417 posts categorized "Interesting Stuff"

INTERESTING STUFF – 19 January 2019

This is an extremely short Interesting Stuff today. I don't know if the internet is just less interesting this week or I'm behind in my regular rounds to see what's out there. So here are three I like.

HUSKY LOUDLY OBJECTS TO GETTING OUT OF BED

Zeus is a Husky. He doesn't want to get out of bed. As the YouTube page says,

”He likes to sleep in, which isn't always a bad thing, but when it's time to get up and go outside, he protests. He generally likes going outside in the morning and smelling for any critters that might have passed through the yard during the night. But this morning, he struggled to get motivated to get up. Can't we all relate?!”

TWO 17 YEAR OLDS TRY TO USE A ROTARY PHONE

Chuck Nyren of Advertising to Baby Boomers sent this video. Technology has come a long way in our lifetimes and what's obvious to you and me, isn't so to two teenagers.

EVEN A CAT HAS A WIFE

My friend Hank Berez sent this kitty video:

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Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog.




INTERESTING STUFF – 12 JANUARY 2019

NEW OLD PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SUCK

At least that's what comedian Lachlan Paterson says. Some of his routine made me laugh – ageism is a tricky business. What do you think?

LATEST IN THE NYT OLDEST OLD SERIES

For several years years, one of the finest reporters at The New York Times, John Leland, has been hanging out with six old, old people in New York City to report on their lives in a series of excellent stories. (Here is a page with links to the individual stories).

The series also resulted in a book, Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old.

Leland's latest update on his subjects was published last week. One of them, 95-year-old Ruth Willig,

”...gave thanks for larger gifts this year: as she stayed mostly the same, her family changed around her.

“'I dare not talk about not surviving,' she said one afternoon in her apartment, where balloons in the shape of a 9 and 5 held their last whiffs of helium. 'My children, my son especially, say, “Oh, Ma, you’re going to keep going forever.” 'The thought of my passing is very upsetting to him.'

“Ms. Willig could not help noting the passage of time, especially the absence of her three siblings. Once the youngest, she was now the last of her generation. 'It’s weird to be the only one left, it really is,' she said. I can’t really call anyone: do you remember this? It was not easy at first. I’m getting used to it.'”

Here's a short video from early 2018 of John Leland explaining what he has learned about facing death from his series subjects:

SOMETHING TO ENTERTAIN THE GRANDKIDS

TGB reader, Celia Andrews sent this video of some ideas to get the grandkids off their tablets and other screens:

U.S. FERTILITY DROPS FOR SEVENTH YEAR IN A ROW

...and way too many places are reporting this change as a disaster: From The Daily Beast:

“It may not be all doom and gloom, said Donna Strobino, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 'I think it may stabilize once women who have been postponing pregnancy have the births they are planning to have.'”

Doom and gloom? It's a huge part of climate change that there are way too many people for our poor ol' stretched-to-the-limit planet to support.

U.S. CANCER DEATH NUMBERS DROP

...since its peak of 215.1 American deaths per 100,000 people in 1991, the cancer death rate dropped steadily by about 1.5% per year to 156 per 100,000 people in 2016, an overall decline of 27%.

The is good news for individuals but also probably wipes out the gains from lower birth rate. A more detailed report at CNN.

HISTORY OF THE WORLD ACCORDING TO CATS

Well, the headline is a bit of a misnomer – it's more just a history cat and human interaction through the eons.

VANCE HINDS' AMAZING WEIGHT LOSS

Wow. And I thought it was a struggle to lose 40-odd pounds in one year a few years back. This guy had lot further to go than I did and his progress is remarkable. Take a look:

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN INVENTED THE ROCKING CHAIR

I knew Ben Franklin invented a lot of things we still use today but when I bought my new rocking chair, I had no idea that Ben Franklin invented it.

You can read a list of lot more interesting stuff he invented at Mental Floss.

BABY DEER RESCUE AND RELEASE

This video is longer than I usually post – 17 minutes – but I think it's worth your time. It will make you feel good.

There is a follow-up video one year later here..

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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 – 5 January 2019

THIS IS SO SWEET

The Daily Show host, Trevor Noah, talks about his 90-year-old grandmother who lives in South Africa. It is lovely.

ONE MORE CHRISTMAS THING

Because I might not be here next year to include it, let's do this one more Christmas video - it's too good to miss. Posted to YouTube in 2015, it was

”A special holiday musical presentation from Union Station in Washington, DC celebrating the service and sacrifices of our nation's World War II veterans and commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.

“Featuring The USAF Band, Washington DC, an extraordinary dance troup from NYC (choreographed by Jessica Hartman), and a cameo appearance by Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James.”

Thank Darlene Costner for sending it.

A RIDE IN A WW2 FLYING FORTRESS

Speaking of World War II, reader Mage Bailey sent this video of a ride in a Flying Fortress. Yes, I know it looks like a long video but actual take-off doesn't occur until about nine minutes in so you can scroll ahead if you want to skip the leadup.

50 TIMES CATS CRACKED US UP

...or made us say “awww.” Fifty photographs of cats doing the funny and cute things they do. Here is a taste:

LiquidCat

GangstaKitten

These are from Bored Panda where there are 48 more kitty photo to entertain you.

FOR ALL THE WONDERFUL OLD MEN I KNOW

TGB reader Joared who blogs at Along The Way, sent this song by the inimitable Nancy Wilson: An Older Man is Like an Elegant Wine. Lyric is the below the video:

Some things are worth waiting for
Some things improve with age
Like a vintage wine, growing mellow and fine
As you let it reach the proper stage
Well, wine is not alone in getting better with the years
A man is at his greatest when he's graying 'round the ears

Chorus:
Yes, an older man is like an elegant wine
He's had the time to mellow and refine
A youth, I'd say, is a Beaujolais
Attractive but light
While a man who's mature has the powerful allure
Of a robust Bordeaux, with a sumptuous glow

That's why the man whom I would like to call mine
Will be an older man, who's like an elegant wine
He'll be strong but sweet, just right to soothe my troubles away
And he'll warm like the glow that you feel head to toe
When you savor the sock of a grand Armagnac

That's why the man with whom I'd like to combine
Will be an older man who's like an elegant wine
And when I need him, I'll enchant him
Hug him, kiss him and decant him

Every night when we're home
And it's time for us to dine
There'll be that beautiful older man
Who's like an elegant wine

FACING FINITUDE

TGB reader Sulima sent this quotation from Maria Popova's miraculously wonderful Brain Pickings blog quoting her friend, Emily Levine:

”More than a century after James, Rilke, and Dickinson, a different Emily — the pathbreaking comedian, philosopher, steward of poetry, and my beloved friend — offers a brilliant, funny, bittersweet, largehearted meditation on the existential art of befriending our finitude as she faces her own terminal illness:

“'We don’t live in Newton’s clockwork universe anymore — we live in a banana peel universe, and we won’t ever be able to know everything, or control everything, or predict everything...

“'I love being in sync with the cyclical rhythms of the universe. That’s what’s so extraordinary about life — it’s a cycle of generation, degeneration, regeneration.

“'I am just a collection of particles that is arranged into this pattern, then will decompose and be available, all of its constituent parts, to nature, to reorganize into another pattern. To me, that is so exciting, and it makes me even more grateful to be part of that process.'”

POLAR BEARS AND THE BLIZZARD CAM

Can Blizzard Cam save itself from the curiosity of three teenage polar bears?

”In a fascinating clip from the BBC show Spy in the Snow, a trio of teenage polar bears kick a snowball shaped camera around in between playful bouts of fighting. The snowball cam was purposely left behind by the larger and much faster blizzard cam as a decoy.”

FAST TALKING GUY

The YouTube page tells us:

”If you were a kid in the ‘80s, you might recognize this man, or, at least, you’ll recognize his velocity of speech. John Moschitta Jr.’s motormouth dominated the airwaves with stints as the fast-talking FedEx guy, Mr. Testaverde on Saved by the Bell and the infamous Micro Machines Man.

“With the ability to say up to 11 words per second, Moschitta broke the world record and made a career out of his dizzying cadence. The Guinness-certified speed talker sat down to give us the whole scoop on his life in fast lane. Now, try to keep up. “

TWO DOGS AND AN OTTER AT PLAY

I'm pretty sure I've posted this video in the past but I had just as much fun with it the second time around. Too bad the dogs' owner didn't shut up and let them have fun playing tag and getting to know the otter.

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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 – 29 December 2018

A TALE OF MOTHERS AND PINOT NOIR

Remember earlier this month when I told you about meeting the son, Tom Wark, I gave up for adoption when he was born?

Now Tom has written about our meeting in a story he calls A Tale of Mothers and Pinot Noir. You can read it here. It is beautiful.

TEE HEE

Yes, Christmas has come and gone but I probably won't be here for it next year so let's enjoy this together now:

Forleasenavidad

Thank reader John Starbuck for the laugh.

BLACK ICE

Winter is settling in and that means dangerous ice. Or sometimes it's just funny.

Mental Floss has some good advice about how to walk in icy places.

NURSES MOST REVERED PROFESSION

For the 17th year in a row, nurses come in first – rated the most ethical and honest profession by 84 percent of Americans polled in a survey by Gallup.

