Saturday, October 31, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 30th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 30th, 2015

Count down the top ten plays from Friday night.

Russell Westbrook banks in a long-distance buzzer-beater!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 29th, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 29th, 2015

Check out the top 5 plays from Thursday night's NBA action.

Kristaps Porzingis w/ the steal, spin & dunk!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 28th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 28th, 2015

Count down the top ten plays from Wednesday night.

Ex-Duke star — Justise Winslow throws-it-down on three Pelicans

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 27th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 27th, 2015

Take a look at the top 10 plays from Tuesday night's NBA action.

Pau Gasol denies LeBron James — impolitely telling him to go the F home!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 20th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 20th, 2015

Check out the top 10 plays from Tuesday night's preseason action.

The Greek Freak a.k.a. Human Highlight Film of the New Millenia

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 19th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 18th, 2015

Check out the top 10 plays of Monday's preseason action.

Ryan Kelly soars...

...Ryan Kelly lands!

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 18th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 18th, 2015

Check out the best of the best from Sunday's action around the Association.

Richaun Holmes w/ the Dunk Of The Night!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Beyond The Reach (2014) -starring- Michael Douglas & Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6

The MSRP for the massive 6X6 starts at $500,000 and goes up fast

Mercedes 6-wheeler costars with Michael Douglas

The producers of the new thriller "Beyond The Reach" needed a villain.
Specifically, they needed a bad guy to costar with Michael Douglas, who plays the murderous multimillionaire out to kill an innocent hunting guide played by Jeremy Irvine.
Requirements for the role included beauty, speed, agility and toughness, and the ability to withstand long shooting days in New Mexico desert near Four Corners.
The casting call led them to a most unusual candidate. Douglas' evil partner in crime is played by a Mercedes 6x6.
The G63 AMG 6x6 is engineered to conquer the most arduous extremes on the globe. Now it takes on the silver screen, co-starring in BEYOND THE REACH, in theaters now. 

The massive and massively expensive luxury off-roader, officially known as the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6X6, had to be flown from Germany in a cargo plane -- accompanied by its own dedicated engineer -- to make its feature film debut in the movie that opens in theaters and video-on-demand April 17.
The three-axle, all-wheel-drive, twin-turbocharged monster, which weighs about 9,000 pounds, costs more than $500,000 stripped. (There is an armored version that costs $1.3 million, according to some reports.) But even in its standard form, the 6X6 has many cool features, including onboard air tanks that will allow the driver to deflate and inflate the tires, at the push of a button, to cope with changing road and off-road surfaces.

The one that appears in "Beyond the Reach" is anything but stripped. The vehicle is equipped with custom-made cases for Douglas' special hunting rifles, and softer touches like a microwave oven and espresso machine.
Producer Robert Mitas credits Douglas -- who is also a producer on the movie -- with bagging the super-rare 6X6.The film's script, based on the 1972 novel "Death Watch," called for Douglas' character to show up in the desert, ready for a one-man hunting trip, driving a "luxury SUV." 
"He walked into the offices of Mercedes USA in New York and pitched them the movie," Mitas said. "They jumped in."

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 | Retail: $500,000 (MSRP)
Mitas said there were no 6X6s in the US -- because they were never sold here. So Mercedes flew a prototype, plus full sets of extra tires, fenders and a special 6X6 mechanic, from Germany to an airfield in Texas. From there, it was transported to the New Mexico filming location on a truck -- under wraps -- and then stored in a locked warehouse when it wasn't on the set.
Mitas gives the 6X6 high marks. Ordinarily, when a vehicle appears in a film, the producers have secured several of them -- one for long shots, one for close-ups, one for driving sequences, and a couple for backup in case one of them breaks down.
"We only had one," Mitas said. "We were a low-budget movie, shooting in the middle of the desert, and we really needed it not to break down. It never broke down."

Despite the star-making performance, the 6X6's appearance in the movie will not drive sales of the three-axle road warrior: Mercedes, having built and sold about 100 of the unusual desert beasts, recently stopped producing them.
But that's not going to stop them from being in the movies. The mighty 6X6 will appear this summer in the sequel "Jurassic World." — Charles Fleming | Los Angeles Times

Odd Animal Buddies — Unlikely Animal Friendships

Odd Animal Buddies: Why Zoos Pair Big Cats With Dogs

You’ve certainly seen the videos on social media: ferocious wild cat and lovable domestic dog strike up a friendship in a zoo. But why do these odd couples happen?

