Rotation Indications

Now that we know the age of stars can be told by measuring their speed of rotation, the jig is up for those  celestial impostors who claim to younger than their velocity indicates.

Fess up, Polaris. You’re getting a little long in the tooth!

For some odd reason, it put me in mind of this classic Disney song.

When you time a spinning star
You can know how old it are
Every revolution tells
a tale that’s true.

When it’s whirring like a top
Chances are it’s just a pup.
When the spinning lessens then
it’s more like you.

Stars get old.
Their slowing, up above,
is a precursor of
someday exploding.

Don’t know much, but this I do …
Stars revolve ’til they are through.
When you time a spinning star
you’re spinning too.

How good are you at guessing the age of people and/or things?

52 thoughts on “Rotation Indications”

    1. This is hard to listen to, and proves Mr. Seeger’s age had taken his voice. He is so brave. One day this week, the Writer’s Almanac had a mention of Elizabeth Cotten, who wrote “Freight Train”. I looked for her on YouTube, and found an interview Pete did with her on his old TV show Rainbow Quest (I think that’s the name). She told him the story of how she was employed by the Seeger family for many years. We lost a friend when Pete Seeger died.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    The topic of age today is a tender topic for me. I am actually quite adept at guessing the age of people. Planets and stars, not so much. However, my mind is on extreme ages of both ends and that most anxiety-producing subject of all, d-e-a-t-h.

    My mother, age 86 was at my house twice during late November through December. We think she had a mild stroke the day before Thanksgiving, because she was disoriented and had difficulty getting around the next morning. We did not take her to a Dr. because we had a cardiac/ICU nurse (Brother-in-law) in residence and a Dr. to consult by phone (sister-in-law). After this event her mobility was vastly reduced and facilitating a bath was a nightmare.

    My sister, who is charge of such things put Mom’s name on a Memory Care waiting list–it would be months till there was an opening. We set up a care schedule to assist my brother and sister-in-law in her care because it was not safe to have her alone a lot.

    Fast forward to 12-31, New Years Eve. My assistant, who has not been reliable this fall, calls and is hysterical. Her father, age 70, died in his sleep. After Christmas passed I was going to fire her. Now what do I do?

    While on the phone with the unhelpful assistant, my sister in Iowa, who now has my mother, texted. There was an unexpected opening in the Memory Care facility (interpretation–somebody died). We took it. My brother and sister-in-law now in San Antonio on vacation and I began a mad frenzy of organizing a move and the $$$$.

    Sunday my brother arrived home, my sister took my mother back to his house, and my sister drove mom past her new home. Tears. My nephew’s wife (belonging to sister) went into labor in Madison, WI. My sister-in-law was called to jury duty, and was assigned to a Grand Jury to which she was elected head juror.

    Mollie Josephine was born 1-6-15.

    I am now officially seeking a new adminstrative assistant.

    This is my life. Age is an issue.


    1. Oh, Jacque! Such a lot to deal with all at once, which seems to be the way of things.

      I am sending you an email re your admin assistant as soon as I find your address (I know I have it in a file, just need to locate it).


      1. Thanks. What a circus. I know it will pass. Had the opening occurred two days earlier, Mom would have still been at my house and I would have been the one telling her. I feel like I dodged a bullet there.


    2. I can’t click on the Like button Jacque because your experience is not likable, but I sure sympathize. I just finished reading Roz Chast’s graphic memoir, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? The book is wise and funny in many places as it describes the author dealing with her aging, dying parents. But my more powerful reaction was horror at what death has become in our society and how expensive it is. I highly recommend the book, but don’t expect to “enjoy” it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t want to really disagree with you, Steve, but I have to say that death can be much more sensible today than it was say 30 years ago.

        My memory of my grandmother’s death was that it was unnecessarily long, expensive and invasive.

        Today, you get to say, thanks, but no thanks. Just keep me as comfortable as you can and let me go.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I will check out the book and I can like your comment. We are very fortunate with the cost. Mom bought a Cadillac Long Term Care policy that will cover the cost of this.


    3. Life can be so messy. Just as it’s humming along with only minor speed bumps, a string of unexpected things occur to complicate it. lt seems that the old adage “Things happen in threes” is too close to being true. First, your mom’s dilemma, then your assistant’s, then your niece being born while her mom has to be absent. Let’s hope that’s about all of the challenges on your plate for a while!

      Age? l may have shared this before, but a favorite analogy of mine is that life’s like a roll of toilet paper; the closer to the end of the roll, the faster it goes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m pretty good with figuring out someone’s age, but once you get past 75, it can really be tricky. So much depends on health at that point.

    All health being equal, attitude is everything. I know plenty of 90+ year olds who are younger than people my age.

    Can’t stand the phrase “I’m too old for that”.

