498 posts categorized "Interesting Stuff"

INTERESTING STUFF – 8 August 2020

WE FELL ASLEEP IN ONE WORLD

And woke up in another.

This was written by British-born, Pakistani singer-songwriter, Harood Rashid and has been making the internet rounds for about three or four months. There are now dozens of video interpretations (just search “we fell asleep in the one world” at Youtube for more of them).

TGB reader Joan McMullen sent it and I like this version of the video.

MASSAGE PARLORS ARE OPEN

Animals, lots of animals, giving and receiving massages. Also from Joan McMullen.

PLACING BLAME WHERE IT BELONGS

People who have lost love ones to COVID-19 are more frequently placing blame in the obituaries they write. TGB reader and political blogger extraordinaire, Jan Adams, sent this one which I believe may be the first.

covid obit

The number of obituaries with political messages has been increasing as the pandemic continues. The Washington Post has covered the phenomenon.

YO SEMITES AND THIGHLAND

We have always known the president is only semi-literate but his errors and gaffes have been increasing in number and they get funnier. Here are two he delivered this week when he tried to read the words Yosemite and Thailand.

AMERICAN'S SATISFACTION AT 9-YEAR LOW

Fairly regularly the polling firm Gallup asks the broad question, “How are things going?” Here's what they have to say about the results of the latest survey:

”Americans have rarely been less satisfied with the state of the nation than they are now. Although the public does not have to be highly satisfied for incumbents to be reelected, the current level of satisfaction sits well below the low-water mark (33%) at which an incumbent has won reelection in the past.

“An even more troubling sign for the current president is that satisfaction is significantly lower now than it was in 1992 (22%) when George H.W. Bush lost his bid for a second term.”

That sounds bad enough but I found it shocking when I looked at the graph:

Gallupsatisfactionpoll

More information at Gallup but don't make this an excuse for complacency.

ONE MAN'S WALK AROUND THE WHOLE WORLD

The Youtube page tells us:

”Tom Turcich of New Jersey and his adorable pooch Savannah have walked over 18,000 miles through the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Italy, Turkey and dozens of other countries over the past five years.

“It’s been a life-changing adventure. They’ve survived hardship, and they’ve experienced the kindness of strangers along the way. And they’ve still got miles to go.”

CAT MASK

My friend Tony Sarmiento sent this photo. He is a cat person (of course he is):

CatMask

The photograph, by John Hryniuk, is from a collection of faces of Toronto citizens during the pandemic published at the Washington Post.

PENGUINS AND A BUBBLE MACHINE

I have read a bunch of stories lately about how bored zoo animals get without visitors to entertain them. Here is another. The Youtube page reports,

”Penguins who couldn't be entertained properly at a zoo during lockdown have been cheered up - with a bubble machine...Staff at Newquay Zoo in Cornwall were trying to find a way to keep them entertained, and then someone kindly donated a bubble machine.”

BUILDING A MUD DOG HOUSE FOR ABANDONED PUPPIES

TGB reader Joan McMullen is back again, this time with video of an extraordinary young man who builds an astonishingly elaborate dog house for four abandoned puppies.

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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 – 1 August 2020

THE CHASE

This is a short parody of some over-dramatized wildlife films and documentaries that often don't live up to their hype.

Yes, that's Sir David Attenborough's voice, clipped from several of his animal TV programs. Enjoy.

INSIDE A HOSTESS TWINKIES FACTORY

And Cup Cakes. And Donettes.

It has probably been half a century since I last ate a Twinkie and longer for the other two. In fact, I may never have eaten a Donette. Here is what the YouTube page says:

“Created in 1930, Twinkies are America's guiltiest pleasure. Using an elaborate and incredibly efficient system of Auto Bake robots, Hostess produces roughly 500,000,000 Twinkies a year, or roughly 1,000 a minute.”

This video from Popular Mechanics shows how they are made. It didn't need to be this lengthy but I think I know how that happened: after awhile it beccomes almost mesmerizing. If you stick around long enough, you'll see there are actual humans involved at least at the end of production.

ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE?

About a week ago, Washington Post columnist, Dana Milbank, published a column about how to make sure you are registered to vote, how to do that if you are not, how to get an absentee ballot and what to do about voting if you are overseas or a member of the military.

The astonishingly well done and easy-to-use website is from vote.org. Here are some direct links:

If you want just a yes or no answer to whether you are registered to vote in your state, go here.

If you want more information when you check to see if you are registered, go here. If you are properly registered, you will find links to your elected officials and to the location ballot dropboxes (well, the latter will be added soon).

You can register to vote here. If you want to go directly to your state's voter registration, scroll down the page for a link to each state.

If you are registered to vote and want an absentee ballot, go here.

If you are an American citizen overseas or a uniformed service member, go here.

There is more information in Dana Milbank's column.

OBAMA'S EULOGY FOR REPRESENTATIVE JOHN LEWIS

If you did not or could not watch it live, here is former President Barack Obama's eulogy Thursday for John Robert Lewis. It is stunning call to all of us to continue the Georgia representative's lifelong work.

Yes, it is long – about 40 minutes – but you won't notice and I suspect it will become, if it hasn't already, one of those speeches we must never forget.

ACCIDENTAL SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS

If you wonder what an old woman with cancer and COPD who is in hospice does with some her time...

Ahem - here are three accidental science experiments no one asked for:

Marble

SanLighning

FrogFireflies

There are 37 more photos of unexpected results at Bored Panda.

IMPOSSIBLE VIDEOS TO DELIGHT US

TGB reader Joan McMullin sent this video of some impossible scenarios created by Kevin Lustgarten who says he shoots these with his phone and then edits.

MARCH TO MAY 2020 QUIETEST PERIOD IN RECORDED HISTORY

Seismologists usually deal with earthquakes, atmospheric pressure and the movements of oceans. But during the pandemic lockdown, they got to listen to those noises without much human interference:

”Humans are the third-biggest source of seismic noise,” reports MIT Technology Review of a study done during the lockdown. “Everyday urban activities like commutes, or stadiums full of fans simultaneously going wild in 'football quakes,' are strong enough to register on seismometers.

“'It’s transport, like cars, trains, traffic, buses,' says coauthor Paula Koelemeijer of the Royal Holloway University of London. 'It’s retail and recreation—not just people going shopping, but also going to parks. It’s workplaces and residences.'”

This isn't just idle curiosity. The quiet period is resulting in new scientific knowledge and help in understanding future earth changes.

”The fall-off in human noise also gave scientists a chance to listen to the earth’s inner workings more closely than ever before—without humans drowning them out. This might add to our knowledge of earthquakes, particularly small ones in urban centers that are often masked by human seismic noise.”

Read more at MIT Technology Review.

THE DOG

There have been several charming and heart-warming commercials from the Kiatnakin Bank in Thailand. This one was released in 2015. Never mind that it is not in English. You will have no difficulty understanding and, of course, that is part of the point.

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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 – 25 JULY 2020

GRETA THUNBERG WINS 1 MILLION EURO GULBENKIAN PRIZE

Climate change has gotten lost in the pandemic news but some are paying attention. A few days ago the Swedish teenage activist, Greta Thunberg, won the one million Euro (1.15 million U.S. dollars) Gulbenkian Prize for humanity.

”...for the way she 'has been able to mobilise younger generations for the cause of climate change and her tenacious struggle to alter a status quo that persists', Jorge Sampaio, chair of the prize jury, said earlier,” reported The Guardian.

As Thunberg says in the video, all the prize money will be donated, through her foundation, to different organisations and projects who are working to help people on the front line, affected by the climate crisis and ecological crisis.

You can read more at the Gulbenkian website.

WONDERFULLY FUNNY DRUNK TWEETS

If you read The New Yorker magazine, you probably recognize Susan Orlean's name. As the Washington Post describes her, she is

”...an award-winning author of several books, including The Library Book and The Orchid Thief, and has received both Nieman and Guggenheim fellowships. Meryl Streep was nominated for an Academy Award for portraying Orlean in the movie Adaptation.”

A week ago, she – oh, never mind. Let WaPo reporter Travis M. Andrews explain:

”...the work that had her name trending on Twitter this weekend was a little different. See, Orlean got drunk Friday night, met a newborn foal and fired up the social media platform. And the ensuing thread — in which she bemoaned the state of the world, threw shade at her cat for not snuggling and recounted an epic quest for candy only to wind up with sugarcoated fennel seeds — proved utterly delightful.”

Here is a piece of it:

SusanOrlean

You can read her entire drunken thread here. And, it's worth following the WaPo link above to an interview with Orlean about her drunken tweet night.

This is such an excellent respite from our global troubles.

PETER TIBBLES' MUSIC COLUMN

In last Monday's post I mentioned that Peter Tibbles, who writes Sunday's TGB Elder Music column is thinking over whether he will continue it in some form after I die.

In case you missed it, here is the response he left in the comments:

”I don’t think I’ll continue with the music column. I have seen with my own eyes the amount of work Ronni puts into producing each day’s column. I retired from the computer industry after 50 years and it and it seems to me that I’d be just going back to work, and I certainly don’t want to do that.

“Having done this for more than 10 years and about 600 columns I wonder if I have anything to add that won’t bore you all. However, you never know. I might become inspired and find some easy software and start again.”