•   •   •

Anjana the Chimpanzee & Her White Tiger Cubs

When two white tiger cubs were born during a hurricane, they had to be separated from their mother after their sanctuary, which is also located at T.I.G.E.R.S, flooded.

The two cubs were placed into the care of infant caregiver China York, but Anjana quickly came into role of assistant and surrogate as she couldn't get enough of these two. 

Anjana, who was raised by China, helps her care for hundreds of animals at the sanctuary. "Monkey see, monkey do" has turned her into a terrific caregiver.

•   •   •

Bubbles the Elephant & Bella the Black Lab

Bubbles the African elephant and Bella the black Labrador are BFFs at the Myrtle Beach Safari Park.

As a baby, Bubbles was rescued in Africa and placed at the park after her parents were both killed by poachers.

Bubbles and Bella enjoy hanging out on the grass and in the water and playing a friendly game of fetch. Bubbles throws the ball with her trunk while Bella jumps off of Bubbles head to retrieve the ball. 

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 17th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 17th, 2015

Take a look at Top Plays from Saturday's preseason action.

A-Larry Nance, Jr. soars for a GALACTICAL facial!

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 16th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 16th, 2015

Take a look at the top plays from Friday's preseason action.

JaMychal "Mean" Green throws down a putback w/ superiority authority!

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 15th, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 15th, 2015

Take a look at the top 5 plays from Thursday's preseason action.

Richard Jefferson celebrates w/ a wild wolf pack of teammates after a thunderous jam!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 13th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 13th, 2015

Take a look at the top 10 plays from Tuesday's pre-season action.

Aaron Gordon w/ not one but two top plays on the, "NBA's TOP TEN!"

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 12th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 12th, 2015

Check out the Top 10 Plays from the action around the Association on Monday

Derrick Williams reverse two-handed slam dunk on not one but two Sixers!

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 11th, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 11th, 2015

Check out the Top 5 Plays from the action around the Association on Sunday.

Otto Porter w/ a dual-dribbling exhibition!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 10th, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 10th, 2015

Check out the top 5 plays from Saturday's preseason action.

Marcus Morris w/ a long-range buzzer beater

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 9th, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 9th, 2015

Check out the top 5 plays from Friday's preseason action.

Russell Westbrook & Kevin Durant both serves-up twin monster slams

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 7th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: October 7th, 2015

Check out the top 10 plays from October 7, 2015

Richard Jefferson turns-back-the-clock w/ a facial!

Friday, October 9, 2015

theGREATEST CATCH in NFL HISTORY by Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham makes catch of the year!

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham makes the greatest catch of 2014, and arguably of all time.

Odell Beckham Jr. w/ perhaps the Greatest Catch in NFL History

Odell Beckham makes THE CATCH

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. may have made the greatest catch. Take a look at the worldwide impact his catch really made.

In-depth analysis and close-up footage unveils — more or less a three-fingered catch by OBJ

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Best April Fool's Teacher Prank Ever?

Best April Fool's Teacher Prank Ever?

Aquinas College students play a prank on their hilarious Macroeconomics professor!

Over 46 Million Views!

Uncovering The Mystery Of Pizza & Toilet Rats

See How Easily a Rat Can Wriggle Up Your Toilet

A rat's ribs are hinged at the spine, enabling it to easily squeeze through the tightest spaces—like the pipes draining your toilet. And rats are great swimmers too; they can hold their breath for up to three minutes. See how quickly a rat can go from the city streets to your bathroom.

Illustration of the "infamous" Pizza Rat

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday IG — Secret To Instagram's Success?

Happy 5th Birthday — Instagram!

5 Years Later, The Most Surprising Part About Instagram Is That No One’s Ruined It


Today, Instagram turns five years old.

Despite being purchased by Facebook (everyone’s love-to-hate social network), despite adding video, despite changing the filters, despite adding (some) ads, despite allowing direct messages, despite spinning off the apps Layout and Hyperlapse, despite double-backing on their whole "you can only photograph in a square" philosophy, despite building Search & Explore features, and despite acquiring 400 million users worldwide with vastly different opinions on how you should use the service, Instagram is still great—an unbested way to share a single moment of your life with your friends.