GallupNurses

What group of people came in last? You can find out at the Gallup story.

JUSTICE GINSBURG HOME FROM HOSPITAL

Ruth-bader-ginsburg-9312041-1-402Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – the notorious RBG – is home from the hospital after successful surgery for lung cancer. It's her third bout with cancer and doctors are predicting a full recovery.

Read more here and here.

GLAMOUR SHOTS OF REPTILES

I first clicked on the link to this story because the headline, as above, is so deliciously incongruous. And guess what? It's not wrong. (Images from Tropical Herping.)

Reptile1

Snake

You can see more at Atlas Obscura.

ERIC CHIEN IPAD MAGIC

Thank Hank Berez for this amazing magician's iPad fun.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH ELEPHANT SEALS

As the husband of the woman in this video explains:

”It was while we were ashore in South Georgia on this huge gravel beach filled with King Penguins and elephant seals, that Jess laid down on the ground to get some cool low-angle shots of some passing King Penguins, when suddenly one of these huge baby elephant seals flopped over to investigate Jess, and was soon joined by another.

“Before she knew it, she was being squashed by several of these 100kg+ adorable animals, snuffling, burping and sniffing all over her.”

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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 – 22 December 2018

AN OLD-TIMEY VAUDEVILLE ACT

TGB reader Joan McMullin emailed that this has a terrific surprise ending and she's right.

BERKELEY THE BEAR PLAYING ON ICE

Berkley is a Kodiak brown bear cub who lives at Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail, Alberta, Canada, He's having a wonderful time on the ice.

THIS GIVES ME SOME HOPE FOR OUR COUNTRY

Thank my friend Jim Stone for sending this along earlier this week.

HOW TO CREATE A CROSSWORD PUZZLE

David Kwong, shows us how he makes a crossword puzzle – not just any crossword puzzzle, a New York Times crossword puzzle. This is a longer video that I usually post but I think it's interesting – at least for puzzle fans.

PEW'S 18 REMARKABLE FINDINGS OF 2018

Pew Research Center named 18 “remarkable” findings of 2018. One of them is about how younger people are better at telling the difference between factual statements and opinion statements. Take a look:

FactVOpinionPew

Well, I don't think there is that much difference between the two age groups. Neither one is all that good at it.

There are a bunch of other Pew 2018 findings at their website.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHEESE

My two favorite foods are cheese and ice cream. I had no idea that cheese making is thousands of years old:

JEANNE ROBERTSON AND THE CHRISTMAS BIKE

Here's one of our favorite comedians on a certain Christmas gift...

22 MUSICALS IN 12 MINUTES WITH LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA AND EMILY BLUNT

Thank Trudi Kappel for this musical collection.

It's James Corden with the stars of Mary Poppins Returns to perform a musical-inspired Role Call, featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt singing classics from 22 musicals covering Evita to The Wizard Of Oz. And Kermit the Frog stops by to help James with The Rainbow Connection.

MAYBE THE BEST, CHEAPEST SLEEPING PILL EVER

From TGB reader Mary Symmes. This may be the best idea for falling asleep I've ever heard. It runs for just over an hour. You can find the YouTube page here.

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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 – 15 December 2018

DOG FINDS WOOLLY MAMMOTH TOOTH

As the Mother Nature Network (MNN) website reports:

”When Scout, a young Labrador retriever puppy from Whidbey Island, Washington, went to work digging up a new hole in his backyard, his human owner Kirk Lacewell wasn't necessarily surprised to see him emerge victorious with something in his mouth...

“After taking a few photos of the object, he passed them along to experts at the University of Washington's Burke Museum. Their conclusion? Scout's find was no less than part of a tooth from a woolly mammoth estimated to be about 13,000 years old.

Here's the whole story from a local newscast:

You can read more detail at the MNN website.

IMPROBABLY CUTE HOWLING COYOTE PUP

This just might be the cutest baby animal you've ever seen:

Big Geek Daddy tells us:

”The coyote pup was found by this boy and his friends when they were camping. They soon realized that as cute as this coyote was they couldn’t keep it so they released it back into the area where they found it so it could reunite with the rest of the coyote pack.”

FAKE NET NEUTRALITY COMMENTS BEING INVESTIGATED

Remember earlier this year when we were fighting hard, sending emails, signing petitions, calling legislators to preserve net neutrality? We lost the battle.

Now there will be an investigation into the fact that almost half the millions of comments opposing net neutrality were faked:

”More than 20 million comments have since appeared on the site, with the New York attorney general’s office estimating that up to 9.5 million of those were filed in people’s names without their consent,” reports Buzzfeed News.

“As part of the New York attorney general’s previously announced investigation, the agency in October issued subpoenas to 14 organizations — 11 of which are either politically conservative or related to the telecommunications industry and opposed net neutrality, and three of which supported it.

“The offices of the attorneys general of both Massachusetts and Washington, DC, are supporting the New York investigation, and also issued subpoenas.”

The FCC has refused to honor a Freedom of Information records request that would shed light on the suspicious comments. Expect more to come and read more now at Buzzfeed News.

DYNASTIES – LION AND HYENAS

From the Dynasties series presented by BBC Earth, an amazing clip of Red the lion who finds himself surrounded by a pack of more than 20 hyenas. His ally Tatu rushes to help. An astonishingly intense scene of life in the wild.

NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOW

A terrific exhibit that features 30 sets of moving trains and 150 New York landmarks made of plant parts.

WOODEN WATCH

One of the few positive things that can be said about having a terminal disease is that if you don't count daily requirements such as food and bathroom tissue, you don't need or want to spend money anymore.

Nowadays, I don't read advertisements and I've unsubscribed from all the shopping newsletters that used to arrive regularly in my email inbox.

But this caught my attention:

It's silly and I can't tell you why, but I am charmed by the idea of a wooden watch. I don't care about the whiskey barrel part – I don't even understand why that would matter and most of all, I cannot imagine how anyone even thought this up.

But it just seems so cool - a watch made of wood.

Now don't anyone go thinking you should buy this for me. I don't need it, I don't want it, I haven't even worn a watch in more than a decade. I just think this one is cool.

You can find out more about it at this website.

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE BRAVE DOG WHO SURVIVED THE WILDFIRE?

When Andrea Gaylord arrived back at her home off Merrill Drive in Paradise, [California], she was surprised and overjoyed to see her beloved dog, Madison, survived the fire and was waiting patiently for her to return home.

Lovely story of a beloved pet's loyalty.

Find out more about Madison and his survival at Laughing Squid.

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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 – 8 December 2018

[PERSONAL NOTE: For the second Saturday in a row, today's is a shorter than usual Interesting Stuff. I just ran out of time.

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REPUBLICAN VERSION OF IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE

Apropos of yesterday's post about the Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life, my friend Jim Stone sent this video - a Republican version of the film. Enjoy.

WHERE ARE ALL THE OLD PEOPLE GOING TO LIVE?

My friend Chuck Nyren who blogs at Advertising to Baby Boomers is one of the best observers I know of the absurd. This time he has taken note of the recent upsurge in concern over where all the old people are going to live.

“It used to be that old people lived wherever they lived – and that was that...” writes Chuck.

“Now there are choices. So many choices you could have a multiple strokes just thinking about them. There’s staying put (aka aging in place) where you don’t go anywhere and you’re taken care of by people or robots.

“Or you can buy a motor home, drive it around for a few years until you get bored, then park it somewhere.

“Or you can purchase a ready-made tiny house and have a helicopter dump it in one of your children’s backyards.”

Or – read the rest of Chuck's take on old folks' 21st century living arrangements here.

ALL THE VERMEERS IN THE WORLD IN ONE PHONE APP

Johannes Vermeer made few paintings in his lifetime – just 36 that have been authenticated and they are scattered among 17 or 18 collections in seven countries – hard for most people to be able to see in a lifetime.

”Now, the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague...has teamed up with Google Arts & Culture in Paris to build an augmented-reality app that creates a virtual museum featuring all of the artist’s works,” reports The New York Times.

9TO5Google tells us:

”Google Arts & Culture is leveraging augmented reality for a new Pocket Gallery feature. Opening the app and camera will display a virtual seven-room exhibition space that you can tap to enter with the ability to drag, pinch, and resize to move around.

The app is available for phones with a camera for iOS and Android.

OLDEST KNOWN CAVE PAINTING FOUND IN BORNEO

As the Los Angeles Times reports:

”In limestone caves hidden deep in the jungle of Borneo, archaeologists have discovered the oldest known figurative drawing created by a human artist, dating back at least 40,000 years.

“The ancient artwork is incomplete, but appears to depict a large mammal — probably a type of wild cow — with an oval-shaped body, thin legs and a spear sticking out of its rump.”

(You might want to turn off the annoying audio on this video. It astonishes me how badly produced many news videos are.)

AUTOMATION GONE TOO FAR?

As David Neevel explains on the YouTubepage:

”I'm always looking for ways to be more efficient in my shop. Voice commands are one way. Automation is another way. And I combined those two ways into one.

“Why? Efficiency. Have a look at my candy thrower, beer thrower, ibuprofen thrower, and other robots and marvel with me: What will I accomplish now that I don't have to throw ibuprofens at my own mouth any more? I can't wait to find out.