THE ALEX AND RONNI SHOW

As we do every two weeks, last Wednesday my former husband, Alex Bennett, and I record a short chat I have dubbed The Alex and Ronni Show.

Usually, I post it on Friday but got carried away yesterday with a long discussion of the Gestapo tactics being unleashed by the federal government on cities across the U.S. Actually, Alex and I got carried away on that subject too. Here is the video.

Alex's video chat show can be found here.

CROWD CATCHES CHILDREN JUMPING FROM BURNING BUILDING

Last Tuesday, two young boys in Grenoble, France, brothers age 10 and three, exhibited extraordinary bravery and trust in their fellow human beings by jumping from high floors of a burning building to be caught by people waiting on the ground:

Neither boy was harmed but at least one of the “catchers” was checked at the hospital for injuries. You can read more at Huffington Post and The Guardian.

EXTRAORDINARY ANTI-TRUMP CAMPAIGN VIDEOS

Two groups of Republicans are carrying on an amazingly sharp and pointed video campaign against the re-election of Donald Trump – The Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump.

This week they came up with a remarkably similar idea for their latest videos:

NAKED ATHENA

In the law-and-order surge from the president in Portland, Oregon, there has been one small bright spot to give us a smile. She has been given the name, Naked Athena. Here is the story according to Snopes:

“Police officers in Portland, Oregon were caught off guard after being approached by a nude female demonstrator, who lay down in the street and began performing yoga. The cops were then filmed ‘withdrawing.’

“A woman wearing nothing except a mask and a beanie approached a group of officers clearing out the downtown area in the early hours of Saturday. A line of police and federal agents were standing at an intersection when the naked woman seemingly appeared out of nowhere.”

Here is some video from The Sun including some commentary on the protests from Trump:

Among all the turmoil and fear being generated, Naked Athena makes me feel happy for a little while.

CAT DISCOVERING IT HAS EARS

Priceless.

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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 – 18 July 2020

BLOG HOUSEKEEPING REMINDER: As announced last Monday, beginning tomorrow (20 July 2020), Time Goes By will no longer be published on Facebook. If you want to continue to read TGB, you can subscribe in the right sidebar of the website for email delivery.

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GEORGE WASHINGTON'S TEETH

Maybe like me, you've heard all your life that George Washington's false teeth were made of wood. Well, that would be wrong, according to this Atlas Obscura video.

The story is more complicated than that and I'll leave it to this curator from the New York Academy of Medicine to explain.

UPDATE ON ALEX TREBEK'S CANCER TREATMENT

You will recall that Jeopardy! host, Alex Trebek has been undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer for more than a year.

I've come to feel a kinship with anyone who lives with pancreatic cancer and anyway, who doesn't like Alex Trebek. Here's the update:

The book he mentions, a memoir, is titled The Answer Is...Reflections on My Life and will be published next Tuesday.

TEENS HEARING DOLLY PARTON FOR THE FIRST TIME

The reaction of these two kids listening to Dolly Parton singing Jolene for the first time apparently is a surprise – enough of one to get more than 1,700,000 views in just a month.

NEW ONLINE COLLECTION OF HISTORIC NEW YORK CITY MAPS

The Brooklyn Historical Society just published nearly 1500 maps of New York City – all its boroughs and Long Island - going back to the 17th century. The New York Times reports,

”The collection, which is sourced from the historical society’s archives, includes maps from 1562 to 2015 — including transit maps, topographical maps, cultural maps and nautical charts, as well as plans for Central Park and Prospect Park.

“The project, which required that damaged and fragile maps be repaired, took two and a half years. More maps will be added in the coming months, said Maggie Schreiner, the manager of archives and special collections at the historical society.”

LowerManhattan1854

You will find the online collection at the Brooklyn Historical Society website.

SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE ALERT

Heads up, folks. According to CNBC and others, President Donald Trump has told Senate Republicans that he will not sign a new virus stimulus package unless it includes a payroll tax cut. That means, of course, cuts to the Social Security and Medicare deductions.

"However, his past calls for going this route to help people during the continuing economic crisis have been met with opposition from both Republicans and Democrats...

"While it’s uncertain whether a payroll tax cut or suspension will make it into the next stimulus package out of Congress, or exactly how it would look, Trump has suggested in the past that the entire payroll tax should be suspended for the rest of the year."

Both programs already face shortfalls in the next few years and some experts say those shortfalls may happen even sooner due to the poor economy caused by the coronavirus.

You might want to let your senators and representative know how you feel about this potential cut. You can contact Senate members here. And you can contact your House member here.

More at Politico, at the Washington Post and elsewhere online.

SPOTTED IN LONDON, U.K

And offered without comment – sent by TGB reader John Starbuck.

AmericansAccompaniedBAdult

“A JABBA THE HUTT OF PRIVILEGE”

Can you guess who that headline is talking about. I lost track of how many people sent this item but even after a dozen readings, I keep going back – for its craft and its truth.

The writer is Nate White, described an “articulate and witty writer from England.” The story, titled British Writer Pens The Best Description Of Trump I’ve Read, is published on the blog, journal of a grumpy old man. Here is an excerpt:

”Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers. And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

“There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface. Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront. Well, we don’t.”

Now go read the whole thing – it's not that long - you won't be sorry.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT RACISM

TGB reader, Mary Evans Young sent this video that is more than pertinent in our new era of Black Lives Matter. As Phil Vischer of Holy Post website explains on the YouTube page:

”Three years ago my brother Rob and I co-taught a class that discussed issues of racial injustice. That class turned into a popular podcast episode, which we've now turned into this video. Why are people still angry? Let's take a look at race in America...”

HOW CATS TOOK OVER THE INTERNET, OUR HOMES, OUR LIVES

I missed this when it appeared on The New Yorker website a couple of years ago.

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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 – 11 July 2020

There are several very old videos in today's post. They qualify as Interesting Stuff to me but aside from cute kittycats which never get old, it feels like fewer items I come across are as clever or creative or interesting as some in the past. Maybe we have reached peak YouTube. Or maybe it's just a lull.

TEACHING A KID HOW TO TELL TIME

This is one of those old videos – I may have posted it in the distant past and if not, I've certainly seen it before and I had just as good a time watching it again this week as the first time.

The Irish comedian is David Allen, who died in 2005. If you enjoy this, there is a lot more of his comedy on YouTube. Thank TGB reader Mary Evans Young for sending this.

ACTION MOVIE KID

Another TGB reader, Joan McMullen sent this one. Apparently, this kid's father creates special effects for movies and he put together this video of his kid.

There is a whole series of Action Movie Kid videos at YouTube. Just search the name, “action movie kid” for more.

WEAR A MASK

The U.S. federal government has bungled the information on wearing masks so badly for so many months that there are now millions of people who refuse to wear them because hoax, according to the president, endangering every person they come into contact with.

The only tools we have against the coronavirus are masks, distancing and hand washing. If we can't do those three things, I believe we are doomed to millions of deaths.

Through a convoluted trail I cannot now retrace, I found this on the Facebook page of Janet Batchler. I'm pretty sure TGB readers don't need to be reminded to wear masks but I think you'll find this article interesting anyway. Do click over to read the whole thing - it's worth your time.

FARSIDE CARTOONIST GARY LARSON RETURNS

I'm pretty sure Gary Larson's weird and wonderful The Far Side was my all-time favorite cartoon and I have missed it ever since Larson retired in 1995.

But wait. After 25 years, it's back. In a personal essay about his return, Larson explains that it took a good while to make the transition from hand-drawn cartoons to digital. He writes,

“Believe me, this has been a bit of a learning curve for me. I hail from a world of pen and ink, and suddenly I was feeling like I was sitting at the controls of a 747. (True, I don’t get out much.)

“But as overwhelmed as I was, there was still something familiar there—a sense of adventure. That had always been at the core of what I enjoyed most when I was drawing The Far Side, that sense of exploring, reaching for something, taking some risks, sometimes hitting a home run and sometimes coming up with 'Cow tools.'

“So here goes. I’ve got my coffee, I’ve got this cool gizmo, and I’ve got no deadlines. And—to borrow from Sherlock Holmes—the game is afoot.”

Respecting copyright, I'm not posting a cartoon today. You can go here to see the first three new ones. You can see a selection of original Far Side cartoons here, updated daily.

You can read some interviews with Larson about his return here and here and elsewhere around the web.

PIGEON IMPOSSIBLE

Here's another oldie video – an animation from 11 years ago when I may have posted it. It's still a goody.

About the story, the YouTube page tells us that a rookie secret agent is faced with a problem seldom covered in basic training: what to do when a curious pigeon gets trapped inside your multi-million dollar, government-issued nuclear briefcase. It was directed by Lucas Martell of Mighty Coconut.

JUST WHAT WE NEED - NOT

A case of bubonic plague turned up in China this week. CNN reports,

”Authorities in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia have closed several tourist spots after a case of bubonic plague was confirmed this week.

“The case was discovered in Bayannur, located northwest of the capital Beijing. Five nearby grassland scenic points have now been closed, with visitors "strictly prohibited from entering the affected area and visiting the surrounding region," according to state-run Xinhua news agency...

Doctors officially diagnosed the case as bubonic plague on Tuesday. The patient is being isolated and treated in hospital, and is in stable condition, Xinhua reported.”

