“At Death's Door, Shedding Light On How To Live”

INTERESTING STUFF – 17 November 2018


I may have mentioned that I was a big Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) fan on its first run from 1988 to 1994 and I've watched the entire series two or three times since.

One of the many great things about the show was medical care. Broken arm? Just hold a mobile phone-sized device over and it healed in a couple of minutes. Something just as simple and quick for cancer and I expected these advance in medical science to be here by the time I might need them.

No such luck but get this:

”On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Commander Riker had an impressive ability to receive head wounds. Luckily for him, Dr. Crusher could whip out the 'dermal regenerator,' a handheld sci-fi tool that healed skin wounds with a colorful laser.

“Luckily for us, Kaushal Rege and colleagues at Arizona State University are developing essentially the same thing. Well, close enough. In a new paper out from the journal Advanced Functional Materials, the engineers successfully repaired animal wounds with a silk and gold nanomaterial activated by a laser.

But wait. There's more:

”Because near-infrared light can penetrate fairly deeply into tissue, Ghosh and colleagues hope to use the technology to eventually repair things like blood vessels and nerves—tissues that are often deep in the body and time-consuming to repair...

“Ghosh expects the cost of the silk-gold material will not be prohibitively expensive, and the lasers would be a one-time equipment cost for medical centers.”

If the current living rat tests go well, the researchers will move on to pigs and, eventually, humans.

You can read more at ieee Spectrum.


Last week, New York City held its annual marathon that runs through all five boroughs. As you might imagine, non-fans who need to get around town are frustrated by the delays. Here's a terrific video of them try to cross streets as the long line of marathoners are passing by.


I know I've posted about ice hotels before but I like them, winter is here (well, it feels like it where I am) and why not? Although there are many ice hotels around the world now, this is the original:


I guess this second ice video means I'm fairly impressed with arrival of cold weather this year. This one – a student film – is about an ice castle in New Hampshire built each year by a team of engineers and artists. The story is as much about two young sisters who visit the castle.


This item came from my friend John Gear who practices consumer law in Salem, Oregon, and when John says something is powerful, I listen. Here is what it is about – from nursinghome411:

"I am writing to let you know that we are launching a new 'Tell YOUR Story' tool that will enable residents, families, ombudsmen, and those who work with them tell their story about nursing home or assisted living care. The form is available here.

“One can fill out the form on the website, download it to fill out on a computer or phone, or print out a hard copy to mail in. All personal identifying information is kept confidential unless the individual provides specific permission otherwise.

“Stories about resident care can have an enormous impact on advocacy for better care and dignity. We would appreciate any help you can provide in getting the word out and passing this along!”

If you have such a story to tell, please do that at this website.


I have a vague sense I've posted this video before but it is nice to watch and kind of soothing in it way seeing how the animals go about their daily lives.


Sunday TGB music columnist Peter Tibbles and his Assistant Musicologist sent this story. It is a map of the United States made up entirely from titles of over 1,000 songs about place names in the country.

Here's a piece of the west coast:


And here is a piece of the east coast.


You can see the whole thing at We Are Dorothy. It is a retail website in London where you can buy the map – I am not promoting that, just letting you know.


Squirrel intelligence and agility gets put to the test in this obstacle course. They are such clever little critters.


TGB reader Celia sent this video of animators' idea of what they would be like if animals were round? It's funny. Enjoy.

There are more inflated animals 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.


I laughed when I learned YOU are a Star-Trek fan, Ronni. My kids and grandkids, too, were captivated even with the re-runs of the original "Star Trek" and Gene Roddenberry's genius.

I think the fine Shakespearean actor, Patrick Stewart, doing his state of the art 'boss' as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard was a large part of The Next Generation's success. Even now, my son's and I use his trade mark comment..."Make it so." Integrity and strength portrayed as he did, seem to make 3 simple words very memorable.

I'll bite the bullet and not even get started on the many favorite single scenes still bright in memory even though I haven't seen them for over 20 years. They came across as morality plays to me, giving a good message of hope.
Hope is still my favorite 4-letter word for all of us here on this tired old planet...so...
Hope and Warm Wishes for you on these chilly days, Charlene.

I always love the round up of interesting things on Saturday! The post about trying to cross the street during the marathon sparked one of my favorite memories, from a December visit to New York City a few years ago. My sister and I were in Grand Central Station when we began to notice hundreds of people dressed as Santa and elves gaily flooding down the stairwell, singing carols and passing out candy. It turned out to be a group of people who regularly organize this flash mob kind of thing. As out-of-towners, we were delighted and amused, but the security guards and commuters were furious. Thank you also for the post about providing our stories about assisted living; my mom was in one for years and I have many, many things to relate that might improve life for folks.

I would never make it across the street during a marathon, too slow for sure. Loved watching those that did trying to figure out when to make their move.

Thank you for the squirrels! I spent my childhood roaming the West Virginia hills around our very small town for most of my summer days by myself, watching the animals and delighting in how clever they are -- inquisitive, creative, quick and agile. It was better than any circus or movie (no TV in those ancient days).

You brought those sweet memories rushing back to me. How happy is childhood when left alone to find your own entertainment. My Mom was good at just leaving me alone to wander and find the world on my own terms.

And I thought it amazing (and a bit unnerving) when my major surgical incision was closed with just glue and butterfly strips!

What's a backyard without squirrels? Especially when they delight in teasing the dog. They know exactly how close to let the dog come before they scamper to safety.

And the round animals had me laughing out loud!

Thanks for another great Saturday jackpot, Ronni. Stay warm!

Just delightful. I always like episodes of animals finding solutions. Boy, this squirrel sure did. As did those non-marathon runners. Their faces were fascinating to watch.

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