Cancer Cures? Do Not Presume

INTERESTING STUFF – 15 August 2020


...when Carl tied a bunch of helium balloons to his house and sailed away?

”Jonathan Trappe does that in real life,” the YouTube page tells us. "He attaches helium balloons to office chairs, gondolas, boats, even little houses, and he goes flying. Trappe has crossed the English Channel and soared over the Alps. He’s witnessed spectacular sunsets and glorious moonrises.

“Here’s how a guy who is an IT consultant by day made his wildest childhood dream a reality.”


Last Monday, we talked about pandemic loneliness and how we try to mitigate it. TGB reader Rosemary Woodel explained in a comment what she does:

”I started a ukulele band. We have zoom lessons weekly. We also meet once/wk with folks who sing or play weird instruments (kazoo, washboard, washtub bass). We record funny songs (or inspirational songs) using Acapella so we can maintain 6 ft distances apart but apparently be together.”

She posted this one to YouTube:


You read that right - 600 years. Take a look:

Since the video was made, three chicks have been born. You can read more at The Guardian and see a still photo of them.


Have you ever heard of this weather phenomenon? I hadn't. But it happened in the midwest of the U.S. last Monday. According to Wikipedia, a derecho is

”...a widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms known as a mesoscale convective system.

“Derechos can cause hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, heavy rains, and flash floods...the wind remains sustained for a greater period of time (often increasing in strength after onset), and may exceed hurricane-force. A derecho-producing convective system may remain active for many hours and, occasionally, over multiple days.”

In addition to toppled trees, damaged homes, power outages, flooding and even an overturned semi-trailer on a highway, there is major crop damage:


The headline is all you need to know. Take a look.


Home Depot is selling a 69-inch-high (that seven inches taller than I am) dragon suitable to leave out on the lawn to scare the kiddoes on Halloween. It sells for $399 and if you spring for an extra $70, you can get a fog machine so that it spits smoke.

Here's the best (not very good) video I could find:

This still photo is much better:


Wow. I love it. If I had one, I'd plunk it down right in my living room. Maybe it would scare away the grim reaper.


Take a look at this cute little guy. Hardly dramatic – just a hamster eating carrot sticks from its purse. Betcha can't watch it only once.


A lovely story of connection and understanding between a man and herd of elephants.

The Youtube page tells us,

“The Elephant Whisperer, wrote a book about them, a book that appealed to animal lovers worldwide. The original herd of 7 Elephants has now increased to 29 Elephants, the maximum sustainable capacity of Thula Thula...”

More at the youtube page.


A tale for our time. Meir Kay writes on the YouTube page,

”What We Can Learn About Life From A Potato, Eggs, And Coffee is a story I read a couple months back and thought how good it would be bring this story to the 'big' screen. I had the pleasure to team up with my good friend, Jay Shetty to bring this powerful lesson to life.”

* * *

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.


Thank you fr the morning's entertainment -- the videos were all interesting, but the footage on the derecho hit home, as northern IL was right in its path, and we have been cleaning up around here, the same as many other midwest communities it hit. We were very fortunate at our house not to have lost power, not even a flicker, while thousands of others in our city were without electricity for at least two days. We had a similar storm in July of 2003, with fierce straight-line winds, but it wasn't as widespread as this one and was labeled a microburst rather than a derecho. Regardless, each one resulted in days of cleanups of fallen trees and debris. Fortunately personal injury seems to have been minimal.

I would love the experience of flying in an open gondola carried by dozens of large helium balloons!

It would seem like that salmon fishery is in big trouble now that a humpback whale has learned its schedule. Yikes!

And it occurs to me that the bonus video of the potato, coffee beans and egg leaves out one important element, which is that someone has to do something to each for it to have the good outcome that it does -- help it out of the boiling water before it's too late. Sometimes I think that with our romantic notion of the great value of resilience and self-reliance we often forget how dependent we all are on the intervention efforts of others.

Thanks again Ronni for an entertaining and informative start to the weekend! I hope that yours is a good one too!

Morning Ronni,
Thanks for some very interesting stuff - I especially love the band.

"[S]omeone has to do something to each for it to have the good outcome that it does -- help it out of the boiling water before it's too late. Sometimes I think that with our romantic notion of the great value of resilience and self-reliance we often forget how dependent we all are on the intervention efforts of others."
Love that, Cathy J! That's a great insight. Thank you.

OMG, I want that dragon. And I shared your carrot eating hamster on f-b. Very entertaining post, thank you Ronni.

Fabulous! The balloons, the whale, and I'm saving the "Elephant Whisperer" later, just for the fun of it. Oh, yes, that sweet band, lovely. Thank you so much. And another goody for later, linked to the whale vid is one on how whales influence the planet. It said how they could "save" the planet, but that seems a bit over the top. Thanks! Hope your day is good.

Thanks, Ronni! Another fine collection of interesting stuff.

The potato, eggs and coffee beans don’t really choose what they become, and maybe people don’t have as much choice as we’d like to think.
A couple of engineers and volunteers sponsored by National Geographic flew a house in 2011. You can see it on youtube. Who doesn’t love the movie “Up.”❤️

Thank you, dear Ronni. While I enjoyed everything here (I always do), Rosemary Woodel's "Tip toe thru the Tulips" really gave me a big smile and the Elephant Whisperer put a real lump in my throat. Now I need to go back & watch that hamster video again :)

The hamster is adorable but I want that dragon!! Sadly, around here, it would probably be stolen the first night it was out.

My goodness Ronni, you hit the jackpot with interesting stuff today!
Enough to entertain me all week. A welcome change from all the bad news on TV: Trump’s craziness , Covid, USPS. Etc etc. As Granpa Jones used to say on HeeHaw. “If it weren’t for bad news there’d be no news at all.“ Thanks for all you do...


"Derecho" in Spanish translates to "Straight", thus I assume why this type of storm is called that.

"A la derecha" translates "To the right", so similar except the last letter.
My Spanish lesson for today.

Would go up in the balloons in a heart beat!

Everyone stay healthy and happy!

Love to you, Ronni.

Just discovered your blog. I will be 84 in September and have been looking for blogs that stimulate and inspire and connect with what's going on in the world. I am looking forward to exploring more of your blog. Perhaps contributing??? I particulaly enjoyed the pieces on storks, elephants, and the whale. I enjoy nature.

What a wonderful assortment of videos today! I particularly loved the video about the elephants, and posted it on Facebook for other animal lover-friends to see and enjoy. Thank you!!

You are much in my thoughts.

Especially enjoyed the animal videos. I read "The Elelphant Whisperer" a few years ago and well remember how at the end it was reported that the elephants came to Anthony's house, having had no way of knowing he had died. . .he hadn't even died on his homestead.

Thank you, as always, Ronni, but especially this Saturday. It was so marvelous for you to feature our band here at the old people's dormitory. Most of the 250 people who live in Wesley Woods Athens are very proud of us and, pre-Covid, attended our concerts live. We may not be musical geniuses but we love creating something that will make folks smile. We just made a recording of Happy Birthday for the special daughter of a friend of ours. Marge Harris was in the hospital getting over surgery for a broken hip but she gladly recorded herself for that one in spite of being in pain and receiving oxygen. In some ways that reminds me of you, preparing things for us to think about, learn from, or laugh over. You've been important to me and two other Athenians who will greatly miss you whenever you are unable to perform this beautiful service to us.

"interesting Stuff" was great! The elephants were the best. And what a great teaching moment was the potato, eggs, and coffee beans segment. Of course, the banjo sales have just gone up. The band was perfect.
Thank you for your selections.

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