News, Culture, Sights and Sounds

Steve Mencher writes about culture, politics, the news and other subjects for AARP. He's also a jazz musician with the Willis Gidney Quintet. He has worked for Carnegie Hall, NPR and the Library of Congress as an audio, video and multimedia producer.

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Yes, men are idiots. (Learn more at AARP) 2. Drinking alcohol to fall asleep can have the opposite effect. (Learn more at University of Missouri via Futurity) 3. The myth that eating carrots improves your eyesight stems from a World War II espionage ruse. (Learn more at Washington Post) Enter for a chance to win up to $10,000 to help make your dreams a reality! See official rules 4. If you feel younger, you’ll live …

This Week in Boomer History: Tiny Tim … Impeachment

Noteworthy events from our shared experience The U.S. House of Representatives impeaches President Bill Clinton on Dec. 19, 1998. The articles of impeachment accuse Clinton of lying to a grand jury about his relationships with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky and hiding evidence in the Jones case. On Feb. 12, 1999, the Senate acquits Clinton of both charges. The American Psychiatric Association board of directors votes 13-0 on Dec. 15, 1973, to remove homosexuality from its official catalog of psychiatric disorders. The APA membership backs the decision four months later. >> Get …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun. 1. The 24th 007 movie will feature the first 50-year-old “Bond Girl.” (Learn more at AARP) 2. President Obama has acid reflux. (Learn more at AARP) 3. Your flu shot might not protect you from half the varieties of this season’s bugs. (Learn more at AARP) 4. When the president of Ukraine seeks advice, he sometimes turns to a doll. (Learn more at Buzzfeed) How Far Could You Travel With $10,000? Enter Our Winter Escapes …

This Week in Boomer History: Otis Redding … John Lennon

Noteworthy events from our shared experience Otis Redding dies at age 26 when his private plane crashes near Madison, Wis., on Dec. 10, 1967. His song “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” recorded three days earlier, becomes the first song released posthumously to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Candy tycoon Robert Welch Jr. founds the anticommunist John Birch Society on Dec. 9, 1958. Named after an intelligence officer (and Baptist missionary) killed in China at the close of World War …

Give Yourself the Gift of Time: Unsubscribe

Do you return to work from holidays and vacations to find dozens or hundreds of emails? I do, but I’m doing something about it: I’m unsubscribing from any email I don’t actually want or need. I figure once I’m done, I’ll have about 10 minutes a day back — about an hour a week for self-improvement or daydreaming. A few years ago, I was ready to give up on email altogether. Spammers made it nearly impossible to find the messages that …

‘Serial’: Still Time to Catch Up on This Audio Whodunit

Baltimore. 1999. A girl is murdered and her body buried in a shallow grave in a city park. Her former boyfriend is convicted of the crime based on the testimony of his classmate and friend. A reporter, plagued by questions, revisits the case. There are two things you should know about the story: 1. It really happened. 2. Serial, a weekly podcast – or audio series – based on the story might well mark a breakthrough for the 10-year-old medium that you listen …