467 posts categorized "Interesting Stuff"

INTERESTING STUFF – 11 January 2020

A 1974 COMPUTER PREDICTION

Forty-five years ago, science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke, made “the bold claim that one day computers would allow people to work from home and access their banking records.”

Take a look at this 1974 news story about that.

DON'T CALL OUR COUNTRY HOLLAND ANYMORE

The Netherlands began the new decade by announcing that the country be called The Netherlands, not Holland:

”The Netherlands actually consists of 12 provinces, two of which combined make up Holland, so referring to the Netherlands as a whole as Holland is just wrong,” reports Business Insider.

“The rebrand hopes to manage Amsterdam's over-tourism, which has already been addressed by the country in the form of a ban on guided tours of the Red-Light District, as well as the removal of the famous 'I amsterdam' sign.”

Read more at Business Insider and at Mental Floss.

HOW WOLVES CHANGE RIVERS

As the Vimeo page explains,

”When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable 'trophic cascade' occurred.

“What is a trophic cascade and how exactly do wolves change rivers? George Monbiot explains in this movie remix.”

NOTORIOUS RBG SAYS SHE IS CANCER FREE

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced last week that after treatment for a recurrence of pancreatic cancer, she is now cancer free:

”The 86-year-old justice, one of the oldest to serve on the Supreme Court, offered the health update to CNN in an interview in her chambers Tuesday evening.

“'I’m cancer free. That’s good,' Ginsburg said, with CNN reporting that she was 'sounding energized and speaking animatedly.'

"Ginsburg’s intensive radiation treatment for a malignant tumor on her pancreas in August had followed a diagnosis of lung cancer at the end of 2018 that resulted in the removal of part of her left lung and forced her to miss oral arguments for the first time in 25 years on the bench.”

You can read more at the Washington Post.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NERD AND A GEEK

According to the YouTube page,

”Don McMillan is an engineer and a comedian so he has the brains to utilize fancy charts and graphs to make his point. He makes some good points about the everyday technology that we use like printer ink and usb devices.”

And I laughed out loud. You probably will too.

There is more comedy from Don McMillan at his YouTube page.

THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM IS 150 YEARS OLD

2020 marks 150 years since the Metropolitan Museum in New York City opened its doors. Not to take anything away from other marvelous museums, The Met was one of my most favorite places in the city over the 40 years I lived there.

The Youtube page tells us that the anniversary will be celebrated

”...throughout 2020 with exhibitions, events, and new ways to connect with art. Highlights include Making The Met, 1870–2020, the reimagined British Galleries, and a three-day celebration in June.”

Here are three people – a Museum employee, fashion guru Tim Gunn and a ballet dancer – on what The Met means to each of them:

The Met's website is one of the best on the web. You'll find it here.

UPS DOGS

I love this story – about social media pages where UPS drivers throughout the world post photographs of the dogs (and some other animals) they meet on their delivery rounds.

In Olympia, Washington:

UPSdogsOlympia

In Louisville, Kentucky:

UPSLouisville

In Ottawa, Canada:

UPSOttawaCanada

There are many more photos at Bored Panda and, of course, at Facebook and Instagram.

DAVID ZINN – CHALK ARTIST

David Zinn (not to be confused with the costume and set designer of the same name), has been delighting people in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for many years.

The are quite a few good chalk artists on the internet, those clever folks who make it look like you're about to fall into a chasm if you take one more step forward on the sidewalk.

Zinn can do that too, but his work usually involves funny little characters and a sense of whimsy I haven't see before. Take a look:

Lordy, it must be fun to walk around Ann Arbor.

There are many examples of his work online – video and still photos: Try this YouTube link or his Zinnart website, Facebook or Instagram. Or just google his name.

Thank TGB reader Joan McMullen for this.

THE SQUIRREL SNOW REMOVAL SERVICE

Now if only a squad of them could be trained to do the driveway.

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

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


INTERESTING STUFF – 4 January 2020

PIPER, THE AVIATION BIRD DOG

Let's have the YouTube page do the intro:

”Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, cooler than a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce, it’s Piper the Aviation Bird Dog, ready for duty.

“Alongside his handler Brian Edwards, the dynamic duo protects the planes at Cherry Capital Airport from bird strikes. Birds can pose a huge threat to flight safety, but when they see Piper on his way, geese, ducks and gulls flee the runways.

“It’s an important job, but not one without its share of fun.”

I'm pretty sure I've featured a different aviation bird dog before. Maybe dogs working at airports is a larger phenomenon that I knew. And look at Piper's cool sunglasses.

O ENCONTRO DE QUINTA FEIRA

That title is Portuguese for The Thursday Meeting (according to Google Translate). I don't know what that has to do with the film but it doesn't matter – just enjoy the story. The film maker is only 20 years old.

Thank my friend Jim Stone for sending this.

TRAIN PLOWING THROUGH DEEP SNOW IN JAPAN

Wow, is all I can say.

ORGANIZED CRIME

I'm not convinced it is the best cartoon of the century but it certainly is a cartoon for our time. Thank TGB reader Joan McMullen.

CartoonOrgCrime

HOW TREES COMMUNICATE

With the burning of the Amazon, Australia and deforestation in general, increasing numbers of writers are telling us just how amazing trees are. Here is one short version of one thing they do.

RIDE ME BACK HOME

Peter Tibbles is the proprietor of the music section of this blog whose column appears here every Sunday. But sometimes I drop in a music video or two.

This is a mini-documentary from Willie Nelson. I never tire of his warm, cozy voice and his gentle urging of us to do the right thing.

LIMITING OUR CHOICES

Reporter Geoffrey A. Fowler wrote an end-of-decade overview of tech changes during the past 10 years.

He says there were no break-out new products during this period like the iPad and Walkman in the past but our relationship with our various screens got stronger and we became more dependent on them.

Fowler enumerates these changes some of which were probably not good for us and mankind. Like this one:

“The voice assistants Alexa, Siri and rival Google Assistant also helped make us comfortable with the idea there is just one answer to a question. Remember when searching for information required sorting through Google links? Now a tech giant gets to decide.”

If you think about that in regard to small children who don't know it's not necessarily true that there is only one answer to a question, it is worrisome. You can read all the rest – good and not so good – that Fowler has rounded up at the Washington Post.

ANDREAS WANNERSTEDT'S “ODDLY SATISFYING VOLUME 5

Reader Joan McMullen sent this item too. I've featured designer Andreas Wannerstedt in the past and his work is always mesmerizing. Each of the items in today's video is “based upon the idea to trigger some kind of odd satisfaction and that inexplicable feeling we all know,” he says.

If you want to see more of Wannerstedt's work, just google his name. He's all over the web.

NEVER GIVE UP

Little mouse. Big cracker. Persistence.

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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 – 28 December 2019

RAM DASS DIES AT 88

Lost amid Christmas hubbub and never-ending Trump chaos, was the death of Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert) last Sunday at his home in Maui, Hawaii.

He started out as a Harvard professor, shared 1960s fame promoting psychedelics with fellow Harvard professor Timothy Leary and after a trip to India, spent the rest of his life as spiritual leader beloved by millions.

In September, a biographical film, Becoming Nobody, was released. Here is the theatrical trailer:

The film will become available on DVD on 20 January 2020 here. His many books are available at most of the usual places.

I met Ram Dass once, briefly, in the 1970s, and greatly respect him. There are a bunch of good obituaries online. Here are three of them:

New York Times
Huffington Post
Rolling Stone

POLAR BEAR TWINS WITH MAMA

A couple of polar bear cubs rolling around in the the snow and crawling all over mama on a cold winter's day.

MAKE EARTH COOL AGAIN

Take a look at this guy's hat – I want one:

SteveGhanHat

Steve Ghan is a climate scientist. Here's what The Los Angeles Times says about him:

”He spent 28 years at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., building the complex climate models that — together with many other lines of evidence — helped confirm humanity’s role in warming the planet. Advocacy was not part of his portfolio.

“'We naively thought, Well, OK, we’ve done our job, now the politicians are going to make decisions,’ he said. 'But that’s not the way it worked.'

“So Ghan bucked tradition and began speaking publicly about the risks of climate change. And these days, more and more scientists are making the same choice.

“They are rejecting the idea that researchers should stick to the data and let others figure out what to do with it. Driven by the lack of climate action, they are marching in the streets, signing on to manifestos and even getting arrested — all in the name of avoiding the worst effects of global warming.”

The thing is, I really want one of those hats. I think every one of us who understands that climate change is anything but the hoax the president says it is should wear one of these blue hats. Imagine if they became an ubiquitous as those red hats. I wish I knew where to get one.

Your can read more – and please do – at The Los Angeles Times.

HAND ART

Or, as it is also called, handimals. TGB reader and Reader Story contributor Jack Handley sent this item and wait until you see what he is talking about.

The artist is Guido Daniele of Milan, Italy. (Just hit the pause button on your browser if you want more time with an image):

There is a lot more about Mr. Daniele at his website and still images of more handimals here.

WHY DON'T CHOCOLATE CHIPS MELT IN THE OVEN

Good question. Here is part of what Mental Floss tells us:

”Unlike baking chocolate, chocolate chips differ in that they tend to have a lower amount of cocoa butter, which makes them more resistant to heat. Some chips also have stabilizers and emulsifiers like soy lecithin to help them maintain their shape—the chips are essentially engineered to resist attempts to turn them into liquid.

“Chips like Nestlé's Morsels do, in fact, melt when baked. But because the cookie dough has firmed up around them, the chips retain their shape. After the cookie has cooled, the chocolate solidifies once more, giving the appearance of a chip that has been unaffected by the heat.”

There is more detail and some background on chocolate chip cookies at Mental Floss.

PRONOUNCING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

People who learn English as a second language often complain about confusing way it is spelled and pronounced.

A Dutch writer, traveler and educator named Dr. Gerard Nolst Trenité took the pronunciation complaint seriously and wrote a poem titled The Chaos about it. Mental Floss (again) explains:

“...a poem written in 1920 perfectly encapsulates the baffling nature of English. In fact, it's so tricky that even native English speakers with college degrees may struggle to get through it without botching a word...