“Google end dictation. No don't type that. Stop the dictation. Google stop. Google stop. God damn it. Post video google.”

This is so silly. Take a look:

MANDARIN DUCK IN MANHATTAN

Have you heard the story about the Mandarin duck, native to Asia, who has been hanging out in the pond in New York City's Central Park for the past month or more?

If not, believe me, you've never seen a duck as gorgeous as this one – well, I hadn't.

You can read more in The New York Times and at The Los Angeles Times.

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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 December 2018

It's been an exhausting and busy week so I haven't had time to collect the usual number of Interesting Stuff items. Here is a shorter than usual list for this week.

WOODSTOCK MONUMENT

On August 15, 16 and 17 in 1969 what became known as the Woodstock Music Festival was held on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York. In 2017, the site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

WoodstockMonument2CU

”Today, the historic music festival is marked with a small monument that offers a panoramic view of the original festival site.

“The site is adjacent to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which contains the Museum at Bethel Woods, which features displays and artifacts related to the Woodstock festival and the 1960s counterculture that it came to represent.”

There are many more photos by Rhapsodic Bohemian at Atlas Obscura.

I was there in 1969. Were you?

COSMO THE ST. BERNARD GETS A NEW HOME

Cosmo is a St. Bernard who weighed 130 pounds and had never lived with a family or been inside a home when he was adopted. Lovely story.

DOG DISCOVERS MUD PUDDLE

As Big Geek Daddy explains:

”A dog named Toby is out walking with his dog friends when he discovers a mud puddle that is calling out to him to play in. He can’t resist the urge to jump in and take a mud bath on a cold winter day and needless to say it is quite the experience.”

DO FEET GET BIGGER AS WE AGE?

I always thought so and here's the explanation.

TILLY THE RIVER OTTER

From TGB reader Charlene Drewry, an orphan otter lives to tell her tale. She is the cutest thing.

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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 – 24 November 2018

[EDITORIAL NOTE:] After the last couple of Interesting Stuff editions, you knew we were heading in this direction. Right? An entire Interesting Stuff devoted to animal videos. Couldn't help myself.

PANDA PLAYING IN THE SNOW

TGB reader Trudy Kappel sent this video of a young panda Bei Bei at the U.S. National Zoo having a fine old time in an early snow. The YouTube page explains:

"The giant pandas are most active in cold weather and enjoy tumbling and rolling in snow.”

STRANGE 26-FOOT SEA CREATURE

Another TGB reader, Mary Symmes, sent this one. The videographer, Steve Hathaway, found this elusive sea “thing” in October near New Zealand, ending a search of more than a decade:

“'I’ve always wanted to see one,' Hathaway said in an interview Wednesday discussing the 26-foot-long pyrosome — a colony of tiny sea animals that link together into a free-floating mass.

“Their mysterious features and bioluminescent glow have caused some scientists to dub them the 'bizarre unicorns of the sea'. They reportedly feel like an exquisitely soft feather boa.'”

You can read more at the Washington Post.

HARRIET THE SINGING DONKEY

I know, you're expecting “hee-haw, hee-haw” but you would be mistaken. According to Laughing Squid:

”While out one day in the Irish countryside, Martin Stanton captured footage of his favourite donkey, who’s name is Harriet, as she sweetly serenaded the humans who passed by in a gorgeous, operatic soprano voice.

“According what Stanton posted on the Facebook group Ireland From the Roadside, his Harriet never learned to vocalize properly.”

A BEAUTIFUL DOG RESCUE STORY

The video tells it all. Just watch – you'll be happy you did.

YELLOWSTONE TRAFFIC JAM

So there are are, taking the kids on a leisurely drive through Yellowstone National Park looking at the beauty and critters and this happens.

Nothing to do but sit back and wait until the buffalo feel like moving along even if it might be awhile. (Filmed by Arun Binaykia in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park in 2016.)

LAKE OSWEGO GOOSE

Reader Joan McMullen sent this recently. I posted it a couple of years ago but it's worth a rerun here in my neighborhood in Lake Oswego.

RARE SHARK NURSERY DISCOVERED

According to Mother Nature Network,

”A team of marine scientists have discovered a very rare shark nursery, 200 miles west of Ireland while investigating Ireland’s deep ocean territory.

“This rare occurrence was discovered during a recent SeaRover survey by the Marine Institute’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Holland 1...”

To learn more, visit here and here.

DOGS MAKE AN ABANDONED KITTY PART OF THE FAMILY

The YouTube page explains:

”...we found Rilu on side of a road 2014, he was only 2 months old, skinny and very scared, meowing for help. He has been in our care ever since and his 'ability' to break down the traditional cat-dog animosity and create a special bond and friendship with our rescue dogs has amazed us all.”

ALL SORTS OF ANIMALS LOVING THEIR PEOPLE AND VICE VERSA

Long time TGB reader Darlene Costner sent this wonderful video – a great way to end today's collection.

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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 – 17 November 2018

AT LAST – A STAR TREK MEDICAL TREATMENT

I may have mentioned that I was a big Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) fan on its first run from 1988 to 1994 and I've watched the entire series two or three times since.

One of the many great things about the show was medical care. Broken arm? Just hold a mobile phone-sized device over and it healed in a couple of minutes. Something just as simple and quick for cancer and I expected these advance in medical science to be here by the time I might need them.

No such luck but get this:

”On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Commander Riker had an impressive ability to receive head wounds. Luckily for him, Dr. Crusher could whip out the 'dermal regenerator,' a handheld sci-fi tool that healed skin wounds with a colorful laser.

“Luckily for us, Kaushal Rege and colleagues at Arizona State University are developing essentially the same thing. Well, close enough. In a new paper out from the journal Advanced Functional Materials, the engineers successfully repaired animal wounds with a silk and gold nanomaterial activated by a laser.

But wait. There's more:

”Because near-infrared light can penetrate fairly deeply into tissue, Ghosh and colleagues hope to use the technology to eventually repair things like blood vessels and nerves—tissues that are often deep in the body and time-consuming to repair...

“Ghosh expects the cost of the silk-gold material will not be prohibitively expensive, and the lasers would be a one-time equipment cost for medical centers.”

If the current living rat tests go well, the researchers will move on to pigs and, eventually, humans.

You can read more at ieee Spectrum.

INTREPID NEW YORKERS CROSSING STREETS DURING MARATHON

Last week, New York City held its annual marathon that runs through all five boroughs. As you might imagine, non-fans who need to get around town are frustrated by the delays. Here's a terrific video of them try to cross streets as the long line of marathoners are passing by.

SWEDEN'S ICE HOTEL

I know I've posted about ice hotels before but I like them, winter is here (well, it feels like it where I am) and why not? Although there are many ice hotels around the world now, this is the original:

THE CASTLE THAT MELTS

I guess this second ice video means I'm fairly impressed with arrival of cold weather this year. This one – a student film – is about an ice castle in New Hampshire built each year by a team of engineers and artists. The story is as much about two young sisters who visit the castle.

YOUR STORIES OF NURSING HOMES AND ASSISTED LIVING ARE IMPORTANT

This item came from my friend John Gear who practices consumer law in Salem, Oregon, and when John says something is powerful, I listen. Here is what it is about – from nursinghome411:

"I am writing to let you know that we are launching a new 'Tell YOUR Story' tool that will enable residents, families, ombudsmen, and those who work with them tell their story about nursing home or assisted living care. The form is available here.

“One can fill out the form on the website, download it to fill out on a computer or phone, or print out a hard copy to mail in. All personal identifying information is kept confidential unless the individual provides specific permission otherwise.

“Stories about resident care can have an enormous impact on advocacy for better care and dignity. We would appreciate any help you can provide in getting the word out and passing this along!”

If you have such a story to tell, please do that at this website.

A MAN FILMED A TREE IN THE WOODS FOR A YEAR

I have a vague sense I've posted this video before but it is nice to watch and kind of soothing in it way seeing how the animals go about their daily lives.

SONG MAP OF UNITED STATES

Sunday TGB music columnist Peter Tibbles and his Assistant Musicologist sent this story. It is a map of the United States made up entirely from titles of over 1,000 songs about place names in the country.

Here's a piece of the west coast:

USA-song-map-art-print-dorothy-california-dreamin-straightouttacompton_850x

And here is a piece of the east coast.

USA-song-map-art-print-dorothy-no-sleep-till-brooklyn-streets-of-philadelphia_850x

You can see the whole thing at We Are Dorothy. It is a retail website in London where you can buy the map – I am not promoting that, just letting you know.

SQUIRRELS LEARNING A DIFFICULT OBSTACLE COURSE

Squirrel intelligence and agility gets put to the test in this obstacle course. They are such clever little critters.

ROLLING SAFARI – WHAT IF ANIMALS WERE ROUND?

TGB reader Celia sent this video of animators' idea of what they would be like if animals were round? It's funny. Enjoy.

There are more inflated animals here.

* * *

Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog.




INTERESTING STUFF – 10 November 2018

EDITORIAL NOTE: Again this week, my selections are heavy on animals. I hope you enjoy them.

* * *

YOU THINK THREE RIBS ARE GOING TO STOP JUSTICE?

