473 posts categorized "Interesting Stuff"

INTERESTING STUFF – 21 February 2020

THE ANTI SMARTPHONE

Justine Haupt, an engineer at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, called it a "quick and dirty project" - a rotary cell phone. Here's her photo of it:

Digitalrotaryphone

It doesn't do much except make telephone calls. As Digital Trends explains:

"Some of the physical buttons on the device, for example, can be set up to link to frequently called numbers, eliminating the need for a touchscreen and menu. Just to be clear, the dialer does work, and can be used for other numbers that you don’t save."

There has been enough interest in the rotary cell phone that Haupt has decided to make it available for sale at $240. But there's a catch – at least for me: it comes as a kit you have to put it together and even supply some of the parts:

Rotary-cell-phone-kit-768x768

You can read more here and here. Justine Haupt's website is here and the purchase page is here.

TEEN TRYING TO LEARN A ROTARY PHONE

As long as we're discussing old-fashioned telephones, let's revisit a golden oldie video of two teens trying to figure out how to operate a rotary phone.

(I've never decided if I think this video is a prank – the kids just pretending – or if they really can't figure it out.)

Can you think of other things that are common to our generation that would puzzle young people?

PAPER MAPS ARE POPULAR

Google Maps, USA Today tells us, is now 15 years old. Continuing on a theme here, they also tell us that not everyone has given up paper street maps in favor electronic ones with GPS directions.

State-Side-CA-Road-Map

“'Do they still make, even sell, paper maps?' That question from retired New York marketing executive Michael Lissauer is emblematic of our daily reliance on digital navigation. 'Other than in a history class, Europe before World War II, who needs a paper map?'

“It may surprise Lissauer and others that the answer to the question is yes. They're actually on the rise. U.S. sales of print maps and road atlases had have had a five-year compound annual growth rate of 10%, according to the NPD BookScan. For context, in 2019, the travel maps and atlases category sold 666,000 units, with year-over-year sales up 7%.”

Plus, maps are fun to read. More about this trend at USA Today.

PINK THE BORDER COLLIE COLLECTS THIRD WIN IN A ROW

Pink is amazing. For the third year in a row at the Westminster Dog Show this month in New York, the border collie won her class in the agility competition. In under 30 seconds. Wait till you see this – what an athlete:

NEW TAX FORM JUST FOR OLD PEOPLE

It's called 1040-SR and it is only for people age 65 or older.

1040SRForm

Here is some of what Richard Eisenberg at Next Avenue says about it:

This new 24-line, two-page form was devised by Congress in 2018, with a push from AARP and others, to make tax filing a little easier for older Americans. Those taxpayers couldn’t use the previous simplified 1040-EZ because it lacked lines for Social Security benefits or Individual Retirement Account distributions...

“You can fill out the 1040-SR regardless of your filing status or whether you itemize or claim the standard deduction, as long as you were 65 or older in 2019 — or if you were married filing jointly, at least one of you was.

“If you will itemize and file the 1040-SR, you’ll need to fill out Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.

“Interestingly, the 1040-SR is tied to your age, not whether you’re retired...If you’re over sixty-five and still working, you can use it. And if you’re retired and under sixty-five, you can’t.

Of COURSE it's more complicated than the snippet I've quoted (after all, it's from the IRS) but Next Avenue does a decent job of explaining.

WHAT HAPPENS TO UNCLAIMED AIRLINE BAGGAGE

Unclaimed baggage goes to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama. It is the only store in America that buys and resells unclaimed baggage from the airline industry.

Here are some of what happens behind the scenes and some of the strange items that get left behind.

HOW THE AMISH USE TECHNOLOGY

The Washington Post last week published a too-short, interesting story about how the Amish use technology. That they do so at all was a surprise to me (but what do I know).

”When a church member asks to use a new technology, the families discuss the idea and vote to accept or reject. The conversation centers on how a device will strengthen or weaken relationships within the community and within families....

“Friends of mine belonged to an Amish church in Michigan. One of the church members wanted to purchase a hay baler that promised to be more efficient, even as it enabled him to work alone.

“The members discussed the proposal — yes, the new machine might increase productivity, but how would community connections be affected if he began haying without the help of others, and what would happen if his neighbors adopted the same technology?

“The risk to social cohesion, they decided, wasn’t worth the potential gains.”

