Happy birthday to the world's oldest person!

screenshot

Happy 117th birthday to Emma Morano of Verbenia, Italy! Morano is the oldest person on Earth and the last living individual born in the 19th century. From the BBC:

Ms Morano's longevity, she admits, is partly down to genetics - her mother reached 91 and several sisters reached their centenary - and partly, she says, down to a rather unusual diet of three eggs - two raw - each day for more than 90 years.

It was a regime she took up as a young woman, after the doctor diagnosed her with anaemia shortly after World War One.

These days, she has cut down to just two eggs a day, and a few biscuits.

Read the rest

Experimental musician's gorgeous vinyl collaboration with his grandmother

0008529176_10

Clint Heidorn, a musician I've previously posted about, creates haunting, beautiful guitar sounds that are the basis of exquisite, tangible artifacts he makes and sells himself. A few years ago, Clint's grandmother Jane Heidorn suffered a stroke that necessitated her moving into a nursing home, and that led to his latest project. "Hard Times Come Again No More" is a collaboration between Clint and the late Jane Heidorn, now available as a 10" vinyl record in a limited edition of 250 copies. Below, hear the song and read Clint's story of this loving, and lovely, tribute:

Hard Times Come Again No More by Jane Heidorn

In early 2013, my grandmother, Jane Heidorn, moved into a nursing home after a stroke left her unable to care for herself. After over a decade of living alone, she was forced to consider a future without the autonomy she had enjoyed, and - at least initially - it hit her hard.

The move brought her closer to me, and we'd spend Sundays listening to her old 78s on a small record player in her room, eating lunch in the cafeteria, reminiscing. I'd take her outside in her wheelchair and glide it along the twisting walkways that cut through the lawns and shuffleboard courts outside the complex, trying to keep her spirits up, reminding her of bridge games and activities, of the next time I'd visit.

After a few months, I asked if she'd be interested in recording a version of an old Stephen Foster song, "Hard Times Come Again No More".

Read the rest

Judge gives free pass to elderly man who solicited prostitute

get-out-of-jail-free

Howard Arthur Klein, 87, was nabbed in Grand rapids, Michigan for soliciting a prostitute. Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth decided not to pursue the matter, saying, "He wouldn't and shouldn't go to jail and 87 years without involvement in the criminal justice system has, in my opinion, earned him a pass." Read the rest

Nude closeups of people who are more than 100 years old

After a 101 year old woman offered to sit for a nude portrait session with photographer Anastasia Pottinger, Pottinger conceived of a project called Centenarians, through which she is photographing models who are at least 100 years old. The work is beautiful, as are the models. She is seeking other models, if you are (or know) someone who fits the bill. Read the rest

Oldest man ever dies

On May 27, Jiroemon Kimura became the last living man to have been born in the 19th century. On Wednesday, he died at 116, the oldest man who ever lived. Read the rest

The last man born in the 19th century

Last Thursday, Doc Sisnett of Barbados died at 113, leaving Japan's Jiroemon Kimura as the last living man to have been born in the 19th century. Twenty-one living women share the honor. [Sydney Morning Herald] Read the rest

Grandmothers who are brilliant at technology

A wonderful site called "Grandma Got STEM" profiles grandmothers who have accomplished marvellous feats of technology, and aims to drive a stake through the heart of stupid, thoughtless phrases like "How would you explain that to your grandmother?" or "So simple my grandma could do it."

Shown above, Helen Quinn, "particle physicist, PhD from Stanford in 1967, and grandmother of three young girls."

I've never understood why geeks hold their grandmothers in such contempt.

Perhaps you are tired of hearing people say 'how would you explain that to your grandmother?' when they probably mean something like 'How would you explain the idea in a clear, compelling way so that people without a technical background can understand you?'

Here's a similar saying you may have heard: 'That's so easy, my grandmother could understand it.'

Grandma got STEM counters the implication that grannies (gender + maternity + age) might not easily pick up on technical/theoretical ideas by sharing pictures and remembrances from/of Grandmothers who have made contributions in STEM-related fields.

Grandma Got STEM Read the rest

Genomics X-Prize looking for centenarians

[Video Link]

The Archon Genomics X-Prize is offering $10 million to the first research team to sequence the genomes of 100 people who are age 100 or older. The goal: Get a clear view, for the first time, of what makes centenarians different on a genetic level.

That's pretty cool. And will probably be a lost more useful than the usual answer to, "How did you live so long?," which seems to usually involve something about piss, vinegar, and ironically unhealthy lifestyle choices.

But, before the fun can start, the Prize needs to find 100 centenarians willing to donate samples of their DNA to science. That's where you come in. Do you have a friend, grandparent, or great-grandparent who'd be interested in participating in the project? If so, you should nominate them to be one of the "100 Over 100."

This team of genomic pioneers will also have opportunities to document their lives and experiences for the benefit of future generations, through the Life@100 online community. (It's pretty awesome to see a sign-up page with a disclaimer that says you must have been born before January 3, 1913 to join.) The video above comes from the profile 105-year-old investment broker Irving Kahn.

(Thanks, Miles O'Brien!) Read the rest