    It rates right up there with my disdain for “that was before I was born”.
    Civil War was well before I was born too, but I have the advantage of being able to read, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Morning all. I’ve never really thought about whether I’m good at figuring out ages, but I can tell you that like many others, as I get older, everyone else gets younger. I’m absolutely sure that Teenager’s orthopedic specialist is only thirteen. And I have hit the point at which some of my care physicians are retiring and being replaced by much younger specimens. How do you let someone direct you on medical issues when you’re not sure they’re old enough to drive!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My dad always looked about 20 years younger than he really was. Mom disliked all their church directory photos since “everyone will think I’m his mother!” It felt like we were spinning faster and faster all last year. Things will slow down, Jacque.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. On the other end of the spectrum, I think it gets tricky too sometimes.

    People assume the s&h is a high school senior (then there was the time someone assumed he was the college TA at the U). I believe other baboon offspring have been similarly “aged”, IIRC.

    and we are far too diverse a society at this point to use size as a reference either.


  6. Good morning. I can make a rough guess at age, which may not be very close to the truth. There are some people who look younger than they are and visa versa. I’m not good at guessing the ages of any of those who have aged slowly or aged more quickly.

    There was a time when I looked younger than most of the other people who were as old as I was. Now that my hair has turned white and I have more wrinkles, I think I don’t look young for my age. I am getting to the point, at 73, where I am starting to slow down.

    I haven’t had any medical problems that require daily medication. My freedom from medications is apparently unusual for a 73 year old person according to people who ask for my medical records. Perhaps I will keep spinning for a relatively long time before my existent in the universe comes to an end.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jacque – that is quite the confluence of events. Each one is huge by itself but all together – !!!

    I don’t think I excel at guessing ages. Being right in the middle of the Boomer wave, I assume that most people are my age. Since I don’t often ask, I don’t know how accurate I am. I do catch myself thinking that some grey-haired or no-haired person is my age and realizing (based on skin tone perhaps) that s/he could be 10-15 years younger.

    Last night I dreamed that I was in a bar (a place I frequent almost never) and all the young people were doing a sort of line dance. Usually I have no reluctance to join a dance but I really felt like old-lady-out and just watched. What a waste – it was only a dream and I could have had a good time!

    The dream may have been a result of an event I attended Monday night. I’m a big fan of the newish show, Wits, and have made a small donation so I’m a “member”. There was an event for members on Monday – a trivia night at Kings (a coffee/wine bar). I expected vast numbers of people and a trivia event just for that group. Instead, it was a regular trivia night and the not-very-many Wits people made up 3 teams. There may have been a couple of people in their 40s (John Moe and John Munson) but most were young pups. BOY, did I feel out of place. Our team did win without much help from me and it was fun to watch the youthful banter. (did my presence tamp it down?)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Turning 70 in March was the only difficult birthday l’ve had because l’ve always viewed a big “0” birthday as simply one more decade with more ahead. Until this one, that is. This one presents an undeniable truth that this may not only be my last decade, but the first one that realistically will see my health and vitality decline. My physical self-image doesn’t match what l see in the mirror either. Because of my cancer-related weight loss, many people comment on what good shape l’m in “For your age”, but looking good in clothes belies what’s beneath them.

    l swear that the day after turning 70, my eyesight plummeted, my energy level dropped, and constipation suddenly became a problem for the first time! Perhaps the Universe was trying to teach me that holding onto a false sense of still being middle aged was a delusion?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Sorry, Jacque. We once had an employee whose four-year-old son had brain cancer. We paid her salary for 10 months without her working. When she came back she pushed us to firing her by not doing much of her work and attacking the woman who had done her work. So we decided to terminate her. As I was calling her into my office, the other woman told us that planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. I decided that was a good day to do it. Then she tried to sue us.

    Aging and memory issues happened to have been a delicate issue in this house yesterday. Nuff said.

    Teenagers to me all look much longer than they are. I can judge, as near as I know, the ages of adult Europeans well. But I cannot judge the other sorts of people who live her in Mankato and in our building, which is part of the fun of having then around. Mexican, South American, Middle Eastern, Indian, Far Eastern–I have no clue.


  10. There was a post on Facebook recently. The niece of a friend said of our friend “…he is my awesome uncle/ friend cuz he is not old so he is still cool.”
    Whew, glad he’s not OLD!

    Everyone seems about 12 to me.
    And I keep thinking things happen ‘just a few years ago’ when really it was 25 or 30 years ago.