That's what Bryant Johnston, long-time physical fitness trainer to 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told a reporter after RGB fell last week and broke three ribs:

"To all the stressed out people in America," Johnson told The Cut, "remember that the justice is TAN. Now, I always use that acronym: TAN. She’s tough as nails. You think three ribs are going to stop Justice?

"We probably won’t train at least for another week or so just to give the ribs a chance to heal because the ribs are just very sensitive areas that you just gotta give them a chance to heal. And then we’ll pick back up just like we usually do, and I’ll take in account for the ribs and we’ll just kinda ease and move in a little bit easier around ‘em."

Thank god she is TAN. We need that woman on the Court.

WHAT ANIMALS DO WHEN WE'RE NOT LOOKING

Julien Tabet is a young French artist who says he likes to surprise people.

”...imagining the improbable fascinates me...,” he says. “My works deal mainly with animals for a lot of reasons. Animals are different from humans because they are so much more humble and innocent.

“But what I like the most is that they can be mysterious due to their anonymity. I love to dream up the way animals act when we aren't watching them, kind of like Toy Story.

I think his work is magic:

ElkWithHarpHorns

LionWithWings

SwanWithPenguinsandPolarBear

There are more fantastical images at Bored Panda and at Tabet's Instagram page.

HOW CONGRESS STOPPED WORKING

We may have elected a Democratic-majority House of Representatives on Tuesday but that doesn't mean Congress will suddenly function.

The Washington Post and ProPublica got together to produce a short animated video, How Congress Stopped Working, that includes some predictions about whether it will soon get better.

Warning: This is not encouraging:

You can read more at the Washington Post and at ProPublica.

ONE TOUGH LITTLE RAT CHASES OFF A SCAREDY CAT

The YouTube page tells us:

”An inquisitive cat in the Luxembourg city of Esch-sur-Alzette, saw something move across the street and immediately trotted over to investigate. Upon discovering it was a rat, the cat began the chase.

“This tough little rat, however, turned right around and instead became the chaser...nipping at the poor kittie’s heels all around the streets.”

GERMAN SHEPHERD WATCHES OVER TEENY TINY BABY QUAIL

This is so cute:

”A noble German Shepherd named Thorin,” says the YouTube page, “very gently sniffed out a bevy of baby quails who were chirping away while crawling around on a comfy shag rug. After meeting these little birds, Thorin sat down and stood guard over them, remaining completely affable even when they climbed upon him.”

A SMALL AMOUNT OF GOOD CLIMATE NEWS

I may have mentioned that I can no longer read stories about climate change. Just the headlines make me weep for our beautiful big blue marble home in space.

Then there is this from the BBC. It won't change much, but it's good to read:

”The ozone layer, which protects us from ultraviolet light, looks to be successfully healing after gaping holes were discovered in the 1980s. The Northern Hemisphere could be fully fixed by the 2030s and Antarctica by the 2060s.

“A new United Nations report says it's an example of what global agreements can achieve.”

Read the entire story at the BBC.

MERCATOR MAP ANIMATED GIF

Undoubtedly you know that maps made for a flat surface distort the size and shape of land masses. Climate data scientist and interactive mapmaker, Neil Kaye, has made an animated gif to show the differences in the size of countries between flat and globe-shaped maps.

”Because the Mercator Map distorts land size in accordance with increased distance from the Equator, countries like Greenland, Russia, Canada and the United States look so much larger than much of the rest of the world.”

World-Projection-Actual-Size-Animation

Read more at Laughing Squid.

HISTORY OF CEMETERIES

A succinct little video about the way humans bury their dead has changed from the earliest days of humankind to the present.

HOW TO RID YOURSELF OF EARWORMS

Most of us get stuck with annoying earworms from time to time, a tune stuck in our brain that won't go away.

Susana Martinez-Conde, writing at Mental Floss, has five suggestions for banishing them. One of them is to listen to a “cure tune”:

”The same study also found that some subjects used competing songs, or 'cure tunes,' to control their earworms. The researchers identified 64 such tunes, with six of them named by more than one person.”

Another suggestion is to chew gum:

”Chewing might hinder the motor programming involved in speech articulation, and therefore could keep people from subvocalizing (saying the words to the songs in their heads). They found that vigorous gum-chewing did reduce the number of unwanted musical thoughts, but...”

Read the rest at Mental Floss. I have no idea of any of these work.

COMEDY WILDLIFE AWARDS

The Comedy Wildlife awards are back again this year with some of the funniest animal photography you've ever seen. A sampling of finalists:

Flyinghyena

SplitSquirrel

WildlifePhotogrbear

The 2018 winners will be announced next Thursday, 15 November, in a ceremony at Foyles in Charing Cross, London.

Meanwhile, you can see a lot of more of the finalists at Bored Panda (click through for the entire five pages of entries) or at Comedy Wildlife Photos.

* * *

Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog.




INTERESTING STUFF – 3 November 2018

DON'T FORGET – CHANGE THE CLOCKS TONIGHT

For most of the United States, it's time to change our clocks tonight to standard time – one hour back.

FallBack

Some of our tech clocks make the change on their own but I still have some old-fashioned analog clocks I need to do by hand. Just before bedtime.

DON'T FORGET – VOTE ON TUESDAY

Vote I happen to believe voting is not just a civic duty, but a moral one. Aside from laws that apply to everyone, voting is the only thing a democracy asks of all citizens. Please, please do it on Tuesday.

HUNDREDS OF YEARS OF HUMAN BONES

This is amazing, what reader Nana Royer sent. It is about the Sedlec Ossuary (The Bone Church) in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic. It is a world Heritiage Site containing the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people.

Wait until you see all the ways they are displayed.

TINY DRONES COOPERATE TO OPEN HEAVY DOOR

According to the YouTube page,

”Researchers from Stanford University and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland built small drones, which they call FlyCroTugs, that can move heavy objects by coordinating their actions.”

It takes these little, electronic critters a couple of minutes to get going but you sense them communicating with each other.

7TH GRADER WINS TOP SCIENCE PRIZE

My friend John Gear sent this item about a 13-year-old (!) who won an important prize for a new science invention. Business Insider reports:

A 13-year-old boy from Oregon has won the Young Scientist Challenge by inventing an artificial intelligence treatment for pancreatic cancer.

“Rishab Jain created an algorithm to improve cancer treatment by using AI to locate and track the pancreas in real time.

“A prime challenge in radiation treatment is locating the pancreas itself, which is often obscured by the stomach or other organs, resulting in healthy cells being inadvertently hit. Rishab's algorithm improves accuracy and increases the impact of radiation treatment, according to organizers of the competition.”

All I have to say about this is THIRTEEN? The rest of us might as well not bother. Read more at Business Insider.

NOTE FROM RONNI: All the remaining items are about animals. I had so many this week I could have done the entire post on animals. I restrained myself. Since I was told of my latest cancer predicament nearly four weeks ago, there is been a noticeable and fairly large uptick in my interest in the natural world.

TRACKING BIRDS OF PREY

The You Tube page tells us:

”On a remote mountaintop in Eastern Nevada, a dedicated team of conservationists has been keeping watch for over 30 years. Their mission? To count and record every single raptor and bird of prey that flies past to keep track of their populations.

“Over the years, HawkWatch International has counted over 13 million birds across their network of observation sites. Since hawks sit on the top of the food chain, any drastic changes in their populations signals problems with the balance of their eco-system.

“If these hawks start to disappear, HawkWatch is the first to blow the whistle so we can take steps to address the problem.:

REMY THE HARVARD CAMPUS CAT

Harvard University has communal cat.

091218_Remy_0008

The Harvard Gazette explains:

”Jessica Shires, department administrator in Harvard’s History and Literature Department, said that when she started the Facebook page 'Remy the Humanities Cat' with a couple of colleagues, she was surprised to learn how many fans the feline had made in his travels.

“'Little did I know how far his visits spread across campus,' Shires said. 'Occasionally I’m reminded by Law School, STEM, and museum friends of Remy that he’s not just a humanities cat. I suppose now I’d probably be more inclined to call him ‘Remy the Interdisciplinary Cat.’”

“Remy’s owners have known about his double life at Harvard for years now through the many phone calls they receive — up to 10 a day, as late as 2 a.m. — from across campus. 'We have picked him up from numerous Harvard buildings over the years,' Watton says.”

There is much more about Remy, including a recent disappearance and retrieval at the Harvard Gazette.

DOGGIE AMBASSADORS

Yes, this appears to be a sort of commercial for the Fairmont Hotels but it such a nice idea that I can't object to posting it. The Youtube page tells us:

”Since 2001, Fairmont Hotels around the world have been home to a highly esteemed (extremely adorable) fellowship program. Fairmont’s Canine Ambassadors aren’t just a hotel guest’s best friend and the perfect four-legged concierge—they’re family.

“These formally-trained pups know the halls of the hotels and the people who work there. They’re also experts in mountaineering, constantly exploring the landscapes surrounding Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.”

GARY AND SEAL IN THE SCILLY ISLES

This is so adorable you will not help but kvell at underwater videographer Gary Grayson's encounter with a friendly seal:

* * *

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 October 2018

MY FRIEND THE GARLIC GURU

My friend, Tony Sarmiento, grows his own garlic in his backyard and is considered a guru of garlic. Recently, reporter Adrian Higgins of the Washington Post took notice:

”Tony Sarmiento, who gardens in the Woodside neighborhood of Silver Spring, is a guy versed in the theory and practice of garlic cultivation.

“From simple raised beds between the neighboring garage and his own vine-clad garden shed, he cultivates approximately 120 bulbs a year, setting the cloves in loamy soil in simple grids a hand span apart.”

Here's Tony in his garden, photographed by Higgins.

Tony Sarmiento Garlic Guru

If you're interested in growing your own garlic, the Post story has some useful information.

PEANUT BUTTER AND MAYO – I AM VINDICATED

I grew up eating peanut butter sandwiches with mayonnaise. Whatever else might be included – banana, cucumber, jelly, etc. - there was peanut butter on one slice of bread and mayo on the other.

To this day, that is the only way I enjoy peanut butter sandwiches but when it has come up in conversation that I use mayonnaise, people recoil. Not only are they disgusted, they've never heard of it. Now I learn from Atlas Obscura:

”During the Great Depression, people valued high-calorie combinations of protein and fat. Meat and dairy were costly, and consuming enough energy could prove challenging. Enter peanut butter and mayonnaise on white bread.

“The combination became a staple in Southern households in the United States and, in some regions, it was as ubiquitous as peanut butter and jelly.

“For the next 30 years or so, the PB&M was a favorite in many American kitchens, perhaps because adding mayonnaise to the era’s rustic, coarse nut butter may have been key for spreadability. Newspapers from the 1940s in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Troy, New York, both advised adding mayonnaise to 'moisten' or 'thin' peanut butter before adding bacon or shredded American cheese.”

So you see? I'm vindicated at last. You can read more here.

MONARCH BUTTERFLY ANNUAL MIGRATION

The largest insect migration in the world ends each year in Michoacán, Mexico. Millions of monarch butterflies travel from the United States and Canada to pass the cold months in the towering trees of this beautiful forest. On their incredible journey, the butterflies travel around 2,800 miles.

Take a look:

CANNON BEACH'S BUNNY PROBLEM

According to the Oregon Public Broadcasting website, the coastal town of Cannon Beach is overrun with bunny rabbits. It seems that many years ago, someone released pet bunnies into the town and nature took its course.

”Pets don’t usually do well in the wild. They can’t easily find food and aren’t well prepared for predators. But for some reason, these rabbits survived to do what their species does best: Reproduce, again and again and again.”

And now Cannon Beach is split between those who love their fluffy neighbors and those who want them gone. As one resident, Melodie Chenevert, explains, she and her husband

”'...took to buying 10 pound bags of organic carrots at Costco. We’d cut them up,' she said. 'And every morning Gary would put the flag up and pretty soon there were 10 or 12 bunnies sitting in the driveway staring at him.'”

Cannon Beach Bunnies

That image is taken from the banner of the Facebook page Mrs. Chenevert started for the bunnies.

You can read more about the controversy here.

THE BECKHAM CREEK CAVE HOUSE

Take a look at this huge and astonishing cave house in the Ozarks near Parthenon, Arkansas. (The most fabulous shot is at the every end.)

The Cave House was for sale earlier this year. Another source says rooms can be rented overnight, hotel-style. There is more information and some additional photos at Travel and Liesure magazine.

OR, HOW ABOUT LIVING IN AN ORIGAMI APARTMENT?

A company called Orisystems (derived from origami, the art of paper folding) has designed a one-room apartment that hides several other rooms – more or less.

Here is the company's sales video:

As the sales copy explains:

”Guided by the principal that interior space, particularly in high-density urban innovation centers around the world, has become too expensive to be static and unresponsive, Ori’s breakthrough innovation, technology and design create dynamic environments that act and feel as though they are substantially larger.”

What do you think?

You can learn more at the Orisystems website and The New York Times.

THE ACHOO AFFECT

Have you ever heard of the “Achoo Affect”? I never had. Here's how it's explained:

”Have you ever stepped out on a sunny day only to be struck by a bout of sneezes? If yes, you likely suffer from a rare genetic condition that has been baffling scientists for millennia. Photic sneeze reflex — also known as autosomal compelling helio-ophthalmic outburst, or ACHOO—affects 10% of the world’s population.

“Scientists from Aristotle to Francis Bacon have had their own conjectures about the syndrome, but modern science has proved all these theories wrong. As scientists today continue to try to solve the ACHOO effect, the answer might not be as simple as you think.”

Here is more about it:

WHO INVENTED THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR AND WHY?

It had never occurred to me to ask and now I discover that the reason it was invented isn't what I - or you, probably - would think.

THE HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN

Halloween is nearly upon us and you undoubtedly already know that the holiday goes back centuries. I sort of recalled that but I was fuzzy on details. National Geographic got me back up to speed.

* * *

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 October 2018

81-YEAR-OLD-MARATHONER

The latest video in Nike's Just Do It series is a woman who took up marathon running at age 81:

”A few years after her husband had passed away, New York-native Marjorie struck up a conversation with her friend, a marathoner, at the dog park one day. 'Do you think it would be okay for me to run the marathon?' Marjorie asked her.

“Seven months later, Marjorie was at the starting line of New York City’s most prestigious race for her first 26.2. With 50,000 other runners.”

My friend, Erik Martin, a Nike employee here in Portland, Oregon, pointed out the video to me. We agreed that in general, neither of us is fond of news stories, ads and promotions, etc. that hold up elders as paragons that all people of age should aim for in extreme sports situations that few people of age can reasonably handle.

But we like this one beause it is well done and it is important to see elders included in the overall idea of Just Do It. Even if we can't all run a marathon or climb Mt. Everest, there are plenty of other games and sports we can participate in.

You can view all the Just Do It series of videos here and read more about Marjorie here.

SEARS FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY

Most Americans our age can recall when the name was Sears, Roebuck & Co. back when we were kids, and now we see the passing of an American icon.

My first thought on hearing the news of the Sears bankruptcy is that it had been the Amazon of its day – it certainly was in my household when I was growing up - and I'm not the only one who had that thought. There's a story about Sears' importance in American life at The New York Times.

The Washington Post has the business particulars that led to the bankruptcy.

PAPER PROPS FOR MOVIES AND TV

A gazillion details go into the magic of making movies and TV shows appear to be as real as real life, and if the people who create those details do their jobs well, you and I never notice the make-believe.

This guy creates paper props and there's a lot more to it that I'd ever bothered to think through.

”Ross MacDonald makes his paper by making paper. For the last 25 years, he’s created tens of thousands of paper props for movies and television shows like Baby’s Day Out, Silver Linings Playbook, Boardwalk Empire and Parks and Recreation..

“From handwritten letters to driver’s licenses, each piece is custom made and thoughtfully imbued with backstory. Step into Ross’s Connecticut workshop to see how movie magic gets illustrated, aged, cut and copywritten.”

IF YOU CAN WATCH THIS VIDEO AND NOT VOTE...

...you must be dead inside. (From friend Jim Stone.)

OBITUARY RECOUNTS THE MYSTERY OF ONE MAN'S LIFE

The Washington Post reported on the obituary of Rick Stein, age 71, who recently died in a plane crash - a man about whom his closest family and friends could not agree. His daughter wrote the obit:

“He owned restaurants in Boulder, Colorado and knew every answer on Jeopardy, she tells us. “He did The New York Times crossword in pen. I talked to him that day and he told me he was going out to get some grappa. All he ever wanted was a glass of grappa.

“She quotes Stein’s brother as saying Stein couldn’t have been a pilot; the two owned a jewelry and Oriental rug gallery together. His sister says she thought Stein was a cartoonist and freelance television critic for The New Yorker.

“Then the rest of the family weighs in:

“David Walsh, Stein’s son-in-law, said he was certain Stein was a political satirist for Huffington Post while grandsons Drake and Sam said they believed Stein wrote an Internet sports column for ESPN covering Duke basketball, FC Barcelona soccer, the Denver Broncos and the Tour de France.

“Stein’s granddaughter Evangeline claims he was a YouTube sensation who had just signed a seven-figure deal with Netflix.”

The daughter, Alex Walsh, said her father had “an endless appetite for comedy.” To not spoil the fun, I'm sending you to the entire obituary at Delaware Online to read the whole thing. You must read clear to the end to really get it.

WILDLIFE CROSSINGS SAVE LIVES

This seems so obvious I cannot understand why the crossings are not standard requirements for every highway that runs through a wildlife area.

THE KEEPER OF THE GHOST TREES

This is a beautiful story not only for the oddity of the flora but the man who keeps watch.

”Hidden deep in the woods of the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a small cluster of unusually pale, phantom trees. These 'ghost trees' are albino and extremely rare. Out of the roughly 400 albinos in the world, there are 13 in the park.

“Due to threats to their ecosystem, only a select few people know of the trees’ exact locations. Dave Kuty is one of them. As the unofficial caretaker of the albino trees, his love for these redwoods has followed him the past 40 years.”

MARJUANA LEGALIZATION

As I have mentioned in the past, I use a tincture of cannabis (THC) as a sleep agent and it works quite well. It's easy for me because I live in one of the U.S. states that has legalized use of marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes.

This week, Canada became only the second country in the world (after Uruguay) to legalize recreational use of marijuana nationwide. The first dispensaries opened their doors last Wednesday.

”Adults will be able buy cannabis oil, seeds and plants and dried cannabis from licensed producers and retailers and to possess up to 30 grams (one ounce) of dried cannabis in public, or its equivalent,” reports the BBC.

“Edibles, or cannabis-infused foods, will not be immediately available for purchase but will be within a year of the bill coming into force. The delay is meant to give the government time to set out regulations specific to those products.”

The BBC also included a map of marijuana use throughout the world:

WeedUseInternational

A couple of weeks ago, Pew Research published findings on support for nationwide legalization of recreational marijuana in the United States – about 62 percent approve:

”As in the past, there are wide generational and partisan differences in views of marijuana legalization. Majorities of Millennials (74%), Gen Xers (63%) and Baby Boomers (54%) say the use of marijuana should be legal.

“Members of the Silent Generation continue to be the least supportive of legalization (39%), but they have become more supportive in the past year.”

GOT A PEST PROBLEM? CALL THE QUACK SQUAD

“They’re short, they waddle, and they come to eat the snails,” the blurb tells us.

“Meet the quack squad, nature’s very own pest control. Every morning, duck farmer Denzel Metthys releases over 1,000 Indian Runner ducks on the Vergenoegd Winery in South Africa. Trained to march in a long line en route to the vineyard, these ducks mean business.”

* * *

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 October 2018

2.8 PERCENT COLA ANNOUNCED

On Thursday, the U.S. Social Security Administration announced the cost of living increase (COLA) for 2019: 2.8 percent that will show up in checks or deposits in January.

You can read more about the increase here and here.

TREATING BEARS BURNED IN WILD FIRES

This video has been hanging around the universal list since last summer and even if it's a bit out of date, it's a good story about good Samaritans. As the YouTube page tells us,

”...a Veterinarian from the University of California Davis is using Tilapia fish skins to treat bears that have been burned in forest fires. Veterinarian Jamie Peyton is working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to try and help these two bears recover from having their paws severely burned in the Thomas Fire.

“Not being able to walk would be a serious impediment for any wild animal so if the tilapia skins can help them recover it will be a happy ending for these bears.”

NEW TYPEFACE SAID TO HELP READERS REMEMBER MORE

Friend Chuck Nyren sent along this story about a new typeface called sans forgetica that is supposed to help people retain more of what they read. Take a look:

You can download the font and a Chrome extension, or hear more from the team who created it at the sans forgetica website. You can read more here and here.

TURTLE BODY PAINT

This is astonishing. As Big Geek Daddy tells us:

”This illusion of a sea turtle is so well done I bet you watch the video twice. This cool video features a work from Johannes Stötter, a fine art body painter. (For the record, yes - I did watch it twice.)

See others at the artist's website.

AUTO SHREDDING BANKSY PAINTING

Even with the approach of a horrible hurricane in Florida this week, the murder of journalist and the continuing awfulness of the leadership of the United States, this event made a splash:

”The people at this Sotheby’s art auction were shocked to see a million dollar painting being shredded right after it was auctioned off. World famous street artist Banksy has either created his most famous painting or pulled off the greatest joke ever on the buyer and the art world.

“I would imagine Sotheby’s had detected the shredder and knew this would occur so my guess is that Banksy did it as a publicity stunt. Regardless, I’m willing to bet the shredded painting is now worth several million dollars as it truly is an original work of art.”

I have no idea if that second paragraph is a possibility but for the record, here is a video of the shredding at Sotheby's. Imagine if you'd been the one who just spent more than a million dollars for it:

More information and discussion at The Conversation.

ON TURNING NINETY

It's been a while since reader Ann Pitkin sent this poem. Although the title references turning 90, given the medical news I reported about myself yesterday, it feels just as relevant for this 77-year-old.

The poet is Edmund Keeley. You can read a bit about him here.

It can be laughable
to stand in a room
and not know why
you came in there,
familiar as it still is
for the work you once brought
to lighten its dullness
now the best place
for putting things away,
so why do you still stand there
saying to yourself
what am I doing here?
turning over answers
none of which touch
what still seemed possible
so very recently,
replaced now by the gathering
of things not yet done
and the crowded mess of things
that once seemed important
stuffed into boxes
under the old desk
or piled in curious stacks
on shelves with no room left
and the date book open there
with fading addresses
but now so out of date
and the calculator needing batteries—
why did I come in there?
Yet there’s no point pretending
you can dodge the touch of nostalgia
rising as you wait for an answer,
this sense of a life that gathered
enough good moments to remain
cause for hoping the memory
of what really counted will stay,
the imagination’s awakening
and its flowering as time would have it
while teaching you the secrets of nature,
the green fields of loving,
the heart’s selfless companions,
the friends who remained faithful,
these gifts the gods brought
when they managed to glance your way,
and much else beyond understanding
since the luck of your arriving
and your staying this long
still to find those things
so worth laughing about,
so worth singing about,
after you discover that memory
has its own bargain with time
for what remnant life it can carry
whether or not you remember
why you happen to be
where your path has chosen to bring you
on any given day.

PACHELBEL’S CANON IN C(HICKEN)

A reader who identified himself only as Joe sent this video and it is such a wonderfully silly thing. I have misplaced the origin of this intro but here it is anyway:

”Eddy, a violinist from YouTube duo TwoSet Violin, has created a multitracked version of Johann Pachelbel’s beautifully romantic wedding classic – his Canon in D – with the assistance of four rubber chickens.

“The most impressive thing is that he can actually play the chickens in tune. There’s also a particularly beautiful, squawk-filled moment around 1:51, when the final two lines of semiquavers join together.”

If that's not enough for you, you will find Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz in Chicken here.

CONGRESS BANS PHARMACY GAG RULE

Some good medical price news for 2019: Congress has banned the “pharmacist gag rule.” Kaiser Health News (KHN) explains:

”For years, most pharmacists couldn’t give customers even a clue about an easy way to save money on prescription drugs. But the restraints are coming off.

“When the cash price for a prescription is less than what you would pay using your insurance plan, pharmacists will no longer have to keep that a secret.”

The new rules affect Medicare and Medicare Advantage beneficiaries along with commercial employer-based and individual policies

There is a catch, however. (Of course there is; there always is):

”Under the new legislation, pharmacists will not be required to tell patients about the lower cost option. If they don’t, it’s up to the customer to ask.”

And this:

”While the legislation removes gag orders, it doesn’t address how patients who pay the cash price outside their insurance plan can apply that expense toward meeting their policy’s deductible.”

Obviously, there is more to know so it behooves us to keep watch for additional information. Meanwhile, here is the entire KHN story.

DOG AND JAGUAR ARE BEST FRIENDS

You know how much I enjoy interspecies friendship. Here's another:

* * *

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 October 2018

MURPHY BROWN RETURNS

Back when Murphy Brown a staple on prime time television, I was a fan. Not only was it a well-done sitcom, it was set within my then-professional milieu – network television production. It was well done and I enjoyed it.

Well, it's back. Murphy, played again by Candace Bergen has, along with the original regulars, grown as older, as we have, and they are not pretending otherwise.

The premier episode aired a week ago and it was a load of fun including this cameo from a recent presidential candidate playing “Hilary Clendon” applying for the job of Murphy's secretary. Here is that scene:

The show is broadcast Thursdays at 9:30PM on CBS.

COMMERCIAL FOR NEW, BIGGER IPHONE

Continuing my own personal meme from last week's Interesting Stuff, here is another television commercial that charms me – for the new, bigger iPhone:

7 WAYS CONGRESS MIGHT MAKE AIR TRAVEL LESS AWFUL

Does anyone without a private jet think air travel is fun anymore? Or even vaguely comfortable?

I get invited to visit friends here and there, but I can't bring myself to get on an airplane. Now, perhaps, it might get a little less awful as Congress considers a bill to reduce the effect of some of the terrible things airlines inflict on passengers, Among them:

A prohibition on the use of electronic cigarettes aboard aircraft.

A ban on talking on cell phones aboard commercial flights

A requirement that the FAA establish minimum seat dimensions on passenger airlines.

It's probably not enough for me to get back on an airplane but maybe, if Congress really does this, it is a start for a return to basic needs and requirements for human beings to be shut up inside a metal tube for hours.

You can read the rest of the seven proposals at Roll Call.

ANOTHER AGEIST PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

My friend Chuck Nyren sent this video. Adweek calls it “comically savage” and apparently it is supposed to make young people want to vote. See what you think:

There is no question that it's a good idea to find creative ways to get people (of all ages) to vote. But to do so by demeaning one age group over another is unconscionable, and it tells us exactly what the creators think of old people.

More at Adweek.

FIRST ROBOTIC FARM IN U.S.

