Roberta McReynolds writes: The Energy Index for our home was 834; we had used 39% less energy than similar homes, which our utility estimated saved us about $530 last year. This has made me even more conscious of turning off those light switches and making a glass of ice tea instead of turning on the air-conditioner this summer. The next time we meet, if you notice my blouse is a bit wrinkled, you’ll know it’s not because I’m lazy ... I’m just trying to get good grades on my next report card. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! more »
Julia Sneden writes: With older women and men all across the country doing water aerobics and swimming laps, wouldn’t you think the bathing suit manufacturers would twig to the idea that there’s a huge market out here? Not only do we seniors buy suits; we buy suits more often than even the teenagers do, because we’re harder on them. No clean surf ‘n sand for us, no lying still on a beach blanket for hours, or languidly standing around the lifeguard’s chair. No, we are up to our clavicles in health club pools full of chemicals, stretching our suits (and our bodies) to all sorts of outrageous extremes, sweating inside them even though the water is cool. more »
Life's Little Mysteries Such As: Why do Ads and Commercials for Medicines Always Advise Us to "Call Your Doctor"?
Rose Madeline Mula writes: Why are restaurant tips calculated as a percentage of the total bill? Is it harder for a waiter to serve a fifty-dollar fillet than a five-buck burger? Do today's tech-savvy kids really believe in Santa Claus ... the tooth fairy ... the Easter bunny? You don't think they've Googled them all? I saw my first bikini on a beach in Nice during my first trip to Europe, back in the ‘60s. I couldn't believe how brazen its wearer was! Today that bikini would look positively Victorian. more »
Joan L. Cannon writes: Like everyone in my place, I’m enjoined repeatedly to dwell on happy memories. We all try, but now it’s struck me that our experience as we recall it is as distorted as the present — as if we view it in reverse magnification. If we can manage to look at a photograph, either it brings us to tears or it resembles someone we might have encountered casually once and now no longer recognize. The familiar is all but unrecognizable from the viewpoint of extreme grief. more »