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.

This Week in Boomer History: ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ … Warren Report

Notable events from our shared experience With a hand from James Bond creator Ian Fleming, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. premieres Sept. 22, 1964. Robert Vaughn stars as secret agent Napoleon Solo; David McCallum is Russian spy Illya Kuryakin. More TV premieres this week: The Munsters and Daniel Boone (1964), and Friends (1994). William Rehnquist is sworn in as chief justice of the United States on Sept. 26, 1986. He will preside over the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton in 1999 …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. The world’s first 3-D printed car took about 44 hours to assemble. (Learn more at Mashable) 2. Ditching your cellphone? It’s best to scramble all the data (including nude selfies) before erasing it. (Learn more at AARP) 3. Delta has installed smaller toilets on some of its flights to squeeze in more seats. (Learn more at AARP) >> 19 New Fall TV Shows for Grownups 4. A funeral home in Michigan offers a drive-thru …

This Week in Boomer History: ‘Goldfinger’ … Camp David

Noteworthy events from our shared experience Comedian Bill Cosby launches The Cosby Show on NBC Sept. 20, 1984. “Behind the scenes,” writes commentator Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Cosby hired the Harvard psychiatrist Alvin Poussaint to make sure that the show never trafficked in stereotypes and that it depicted blacks in a dignified light.” Other TV premieres this week: Peyton Place, Flipper,The Addams Family and Bewitched — all began in 1964. >> Do You Remember These Boomer TV Shows? In the tennis “Battle of …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. The 14th Dalai Lama thinks he should be the last. (Learn more at Agence France-Presse) 2. The Golden Gate Bridge isn’t just for humans. (Learn more at San Francisco Chronicle) Important situation with the deer: pic.twitter.com/BdFvTrr8RC — Alex Bowles (@alexqgb) September 6, 2014 3. Thought to be a casualty of climate change, the Aldabra banded snail has reappeared in the Indian Ocean.  (Learn more at Seychelles News Agency)  >> 9 Nasty Things to Throw Away Today …

Apple Enters the Health Gizmo Market With New Watch

Half of Apple’s announcement Sept. 9 was predictable: The iPhone 6 and 6 plus are bigger, faster, more powerful and slimmer than previous iPhones. Prices on older models have plunged and the new phones seem well priced. But for something really new, Apple’s big play was a watch that is supposed to make everyone — or at least everyone with $349 to spend — live a longer, healthier life.  >> Faded Fitness Fads That Boomers Loved and Left There are fitness and …

Why You’re Probably Watching More Cat Videos, Less TV

Watching more videos on YouTube and Facebook and a bit less television? If so, you’re not alone. In a report released Sept. 8, the Nielsen ratings folks report that people ages 50 to 64 have increased their viewing of digital video by more than 60 percent, while their time watching plain old television has dropped by 2 percent. >> 19 Great Fall TV Shows to Check Out None of this is earth-shattering, especially in view of the raw numbers. The increase in video viewing …