More at the Washington Post.

OUR STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL PALE BLUE DOT

This short video was published to YouTube on Valentine's Day by National Geographic in celebration of the 30 years since that gorgeous photograph was made.

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

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


INTERESTING STUFF – 15 February 2020

TIME GOES BY DONATION WEEK REMINDER
Yes, we are almost finished – this is day six of the TGB annual donation drive to help support the costs of maintaining Time Goes By. You can read the details on last Monday's post.

Whether you donate or not, nothing changes here. TGB will always remain advertising-free with never a membership fee or paid firewall. If you would like to help support the work that goes on here, click the button below. If not, which is perfectly fine, scroll down for today's Interesting Stuff.

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BUZZ AND THE DANDELIONS

Let's start the list today with a great good laugh. Who can resist a laughing baby.

WAIT TILL YOU SEE THESE BABIES

Meerkats this time, born at the Miami zoo.

Meerkat1

The Bored Panda website tells us:

”Squirrel-sized meerkats are mongooses, widely known for their upright posture. They often stand on their rear legs, scanning the areas over the southern African plains where they live.

Meerkat2

Meerkat3

Many more of the meerkat family at Bored Panda.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX OSCAR ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

There was a time when almost every year at the Oscar ceremonies, several Hollyiwood stars would speak up for political or humanitarian causes in their acceptance speeches.

That doesn't happen much anymore but last Sunday actor Joaquin Phoenix spoke and it is worth a listen.

HEAR CHAUCER IN THE ORIGINAL 14TH CENTURY ENGLISH

As Mental Floss explains, a team of researchers has created an app that reads Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th century masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales in the Middle English in which it was written.

”The app includes a 45-minute narration of the 'General Prologue,' and the researchers have plans for at least two more apps, which will focus on The Miller’s Tale and other stories.

“If you’re not exactly well-versed in Middle English, don’t worry—the app also contains a line-by-line modern translation of the text, so you can follow along as you listen.”

What surprised me is that I can (and you will, too) understand parts of what is being read – parts where the English hasn't changed much.

One of the contributors to the project was Monty Python member Terry Jones who was – surprise to me – a medievalist.

"[His] two books on Chaucer and translation of the 'General Prologue' are featured in the app’s introduction and notes. Jones passed away on January 21, 2020, and this was one of the last academic projects he worked on.”

There is more information at Mental Floss. You can download the app at Google Play and iTunes. Or you can just go listen to it at the online desktop app like I did.

TYPEWRITER ART

The artist, James Cook, tells us on the YouTube page that these are various scenes around the Essex countryside in December 2019.

”The three 'typicitions' were partly-drawn from observation. I spent no more than 3 hours at each location and completed these drawings indoors (where it was nice and warm.) These drawings were typed on my 71" Adler Tippa and 56" Oliver Courier typewriter.

LO-O-O-O-O-O-NG CATS

I once had a really long cat but I think most of these are longer. Take a look:

Longcat1

Longcat2

LongCat3

More at Bored Panda.

”THE DAY DEMOCRACY DIED” SUNG BY THE FOUNDING FATHERS

So many of you sent this video that I almost stopped opening my email program this week. Featured in order of appearance are: George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay – to the tune of American Pie.

HAIR LOVE

This short animated film from Matthew A. Cherry, tells the story of an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time.

The film won the Best Animated Short at the Oscars this year. Thank my friend Jim Stone for sending it to us.

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

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


INTERESTING STUFF – 8 February 2020

IAN McLELLAN IMPRESSION OF MAGGIE SMITH

This is Oscars weekend and I managed to dig up this marvelously funny Oscar-related clip from The Graham Norton Show in 2017.

Patrick Stewart (check out his socks) and Ian McLellan are the guests. McLellan, who played Gandolf in the Lord of the Rings films, does a pitch-perfect impression of Maggie Smith (Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies) when he ran into her at an Oscar ceremony.

This year's Oscar show will air on ABC-TV on Sunday at 8PM eastern U.S. time.

WHAT THE PRESIDENT TWEETED AFTER THE ACQUITTAL VOTE IN THE SENATE

Terrifying that a president does this:

MANUFACTURING HUGE PAPER LANTERNS IN CHINA

Due to the virus outbreak, China canceled a lot of lunar New Year celebrations. Here's a story about the traditional lanterns – huge ones – made in a small Chinese Village.

