458 posts categorized "Interesting Stuff"

INTERESTING STUFF – 9 November 2019

MEDIEVAL HELP DESK

This video is old, posted to the web 12 years ago, but the Youtube page tells us it's even older:

”...from the show Øystein og jeg on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) in 2001. With Øystein Backe (helper) and Rune Gokstad (desperate monk). Written by Knut Nærum.”

Funny how it doesn't seem all that dated.

SHOULD IT BE LEGAL TO CHANGE YOUR AGE?

Remember last week when I featured a story about a guy who wanted to legally shave 20 years off his age? My internet friend Chuck Nyren took issue with the man:

”How stupid is that? wrote Chuck. “Even if you look pretty good for being in your late sixties, you’ll automatically look like shit if you smile and tell people you’re forty-two.

“They’ll feel sorry for you, think how pathetic. You’ll be the most wizened, creepy, broken-down forty-two-year-old in the world. They’ll run away, maybe be sick the rest of the day just thinking about it.

But - what if you legally changed your age to ninety-two? That would actually make sense. People will be in shock, admire you, ask how you do it, want your secret. They’ll walk away amazed, in awe.

There is more of Chuck's rebuttal at Mediium.

DYING IS NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK

Says palliative care physician and author Kathryn Mannix. Her description of a person's last hours or minutes closely matches what I saw in my mother as I sat with her when she died.

THE SCOURGE OF SINGLE-USE PLASTIC

Certainly you've seen the photos and videos of plastic-clogged oceans that are killing marine life and adding to climate change.

Just last year, my town banned plastic grocery bags. I'm not sure how much that helps when plastic bags are still in the produce department and deli items are packed in plastic containers but I guess it is a start.

There are 10 countries in the world, however, where single-use plastics are all but gone or getting there on a fast track. France leads the way:

”The country took its first step toward a plastic-free future in 2015 by giving plastic bags the boot. The following year, it became the first nation to outlaw plastic cups, plates, and cutlery.

“By 2020, French folks will say au revoir to plastic straws, coffee stirrers, and cotton swabs, too. France’s progress has even inspired the entire EU to propose legislation that would ban single-use plastics across the union by 2021, and make all plastic packaging recyclable by 2030.”

Zimbabwe, Australia, Tunisia, Peru, Rwanda and the U.K. among other countries all have regulations in place to rid themselves of single-use plastics within a few years from now.

The U.S. has a long way to go to catch up. Read more at Great Big Story including links to shop for alternatives to single use plastics.

THOUSANDS OF GEESE CROSS THE ROAD

They keep coming and coming and coming and coming. Watch for the few grownups waddling along among the baby geese.

MOBILE PHONES PREDICTED IN 1953

In April 1953, Pacific Telephone and Telegraph president, Mark R. Sullivan, predicted the coming of the mobile phone.

Snopes confirmed the story which appeared in at least four newspapers. He was remarkably accurate as this newspaper clipping shows:

PredictionMobilePhones1953

More at Snopes.

WHERE DID THE AMPERSAND COME FROM

The & is much older than I thought and was once included as part of the British alphabet. Take a look:

FAVORITE PHRASE OF THE WEEK

On 29 October, when House Democrats issued the rules that will be used to manage the public impeachment inquiry, Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), a member of House Democratic leadership, told VICE News,

"If they want to make it into a goat rodeo, we’re not going to give them the rope to do that.”

Goat rodeo? Ha! I've waited a lifetime for such a great phrase. It will be so useful in such sentences as, “The goat rodeo that spends its time trying to make the president's lies seem true.”

TO BE OF SERVICE

Monday 11 November is Veterans Day. Mother Nature Network (MNN) tells us about a new documentary film featuring military members and their service dogs:

To Be of Service follows several American veterans of wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam and the dogs that help them cope with PTSD. The film was directed by Josh Aronson, known for the Oscar-nominated documentary Sound and Fury about deaf families.

Here is the trailer:

You can read more at MNN and check for screenings of the documentary at the film's webpage.

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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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 2 November 2019

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS

DaylightSavingsTime

In case you forgot – I almost did – Daylight Savings Time ends tonight when you should turn back your clocks one hour. TURN BACK not forward.

Your computer, smart phone and maybe some other appliances will adjust themselves. If you're like me, you have way too many analogue clocks that need to be changed by hand.

SHOULD CHANGING YOUR AGE BE LEGAL?

TGB reader, Tom Delmore, sent this story from Aeon written by Joona Räsänen, a bioethicist from the University of Norway. He posits that people should be able to legally change their age.

One example he gave is of a man who thought taking 20 years off his age would help him out on dating websites.

”Age change should be allowed when the following three conditions are met,” explains Räsänen. First, the person is at risk of being discriminated against because of age. Second, the person’s body and mind are in better shape than would be expected based on the person’s chronological age (that is, the person is biologically younger than he is chronologically). Third, the person does not feel that his legal age is befitting.”

There is more to Räsänen's argument than what I have quoted. You can read it here.

For the record, I think there is more than enough ad hoc jiggering around with age by people who believe they look younger than they are. They rarely do and we don't need anymore confusion in our world.

NEW SUFFRAGETTE SCULPTURE FOR NEW YORK CITY

Did you know that “Central Park is home to 23 statues of real men (and one real dog), but there are no sculptures of important women from history?” that there are statues of only fictional women like Juliet from Shakespeare's play?

That will end next year when a new statue of suffragettes Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and abolitionist/women's rights activist Sojourner Truth will be installed in the park. Take a look:

Womens_rights_pioneers_monument-4

And it doesn't end there. According to Michele Debczak writing in Mental Floss, activists are pushing for more women's statues.

This year, Virginia unveiled a monument consisting of 12 historic women, and in 2020, construction will begin of a statue of journalist Nellie Bly on New York City's Roosevelt Island.”

Read more at Mental Floss and at The Guardian.

ALEX TREBEK PSA

As you know from past mentions here, Jeopardy! host, Alex Trebek, is being treated for pancreatic cancer. In a PSA (public service announcement) recently recorded, Trebek is raising awareness of early symptoms:

“I wished I had known sooner that the persistent stomach pain I experienced prior to my diagnosis was a symptom of pancreatic cancer,” he says in the PSA.”

Here is the video but be aware that his list of additional symptoms is not definitive. Mine were mostly different from his. Here's the PSA:

Read more at USA Today.

MAKING HOLOCAUST RECORDS AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE

As the YouTube page explains:

”Allan Brauner is a Holocaust researcher. His late mother Margaret Brauner, who lived from 1924 to 2017, was a Holocaust survivor. He discovered her name, the number tattooed on her arm and her signature on a list of female prisoners held at Auschwitz by the Nazis.

“There are 227 names on the list, and Brauner has made it his personal journey to uncover the stories of all those who experienced the Holocaust alongside his mother.

“The largest archives in the world on the victims of Nazi persecution, the [Arolsen Archives] houses 30 million documents. Ancestry formed a partnership with the Arolsen Archives to make these records widely available and searchable online, for free.“

Here's the video.

The searchable archive is at ancestry.com.

SCAMS AND OLD PEOPLE

Most of what is printed about scams in relation to age is that old people are more susceptible to them than younger people. Well, not so fast.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released it's annual report, “Protecting Older Consumers 2018-2019.” Here is the news:

”People 60 and older are the least likely to report losing money to scams. But when they do, their losses are larger than younger people's. 'What’s more, consumers in that age group spotted fraud and reported it before losing any money at nearly twice the rate of people between 20 and 59.'”

So I guess we are not as dumb as some people want to portray us. Read more at the FTC.

LIVING UNDERGROUND IN AUSTRALIA

In the past, I have posted a different video of Coober Pedy, Australia, a town where most of the people work in opal mining and most of them live underground.

It's a mystery to me why I'm so fascinated with this town but I am and maybe you are too. Take a look:

There are a lot of video about Coober Pedy. Just type the name into youtube and you'll get a long list.

PENNSYLVANIA GHOST TOWN

It's called Centralia. It once held a thousand people but now, only five remain.

”An underground coal fire turned Centralia, Pennsylvania into a ghost town. Centralia, Pennsylvania was nearly entirely evacuated following a coal mine fire, burning beneath the town since 1962. And it still burns. Take a look at the town with some before and after views.

CATS VERSUS AN INVISIBLE WALL

A whole bunch of cats trying to figure out a new phenomenon in their midst.

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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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 26 October 2019

KOMINSKY METHOD SEASON 2

Season two of The Kominsky Method started streaming on Netflix yesterday. It's about two men, lifelong friends played by Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin, making their way through old age together.

Here's one little preview for you – Kathleen Turner, who paired with Douglas so wonderfully during the 1980s in Romancing the Stone, its sequel, The Jewel of the Nile; and The War of the Roses, plays one of Michael Douglas's former wives.

According to Entertainment Weekly,

”Turner plays Ruth, who delights in pushing Sandy’s buttons when he calls her to discuss their daughter, Mindy (Sarah Baker), and her relationship with a much older man (played by series newcomer Paul Reiser).