“It starts out easy, then gets progressively harder.”

You can follow along in this video:

There is an even longer version written by The English Spelling Society published in 1990s – 274 lines compared to the original 146 lines in the video. You can read that here [pdf] – sorry, no audio or video that I can find.

More information at Mental Floss.

CATS IN SNOW FOR THE FIRST TIME

Apparently the weather this weekend on the east coast of the United States is more like spring than winter. On the other side of the world, Australia is suffering horribly with the hottest temperatures on record and accompanying wild fires.

Here is something to cool off to from TGB reader Cathy Johnson. (I found the music really annoying so I hit the mute button.)

MAKING FRIENDS

I promise this is the last Christmas video of the season but it could take place at any time of the year. It's a bit treacly for my taste but I like it anyway.

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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 – 21 December 2019

THE PIANO GUYS RIG A PIANO TO CONTROL 500,000 CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

It's fun to watch things like this but I always wonder who has the patience to put it all together.

A VERY COOL VERSION OF WHITE CHRISTMAS

The Youtube page tells us the cartoon is by Joshua Held. Also,

White Christmas, an Irving Berlin song...was first performed by Bing Crosby in 1941. The Drifters featuring lead singer Clyde McPhatter and bass vocalist Bill Pinkney recorded this cover in 1954.”

RESURRECTING CURSIVE WRITING

In the comments on Wednesday's post, several readers mentioned the loss of cursive writing, lamenting that it is no longer taught.

As it turns out, all is not lost. Many states still teach it and more are joining in. In fact, a 10-year-old just won a state and national cursive competition.

Cursive-samples-slide-E4SM-superJumbo

The New York Times tells us that

”Kathleen Wright, who worked for Zaner-Bloser, a company that publishes cursive workbooks and sponsored the national competition, said 24 states now required some form of cursive instruction, including seven that had adopted policies since 2013.”

Of course there are at least as many people who oppose cursive as those who realize it ought to be taught. And there are a lot of jokes about cursive too. If you have a New York Times subscription, the article is worth a read.

LET'S TALK ABOUT SIZE...

...comparative size, that is, of objects in our Galaxy. Astonishing.

DON'T IRRITATE THE RHINOCEROS

TGB reader Joan McMullen sent this video of a really angry rhinoceros. India Today reports on this incident that took place at Serengeti Park in Germany last August:

”...the zookeeper suffered minor injuries and managed to escape somehow. In fact, she is ready to begin working as well. 'She is very experienced, with us for 25 years. She has a concussion and bruises, but wants to work Friday again,' Fabrizio told German newspaper Bild.”

MAMA KOALA RESCUES HER BABY

That headline is all you need to know – just enjoy.

OPERA FROM THE ANIMALS

Conducted by a squirrel. From TGB reader Nana Royer.

Here are the music details: Squilla Il Bronzo Del Dio - Guerra, guerra Composed by Vincenzo Bellini, Performed by The Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, Dame Joan Sutherland, Samuel Ramey. Conducted by Richard Bonynge.

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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 – 14 December 2019

DIFFICULTY WAKING UP?

Through many of my working years, I often needed to be up at 4:30AM or 5AM. No big deal. I hit the floor running in those days and was out the door on schedule.

These days, in my dotage, I wake up more like this poor guy. I know exactly how he feels.

JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH AS REFUGEES

People all over the internet have been discussing (arguing about?) this nativity scene all week so you may have seen it. As the CNN.com Wire Service reports,

”The Claremont United Methodist Church, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, posted the photo on its website showing [Jesus, Mary and Joseph] held in separate cages topped with barbed wire. The baby Jesus is wrapped in a silver foil blanket.”

Here is some video about it from the local ABC News affiliate including an interview with Lead Pastor Karen Clark Ristine.

You can read more here.

HOW BIG GOVERNMENT CAN HELP

In 2017, two weeks before the enrollment period ended, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent out letters to more than 3.5 million households suggesting they sign up for health insurance coverage. Then they watched what happened.

As HealthCareDive explains:

The study shows that with a simple nudge in the form of a letter, people were more likely to obtain coverage, which highlights the positive effect outreach can have on increasing insurance enrollment...

“This new evidence raises questions about the wisdom to cut outreach efforts. President Donald Trump's administration previously has slashed advertisement and outreach budgets that were meant to spur enrollment in health insurance coverage through the ACA exchanges.”

The Los Angeles Times continues with additional news from the research:

”...it’s the most statistically valid study showing that mortality rates are lower for people with coverage. Indeed, the study found that among those 49 to 64 years old, acquiring health insurance showed up in lower death rates within a year or two.”

Big government does important things for the people of the United States, but the Trump administration continues to cut funding for many federal agencies.

THE SURGEON WHO PERFORMED MY PANCREATIC CANCER SURGERY

I was poking around the website of the medical center where I have been and continue to be treated for cancer and COPD. Here is a short video with the surgeon, Brett Sheppard, who performed my Whipple procedure at the Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU).

