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. 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 …

This Week in Boomer History: Attica … Oprah … ‘Imagine’

Notable events from our shared experience Pete Rose breaks Ty Cobb’s record for most career hits with his 4,192nd on Sept. 11, 1985. In 1989, Rose, then manager of the Cincinnati Reds, is banned for life from baseball for betting on games — specifically his own team’s. Photographed by Andy Warhol for the cover, John Lennon releases his second solo album, Imagine, on Sept. 9. 1971. Former bandmate George Harrison plays guitar on four tracks. The cut “How Do You Sleep?” is seen …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. People can be trained to like healthy food instead of french fries. (Learn more at CTV News) 2. Watching Hollywood action flicks on TV may be bad for your waistline. (Learn more at JAMA Internal Medicine) 3. Asian camel crickets — which will eat anything, including each other — have spread into homes across the eastern United States. (Learn more at North Carolina State University) 4. Thought to be a legacy of Chernobyl, radioactive …

This Week in Boomer History: Little Rock 9 … ‘Flying Nun’ … Princess Diana

Notable events from our shared experience Ordered by Gov. Orval Faubus to defy a federal court, armed troops of the Arkansas National Guard bar nine African American students from attending Central High School in Little Rock on Sept. 4, 1957. Three weeks later troops from the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division help escort the students into school. (Pictured at left, Melba Patillo Beals in 2007 at a ceremony dedicating a visitor center at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic …