Friday’s Odds and Ends

Here we are at day 3 of the Arctic Blast that is affecting much of the United States. The way the media is going crazy with reports you would think we never had winter before. Granted, winter does not usually come this early. I can’t remember freezing temperatures before December here in Texas, but then my memory is not what it used to be.

I was worried about that – my memory not the snow – until my sister sent the following to me:

Brains of older people are slow because they know so much.  People do not decline mentally with age, it just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information stored in their brains, scientists believe. 

Researchers say this slowing down is not the same as cognitive decline.  The human brain works slower in old age, said Dr.Michael Ramscar, but only because we have stored more information over time.
The brains of older people do not get weak. On the contrary, they simply know more, but just may not be able to access the information.

Also, older people often go to another room to get something and when they get there, they stand there wondering what they came for.  It is NOT a memory problem, it is nature’s way of making older people do more exercise.  SO THERE!!

Whew! I feel so much better now.

Did you know that Medicare fraud adds as much as 10% to health care costs? Peggy Sposato is a data analyst for the Justice Department, and she pioneered a program that uses Medicare billing data to target suspected fraud. It is estimated that she has saved the taxpayers billions of dollars since the mid 1990s when she assumed her current position. As much as $20 billion a year is lost to Medicare fraud, and AARP has some helpful links that you can use to help spot and report fraud.  

An interesting commentary by Ruben Navarrette carried this headline: Life isn’t far and never will be, so get over it.

Ruben went on to say that Americans need to stop listening to populist rhetoric and accept the many injustices of our system. He then quotes JFK, “There is always inequity in life…It’s very hard…to assure complete equality. Life is unfair.”

One point that Ruben made in his commentary is that sometimes dealing with the unfairness in life is what makes us stronger

He also seemed to be saying that instead of jumping on every claim of “unfairness” we should work on just accepting the reality and figuring out how to live within that reality.

One of the most absurd news items I read this past week was about Arnold Abbot, a 90-year-old man who was arrested in Fort Lauderdale for violating an ordinance that restricts public feeding of the homeless. 

Really? The police couldn’t just tell him to pack up the food and go away?

Now I’ll leave you with a bit of humor from One Big Happy by Rick Detorie. Ruthie is sitting at the table with her father, Frank, who is helping her with her math homework. He says, “You have 22 carrot sticks on you plate. If your friend Sam takes six sticks and your Friend Tessa takes four sticks… But Tessa returns two sticks… How many carrot sticks are on your plate?”

Ruthie thinks for a few moments and her father asks, “Shouldn’t you be writing down some numbers, Ruthie?”

“First of all… I don’t know who these people are. Secondly, if I did know them, I would never eat with them. Thirdly, it’s a stupid question. Who wants to steal carrots?

“Now, if they were French fries? Maybe.”

Brother Joe pipes up with, “She makes a good point, Dad.”

I knew there was a reason I relate so much to Ruthie. I hated those word problems in school, too. What about you?

Have a great weekend everyone.

4 thoughts on “Friday’s Odds and Ends”

  1. I can’t help myself: 14. I love those problems.

    When the kids were studying for the SATs, I’d stay up late doing ALL the problems – for fun!

    Math problems have answers. Life’s don’t. You get to appreciate answers at my age.

    And Medicare fraud makes me furious – I can’t get things I need because older people are being defrauded by their ‘doctors.’ It has always seemed short-sighted to not have more fraud inspectors for Medicare AND the IRS – they bring in far more than their salaries (I read somewhere – I forget where 🙂 ) in recovered monies.

    People are afraid of the IRS. They shouldn’t be – only the thieves and scammers should be afraid of the IRS.

    You hit a hot topic, I’m afraid: and fraud in general probably costs me 10% of every purchase – there’s THAT much credit card fraud.

  2. Good points, Alicia. The article in AARP magazine did have some stats on what has been saved by Peggy, and I know there are other stats for the IRS somewhere.

    This type of fraud, along with all the lawsuits and huge settlements, has driven health care costs into the stratosphere.

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