You can read more at The New York Times, the Washington Post, the BBC and elsewhere around the web.

TRUE FACTS ABOUT MACAQUES

More than once and probably more than twice, I have posted videos of local macaques basking in a Japanese warm spring pond in the middle of winter.

Now there is a new video from Zfrank (ncluding his um, colorful, jokes) with a whole lot of new-to-me good information about these interesting monkeys.

YOUR FEEL GOOD MOMENT FOR THE DAY

Like I said up front, there are a lot of repeats today, this one from my friend, John Brandt. As he put it in an email, “A gorgeous wedding gift from Russian lovers of American music.” And so it is – a wedding celebration in the middle of winter.

I'm pretty sure I posted this video a long, long time ago. Maybe in 2012 when it was first published at YouTube, and it feels even better now. Just forget all our troubles in the world for a few minutes and 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 – 4 July 2020

TEDDY BEAR SOCIAL DISTANCING

In at least this one Paris cafe, giant Teddy bears help, in a fun way, to enforce social distancing.

Paris Teddy Bears

TGB reader Mary Evans Young sent this photo for us. I've seen this same technique in a couple of other photos around the web.

NYC LIBRARY LIONS GET FACE MASKS

It has always charmed me that the two lions who sit in front the the main branch of the New York City Library are named Patience and Fortitude.

Last week, as part of the library's re-opening, they were given face masks. Take a look:

A MIND SANG

As the accompanying Vimeo story explains:

”Seeing a shape in the clouds, a face on Mars, or Jesus in your toast is called 'pareidolia.' Our tendency to perceive objects, patterns, and meanings incorrectly is a psychological phenomenon filmmaker Vier Nev turned into hypnotizing art in his transfixing animated film, A Mind Sang.

“Leading the audience through themes of transformation, perspective, and rebirth, this work of art kept us visually engaged through each second of the film with stunning optical illusions and a haunting and rich musical score.”

At the 2020 Annecy International Animation Film Festiva. the Vimeo team presented the artist with the Staff Pick Award.

You can read more here including an interview with the film maker, Vier Nev.

THE RETURN OF EIGHT “CURED” DISEASES

Diseases that had been all but eradicated are making a comeback. Among them, gout:

Gout

Actually, I'm pretty sure I am publishing this item mostly because the image amuses me. But as long as I've done that, according to Mental Floss,

”The first documented case of gout was in Egypt in 2600 BCE. Though anyone could get it, gout was known as 'the king’s disease' because symptoms most often presented themselves in royalty and the wealthy—Henry VIII and George IV both suffered from it.

“There was no cure, and once someone had one attack of gout, they were likely to get it again. The main symptom was unbelievably excruciating pain in a joint, usually the big toe.”

The incidence of gout has doubled in the United States in the past 50 years.

Measles, mumps and rubella, for which there is a vaccine, have also been making a comeback thanks to the anti-vaccine movement in the U.S.

”Outbreaks of all three diseases are increasing. In 2019, the U.S. had more than 1200 measles cases - the highest number since the CDC declared it eliminated in the country in 2000. England had more than 5000 cases of mumps in 2019 - the country’s highest number in a decade.”

You can read more about the return of these disease plus scarlet fever, rickets, syphilis and polio at Mental Floss.

NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIAN SLANG

Sunday's maestro of the TGB Elder Music column, Peter Tibbles, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, sent this video in which actor Russell Crowe explains down-under slang to us.

You might know some of them but I think most would be a mystery to us northern hemisphere folks.

SARAH COOPER LIPSYNCS TRUMP

Sarah Cooper is an American comedian and writer whose most recent work has gone. Her name has popped up all over the news and internet in response to her hilarious lip-syncs of unedited voice clips of Donald Trump.

I had read a couple of stories about her but had neglected to check out the videos until a TGB reader, who wants to remain anonymous, sent a link. Enjoy.

PERTINENT POETRY

Another TGB reader, John Brayton, gave us this poem on last Monday's blog post about my new hospice status. It is titled The Merciful Hours. The poet is Paula Meehan who gave it to the Irish Hospice Foundation to commemorate the organization's 30th anniversary.

There were a lot of comments on Monday's post and you may have missed this so I am reprinting it today. And if you did see it, it is so much worth an extra reading.

THE MERCIFUL HOURS

Because we have known Death come the hard way —
knock at the door in the dark of the night,
all of us breaking with the shock of day —

this precious time to sit with our living
while they enter their peace, is pure gift.
It falls like healing light on our waiting

for heaven, or nothing, or another lifetime,
be we lovers or father or mother
or child to each other. Our mortal dream

is to step out together the long road home,
hand fast in hand whatever the weather,
whatever the twists and turnings to come.

So: to the vigil bring candles, bring flowers,
heart’s gratitude for the merciful hours.

SON SAILS THE ATLANTIC ALONE TO REACH HIS FATHER

The bare bones of the story is this from YouTube:

”When flights to his native Argentina were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, sailor Juan Manuel Ballestero hatched an ambitious plan: to single-handedly sail 12,000 kilometres across the Atlantic to see his parents.”

It took 85 days and he missed his father's 90th birthday but he arrived in time for Father's Day.

Read more at The Daily Mail and The New York Times.

FAMILY SAVES BABY BEAR WITH HEAD STUCK IN JAR

The Youtube page explains:

”A family were fishing on a lake in Wisconsin when they spotted a bear with a plastic jar stuck on its head. After several attempts at moving their boat next to the bear and removing the jar, they were finally able to free the animal.

“'Never dreamt we would ever do this in our life time,' Tricia Hurt wrote on Facebook. 'Out on Marshmiller Lake yesterday with Brian Hurt and Brady Hurt when we spotted this poor bear. He made it to shore after all that'”.

Hurray. Take a look:

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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 – 27 June 2020

STILL FIGHTING RACISM AT AGE 90

The Youtube page tells us:

”In this moving interview, anti-racism pioneer Roy Hackett - who is now in his 90s - reveals the extraordinary level of racism he faced when he first arrived in the UK in the 1950s.

“Following the Black Lives Matter protests and the removal of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol, some have called for a statue of Roy Hackett to be erected in its place. This interview was recorded in 2019.”

TGB reader, Mary Evans Young, who emailed this video for us, noted in her message that “this happens to be about Britain but it could be many countries: US, Australia, France...Black Lives Matter.”

BARCELONA OPERA HOUSE PLANT PERFORMANCE

Remember in last week's Interesting Stuff, when I told you that the Barcelona's Liceu opera house, after being closed for several months, would re-open on Monday with a special string quartet performance for plants in the audience?

Well, they did it. Take a look:

SAME SUBJECT, DIFFERENT STORY

Same in that they share music and vegetables together.

Have you ever heard of the Vegetable Orchestra of Vienna? Neither had I. Here's what the YouTube page says:

”The members of Vienna’s Vegetable Orchestra have been playing with their food for more than 20 years. But when they do, it becomes a work of art. These musicians literally play freshly cut vegetables sourced from local markets.

“And who knew carrots, eggplants, red peppers and other veggies could sound so good? This unique ensemble play a piece they composed just for us, all from their own homes. It’s called Green Days.

OREGON'S EXPLODING WHALE

I remember this event when it happened and had not thought about it since then until it popped onto my screen while I was looking for something else a few days ago.

It was November 1970. A huge, dead sperm whale landed on a beach in Florence, Oregon. It was smelly and...well, let's hear the story from the local KATU Channel 2 news reporter, Paul Linnman. The video looks like this because it's 50 years old.

You can find out more at Mental Floss. There is even a website devoted to it.

THE LIFE OF FLOWERS

Last week I posted a flower video here and now, TGB reader Jane Seskin has sent another beauty.

ORANGUTAN DOING ALL HE CAN TO GET A FRIEND'S ATTENTION

This is from the Save the Orangutan organization which “supports the world's largest orangutan rehabilitation centre where more than 500 orangutans are given a second chance,” the YouTube page tells us.

At the centre - Nyaru Menteng - the orangutans are learning all the skills necessary to one day return to Borneo's rainforest. You can help the orangutans by adopting one here.

LOST – AND FOUND - ARETHA FRANKLIN TRACK

It arrived just in time for Juneteenth.

The world knows the recording of “Never Gonna Break My Faith, a duet by Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige. It won best gospel performance at the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008.

But wait, there was another version of the song, a solo by Aretha backed by the Boys Choir of Harlem. As AP reports,

”'This solo version has been sitting on my computer for years, and when I heard Clive [Davis of Sony Music] was making a film on Aretha’s life, I sent this version to him. The world hasn’t heard her full performance and it really needed to be heard,' Grammy-winning singer Bryan Adams, who co-wrote the song, said in a statement. 'I’m so glad it’s being released, the world needs this right now.'”

The newly-produced video that goes with it includes images of protest marches from the 1960s and from the current Black Lives Matter movement. I'm pretty sure you're not going to forget this. I know I won't.

* * *

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 June 2020

SPANISH OPERA HOUSE REOPENS WITH A CONCERT FOR PLANTS

Next Monday, Barcelona’s Liceu opera house will reopen. A string quartet will play Puccini's Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums) for a special audience.

