LET'S HAVE SOME BOOGIE WOOGIE TODAY
As Laughing Squid explained recently:
”When hoodied musician Dr K (Brendan Kavanaugh) of Badass Boogie encountered a couple of teenagers who had never heard of Boogie Woogie, he sat down at the Yamaha Platform 88 public piano and rocked a mean Boogie Woogie tune to school them musically on the finer points of the genre.”
There is something about impromptu public music that is such great fun:
That reminds me of one of my all-time, top favorite boogie woogie tracks. I must have posted this in the past but it is more than worth a rerun. From the late, great Long John Baldry, Don't Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll.
MERRIAM WEBSTER DICTIONARY ADDS 840 NEW WORDS FOR 2018
As the dictionary company explains in their introduction to those new 840 words,
”A dictionary is almost like a glossary of life: peek inside and you see descriptions of everything around you. The addition of new words to a dictionary is a step in the continuous process of recording our ever-expanding language.”
I was intrigued right away by this one: TL;DR. Maybe you know it already. I didn't:
”Too long; didn't read — used to say that something would require too much time to read”
Speaking of too long, 840 is a lot of words to wade through. Fortunately, MentalFloss chose 25 of them to highlight. Two examples:
Irritable or angry because of hunger. People have been hangry (or at least using the word) since 1956.
“Rando (n) According to Merriam-Webster, this 'often disparaging' slang means 'A random person: a person who is not known or recognizable or whose appearance (as in a conversation or narrative) seems unprompted or unwelcome.'”
HOW “LOL” CHANGED THE WAY WE TALK
In this short, little video, John McWhorter, a professor of linquistics at Columbia University, talks about how texting and other electronic shorthand has changed how we speak – for the better, he says.
(Apparently, putting annoying, nonsense music behind the speaker's audio is, to the producer, a feature, not a bug. Sorry I can't delete it for you.)
What do you think? Does he have a point?
The Two Ronnies was a BBC television comedy show that aired on BBC One from April 1971 to December 1987. All these years later, their sketches hold up – just as funny now as then. Our good friend Darlene Costner sent this:
PLUGGING A HOLE IN THE SPACE STATION
Do you recall reading Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates when you were a kid? Do you remember the part in the story about the kid who plugged a hole in the dyke with his finger?
Now, there is a modern-day, real-life version:
”It may sound like something straight out of a cartoon,” reports Mother Nature News, “but on the morning of Aug. 30, it was the only thing astronaut Alexander Gerst could think of.
“After receiving word from NASA that the International Space Station was very slowly leaking air, Gerst and five other astronauts starting scouring all over for the source. Upon finding the 2-millimeter (0.08-inch) hole in the docked Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, Gerst did what many of us would likely do — he stuck his finger over the opening.:”
In what must be one of the most massive understatements ever spoken (well, at least about space), NASA's Mission Control noted:
"'Right now Alex has got his finger on that hole and I don't think that's the best remedy for it.'”
There is follow-up reporting with more detail and new information at The Guardian.
THE MOST POPULAR (sic) SURNAMES IN THE U.S.
Ancestry.com did some digging and came up with the most common surnames in each of the individual United States.
Here's a map with the top three in each state. (I'm pretty sure Ancestry misspoke: certainly they meant to say the most common, not most popular since no one is choosing their surname.)
Well, that's way too small to try to read. Go see a readable version here.
The top three in my state, Oregon, are Smith, Johnson and Miller – which is close to true for almost every state.
You can also search for the origins and meanings of your own or anyone's surname.
LIVING SPACES IN HONG KONG
Living spaces smaller than the dimensions of a parking space. This is incredibly sad. You should watch it anyway.
AMERICAN CITIZENS BEING DENIED PASSPORTS
If you mostly watch cable news or read the front pages of newspapers, the only news happening this week were the Supreme Court nomination hearings and that unknown person who wrote an anonymous Op-Ed description of chaos in the White House published in The New York Times.
Even if it is not widely reported, other news does happen. In this case, one item is about American citizens who are being denied passports by the Trump administration:
"Juan is one of a growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports — their citizenship suddenly thrown into question,” reports the Washington Post, among other news sources.
“The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown.”
Juan's U.S. birth record shows he was delivered by a midwife. “He spent his life wearing American uniforms: three years as a private in the Army, then as a cadet in the Border Patrol and now as a state prison guard,” continues the Post.
“But when Juan, 40, applied to renew his U.S. passport this year, the government’s response floored him. In a letter, the State Department said it didn’t believe he was an American citizen...
“In some cases, passport applicants with official U.S. birth certificates are being jailed in immigration detention centers and entered into deportation proceedings. In others, they are stuck in Mexico, their passports suddenly revoked when they tried to reenter the United States.”
The story is too long to copy here. You should know more about this – most of those affected have brown skin - more at The Post.
Don't ever forget Martin Niemoller's poem: “First they came for the socialists, but I wasn't a socialist...”
As the YouTube page explains:
”A custom-made contraption has catapulted the Oregon Zoo’s cheetahs toward a new level of fitness. Dubbed the 'cheetahpult,' it’s an 8-foot wooden device that flings a ball far enough for a cheetah — the fastest land animal on earth — to chase..
“After more conventional ball launchers fell short, the cheetahpult was designed and built by staff members with the zoo’s speediest residents in mind.”
My god, these animals are beautiful.
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.