Aretha Franklin, the ‘Queen of Soul,’ Dies at 76 – The New York Times

Many of us grew up listening to her sing. This article links to a playlist of 20 essential Aretha Franklin songs.

Last Week’s Links

Off Your Mental Game? You Could Be Mildly Dehydrated

How severe does dehydration have to be to affect us?

A growing body of evidence finds that being just a little dehydrated is tied to a range of subtle effects — from mood changes to muddled thinking.

Moreover:

As we age, we’re not as good at recognizing thirst. And there’s evidence that older adults are prone to the same dips in mental sharpness as anyone else when mildly dehydrated.

So how much water do we need every day?

A panel of scholars convened several years ago by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concluded that women should consume, on average, about 91 ounces of total water per day. For men, the suggested level is even higher (125 ounces).

The phrase total water means that water from all sources counts: fruits, vegetables soup, smoothies, and, yes, even your morning cups of coffee or tea.

And remember that by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already beyond the point of mild dehydration. According to the article, an hour of hiking in the heat or a 30-minute run might be enough to cause mild dehydration.

Hands off my data! 15 default privacy settings you should change right now

If you’re concerned about all your personal data that’s being collected, here’s some advice on how to minimize exposure on Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple.

Existing drug may prevent Alzheimer’s

Emerging evidence suggests that a “potent” drug could prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease — but only if a person takes the medication long before symptoms of this condition make an appearance.

Any advance against Alzheimer’s disease is welcome news, even though this one seems to offer a mixed message. The professor who oversaw the study thinks that it may never be possible to cure the disease once patients become symptomatic. However, he hopes identification of patients at risk and treatment before onset might “prevent it from starting in the first place.”

‘Too Little Too Late’: Bankruptcy Booms Among Older Americans

The New York Times reports on findings of a recent study from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project.

Tyrian Purple: The disgusting origins of the colour purple

Even after reading this, purple is still my favorite color.

Purple is a paradox, a contradiction of a colour. Associated since antiquity with regality, luxuriance, and the loftiness of intellectual and spiritual ideals, purple was, for many millennia, chiefly distilled from a dehydrated mucous gland of molluscs that lies just behind the rectum: the bottom of the bottom-feeders. That insalubrious process, undertaken since at least the 16th Century BC (and perhaps first in Phoenicia, a name that means, literally, ‘purple land’), was notoriously malodorous and required an impervious sniffer and a strong stomach. Though purple may have symbolised a higher order, it reeked of a lower ordure.

© 2018 by Mary Daniels Brown

Cindy Joseph, a Model Who Embraced Her Age, Is Dead at 67 – The New York Times

I am so surprised and sorry to see this.

Last Week’s Links

Medicare Allows More Benefits for Chronically Ill, Aiming to Improve Care for Millions

We can all use some good news in this realm.

BAN PLASTIC SURGERY AND GROW OLD GRACEFULLY

Getting cosmetic surgery to look younger says that “looks matter most.” So let’s flip the script. Let’s embrace our wrinkles, like we embrace life stories, and all look older together.

Loneliness Can Be Deadly for Elders; Friends Are the Antidote

Years’ and years’ worth of data have consistently demonstrated a direct correlation between social isolation and a decrease in both physical and mental health, especially in older adults.

With strong evidence that friendship does, indeed, help save lives and promote health, social workers and researchers wish we could pay more attention to its central role. Activity directors, senior center staff members and family caregivers: Are there better ways to help elders stay in touch with the friends they care about, or meet new ones? We’re all willing to drive relatives to doctors’ appointments; driving them to spend time with friends may matter as much.

The Civility Debate Has Reached Peak Stupidity

The depth to which the level of political and social discourse has sunk in the U.S. has prompted both sides to call for a return to civility. Here’s one writer’s opinion on the topic.

Five Features of Better Arguments

Here are some suggestions on how to deal with the problem of civility in public discourse.

A former Clinton administration official studied how to facilitate more constructive arguments among Americans. These are his conclusions.

The Neuroscience of Pain

For scientists, pain has long presented an intractable problem: it is a physiological process, just like breathing or digestion, and yet it is inherently, stubbornly subjective—only you feel your pain. It is also a notoriously hard experience to convey accurately to others.

A report on scientists’ efforts to find “ways to capture the experience [of pain] in quantifiable, objective data.”

© 2018 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Natalie for hosting Three Things Thursday, “three things big or small, that have made you happy this week.”

Three Things Thursday

Number One

Our friends Dolores and Joe celebrated their 65th anniversary last week:

65 years! Isn’t that remarkable? My husband and I celebrated #46 a couple of months ago, which I think is a pretty big accomplishment. But we’re amateurs next to Dolores and Joe, who have now become our role models.

Number Two

We found another Little Free Library while out and about here in Tacoma, WA:

Little Free Library

This is the second one we’ve found here in our own home town. The very first Little Free Library I ever saw in the wild was in the nearby town of Puyallup, where our daughter lives.

Number Three

For one glorious day the Seattle Mariners held the second American League wild card playoff spot. Since then they’ve lost more games than they’ve won, and making it into the post season seems increasingly more elusive.

The Mariners Tripe A minor league team, the Rainiers, play here in Tacoma. While they don’t always win, either, at least their losses don’t seem as devastating as the Big League team’s do. Attending a Rainiers game is a lot of fun, and we’ve attended four this month. Here’s a shot of Taylor Motter, who spent some time earlier in the season playing in Seattle:

Motter at bat

We’ll probably see Motter playing in Seattle again when the Big League roster expands on September 1.

I hope everyone has a good week!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday: I Read!

Thanks to Natalie for hosting Three Things Thursday, “three things big or small, that have made you happy this week.”

Three Things Thursday

I didn’t plan things this way, but when I looked at the photos on my phone I found that the last three I took involve reading. So here we go!

One

An online book group that I participate in recently shared photos of their TBR (to be read) shelves. Here’s my photo, although I have other books scattered across multiple other shelves:

tbr shelves

Two

My newest purple T-shirt arrived recently:

i read shirt

Three

I don’t get sick very often, so when I do I tend to wallow in my misery. Yesterday I started getting a nasty cold, so I decided to be totally self-indulgent and allow myself to curl up under a light blanket with a good book. After a couple of people commented on my TBR shelf photo (above), I chose this one to curl up with:

dark matter

I hope everyone has a good week. I look forward to reading your Three Things Thursday posts.

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

Women’s March on Washington: Washington State, Olympia
January 21, 2017

My daughter and I went down to the state capital to march last Saturday. We didn’t take any signs of our own, but I’m always envious of other peoples’ creativity.

Here are three that amused me.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

 

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown