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: 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 …

This Week in Boomer History: ‘I Love Lucy’ … Cuban Missiles

Notable events from our shared experience The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is named the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize on Oct. 14, 1964. In his acceptance speech, he says: “I accept this award in the spirit of a curator of some precious heirloom which he holds in trust for its true owners — all those to whom beauty is truth and truth beauty — and in whose eyes the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. A pair of Willie Nelson’s braids is worth $37,000. (Learn more at NY Times) 2. A thin, million-mile-long cloud of solar material is suspended above the sun. (Learn more at NASA) 3. Some of London’s iconic red phone booths are becoming solar-powered charging stations for mobile devices. (Learn more at Gizmodo) >> 10 Best U.S. Train Trips to Take This Fall 4. Paul Revere, the rock star from the 1960s and ’70s who dressed in …