They say Iron Ox is the first farm in the United States run entirely by robots, something that becomes more important now that there are no longer enough immigrants allowed into the country to do this kind of work. Take a look:

The farm's website is here and you can read more at the San Francisco Chronicle.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG – MISJUDGED

“Misjudged.” That's the title of Jill Lepore's story in the current issue of The New Yorker about Ruth Bader Ginsburg's unlikely path to the Supreme Court. It begins:

”Ruth Bader Ginsburg blinked behind giant, round eyeglasses. It was the first day of her confirmation hearings, in July of 1993, the year after the Year of the Woman, and Joe Biden, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was very pleased to see her...

“She sat with the stillness of a watchful bird. 'Judge Ginsburg, welcome,' Biden said, heartily. 'And, believe me, you are welcome here this morning.' You can read it at the magazine or listen to it being read on the same page.

GinburgBio150In case you are as interested as I am, a new biography, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life, by Jane Sherron De Hart will be published on 16 October. It was written, according to the Amazon page, with the cooperation of Justice Ginsburg and based on interviews with the justice, her husband, her children, her friends, and her associates.

2017/18 FLU SEASON BROKE ALL PREVIOUS RECORDS

And not the good kind. The Centers for Disease Control tell us this week that this past influenza season was the deadliest in at least 40 years. CNN reported,

“Influenza killed about 80,000 people in the 2017-2018 season, according to figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The previous high for a regular flu season, based on analyses dating back more than three decades, was 56,000 deaths.”

According to the Washington Post, the CDC's report is

”...the most detailed picture of the devastating reach of the respiratory virus, which sickened millions of people as overwhelmed hospitals pitched tents to treat patients.”

Get your flu shot this year. Don't blow it off. It's free at any pharmacy. Do it.

You can read the CDC report here.

HAWK RESCUE ON THE DADDYKIRBS FARM

Blake Kirby wrote on the Youtube page of this video:

“When we first saw the wild animal we thought he was a dead chicken floating in the rain tank. Then I noticed he was still alive and NOT a chicken! I knew I needed to help this beautiful bird.”

And so he did.

* * *

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 – 29 September 2018

ELDERS USING CANNABIS

I may have mentioned that for the past five or six months I have been using a cannabis tincture of THC to help me sleep. It works well. Bud tenders at dispensaries I visit have told me that the majority – more than half – of their customers are people in my age group that is, elders.

About a week ago, the Washington Post reported on a new study of the age of marijuana users:

”The latest release of a massive federal drug use survey shows monthly marijuana use has skyrocketed among older Americans...

“As recently as the early 2000s, teens were more than four times more likely to use marijuana than 50- and 60-somethings. But as of 2017, Americans ages 55 to 64 are now slightly more likely to smoke pot on a monthly basis than teens ages 12 to 17...

“The oldest age group — seniors age 65 and older — has seen steep increases in marijuana use, as well. In the mid-2000s, monthly marijuana use among this group was effectively at zero percent. As of last year, 2.4 percent of seniors used marijuana monthly, and nearly 4 percent were using on at least an annual basis.”

Here's the chart:

Marijuanausebyage

It makes sense to me to me for several reasons. Cannabis is a effective treatment for a number if ailments that effect elders more than young people, an increasing number of states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use and old folks are, to a large degree, the Woodstock generation. We've been here before.

You can read more at the Washington Post.

HOSPITAL FOR SPECIAL SURGERY COMMERCIAL

About 95 percent of the time, I mute television commercials or skip through them if I'm watching a recording. But not this one.

Without making it clear what is it they do there, the commercial promotes the Hospital For Special Surgery, it has been running for many months and is titled, The Way You Move.

It always makes me feel good. How about you?

The music is Do Your Thing by Basement Jaxx.

IF ALL THE ICE MELTS WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO EARTH

Although leaders of the world have essentially done nothing, scientists have warned us for decades now that the polar ice is melting and many of us have seen videos of near-continent-size chunks of ice breaking off into the sea.

As a result of all this ice becoming water, scientists expect the seas to rise. And to rise more dramatically that I previously understood.

Here's a video about will happen to Earth if all the ice melts. (The video was released a year ago which accounts for the promotion of a film that was being released then.)

EXTRAORDINARY NYT PRINT EDITION FRONT PAGE

On the morning of the Blasey-Ford/Kavanaugh hearings, the print edition of The New York Times published this amazing front page – an image of Judge Kavanaugh's youthful calendar.

NYTFrontPage20180927680

There is a larger image here. [pdf]

CLEVER TV COMMERCIAL WITH A WONDERFUL SURPRISE ENDING

Two things about this item:

  1. TV commercials seem to be a theme of today's post. I don't know how that happened but there you are.

  2. I have a vague memory of possibly having posted this one in the past but I'm not sure. Either way, it is extraordinary. Not a word spoken and you know exactly what it's all about.

WHY OBVIOUS LIES MAKE GREAT PROPAGANDA

With the thousands of lies the U.S. president tells that has also given permission to others with such a bent to do the same, I have had a sense for a long time now that truth – even the idea of truth is being lost to us.

New Yorker writer, journalist and activist, Masha Gessen, says in this video:

”There is no such thing as truth. Whoever has objectively more power owns reality.”

This video from Vox gives us a fascinating lesson in how lies relate to power.

CANCER PATIENTS' GUIDE TO CLINICAL TRIALS

This is one of the most useful medical reports I have ever found.

ProPublica recently published a story about how cancer trials are conducted including a long list of answers to questions that any potential participant would want to know.

”Most trials are run at academic medical centers and conducted by researchers there,” writes ProPublica's Caroline Chen. “Patients outside those centers often aren’t aware that clinical trials are an option, or they may wonder what joining a study entails. For patients who might consider a clinical trial, here are answers to some common questions.”

Such questions, among others, are these:

Why should I join a clinical trial?
What are the risks of joining a clinical trial?
Will I be given a placebo?
How much time does it take to participate in a trial?
What if I cannot find a trial that will accept me?

This is worth not only a read but a good thing to set aside for when you or someone you know might want the information. You will find the entire story at ProPublica.

BABY OTTERS FIRST SWIMMING LESSON

Otters, even the grownups, are the cutest things. Here is a big otter family giving the babies their first swimming lesson. From BBC Earth.

AN INTERESTING STUFF EXTRA

This Twitter video came in at the last minute from friend Jim Stone as I was putting together today's post. It seems to me after the terrible, no good, awful political week we have been through, we really need this catharsis:

* * *

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 – 22 September 2018

BUTCH, SUNDANCE AND ROBERT MUELLER

Washington Post columnist Max Boot, this week, marvelously compared Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III to the sheriff who relentlessly tracked down Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

ButchandSundance2

Yes, that Butch and Sundance who tried mightily to elude the guys who were persuing them:

“'Those guys,' wrote Boot, “turn out to be a collection of the best lawmen in the West, led by a legendary sheriff named Joe Lefors, who have been assembled to finally hunt down the bandits.

“Robert S. Mueller III is the real-life incarnation of Lefors, and his special counsel team is the real-life superposse. Like Lefors in the movie, he never says a word. Instead, he lets his work speak for itself...

“As Mueller’s investigation advances, methodically and relentlessly, Trump is acting as rattled as Butch and Sundance — minus, of course, the charm, wit and good looks of Redford and Newman.”

Exactly. You can read the entire column here.

In case you're interested, Max Boot, who is so much more than an opinion columnist, has become one of my favorite regular reads. You can find out more about him here.

NEIGHBOR SPOOFING

This happens to me once every day of the week at the same time each day:

”More than half of all complaints received by the Federal Communications Commission — more than 200,000 of them — are about unwanted calls. The FCC said Americans received about 2.4 billion unwanted, automated calls each month, according to 2016 estimates.”

The spoofing comes in when you answer a call because the phone number displayed shows your own Area Code so you might think it is a friend or neighbor. (I never learn; it gets me every time.)

You can read more here and this video has some information to help you keep calls to a low roar:

REMEMBER VICTOR BORGE?

When I was growing up, Victor Borge was a staple on television variety shows of the era. I'd forgotten him until I ran across this video with one of his classic comedy routines:

FREE CREDIT FREEZE

Credit freezes are an important tool to keeping your personal financial information safe. As The New York Times

”Security freezes, often called credit freezes, are 'absolutely' the best way to prevent criminals from using your personal information to open new accounts in your name, said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy with Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a consumer advocacy nonprofit group.”

Before now, the three major credit agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian charged a fee for consumers to freeze their credit. The first two dropped those charges awhile back and now, Experian has joined them in accordance with a new law that went into effect yesterday, 21 September.

Those links above will take you to each agency's credit freeze page. You can read more at The New York Times.

JOHN OLIVER WEB EXCLUSIVE - RETRACTIONS

When John Oliver's HBO program, Last Week Tonight, is on hiatus, he sometimes posts a short, web-only video to carry us over until the next full show.

Here is one about retractions of previous statements he has made in error. Or not.

THE LAST SCISSOR CRAFTSMAN IN JAPAN

Not many people can afford these scissors. It's an amazing story and sad, too, that this man is the last one who knows how to do this.

AIR POLLUTION LINKED TO DEMENTIA

There is a new study linking air pollution to dementia. Here's a short news video:

As The Guardian reports:

”Air pollution has already been linked with cardiovascular and respiratory disease, but this is one of the first studies to examine links with neurodegenerative illness.