He's every bit as smart, dedicated and caring as he appears to be in this video.

THE OLDEST PHARMACY IN THE U.S.

There are lots of complaints lately about what a scary place YouTube is but I spend more time there than I would like to admit and haven't run into anything objectionable except too much awful video production among the good stuff.

Just this week I discovered some videos about the oldest pharmacy in the United States - in New York City, Sixth Avenue between Eighth and Ninth Streets in Greenwich Village – MY pharmacy for the 40 years I lived there.

Here's one of those videos:

GARDEN PARTY

That headline is the title of a 2017 CG animated film directed by Illogic Collective, six French 3D artists during their studies at MoPA, animation school in France.

This short film (7-plus minutes) – another of my random discoveries on YouTube this week - is their graduation film. Think of it as a froggy horror movie that takes place in a deserted villa. The film won a slew of awards and was nominated for an Academy Award.

HOUSE PASSES BILL TO LOWER DRUG COSTS FOR MEDICARE ENROLLEES

Remember last Monday when I told you about H.R. 3, a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives meant to reduce the price of drugs for Medicare subscribers?

Amidst their marathon impeachment sessions, the House passed the measure on Thursday. As The Center for Medicare Advocacy explained afterward:

”Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, The Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, by a vote of 230 to 192 [along party lines]. This bill, if enacted into law, would lead to a significant reduction in prescription drug costs.

“The resulting savings would be reinvested into a critical expansion of Medicare benefits (vision, hearing, dental), low-income protections, and Medigap rights expansion.”

That is, if it passes in a Senate vote. For awhile, President Donald J. Trump publicly supported the bill but seems to have backed off now.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a strong history of burying bills he doesn't want to pass.

Read more at the Washington Post.

WHERE DOES ALMOND MILK COME FROM?

Meet an almond milk farmer – whose tongue is firmly in his cheek.

KINDERGARTNER INVITES HIS WHOLE CLASS TO HIS OFFICIAL ADOPTION

This is the best story you'll see all day. Maybe all week.

”Michael Orlando Clark Jr. [age 5] invited his entire kindergarten class to attend his adoption hearing,” reported 13 on Your Side, in Grand Rapids, Michigan...

“Thursday marked the 23rd annual Adoption Day in Kent County. The event is put on by the Family Division of the Circuit Court in Kent County...”

Let's go to the video tape – prepare to have your heart warmed.

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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 – 7 December 2019

ALABAMA UNVEILS STATUE OF ROSA PARKS

On the 64th anniversary of her 1955 arrest in Montgomery, Alabama, for not giving her seat on a bus to a white man, Rosa Parks has been honored in that city with a statue:

Civil rights attorney Fred Gray told the Montgomery Advertiser,

“For the city officials, from the city and the county, to be able to honor Mrs. Parks and honor those plaintiffs, and even more importantly to honor the 40,000 African American men and women who stayed off of the buses for 382 days, it is indeed a step in the right direction."

Rosa Parks died in 2005 at age 92.

FANS TOSS 45,000 TEDDY BEARS ONTO ICE AT HOCKEY GAME

It was all for a good cause at a hometown game of the Hershey Bears. Take a look:

Mother Nature Network explains:

”After 40 minutes of fluff-tossing mayhem, the team collected 45,650 stuffed toys from the ice. They will be divided amongst 40 local charities for the holiday season.

“In addition, Community Aid Pennsylvania is donating 25 cents per toy to the charities, and the Sweigart Family Foundation will donate $1 per toy to benefit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.”

And the Bears won the game too.

SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICES EXPAND BUSINESS HOURS

In the past three years or so, the Social Security Administration has cut back in several ways. Now however, it is expanding service in local offices and nationally.

The agency's website tells us:

”Starting on January 8, 2020, Social Security offices nationwide will be open to the public on Wednesday afternoons...This change restores Wednesday public service hours that were last in place in late 2012. 'I don’t want someone to come to our office at 2:30 on a Wednesday only to find our doors closed,” Commissioner Andrew Saul said.

The agency is also hiring 1,100 front line employees to provide service on the agency's national 800 number and in its processing centers.

”The agency is currently bringing onboard 100 new processing center employees and approximately 500 new teleservice representatives for the 800 Number. An additional 500 hires for the 800 Number will occur later in 2020.”

TO EACH HIS OWN

All my life, red has been my favorite color. I don't do much about it except to wear a red sweater now and then. But this guy – the color red is just about his whole life.

CONSTRUCTION WORKERS HIGH IN THE SKY

You know this photograph – you've seen it many times – but there are additional photos and some film footage in this video you've probably not seen before.

Me? I can't watch it for more than few second without getting queasy from the height.

COME TOGETHER

That headline is the title of a 2016 Christmas advert from H&M. I've published it in a December past and am using it as a teaser today for more to come later this month.

AVOID HOLIDAY SHOPPING SCAMS

The FBI has published information about how to avoid holiday shopping scams this season:

”According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), thousands of people become victims of holiday scams every year. Scammers can rob you of hard-earned money, personal information, and, at the very least, a festive mood.

“The two most prevalent of these holiday scams are non-delivery and non-payment crimes.