WHAT IF BEING AN OLDER CUSTOMER...

...were as hard as finding a job after age 40?

More at AARP.

DOOMSDAY CLOCK MOVES CLOSER TO MIDNIGHT

Actually, not just closer, but closer than it has ever been – moved up 20 seconds to 100 seconds to midnight from two minutes to midnight.

"The decision was made by the group’s science and security board, in consultations with its board of sponsors, which includes 13 Nobel laureates...

"In a statement accompanying the clock’s advance, the organization said the nuclear and climate dangers 'are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare that undercuts society’s ability to respond.'

"'The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode,' it said."

There is more to read at AP.

FRESH GUACAMOLE

This short film was a 2013 Oscar nominee and has been viewed on YouTube more than 180,000,000 times. It's the shortest film ever nominated. Produced by PES.

(There are two other short films in the same vein – sequels - linked at the end of the video. They are clever too but this one, the original, is the best.)

REAL ID

Beginning 1 October, 2020, if you plan to use your state-issued ID or license to fly within the United States, make sure it is REAL ID compliant. If you are not sure if your ID complies with REAL ID, check with your state department of motor vehicles.

Here is a video about it.

There is more information at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) webpage and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website.

SLANG FROM THE AMERICAN COLONIAL PERIOD

That period in U.S. history ran from 1607 when America was just a group of British colonies to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The settlers brought the English language with them and Mental Floss provides us with 15 slang terms from that period.

Here are three to get you started.

KEDGE
When someone asked how you were doing, you might have replied, “I’m pretty kedge.” It’s a bizarre but wonderful term that essentially means being in good health.

CIRCUMBENDIBUS
From 1681 something unnecessarily roundabout - like someone telling a rambling story or taking a weird road when driving somewhere,

TWISTICAL
Unfair or immoral – primarily used in New England.

There are 12 more at Mental Floss.

KITTENS IN THE BOOK SHOP

Kittens! And lots of them! Playing around and napping among the books. And probably reading Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat when no one’s looking.

The best part is, you can adopt any of the cats in the bookstore and give them the forever home they deserve. Cats, coffee, and books. Does it get any better than that?

The kitties are at Otis & Clementine’s Books and Coffee, Halifax, Nova Scotia and so far, there is a 100 percent adoption rate. Here are three of them. Well, three photos, but more cats than that.

OtisClementsBooksCat3

OtisClementsBooksCat1

OtisClementsBooksCat2

More kitty book shop photos at Bored Panda.

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

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


INTERESTING STUFF – 1 February 2020

TOMORROW IS GROUNDHOG DAY

Tomorrow in the U.S., Punxatawny Phil will emerge from his burrow and let us know if we will have another six weeks of winter. Why is it, do you think, that a groundhog knows all about winter's length? Here's a video:

ONLOOKERS FREE PEDESTRIAN FROM UNDER CAR

In downtown Manhattan last week, passersby freed a pedestrian trapped under an SUV. Another passerby caught it all on camera and posted the video to Twitter.

Hurray for the rescuers.

MTN DEW AS GOOD AS THE ORIGINAL

Yes, it is a commercial for Mtn Dew but it is a hoot to watch actor Bryan Cranston recreate the “Here's Johnny” scene from the film, The Shining.

EFFORTLESS COMPETENCE

Yes, another commercial but wait until you see this. It's for Brylcreem and it's old – released in 2009. What's amazing is that it was shot in one take, no edits and I cannot image what went in to getting it done.

Somewhere I read that it took 605 takes. I don't know if any human could stand to do that whole thing more than 600 times but whatever time it took, I sure enjoyed watching it.

50 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BUBBLE WRAP

Here is a sampling of three:

In December 2015, security officials were called to the Kirtland Air Force base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after reports of gunshots were heard. High-powered weapons and Humvees were assembled before officials determined that the “threat” had been someone on base popping Bubble Wrap.

Popping Bubble Wrap ranks among life’s greatest small pleasures...In 1992, psychology professor Kathleen Dillon conducted a study in which she found that subjects were more relaxed and less tired after a popping session. One possible reason: Humans are soothed by tactile sensations of touch, which is why some cultures favor smooth stones or "worry beads" to manipulate for comfort.