“Fans of the duo can expect delightfully vicious banter akin to some of their past collaborations, as well as one major wink to Romancing the Stone.”

Here is the trailer:

THE APPLE TRAILER

No, not the tech Apple, apple – you know, those roundish things, usually red or green, that we eat.

There's a brand new kind of apple, the media tells us, named the Cosmic Crisp and it's even got a video trailer, as if it were a movie.

According to all the hype, Cosmic Crisp is the best apple ever. Read more at Mother Nature Network.

MAMA GOOSE GETS COP TO SAVE HER BABY

One of her babies got tangled up in a balloon string so mama goose, sought out a police officer to help.

AMAZING EYE DROPS COMMERCIAL

We could look at this video as a more-clever-than-usual advertisement but then I noticed something disturbing.

At :45 into the commercial, at the end, there appears to be an out-of-focus man on the left of the screen raising a rifle to shoot from the window of what looks like a hotel room.

If I'm not hallucinating, what can we make of that? See what you think.

AUDIO RECORDING OF D-DAY LANDING

Last Tuesday in his Reader Story, Jack Handley, wrote of listening to live broadcasts from London during World War II:

”Two years later,” wrote Jack, “I clamped radio headphones against my ears to listen to Edward R. Murrow's broadcast from blitzed London and was transfixed when he opened the studio window to let in the chimes of Big Ben and noise of the sirens and the exploding bombs.”

This isn't Murrow, it is another radio correspondent, George Hicks, reporting from a ship off the coast of Normandy on D-Day 1944, as Nazi planes attack them. The Washington Post explained:

”George Hicks was the 38-year-old London bureau chief for what was then the Blue radio network, a predecessor of ABC. He was on the deck of the USS Ancon, a key communications ship, and was using an early tape-recording machine known as a Recordgraph, which was later used to record the Nuremberg war crimes trials.

(And today, brought to you and me on the internet via electronic Soundcloud.)

This three-minute clip is from the 14-minute broadcast that was recently discovered in Florida with a treasure trove of other tapes from the war. It's scratchy, but if you listen closely, you can hear the words describing the Nazi attack as it is happening.

There is a lot more to the story of finding these historical recordings at the Washington Post.

30 “NEW” EGYPTIAN MUMMIES

New doesn't seem to be the best word for 30 mummies in wooden coffins that are about 3,000 years old but there you are.

Recently discovered in Luxor, Egypt, they are extraordinarily well-preserved including inscriptions and paintings. Take a look:

More of the story at the Daily Herald.

OCTOPUS: MAKING CONTACT

I recently watched a PBS documentary about a marine researcher who brought home an octopus to live with him and his teenage daughter in their home. They named her Heidi because she liked to hide. Here's the trailer:

You can view the full episode online here.

WHY BLUETOOTH IS NAMED AFTER A VIKING

I love my Bluetooth connections – they eliminate at least some of the snarled cables beneath my desk. But did you know that Bluetooth is named for a Viking from the 10th century?

WEEKEND DOGS

I love that someone named this compilation video, “Weekend Dogs”, as though they, too, take a breather from the workaday world of Monday through Friday.

From jumping into a ball pit, chasing bubbles, riding a skateboard in the sun and more, these dogs know how to play.

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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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 19 October 2019

WE LOST A GREAT MAN THIS WEEK

You cannot have missed the news that Congressman Elijah Cummings died this week at age 69. Too young, too young.

There are many heartfelt obituaries and memories of him around the web – just google his name. This is part of a statement from his wife, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings who is the chair of the Maryland Democratic Party:

“Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility.”

“He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem,” she added.

“It’s been an honor to walk by his side on this incredible journey. I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly.”

And there is this – part of his first House floor speech in 1996:

May be rest with the angels.

CAN VERTICAL FORESTS HELP CLIMATE CHANGE?

The world is going to need many thousands of good ideas to thwart climate change. Maybe this is one of them – a building in Milan now five years old. What if big cities were full of buildings like this.

VICTOR THE EAGLE DOCUMENTS CLIMATE CHANGE

The YouTube page tell us that

”A white-tailed eagle named Victor has completed five flights over the Alps to promote action on climate change. Breathtaking footage of the flights over Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France was filmed with a 360° camera mounted between the bird’s wings.

“EagleWings Foundation, who organised the flights, aim to raise awareness on climate change by highlighting the melting of Alpine glaciers. Some 250,000 cubic metres of ice are in danger of collapsing from the Planpincieux glacier on the Grandes Jorasses peak, in the Alps near Chamonix and Courmayeur.”

HOW THE INTERNET WORKS

I sort of knew this but had forgotten some of it. This video from 2013 follows a “packet” from your fingertips to the host server and back again in less than a second.

AN IRISHMAN'S FUNERAL JOKE

You may have heard this week about the Irishmen who decided to give his friends a good laugh when they gathered to send him off into eternity. Fortunately for us, someone video-taped it.

There is more of the story at Huffington Post.

HOW MUCH IS DEMOCRACY WORTH?

Well, not really but I couldn't resist. It's actually about what the democracy.com domain is worth. It goes on auction under sealed bids on 25 October. The Guardian tells us that

”According to the domain brokerage GoDaddy, the five most expensive publicly reported domain names are CarInsurance.com – $49.7m; Insurance.com – $35.6m; VacationRentals.com – $35m; PrivateJet.com – $30.18m; and Voice.com – $30m. Sex.com sold for $14m and Porno.com – $8.8m.”

Read more at The Guardian.

THE DOG PHOTOGRAPHER

You are likely to have heard of dog photographer William Wegman. He has been photographing his succession of Weimaraners for 45 years. As the YouTube page tells us,

”His work is at measures droll and enchanting, evoking awe in audiences around the world. And, his pups have had their share of the limelight, making appearances on everything from Saturday Night Live and Sesame Street to movies and galleries worldwide.”

Not to mention an interview I produced (I've forgotten the name of the show) with Wegman and two of his dogs in about 1974 or 1975. The host of that show was Matt Lauer long before he ascended to The Today Show and the more recent debacle that concluded with his resignation.

But that doesn't take away from Wegman's dog's charms.

A BABY OCTOPUS IN A PLASTIC CUP

Pall Sigurdsson tells us on the YouTube page:

”We spent a whole dive and most of our air saving this octopus from what was bound to be a cruel fate. The coconut octopus, also known as veined octopus, is born with the instinct to protect itself by creating a mobile home out of coconut or clam shells.

“This particular individual however has been trapped by their instincts and have made a home out of a plastic cup they found underwater.

“While a shell is a sturdy protection, a passing eel or flounder would probably swallow the cup with the octopus in it, most likely also killing the predator or weakening it to a point where it will be soon eaten by an even bigger fish.

“We found this particular octopus at about 20 meters under the water, we tried for a long time to give it shells hoping that it would trade the cup. Coconut octopus are famous for being very picky about which shells they keep so we had to try with many different shells before it found one to be acceptable.”

YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME

From my friend Jim Stone. No explanation needed for such a sweet video. Just enjoy.


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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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 12 October 2019

WHEN ELIZABETH WARREN WAS ASKED ABOUT MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Last Thursday evening, CNN held an equality town hall with the Democratic presidential candidates. Elizabeth Warren was asked about marriage equality and she knocked it out of the park. Take a look:


CATS IN THERAPY

When cats need a shrink...


THE ALEX AND RONNI SHOW

Here's the latest episode of the bi-weekly chats with my former husband, Alex Bennett. This one was recorded last Tuesday.


SOCIAL SECURITY COLA FOR 2020

The Social Security Administration announced this week that the 2020 cost-of-living (COLA) increase for most Social Security beneficiaries will be 1.6 percent. Investment News noted that

”In 2020, individuals will be able to earn up to $18,240 per year if they are under full retirement age for the full year without forfeiting any benefits. That's up from $17,460 this year...

“The latest Medicare Trustees' report projects that basic Medicare Part B premiums will increase by about $8.80 a month to $144.30 per month in 2020. The official announcement about Medicare premiums for 2020 will be issued later this year.”

The Part B premium is deducted from the monthly Social Security benefit.


CHINA'S GIGANTIC ROAD NETWORK

China has more roadway than any other country in the world – 84 thousand miles including a bridge that is 34 miles long. This is amazing to see:


MAGIC MEERKAT MOMENTS

Meercats are the cutest little animals and a few BBC cameramen got some up close and personal fun with them. Flixxy, where I found this video, tells us,

”After being studied for years, the small mammals have no fear of humans, and simply treat them as a part of the scenery.

“The meerkat is a small mammal belonging to the mongoose family. Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, in much of the Namib Desert in Namibia and southwestern Angola, and in South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a 'mob', 'gang' or 'clan'".


AN ASTONISHING BEACH CLEANING CAMPAIGN

I am thrilled when I find what individuals are doing to help the planet. Take a look at this one:

If groups of us everywhere got together, we could do this cleanup part. Easy.