“In a non-delivery scam, a buyer pays for goods or services they find online, but those items are never received. Conversely, a non-payment scam involves goods or services being shipped, but the seller is never paid.

“In 2018 alone, the IC3 estimates that non-delivery and non-payment scams together affected more than 65,000 victims, causing almost $184 million in losses.”

There are more details about what to watch out for at the FBI website.

WHAT BECAME OF BERLIN'S MILITARIZED ZONE AFTER THE WALL CAME DOWN?

After 30 long years, the 93-mile-long Berlin Wall dividing East and West Berlin was brought down in November 1991. The YouTube page tells us,

”Today, [a part of it is] a beautiful public park where people gather every Sunday to sing karaoke in an outdoor amphitheater. Joe Hatchiban, who came to Berlin from Dublin, founded Bearpit Karaoke in 2009, and the event is still going strong a decade later.”

What a lovely counternarrative.

THE OWL AND THE PUSSY CAT – FOR REAL

This video is a year old but these best buddies have been hanging out together for a long time. There are videos of them going back at least eight years. You can find more at YouTube.

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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 – 30 November 2019

TIME LAPSE OF LAST WEEK'S SNOW IN BOULDER

There was some heavy weather in the U.S. over the Thanksgiving holiday. My friend Stan James sent this short, time-lapse, Reddit video of a backyard in Boulder, Colorado, a few days ago.

(Click the image twice to replay.)

from r/boulder

THE WORLD IS RUNNING OUT OF – WAIT FOR IT - SAND?

Sand-gravel__medium

The BBC is reporting that people are dying in disputes over sand. Sand? Are they kidding? Apparently not:

Trivial though it may seem, sand is a critical ingredient of our lives. It is the primary raw material that modern cities are made from,” says the BBC report. “The concrete used to construct shopping malls, offices, and apartment blocks, along with the asphalt we use to build roads connecting them, are largely just sand and gravel glued together.

“The glass in every window, windshield, and smart phone screen is made of melted-down sand. And even the silicon chips inside our phones and computers – along with virtually every other piece of electronic equipment in your home – are made from sand.”

They also explain that desert sand does not work.

”The sand we need is the more angular stuff found in the beds, banks, and floodplains of rivers, as well as in lakes and on the seashore. The demand for that material is so intense that around the world, riverbeds and beaches are being stripped bare, and farmlands and forests torn up to get at the precious grains.”

Read more at the BBC.

CONSTRUCTION WORKER TRAPPED ON A BURNING BUILDING

TGB reader Joan McMullen sent this video of a construction worker trapped on a fiercely burning building. From 2013:

COFFEE AROUND THE WORLD

Coffee is my morning lifeline. Without it, it can be hours before I am fully functional. Here is a survey of how coffee is served in five areas of the world:

LEONARD COHEN ON PREPARING TO DIE

Shortly before his death in 2016, singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen spoke with The New Yorker editor David Remnick. This excerpt was published to YouTube by the magazine a couple of weeks ago.

FUNNY CAT PHOTOS

There is a whole bunch of fun and funny cat photos in an article at Bored Panda. Here are two:

Cat-SnapchatsBoredPanda2

Cat-SnapchatsCowBoredPanda

There are plenty more at Bored Panda to lighten your day.

A COTTON CANDY LOBSTER

A fisherman caught this cotton candy lobster near Casco Bay in Maine recently. Isn't he – she? - beautiful:

You can read more at Mental Floss.

ROADSIDE AMERICA MUSEUM

I suspect there are several such museums scattered on the roads of the United States. This one is jampacked with nostalgic items that many TGB readers will recognize from your childhoods.

E.T. CHRISTMAS COMMERCIAL

Thank all 6,000 TGB readers who sent in this commercial. Okay, not 6,000, not even close. But a lot of you, too many to mention.

It pains me to promote this company that has caused me grief with every phone call I've needed to make to them over the years, but wow – what an excellently crafted update of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial 37 years after its original release.

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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 – 23 November 2019

ACTOR TOM HANKS RELATED TO MR ROGERS

The movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, currently in theaters stars Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers. Here's a fun, little coincidence from Huffington Post:

”An Ancestry.com family tree shared in the Access Hollywood report indicates that Hanks and Rogers are connected through a distant cousin named Johannes Meffert.”

The two men are, according to Ancestry, sixth cousins. Here is a short video of Hanks with his wife Rita Wilson as they find out about the connection:

THE MOMENT YOU REALIZE YOU'RE A DUCK, NOT A PENGUIN

The headline is all you need to know:

OXFORD DICTIONARY WORD OF THE YEAR

As The New York Times explains, Oxford dictionaries' word of the year is meant to highlight

“...a word or expression shown through usage evidence to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have a lasting potential as a term of cultural significance.”

The 2019 winner is “climate emergency” selected from an all-environment shortlist that included “climate action,” “climate denial,” “eco-anxiety,” “extinction” and “flight shame.”

You can find out much more at the Oxford Dictionaries website.

