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.

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 …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. A cobra can bite and kill someone even 20 minutes after its head is severed. (Learn more at Daily Mirror) 2. Celebrity deaths do not generally come in threes. (Learn more at NY Times) 3. How rare is a blue lobster? One in 2 million. (Learn more at Associated Press) >> 12 Foods Sabotaging Your Sleeep 4. With the national unemployment rate at 6.2 percent in July, 20 U.S. cities are under 4 percent. …

Goodbye, Desktop. Hello, Apps

If you’re not reading this on your smartphone or tablet, you will be soon. We’re in the midst of a revolution in digital media, and a new report offers two striking findings: Most of us are using desktop computers less and mobile platforms more. And those who spend most of their “digital media time” using apps outnumber those who don’t. The report, by the Internet analytics company comScore, breaks down the use of mobile media and apps by age. No …