PSILOCYBIN REPORT ON 60 MINUTES

As many of you know, last December I took a psilocybin (magic mushrooms) session with a guide in an effort to make peace with the fear of dying that was crippling me after I had been handed a death sentence due to pancreatic cancer.

It worked. I can't say I am completely sanguine about dying, but I am a lot more comfortable with it and now see death as part of a larger phenomenon.

Throughout this year since my session, the medical community has been showing more and more interest in how psychedelics can help treat PTSD, anxiety, pain and many other conditions. Next year, legalization of psilocybin for therapeutic use in on the ballot in Oregon, in Denver and perhaps a few other locations.

This Sunday, tomorrow, the CBS News program 60 Minutes will present a segment about psylocybin. TGB reader Gary G. Trabucco sent this item for us including a trailer for Sunday's report:

Almost simultaneously, I found out about this feature-length documentary, Fantastic Fungi – The Magic Beneath Us. It's about fungi in general but also includes information about psychedelic mushrooms. (Even if you don't care about fungi, you should watch this for the stunning photography.)

Dates and venues for theater screenings of the documentary in the U.S. are listed at the film's website.


DOG RESCUED ONE MONTH AFTER HURRICANE

A full month after Hurricane Dorian killed an estimated 50 people and devastated the Bahamas,

”A drone flew over the wreckage, using an infrared camera to try to identify heat — a sign of possible life hidden amid the rubble," reported the Washington Post.

“Then, the drone operated by Florida-based shelter Big Dog Ranch Rescue sensed heat. A volunteer trudged more than half a mile over debris to where an air-conditioning unit and piles of metal had trapped the survivor: a 1-year-old mixed-breed puppy.”

The Washington Post continues:

”The dog had survived only on rainwater that filled a hole in front of him after the hurricane, so rescuers gave him some fluids to stabilize him before the hour-long flight [to Florida].

“When he arrived at Big Dog Ranch, Simmons said, his muscles had wasted away from a month of immobility and his body weight had plummeted from about 45 pounds to 22 pounds.”

The rescuers named him (her?) Miracle.

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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.




ELDER MUSIC: The Pretender

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

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That’s me - and here is a prime example of a pretender (from a long, long time ago).

Ch06

Actually I’ve never claimed to be a musicologist, it’s just that we thought that Norma should have a title and after many options, we settled on the joke title of Norma, the Assistant Musicologist.

That would suggest my title, but you’d be wrong if you thought that. I’m just a music buff with lots of music at my command, and a really good memory (and the help of Dr Google).

So, here are some pretend songs. Okay, they’re real songs, they’re just songs about pretending.

I’ll start with the song that inspired this column. Those with similar taste in music will know I’m talking about JACKSON BROWNE. The A.M. and I were watching a vid of Jackson in concert, and naturally this song was included. Light bulb moment. I know several pretend songs, I said, I’m sure there are enough for a column.

Jackson Browne

I was rather ambivalent about Jackson’s album (“The Pretender”) when it first came out, but over the years I’ve come to appreciate immensely, especially the title track, The Pretender.

♫ Jackson Browne - The Pretender


There are several great pretend songs in the column and a few more of a different quality (I have to make up the numbers somehow). This is one of the former; how could it not be when it’s performed by NAT KING COLE.

Nat King Cole

Nat is always welcome in my columns. Unfortunately, the song is from after his great early recordings as a trio. Here the record company throw all the bells and whistles in to back him up, although not as grievously as on some of his songs.

Nat sings Pretend, one of his hits.

♫ Nat King Cole - Pretend


In spite of what I said about memory above, I had the thought that there were many versions of the next song. There may be, but I only have two in my collection – Bobby Vee and JERRY VALE.

Jerry Vale

The song, Pretend You Don’t See Her, was written by Steve Allen and was a big hit for Jerry back around 1957. Bobby’s version was some years later, of course.

♫ Jerry Vale - Pretend You Don't See Her


There was no pretence about BILLIE HOLIDAY, she was the real deal.

Billie Holiday

Because of racism and sexism, singers like Billie used to get the dregs of the songs that established singers (usually male and/or white) didn’t want to record.

It reminds me of food – way back the peasants and other poor people had to make do with meat and vegetables that the rich folk wouldn’t touch. They made do and created a cuisine that now costs top dollar in trendy restaurants.

The same with Billie. She created gourmet fare from the least of songs. I don’t know if this is one of those, but it fits in today. I Can't Pretend.

♫ Billie Holiday - I Can't Pretend


Here is the greatest pretend song of them all – this is the real thing, if that’s not an oxymoron given the topic. It’s by one of the finest vocal groups ever, THE PLATTERS.

The Platters

People around my age will remember one of their greatest hits, if not the pick of the lot, The Great Pretender. They were blessed with one of the finest lead singers in popular music, Tony Williams.

♫ The Platters - The Great Pretender


KITTY WELLS was a trail blazer in her time.

Kitty Wells

She was the first woman to top the country music charts (although Patsy Montana would have done so had the charts been around in her time).

She was the first country female performer to release an album (it was thought that females didn’t sell records) and the first country female to receive a Grammy lifetime achievement award. She had many other firsts as well.

She’s also name-checked in one of Willie Nelson’s best songs. Kitty is here today for her song, I'm Tired of Pretending.

♫ Kitty Wells - I'm Tired of Pretending


I didn’t know if I should include KATIE THIROUX but the A.M. said that it would make a nice change of pace.

Katie Thiroux

The change being that this is an instrumental, so there’s no pretence mentioned, except for the title: Can't We Just Pretend, a tune Katie wrote herself. Katie is a bass player and singer, although as mentioned, that’s not evident on this tune.

♫ Katie Thiroux - Can't We Just Pretend


I’m so used to hearing the music of LES PAUL AND MARY FORD that this song came as a bit of a shock to me.

Les Paul and Mary Ford

The shock is that Mary usually sings (often with herself, maybe even several versions of herself) and Les (and Mary now and then) plays guitar. On this song Les sings (sounding rather like a cross between Bing Crosby and Leon Redbone).

Naturally there’s some beautiful guitar work. The song is Pretending.

♫ Les Paul & Mary Ford - Pretending


THE DELLS would be high on the list of the longest lived groups in popular music with most of the same musicians.

The Dells

They formed in 1952 and only called it a day in 2012 due to illness of their lead and bass singers. At the time they still had four of the original group.

They started off as doowop performers, but expanded their repertoire, of course. I imagine that The Temptations listened closely to them. From 1973 here is My Pretending Days Are Over.

♫ The Dells - My Pretending Days Are Over


I only discovered FIRST AID KIT a couple of years ago, but I’ve come to appreciate their music since then.

First Aid Kit

The Firsties (the Aidies? the Kitties? – you know that Australians like to abbreviate everything, unless it’s already short, in which case we’ll elongate it) are Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg along with three others on various instruments.

They perform Master Pretender, with Klara singing lead and some nice harmonies from both of them.

♫ First Aid Kit - Master Pretender


I’ll end with the King; here is ELVIS from the seventies, not his best period.

Elvis

He’d lost his swagger and rock and roll panache, but boy he could still sing, as is evident in Just Pretend. Actually, this is the style of song he claimed he always wanted to perform.

♫ Elvis - Just Pretend




INTERESTING STUFF – 5 October 2019

THREE LARGE DOGS MEET TEENY TINY KITTENS

When you see the size of the two Golden Retrievers and one Husky compared to tiny, new kittens, it's not hard to fear for the kittens. But watch:

BUBBLE TAXI TESTED IN PARIS

The YouTube page told us in September that

”The SeaBubbles startup is testing its 'flying' taxi on the Seine in Paris. The vehicle is noise and pollution free, and its founders say it could help address congestion and pollution in Paris.”

I'm posting the video because I think the taxi is cute:

The AP has a bit more information about the bubble taxi.

AIRLINE SEAT SIZE TEST

When I was doing a lot of business travel in the 1970s and 1980s, flying was fun - the seats were comfortable and even in economy class, the food was pretty good. Even better in first class.

We all know the horror of flying these days and it may get worse. Over 12 days later this year, 720 volunteers will test every flyers worst nightmare, an evacuation. Federal regulations require that an airplane be able to evacuate everyone in 90 seconds.

“'A bad outcome would be for them to keep the seats essentially as they are or even allow them to shrink further,' says Paul Hudson, president of the consumer organization Flyers Rights. 'A good outcome would be for them to require the seats and passenger space be sized in order to accommodate the demographic profiles that we now have.'”

I'm five feet two inches tall and on the last flight I took, MY knees touched the seat in front of me. What do taller people do?

You can read more at the Washington Post.

EVEN BIG CATS CAN GET STUCK UP A TREE

There aren't a lot of fireman on the African savanna to help a cat who realizes he made a big mistake climbing a tree.

SIX LITTLE STORIES

My friend Hank Berez sent this saying it is well worth the 30 seconds it takes to read it. There is no author listed and I have edited it for clarity.

Story 1: Once, all villagers decided to pray for rain. On the day of prayer, all the people gathered, but only one boy came with an umbrella. That's FAITH.

Story 2: When you throw babies in the air, they laugh because they know you will catch them. That's TRUST.

Story 3: Every night we go to bed without any assurance of being alive the next morning, but still we set the alarms to wake up. That's HOPE.

Story 4: We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future. That's CONFIDENCE.

Story 5: We see the world suffering but still we get married and have children. That's LOVE.

Story 6: On an old man's shirt was written a sentence, “I am not 80 years old; I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.” That's ATTITUDE.

CAT OFFENDED BY DOG FARTING IN HIS SLEEP

Okay, this is a bit rude for a family show but it's really funny too and it's only 20 seconds long.

TYRANNY EXPERT

Last Tuesday, as President Trump seemed to be digging his impeachment hole deeper by the hour – or not - MSNBC host Brian Williams asked Yale Professor Timothy Snyder – a man who knows a thing or two about authoritarianism, fascism and tyranny - to talk about Trump's behavior and its potential consequences:

A BEAUTIFUL OCTOPUS

TGB Reader Linda Burdick sent this video of a beautiful octopus that left his (her?) human watchers awed. The video is both mezmerizing and relaxing.

There is more information at the YouTube page, at Huffpost and at Nautilus Live.

* * *

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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 28 September 2019

ALLSTATE MAYHEM CAT COMMERCIAL

Television commercials can sometimes be their own kind of art and one that has charmed me since 2011 is the Hollywood actor Dean Winters playing the Allstate “Mayhem” bad boy.

In one of the most recent commercials, Winters is a cat and the producers got a lot of the irritating and funny habits cats plague us with. Take a look:

You can find out more about Winters' career at Wikipedia.

LION DAD MEETS HIS CUB

Following on the cat theme, here is a lion dad at the Denver Zoo meeting his little cub for the first time.

FOLLOW-UP ON FALLS PREVENTION

Last Monday, I posted TGB's semi-annual story to remind us how to avoid falling. What I left out and always have is what to do if you do fall. I ran across these tips at the National Institute on Aging and quote it now:

”If you do fall, stay as calm as possible and follow these steps:

Take several deep breaths to try to relax. Remain still on the floor or ground for a few moments. This will help you get over the shock of falling.

“Decide if you are hurt before getting up. Getting up too quickly or in the wrong way could make an injury worse.” (PERSONAL NOTE: When I fell a few months ago, people tried to help me get up right away when I just needed to adjust to the pain and mentally check my body to see if I was all in one piece. Insist on time to do this when people try to help. They mean well but...)

“If you think you can get up safely without help, roll over onto your side. Rest again while your body and blood pressure adjust. Slowly get up on your hands and knees, and crawl to a sturdy chair.

“Put your hands on the chair seat and slide one foot forward so that it is flat on the floor. Keep the other leg bent so the knee is on the floor. From this kneeling position, slowly rise and turn your body to sit in the chair.

“If you are hurt or cannot get up on your own, ask someone for help or call 911. If you are alone, try to get into a comfortable position and wait for help to arrive.

“Carrying a mobile or portable phone with you as you move about your house could make it easier to call someone if you need assistance. An emergency response system, which lets you push a button on a special necklace or bracelet to call for help, is another option.”

THE ALEX AND RONNI SHOW

The latest episode of The Alex and Ronni Show was recorded on Thursday 26 September, just after the Congressional hearing with Acting DNI Joseph Maguire ended.

WHY IS THIS CREEPY MUSIC IN SO MANY FILMS?

You've heard this music or something very close to it a zillion times in your life whenever a movie or TV show needs to underscore an ominous situation.

The music has been around since the 13th century and VOX explains it all for us.

PREHISTORIC BABY BOTTLES

A study released this week in the journal Nature reports the discovery of 7,000-year-old baby bottles containing residue of non-human milk:

"'I can just imagine a little prehistoric child being given one of these with milk in it and laughing,' says the paper's lead author, archaeologist Julie Dunne of the University of Bristol, [quoted at NPR]. 'They're just fun. They're like a little toy as well.'”

Here's what the bottles look like.

Zoomorphicvesselscaption2

The bottles, which were found in Bavaria, Germany, may also have been used for human milk, and they apparently still work in the 21st century:

"'When we gave a reconstructed one to [baby] Noah, it's very intuitive, so it fit just perfectly within a baby's cupped hands. And he loved it,' Dunne says. 'He started immediately sort of suckling from it. He was really happy, sitting there playing with it and suckling from it for ages.'”

There is more information at NPR and at the BBC.

RARE SPOTTED ZEBRA BORN

There are more babies than usual in today's Interesting Stuff and here is another.

A rare, spotted Zebra was recently born in Kenya's Maasai Mara National reserve. From Frank Liu Photography:

There is more information and additional still photos of the baby zebra at Bored Panda.

NEW CONSTITUTION WEBSITE

In honor of Constitution Day last Tuesday and at a time when the U.S. founding document is being tested daily, The Library of Congress has launched a new website, Constitution Annotated.

”For over a century, the Constitution Annotated – known officially as the “Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation” – has served as the official record of the U.S. Constitution,” explains the Library of Congress page.

“Prepared by attorneys in the American Law Division of the Library’s Congressional Research Service, it explains in layman’s terms the Constitution’s origins, how it was crafted and how every provision in the Constitution has been interpreted throughout history.

You can explore it here.

CATS ARE MASTERS AT RELAXATION

We begin and end with two different kind of cats today. Nothing much goes on in the video except a cat showing us what relaxing is all about. Thank TGB reader Christi Fries for this video.

* * *

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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 21 September 2019

SETBACK FOR JEOPARDY! HOST ALEX TREBEK

Early last week, Alex Trebek gave ABC-TV's morning show, Good Morning America, an unwelcome update on his pancreatic cancer.

You can read more at the Good Morning America website.

Perhaps fittingly in relation to Alex Trebek, I ran across a lot of items this week about words and language. Here are three of them.

DICTIONARY ADDS NEW “THEY” DEFINITION

The use of the word “they” as a singular, non-binary pronoun has been gaining usage in the past few years when referencing people who do not identify as either male or female.

This week, Merriam-Webster added that definition to its dictionary, as in, “Ask each student what they want for lunch.”

You can read that it is not such a new idea after all at the Merriam Webster website and at the Washington Post and The Guardian.

THE MOST COMMONLY USED WORD ON EARTH

Can you guess what that word is? Here's a video about how it came to be.

FOUND ON THE INTERNET

...on a page with a list of 15 things that make the internet awful. This one is all too familiar and hugely irritating, she said laughing ruefully:

“Password must contain a capital letter, a number, a plot, a protagonist with some character development, and a surprise ending.”

More on that list of awful internet things here.

FOX FIRES

TGB reader Ali sent this beautiful video which was made by a college student in Scotland. As the Youtube page tells us:

Fox Fires is inspired by the Finnish folk tale of the same name. The story isn't based strictly on it, I wanted to make up a creationist fable about how the fox fires may have come to be.

“But the Fox Fires or Revontulet are what the Northern Lights are called in Finland, as the folk tale believes they are caused by a fox kicking snow up into the sky.”

WHY DOES TIME SEEM TO PASS MORE QUICKLY AS WE AGE

The nature of time has been a lifelong interest and over the years I have collected a dozen or so of “expert” explanations for why time seems to speed up as we get older. This week, TGB reader Jane Mahoney sent a video of yet another stab at the question.

The speaker in the video is neuroscientist David Eagleman who is the author of a delightful and funny little book I've mentioned in the past titled, Sum – 40 Tales From the Afterlife.

THE SWISS ART OF PAPER CUTTING

Wait until you see what this woman can do with not much more than a pair of scissors. Here's what the YouTube page says:

”It’s amazing what Anne Rosat can do with a pair of scissors. This 83-year-old artist has been depicting life in the Swiss Alps through the folk art known as papercutting for 50 years. Using scissors, paper, tweezers and glue, she crafts intricate, colorful and layered works that are uniquely hers. Rosat invites us into her home in Les Moulins, Switzerland, to show us how she tells beautiful stories with paper.

THE SEX TALK

Over our lifetime, a lot has changed and that can make “the talk” between a father and son about the birds and the bees a minefield. Comedy Central took a stab at what that might be like these days. Thank Ali for this video.

WHALE PLAYING WITH SEAGULL

This video arrived from Norma, the Assistant Musicologist via Peter Tibbles who writes the TGB Sunday Eldermusic column.

The YouTube page says this is a beluga whale. I'm not so sure – it looks like a dolphin to me. But what do I know.

* * *

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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 14 September 2019

TODDLER BUDDIES GREETING AFTER TWO DAYS APART

These two little guys are besties and this happened when they hadn't seen one another in two days. Dad of one of them posted it to Facebook.

THE ALEX AND RONNI SHOW

This was recorded last Tuesday, 10 September 2019, and I couldn't find a place for it until today.

