Saturday, January 05, 2013

It's Been Ages

Many of us muse at some point about our longevity. Eighty or ninety years is common, but the preceding decades are no picnic when it comes to death.

We wonder what immortality would be like and we prick up our ears any time there's a mention of cryogenics or cyborg technology; of nanobots storing our conscience. That's our conception of what the future might bring; just as once people must have imagined what it would be like to contact anyone anywhere in the world and hear their voice, or what it would be like to have those motion pictures screening on a large screen in our living room. It is in our nature to think about what the future brings. It has worked in our favour so far as our every thought is transmuted into some physical object that bears at least the large imprint of that initial notion.

The oldest man ever was born in 1897 and is 115 years and 259 days old.

A recent oldest woman alive was 116 year old Besse Cooper; she died in December. Dinah Manfredini had a brief reign at being incredibly fucking old, dying at 115. There is some claim made for another December death; this time a purportedly 124 year old Arab-Israeli woman. If this is verified she will be the oldest person to have lived.  But there have been previous claims of great age. And let's not forget Varvara Semennikova. At this advanced age, it's a record that keeps changing. The current verified oldest woman to have lived is Jeanne Calment.


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