1) Picture of the Day
The bizarre photo of a Hindu holy man covered in ash poses for photographs during the Royal Bath at the Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar, India. Any suggestions for a good name for a Hindu Holy Man biker gang?
2) Redefining longevity: the new centenarian spirit
Garnett Beckman, now 102, stopped hiking the Grand Canyon when she was 91. Now she volunteers at a seniors center, “to help out the old folks.” She also teaches bridge on Saturdays.
Elas Hoffman, also 102, is planning to take a trip to South America this year, maybe Russia next year.
Sam Katzof, only 100, a chemist trained at Johns Hopkins, and who worked at NASA, has continued working on a chemical reaction experiment, which he now thinks he has found the solution to.
No one in my family has made it past 85, however I see no reason I couldn’t live to be 100, in reasonable health, body and soul. I figure if I can make it through today, there is no reason I couldn’t make it to through tomorrow, or another 33 years of tomorrows. What do you think are the chances you will be able to celebrate 100?
From an article in the Christian Science Monitor, by Chris Landers:
“If progress in reducing mortality continues at the same pace as it has over the past two centuries, which is a matter of debate, then in countries with high life expectancies most children born since the year 2000 will celebrate their 100th birthday – in the twenty-second century,” wrote James W. Vaupel, a Duke University (N.C.) demographer in a March 25 Nature magazine review of current studies. “Longer lifespans will alter the way individuals want to allocate time during their lives and will require radical revision of employment, retirement, health, education and other policies.”
Indeed, observes Meg Guroff, an editor at AARP The Magazine, “We’re already seeing those implications in people much younger. We have many more readers who are 50 years old … going back to school, adopting children, starting a second or third or fourth career.”
As census workers fan out to take stock of the nation this year, they expect to find continued explosive growth in the centenarian population. Between 1990 and 2000, Americans 100 or older increased by 35 percent – from 37,306 to 50,454. The US Census projects that this group will increase more than 50 percent in this year’s count, to 79,000. And a recent study in the North American Actuarial Journal projected 60 percent growth each decade of the coming century. The United Nations expects similar trends worldwide, estimating that by 2050, 1 in every 5,000 people will be over 100 years old, with China, the United States, Japan, and India having the largest populations of centenarians.
Today’s 100-year-old has lived through two World Wars, the Depression, and every president since Teddy Roosevelt. What surprises some researchers is that 30 percent of them have done so with their health and wits intact. Something as simple (or complicated) as attitude can make the difference in living to 100 or beyond, and perhaps tip the scales toward a happy, productive second century.