2.8 PERCENT COLA ANNOUNCED
On Thursday, the U.S. Social Security Administration announced the cost of living increase (COLA) for 2019: 2.8 percent that will show up in checks or deposits in January.
TREATING BEARS BURNED IN WILD FIRES
This video has been hanging around the universal list since last summer and even if it's a bit out of date, it's a good story about good Samaritans. As the YouTube page tells us,
”...a Veterinarian from the University of California Davis is using Tilapia fish skins to treat bears that have been burned in forest fires. Veterinarian Jamie Peyton is working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to try and help these two bears recover from having their paws severely burned in the Thomas Fire.
“Not being able to walk would be a serious impediment for any wild animal so if the tilapia skins can help them recover it will be a happy ending for these bears.”
NEW TYPEFACE SAID TO HELP READERS REMEMBER MORE
Friend Chuck Nyren sent along this story about a new typeface called sans forgetica that is supposed to help people retain more of what they read. Take a look:
TURTLE BODY PAINT
This is astonishing. As Big Geek Daddy tells us:
”This illusion of a sea turtle is so well done I bet you watch the video twice. This cool video features a work from Johannes Stötter, a fine art body painter. (For the record, yes - I did watch it twice.)
See others at the artist's website.
AUTO SHREDDING BANKSY PAINTING
Even with the approach of a horrible hurricane in Florida this week, the murder of journalist and the continuing awfulness of the leadership of the United States, this event made a splash:”The people at this Sotheby’s art auction were shocked to see a million dollar painting being shredded right after it was auctioned off. World famous street artist Banksy has either created his most famous painting or pulled off the greatest joke ever on the buyer and the art world.
“I would imagine Sotheby’s had detected the shredder and knew this would occur so my guess is that Banksy did it as a publicity stunt. Regardless, I’m willing to bet the shredded painting is now worth several million dollars as it truly is an original work of art.”
I have no idea if that second paragraph is a possibility but for the record, here is a video of the shredding at Sotheby's. Imagine if you'd been the one who just spent more than a million dollars for it:
More information and discussion at The Conversation.
ON TURNING NINETY
It's been a while since reader Ann Pitkin sent this poem. Although the title references turning 90, given the medical news I reported about myself yesterday, it feels just as relevant for this 77-year-old.
The poet is Edmund Keeley. You can read a bit about him here.
It can be laughable
to stand in a room
and not know why
you came in there,
familiar as it still is
for the work you once brought
to lighten its dullness
now the best place
for putting things away,
so why do you still stand there
saying to yourself
what am I doing here?
turning over answers
none of which touch
what still seemed possible
so very recently,
replaced now by the gathering
of things not yet done
and the crowded mess of things
that once seemed important
stuffed into boxes
under the old desk
or piled in curious stacks
on shelves with no room left
and the date book open there
with fading addresses
but now so out of date
and the calculator needing batteries—
why did I come in there?
Yet there’s no point pretending
you can dodge the touch of nostalgia
rising as you wait for an answer,
this sense of a life that gathered
enough good moments to remain
cause for hoping the memory
of what really counted will stay,
the imagination’s awakening
and its flowering as time would have it
while teaching you the secrets of nature,
the green fields of loving,
the heart’s selfless companions,
the friends who remained faithful,
these gifts the gods brought
when they managed to glance your way,
and much else beyond understanding
since the luck of your arriving
and your staying this long
still to find those things
so worth laughing about,
so worth singing about,
after you discover that memory
has its own bargain with time
for what remnant life it can carry
whether or not you remember
why you happen to be
where your path has chosen to bring you
on any given day.
PACHELBEL’S CANON IN C(HICKEN)
A reader who identified himself only as Joe sent this video and it is such a wonderfully silly thing. I have misplaced the origin of this intro but here it is anyway:”Eddy, a violinist from YouTube duo TwoSet Violin, has created a multitracked version of Johann Pachelbel’s beautifully romantic wedding classic – his Canon in D – with the assistance of four rubber chickens.
“The most impressive thing is that he can actually play the chickens in tune. There’s also a particularly beautiful, squawk-filled moment around 1:51, when the final two lines of semiquavers join together.”
If that's not enough for you, you will find Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz in Chicken here.
CONGRESS BANS PHARMACY GAG RULE
Some good medical price news for 2019: Congress has banned the “pharmacist gag rule.” Kaiser Health News (KHN) explains:”For years, most pharmacists couldn’t give customers even a clue about an easy way to save money on prescription drugs. But the restraints are coming off.
“When the cash price for a prescription is less than what you would pay using your insurance plan, pharmacists will no longer have to keep that a secret.”
The new rules affect Medicare and Medicare Advantage beneficiaries along with commercial employer-based and individual policies
There is a catch, however. (Of course there is; there always is):”Under the new legislation, pharmacists will not be required to tell patients about the lower cost option. If they don’t, it’s up to the customer to ask.”
And this:”While the legislation removes gag orders, it doesn’t address how patients who pay the cash price outside their insurance plan can apply that expense toward meeting their policy’s deductible.”
Obviously, there is more to know so it behooves us to keep watch for additional information. Meanwhile, here is the entire KHN story.
DOG AND JAGUAR ARE BEST FRIENDS
You know how much I enjoy interspecies friendship. Here's another:* * *
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.