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: Iran Hostages … Berlin Wall Falls

Notable events from our shared experience Democrat Bill Clinton is elected the 42nd president — and first boomer president — of the United States on Nov. 3, 1992. Republican George W. Bush becomes the second boomer president in an election held Nov. 7, 2000, and settled by the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 12. Young Islamic revolutionaries overrun the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979, and take 63 Americans hostage; soon, three others at the Iranian Foreign Ministry …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Making candy corn used to be back-breaking work. (Learn more at Slate) 2. Kanzi, a 33-year-old ape, can build a fire and roast marshmallows. (Learn more at GrindTV.com) >> Famous Child Stars — Where Are They Now? 3. Gladiators in the 2nd century consumed an “energy drink” of vinegar and ash. (Learn more at Discovery) 4. The coating on cash register receipts causes serious health problems. (Learn more at AARP)   5. Nearly 1 in …

This Week in Boomer History: Rumble in the Jungle … ‘Car Talk’

Notable events from our shared experience In a daring heist, thieves steal 24 valuable gems — including the golf ball-size sapphire Star of India — from the American Museum of Natural History in New York on Oct. 29, 1964. Authorities quickly arrest the burglars, including the colorful Jack “Murf the Surf” Murphy. Ultimately, 10 of the stones are recovered, and three, including the Star of India, are among AMNH’s most popular exhibits today. After 10 years on the air in …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Two armored fish had the first sex 385 million years ago. (Learn more at Discovery) 2. Zombie-proof cabins come with a 10-year guarantee. (Learn more at C|Net) 3. Even people from Pittsburgh agree their accent may be the “worst” in the nation. (Learn more at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) 4. Soda might age you as much as smoking. (Learn more at Time) How Far Could You Travel with $10,000? Enter our Winter Escapes Sweepstakes now! See official …

This Week in Boomer History: ‘My Fair Lady’ … Jackie O

Notable events from our shared experience During the “Saturday Night Massacre” of Oct. 20, 1973, U.S. Attorney General Elliott Richardson (left) refuses President Richard Nixon’s order to fire special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox and resigns in protest. Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus follows suit. Solicitor General Robert Bork, the third-ranking Justice Department official, carries out the order to remove Cox. Twenty-one resolutions calling for Nixon’s impeachment are introduced in Congress. >> Famous Latino Baby Boomers In the deadliest day for …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Top French chefs want to make it legal to eat a small protected songbird one week a year. (Learn more at New York Times) 2. Those bumps on your tongue aren’t taste buds. (Learn more at Huffington Post) 3. The least expensive home for sale in the nation’s most expensive ZIP code (Atherton, Calif., 94027) is a two-bedroom bungalow with a $1.499 million asking price. (Learn more from Yahoo! Finance) >> Health Threats: Not …