DIFFICULTY WAKING UP?
Through many of my working years, I often needed to be up at 4:30AM or 5AM. No big deal. I hit the floor running in those days and was out the door on schedule.
These days, in my dotage, I wake up more like this poor guy. I know exactly how he feels.
JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH AS REFUGEES
People all over the internet have been discussing (arguing about?) this nativity scene all week so you may have seen it. As the CNN.com Wire Service reports,
”The Claremont United Methodist Church, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, posted the photo on its website showing [Jesus, Mary and Joseph] held in separate cages topped with barbed wire. The baby Jesus is wrapped in a silver foil blanket.”
Here is some video about it from the local ABC News affiliate including an interview with Lead Pastor Karen Clark Ristine.
You can read more here.
HOW BIG GOVERNMENT CAN HELP
In 2017, two weeks before the enrollment period ended, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent out letters to more than 3.5 million households suggesting they sign up for health insurance coverage. Then they watched what happened.
”The study shows that with a simple nudge in the form of a letter, people were more likely to obtain coverage, which highlights the positive effect outreach can have on increasing insurance enrollment...
“This new evidence raises questions about the wisdom to cut outreach efforts. President Donald Trump's administration previously has slashed advertisement and outreach budgets that were meant to spur enrollment in health insurance coverage through the ACA exchanges.”
The Los Angeles Times continues with additional news from the research:
”...it’s the most statistically valid study showing that mortality rates are lower for people with coverage. Indeed, the study found that among those 49 to 64 years old, acquiring health insurance showed up in lower death rates within a year or two.”
Big government does important things for the people of the United States, but the Trump administration continues to cut funding for many federal agencies.
THE SURGEON WHO PERFORMED MY PANCREATIC CANCER SURGERY
I was poking around the website of the medical center where I have been and continue to be treated for cancer and COPD. Here is a short video with the surgeon, Brett Sheppard, who performed my Whipple procedure at the Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU).
He's every bit as smart, dedicated and caring as he appears to be in this video.
THE OLDEST PHARMACY IN THE U.S.
There are lots of complaints lately about what a scary place YouTube is but I spend more time there than I would like to admit and haven't run into anything objectionable except too much awful video production among the good stuff.
Just this week I discovered some videos about the oldest pharmacy in the United States - in New York City, Sixth Avenue between Eighth and Ninth Streets in Greenwich Village – MY pharmacy for the 40 years I lived there.
Here's one of those videos:
That headline is the title of a 2017 CG animated film directed by Illogic Collective, six French 3D artists during their studies at MoPA, animation school in France.
This short film (7-plus minutes) – another of my random discoveries on YouTube this week - is their graduation film. Think of it as a froggy horror movie that takes place in a deserted villa. The film won a slew of awards and was nominated for an Academy Award.
HOUSE PASSES BILL TO LOWER DRUG COSTS FOR MEDICARE ENROLLEES
Remember last Monday when I told you about H.R. 3, a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives meant to reduce the price of drugs for Medicare subscribers?
Amidst their marathon impeachment sessions, the House passed the measure on Thursday. As The Center for Medicare Advocacy explained afterward:
”Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, The Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, by a vote of 230 to 192 [along party lines]. This bill, if enacted into law, would lead to a significant reduction in prescription drug costs.
“The resulting savings would be reinvested into a critical expansion of Medicare benefits (vision, hearing, dental), low-income protections, and Medigap rights expansion.”
That is, if it passes in a Senate vote. For awhile, President Donald J. Trump publicly supported the bill but seems to have backed off now.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a strong history of burying bills he doesn't want to pass.
Read more at the Washington Post.
WHERE DOES ALMOND MILK COME FROM?
Meet an almond milk farmer – whose tongue is firmly in his cheek.
KINDERGARTNER INVITES HIS WHOLE CLASS TO HIS OFFICIAL ADOPTION
This is the best story you'll see all day. Maybe all week.
”Michael Orlando Clark Jr. [age 5] invited his entire kindergarten class to attend his adoption hearing,” reported 13 on Your Side, in Grand Rapids, Michigan...
“Thursday marked the 23rd annual Adoption Day in Kent County. The event is put on by the Family Division of the Circuit Court in Kent County...”
Let's go to the video tape – prepare to have your heart warmed.
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.