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” in the upper left corner of any Time Goes By page to send them. I’m sorry that I probably 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 if you have one.
OLDEST TV PERSONALITIES
An era ends tomorrow evening, Sunday, when Andy Rooney delivers his final curmudgeonly video essay on the CBS News program, 60 Minutes. He is heading off into retirement at age 92.
He is one of the oldest personalities still active on American television. Others include Betty White, Larry King, Cloris Leachman and several more you can read about in this story. (Hat tip to Jan Adams)
NUMBER OF CENTENARIANS COMES UP SHORT
Back in 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that by 2010, there would be about 114,000 people older than 100. Well, oops. The actual number is less than half that: 53,364 the census bureau recently announced.
”…some demographers and researchers say the century mark may just be tougher for humans to reach than previously imagined.
“’The likelihood that we will continue to increase the proportion of centenarians is not great, not at all,’ Leonard Hayflick, a professor of anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco, said in an interview. ‘It’s probably contrary to most people’s thinking because of the hype that has grown up around this field in the last 20 years.’
“Hayflick, 83, challenged the notion in 1961, when he discovered what is now known as The Hayflick Limit — that cells age as they divide only a fixed number of times.”
You can read more about the failed prediction here.
A lot of information about centenarians this week. Lilalia of Yum Yum Cafe sent along a link to a series of photographs of people who are at least 100 years old. This is Hildegard Grimmert born in 1910.
The photographer is Karsen Thomaehlen whose goal in his series is to show how beautiful age can be. There are more gorgeous photos of centenarians here.
JON STEWART’S COMIC INFANCY
Okay, not quite infancy, but this clip reel from 17 years ago shows a much younger, much sillier Jon Stewart and it’s great fun to see him in training for the grownup political satire show he now presides over at Comedy Central.
SAUL FRIEDMAN IN AGE IN ACTION
The Virginia Center on Aging at Virginia Commonwealth University publishes a quarterly magazine, Age in Action. For the past year, they have published some of Saul Friedman’s columns that originally ran on this blog before his death last December.
“Small Miracles” from Saul can be found in the the latest edition of Age in Action on page 14 [pdf].
WHO KNEW A CAT COULD DO THIS
Cats are amazing, but this? Take a look:
THE PETS WE LOVE – SO MUCH
Before there was Ollie the cat who has been my roommate for about seven years, there was Beau Bennett who was my best friend for almost 20 years. This is him when he was about a year old in 1978:
Fifteen years ago, he died in my arms on 29 September and last Thursday, as on that date every year since 1996, I lit a candle in his memory. Taking nothing away from Ollie, I will never forget Beau.
On that anniversary day last week, I ran across a story from a book, Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die by Jon Katz about the last perfect day of an ailing border collie named Duke.
When the vet told the dog’s owner, Harry, an Iraq veteran, that it would not be long before Duke died, Harry promised his friend a perfect day.
”He would take the day off from work and create a sweet memory with his dog. It would be a special day, filled with all the things Duke loved most, as close to perfect as Harry could make it…
“Eventually, they came to a stone abutment with a beautiful view. Harry walked over to the edge and sat down. Duke clambered out and curled up beside him. It was a gorgeous afternoon, and the wind ruffled the dog’s hair. Duke held his nose up to the wind, picking up the scents of the earth…
“They sat together for nearly an hour, enjoying a bond of complete understanding and affection. If only the world could stay like this, Harry thought, this simple, this good.”
Go read the whole thing. You will be happy you did.