A VERY PATIENT MAMA CAT WITH FIVE UNRULY KITTENS

This column has been too light on cats lately so here's a kitty video. Nothing special. They're just being kittens and I smiled all the way through it.

GIANT STRAW ANIMALS IN JAPAN

Thank TGB Reader Cathy Johnson for this item. In northern Japan since about 2008, after the fall rice harvest, people gather together and use the leftover straw to create huge straw animals at the Wara Art Festival.

And I do mean huge. Take a look:

You can read more and see additional photographs here and here.

GRIZZLY BEAR PRODUCT TESTERS

It's true, it's true. Grizzly bear product testers are a real thing in Yellowstone National Park. Take a look:

SECRET LANGUAGE OF TREES

Trees are high on the agenda in certain areas of the media these days and they should be. This TED-ED talk explains the fascinating and rich communication that takes place among trees in the forest.

GROUND SQUIRRELS, OWLS, TIGERS AND MORE

Dutch photographer Dick van Duijn specializes in wild animals. Recently, Bored Panda featured some of his work and it is marvelous.

Of course, I fell in love with this series of three quick shots:

Squirrel1

Squirrel2

Squirrel3

More of Dick Van Duijn's wildlife photos at Bored Panda and Instagram.

HELLO, BROTHER, HELLO

I've saved the best for last today. It comes from TGB reader Joan McMullen and as she said, this is a keeper.

It was published at Christmastime two years ago by Lab Ottagono in Italy. It is titled Video de Natal e Ano-Novo and features Louis Armstrong singing Hello Brother. The Youtube page says video footage is courtesy of Evian.

Let me tell you how this is going to go. You'll be a little puzzled at first but it's compelling enough to stick around for awhile and then, at about 1:15 into the video, you will start grinning. It will be a great, big, your-whole-face type of grin that will continue long after the three-and-a-half minute video ends.

Give it a try – you'll see what I mean.

* * *

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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 7 September 2019

CAR PARKED IN KITCHEN TO SAVE IT FROM DORIAN

As CBS News explains, as Hurricane Dorian approached,

”Jacksonville native Patrick Eldridge told CBS News he put his smart car inside his house on Tuesday morning, adding that his 'wife was impressed that 'I was right about it being able to fit into the kitchen.'”

Wife Jessica took some pictures and posted them to Facebook.

BahamasCarinKitchen

Unfortunately, I don't know if their house and car survived. More at CBS News.

YOUTUBE DECADE

Have you heard about this yet? A new Google website called YouTube Decade:

”...the site compiles the most popular videos uploaded to YouTube on that day exactly 10 years ago,” reports Mental Floss. Since it shows you the top video in each of eight different categories — music, comedy, film and animation, entertainment, news and politics, pets and animals, sports, and gaming — the site offers an intriguing snapshot of what was going on in the world at the time.”

Here is one of the ten-year-old videos from yesterday when I was writing this:

The YouTube Decade website is here. You can read more about it at Mental Floss.

SOME REPUBLICANS ARE CANCELING STATE PRIMARIES

Yet another way the GOP and Trump are undermining democracy. Politico reports:

”Four states are poised to cancel their 2020 GOP presidential primaries and caucuses, a move that would cut off oxygen to Donald Trump’s long-shot primary challengers.

“Republican parties in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Kansas are expected to finalize the cancellations in meetings this weekend, according to three GOP officials who are familiar with the plans.

“The moves are the latest illustration of Trump’s takeover of the entire Republican Party apparatus.”

There is more to it than I've quoted. You can read it at Politico.

BAHAMAS WOMAN RESCUES 97 STREET DOGS FROM HURRICANE

As Hurricane Dorian approached Nassau, Bahamas, Chella Phillips, manager of The Voiceless Dogs of Nassau, Bahamas rescue, has a packed house in New Providence with nearly 100 dogs.

She posted to her Facebook page:

There is more to read at Mother Nature Network and Mental Floss.

HOW TO CONDUCT AN ORCHESTRA

The video also includes a short history of how music conductors came to be.

CHOCOLATE CROISSANT CONTROVERSY

Not long ago, I posted a video here about a contest to find the best baguette in Paris. This time it is a debate in France over whether what Americans call a chocolate croissant should be called a pain au chocolat or a chocolatine.

TIME LAPSE OF LEAVES CHANGING COLOR

They say that fall in the U.S. begins the day after Labor Day, the first Monday in September. That's not really true. In terms of science, it begins on 23 September this year.

Either way, fall colors can't be far behind. It can be so beautiful that some people drive many miles to see it up close and personal.

There is video from Vimeo that uses slow motion to show how deciduous trees change their colors. The photographer tells us:

”This is a macro time-lapse short film containing roughly 6000 pictures of leaves from 10 common Midwestern deciduous trees.

“My name is Owen Reiser. I am a 19 year old biology student and self-taught photographer with an appreciation for the smallest things in nature.”

Here are Reiser's photos of leaves changing color so we can watch it happening:

There is more information at Mental Floss.

You can see more of Reiser's photographic work at Instagram.

Also, on another Mental Floss page, there is an interactive map of the U.S. showing when peak color is expected in the lower 48.

* * *

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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 31 August 2019

ONE OF IRELAND'S FEW REMAINNG MATCHMAKERS

Willy Daly, the Youtube page tells us, is a professional matchmaker in County Clare, Ireland. He's been doing it for more than 50 years, as his father and grandfather did before him.

Timing is everything, he says. And a little drinking at the local pub can’t hurt.

THE STORY BEHIND A WORLD-FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPH

I am willing to bet there is not a TGB reader among us who has not seen the famous Dorothea Lange 1936 photograph titled Migrant Mother that came to symbolize the Great Depression.

Find out more that you probably don't know about the photograph, its subject and her children in this video. (Sent by Jim Stone)

IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT CROSSWORD PUZZLE CLUE

For 40 years I did The New York Times crosswords puzzle on the subway every morning on my way to work. In all those years, I never tried to create one. Here's a video from The New Yorker about how clues for crosswords are developed.

TRUMP FATIGUE

In last Wednesday's New York Times, columnist Frank Bruni wrote about Trump fatigue. It began like this:

”I woke up Saturday, made my coffee, shuffled to my computer, started to glance at the news and suddenly had to stop. I couldn’t go on,” wrote Bruni.

“Trump had yet again said something untrue, once more suggested something absurd, contradicted himself, deified himself, claimed martyrdom, blamed Barack Obama, made his billionth threat and hurled his trillionth insult.”

Further, writes Bruni:

”Trump’s instinct and strategy are to conquer by overwhelming. But there’s a difference between wearing people down and wearing them out. He’s like the last seasons of House of Cards — a riveting spectacle devolved into a repellent burlesque, so unrestrained in its appetites that it devoured itself.”

I'm with Bruni in regard to both Trump and House of Cards. Read the whole column here – it's a good catharsis (unless you turn on cable news again).

TINKERING WITH INTENT

TGB Reader Erika Brekke send this video about Blair Somerville who lives in the remote town of Papatowai, on the South Island of New Zealand, the Youtube page tells us. He uses found materials and other curious objects which he re-purposes into magical moving artworks.

Take a look:

COWS JUMPING OVER ROAD MARKINGS

Here's a Twitter gif of cows who think painted road markings are fences of some kind. Such a silly giggle.

ALEX TREBEK RETURNS TO JEOPARDY!

As long as we're doing Twitter pictures, here's a Twitter video of Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek returning to work after a summer of chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer.

The program resumes broadcasting on 9 September.

QUOTATION WITHOUT COMMENTARY

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, had this to say in his new book, Call Sign Chaos, which he wrote with Bing West and will be published next week:

“If you haven’t read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate, and you will be incompetent, because your personal experiences alone aren’t broad enough to sustain you...”

More at The New York Times.

THE POWER OF WORDS

In the nearly 10 years it has been online, this video has garnered about 28 million views. I posted it way back when. It's still good and it feels like it goes with the Mattis quotation above.

* * *

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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 23 August 2019

90-SOMETHING BOOGIE WOOGIE

Darlene Costner was the first of several TGB readers to send this video. Supposedly the two dancers are age 91 (the woman) and 94 (her partner) but I don't know where that information comes from.

Anyway, they are terrific dancers. And we should all age as well as these two.

FELINE INFIDELITY

Well, I don't know for sure that this video is about infidelity but it sure looks like it. From the South China Morning Post:

THE WORLD’S LARGEST COLLECTION OF THE WORLD’S SMALLEST VERSIONS OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST THINGS

Whew! That headline is a mouthful. Here is what the Youtube page tells us:

”On your next road trip, take a pit stop in Lucas, Kansas, where you can visit arguably the best roadside attraction.”

See what you think.

THE MOTHER VINE

Here is what Atlas Obscura tells us:

”Estimated to be 400 years old, the Mother Vine, located on North Carolina’s Roanoke Island, is believed to be the oldest grape vine in all of North America, planted by either Croatan Native Americans or settlers of the Lost Colony. Some have posited that it is the “mother” of all vines for scuppernong grapes, North Carolina’s state fruit.”

