5 People Born in the 1800’s — and Still Alive!

June 5, 2015 at 8:49 am Leave a comment

There’s been a big deal made this week about the five people still alive who were born in the 1800’s, and rightfully so. As I wash down an A1 Peppercorn Burger from Red Robin and a bag of Cheetos with a Dr Pepper, I’m not even sure I’ll make it to 50, let alone 115.

I feel bad for these five women. The following internet math trick claims that it works “for everyone in the whole world,” but it doesn’t work for supercentenarians:

  • Take the last two digits of the year in which you were born.
  • Now add the age you will be this year.
  • The result will be 115 for everyone in the whole world.
Misao Okawa

Misao Okawa

For instance, the oldest living person, Misao Okawa, was born on March 5, 1898. For her, this trick yields 98 + 117 = 215, not 115 as promised.

As it turns out, this trick doesn’t work for anyone born after 2000, either. For instance, my sons were born May 2, 2007, and for them, 07 + 8 = 15, not 115.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Surely, something must be wrong. There’s not really an error floating around the internet, right? But it does appear to be the case.

Luckily, I have a solution for this problem. My modification of the trick is as follows, and then it really will work for everyone in the whole world:

  • Take the year in which you were born.
  • Now add the age you will be this year.
  • The result will be 2015 for everyone in the whole world.

Unsatisfying, sure, but at least it’s correct.

There are lots of reasons to which the very old attribute their longevity. Chief among them is having never taken a statistics course at a community college. But not far behind are eating healthy, exercising regularly, remaining active, having friends, and staying happy. Some simply attribute it to “living right.”

A reporter asked a centenarian, “To what do you attribute your longevity?”

“Simple,” said the man. “I never argue.”

“Oh, surely there must be more to it than that,” said the reporter.

“Well,” said the elderly man. “I guess you’re right.”

It’s not uncommon for reporters to interview centenarians and ask them about their longevity.

A 100-year old man was asked, “To what do you attribute your long life?”

“I’m not quite sure yet,” he replied. “I’m still negotiating with two cereal companies.”

And finally, to celebrate her 100th birthday, Dorothy Carchman was invited on-stage with the cast of Old Jews Telling Jokes. She delivered the following punch line with aplomb:

Becky, who was 90 years old, and her best friend, Dorothy, are driving down the road. Becky said, “Dorothy, that’s the third car you almost hit in five minutes.”

And Dorothy replied, “Wait… I’m driving?”

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I’m Playing Baaas-Ket-Baaall 7 Names to String You Along…

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About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

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Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

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