THE FOX AND THE SNOWY OWL

Because he did such a lovely job of a slight story, I will let the Mother Nature Network (MNN) writer, Christian Cotroneo, tell you what you need to know about this video.

”Have you ever danced with a snowy owl beneath the pale moonlight? Well, this little fox might say he did — and lived to tell the tale.

“In surveillance footage caught at a marina in Cobourg, Ontario, a young fox is locked in a strangely tender tango with a snowy owl [as] the unlikely duo meeting in a serene stretch of snow outside the marina office.

“For a few fleeting moments, the fox twirls and leaps around the owl. But his enthusiasm doesn’t seem to be shared by the owl, who perches all puffed up and menacing in the same spot.

“A moment later, the pair parts ways. The only sign of this strange winter ballet is a series of pirouettes paw-printed into the snow — and that no-nonsense owl print in the middle of it all.”

There is a bit more at MNN.

JUMPING TREE SNAKE OF AUSTRALIA

We in the northern hemisphere – well, maybe it's just me – marvel at the weird and odd animals of Australia. Here is one I never heard of before, the jumping tree snake.

”Thanks to researchers at Virginia Tech,” reports Mental Floss, “we now know these non-venomous snakes of the genus Dendrelaphis can become airborne, propelling themselves around treetops like sentient Silly String.”

Keep your eye on the upper right corner of the video frame:

More at Mental Floss.

WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE TO LIVE IN A CASHLESS SOCIETY?

There is more to it than sliding a card into a machine to pay for goods just purchased to clicking a button on a computer screen. In my case, a quick glance at the money left in my wallet lets me know how I'm doing on my weekly budget. I've done it that way all my life.

Take a look at some other information about a cashless society.

The video is right – a cashless society with its conveniences and potential horror stories will soon be upon us.

UNICORN PUPPY

You may have already seen the “unicorn puppy” - he's been everywhere because he's so cute. Mother Nature Network (MNN) tells us:

”The 10-week-old puppy, rescued by Mac's Mission - a nonprofit dog rescue that predominately helps homeless dogs and pups with special needs - has a small tail-like growth on his forehead. Even though the tail makes Narwhal the 'coolest puppy ever,' no, it does not wag...”

Take a look:

You can read more at MNN. And there is a Facebook page.

2020 U.S. CENSUS DELIVERIES

Last Monday, the U.S. Census Bureau released information on how and when most Americans will be asked to respond to the 2020 Census.

”Nearly every household will be invited to respond online, by phone or by mail to the census starting in mid-March 2020. Most areas—about three of every four households—will receive an invitation to respond online (or by phone), while the other households will receive a paper questionnaire along with an invitation to respond online.

“Regardless of which invitation they receive, all households that have not yet responded will receive a paper questionnaire by mid-April.”

Here is the interactive map to check on your census delivery, and the announcement from the Census Bureau is here.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE TREE IN THE WOODS

I may have posted this video when it was first released more than two years ago. It seems vaguely familiar but I enjoyed it this time as much as before (if there was a before).

Here is what the YouTube page says:

”The video comes from a new project called ‘Forestbeat’, launched by photographers Bruno D’Amicis and Umberto Esposito.

“After the discovery of the ancient venerable beech forest within the territory of Italy’s National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, the team have sought to spread awareness of the area to the general public.”

A camera was left in place for a year.

* * *

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

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



INTERESTING STUFF – 16 November 2019

NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE COVER

The headline on tomorrow's cover story in the Sunday New York Times Magazine is titled “So the Internet Didn’t Turn Out the Way We Hoped. Now What?”

Has there ever be a more perfect mashup of subject, title and image?

NYTmagCover2

NEW YORK BIDS ADIEU TO TRUMP – IN SONG

TGB reader NYPup sent this this video from Stephen Colbert's Late Show. I think it may be the best cold open the show has ever produced.

WE CAN'T BLAME TRIPTOPHAN ANYMORE

According to this story, L-triptophan has nothing to do with causing the naps people take after Thanksgiving dinner. That's a myth, explains Mental Floss.

”It’s more about heaps of potatoes, mountains of stuffing, and generous globs of gravy—and that, along with alcohol, is more likely the reason you collapse into a spectacular food coma after your meal.

“Overeating (especially of foods high in fat) means your body has to work extra hard to digest everything. To get the job done, it redirects blood to the digestive system, leaving little energy for anything else.”

You can read more at Mental Floss.

FRENCH CHANNEL 3 IDS

Channel or network IDs, idents, identifications are very short animations to remind viewers what channel their TV is tuned to. The NBC peacock is probably the most recognizable one in the U.S.

In France over the past few years, France 3 has produced a series of IDs starring some animated marmots. The latest take a shot at mocking cult films and they are as charming as they are funny. Take a look:

You can see some marmot IDs from previous years here.

MINI-CHEETAH ROBOTS

Every year or so Boston Dynamics releases their latest robots and I usually publish a video. I've never found out what the robots are for and mostly, I don't rally care. I just think they're kind of cute and move in an interesting manner.

These newest ones - nine, 20-pound Mini-Cheetah robots - are showing their stuff with some students from MIT:

”The hope,” reports Mother Nature Network (MNN), “is that students and researchers will develop machines that can help people in situations where human intervention may be too dangerous or risky.”