Grapevine1

And they make wine from these grapes. There is much more historical detail at Atlas Obscura and at the mother vine's website.

ZDOGG MAKES A PLEA TO IMPROVE U.S. MEDICAL SYSTEM

I've been reading and watching videos from this guy for years. He writes, he makes videos, he even raps about the U.S. medical system. Zdogg is internist Zubin Damania M.D. Who explains on his website:

”As a way to address my own 'burnout' and find a voice, I started producing videos and live shows under the pseudonym 'ZDoggMD' that have since gone epidemically viral. This launched a grassroots movement — nearly a billion views and a passionate tribe dedicated to improving healthcare for everyone.”

Here is one of his most recent videos:

THE VOYNICH MANUSCRIPT MYSTERY

Everybody likes a good mystery, right? This one has been going on for hundreds of years. As Lisa Fagan Davis writes in the Washington Post,

”The Voynich Manuscript, an early 15th-century codex that belongs to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, presents an irresistible medieval mystery. The tome is written using an otherwise unknown collection of symbols known to those who study the codex as “Voynichese,” with what appear to be roots, prefixes and suffixes as well as repeating spelling and grammatical patterns.

“Then there are the illustrations, which include unidentifiable but detailed and realistic plants, circular zodiacal and astronomical diagrams, crowned nude women bathing in green or blue pools and other images that defy description.

“For centuries, the Voynich Manuscript has resisted interpretation, which hasn’t stopped a host of would-be readers from claiming they’ve solved it.”

In the video below, curator Bill Sherman discusses the mystery of the Voynich Manuscript.

LIONS VISIT WATERING HOLE AT NIGHT

There is nothing outstanding about this video – just a look at wild lions being themselves at night.

THE FEELING YOU'RE DOING EVERYTHING WRONG

TGB reader Jack Handley, who also contributes stories to the TGB Reader Story feature, sent this video. No wonder so many people are stressed.

THE SWEETEST THING YOU'LL SEE ALL DAY

That headline is all you need to know.

* * *

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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 17 August 2019

KANGAROOS IN THE SNOW

While it is high summer in the United States and other northern hemisphere countries, it is winter in Australia. One source tells me snow is an uncommon occurrence down under. Another source says it's not so rare.

Either way, here is, to me, a video of an odd occurrence, kangaroos frolicking in the snow.

PAIN CHART

There is, in physician examining rooms in the U.S., a pain chart asking the patient to choose, on a range of one to ten, how much pain he or she is having that day. I never know what number to choose because I don't know what my upper pain limit is.

This is a much more evocative and useful pain chart (she said, smiling). My friend Frank Paynter was the first of several people to send it.

Painchart600

FOLLOW THE YELLOW MARBLE

Keep your eye on the yellow marble as it navigates a puzzle path of contraptions, the YouTube page tells us. The whole thing is set to Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

The creator says he went through about 300 failed recordings in a month before he got it right.

BEAR FALLS ON POLICE CAR

I'm going to break precedent (and maybe law) by publishing this entire, but very short, story here. No one should need to click around the web and back to read such a fine and funny piece of journalism.

There is no byline. It is an AP story via The Guardian. Your goal is the last sentence but don't spoil it for yourself by skipping down to the bottom. Read the whole thing – you'll appreciate the ending more.

”A patrol car was struck by a falling bear in northern California last weekend, causing the vehicle to crash and explode.

Authorities said a Humboldt county sheriff’s deputy was driving on State Route 96 on 3 August, answering a report of a drug overdose in the community of Orleans, when the bear fell or jumped onto the car, apparently from a steep embankment.

The bear smashed the hood and windshield. The patrol car hit an embankment, rolled onto its side and burst into flames.

The deputy managed to escape without serious injury.

The fire was contained to about half an acre but the car was gutted.

However, the California department of transportation stated: 'Don’t worry, the bear also fled the scene.'”
Photo of the mangled police car at The Guardian.

NORTHWEST ANGLE, MINNESOTA

There is a place in Minnesota that has the feel of small town America, but if they want to get to the Northwest Angle, travelers have to leave the U.S. and go through Canada to get there.

Lee Cowan explains a geographical quirk along the northern border of the U.S. From CBS Sunday Morning.

SCIENTISTS' REACT TO STRANGE DEEP SEA CREATURE

As YouTube explains,

”Scientists on the Nautilus team ran into a mysterious creature on a recent expedition in Hawaii. The strange fish was found nearly a mile beneath the surface." From National Geographic:

WHAT IF HOUSE CATS WERE MUCH BIGGER THAN THEY ARE

Russian artist Andrey Scherbak creates fanciful “photos” showing what the world around us would be like if house cats were much larger than they are. Here are two:

CatInGrocery

CatInRain

There are many more at Bored Panda and 150 of Scherbak's images at Instagram.

CREATE HAPPINESS IN WHATEVER YOU DO

All I will tell you is what TGB reader Joan McMullen said in an email when she sent a link to this video: “It's not what you think.”

* * *

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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 10 August 2019

RECALLING THE IMPACT OF THE EARLIEST MOVIES

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City owns the footage in the video below and reminds us that in the late 1800s, when moving pictures were new, they were amazing to see:

“'[Today], We live in an environment where there are moving images constantly around us. But in 1897, this was startling and new and completely revolutionary”...Curator Dave Kehr joins the discussion to help us look at the early film with the same awe-inspired, expanded view of the world of its first audiences,” the YouTube page tells us.

Thank TGB reader Chuck Nyren for this.

WHY DID THE SALMON CROSS THE ROAD?

TGB reader Joan McMullen, who sent this video, says this happens on the Skokomish River near Shelton, Washington, USA. When the river floods, the salmon take short cuts swimming across the road to go upstream to spawn. It happens almost every year.

A commenter on the YouTube page tell us there are signs on the road to warn people: "Danger, Drive Slowly & Carefully, Fish Crossing the Road".

WHY DO WE SWEAR?

Nothing is more satisfying when I've banged my toe into something hard than a string of invective aimed at the gods who cause these things to happen.

As The Atlantic magazine explains on the YouTube page:

”Swear words are an important part of all languages. In English, words like 'shit', 'cock' and 'bastard' can be used as a curse or an insult and, let's face it, saying them can feel good. Scientists believe swearing has a special place in our brains. This film contains strong language. Obviously."
.

MILLIONS OF BOOKS TO DOWNLOAD FOR FREE

According to Vice,

”Prior to 1964, books had a 28-year copyright term. Extending it required authors or publishers to send in a separate form, and lots of people didn’t end up doing that. Thanks to the efforts of the New York Public Library, many of those public domain books are now free online.”

You can download these books at websites like Hathi, Project Gutenberg, Standard Ebooks and, often, your local public library. And you can read more about those millions of free, public domain Ebooks at Vice.

WEAVING A BRIDGE IN Q’ESWACHAKA

Here is what the YouTube page tells us about this bridge. (Inka is the same as the spelling we are more accustomed to in the U.S., Inca.

”Every year, local communities on either side of the Apurimac River Canyon use traditional Inka engineering techniques to rebuild the Q'eswachaka Bridge. The old bridge is taken down and the new bridge is built in only three days. The bridge has been rebuilt in this same location continually since the time of the Inka.

“This video is narrated by John Ochsendorf, professor of civil engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and produced by Noonday Films.”

Can you imagine doing all that every damned year?

HOW THE ANIMAL KINGDON SLEEPS

From The Atlantic:

”Sleep is universal in the animal kingdom, but each species slumbers in a different — and often mysterious — way. Some animals snooze with half their brain, while others only sleep for two hours a day (without even suffering sleep deprivation!).

WONDERFUL CAT PHOTOS

Mental Floss tells us that Walter Chandoha, who died in January at age 98, spent a lifetime, 75 years, photographing domestic cats. Here is my favorite from 1955:

CatPhotosTeaseJPG

You can see more of Chandoha's cat photographs at Mental Floss. A book of his cat photos, Cats: Photographs 1942-2018, will be published on Monday, 12 August.

BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN RESCUE

TGB Reader Joan McMullen sent this video of Keller Laros removing a fish hook and line from a dolphin who apparently sought out the diver for help.

TEACHING A KID TO TELL TIME

It's an oldie but goodie from TGB reader Darlene Costner who says she thought she knew how to tell time just fine until watching this video from comedian Dave Allen explaining clocks and time to a young boy.

* * *

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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 3 August 2019

OLD COOTS GIVING ADVICE

As the YouTube page tells us:

”Every summer Saturday, a group of senior citizens in Salt Lake City take questions and give advice from a stand at the farmer's market. Under the banner 'Old Coots Giving Advice,' lines of locals form to glean wisdom from these old souls. Steve Hartman reports from 'On the Road.'”

Take a look, have a good laugh and thank TGB reader Ali for sending this.

