The Alex and Ronni Show – 22 November 2019

INTERESTING STUFF – 23 November 2019


The movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, currently in theaters stars Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers. Here's a fun, little coincidence from Huffington Post:

”An family tree shared in the Access Hollywood report indicates that Hanks and Rogers are connected through a distant cousin named Johannes Meffert.”

The two men are, according to Ancestry, sixth cousins. Here is a short video of Hanks with his wife Rita Wilson as they find out about the connection:


The headline is all you need to know:


As The New York Times explains, Oxford dictionaries' word of the year is meant to highlight

“...a word or expression shown through usage evidence to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have a lasting potential as a term of cultural significance.”

The 2019 winner is “climate emergency” selected from an all-environment shortlist that included “climate action,” “climate denial,” “eco-anxiety,” “extinction” and “flight shame.”

You can find out much more at the Oxford Dictionaries website.


Because he did such a lovely job of a slight story, I will let the Mother Nature Network (MNN) writer, Christian Cotroneo, tell you what you need to know about this video.

”Have you ever danced with a snowy owl beneath the pale moonlight? Well, this little fox might say he did — and lived to tell the tale.

“In surveillance footage caught at a marina in Cobourg, Ontario, a young fox is locked in a strangely tender tango with a snowy owl [as] the unlikely duo meeting in a serene stretch of snow outside the marina office.

“For a few fleeting moments, the fox twirls and leaps around the owl. But his enthusiasm doesn’t seem to be shared by the owl, who perches all puffed up and menacing in the same spot.

“A moment later, the pair parts ways. The only sign of this strange winter ballet is a series of pirouettes paw-printed into the snow — and that no-nonsense owl print in the middle of it all.”

There is a bit more at MNN.


We in the northern hemisphere – well, maybe it's just me – marvel at the weird and odd animals of Australia. Here is one I never heard of before, the jumping tree snake.

”Thanks to researchers at Virginia Tech,” reports Mental Floss, “we now know these non-venomous snakes of the genus Dendrelaphis can become airborne, propelling themselves around treetops like sentient Silly String.”

Keep your eye on the upper right corner of the video frame:

More at Mental Floss.


There is more to it than sliding a card into a machine to pay for goods just purchased to clicking a button on a computer screen. In my case, a quick glance at the money left in my wallet lets me know how I'm doing on my weekly budget. I've done it that way all my life.

Take a look at some other information about a cashless society.

The video is right – a cashless society with its conveniences and potential horror stories will soon be upon us.


You may have already seen the “unicorn puppy” - he's been everywhere because he's so cute. Mother Nature Network (MNN) tells us:

”The 10-week-old puppy, rescued by Mac's Mission - a nonprofit dog rescue that predominately helps homeless dogs and pups with special needs - has a small tail-like growth on his forehead. Even though the tail makes Narwhal the 'coolest puppy ever,' no, it does not wag...”

Take a look:

You can read more at MNN. And there is a Facebook page.


Last Monday, the U.S. Census Bureau released information on how and when most Americans will be asked to respond to the 2020 Census.

”Nearly every household will be invited to respond online, by phone or by mail to the census starting in mid-March 2020. Most areas—about three of every four households—will receive an invitation to respond online (or by phone), while the other households will receive a paper questionnaire along with an invitation to respond online.

“Regardless of which invitation they receive, all households that have not yet responded will receive a paper questionnaire by mid-April.”

Here is the interactive map to check on your census delivery, and the announcement from the Census Bureau is here.


I may have posted this video when it was first released more than two years ago. It seems vaguely familiar but I enjoyed it this time as much as before (if there was a before).

Here is what the YouTube page says:

”The video comes from a new project called ‘Forestbeat’, launched by photographers Bruno D’Amicis and Umberto Esposito.

“After the discovery of the ancient venerable beech forest within the territory of Italy’s National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, the team have sought to spread awareness of the area to the general public.”

A camera was left in place for a year.

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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.


Love the video of the tree in the forest.

Owl and fox, what a wonderful film catch!

Great pics, I reposted on FB quite few. Thanks, Ronni

The only place where I still pay cash is at the barbershop; in fact, I can’t remember the last time I dumped my pocket change on my bedroom bureau. I have a single quarter laying there, found it on the sidewalk a year or so ago.

It’s funny how some of us take to new ways, and others don’t. I got my first “Anytime Banking” card back in 1979, and now I don’t even carry a wallet. Just my drivers license & debit card. My sister (we’re less than 2 years apart in age) has yet to get one. She pays all her bills by check, and when she needs cash she goes to the bank—at least she uses the drive-thru :)

I always enjoy your Saturday Interesting Stuff emails. Thank you, Ronni!

To Doug's point: I've read that it may not be a case of "early adopter" vs "late adopter", but a matter of who watches their money more closely. As, in general, women make less money than men, they feel the need to watch what they spend, more closely. From a report on such studies, "So how does paying with cash help you save money? Maybe by making you think more about every purchase. If you have a finite amount of cash in your wallet, you can actually see the total shrink with each purchase. It's harder to do when you are running up a credit card bill or automatically debiting the money from your checking account."

Cop Car, you make a good point; my sister isn't averse to technology, she got a smartphone a couple years ago when her husband found a good family plan. Meanwhile, I still use a flip-phone. :)

Wait ... what? Cashless society? Sorry, I lost the thread because I was completely distracted by the charming accent of the sexy and handsome French economist.

Doug--Each of us is probably a mixed bag. I purchased my first cell phone (a smart phone) in February 2007 - to assist me in my volunteer work. The phone was smart, but I did NOT subscribe to a data service. What I had wanted to be able to do was to carry Word, Excel, and other data files with me without carrying a separate PDA. I still carry that phone; but, having stopped going out to work disaster relief, I now average using it 11 minutes/month, according to my service provider. OTOH: I own three desktop computers and two laptops - and provide IT for my husband's two desktops and one laptop. He has changed smart phones every two or three years and uses a lot of phone time and even more internet time on it. He pays cash while I use a card for nearly everything. Mixed bags, we are.

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