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What nationality is the oldest person in the world?

What nationality is the oldest person in the world?

Jeanne Louise Calment, the world’s longest living person (who died at the age of 122) was born in Arles, France on February 21, 1875 and died on August 4, 1997 in a nursing home in Arles. She was born in the year Bizet�s �Carmen� was first staged and Tolstoy published Anna Karennina, and a year before Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. She also witnessed the aeroplane and the cinema. At the age of 13, she met Vincent Van Gogh in Arles and wasn�t impressed by him.

The Guinness Book of World Records had listed Calment as the oldest living person whose birth date could be authenticated by reliable records. Although blind, almost deaf and is confined to a wheelchair, Calment remained spirited and mentally sharp until the end. At age 121, she released her two CDs, one in French and another in English titled, Maitresse du Temps (Time�s Mistress), which featured Calment’s reminiscing to a score of rap and other tunes. A VCR tape is also supposed to be available and at least five books about her have been released.

Calment’s father lived to the age of 94 and her mother to the age of 86. The longevity gene was apparent in her maternal family but she left no heir with her longevity gene. She was a widow for more than half a century. A dessert of spoiled preserved cherries killed her husband in 1942 at the age of 46, but Calment survived. Her only daughter died in 1934 at the age of 36 of pneumonia. After the death of her daughter Calment raised her grandson, who became a medical doctor and died in 1963 during a car accident.

Calment�s Secret of Longevity

Jean Calment came from a bourgeois family and never has to work. Her husband, a cousin, was a prosperous storeowner who offered her a life of ease revolving around tennis, bicycling, swimming, roller skating, piano and opera. In later years, Calment lived mostly off the income from her apartment, which she sold cheaply to a lawyer when she was 90. Andre-Francois Raffray, who apparently relied on the actuarial table, signed a contingency contract with Calment and agreed to pay a life annuity of 2,500 francs ($500) a month under a deal to make him the owner of Calment’s flat when she dies. Yet, he died at 77 and his family was still paying for more than a year unitl she died. Altogether, they paid more than 900,000 francs ($180,000), three times the value of the house.

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Internationally, researchers are fascinated with Calment for both her longevity and her vitality. «She never did anything special to stay in good health,» said French researcher Jean-Marie Robine. They attribute her longevity to her immunity to stress. She once said � If you can�t do anything about it, don�t worry about it.�.
Calment herself credited an occasional glass of Port vine and a diet rich in olive oil for her longevity. She also recommended laughter as a recipe for longevity and jokes that «God must have forgotten me.» ( L’Oubliee de Dieu?). For skin care, she recommends olive oil and a dab of make-up. «All my life I’ve put olive oil on my skin and then just a puff of powder. I could never wear mascara, I cried too often when I laughed.»

She took up fencing lessons at 85 and rode bicycle until 100. However ——

She used to ate two lbs. of chocolate per week until her doctor persuaded her to give up sweets at the age of 119. She quit smoking only at 119, but her doctor said her abstinence was due to pride rather than health � she was too blind to light up herself, and hated asking someone to do it for her.


Calment was as alert as a hummingbird and shows no signs of senile dementia. She was well known and liked for her tart wit. Some of her famous quotations are listed below:

«I’ve waited 110 years to be famous, I count on taking advantage of it,» she quipped at her 120th birthday party.

Also on her 120th birthday, when asked what kind of future did she expect, she replied �A very short one.�

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Getting used to growing media attention with every year that passes, she quips: �I wait for death� and journalists.�

�When you�re 117, you see if you remember everything!� She rebuked an interviewer once.

Her birthdays were a sort of family holiday in Arles, where all the people of Arles gathered around their �Jeanne D�Arles�. In one of this party, somebody took leave by telling her, �Until next year, perhaps,� she retorted: �I don�t see why not! You don�t look so bad to me.�

She may be most famous in France, where she was the �doyenne of humanity�, for her many bons mots, including �I’ve never had but one wrinkle, and I’m sitting on it.�

The world’s oldest person, Sister André of France, dies at age 118

Sister André poses for a portrait at the Sainte Catherine Laboure care home in Toulon, southern France, on April 27, 2022. With her death, the oldest living person is now Maria Branyas Morera of Spain at age 115. Daniel Cole via AP hide caption

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Daniel Cole via AP

Sister André poses for a portrait at the Sainte Catherine Laboure care home in Toulon, southern France, on April 27, 2022. With her death, the oldest living person is now Maria Branyas Morera of Spain at age 115.