"I start the day saying, 'How do we not ruin the thing?'" says cofounder and CEO Kevin Systrom, with a laugh that sounds half sarcastic and half sincere. "[Other companies] lose sight of their mission. I’m not talking in business-school way. I’m talking a ‘Why did you start this company in the first place?’ way. The reason why we started this company in the first place was . . . we thought pictures and video, eventually, would become a dominant medium for communication. And we’ve never lost sight of that. There’s a reason you don’t have text posts in feeds, why we don’t support links. It’s not about link sharing, it’s not about rants. It’s about sharing the world around you."
It’s also, five years later, an app that’s almost indistinguishable from its version 1 release.
"We promise there’s lots of stuff going on!" laughs Ian Spalter, head of design, when I bring this up to his team later on.
"I show people the first shot of Instagram, and it’s like they wonder what we do here," adds design manager Ian Silber. "We stay close to the origins of Instagram, but we’ve changed everything—like adding a new engine and new parts while the car is still moving."

If you’re searching for a concrete reason why Instagram hasn’t changed much to the naked eye, it’s this: Instagram was designed for the iPhone, and five years later, we’re all still using more or less the same iPhone (or iPhone-inspired device). The first version of Instagram was itself born from self-editing. Instagram is a famously paired-down version of Burbn—Systrom’s failed do-it-all check-in/gaming/photo sharing/social media app. Ripped of most of those features, Instagram hit it big as with a spartan, photo-forward interface that epitomizes the old adage that "a picture is worth a thousand words."
To this day, "Do the simple thing first" is Instagram’s internal mantra. "When we’re looking at any given problem, we’ll go deep on the solution space. But when it comes to making a call and what we ship, that’s the question: ‘What’s the simplest way we can do this?’" explains Spalter. "‘It’s not about being simplistic. It’s about not over-designing or engineering your solution, so it meets the needs of 90% of the population."


Fringe use cases be damned, Instagram's video roll-out exemplifies the effectiveness of their appeal-to-90% philosophy. "We want to get video out there, we’re not going to build a video player with a scrubber and all those things," Spalter continues. "[We ask], 'How do you get video on Instagram in the most simple way?' and then iterate video over time."
As for the actual features Instagram pursues—which are few and far between—the design team often begins with their own observations, as they see real people interacting with the product every day. Whereas for many businesses, understanding user behavior is very difficult because it’s invisible or difficult to track, the design team can very literally see new trends pop up as images with new filters or text effects, right in the Instagram feed.
"It’s definitely something unique when you've got the community creating the content, you get this constant live feed of what people are doing with the product," Spalter explains. If the design team spots a trend, the data team can prove it out in hard numbers, to illustrate whether or not a new feature is worthy of full pursuit.
This sort of decision process drove the development of the Layout app, which allows users to create a montage of their photos, as well as the recent move to support vertical and horizontal images in addition to squares. In the latter case, the data team saw that 25% of all photos that appeared on Instagram had white bars added because they didn’t fit into the square mold.
"We were like, ‘It’s clear this is a trend that’s not going away, so let’s just make the best experience rather than fighting it,’" Systrom explains. "You actually do have to evolve your product significantly over time; otherwise, you get left behind."


Yet while Instagram has traditionally approached design updates with an almost lethargic confidence, Instagram's most aggressive updates have launched just in the last two months, with the aforementioned elimination of square photos, and the introduction of the Search and Explore section (which allow you to view a world's worth of hashtagged events in real time). Furthermore, the platform has still barely implemented ads—an inherently controversial topic on which Facebook's designers are collaborating with the team. It has ever-burgeoning competition from Snapchat, Twitter, Vine, and Periscope. And on top of all that, the 13-person design staff is relatively young. The most senior member has been at the company for just 2.5 years.
If Instagram were ever primed to fundamentally shift, now would be the time.