GOOD NEWS: WILD TIGER POPULATION IN INDIA INCREASES

In 2006, according to an NPR report, there were only 1,411 tigers in the wild in India. In the latest census, in 2018, the population was up to 2,967 from 2,226 in 2014.

This was not an accident of nature. The government of India,

”After learning that there were a limited amount of tigers left in the world, India decided to strengthen the conservation of tigers in its country. In an effort to protect the endangered species, the National Tiger Conservation Authority was created...”

You can read more about how they did this at NPR. And here is a short, unrelated video from National Geographic about tigers.

MORE GOOD NEWS: ETHIOPIA PLANTS 350 MILLION TREES IN ONE WEEK

Yes, you read that correctly, 350 million trees in one week.

”The planting is part of a national 'green legacy' initiative to grow 4bn trees in the country this summer by encouraging every citizen to plant at least 40 seedlings,” reports The Guardian. “Public offices have reportedly been shut down in order for civil servants to take part.

“The project aims to tackle the effects of deforestation and climate change in the drought-prone country. According to the UN, Ethiopia’s forest coverage was just 4% in the 2000s, down from 35% a century earlier.”

That “4bn” in the first paragraph of the quotation, just in case anyone is unclear, means 4 BILLION trees and Ethiopia means to reach that goal in October. We in the U.S. and many other countries should be doing this too, right now, to help combat climate change.

You can read more at The Guardian, at Mother Nature Network and other places on the web.

SOME FAUNA WITH YOUR FLORA?

I have never bought packaged salad greens or any other fresh food packed in plastic. Being in an airtight container can't do anything good and it also makes the greens slimy. Here is my vindication:

The Washington Post has confirmed my conviction with this headline: “The other greens in your bagged lettuce: Frogs, snakes and lizards” - something that hadn't occurred to me:

”The first review by scientists of wild animals found by customers in prepackaged produce makes clear that frogs are the trouble, and bagged lettuce and spinach are, by and large, their preferred medium.

“While 21 of the 40 reported incursions under review involved amphibians, it is also the unfortunate case that rodents, snakes, lizards, birds and even a bat found their way into bagged lettuces, spinach and cut green beans (snakes, evidently, are partial to the latter).”

And they weren't even all dead: “eight frogs, a toad and a lizard were found alive in bagged greens.”

The paper expanded the story to include an interesting take on shaky definitions of “best by...” and “use by,,,” dates.

You can read more at the Washington Post.

THE IRISHMAN TRAILER

What I have found learned while reading about the upcoming Martin Scorcese film, The Irishman, is a new technique that is said to “de-age” old actors like the stars of this film, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Joe Pesci and others, so they can play themselves from young men into old age.

The first trailer was released this week but it sure is playing fast and loose with that de-aging process so that we don't really get a chance to see what it looks like. See what you think:

You can read a bit more at Cnet.

THE BIRDMAN OF IDAHO

The YouTube page explains

”He just might be the biggest bluebird landlord in Idaho. Al Larson has built and placed more than 350 wooden nest boxes throughout the state’s southwest. The birdwatcher started the project in the late 1970s after reading how important the shelters are to the survival of bluebirds.

“Today, at the age of 97, he is still at it. Larson monitors the little houses to record vital data about the number of eggs and nestlings. To date, Larson has helped fledge over 40,000 bluebirds.”

If you want to know more about Al and his bluebird project, there is a 30 minute documentary made when he was 91. You'll find it here.

CHIEF MOUSER OF DOWNING STREET

Because this story is set in London, we should probably call the cat by his full, official title, “Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” although his given name is simply Larry.

He lives at 10 Downing Street, adopted and brought there as a rescue cat in 2011 by then prime minister David Cameron to control the rodent population. Larry remained in residence through Teresa May's years in office and is still there for the new prime minister, Boris Johnson.

The chief mouser has his own Wikipedia page, and there is a list of five facts about Larry at Mental Floss.

* * *

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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 27 July 2019

MR. ROGERS MOVIE TRAILER

Because I raised no children, the TV show, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, wasn't much on my radar but I watched it now and again. It was broadcast from 1968 to 2001.

Even in the earliest days of the show, I thought Mr. Rogers was an anachronism, a gentle, kindly, loving presence in the midst of a much cruder world. It felt to me that he was of another time and certainly moreso now.

His show was popular, won numerous awards and Mr. Rogers himself was named one of the 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time by TV Guide.

Now there is an upcoming feature film about Mr. Rogers who is played by Tom Hanks. Is that perfect casting, or what? Here's the trailer for the movie:

CALIFORNIA CONDORS COMEBACK

In 1987, there were only 22 wild condors left in North America. Conservationists and others stepped in to try to save the birds, breeding them in captivity and in May, they recorded the 1,000th chick born of this project.

Here is a short documentary (8 minutes or so) about the recovery of the California condor made by the Oregon Zoo and released five years ago. It's a good history of the work these did and others continue to do.

You can read more at the Washington Post.

A PERSONAL NOTE

Early last week, I received by mail the new book by the great historian, Robert Caro, titled Working.

I had read several reviews and the book came up in conversations with a number of people via email. I was thinking over whether to order it or not – there are already too many books here - then a British copy arrived via a bookseller affiliated with Amazon.

But – big but – there is no card telling me who is being so generous and the two people I actually recall emailing with about the book say they did not send it. Both the seller and Amazon, when I called, refused to tell me who sent it. Privacy issues, apparently.

So if you're reading this and you are the one who sent it, 'fess up please. I would like to send you a thank-you note.

WHEELCHAIR FOR DISABLED FISH

That headline is not a joke. A man built a flotation device that operates as a sort-of wheelchair for a goldfish. The video explains:

There is more about this at Bored Panda.

AUSTRALIA'S SCARY ANIMALS

We all know that Australia has some strange and scary animals but mostly we see the cuter ones – koalas, wombats, etc. Bored Panda published a whole bunch of photos of the awful kind of Australian animals. Here's a sample:

AustralianEarthWorm

SpiderOnMicrowave

HugeBug

Peter Tibbles, who writes the Sunday music column here and lives in Melbourne, tells me he hasn't run into many of the scary animals. You can see a lot more of them at Bored Panda.

ALTERNATIVE MATH

I may have posted this video a year or two ago but it has become more pertinent every day. This is one teacher's struggle to teach a young student and his parents the solution to a simple math problem everyone should know.

As the YouTube page asks: “See if the school and parental beliefs and attitudes remind you of someone.”

THE MAN WHO ROAD THE THUNDER

Here is an extraordinary adventure story, not in the good sense, about a U.S. Marine Corp pilot, William Rankin, who was forced to eject from his F8 Crusader 47,000 feet above Earth.

”He had a very bad day that summer of 1959 by any pilot’s standard as not only did his engine fail but his parachute deployed in the middle of the thunder storm.”

A NEW SPIN ON THE PHRASE, RESCUE DOG

I know I've seen this before but can't recall if I posted it. YouTube tells us:

”When a gust of wind blew a feather-light canoe away from the gravel bar and into the river, two dogs ran and jumped inside it. Labs will retrieve anything, but what's amazing here is that one of the dogs in the canoe takes the rope and places it over the side and into the water for the Labrador to grab ahold of.”

* * *

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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 20 July 2019

THEIR FIRST PRIDE DAY

Some young people took two elders to their first Pride. After he watched the video on Twitter, Chris Evans says, he was sobbing. Me too. And maybe you. Thank my friends Jim Stone and John Gear for this.

THE BEST BAGUETTE IN PARIS

It's a toss-up whether I like baguettes or croissants more but either one, if made well, is better than other breads. Well, for me, anyway.

Here is a guy who won first prize in a 2018 contest for best baguette in Paris.

DEATH WITH DIGNITY FOR ANIMALS

As The Guardian tell us,

”Alexis has a life-threatening disease. She spends her time in the wooded expanse of northern Scotland where she takes care of dozens of others who are also sick, wounded or dying.

“Some have terminal cancer, some were about to be killed because of their disabilities, some were saved from slaughterhouses. Alexis provides palliative care for animals.”

Here is a video about Alexis and a neglected sheep she takes in. It is longer than I usually post – 15 minutes - but is peaceful and loving and uplifting.

You can read an article written by Alexa about her animal hospice here, and The Guardian story is here.

WOW! A JELLYFISH LARGER THAT A HUMAN

As reported in the Washington Post,

”Lizzie Daly was diving Saturday off the coast of Cornwall in Britain when she saw something large in the distance and did a double take. Daly had seen a barrel jellyfish before but nothing of this size.

“Daly, a biologist and broadcaster, swam up to the peach-colored creature gliding through the water, as cameraman Dan Abbott captured the encounter.

“'We weren’t expecting anything,' Daly said. 'It was an absolute delight to get that experience.'”

No kidding. Take a look at the video:

You can read more about the giant jellyfish encounter here.

”MY AMERICA”

Comedian Jeff Allen shares some thoughts on how America is a lot different today than when he (not to mention you and I) was a kid.

