Monday, January 29, 2007

World's Oldest Living Person

Upon hearing today about the death of the world's oldest living person, I was struck with the following random thoughts and observations:
  • The fact that the most recent oldest person died after only living for four days as the world's oldest living person (following the death of the previous champion) makes me wonder if she was just hanging on long enough to achieve her status as the world's oldest.
  • This is the fourth time in five months that the world's oldest living person has died. I wonder, on average, how often we should expect the world's oldest living person to die. It seems like it happens, in general, about once a year.
  • There have been two people with impressive runs as world's oldest living person. Jeanne Calment reigned for 6.5 years in the 90's, and Shigechiyo Izumi for 10 years in the 70's and 80's.
  • Is it a coincidence that the two oldest people currently living in the US are in Indiana? How would you like to be 113 years old, fifth oldest person in the world, but only the second oldest in Indiana? One thing we know is that this does not qualify you for a Wikipedia page.
  • It is interesting to look through the list of oldest people currently alive, and see which ones have their own Wikipedia pages.
  • Up until 5 days ago, the world's oldest person was actually a man!
  • The oldest man and woman are currently both living in Japan. But it is surprising how many of the title holders have historically lived in the U.S.


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