"You have a grace period of about a few years that have been successful, and you can keep doing everything you’ve been doing, and you’re fine. But then some disruption happens," Systrom cautions. "Take Facebook, for example. Facebook was really successful. Then the cellphone came along, and had they not made a giant transition to mobile, as boldly as they did, they'd be nowhere right now. You actually need to make pretty bold bets on your technology, the formats you support, etc."
Delving into new formats could prove to be a particularly tricky proposition for Instagram. Remember, again, that Instagram as a platform is designed particularly to work on a phone: It’s a scrollable feed with big pictures, where it's easy to share a quick snap. Instagram on the desktop, without that camera or touchscreen, is just another photo site. Instagram on a wearable like the Apple Watch is a bit of a novelty due to its postage-stamp images (and maybe the inherent silliness of looking at food porn on your wrist). The mismatches only compound when you consider what Instagram might look like in virtual reality—assuming that takes off, as many imagine. What happens to the simplicity of this feed as translated to 360-degree space with virtual hand controls?
But when I ask Systrom how Instagram will squeeze itself onto platforms of tomorrow, he simply points back to his original mission statement.
"Instagram is about capturing and sharing the world’s moments. Think about the scope of what we accomplish. If we can allow you to not only share the birthday photo with your friends, but imagine we get to the point where VR is a thing, and you experience a live event somewhere else in the world—a protest overseas, the World Cup, or a Taylor Swift concert. Those are the types of things you should be able to experience almost like you're time traveling. And Instagram will always be about that," he says.
"It just so happens that the best way to capture and share those moments now is the phone. But I’m not wedded to that at all in the long run." — Mark Wilson | Fast Company

How To Cook A Perfect Steak

How To Cook A Perfect Steak

For Porter House New York chef and managing partner Michael Lomonaco, preparing steak is a blend of art and science.

State-of-the-art cooking facilities at the restaurant's prime Manhattan location in the Time Warner Center include a broiler that can reach 1800º F (most consumer grills max out around 500-600° F) and a high quality dry aging locker for the meat.

The sophisticated set up allows Chef Lomonaco and his team to keep and cook their meat with exacting accuracy but that's only one half of the equation.

The art of proper steak preparation isn't just about the grill. It involves choosing the right cut for the right kind of meal, prepping the steak properly, and carefully attending to it as it cooks. Getting a steak to medium-rare or your preferred doneness isn't always an exact science (particularly if you aren't planning to use a meat thermometer) but there are some tricks to help you get it right.

Watch the video as Chef Lomonaco explains the properties of different cuts of meat and how to choose them, the best way to get your meat ready, and some tips on how to grill them to perfection.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Beneficial Health Benefits Of Tea

Health Benefits of Tea? Here’s What the Evidence Says

After my Upshot column on the potential health benefits of coffee, the No. 1 request I got was to look into the potential benefits — or harms — of tea.

Unlike coffee, tea does not seem to generate negative perceptions. I know many more people who think that tea is beneficial, much more so than coffee. (That is, until my coffee column, I hope.)

As with coffee, a fairly large number of studies have looked at associations between tea and health. Most of the studies don’t have the rigor of randomized control trials and don’t prove causality. But so many studies were available that I was able to focus on systematic reviews and meta-analyses, or “studies of studies.”

Shots of espresso. The potential health benefits of coffee have been found to be surprisingly large.

Nine prospective cohort studies, three retrospective cohort studies and four cross-sectional studies including more than 800,000 participants have looked at the association between tea and liver disease. Those who drank tea were less likely to have hepatocellular carcinoma, liver steatosis, liver cirrhosis and chronic liver disease. This confirmed the findings in a previous systematic review published in 2008.

Tea has been associated with a lower risk of depression. A 2015 meta-analysis of 11 studies with almost 23,000 participants found that for every three cups of tea consumed per day, the relative risk of depression decreased 37 percent.

Tea was also associated with a reduction in the risk of stroke, with those consuming at least three cups a day having a 21 percent lower risk than those consuming less than a cup a day. A more recent meta-analysis examined 22 prospective studies on more than 850,000 people and found that drinking an additional three cups of tea a day was associated with a reduction in coronary heart disease (27 percent), cardiac death (26 percent), stroke (18 percent), total mortality (24 percent), cerebral infarction (16 percent) and intracerebral hemorrhage (21 percent).

A 2014 meta-analysis of 15 published studies of more than 545,000 participants found, as with coffee, an inverse relationship between tea consumption and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. For each additional two cups per day of tea consumed, the risk of developing diabetes dropped 4.6 percent.

What is tea not associated with? It does not seem to be linked with a reduced risk of fracture. And a systematic review from 2015 found that black tea was not linked to a reduced risk of endometrial cancer. But increasing green tea consumption by one cup a day could reduce the relative risk by 11 percent. A 2011 meta-analysis found that green tea, but not black tea, was associated with lower rates of prostate cancer. A 2013 meta-analysis could not find a significant association between tea consumption and the risk of glioma, a form of brain or spinal tumor.

