The COVID-19 Pandemic
ELDER MUSIC: Playing For Change



This is Conrad Heyer. He was born in 1749 and served in the American Revolutionary War. It is believed, according to Snopes, that he is the earliest born American to be photographed.

The photograph was taken when he was 103 in 1852. You can read more at Snopes and at the Smithsonian magazine website.


The 2020 Census in the U.S. has begun. Forms started arriving in people's mailboxes this week.

Here is how Sesame Street is explaining the Census to their young audience. A reminder for all of us.

As the YouTube page tell us: It only takes 10 minutes to support kids for the next 10 years. Call, return your form by mail, or go to the Census website.


My friend Barbara Fisher sent this video of a relationship among two storks and a man that has lasted for more than a quarter of a century. Take a look:

Last August, Total Croatia News posted this sad update:

”Retired janitor Stjepan Vokić, who has been caring for Malena for thirty years, explained that his ''Klepo'' returned to the nest and his beloved Malena for the last time looking old, tired, and very unwell.

"'Four of them (birds) came and began making some very sad noises. I knew then that Klepo had gone, he had died. You know how they say that birds die singing,' Vokić sadly said.”


As you probably know, the entire country of Italy is in lockdown at home - no one is allowed out in the streets. In the past couple of days, quarantined Italians have been singing with one another across those empty streets and some people caught it on video. As one said, beautiful and haunting.


Peter Tibbles, who has been writing the TGB Sunday music column, Elder Music, for about 10 years, has put together a different kind of post for tomorrow, Sunday.

His choices are, as always, impeccable. All selections – all in video this time - are from a worldwide organization dedicated to inspire and connect the people of the world. A whole lot of musicians – famous and not – are involved. Don't miss it.


On Thursday, Late Night with Seth Meyers made the decision - along with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Show with Stephen Colbert - to suspend production of their shows until at least March 30th.

In Meyers' case, he and the staff had already written Thursday's “A Closer Look” segment and so they went ahead and recorded it, and posted it to YouTube. Here it is:


There is no reason for this item except that I ran across the word this week. I had forgotten about it since I first saw it a year or two ago. It's fun to say: KAK-is-TOC-ra-see.

It is a term that describes rule by the stupid, ignorant, lazy and profoundly incompetent. Sound familiar?


People don't seem to do musical flash mobs much anymore – or any kind of flash mobs. I miss them – not that I ever saw one in person.

TGB reader Kate Gilpin sent in this one from nine years ago. I might not have posted it today except her description in the email she sent makes it a must see:

”I have always found that [this flash mob] actually brings me to tears because of the amazing sense of community it illustrates - I mean, primarily, the orchestra members and the conductor, but also the observers, who sense something remarkable happening, and stop to experience it.

“They all gradually come together, start playing their part, while the conductor modifies his movements to accommodate the growing number of players surrounding him. The drummer begins, the flute comes in, a platform appears, a baton. Just a FABULOUS experience in cooperation and love—of the music, of each other, of the project at hand.”

Now how could you resist watching after that description.


I posted this live cam about a year ago, last time the two bald eagles were awaiting the birth of their brood. There are three eggs this year. So take a peek inside this massive eagle nest in Decorah, Iowa.

You can find out more about the Decorah eagles at along with a whole lot of other live wildlife cameras from around the world.

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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.


Ronnie. If you like the word Kakistocracy you'll love this one....

Nosophobia is the irrational fear of having a specific disease.

The origins of the word Nosophobia come from ‘nosos’ and phobos which mean disease and fear in Greek.

In recent years, nosophobia has also been referred to as cyberchondria. This stems from a lot of the information that is at the root of the fear is found in "cyberspace."
Risk Factors

Exposure to high levels of media coverage about disease and the risks of contracting diseases
Having suffered traumatic health problems in the past
Repeated exposure to people with serious illnesses

Nosophobia appears to be more common among students and researchers who spend a great deal of time reading about specific diseases. These conditions are often called "medical student’s disease."

Got a kick out of Bruce's comment. Whenever I read a book that involves a disease, I am absolutely sure I'm coming down with it. And now of course I've been reading about Coronavirus incessantly. Got my fingers crossed. And god love those Italians. They don't know how to run a country. But they sure do know how to live life to the fullest!

Thanks for glimpses into the kinder, more beautiful, and just possibly more real aspects of the world. Music, yes! Kindness, yes! The patience of an eagle on the nest, yes! All antidotes for a frightened world. These are real, they are happening, the planet, even now, holds amazing beauty, love and kindness. Patience. Calm. Thank you.

And a "thank you" also to Salinda Dahl for putting her lovely words to the thoughts in my mind and heart more eloquently than I would be able.

I always enjoyed the "Flash Mob" events like Ronni must, from a distance. Thank you for bringing this one back, Ronni. My favorite part has been the audiences. The dear faces of so many, young, old, and just like us.... having a wonderful time.

We are all connected, and my hope is someday humanity will discover finding out we could actually make FIRE for the first time. It changed everything for mankind. I'm truly ready for a "change" for the good of us all.

I'll really miss the late night comedians during this coronavirus thing. They are a major part of my bedtime routine and the only tv comedy that I watch regularly. Their take on current events keeps me sane. But I watched Colbert Thursday night with only his staff members in the audience and it just wasn't the same. Hope they all stay healthy and know they will be missed.

Stay well, everyone.

Watching the Italians sing made me cry this morning. They are really in it together.

Thank you, Ronni! "Kakistocracy" alone was worth the price of admission!
A world with you and Stjepan Vokić in it is worth saving.

Thank you for your posts, especially at this time in our lives.
I especially love the glimpses into music and nature that "Interesting
Stuff" gives us.

That photo of Conrad Heyer, I can’t stop staring at it; everything about it is remarkable. The title alone, ‘Photograph of Revolutionary War Veteran’... amazing.

I think the older I get, the more emotional I become. The video of the storks & that kind man tending to them and giving him a reason for living, left me a bit teary-eyed. Such kindness here.

I think I owe Alex from ‘The Alex & Ronni Show’ an apology; I made some grumbles yesterday that he wasn’t being as serious as I thought he should be, and now I can’t stop smiling at “kakistrocraxy”. If ever there was a time to learn a new word… Ronni, thanks as always for the weekly smorgasbord :)


Since you liked "Kakistocracy" as much as I did. See how you feel about a personal favorite from here when I noted the travel ban did not affect  certain 'golf course' locations.  We have to sure beats crying here in snowy Portland.

The most accurate definition below comes from Wikipedia.

"Kleptocracy"  is a government with corrupt leaders (kleptocrats) that use their power to exploit the people and natural resources of their own territory in order to extend their personal wealth and political powers. Typically, this system involves embezzlement of funds at the expense of the wider population.   

There's so much good in the world that we just don't hear about. Your Saturday shows are proof of that. Thanks so much, Ronni

What I liked about the flash mob was that there were very few in the crowd using their phones to record it. Most were watching and listening.

This is a great post; I love the story of the storks and the singing in Italy.

Glorious and (much needed) collection for us all this weekend.

Loved the story about the Croatian janitor and his storks. He said he believed in the good. Loved the Guardian vid from Italy and China. We are one world. Thank you, Ronni.

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