More at MNN.

STUDYING END-OF-LIFE DREAMS

TGB reader Mary sent this item. Hospice Buffalo has been studying end-of-life dreams of their patients for many years.

”In the final days of life, dreams seem to bring comfort and tie up loose ends, according to Dr. [Christopher] Kerr, [CEO of Hospice Buffalo]. “The thing you have to realize is the time for therapy and analysis is over. They’re nearing the end of their lives and people aren’t emerging from these experiences with questions; ‘what happened to me?’ They’re coming out of this with answers and meaning.”

Here is a video from local TV station WIVB about the Hospice Buffalo dream studies:

The print story at the WIVB website is a close transcript of the video.

LOOK, IT'S A BORDER WALL – FINALLY BUILT

Via email from Hank Berez.

Doggieborderwall

GOLD MEDAL WINNING WIND-TUNNEL DANCE

Wait until you see this - 15-year-old Kyra Poh's amazing wind-tunnel dance - a gold medal winning performance at the Wind Games 2018.

Flixxy explains that

"...'wind tunnel' is a facility where thanks to the latest technology and 4 high-power turbines continuous adjustable vertical air flow is generated. This allows anyone to recreate the feeling of freefall in a safe space, supervised by qualified instructors.”

I sure would like to try that wind tunnel. I'm not as limber and flexible as that 15-year-old (I once was) but it would still be fun.

SEA OTTER GROOMING

The person who shot this video imagines the otter is getting ready to party. Or, maybe he's got a hangover from too much party the night before. Either way or something else, he's (she?) so damned cute.

* * *

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

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



INTERESTING STUFF – 9 November 2019

MEDIEVAL HELP DESK

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

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

Funny how it doesn't seem all that dated.

SHOULD IT BE LEGAL TO CHANGE YOUR AGE?

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

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

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

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

There is more of Chuck's rebuttal at Mediium.

DYING IS NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK

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

THE SCOURGE OF SINGLE-USE PLASTIC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THOUSANDS OF GEESE CROSS THE ROAD

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

MOBILE PHONES PREDICTED IN 1953

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

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

PredictionMobilePhones1953

More at Snopes.

WHERE DID THE AMPERSAND COME FROM

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

FAVORITE PHRASE OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

TO BE OF SERVICE

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

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

Here is the trailer:

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

* * *

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

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



INTERESTING STUFF – 2 November 2019

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS

DaylightSavingsTime

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

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

SHOULD CHANGING YOUR AGE BE LEGAL?

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

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

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

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

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

NEW SUFFRAGETTE SCULPTURE FOR NEW YORK CITY

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

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

Womens_rights_pioneers_monument-4

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

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

Read more at Mental Floss and at The Guardian.

ALEX TREBEK PSA

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

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

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

Read more at USA Today.

MAKING HOLOCAUST RECORDS AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE

As the YouTube page explains:

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

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

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

Here's the video.

The searchable archive is at ancestry.com.

SCAMS AND OLD PEOPLE

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

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

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

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

LIVING UNDERGROUND IN AUSTRALIA

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

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

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

PENNSYLVANIA GHOST TOWN

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

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

CATS VERSUS AN INVISIBLE WALL

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

* * *

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

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



INTERESTING STUFF – 26 October 2019

KOMINSKY METHOD SEASON 2

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

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

According to Entertainment Weekly,

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

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

Here is the trailer:

THE APPLE TRAILER

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

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

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

MAMA GOOSE GETS COP TO SAVE HER BABY

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

AMAZING EYE DROPS COMMERCIAL

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

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

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

AUDIO RECORDING OF D-DAY LANDING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 “NEW” EGYPTIAN MUMMIES

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

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

More of the story at the Daily Herald.

OCTOPUS: MAKING CONTACT

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

You can view the full episode online here.

WHY BLUETOOTH IS NAMED AFTER A VIKING

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

WEEKEND DOGS

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

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

* * *

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

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



INTERESTING STUFF – 19 October 2019

WE LOST A GREAT MAN THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

May be rest with the angels.

CAN VERTICAL FORESTS HELP CLIMATE CHANGE?

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

VICTOR THE EAGLE DOCUMENTS CLIMATE CHANGE

The YouTube page tell us that

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

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

HOW THE INTERNET WORKS

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

AN IRISHMAN'S FUNERAL JOKE

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

There is more of the story at Huffington Post.

HOW MUCH IS DEMOCRACY WORTH?

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

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

Read more at The Guardian.

THE DOG PHOTOGRAPHER

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

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

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

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

A BABY OCTOPUS IN A PLASTIC CUP

Pall Sigurdsson tells us on the YouTube page:

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

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

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

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

YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME

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


* * *

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

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



INTERESTING STUFF – 12 October 2019

WHEN ELIZABETH WARREN WAS ASKED ABOUT MARRIAGE EQUALITY

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


CATS IN THERAPY

When cats need a shrink...