In 2004, the Museum of Modern Art accepted a donation from Sealed Air of a nearly 12-inch by 12-inch square of Bubble Wrap into their Architecture and Design collection. It went on display as part of their Humble Masterpieces collection, which also featured chopsticks and the Band-Aid.

You can read the other 47 things to know about Bubble Wrap at Mental Floss.

AMERIQUEST “DON'T JUDGE TOO QUICKLY” COMMERCIALS

This is another commercial – well, a whole bunch of them, a compilation that is laugh-out-loud- or cringe-worthy.

MONGOOSE VERSUS FOUR LIONS

Everybody loves an underdog. Take a look at this little guy.

PSILOCYBEN AND CANCER

A new study published this week found that five years after taking psilocyben, 80 percent of cancer patients were still experiencing improvement from cancer-related depression and anxiety. Here a video about one study participant:

You can read more at NBC News.

PANDAS PLAYING ON A SLIDE

I'm pretty sure I've posted this video before but it's still cute and fun.

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

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


INTERESTING STUFF – 25 January 2020

BEING 97

In a film by his grandson, 97-year-old philosopher, Herbert Fingarette, faces in own death and realizes he has changed his mind since he wrote his book about about death published in 1996.

In that book, he argued that fearing ones own death is irrational:

”When you die, he wrote, 'there is nothing.' Why should we fear the absence of being when we won’t be there ourselves to suffer it?”

At 18 minutes, the video is longer that I usually like to publish at Interesting Stuff but I think this is worth it. You can also read a bit more about it at The Atlantic.

THE WORLD'S LARGEST CRUISE SHIP COOKS 30,000 MEALS PER DAY

I've never once been tempted to take a cruise but I liked this short video about what it takes to serve so many meals. In it, the narrator reports that guests eat EIGHT times a day, and never explains it.

Oh well. The rest of the information is astounding.

THE SHAKESPEARIAN INSULT KIT

You dankish, boil-brained canker blossom. How's that for putting some jerk in his/her place? It's way better than the F-word too many of us fall back on.

Now, thanks to TGB reader, Joan McMullen, we have the Shakespearean Insult Kit in which you choose a phrase from each of three columns and let fly.

Give it a whirl – it's a load of fun even if, like me, you don't know what a lot of the words mean.

ShakespeareanInsultChart

THE UNUSUAL ITALIAN VILLAGE IN WALES

As the Youtube pages tells us:

”Tucked away on the coast of northern Wales is the village of Portmeirion, a truly unique town built with a colorful, whimsical design and an eye for conservation.

“Built between 1925 and 1975 by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion became a home for lost building parts, such as taking the stones of a demolished castle to make a town clock tower.

“But the most striking part of the town is the integration of nature with the town's colorful architecture, modifying nearly every single building to work with the nearby terrain.”

A BOATLOAD OF SNOW IN CANADA

In Canada last weekend, they got a megamonster snowstorm. Bored Panda posted a big bunch of photographs of the snow like you've probably never seen before. Fortunately, these Canadians have sense of humor.

CanadianSnowMeasureingSnow

CanadianSnowDinosaur

CanadaSnowHousescovered

A whole lot more photos at Bored Panda.

HOW MUCH WARMER WAS YOUR CITY LAST YEAR?

The New York Times tells us:

”Scientists announced that 2019 was the second-warmest year on record. In a database of more than 3,500 cities compiled by AccuWeather, about 83 percent saw average temperatures higher than normal last year.

New York City was .07 degrees F warmer than 2018. Washington, D.C.: 2.4 degrees F above 2018. Seattle, Washingnton: 1.1 degree F above 2018.

Check your American city at The New York Times.

CAT FIGHTS OFF THREE COYOTES

Max is one badass cat. Take a look at his owner's security cam footage:

WE SOLVED PARALLEL PARKING 93 YEARS AGO

...and then, apparently, forgot about it. Take a look at how it was done with this car in Paris in 1927.

PATROL DOGS OF JACKSON HOLE

The Youtube page tells us

”The Jackson Hole Patrol Dogs are the hardest working canines in the valley. Day in and day out they work alongside ski patrol practicing search and rescue techniques.

“More than just members of the patrol, these dogs are family members of the patrolers who take care of them.”

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

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


INTERESTING STUFF – 18 January 2020

SOME SOLEMNITY IS IN ORDER

Let's take a moment to acknowledge that we in the United States took on a historic and solemn civic event this week, the impeachment trial of President Donald John Trump.