SpanishOperaHousePlants

As The Guardian reports,

”Well aware of the need to return with a spectacle as grabby as a venus flytrap, the Catalan venue has announced a concert for 2,292 plants when it reopens next Monday...

“Eugenio Ampudia, the conceptual artist behind the concert, said it aimed to reflect what has happened across Spain and around the world as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced people to retreat from shared public areas.”

The concert will be live-streamed for humans at home.

“When the strings fall silent and palms have been duly pressed together in appreciation, the plants will be donated to 2,292 health workers as thanks for their efforts over recent months.”

Read more at The Guardian.

NEW YORK CITY'S BEST ART CURATOR MAY BE A GARBAGE MAN

TGB reader Jennifer sent this video. The YouTube page explains,

”The top floor of one of the city's active sanitation garages houses a very large and highly curated collection, assembled by ex-garbage man Nelson Molina.”

Definitely worth your time.

THE PROBLEM OF VIRUS EXPERTS' LIES

Quoting Daily Kos, long-time political blogger, Digby, passed on Dr. Anthony's Fauci's explanation of the government's lies about the public wearing masks:

"Well, the reason for that is that we were concerned [that masks]...were in very short supply. And we wanted to make sure that the people, namely the health care workers who were brave enough to put themselves in harm’s way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected."

Bad enough all by itself, but Digby elegantly points out how awful those lies are:

”Everything I have read about standard pandemic response is that it is vital for public health officials to tell the truth. If they don’t, they lose credibility and nobody will believe them when they give the public health guidance.

“Can you see the problem here? By lying to the pubic instead of saying 'we don’t have enough medical masks to go around so please just make a cloth mask or use a scarf or bandana' from the very beginning we might not be dealing with this nonsense where people think masks are some kind of political plot.

“Instead, they very adamantly insisted that masks were bad and would actually cause you to get the virus, even though they knew that wasn’t so. It was a major error.”

She is exactly right. I stopped listening to anything Dr. Deborah Birx says after she told us how Trump is “attentive to the scientific literature and the details.” A laughable assertion to any sentient being who has watched him speak.

Read more at Digby's Hullabaloo.

FAMILY SHELTERS BABY COW DURING HURRICANE

A baby cow was spotted in a flooded field after Hurricane Harvey. She was very sick, but she fought hard get better. This is the story of Harveigh the cow.

THE LIFE OF DEATH

As you might imagine, these days death and all that it might mean is a topic not far from my mind. Recently, I rediscovered this short film, The Life of Death. From the Youtube page:

”...as Death goes about his daily job of taking the lives of animals in the forest, he comes across a lovely doe. He falls in love with her and can't bring himself to take her life and so they slowly become close friends.”

But in the end, the doe will teach Death that dying is also part of Life. The film maker is Marsha Onderstijn.

FLOWERS BLOOMING 2

A New York City TGB reader, Ann Burack-Weiss, sent this video which has won a whole bunch of awards. The film maker, Majo Chudy tells us:

”It took nine months to capture a total of more than 40,000 shots. The video is composed of 24,626 shots...Just over three minutes of video shows incredible 929 hours of real time.”

* * *

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 June 2020

ARE YOU AN ANTIFA AGENT?

In the past week, President Donald Trump suggested that 75-year-old Martin Gugino, the man who was seriously injured at the hands of the Buffalo, New York, police for no reason, was an Antifa provocateur. And he has accused others whose politics he doesn't like of being members of Antifa.

Antifa stands for Anti-fascist, is not an organization but a diverse group of unaffiliated people who oppose fascism. There is no main Antifa group.

Last week, Washington Post columnist, Alexandra Petri, published a list of ways to figure out if people's grandparents had become Antifa agents. That would be people like you and me. Here are a few of her suggestions:

“Is always talking on the phone with an “aunt” you have never actually met in person. Aunt TIFA????”

“Always walking into rooms and claiming not to know why he walked into the room. Likely.”

“Suddenly, for no reason, will appear or pretend to be asleep.”

“Carries peppermints (chemical irritant?) in purse at all times.”

See more of Ms. Petri's suspicions of what behaviors might indicate an old person is an Antifa agent at the Washington Post.

SAY CHEESE – WHY WE SMILE FOR PHOTOGRAPHS

It wasn't always that way. Smiles in the earliest photographs are rare and even in paintings, people rarely smiled until the 18th century. We are so accustomed to somber-looking people in early photos that this one of a 19th century, young girl, O-o-dee. of the Kiowa people in the Oklahoma Territory is almost shocking.

O-o-beimage

TGB reader Nana Royer sent this video of Colin Jones discussing the “smile revolution” in 18th century Paris, which broke with centuries-old conventions to introduce the white-toothed smile we know today.

What prompted this change? Jones attributes it to the emergence of dental science and changing technologies of mouth care, and the development of a cult of sensibility, subjectivity and politeness. Listen to him explaining:

You can read more here and here.

NEW ZEALAND SEES LAST VIRUS PATIENT RECOVER

The increase in the number of new coronavirus infections and deaths this week in the United States has skyrocketed. Some other countries have done an amazing job in fighting back and New Zealand, as of last Monday, is the first to be down to zero cases. Here is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern:

You can read more about how they did it here and here. Shouldn't the U.S. government be studying how New Zealand accomplished this?

PUZZLE BOXES, ILLUSIONS AND AMAZING PLAYING CARDS

There is a store in San Diego called the Art of Play shop. It is full of puzzle boxes, illusion, amazing playing cards and all sorts of other puzzle toys.

In the video below from Atlas Obscura's Show and Tell series, co-owner of the store, Dan Buck, gives a tour of the secret room and some of the most interesting puzzles. It's longer than I usually post – 13 minutes – but I sure enjoyed it.

You can find out more at the Art of Play website.

LEGAL KILLING OF BEARS AND CUBS IN ALASKA

What can you do but weep. I cannot imagine what evil lives in the heart of the man who is our president. The Washington Post and other publications reported last week:

”Hunters will soon be allowed to venture into national preserves in Alaska and engage in practices that conservation groups say are reprehensible: baiting hibernating bears from their dens with doughnuts to kill them and using artificial light such as headlamps to scurry into wolf dens to slaughter mothers and their pups.

“With a final rule published Tuesday in the Federal Register, the Trump administration is ending a five-year-old ban on the practices, which also include shooting swimming caribou from a boat and targeting animals from airplanes and snowmobiles. It will take effect in 30 days.”

How is it that this not a crime?

WHEN CITIES WERE CESSPOOLS

In last Wednesday's blog post, I listed a few of the modern conveniences that make me grateful to live now rather than in the 19th century or before. It was worse that I realized back then.

Maybe with the coronavirus, we are getting the smallest idea of what life was like in 19th century cities. From National Geographic.

SOME COOL KITCHEN HACKS

In my cancer/COPD predicament these days, I don't have the energy to do much cooking anymore. But if I still did, I would like these kitchen hacks.

CORONAVIRUS FRAUD

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission this week released data on scams being perpetrated related to the COVID-19 virus.

”Since January 1, people across the U.S. have made 91,808 COVID-19-related reports to the FTC. Most of these reports involve online shopping, with travel and vacations coming in second,” reports the FTC.

“The online shopping reports are mostly about people ordering products that never arrive, while most of the travel and vacation reports relate to refunds and cancellations. So far, people have reported losing $59.27 million on these and other COVID-related fraud reports.”

What is the matter with people who do such things as these? You can check out statistics for your state here.

THE CAT AND THE TREADMILL

A cat investigates the arrival of a treadmill in his home. When I started watching this video, I thought four-plus minutes would be a bit much. Not so. I enjoyed it clear to the end.

* * *

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 June 2020

RADIO RECLINER

I love this. As the Washington Post explains, at

”Radio Recliner, a new online radio station, the DJs are elderly folks who have spent the past two months stuck in their rooms, meals delivered to their doors, activities canceled, their relatives relegated to waving through a window, at best.”

Take a look at one group of these late-life deejays:

Find out more at the Washington Post and at the Radio Recliner website.

WHY WE WASH OUR HANDS FOR 20 SECONDS

We have been doing it for months now, washing our hands for at least 20 seconds many times a day, and in the case of me and some of my friends, complaining about it mightily – as we continue.

TGB reader Joan McMullin found a video explaining why that 20 seconds is important:

LAST PERSON TO RECEIVE CIVIL WAR PENSION DIES

Sometimes history is a lot closer to today than we realize.

Last Sunday, Irene Triplett died at a long-term-care home in Wilkesboro, N.C. at the age of 90. She was the last Civil War pensioner.

Recall that the Civil War ended in 1865 – 155 years ago. So how was she receiving benefits (of $73.13 per month) all this time later. The Washington Post explains:

”The jaw-dropping fact that someone in the year 2020 was still earning a Civil War pension was the result of two factors: First, Triplett suffered cognitive impairments, qualifying her for the lifelong pension as a helpless adult child of a veteran.

“Second, her father, Mose Triplett, who’d served as a private in the Confederate Army before defecting to the Union...

“Mose married [his second wife] Elida Hall. He was 78. She was 27. Their 1924 marriage, according to the Journal, was rough. They lost three babies. Then Irene was born on Jan. 9, 1930, but had mental disabilities, according to the newspaper.”

