Can anyone explain to me why we are so obsessed in knowing a person’s age? The media, in particular (and I assume they are influenced by their audience’s fascination with the matter) rarely fail to state the ages of the people they feature. Inevitably you will read or hear about:-  “A 23 year old man ….”; “A 47 year old mother of three …”; “A five month old baby …” etc. etc. involve in some activity or other.

It’s never:  “A blue eyed man …”; “A red-headed mother …”; or “A chubby baby …” that are described to us, unless there is a ‘WANTED’ tag associated with the person.

I sometimes wonder how much time or guesswork is associated with this age-obsession that could have been better employed by reporters in seeking the truth of the matter they are reporting.

I think, if ever I am in the lime-light and capable of providing information on myself, the report will be about “A stubborn and often cantankerous man with a dodgy knee and misplaced hair …”

But, as we are obsessed with age, here are some Wikipedia facts on longevity:-

  • The oldest person ever whose age has been verified is Jeanne Calment (1875–1997) of France, who died at the age of 122 years and 164 days.
  • As women live longer than men on average, combined records for both sexes are dominated by women. The longest undisputed lifespan for a man is that of Jiroemon Kimura of Japan (1897–2013), who died at age 116 years, 54 days.
  • Since the death of 117-year-old Nabi Tajima of Japan on 21 April 2018, 117-year-old Chiyo Miyako of Japan, born 2 May 1901, is the world’s oldest living person whose age has been documented.
  • Since the death of 113-year-old Francisco Núñez Olivera of Spain on 29 January 2018, 112-year-old Masazō Nonaka of Japan, born 25 July 1905, is the world’s oldest living man.
  • The Hebrew Bible, the Torah, Joshua, Job, and 2 Chronicles record Methuselah with a lifespan of 969 years. Some apologists explain such extreme ages as ancient mistranslations that converted the word “month” to “year”, mistaking lunar cycles for solar ones. This would turn an age of 969 years into a more reasonable 969 lunar months, or 78-1⁄2 years by modern standards.

Genealogy Sunshine Coast newsletter, Kin Tracer. March 2018

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