On Thursday, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, swore in all the Senate members with a special oath just for impeachment trials. Here is the moment:

“...you will do impartial justice” is the key phrase the senators swore to. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated publicly for many weeks that he will not be impartial, that he is coordinating the president's defense with the White House.

Did you know there is no penalty for not doing impartial justice? I didn't until now. So the point of taking an oath is...?

TWINS BORN IN DIFFERENT DECADES

Well, isn't this fun. The Indy Channel, in Indiana, tells us

”Joslyn Grace Guilen Tello was born at 11:37 p.m. on December 31, 2019 at Ascension St. Vincent Carmel and her twin brother, Jaxon DeWayne Mills Tello, was born at 12:07 a.m. on January 1, 2020.”

Let's go to the video tape:

And for the rest of their lives, the twins will be explaining their separate birthdays.

SAVING HELLBENDERS

I'll bet you never heard of this endangered animal before. It has a few more scary or icky names, devil dog, snot otter and lasagna lizard. The YouTube page tells us it

”...is one of the largest salamanders on Earth, growing to nearly 2 feet in length. Sadly, humans have been tampering with their natural habitat, and hellbenders are disappearing from streams in the Cherokee National Forest. Nolan, along with a team of researchers at Tennessee State University, are working on relocating the hellbenders to new streams.

If they weren't so slimy, they'd be cute little buggers.

A TINY WELSH TOWN WITH LOTS OF BOOKSHOPS

The YouTube page tells us that

”Hay-on-Wye was once declared an independent kingdom of books by the man who appointed himself its king. The United Kingdom's mecca for bibliophiles is less than one square mile in size, but it’s packed with independent booksellers curating all kinds of used and antique reading material.

“Today, the area doesn't just provide a safe haven for books—the books actually help to preserve their home.”

THE 10 MOST CHECKED-OUT BOOKS FROM THE NYC PUBLIC LIBRARY

While we are talking about books, here's an interesting item. The New York Public Library, the largest library system in the United States, just issued its list of the most checked-out books during its 125 years of existence. Here are the top three:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (485,583 checkouts)
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss (469,650)
1984 by George Orwell (441,770)

It would be interesting to know how many of those 441,770 checkouts for 1984 have happened since The Trump administration began.

See the rest of the list along with commentary and some other information at The New York Times or the Washington Post.

WORLD'S BIGGEST SUSHI

And the smallest too. Take a look at this video about Hiromu Inagaki, who serves super-sized sushi at the Umewaka Restaurant in Anjo City, Japan.

CAT REVENGE

Anyone who hangs out with cats knows something about this kind of behavior. As a member of the cat's staff labeled the photo, “Locked My Cat In The Bathroom While I Made A Meal Because He Was Being - - - Annoying. Revenge Was Had.”

Cat Revenge

There are 49 more petty revenge examples at Bored Panda – not all it is about cats.

IF SINGULAR THEY BECOMES STANDARD...

After the lively discussion pro and con on Monday's post about the new-ish use of the pronoun “they” and its derivatives in the singular, I couldn't resist this.

Because I run this joint on the web and can do what I want with it, here is a marvelously funny comment from TGB reader George Gates that beautifully illustrates how confusing, obfuscating and messy this new usage can (and undoubtedly will) be.

”My university professional son recently asked me, as they periodically does, to edit their updated resume and cover letter. They were replete with them's, their's and they's in reference to singular antecedents.

“When I corrected them for them, they objected and politely educated their dad that they was out of step with their emerging norms in their university environment there. They was adamant about them.

“Not wishing to seem obtuse, I acceded to them and left them there as they had been written by them. They was happier that their language-stickler dad had seen the error of their outdated ways, and appreciated them for their openmindedness, thanking them then and there.

“They were relieved by their son's understanding and patience with their ignorance. Also flabbergasted, gobsmacked and discombobulated (all sadly underused words!) by the entire experience.”

PEOPLE VERSUS WINTER

During four winters in Maine, I personally experienced several of these person-versus-winter mishaps. You may have done so too.

In the six years since it was posted to YouTube, the video has racked up more than 11 million views.

A PENGUIN'S LEAP OF FAITH

She (he?) is brave, resourceful and cute.

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

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


INTERESTING STUFF – 11 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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.