”As our cities grow bigger and brighter, fewer Americans get to take in the breathtaking grandeur of the Milky Way. Sensing this, the residents of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, two small towns in Colorado, purposefully dimmed their towns' lights.
“Their night skies are now among the darkest on the planet and have become a Mecca for stargazers.
Have any of you visited these towns?
FED PLAN TO STOP REPORTING HOSPITAL INFECTION RATE
Each year, more than 600,000 hospital patients contract an infection, and sepsis alone kills about 270,000 people a year. Now, according to USA Today, a new Trump administration proposal will
”...halt the public disclosure of the 'super bug' MRSA, post-operative sepsis and surgical site infections, as well as accidents and injuries ranging from bedsores to respiratory failure after surgery.”
Since 2005, that kind of information has been (and still is for now) available at the Medicare Hospital Compare website. Further, reports USA Today,
"'I am shocked that they want to reverse course on this,' says Jeanine Thomas, who founded the MRSA Survivors Network after nearly dying of the infection after ankle surgery 18 years ago. 'In fact, they should do more.'
“CMS [The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] chief medical officer Kate Goodrich said the agency 'is committed to transparency of quality and cost information' and denied that it was proposing to remove the information from Hospital Compare. She also emphasized that the changes are up for public comment.”
1947 PSA LOOKS AND SOUNDS LIKE IT WAS PRODUCED YESTERDAY
This public service announcement was produced by the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Army and the Office of the Chief Signal Officer in 1947. Given political events of the past 18 months, it could have been produced today. Take a look:
That video (thank you, Jim Stone, for sending it) prompts me to publish again this famous statement from Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). If you are unfamiliar with his name, he was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
“Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
“Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
(If you are familiar with other versions of this, it is due to the fact that Niemöller usually spoke the words publicly and they changed slightly from telling to telling.)
U.S. FDA APPROVES FIRST MARIJUANA-DERIVED PRESCRIPTION DRUG
Although people have been using cannabis to treat a wide variety of ailments for centuries, it has taken this long for the U.S. Federal Trade Administration to approve one for medical use.
As STAT reports, the medication
”...treats two rare and devastating forms of epilepsy.
“The drug, GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, is made of cannabidiol, or CBD, a component of marijuana that does not give users a high. It is given as an oil, and in clinical trials, it was shown to reduce the number of seizures by about 40 percent in patients with Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut syndromes.”
Read more at STAT and at Leafly.
DON'T JUDGE TOO QUICKLY
My friend Tony Sarmiento sent this video – a collection of TV commercials for Ameriquest produced from 2005 to 2007. These are the sort of things that make me laugh out loud but I don't recall ever seeing them. I can't imagine how I missed them.
DOES THAT ELEVATOR CLOSE-DOOR BUTTON REALLY WORK?
Like me, you probably suspect that those “close door” buttons in elevators don't really work. Now we are vindicated in our belief:
”Karen W. Penafiel, executive director of National Elevator Industry Inc., a trade group, said the close-door feature faded into obsolescence a few years after the enactment of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990,” reported The New York Times.
“The legislation required that elevator doors remain open long enough for anyone who uses crutches, a cane or wheelchair to get on board, Ms. Penafiel said in an interview on Tuesday. 'The riding public would not be able to make those doors close any faster,' she said.”
Recently, Mental Floss reported that the buttons DO work in Britain:
”A spokesman for the Lift and Escalator Industry Association told the newspaper that not all elevators have the button, but when they’re present, they do work. Again, the time it takes for the doors to shut after pressing the button varies from lift to lift.”
There is more than you would think to read about all this at those two links.
THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT
As you have undoubtedly figured out from reading this Saturday post, I really like stories of interspecies friendship. In addition, I think owls are fascinating and I love all sorts of kitty cats. So this is the perfect story for me. Maybe for you too?
There are a bunch of videos of Fum and Gebra at play together here.
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.