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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. Rob

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] Rob

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

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!)