The science is even more equivocal about cancer prevention. A Cochrane systematic review examined all the studies, regardless of type, that looked at associations between green tea and the risk of cancer incidence or mortality. They found 51 studies containing more than 1.6 million participants. Only one was a randomized control trial, however. Results were conflicting.

Moreover, most of the studies were done in Asia, where things might not be generalizable to the United States in terms of tea drinking. Regardless, the authors felt there was insufficient evidence to give any firm recommendations. A more recent study agrees.

Again, these are all mostly data from observational studies, and as such, they can’t prove causality and should be taken with a grain of salt. We’ve been burned many times before by assuming that what we see in associations in cohort studies will turn out to be truly causal when behavior changes, only to see that fall apart in randomized controlled trials.

The majority of studies have been done in Asian countries where tea drinking is much more common than in the United States. It’s possible that the people who don’t drink tea in those countries are different from those who do in a way that doesn’t translate to people in the United States. Finally, there seems to be less of a dose response than in the studies of coffee: Few of the studies could detect any response with less than three cups of tea a day.

There are some randomized studies, however, that don’t have most of these limitations. Green tea has been claimed to help people lose weight. Enough people believe this that 18 randomized controlled trials with 1,945 participants have been reviewed. Half of these trials took place in Japan, and only one in the United States. The evidence found that green tea produced a small weight loss in overweight and obese adults. But the difference was not significant. And green tea also didn’t help with the maintenance of weight loss previously achieved.

Green tea catechins, antioxidants found in the drink, had no effect on HDL cholesterol, triglyceride levels or C-reactive protein concentrations. Two more meta-analyses confirmed these findings.

But 11 trials that included 821 patients found that green tea and black tea can reduce other cardiovascular risk factors. Both were found to reduce low-density lipoprotein an average of 0.5 mmol/L, systolic blood pressure 2.3 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure 2.8 mmHg. These results should be interpreted with caution, however, as they focus on risk factors and not necessarily outcomes. There were also few studies contributing to each of these findings, so the results may not stand up to further scrutiny or replication.

At the end of all of this, I’m a little less impressed with the body of evidence regarding tea than I was with that of coffee. I admit that this is an interpretation, and others may disagree. The lack of a dose response in many of these trials, coupled with the fact that so many were performed in countries with markedly different tea consumption from our own, makes these results less generalizable than those of coffee were.

But the conclusions I would make are similar. I wouldn’t strongly recommend that anyone take up tea based on these findings. But there seem to be some potential benefits, and there don’t seem to be harms. Drink it if you like it. It, too, seems to be a completely reasonable addition to a healthful diet.

Aaron E. Carroll is a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. He blogs on health research and policy at The Incidental Economist, and you can follow him on Twitter at @aaronecarroll.

The Upshot provides news, analysis and graphics about politics, policy and everyday life. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our newsletter.

Why The Oldest Person In The World Keeps Dying

UPDATE (Oct. 4, 10:43 a.m.): You’re reading a vintage FiveThirtyEight story. Since this article was first published in May, the world’s oldest living person has changed. It is now Susannah Mushatt Jones, a 116-year-old who lives in Brooklyn.