THE ALEX AND RONNI SHOW

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


SOCIAL SECURITY COLA FOR 2020

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

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

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

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


CHINA'S GIGANTIC ROAD NETWORK

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


MAGIC MEERKAT MOMENTS

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

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

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


AN ASTONISHING BEACH CLEANING CAMPAIGN

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

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


PSILOCYBIN REPORT ON 60 MINUTES

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

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

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

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

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

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


DOG RESCUED ONE MONTH AFTER HURRICANE

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

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

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

The Washington Post continues:

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

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

The rescuers named him (her?) Miracle.

* * *

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

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



ELDER MUSIC: The Pretender

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

* * *

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

Ch06

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

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

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

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

Jackson Browne

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

♫ Jackson Browne - The Pretender


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

Nat King Cole

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

Nat sings Pretend, one of his hits.

♫ Nat King Cole - Pretend


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

Jerry Vale

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

♫ Jerry Vale - Pretend You Don't See Her


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

Billie Holiday

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

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

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

♫ Billie Holiday - I Can't Pretend


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

The Platters

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

♫ The Platters - The Great Pretender


KITTY WELLS was a trail blazer in her time.

Kitty Wells

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

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

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

♫ Kitty Wells - I'm Tired of Pretending


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

Katie Thiroux

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

♫ Katie Thiroux - Can't We Just Pretend


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

Les Paul and Mary Ford

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

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

♫ Les Paul & Mary Ford - Pretending


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

The Dells

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

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

♫ The Dells - My Pretending Days Are Over


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

First Aid Kit

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

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

♫ First Aid Kit - Master Pretender


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

Elvis

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

♫ Elvis - Just Pretend



INTERESTING STUFF – 5 October 2019

THREE LARGE DOGS MEET TEENY TINY KITTENS

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

BUBBLE TAXI TESTED IN PARIS

The YouTube page told us in September that

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

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

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

AIRLINE SEAT SIZE TEST

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

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

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

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

You can read more at the Washington Post.

EVEN BIG CATS CAN GET STUCK UP A TREE

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

SIX LITTLE STORIES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CAT OFFENDED BY DOG FARTING IN HIS SLEEP

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

TYRANNY EXPERT

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

A BEAUTIFUL OCTOPUS

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

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

* * *

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

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



INTERESTING STUFF – 28 September 2019

ALLSTATE MAYHEM CAT COMMERCIAL

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

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

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

LION DAD MEETS HIS CUB

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

FOLLOW-UP ON FALLS PREVENTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE ALEX AND RONNI SHOW

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

WHY IS THIS CREEPY MUSIC IN SO MANY FILMS?

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

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

PREHISTORIC BABY BOTTLES

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

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

Here's what the bottles look like.

Zoomorphicvesselscaption2

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

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

There is more information at NPR and at the BBC.

RARE SPOTTED ZEBRA BORN

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

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

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

NEW CONSTITUTION WEBSITE

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

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

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

You can explore it here.

CATS ARE MASTERS AT RELAXATION

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

* * *

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

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



INTERESTING STUFF – 21 September 2019

SETBACK FOR JEOPARDY! HOST ALEX TREBEK

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

You can read more at the Good Morning America website.

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

DICTIONARY ADDS NEW “THEY” DEFINITION

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

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

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

THE MOST COMMONLY USED WORD ON EARTH

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

FOUND ON THE INTERNET

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

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

More on that list of awful internet things here.

FOX FIRES

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

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

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

WHY DOES TIME SEEM TO PASS MORE QUICKLY AS WE AGE

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

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

THE SWISS ART OF PAPER CUTTING

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

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

THE SEX TALK

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

WHALE PLAYING WITH SEAGULL

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

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

* * *

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

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



INTERESTING STUFF – 14 September 2019

TODDLER BUDDIES GREETING AFTER TWO DAYS APART

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

THE ALEX AND RONNI SHOW

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

A VERY PATIENT MAMA CAT WITH FIVE UNRULY KITTENS

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

GIANT STRAW ANIMALS IN JAPAN

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

And I do mean huge. Take a look:

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

GRIZZLY BEAR PRODUCT TESTERS

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

SECRET LANGUAGE OF TREES

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

GROUND SQUIRRELS, OWLS, TIGERS AND MORE

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

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

Squirrel1

Squirrel2

Squirrel3

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

HELLO, BROTHER, HELLO

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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



INTERESTING STUFF – 7 September 2019

CAR PARKED IN KITCHEN TO SAVE IT FROM DORIAN

As CBS News explains, as Hurricane Dorian approached,

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

Wife Jessica took some pictures and posted them to Facebook.

BahamasCarinKitchen

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

YOUTUBE DECADE

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

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

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

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

SOME REPUBLICANS ARE CANCELING STATE PRIMARIES

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

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

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

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

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

BAHAMAS WOMAN RESCUES 97 STREET DOGS FROM HURRICANE

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

She posted to her Facebook page:

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

HOW TO CONDUCT AN ORCHESTRA

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

CHOCOLATE CROISSANT CONTROVERSY

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

TIME LAPSE OF LEAVES CHANGING COLOR

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is more information at Mental Floss.

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

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

* * *

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

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