“Frank Kelly, professor of environmental health at King’s College London and one of the authors of the paper, told the Guardian: 'The study outcome suggests a linkage [between air pollution and dementia] but cannot inform on the cause. However, I believe that we now have sufficient knowledge to add air pollution to the list of risk factors for dementia.'”

More at The Guardian and the Daily Beast. The full study is at the BMJ [pdf].

@#$%^&* TECHNOLOGY

This is no exaggeration. It happened to me almost word-for-word a few days ago. My friend and attorney John Gear sent it, perhaps in response to Crabby Old Lady's elder tech complaints last Monday.

WINDOWS:
Please enter your new password.

USER:
Cabbage

WINDOWS:
Sorry, the password must be more than 8 characters.

USER:
Boiled cabbage

WINDOWS:
Sorry, the password must contain 1 numerical character.

USER:
1 boiled cabbage

WINDOWS:
Sorry, the password cannot have blank spaces

USER:
50damnboiledcabbages

WINDOWS:
Sorry, the password must contain at least one upper case character.

USER:
50DAMNboiledcabbages

WINDOWS:
Sorry the password cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively.

USER:
50damnBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourAssIfYouDon'tGiveMeAccessNow!

WINDOWS:
Sorry, the password cannot contain punctuation.

USER:
ReallyPissedOff50DamnBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourAssIfYouDontGiveMeAccessNow

WINDOWS:
Sorry, that password is already in use.

WOODPECKER VERSUS SQUIRREL

Have I shown you this video before? I know I saw it sometime in the past but I don't recall if I posted it. Anyway, it's just as amusing the second time around for me and maybe for you too.

And let's give the writer a hand – it's a great script.

* * *

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 – 8 September 2018

LET'S HAVE SOME BOOGIE WOOGIE TODAY

As Laughing Squid explained recently:

”When hoodied musician Dr K (Brendan Kavanaugh) of Badass Boogie encountered a couple of teenagers who had never heard of Boogie Woogie, he sat down at the Yamaha Platform 88 public piano and rocked a mean Boogie Woogie tune to school them musically on the finer points of the genre.”

There is something about impromptu public music that is such great fun:

That reminds me of one of my all-time, top favorite boogie woogie tracks. I must have posted this in the past but it is more than worth a rerun. From the late, great Long John Baldry, Don't Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll.

MERRIAM WEBSTER DICTIONARY ADDS 840 NEW WORDS FOR 2018

As the dictionary company explains in their introduction to those new 840 words,

”A dictionary is almost like a glossary of life: peek inside and you see descriptions of everything around you. The addition of new words to a dictionary is a step in the continuous process of recording our ever-expanding language.”

I was intrigued right away by this one: TL;DR. Maybe you know it already. I didn't:

”Too long; didn't read — used to say that something would require too much time to read”

Speaking of too long, 840 is a lot of words to wade through. Fortunately, MentalFloss chose 25 of them to highlight. Two examples:

“Hangry (adj.) Irritable or angry because of hunger. People have been hangry (or at least using the word) since 1956.

“Rando (n) According to Merriam-Webster, this 'often disparaging' slang means 'A random person: a person who is not known or recognizable or whose appearance (as in a conversation or narrative) seems unprompted or unwelcome.'”

There are another 23 at MentalFloss, and the whole 840 at Merriam-Webster.

HOW “LOL” CHANGED THE WAY WE TALK

In this short, little video, John McWhorter, a professor of linquistics at Columbia University, talks about how texting and other electronic shorthand has changed how we speak – for the better, he says.

(Apparently, putting annoying, nonsense music behind the speaker's audio is, to the producer, a feature, not a bug. Sorry I can't delete it for you.)

What do you think? Does he have a point?

THE LIBRARY

The Two Ronnies was a BBC television comedy show that aired on BBC One from April 1971 to December 1987. All these years later, their sketches hold up – just as funny now as then. Our good friend Darlene Costner sent this:

PLUGGING A HOLE IN THE SPACE STATION

Do you recall reading Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates when you were a kid? Do you remember the part in the story about the kid who plugged a hole in the dyke with his finger?

Now, there is a modern-day, real-life version:

”It may sound like something straight out of a cartoon,” reports Mother Nature News, “but on the morning of Aug. 30, it was the only thing astronaut Alexander Gerst could think of.

“After receiving word from NASA that the International Space Station was very slowly leaking air, Gerst and five other astronauts starting scouring all over for the source. Upon finding the 2-millimeter (0.08-inch) hole in the docked Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, Gerst did what many of us would likely do — he stuck his finger over the opening.:”

In what must be one of the most massive understatements ever spoken (well, at least about space), NASA's Mission Control noted:

"'Right now Alex has got his finger on that hole and I don't think that's the best remedy for it.'”

There is follow-up reporting with more detail and new information at The Guardian.

THE MOST POPULAR (sic) SURNAMES IN THE U.S.

Ancestry.com did some digging and came up with the most common surnames in each of the individual United States.

Here's a map with the top three in each state. (I'm pretty sure Ancestry misspoke: certainly they meant to say the most common, not most popular since no one is choosing their surname.)

Surname-Map-1

Well, that's way too small to try to read. Go see a readable version here.

The top three in my state, Oregon, are Smith, Johnson and Miller – which is close to true for almost every state.

You can also search for the origins and meanings of your own or anyone's surname.

LIVING SPACES IN HONG KONG

Living spaces smaller than the dimensions of a parking space. This is incredibly sad. You should watch it anyway.

AMERICAN CITIZENS BEING DENIED PASSPORTS

If you mostly watch cable news or read the front pages of newspapers, the only news happening this week were the Supreme Court nomination hearings and that unknown person who wrote an anonymous Op-Ed description of chaos in the White House published in The New York Times.

Even if it is not widely reported, other news does happen. In this case, one item is about American citizens who are being denied passports by the Trump administration:

"Juan is one of a growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports — their citizenship suddenly thrown into question,” reports the Washington Post, among other news sources.

“The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown.”

Juan's U.S. birth record shows he was delivered by a midwife. “He spent his life wearing American uniforms: three years as a private in the Army, then as a cadet in the Border Patrol and now as a state prison guard,” continues the Post.

“But when Juan, 40, applied to renew his U.S. passport this year, the government’s response floored him. In a letter, the State Department said it didn’t believe he was an American citizen...

“In some cases, passport applicants with official U.S. birth certificates are being jailed in immigration detention centers and entered into deportation proceedings. In others, they are stuck in Mexico, their passports suddenly revoked when they tried to reenter the United States.”

The story is too long to copy here. You should know more about this – most of those affected have brown skin - more at The Post.

Don't ever forget Martin Niemoller's poem: “First they came for the socialists, but I wasn't a socialist...”

THE CHEETAHPULT

As the YouTube page explains:

”A custom-made contraption has catapulted the Oregon Zoo’s cheetahs toward a new level of fitness. Dubbed the 'cheetahpult,' it’s an 8-foot wooden device that flings a ball far enough for a cheetah — the fastest land animal on earth — to chase.

“After more conventional ball launchers fell short, the cheetahpult was designed and built by staff members with the zoo’s speediest residents in mind.”
.

My god, these animals are beautiful.

* * *

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 September 2018

EDITORIAL NOTE: As I mentioned Friday, my main computer died and I'm on a cranky, old, slow laptop until a new one is procured and set up.

Because I don't have access to my Interesting Stuff notes stuck in the dead computer, this is a shorter, more slapdash edition of Interenting Stuff with what I could pull together quickly.

* * *

NOTORIOUS RBG DOC AIRS ON MONDAY

Here's your chance if, like me, you missed seeing the documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg titled RBG in a theater earlier this year.

It will be broadcast on CNN Monday (Labor Day) evening at 9PM and again at 12 midnight U.S. eastern time. Here is the trailer:

She's my number one hero for several important reasons. I wouldn't miss this screening for anything.

NEW OPINION SURVEY ON WOMEN IN POLITICS

More women than ever in history are running for public office this year. Pew Research checked out how Americans feel about that:

Wo,/P.menRunningforoffice

Republicans have a way to go to catch up to the prevailing opinion that the number of women on ballots in the midterms is a good thing but men are doing well in accepting that.

You can read more about the survey at Pew Research.

HOW POLLING WORKS

As long as we're speaking of polls, here a short explanation of how a small number of respondents can be representative of an entire population.

What surprises me is that the method doesn't seem to have changed much since, as manager editor of cbsnews.com during the presidential election of 1996, I worked with the head of polling at CBS News.

Do keep in mind as you watch this that the pollsters failed dramatically to predict the winner in 2016.

CLEVER RACCOON

I have first-hand experience with raccoons' ability to foil just about any human attempt to keep them out of the garbage or wherever else they might find food. Take a look at this clever guy:

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANTLERS AND HORNS

There are, here and there in my life, things I believe I ought to have known about since I was kid. But new ones I'm ignorant of turn up regularly. Here is the latest:

SCREENED OUTDOOR CAT PATIOS

Depending, among other considerations, where you live, it might not be a good idea to let the family cat run free outdoors. But most of them never stop trying to sneak out the door.

Here are some solutions, quite elaborate ones, some people have come up with in Portland, Oregon:

Catio-styles1

Catio-styles2

More photos of cat patios here.

* * *

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.