Two Age Things of Opposing Interest
ELDER MUSIC: Oz Rock Bands

INTERESTING STUFF – 29 September 2018


I may have mentioned that for the past five or six months I have been using a cannabis tincture of THC to help me sleep. It works well. Bud tenders at dispensaries I visit have told me that the majority – more than half – of their customers are people in my age group that is, elders.

About a week ago, the Washington Post reported on a new study of the age of marijuana users:

”The latest release of a massive federal drug use survey shows monthly marijuana use has skyrocketed among older Americans...

“As recently as the early 2000s, teens were more than four times more likely to use marijuana than 50- and 60-somethings. But as of 2017, Americans ages 55 to 64 are now slightly more likely to smoke pot on a monthly basis than teens ages 12 to 17...

“The oldest age group — seniors age 65 and older — has seen steep increases in marijuana use, as well. In the mid-2000s, monthly marijuana use among this group was effectively at zero percent. As of last year, 2.4 percent of seniors used marijuana monthly, and nearly 4 percent were using on at least an annual basis.”

Here's the chart:


It makes sense to me to me for several reasons. Cannabis is a effective treatment for a number if ailments that effect elders more than young people, an increasing number of states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use and old folks are, to a large degree, the Woodstock generation. We've been here before.

You can read more at the Washington Post.


About 95 percent of the time, I mute television commercials or skip through them if I'm watching a recording. But not this one.

Without making it clear what is it they do there, the commercial promotes the Hospital For Special Surgery, it has been running for many months and is titled, The Way You Move.

It always makes me feel good. How about you?

The music is Do Your Thing by Basement Jaxx.


Although leaders of the world have essentially done nothing, scientists have warned us for decades now that the polar ice is melting and many of us have seen videos of near-continent-size chunks of ice breaking off into the sea.

As a result of all this ice becoming water, scientists expect the seas to rise. And to rise more dramatically that I previously understood.

Here's a video about will happen to Earth if all the ice melts. (The video was released a year ago which accounts for the promotion of a film that was being released then.)


On the morning of the Blasey-Ford/Kavanaugh hearings, the print edition of The New York Times published this amazing front page – an image of Judge Kavanaugh's youthful calendar.


There is a larger image here. [pdf]


Two things about this item:

  1. TV commercials seem to be a theme of today's post. I don't know how that happened but there you are.

  2. I have a vague memory of possibly having posted this one in the past but I'm not sure. Either way, it is extraordinary. Not a word spoken and you know exactly what it's all about.


With the thousands of lies the U.S. president tells that has also given permission to others with such a bent to do the same, I have had a sense for a long time now that truth – even the idea of truth is being lost to us.

New Yorker writer, journalist and activist, Masha Gessen, says in this video:

”There is no such thing as truth. Whoever has objectively more power owns reality.”

This video from Vox gives us a fascinating lesson in how lies relate to power.


This is one of the most useful medical reports I have ever found.

ProPublica recently published a story about how cancer trials are conducted including a long list of answers to questions that any potential participant would want to know.

”Most trials are run at academic medical centers and conducted by researchers there,” writes ProPublica's Caroline Chen. “Patients outside those centers often aren’t aware that clinical trials are an option, or they may wonder what joining a study entails. For patients who might consider a clinical trial, here are answers to some common questions.”

Such questions, among others, are these:

Why should I join a clinical trial?
What are the risks of joining a clinical trial?
Will I be given a placebo?
How much time does it take to participate in a trial?
What if I cannot find a trial that will accept me?

This is worth not only a read but a good thing to set aside for when you or someone you know might want the information. You will find the entire story at ProPublica.


Otters, even the grownups, are the cutest things. Here is a big otter family giving the babies their first swimming lesson. From BBC Earth.


This Twitter video came in at the last minute from friend Jim Stone as I was putting together today's post. It seems to me after the terrible, no good, awful political week we have been through, we really need this catharsis:

* * *

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.