IS THE DUNNING-KRUGER EFFECT EXPLAIN THE WIDE SUPPORT OF TRUMP?

I'm no psychologist so I can't evaluate this explanation for the widespread support (35-40 percent) for Trump by the American people but I think Psychology Today might have a handle on it.

”The [Dunning-Kruger] effect is a type of cognitive bias, where people with little expertise or ability assume they have superior expertise or ability. This overestimation occurs as a result of the fact that they don’t have enough knowledge to know they don’t have enough knowledge.

“This simple but loopy concept has been demonstrated dozens of times in well-controlled psychology studies and in a variety of contexts. However, until now, the effect had not been studied in one of the most obvious and important realms: political knowledge.

“A new study published in the journal Political Psychology carried out by the political scientist Ian Anson at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, not only found that the Dunning-Kruger effect applies to politics, but it also appears to be exacerbated when partisan identities are made more salient.

“In other words, those who score low on political knowledge tend to overestimate their expertise even more when greater emphasis is placed on political affiliation.”

The fuller explanation is clear and easily understood. You can read it here. Thank TGB reader Naomi Dagen Bloom for the tip.

BIOLOGIST REVIVES RARE SPECIES OF BUTTERFLY

TGB reader Joan McCullen sent this one. What a good story about how a beautiful blue butterfly has escaped extinction thanks to one young biologist in California.

CAT ON THE GOLF COURSE

This video has been all over the web this week and sent to me by many readers (thank you). Cats are well known to be perverse. Maybe this one thinks the point of golf is to keep the ball OUT of the hole.

* * *

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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 13 July 2019

HUMMINGBIRDS IN SLOW MOTION

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I included a slow motion video of dogs shaking water off their coats?

Here's a slowmo of hummingbirds so we can actually see their wings.

WHY TIME SEEMS TO MOVE FASTER AS WE GET OLDER

For most of my life I've been collecting speculations on the near universal experience of time seeming to speed up as we grow older. Here's the latest sent TGB friend, Chuck Nyren.

50 FACTS FOR THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF APOLLO 11

On 21 July, it will be 50 years since Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon.

Apollo_11_bootprint

Mental Floss has made a list of 50 interesting things you might not know about the first manned moon landing. Among them:

President Richard Nixon had a speech prepared in case the Apollo 11 astronauts never came home.

Your toaster is more advanced than Apollo 11’s command module computer.

Pieces of the Wright Brothers’ first aircraft were onboard Apollo 11.

You can read the other 47 facts at Mental Floss.

SANCTUARY FOR MUTTS IN COSTA RICA

As the website tells us,

”This awesome dog sanctuary for mutts was created by Lya Battle who has a passion for animals and homeless dogs in particular. It’s easy to see that these dogs think they have already gone to heaven as they run free in the lush green hills of the sanctuary.

More at Territorio de Zaguates.

BEAUTIFUL MORBID CAKES

Yes, beautiful - at least I think so. The Atlas Obscura website tells us that

”English pastry chef Annabel de Vetten crafts what may be the world’s most fantastically morbid confections. Her Birmingham studio and cooking space, the Conjurer’s Kitchen, is filled with feasts of macabre eye candy rendered with ghoulish precision.”

Here are two.

VictorianWeddingCake

MementoMori

De Vennen's nickname is “Annabel Lecter.” There are more images of "morbid" cakes and additional information at Atlas Obscura.

BIRDS OF PARADISE - PART 2

Remember last week when I posted a video of some magnificent birds of paradise?

Well, this week I ran across another video – this one of BBC program host, David Attenborough, trying to do his standup for the show while one of the birds of paradise keeps interrupting him.

WHAT ARE CLINICAL TRIALS? HOW DO THEY WORK?

Sometimes, when there is no or no useful remedy for a terrible disease, people opt for participating in a clinical trial. There is a lot to know before making that choice and the U.S. National Institute of Aging has just published a booklet that answers questions.

It is titled, Clinical Trials and Older Adults and is a free PDF download here.

Even if you don't need this information now, it might be good to file it away in case you or someone you know can use it in the future.

RONNI'S READS

There is a fascinating story at the Los Angeles Times about a man who has spent years creating a secret habitat for sea horses. A short excerpt:

”The visitor confirms that she did see Bathsheba, an 11-inch-long orange Pacific seahorse, and a grin spreads across Hanson’s broad face.

“'Isn’t she beautiful?' he says. 'She’s our supermodel.'

“If you get Hanson talking about his seahorses, he’ll tell you exactly how many times he’s seen them (997), who is dating whom, and describe their personalities with intimate familiarity. Bathsheba is stoic, Daphne a runner. Deep Blue is chill.

“He will also tell you that getting to know these strange, almost mythical beings has profoundly affected his life.

“'I swear, it has made me a better human being,' he says. 'On land I’m very C-minus, but underwater, I’m Mensa.'”

SeahorseDeepBlue

Read the whole story here – it's fascinating.

MISPLACED MOTHERING - SO CUTE

Anyone who has been reading this Saturday post for even a short awhile knows that I have a fondness for odd or unusual animal friendships and other connections. Here is my latest find of a cat who adopted a bunch of ducklings.

* * *

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.




INTERESTING STUFF – 6 July 2019

MAD MAGAZINE STOPS PUBLISHING NEW MATERIAL

There must be a lot of people reading this blog who, like me, grew up with Mad Magazine. Now, it is about to be no more. As HuffPost reported:

”Newsstand circulation will come to an end after the August issue, per The Hollywood Reporter. Subscribers and comic shops will continue to receive MAD, but starting in the fall those issues will feature old material repackaged with new covers.”

However, there will be an annual end-of-year issue with all-new material, according to reports.

I haven't read Mad regularly in decades, but it's another icon of my era on Earth that is disappearing. I'm sorry to see that. More information at The Daily Beast and the Washington Post.

BAILEY, THE SEARCH AND RESCUE DOG

A terrific story about how our pet friends are so eager to help us.

HORRIBLE HEAT WAVES IN EUROPE AND THE U.S.

It's been going on for at least a week, dangerously high temperatures, some never recorded before. It's been just awful but as Bored Panda wrote:

”Europeans are dealing with the heat wave in a variety of ways, from the typical deadpan humor to more practical solutions.”

In no way making light of this terrible heat wave, here are two of those solutions each funny in its own way.

EuropeHeatWaveSign

EuropeHeatDogIce

There are more at Bored Panda, and here's a story from The New York Times about unprecedented heat in Alaska.

GOOD NEWS FOR FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE?

The journal, Science, is reporting what sounds like a logical and possible solution to dramatically reduce carbon in Earth's atmosphere. As The Los Angles Times (and other sources) report:

”By removing carbon dioxide from the air, trees are one of our strongest allies in the fight against climate change. And if we planted a whole lot more of them in just the right places, they could reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere to levels not seen in nearly 100 years, researchers say.

“After examining more than 70,000 high-quality satellite photos of trees from all over the planet, ecologists concluded that the Earth could support 900 million additional hectares of tree cover. Those trees would eliminate about two-thirds of the carbon that's in the atmosphere today as a result of human activities, according to a study in Friday's edition of the journal Science.”

Of course, there are still problems to be worked out including, undoubtedly, countries that would refuse to participate) but it's the best idea I've heard. Read more at The Los Angeles Times and a whole lot of other places online.

BIRDS OF PARADISE

As the YouTube page explains:

”After 8 years and 18 expeditions to New Guinea, Australia, and nearby islands, Cornell Lab scientist Ed Scholes and National Geographic photojournalist Tim Laman succeeded in capturing images of all 39 species in the bird-of-paradise family for the first time ever.”

These are the most amazing, odd-looking birds I've ever seen – and so many different looks: “...the astounding beauty of 39 of the most exquisitely specialized animals on earth.”

The full 50-minute documentary about these birds, first broadcast in 2016, is here.

RONNI'S READS

The Rolling Stones, now in their 70s, are on tour again and raking in fabulous reviews of their show. The Washington Post published an excellent profile of Keith Richards – well worth your time if you care about the Stones.

You can read it here.

NEW DOCUMENTARY: THE CAT RESCUERS

A new documentary, The Cat Rescuers, was released in theaters around the U.S. yesterday. It is about some people in Brooklyn who care for stray and feral cats in that New York borough.

”The directors posit that as many cats live on New York City’s streets as are kept in apartments and homes,” reports Variety. That statistic means at least 500,000 abandoned and feral cats.

“Tens of thousands of them make Brooklyn their home. Since the city can’t handle the problem, hundreds of activists work with ad hoc methods to get the animals off the street...

“While the production package is merely workman-like, the commitment, honesty and heart of the main interviewees makes the material compelling.”

Here is the official trailer:

There is more information and additional videos at the film's website. You can read the entire Variety review here.

76 DUCKLINGS ALL IN A ROW

Other sources say the number is 50 or 54. Never mind that. It's a huge passel of cute baby ducks all in a row:

You can read more at the Audubon Society page.

* * *

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.