The details of the story are much more colorful than the bare bones I have related. You can read all that at the Post.

HAPPINESS TREE HOUSE

As Atlas Obscura explains on the Youtube page,

”When Buddy Melvin set out to build a treehouse in 1997, he only planned for one room. Today the sprawling structure has 16, including bars, bedrooms, a pool room, and a dance floor.

“At the heart of the treehouse is an enormous trunk, which continues to grow, fed by the subterranean stream below.”

It's an amazing place. Take a look:

RAHUL DUBEY SHELTERS 70-PLUS D.C. DEMONSTRATORS

This is my favorite feel-good story of our current political saga. A man named Rahul Dubey, a resident of Washington, D.C., opened the door of his home to more than 70 demonstrators who were fleeing police who were trying to arrest them at curfew. Despite pressure on Dubey from the police, they stayed the night. Take a look at this story:

BLACK LIVES MATTER

On Friday morning, at the behest of the Washington, D.C. mayor, seven local artists spent Friday morning painting the words, Black Lives Matter, in gigantic yellow letters on 16th Street between H and K. Take a look.

The mayor, Muriel Bowser, also renamed the area, that is within hollering distance of the White House, Black Lives Matter Plaza.

LATEST FROM THE LINCOLN PROJECT

The Lincoln Project is a new organization of disaffected Republicans whose goal, according to their website, is

”...to hold accountable those who would violate their oaths to the Constitution and would put others before Americans.”

They have been releasing one or two and sometimes three powerful, one-minute videos a week. Here is the latest which, besides it's political point, it a pretty good short video montage of all that has happened this week:

The Lincoln Project website is here.

GOVERNMENT SEIZES MASKS SENT TO DEMONSTRATORS

The group, The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), spent tens thousands of dollars purchasing masks to donate to demonstrators around the country to help protect them from the coronavirus. They never got there. Reported Huffpost:

The first four boxes, each containing 500 masks, were mailed from Oakland, California, and were destined for Washington, St. Louis, New York City and Minneapolis, where on May 25 a white police officer killed George Floyd...

“But the items never left the state. The U.S. Postal Service tracking numbers for the packages indicate they were 'Seized by Law Enforcement' and urge the mailer to 'contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for further information.'”

Here is the post office tracking information:

PostOfficeMaskSeizure

Did I miss new legislation making government confiscation of private mailings legal?

CORONAVIRUS RHAPSODY

TGB reader Nina sent this music video titled Coronavirus Rhapsody, based, of course, on Bohemian Rhapsody. The singer is Raúl Irabién.

WHY DOGS LIKE TO HANG THEIR HEADS OUT CAR WINDOWS

It's all about their amazing noses. This amusing BBC video about that was shot in Paris so, of course, love is part of the story.

* * *

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 – 30 May 2020

FUN FACTS FOR KIDS

And grownups too. Reddit user MoonBaboon asked readers for some simple but mind-bending facts for a three-year-old who asks for one fact a day at bedtime. Reddit folks came through. Here are three to get you started:

TigerSkin
If you shave a tiger you’ll see striped skin.

PinDolphin
There are pink dolphins in the amazon river.

Spider
There is a species of burrowing tarantula that lets tiny frogs live in their burrows. The frog eats pests that are too small for the spider to get, and in return, the frog is kept safe by the big ol' spider. This is pretty much how the domestication of cats went. Tiny frogs are tarantula housecats.

There are more at the Reddit link above or at Bored Panda.

A DAY IN THE E.R. BATTLING COVID-19

Dr. Craig Spencer is director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia University in New York City.

He fought Ebola in West Africa while working with Doctors Without Borders and now he’s an emergency room doctor in New York City. This animated video is a day in his life on the front line of the battle against COVID-19.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PHYSICIAN IN THE YEAR OF A PANDEMIC

David Young is another front-line COVID-19 doctor, this one in downtown Chicago. He tried to find some humor among all the conspiracy theories, misinformation and falsehoods floating around about the virus. He succeeds. [Finish reading on the Facebook page - it's worth your time.]

CANCER AND COVID-19

If I contract the virus, I am already at more risk of dying thanks to COPD. Now, a new study tells us that cancer, too, is a dangerous mix with the virus:

”Patients whose cancer was getting worse or spreading were more than five times more likely to die in the space of a month if they caught Covid-19, researchers said this week during the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

“Even if the patients' cancer wasn't spreading, coronavirus infection nearly doubled the risk of dying, the researchers found.”

Just what I needed to know. Read more at cnn.com.

AN ILLUSIONIST WOWING PEOPLE IN JAPAN

It's an old video and I may have published it in 2012 when it was new – I don't recall. But it is, nevertheless, terrific fun.

TINIEST CAT IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE FIRST ODD, INTERESTING VOICE

I had never heard of this tiny cat called the Chilean güiña or Leopardus guigna. It weighs under six pounds and is about half the size of a usual house cat. Bored Panda tells us the cat is classed as a vulnerable species, their numbers decreasing due to loss of habitat.

The kitty has a most odd and interesting voice. Here's the National Geographic video of it.

Read more at Bored Panda.

WHY TIME SEEMS TO GO FASTER IN OLD AGE

Time has always been weird to me. It often does not seem to behave in way it ought to and over the years I have collected a minor library of books and articles exploring theories of time's strange behavior.

Here's another theory about why time appears to go faster as we get older, this one from neuroscientist David Eagleman.

J.K. ROWLING PUBLISHES THE ICKABOG ONLINE

Were you a Harry Potter fan? I sure was/am. Occasionally, I still watch one of the movies.

Now, Potter author J.K. Rowling is publishing, for free, a new children's book not about Harry Potter titled, The Ickabog. As the BBC reports:

”It's for 'children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times', [Rowling] said. She had previously referred to it only as an unnamed 'political fairytale'.

“Chapters of The Ickabog are being published daily until 10 July on The Ickabog website. The first two chapters, which went online on Tuesday, introduced King Fred the Fearless, ruler of Cornucopia, and five-year-old Bert Beamish.”

There is also a competition for children to create illustrations for the story. Some will be chosen to be included in the physical book when it is published later this year.

You can read more about it here and here. Or you can read the book as it is published online here.

BUILDING THE PERFECT SQUIRREL-PROOF BIRD FEEDER

This video turned out to be so much more than I expected. Former NASA engineer, Mark Robert, tells us on his Youtube page:

”Squirrels were stealing my bird seed so I solved the problem with mechanical engineering :)”

That sideways smiley face at the end of his sentence is key. No one should be surprised at how good, funny, wonderful, enlightening and more this experiment is when you note that it has been viewed more than 17 million times since it was published just last Monday.

Not to mention that Robert has almost 12 million followers on YouTube. Enjoy.

* * *

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 May 2020

DARLENE COSTNER'S 95TH BIRTHDAY

For many years, Darlene Costner ran her own blog, Darlene's Hodgepodge, and we became internet friends a long time ago. She often commented on this blog and she was a regular contributor of items for this weekly post of Interesting Stuff.

A few months ago, Darlene moved into an elder care home and is not as active online. However, this coming week she will celebrate her 95th birthday and her daughter, Gail, send an email around asking for “some thoughts for mom from her loved ones and present them as a birthday gift.”

”If anyone wants to contribute,” wrote Gail, “please send me anything about what you admire/appreciate about her, treasured memories, that sort of thing. Please use any format you like: prose, poem or just a simple list.”

Gail also says that Darlene's physical health is good “but everything that's going on is taking a toll on her emotional health – like all of us,” and that the TGB community means the world to her. “She would be thrilled beyond!” to hear from us.

You can send your notes, poems, greetings or whatever else to Gail at this email address: gail.costner@gmail.com and PLEASE use Darlene's name in the subject line so your messages won't get lost among Gail's other email.

Let's make this a really special 95th birthday for Darlene.

HONEST GOVERNMENT AD: THE MACHINE

The Juice Media is at it again with another video – this one about the global response to the pandemic. It is a delight and you can think Peter Tibbles, who writes the Sunday Elder Music column for sending this:

VIRUS JOKES

There are a lot of pandemic jokes going around. Here are three of them:

Friday13

Thelongerthisgoesonjoke

Lysoljoke

There is more at Bored Panda.

PENGUINS VISIT A MUSEUM

Due to the pandemic, most museums are closed as are most zoos. Someone had the good idea to put the two together:

”While we've been closed,” explains the YouTube page, “we've still been actively caring for our animals, including adding enrichment experiences to stimulate their minds. Our friends at the The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art invited our Humboldt penguins for a morning of fine art and culture.”

NOW THAT'S AN OBIT

My friend John Gear, who is a consumer and elderlaw attorney, has a fine eye for worthy Interesting Stuff. Click the image to see the full obituary on Twitter. It's worth your time.

OLIVE AND MABEL EPISODE 3

I showed you two videos last week of British sports commentator, Andrew Cottle's two dogs, Olive and Mabel. He sounded a bit reluctant then to keep make these vids, but here he is with more play-by-play in episode 3:

FILMS ON AGING AND ELDERS

Gloria Starling works at Terra Nova Films in Chicago, Illinois. She also reads TGB and she emailed to tell me about the company's executive director, Jim Vanden Bosch, who reviews film on aging for the journal of The Gerontological Society of America.