    All the students around here remind me just how young they really are. Both mentally and numerically.
    Of course I’m making a sweeping generalization. Some of these ‘kids’ really have their hands full with jobs and kids and family plus school.
    Others. Well, they don’t know how lucky they have it.
    it’s always interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A friend and I had a shorthand phrase – “the other day, ten years ago” for stuff that happened longer ago than we really cared to remember. It became “the other day, twenty years ago” and soon it will be “the other day, forty years ago”.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. When Daughter was a toddler and preschooler I was really good at guessing the ages of small children, I’m sure mostly because I was around them more often. Now, not so much. I don’t try to guess ages – working in the tech industry it can be a touchy subject where youth is rewarded and experience may or may not be. Maybe because relative age doesn’t matter much to me, I don’t think I’m very good at guessing ages – I can take a rough guess that Person X is younger than me by a decade (or older than me by a couple decades), but probably not much more precise than that. Because, really, unless it will affect how we might interact (e.g., am I gonna have to spring you from a nursing home to go out carousing), it really isn’t a concern. Even if I do find myself grumbling about being old enough to be the mother of some of my co-workers…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Like Anna, I don’t–for several reasons–work at guessing the ages of adults. It usually doesn’t matter. But as my grandson’s “Grampy,” the issue of age keeps popping up. When I am in public with Liam I now expect people to be astonished by him. It truly happens almost every time we are together among strangers. It happened again last week when we ate at a restaurant.

    The whole age thing is tricky when you deal with a gifted child. Liam sometimes sounds like any kid, but then moments later he comes out with a sentence that sounds like something a college student would say. He is already comfortable with the subjunctive voice, for example, when that is beyond many middle-aged men who comment on football games!

    No matter how articulate Liam is, he is just a kid. His emotional maturity is nowhere near as advanced as his verbal fluency. My daughter has been told to not expect true empathy from him until he is six or seven. And yet there was an incident this weekend that suggested he might be acquiring empathy early. I find him so fascinating!


    1. get used to this. It will also get tougher before it gets easier, as people expect somebody that smart to be a lot more mature than they are.

      and sometimes, they are a lot less.


  13. I sometimes feel the need to mention classic old films that most Baboons are too young to know. There is a short, sweet Scottish film that is filled with funny lines about age. (“Christ, you’re worse than me dad. But he’s old, so he has an excuse for being a prick.”) Try to see it sometime. It’s not a great film, just an extremely likable and funny film about the goofiness of adolescence.


    1. this young baboon will remind you that not only can I read, I also have a dvd player and could probably watch something old on Netflix, if I weren’t so cheap (and strapped for time 🙂 ).

      The s&h surprised me by stating that Citizen Kane is one of his favorite movies. Sadly, he was less impressed with The Third Man.

      Maybe I am not doing such a bad job with him after all 😉


  14. Good luck with everything, Jacque! Let us know how it goes… What town is your mom’s new home in?

    I am usually pretty good at guessing ages, but there are lots of exceptions. It’s starting to be you can guess by people’s behavior (smart phone attached to ear or not), how they speak (“you’re welcome” or “no problem”), or how they dress (although this can be very unreliable). If I can remember where I was going with that thought, I’ll add it later.


  15. It is one of the poignant moments in parenting. You have a list of old books and movies and maybe some DVDs of music that meant a great deal to you when you were growing up. And here is your kid, more or less the same age you were when you loved them. You tentatively offer these old friends to your kid and just hope he or she doesn’t roll eyes and dismiss the old stuff. On the other hand, when you recommend some treasure from your past and it hits the bullseye of your kid’s heart, well that is a sweet moment.


    1. I’ve picked and chosen carefully. All those treasured costume dramas? those books about 19th century girls (Caddie Woodlawn, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm)? I’ve just mentioned them in passing.

      Most of the classic movie stuff, history (thank you LGMS) and some of the best Shakespeare I know, that’s just part of being educated, but I am delighted he has enjoyed it for the most part.

      One of my great delights is to go someplace like the Farmer’s Union building at the fair, get a good cuppa joe and point out all the old farm and household stuff they have hanging in the rafters and explain what it was used for.

      I noticed part of Dale’s question was about knowing the age of things as well as people. Most of that stuff I don’t necessarily know about because it was current technology when I was a child, but not only can I read, I can also pay attention when my elders are speaking.

      I’m trying to get my dear old desktop computer (Dumbledore) to give of his best and do a dial-up connection for me today (there actually is a practical reason, but it’s tedious to explain). I suspect the access number I have has changed, because it is otherwise operating just fine (and I used it to download an update to him maybe a year ago).

      I feel like I am in a post-apocalyptic thriller, with nothing but the landline to connect to me and stop the coming Armageddon.

      it really is that cold out there…..

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I am exceptional at guessing ages. I never miss but I don’t ask for confirmation either. I think that’s a problem when someone wants to be correcting you just because they think yheyvowe it to you for some reason
    I am perfectly happy going throughout being correct without others who need to get involved trying to get their two cents in.


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