As the oldest person in the world, Gertrude Weaver was making the best of her time in the limelight. When I called the 116-year-old Arkansas resident two days into her reign on a Friday in early April, she was resting after a couple of television appearances and a half-dozen phone interviews. With the help of her 73-year-old granddaughter, she offered up theories about her longevity (“hard work, love God,” as her granddaughter put it) and even invited President Obama to her next birthday party.
Kathy Langley, the administrator at Silver Oaks Health & Rehabilitation Center, the Camden facility where Weaver was living, estimated that Weaver was getting more than 50 calls a day from media outlets wanting to speak to her. “It’s somewhat overwhelming,” she said, asking me to call back Monday. When I did, I learned that Weaver had died that morning.
Weaver was part of what is perhaps the world’s most wizened sorority, one open only to those who were once the oldest living person on Earth. When I looked into everyone who’d had that distinction, I found that more people than ever are clustering at the outer edge of human aging and that the tenure of the world’s oldest living person isn’t as long as it used to be. Better record-keeping and longer lifespans have helped lead to quite a crowd.
Weaver’s five-day run as the oldest person in the world was short, but it turns out that the oldest person in the world never holds that title for very long. Since records started being kept in the 1950s, the average tenure has been just around a year, according to the Gerontology Research Group; it has dipped to just seven months since the year 2000. Weaver’s incumbency isn’t the shortest in recent years; North Carolina’s Emma Tillman died four days after becoming the world’s oldest person in 2007.
When she died, Weaver was the seventh-oldest person in verified history. The woman who preceded her as the oldest living person in the world, Japan’s Misao Okawa, died a month after she turned 117 — older than all but four other people in verified history. (Okawa credited her longevity to lots of sleep and lots of sushi.) The current oldest living person in the world, Jeralean Talley, is one of 11 children of Georgian farmers and is the 12th-oldest verified person in history; Brooklyn resident Susannah Mushatt Jones is only 44 days younger than her.
No one in the past 15 years has gotten anywhere close to the longevity of Sarah Knauss and Jeanne Calment, however. Knauss lived to be 119 years old, while Calment, a chain-smoking Frenchwoman and our modern Methuselah, was 122 years old when she passed away in 1997. (She was the oldest living person in the world for more than nine years.) They are the only two people known to have lived past 118.
Supercentenarians — people who have lived past their 110th birthday — generally come from a heartier stock than most people. They tend to have few age-related health issues and are much physically and mentally sharper than their peers during their 80s and 90s. Weaver, for example, didn’t move into the rehabilitation home until she was 109. As we enter an age with less war and infection and fewer accidents, more and more people with these superior aging genes have been able to make it to a point in time when they can show them off. It’s getting crowded at the top.
Aside from Knauss and Calment, however, the cutoff for mortality has remained relatively firm. Robert Young, a guy with a remarkable name considering he’s the senior claims researcher for the Gerontology Research Group and the senior gerontology consultant for Guinness World Records, refers to this phenomenon as the “rectangularization of the mortality curve.” People are getting older on average, but the oldest are still dying around the same age as ever. Thus, when one of them does take over as the oldest, she doesn’t have much time left. The average age of the oldest-ever people has increased over the past 40 years from around 112 to around 114.
I keep saying “she” to refer to the oldest person in the world for good reason. Ninety percent of supercentenarians are women. Some scientists think the two X chromosomes that women have explain some of the gender imbalance among the world’s oldest people. “The second X is like a backup,” Young said. “Males only have one chance to make a mistake.”
Weaver almost didn’t become the oldest person in the world, at least as far as the Gerontology Research Group and Guinness World Records are concerned. That’s because the daughter of sharecroppers doesn’t seem to have been issued a birth certificate, something that didn’t become common practice in the United States until 1933. However, she does appear in the 1900 census as a 2-year-old, and her marriage license — issued 100 years ago this July — shows that she was 17 at the time. But Weaver herself wasn’t sure when her birthday was, according to Young. Although she suspected that she was born in April, she adopted the country’s birthday as her own and celebrated on July Fourth.
Young was satisfied that the available documents verified Weaver’s age, but only came across them recently. In 2014, he had the somewhat ignominious task of stripping Talley of her title of oldest living American and presenting it to Weaver. (Of course, Talley has it back now.) As more and more documents come online, though, researchers like Young are able to verify — and debunk1 — more and more claims, increasing the size of the data set in the process.
Young’s work is far from done. He points out that most verified supercentenarians come from Japan and the U.S. While much of that geographical specialization may come from what he terms “lifestyle differences” between those places and the rest of the world, he thinks that as data collection gets better, we’ll start to discover more and more supercentenarians in other countries, most of which only started systematically keeping records of their citizens in the mid-20th century.
In fact, although Talley is one of only three people left in the world who Young has verified to have been born before 1900, he believes there are perhaps five others scattered across China, India and Brazil. (Strangely, the 20th century is considered to have started Jan. 1, 1901, so there are a handful of other, verified women still alive who were also born in the 19th century.)
As the number of these super supercentenarians grows, we should expect even shorter reigns from the oldest of them all. Perhaps that’s not necessarily a sad thing. In one of her last interviews, Weaver said that after gaining the title, there was simply nothing left to check off of her earthly bucket list. — David Goldenberg | FiveThirtyEight


  1. Old-age fraud occurs for a variety of reasons: to bolster religious beliefs, get status in the community, sell miracle potions, etc. But the most common kind of fraud is pension fraud, and one Japanese family took it to the logical extreme by claiming a long-dead, mummified relative was actually a living but sick supercentenarian. ^
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