Those films are listed at the the Terra Nova website where you can follow links to the reviews. Check it out here. I hope you will.

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S MESSAGE TO THE CLASS OF 2020

Last Saturday, former President Barack Obama gave a televised commencement address for 2020 U.S. high school graduates most of whom had no formal commencement ceremonies this year. I tuned in for the speech and was thrilled by the eloquence, caring and thought that has been missing from presidential public statements for what seems now like eons.

If you didn't see it, here it is:

BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS OF CHILDREN WITH ANIMALS

The photographer is Andrea Martin of West Virginia. She tells us,

”There is something magical about the connection between children and animals, so I focus on capturing the innocence of the bond between them.”

And so she does and the images are adorable.

Girlanddog

Girlandlamb

Boyandduck

There are more at Bored Panda and at Andrea Martin's website.

* * *

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 – 16 May 2020

100 YEARS, 100 MOVIE QUOTATIONS

The American Film Institute website has a whole bunch of video lists of 100 film clips on such topics as music, heroes and villains, thrills, laughs and more.

TGB reader Jim Hood sent this one – 100 Years, 100 Movie Quotations. I know almost all of them and you probably will too.

You can find all those other AFI movie lists here.

BOLERO JUILLIARD

One hundred dancers, musicians and actors take part in this lockdown video to Ravel's Bolero. It's an amazing video as it is but it's also fun to see a lot of performers you recognize.

You can read all about how the video was created at the Juilliard website.

FREE EBOOKS

A friend, who is a heavy library user, mentioned to me this week that his library is closed indefinitely and he had found a list of five good websites for free ebooks:

Project Gutenberg
ManyBooks
Libby
Hoopla
Internet Archive

Each of these specializes in its own way. If you want even more choices for free ebooks just Google “free ebooks” and you'll get a longer list than you want to read through.

COVID-19 LEADERSHIP: TRUMP V. OTHER WORLD LEADERS

The Atlantic magazine pulled together a video of major world leaders talking to their countrymen and -women about the Covid-19 virus. See what you think:

TRUMP EXPLAINS HOW TESTING WORKS

On Thursday at a political rally (oops, I mean speech) in Pennsylvania, President Trump explained how virus testing works:

“We have more cases than anybody in the world, but why? Because we do more testing,” Trump said. “When you test, you have a case. When you test you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases. They don’t want to write that. It’s common sense. We test much more.”

(Picking my jaw up off the floor) As a Twitter commenter responded, if you never take a pregnancy test, you won't get pregnant.

Here's the video tape. The quotation appears at about 3:32 minutes from the top.

DOGGY BREAKFAST PLAY-BY-PLAY

As British sports announcer, Andrew Cotter, explains on the YouTube page,

”I usually broadcast actual sport: The Olympics, Wimbledon, The Masters, 6 Nations, that sort of thing. But sport has disappeared for a while, so here instead are Olive and Mabel eating their breakfast.”

That was so much fun, let's do it again. A few days after the above, Cotter noted this on the YouTube page:

”Wasn't going to do another one, but the ongoing lack of the actual sports events I commentate on can change a man.”

So now, The Games of Bones.

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER

This video is from New York City friends, Jane Seskin and Ann Burack-Weiss. If you are anything like me, about halfway through you will start grinning and you won't stop until the end. You might even shed a tear or two of joy.

* * *

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 – 9 May 2020

A DUCK FAMILY: A DAY IN THE LIFE

We live in a time of 24/7 bad news. Every morning while reading the news, I checked the virus cases and death numbers. Awful, as usual.

The virus is more to deal with each day than most of us have faced in a lifetime. But we also receive almost daily revelations of a president and his federal government appointees whose cruelty and corruption are rampant with no checks in sight.

We could all use a calming break. This day-in-the life video of a duck family with several babies who are about five weeks old helps.

MOURNING IN AMERICA

The Lincoln Project, they tell us, “is an American political action committee formed in late 2019 by several prominent Republicans. The goal of the committee is to prevent the reelection of Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.”

Earlier this week, the superpac released an anti-Trump ad on Fox News that it says, brought in $1.4 million in donations to continue its work. Facebook has slapped the video with a “Partly False Information” label. See what you think:

DEPARTMENT OF YOU CAN'T MAKE UP THIS STUFF

I'm quoting Digby in that headline and she is, of course, correct. While Trump was touring the Honeywell face mask factory in Arizona on Tuesday (while not wearing a mask), Live and Let Die by Axl Rose was blasting in the background. Take a listen:

HOW NEW ZEALAND BEAT THE CORONAVIRUS DOWN TO ZERO CASES

And did it in just seven weeks.

THE STRATEGIC NATIONAL STOCKPILE

President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, stepped in it when he told TV cameras that the U.S. strategic national stockpile does not belong to the states. It is “ours,” he said, meaning – well, that's hard to know. The Trump family? The White House? Who is "ours".

Nevertheless, I was interested in the Washington Post video feature about what it is, what it looks like and a bit about how it operates.

BIOLUMINESCENT WAVES OFF CALIFORNIA COAST

The Guardian reported on the bioluminescent waves recently seen off the California coast.

”The event occurs every few years along the coast of southern California,” reports the paper, “though locals say this year’s sea sparkle is especially vibrant, possibly related to historic rains that soaked the region and generated algal bloom.”

It's beautiful:

CHINA'S RESPONSE TO TRUMP

China's official Xinhua news agency released an Lego-like animation mocking the U.S. response to COVID-19. It is titled Once Upon a Virus. Thank my friend Jim Stone for sending this along.

THE ALEX AND RONNI SHOW

Last Tuesday, my former husband and I recorded our biweekly chat and I haven't had time to post it until now. I'm pretty sure we mostly talked about the virus.

THE BEST CAT PHOTOS I'VE SEEN IN A LONG TIME

The Bored Panda website tells us that in 2017,

”...a kitten called Edmund arrived. For the next two and a half years, he was a force of nature in our lives until he was taken from us by a hit-and-run driver on the quiet country lane where we live. I took thousands of photographs of him during his short life, here are 40 of my favorites.”

Here is a sampling of three.

SoapBubbleKitty

KungFuKitty

FamousKitty

There are 37 more gorgeous, fun and funny photos of Edmund at Bored Panda.

* * *

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 May 2020

EDITORIAL NOTE: Usually I like to have a variety of items in Interesting Stuff on Saturdays but this week a lot of virus-related material turned up. I suppose it makes sense – that is what seems to be on all our minds. At least what we have here today is an assortment within the virus genre. I hope you enjoy.

TWIN DIES 100 YEARS AFTER HIS BROTHER DIED IN 1918 PANDEMIC

My online friend Chuck Nyren sent this item about Philip Kahn, a 100-year old who died of the caronavirus. What makes it news is that with his death, history came around full circle: the 1918 flu killed his twin brother when they were just a few months old.

Here's a video from NBC:

You can read more at The New York Times. I just love it when nature, history or life itself ties up a story in such a nice, neat bow.

PETS CRASH IN-HOME NEWS BROADCASTS

It's happened so frequently now that it is almost a commonplace for pets to crash their TV-star owners when they are broadcasting from home.

This one happened with Tampa Bay weatherman, Paul Dellegatto and his dog, Brody. (How is it, with that name, his pet is not a cat?)

CORONAVIRUS COMEDY

Matt Wuerker is a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and founding staff member at Politico. On Mondays, he posts a new Punchlines - a video taking a look at the week's political comedy from newspapers, magazines, late night talk shows and various online sources. This one appeared last Monday.

The cartoons go by quickly so you may need to hit pause to read them.

You will find more Matt Wuerker videos here.

HOW THE MONA LISA BECAME SO FAMOUS

Actually, the title on the YouTube video asks instead how the Mona Lisa became so overrated. I'm not qualified to discuss that difference but the video is interesting.

STEP RIGHT UP FOLKS AND GET YOUR OFFICIAL

...White House COVID-19 merch. In this case, it's a COVID-19 commemorative coin available at the unofficial White House Gift Shop:

WHcoin

Lucky you, it's currently discounted at US$100 from US$125. Some have reported that the coin is first-daughter Ivanka's bright idea. You'll find it on this website.

BRAD PITT ON SNL AS DR. ANTHONY FAUCI

On Saturday Night Live last week, actor Brad Pitt made a surprise visit as Dr. Anthony Fauci. Take a look:

Dr. Fauci once told a reporter that he would like Brad Pitt to play in on Saturday Night Live and after the show, Huffpost reported that the doctor was thrilled with Pitt's performance:

”As for Pitt’s jokes, Fauci commented: 'Everything he said on Saturday is what’s going on. He did a pretty good job of putting everything together.'”

I thought so too. Thank TGB reader Trudi Kappel for making sure I saw this.

THIS IS WHAT THE PRESIDENT SPENDS HIS TIME ON

...when he should be working on the pandemic.

From the beginning of his tenure in the White House, Trump has frequently attacked journalists and tried to intimidate them into repeating his lies.

That behavior has accelerated since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's a response from the Washington Post's media critic, Erik Wemple. It is important for a free press to pay attention to this.

RUSSIAN BALLET AT HOME

Like about half the people on the planet, Russia's professional ballet dancers are stuck at home. Bolshoi veteran Ivan Vasiliev made this video to remind fans to stay home but also remind them that ballet is still around.

