The joy of elderly people doing the Thriller dance

Enjoy the funk of, er, 65+ years in this video of the annual Thriller dance at the Abbington Senior Living Mapleton center in Utah.

For me, this clip has a similar charm as David Greenberger's eternally amazing Duplex Planet interviews with elderly people. Read the rest

Man claims it's cheaper to spend your old age in a Holiday Inn than a nursing home

In a now-viral Facebook post, Terry Robinson of Spring Texas (jokingly?) explains why when he and his wife get "old and too feeble," they will check into a Holiday Inn instead of spending their remaining years in a nursing home. Read the rest

Japan opens its doors wide to immigration

As populism and a tilt to the political right has prompted many nations to question once welcoming immigration and refugee policies and embrace xenophobia, a nation with a centuries long reputation for insularity has decided to move in the other direction. With its rapidly aging population and an underwhelming birthrate, Japan is opening its doors to large-scale immigration.

From The New York Times:

Under a bill approved by Parliament’s upper house in the early-morning hours, more than a quarter-million visas of five-year duration will be granted to unskilled guest laborers for the first time, starting in 2019.

Under the new measure, between 260,000 and 345,000 five-year visas will be made available for workers in 14 sectors suffering severe labor shortages, including caregiving, construction, agriculture and shipbuilding.

The measure also creates a separate visa category for high-skilled workers, who will be allowed to stay for unlimited periods and enjoy greater benefits, including permission to bring their families to Japan.

As The New York Times points out, over the next 25 years, Japan's population is set to shrink by 16 million people, or 13 percent. During the same period, the number of old folks in Japan will increase to make up 1/3 of the population. This leaves an incredible vacuum of caregivers, laborers and other positions that must be filled.

Not everyone is thrilled with the country's fresh, welcoming approach to immigration. But their feelings on the matter are moot: unless the Japanese start having a shitload of babies, which they're not, the nation will be in a serious bind when the bulk of their current population becomes too old to be able to keep the nation's infrastructure and businesses humming along efficiently. Read the rest

Kids chat with a sharp 101-year-old woman

In this sweet HiHo Kids video, a group of young children chat with Alice, a kindly centenarian who once worked as a decoder in WWII. They ask some really direct questions which she answers with grace and wisdom.

(Tastefully Offensive) Read the rest

Incredible footage from 1929 of old folks born in the 1800s

In 1929, from Maine to California, and spots in-between, some spry senior citizens were interviewed for Movietone newsreels. This video is a compilation of those interviews. Keep in mind when watching that everyone featured was born before the mid-1800s. In the reels, you'll hear them recollect stories from their past and see glimpses of what their life as an elderly person is like.

The footage is from the University of South Carolina's Moving Image Research Collections and was cleaned up and put on YouTube by guy jones.

Here's another one. It features similar interviews but moves into the year 1930. Watch for the farmer at the 2:10 mark, as he doles out some timeless wisdom about "work" vs. "play":

Previously: Listen: Voice recordings of black slaves

(reddit) Read the rest

Video: 93yo gentleman plays "As Time Goes By" on harmonica

Video Link. A medley of great songs, played in the kitchen. (thanks, Joe Sabia) 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