Ever since law school I've been mulling over an essay or maybe even a book (should I ever have a year to work on it) trying to explain something that I think is the cause of what you're describing, and that few outside the law would know:

That we really got to this point because of a long string of decisions in fraud cases that, essentially say that sellers can't lie about provably wrong things (you can't say it's a V-8 when it's only a V-6) but that it's OK for sellers to say anything that can't be objectively proven wrong -- that any amount of "puffing" is fine, no matter how misleading to the buyer. (A lot of the cases use this "puffing" language so it's easy to trace it back.)

In other words, we crafted an entire legal foundation for Madison Avenue to become expert in the arts of lying without accountability. Advertising has been noted as "The art of appealing to human intelligence in order to overcome it" and our standards of what is permitted say that you can say ANYTHING in an ad, show ANYTHING in an ad, take advantage of all human weaknesses and perceptual weaknesses, so long as you don't "lie."

That's the movable face of the vice; mass media -- which was rudimentary at best when this concept first emerged after the Civil War -- is the anvil of the vice, especially TV, which overwhelmingly communicates feelings and emotions, rather than information.

Our nation's testes are caught in this vice and it's constantly squeezing tighter and tighter.

I attribute the election of Reagan, the true first TV president to this phenomenon, and direct from that to GW Bush and then, of course, to the current Russian agent in the White House who got the job because, as a nation, we suffer from severely crippled faculties. (Carter was the last president who came of age before TV thinking had stupified a nation, and GHW Bush was, like Carter, a throwback to that time as well -- both one-termers because they weren't telegenice enough.)

If you read "Brave New World," Daniel Boorstin's "The Image" and Niel Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death," you can get much of what I'm talking about. I just think the story is incomplete without the legal piece, the explanation for why we live in a lie-saturated culture, where the very meaning of truth is now considered subjective.

I have tried several times to count the number of false impressions (that fall short of the legal standard for lying) that were intentionally being directed at me during the day in media, and it's completely impossible. When your largest companies are in the business of delivering BS and we beam BS into every household and raise kids in a constant marinade of BS from birth, we shouldn't be surprised that we become unable to tell, in LBJ's phrase, chicken salad from chicken shit.

Thank you, Ronni, for another interesting Saturday. Loved the baby sweet.

It is my opinion regarding polls, new studies and similar statistics that they should always be viewed with the proverbial "Grain of Salt". A cause for 'salted' merriment today in a nursing newsletter causes me to speculate that some researchers have too much time on their hands.

From the September issue of the learned Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, come this bit of *news*.
"More than half of partnered individuals who screen positive for dementia report they are sexually active, new research indicates."

My response after I quit laughing was "How do researchers know? And more to the point...why do they care?"

For those of us that remember this talented couple, it would make a great routine for " BURNS & ALLEN" , so popular in the 50s. Maybe I'll figure one out for the Senior Center I visit once in a while. Just kidding, of course.

Great post today, Ronni. I always enjoy the Saturday sampling but enjoyed today's even more than usual. Perhaps because I'm so upset about this week's events. I'm sharing the truth video with friends. I got a great laugh from the eye drop video and really loved the Twitter video.

"The best propaganda is that which, as it were, works invisibly, penetrates the whole of life without the public having any knowledge of the propagandistic initiative. "
- Joseph Goebbels

Enough said.

If you own the power, you own the truth.

Now I can breathe. Thanks for ending the week with the Twitter on Kavanaugh. Love may or may not save the world, but humor just saved what's left of mine.

The otters are lovely.

Yesterday and now today, Sunday, with a new post up, when I click on the Time Goes By link the audio to GOP CONGRESSMAN MAKES SEX JOKE ABOUT RUTH BADER GINSBURG AND PRESIDENT LINCOLN plays. Every. Time.

Interesting collection of items and comments. We continue to be challenged to protect our form of government.

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