More at the Washington Post.

TALKATIVE BABY OTTER

This is the cutest thing. The Youtube page tells us that the otter's owner is Mako and the otter's name is Sakura.

There are many more photos of Sakura at Mako's Twitter feed which, he says, is updated daily.

* * *

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.


A TGB READER STORY: Dinosaur Girl

By Lynn Marler

It was a wealthy junior high (middle) school in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1960’s. The popular kids all had the right clothes and straight teeth. Even most of the unpopular kids had the right clothes and good teeth since this was a wealthy area; most of the kids’ dads worked in the Cold War defense contracting industry or were orthodontists or plastic surgeons.

I was not in the popular kids group; once in a while that group of kids who are “almost popular” would lower themselves to speak to me, but the real popular kids at the top, never.

(Oh, the popular guys would hang around outside the cafeteria after lunch every day and “bark” at the least-pretty of us unpopular girls that they considered to be “dogs”, but talk to us? Naw.)

I existed in that shadowy area between unpopular and almost unpopular. My dad made as much money as the other dads who worked for defense contractors, but since dad had too many mistresses in addition to whomever he was married to at the time, there was never money for new school clothes, cars were repossessed, our house was full of broken-down furniture, and so on. So I didn’t have the money to fit in and my oddball personality didn’t help either.

But there was a girl who had it worse than I and the other non-popular kids did. Everybody called her Dinosaur Girl since she carried a toy dinosaur around with her at all times; she absolutely loved dinosaurs.

She’d talk and whisper to it while riding the school bus. Sure, it sounds odd for a 12- or 13-year old to be carrying a toy around and talking to it. But if no one else will talk to a girl because they think she’s weird, because she gets good grades and “girls aren’t supposed to be too smart” and because she doesn’t wear the “right” clothes or have the “right” hair and, most horrific of all, doesn’t seem to care much about her appearance, her dinosaur buddies may be all she has to talk to.

(I don’t remember what kind of dinosaur she usually carried around, but too bad it wasn’t a Tyrannosaurus Rex that came alive and attacked Charlene Cheerleader and Johnny Jock when they picked on her. Because pick on her they did, constantly.)

Looking back on it, it occurs to me that she may have been on the high-functioning end of the Aspergers/Autism Spectrum. Or maybe she wasn’t on that spectrum at all; maybe she was just different from the rest of us.

I do remember that she was completely verbal and got very good grades. I lost track of her after graduating from junior high and she didn’t attend the high school I did.

Maybe she ended up running a section of the Smithsonian or the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. (I wouldn’t be surprised: those good grades she got.)

Or maybe she ended up with a non-career type job but was happy enough spending her time off in the science section of her local library. Or maybe she married a nice guy and had some nice kids that thought it was cool that Mom loved dinosaurs too.

Whatever happened, I hope she’s had a happy adulthood. I hope the hell that the other kids put her through in school is a memory that she’s been able to rise above.

You see, although I never actively picked on her, I’m as guilty as those who did because I never stood up for her either. Being in that shadowy purgatory between “in” and “out” groups, I was afraid to draw any attention to myself. To say that I was *terrified* of the popular kids is only putting it slightly too strong. But that’s only a reason, not an excuse.

So, Dinosaur Girl (and I now say that with all respect - heck, I bet at least those schoolboy jocks enjoyed the Jurassic Park movies), if you should happen to read this, I am sorry ‘till the end of my days that I didn’t stick up for you, so sorry.

And I hope you would approve of the stuffed dolphin I have, even though it’s a mammal.

* * *

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Reader's stories are welcome. If you have not published here or not recently, please read submission instructions. Only one story per email.]


INTERESTING STUFF – 25 April 2020

Hello, everyone. I'm almost finished with my week off from blogging but here's a short episode of Interesting Stuff that turned up. I will be back to regular posting on Monday.

DANCING IN THE MOVIES

Here's something to wake you up on a caronavirus morning. I posted this movie dance compilation several years ago and now it has turned up again. It's worth a second go.

It is the best of a lot of dancing from the movies, edited together with one song. The star of this, I believe, is the video editor.

The music is Footloose by Kenny Loggins. Here is a list of the movie clips that are included:

Dirty Dancing, Flashdance, White Nights, Perfect, Saturday Night Fever, Blue Skies, Pulp Fiction, High Fidelity, Clerks 2, American Pie, Billy Elliot, Footloose, True Lies, Grease, Honey, Phantom of the Opera, Step up, Step up 2, Moonwalker, West Side Story, Moulin Rouge, Mary Poppins, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Strictly Ballroom, Happy Feet, Singing in the Rain, Fame, Fame2009, Save the Last Dance, Mamma Mia, Mask of Zorro, Coyote Ugly, Wild Hogs, Get Smart, Airplane, A Knights Tale, High School Musical and Austin Powers.

THE ALEX AND RONNI SHOW

Even though I was taking last week off from this blog, Alex and I recorded a new episode of The Alex and Ronni Show. It's mostly about the virus – do any of us talk about anything else nowadays?

28 DAYS OF VOLUNTARY FACTORY LOCKDOWN

On 23 March, 43 workers at Braskem America, a factory in southeastern Pennsylvania that makes the raw material, polypropylene, needed to manufacture PPE such as masks and gowns, checked into the job and didn't check out again for 28 days. Here is a local TV report about the voluntary lockdown:

“'We were just happy to be able to help,' Boyce, an operations shift supervisor and a 27-year veteran at Braskem America, told the Washington Post.

“'We’ve been getting messages on social media from nurses, doctors, EMS workers, saying thank you for what we’re doing. But we want to thank them for what they did and are continuing to do. That’s what made the time we were in there go by quickly, just being able to support them.'”

Aren't people wonderful. So many step up in whatever way they can.

THE LIAR TWEETS TONIGHT

TGB's Sunday music columnist, Peter Tibbles, was the first to send this video. The Youtube page tells us that it is

...by Roy Zimmerman and The ReZisters, featuring Sandy Riccardi. Made in collaboration with the Raging Grannies of Mendocino. The Lion Sleeps Tonight words and music by Solomon Linda. Parody lyrics by Ede Morris, Roy Zimmerman, Melanie Harby.

ANIMAL SOCIAL DISTANCING

The just cracks me up. Take a look.

Blackcatssocialdistance

SeagullsSocialDistance
CatinStoreSocialDistance

There are a bunch more photos of social distancing animals at Bored Panda.

WHAT TICKS OFF VIC DIBITETTO

Enough TGB readers sent in this video that I am just going to assume no one here objects to the comedian's – uh, colorful language. Here is Vic's message to the U.S. government.

ALL YOUR PAIN IN ONE VIDEO

Thank Hank Berez for this:

* * *

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 – 18 April 2020

U.S. HOSPITAL SHIPS USNS MERCY AND USNS COMFORT

Here's a video about the history and operation of the two U.S. hospital ships, now in New York City and Los Angeles that are helping with coronavirus treatment. They are much older than I knew.

HERBEE THE HEDGEHOG AND AUDREE THE CAT

A German woman named Talitha Girnus posts many photo updates of her hedgehog and Bengal cat.

”...the two have become inseparable,” reports Bored Panda. “Talitha takes pictures of them against stunning backdrops as they all go on adorable adventures together. Not going to lie, their photos make me want to pack a suitcase and travel the world just like them (after the lockdown ends, of course).

“'A few months after I adopted Herbee from a girl who couldn’t keep him due to severe allergic reactions, I adopted Audree. She was three months old when I got her and she was originally already reserved for someone who wanted to breed with her. But the lady canceled on her two days before I called,' Talitha told us.”

Take a look:

Hedgehog-bengal-cat-friendship

Hedgehog-bengal-cat-friendship

More cute photos at Bored Panda and at Istagram.

A GIFT FOR OUR TIME

Someday, after COVID-19 is history, people will ask what the heck? These earrings? Why?

Tpearrings5

See and read more here.

HOW THE KITCHEN EVOLVED OVER 500 YEARS

According to Bored Panda,

”The designers of Home Advisor took the last 500 years and digitally remade the same kitchen based on the trends and/or necessities of that century. The project is called 500 years of kitchen design. Every single kitchen is unique and you can see that each century has held different standards for them.”

From the 1600s to mid-century modern (1900s), take a look at the video:

More information at Bored Panda.

OUR NEW VOCABULARY

Here is some more doggerel from reader Henry Lowenstern, this one titled, The Blame Game.

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Recently, I've mis-stated Henry's last name in some posts. It is Lowenstern, not Lowenstein. My apologies to Henry.]

The President wants everyone to know
that it was not he who was slow
to react to the coronavirus crisis.
The blame, he says, should go to
the World Health Organization (WHO),
the Obama administration
and to the governor of any state
that managed to procrastinate.
His administration, he declares, deserves and wants
plaudits for its excellent response.

WORLD WILDLIFE FUND LISTS SELF-ISOLATING ANIMALS

We humans are not the only ones who are self-isolating. Some members of the animal kingdom live that way all their lives, according to the World Wildlife Fund. As The Guardian reports:

”Occupying our oceans for more than 100m years, marine turtles are terrific navigators, in some cases swimming hundreds of thousands of miles between feeding and nesting grounds. They prefer to interact or congregate with only one other turtle for short periods for mating or nesting.