Daniel Cole via AP

Sister André, the world’s oldest known person, died Tuesday at age 118 and 340 days. Less than a month away from her 119th birthday, she held the record for both oldest living person and oldest living nun, according to Guinness World Records.

She was born in France on Feb. 11, 1904, as Lucile Randon and took the name Sister André in 1944. She spent most of her life in religious service as a Roman Catholic nun.

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Sister André became the oldest living person last year when the previous oldest person, Kane Tanaka of Japan, died at 119 years old in April 2022. According to the Gerontology Research Group, the oldest living person is now Maria Branyas Morera of Spain at 115 years and 320 days, as of Wednesday.

Sister André also holds the record for oldest COVID-19 survivor, which she tested positive for a few weeks before her 117th birthday in 2021. She recovered from the virus in about three weeks. She also lived through the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.

Sister André spent 28 years working at a hospital with orphans and elderly people before becoming a nun. She was a teacher and looked after children during World War II.

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In 2019, Sister André became an honorary citizen of Toulon, France, and received a personal letter and blessed rosary from Pope Francis.

Sister André was about three years away from setting yet another record as the oldest person ever. That record is held by Jeanne Louise Calment, also of France, who lived to be 122 years and 164 days old and died in 1997, according to Guinness World Records.

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How long can a person live? The 21st century may see a record-breaker

two elderly people sit on a bench

The number of people who live past the age of 100 has been on the rise for decades, up to nearly half a million people worldwide.

There are, however, far fewer “supercentenarians,” people who live to age 110 or even longer. The oldest living person, Jeanne Calment of France, was 122 when she died in 1997; currently, the world’s oldest person is 118-year-old Kane Tanaka of Japan.

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Such extreme longevity, according to new research by the University of Washington, likely will continue to rise slowly by the end of this century, and estimates show that a lifespan of 125 years, or even 130 years, is possible.

“People are fascinated by the extremes of humanity, whether it’s going to the moon, how fast someone can run in the Olympics, or even how long someone can live,” said lead author Michael Pearce, a UW doctoral student in statistics. “With this work, we quantify how likely we believe it is that some individual will reach various extreme ages this century.”

Longevity has ramifications for government and economic policies, as well as individuals’ own health care and lifestyle decisions, rendering what’s probable, or even possible, relevant at all levels of society.

The new study, published June 30 in Demographic Research, uses statistical modeling to examine the extremes of human life. With ongoing research into aging, the prospects of future medical and scientific discoveries and the relatively small number of people to have verifiably reached age 110 or older, experts have debated the possible limits to what is referred to as the maximum reported age at death. While some scientists argue that disease and basic cell deterioration lead to a natural limit on human lifespan, others maintain there is no cap, as evidenced by record-breaking supercentenarians.

Pearce and Adrian Raftery, a professor of sociology and of statistics at the UW, took a different approach. They asked what the longest individual human lifespan could be anywhere in the world by the year 2100. Using Bayesian statistics, a common tool in modern statistics, the researchers estimated that the world record of 122 years almost certainly will be broken, with a strong likelihood of at least one person living to anywhere between 125 and 132 years.

To calculate the probability of living past 110 — and to what age — Raftery and Pearce turned to the most recent iteration of the International Database on Longevity, created by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. That database tracks supercentenarians from 10 European countries, plus Canada, Japan and the United States.

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Using a Bayesian approach to estimate probability, the UW team created projections for the maximum reported age at death in all 13 countries from 2020 through 2100.

Among their findings:

  • Researchers estimated near 100% probability that the current record of maximum reported age at death — Calment’s 122 years, 164 days — will be broken;
  • The probability remains strong of a person living longer, to 124 years old (99% probability) and even to 127 years old (68% probability);
  • An even longer lifespan is possible but much less likely, with a 13% probability of someone living to age 130;
  • It is “extremely unlikely” that someone would live to 135 in this century.

As it is, supercentenarians are outliers, and the likelihood of breaking the current age record increases only if the number of supercentenarians grows significantly. With a continually expanding global population, that’s not impossible, researchers say.

People who achieve extreme longevity are still rare enough that they represent a select population, Raftery said. Even with population growth and advances in health care, there is a flattening of the mortality rate after a certain age. In other words, someone who lives to be 110 has about the same probability of living another year as, say, someone who lives to 114, which is about one-half.

“It doesn’t matter how old they are, once they reach 110, they still die at the same rate,” Raftery said. “They’ve gotten past all the various things life throws at you, such as disease. They die for reasons that are somewhat independent of what affects younger people.

“This is a very select group of very robust people.”

The study was funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development.

For more information, contact Pearce at or Raftery at

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