SXSW 2013: 5 Life Lessons from South by Southwest

The music, film and interactive gathering called South by Southwest (SXSW or just South by to its friends) has just wrapped up in Texas. The artist once again known as Prince was there, along with 2,200 young bands; so was the “inventor” of the Internet, Al Gore. Bill Gates and Stevie Nicks were in the house. If something was new or cool, like 3D printing or Google Glass, it was there, too. Everyone was talking about “storytelling” – and the …

Living Longer Than Ever: Is That a Good Thing?

CHICAGO – The good news: We’re living longer than ever. The bad news: We’re living longer than ever. In an oversimplified way, that was the message from Laura Carstensen, Ph.D., director of Stanford University’s Center on Longevity, in her remarks to this year’s Aging in America Conference here, sponsored by the American Society on Aging. Carstensen, a well-known researcher who delights in debunking stereotypes of older adults, had less of the expected  “older is better” happy talk, and more of …

The Wealthier You Are, the Longer You’re Likely to Live

The more money you have, the longer you just might live. What’s more, there seems to be a widening gap between the life expectancy of Americans at the upper end of the income spectrum and those at the lower end, according to research from the University of Washington and published by the Washington Post. While life expectancy has risen for the nation – it was  78.5 years in 2009 – research shows that this progress has eluded lower-wage earners. To illustrate that point, the …

Watch: Geriatric Sea Otter Stays Fit By Shooting Hoops

Meet Eddie, a 15-year-old sea otter at the Oregon Zoo. At 15 he’s considered a geriatric in otter years, but he isn’t letting his age - and his arthritis – get in the way of having lots of fun, as you can easily see from watching him shoot hoops in his aquatic basketball court. Eddie’s signature move? “The slam dunk,” says Jenny DeGroot, the zoo’s lead sea otter keeper. “Eddie almost never misses,” DeGroot adds. “And if he does miss, he …

Besse Cooper: A 116-Year-Old’s Secrets for Longevity

Besse Brown Cooper, who passed away at age 116 on Dec. 4 in Georgia, was remarkable not just because she was the oldest person on the planet, but because she was for long one of the healthiest. Cooper, who was born in 1896 in Tennessee and lived in a log cabin as a young girl, not only lived to become one of eight documented individuals who reached the age of 116 but also made it through virtually her entire lifespan without …

How to Live to 100 and Have Fun Doing It!

Reading Dan Buettner’s New York Times story, “The Island Where People Forget to Die” made me want to move to Ikaria, Greece, immediately. This is an island where an unusually large percentage of people live past 100 because they get ample amounts of sleep, sex, socializing, spirituality, spinach, and sourdough bread. And they drink several glasses of red wine each day. Basically, party animals who don’t sit still much, but pray and take a lot of naps. To be honest, this …