“...Once the hatchlings emerge, they will begin a long solo journey in the ocean where, if they manage to survive, they will remain alone for many years.”

MarineTurtlewwf
Photograph: Jürgen Freund/WWF

More self-isolating animals at The Guardian.

MORE ISOLATION NEWS

TGB reader, Joared, sent this with a note that she poached it from someone whose name she does not recall:

"Isolation Day 10 –
"Struck up a conversation with a Spider today. Seems nice. He's a Web Designer."

Teehee

ANOTHER NEW BOB DYLAN SONG

Bob Dylan surprised fans again on Thursday by releasing his second new song in three weeks, I Contain Multitudes. As Rolling Stone reports,

”He nods to David Bowie (rhyming 'all the young dudes' with the title phrase), Edgar Allan Poe ('Got a tell-tale heart/Like Mr. Poe/Got skeletons in the wall/Of people you know'), Irish poet Anthony Raftery’s 'The Lass From Bally-na-Lee,' and William Blake, among others.

“And occasionally, he may be intent on pure shock: 'I’m just like Anne Frank/Like Indiana Jones/And them British bad boys the Rolling Stones,' he sings.

Here is the song and you can follow the lyrics here.

More at Rolling Stone.

NEW YORK CITY: THE NEW NORMAL

Matt Chirico made this video of New York City. He explains on the Youtube page:

I felt I needed to document how much the #coronavirus has changed #NewYorkCity. New York on pause has turned the city that never sleeps into an empty and desolate city. These popular spaces, which are normally overcrowded with visitors are now left bare.

“I made this short film to capture the new tone of NYC. Please share to help slow the spread so that we can get back to our beloved city that never sleeps!

All these years since I had to leave – my god, how I miss my city.

* * *

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 – 11 April 2020

A WILLIE NELSON WEEKEND

Personally, I can never get enough of Willie Nelson and this weekend was made for someone like me.

Today, at 8PM Eastern Daylight Time, Nelson will host At Home with Farm Aid streaming live on AXS-TV and at the Farm Aid website which will also feature Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews.

Willie was quoted in Rolling Stone about the live concert:

“...I’m so grateful for the farmers, ranchers and farmworkers who are on the frontlines sustaining all our communities. Now, more than ever, stay strong and positive.”

You can find out more about the live concert at the Rolling Stone and at the Farm Aid websites.

Then, on Sunday, A&E will broadcast Willie Nelson: American Outlaw, filmed during an all-star tribute concert to the Willie in Nashville in January.

A&E has released a track from the program, City of New Orleans. Here it is:

Other performers include George Strait, Jimmy Buffett, Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews, Eric Church, Emmylou Harris, Jack Johnson, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Norah Jones and the Little Willies. Find out more at Rolling Stone and A&E.

MEDICARE COVERAGE CHANGES

Medicare announced this week that it will cover (1) out-of-pocket costs for lab tests for COVID-19 and (2) all medically necessary hospitalizations.

This includes if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and need to stay in the hospital under quarantine instead of being discharged from the hospital after an inpatient stay.

Read more at Medicare's Coronavirus page.

QUARANTINE – WASH YOUR HANDS AND STAY HOME

This came from TGB reader Joan McMullen. Jeanine Levy says on her YouTube page,

”Being quarantined from the Corona Virus takes it's emotional toll. Please enjoy my funny journey from the spice cabinet, toilet paper shortage, to melons...”

Enjoy.

JOHN OLIVER ON OAN

One America News Network (OAN) is a far right, conservative network that the president frequently mentions positively, particularly when he is angry with Fox News for lack sufficient fealty to him.

Last Sunday on his HBO program, Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver gave us his take on the network.

CHICO THE SLOTH'S PRIVATE ZOO TOUR

Most, if not all, of U.S. zoos are closed due to the virus. Texas State Aquarium took the opportunity to show its sloth, Chico, some of the denizens of the aquarium.

”As a bit of a local celebrity,” explains the YouTube page, “Chico can't tour the Aquarium on most days without being mobbed by his adoring fans. But with our temporary closing, our sleepy sloth Chico was treated to an eye-opening adventure through our Gulf of Mexico exhibits!”

Note how the dolphin, near the end, turns upside down in his tank to see Chico hanging upside down.

MORE DOGGEREL FROM HENRY LOWENSTEIN

This one titled Separation.

I used to be able to make the case
for a neighborly embrace
whenever we met,
but now, instead,
at your insistence,
I am keeping my distance,
and try to greet
you from six feet.

VP PENCE BLOCKS DRS. FAUCI AND BIRX FROM APPEARING ON CNN

As the Washington Post tells us daily, “Democracy dies in darkness” and that is what Vice President Mike Pence is doing because he doesn't like how CNN is covering the daily White House rally. CNN reports:

”Pence's office, which is responsible for booking the officials on networks during the pandemic, said it will only allow experts such as Dr. Deborah Birx or Dr. Anthony Fauci to appear on CNN if the network televises the portion of the White House briefings that includes the vice president and other coronavirus task force members...

"'When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials then you can expect them back on your air,' a Pence spokesperson told CNN.”

CNN says it cuts away from the broadcast to check the information that is often less that factual. More at CNN.

RANDY NEWMAN'S COVID-19 SONG

Like Willie Nelson, Randy Newman is also one of my favorite musicians. Randy has written a new song for our times which he recorded at home. It is titled Stay Away. You can follow the lyrics at the You Tube page.

COPYCAT PETS

Some of these are amazing. And cute too.

* * *

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 – 4 April 2020

NEWS OF DARLENE COSTNER

Times Goes By readers who have been around here for longer than a year or so undoubtedly know Darlene Costner whose smart, witty comments have been a staple at TGB for at least 10 years.

That tapered off a few months ago and mostly disappeared as Darlene has found it difficult to use a keyboard. After all, she will be 95 years old in May.

DarleneCostner250 Within the past month, she has moved from her home in Tucson where she lived with her daughter to an adult care home in the same city. In a snailmail note to me, she told me she could no longer take care of herself and her daughter works more than full time so cannot be available to help as much as Darlene needs.

Darlene is a perfect example of online friendships – over the years, even though we never met in person, we became special friends and she has entertained me so much with her humor and taught me so much about both life in general and about growing old.

Darlene gave me permission to let readers know she has moved and is getting good care. I'm reluctant to give out her email address on the open internet (the last thing Darlene needs is more spam) nor her new street address.

So, if you would like to send her a note, card, etc., email me (you can use the “Contact” link at the top of the page) and I will sent you her email and/or street address.

THIS IS SO SILLY

So why have I watched it at least half a dozen times? A bird, a teeny-tiny skateboard and a ramp. So silly.

SOCIAL SECURITY AND THE STIMULUS PAYMENTS

Millions of Social Security beneficiaries in the United States do not file income tax returns – too little income. But when the stimulus package (CARES Act) was enacted, the public was told that to receive the $1,200 (per person) payment, they would need to file a 2018 or 2019 income tax form if they had not already done so.

Predictably and rightly so, the nation in general and many lawmakers made a lot of noise objecting and on 2 April, the government canceled that requirement.

"'Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not to need take an action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.”

Or by paper check if that is how they receive their Social Security payments. More at Politico.

Keep your eye on this story. The president backtracks so frequently on his own and his agency heads' announcements that nothing from the White House can be taken for certain until or unless it happens.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND COVID-19

My favorite recent tweet.

1242392595562557443-2-png__700

GOATS ROAMING STREETS OF WELSH TOWN

With billions of people around the world staying home, streets everywhere are eerily empty and local animals see an advantage. Here, some goats are playing around in the Welsh town of Llandudno:

MATCHSTICK MARVELS

The Youtube page tells us:

”Calling it 'Amazing Art with matchsticks' does not do Patrick Acton's sculptures justice. Over the past 40 years, this Iowa native has been building some of the world's biggest and complicated matchstick sculptures.

“While some of the larger ones are in Ripley's Believe it of Not Museums, many are in his own museum, 'Matchstick Marvels', down the road from his home in Gladbrook, Iowa.”

More at the Matchstick Museum website.

BRITAIN'S NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE STREAMS PLAYS

TGB reader Mary Evans Young sent this item – The National Theatre in London, according to the U.S. website TimeOut, is streaming some of their past productions for free:

”From April 2, under the banner of National Theatre at Home, every Thursday (7pm BST/2pm EST) will see a new National Theatre play released – free to watch for one week – along with bonus content including cast and creative Q&As and post-stream talks.”

Here is the initial line-up:

• April 2 One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean, starring James Corden
• April 9 Jane Eyre adapted by Sally Cookson
• April 16 Treasure Island, adapted by Bryony Lavery
• April 23 Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, starring Tamsin Greig

Read more at TimeOut and at The National Theatre website.

ANIMAL FRIENDS

This video of friendship between animals was sent by several TGB readers. Enjoy.

THE DECORAH EAGLES HAVE TWO BABIES

Remember a few weeks ago when I showed you on live cam the pair of Decorah (Iowa) bald eagles incubating their 2020 brood. Well, two chicks were born this week, a day apart on 30 and 31 March. Congratulations Mom and Dad.

There are many live animal cams from around the world at explore.org.

* * *

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.