World’s oldest man, a retired chemist and parapsychologist, dies in NYC at age 111

The world’s oldest man, Alexander Imich, has died in New York City at the age of 111.

The world’s oldest man, a retired chemist and parapsychologist, has died in New York City. Alexander Imich was 111.

His niece, Karen Bogen of Providence, Rhode Island, says Imich died Sunday at his home in Manhattan.

Bogen says she had visited Imich a day earlier. She says his health declined about two weeks ago and he didn’t recognize her.

Imich was born in 1903 in a town in Poland that was then part of Russia. He and his wife fled after the Nazis invaded in 1939. They eventually moved to the United States in 1951. His wife died in 1986.

In news reports, Imich said his good genes and a general healthy lifestyle contributed to his longevity.

Guinness is investigating the claim that 111-year-old Sakari Momoi of Japan is now the world’s oldest man.

Read more: http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/world-s-oldest-man-a-retired-chemist-and-parapsychologist-dies-in-nyc-at-age-111-1.1859612#ixzz349R26qLm

Iranian man has gone 60 years without bathing

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Amou Haji, aged 80, who lives in Dejgah village in the southern Iranian province of Fars has not bathed for 60 years.

The last record of longest time going without showers belonged to a 66-year-old Indian man, Kailash Singh, who had not taken a bath over 38 years.

He believes cleanliness brings him sickness. His favorite food is rotten meat of dead animals, especiall porcupines, and when asked to eat clean food and drink clean water he gets mad.

His smoking pipe is filled with animal’s feces instead of tobacco and when he feels like smoking cigarettes he lights up a few of them at a time.

Amou Haji has a couple of places to live in: one is a hole in the ground resembling a grave to keep him grounded and in touch with the reality of life and the other is an open brick shack built by those who felt sorry for him.

He drinks his five liters of water every day out of a large rusty oil tin.

http://tehrantimes.com/society/113249-man-has-gone-60-years-without-bathing-

World record solar cell with 44.7% efficiency

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German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Soitec, CEA-Leti and the Helmholtz Center Berlin announced today that they have achieved a new world record for the conversion of sunlight into electricity using a new solar cell structure with four solar subcells. Surpassing competition after only over three years of research, and entering the roadmap at world class level, a new record efficiency of 44.7% was measured at a concentration of 297 suns. This indicates that 44.7% of the solar spectrum’s energy, from ultraviolet through to the infrared, is converted into electrical energy. This is a major step towards reducing further the costs of solar electricity and continues to pave the way to the 50% efficiency roadmap.

Back in May 2013, the German-French team of Fraunhofer ISE, Soitec, CEA-Leti and the Helmholtz Center Berlin had already announced a solar cell with 43.6% efficiency. Building on this result, further intensive research work and optimization steps led to the present efficiency of 44.7%.

These solar cells are used in concentrator photovoltaics (CPV), a technology which achieves more than twice the efficiency of conventional PV power plants in sun-rich locations. The terrestrial use of so-called III-V multi-junction solar cells, which originally came from space technology, has prevailed to realize highest efficiencies for the conversion of sunlight to electricity. In this multi-junction solar cell, several cells made out of different III-V semiconductor materials are stacked on top of each other. The single subcells absorb different wavelength ranges of the solar spectrum.

“We are incredibly proud of our team which has been working now for three years on this four-junction solar cell,” says Frank Dimroth, Department Head and Project Leader in charge of this development work at Fraunhofer ISE. “This four-junction solar cell contains our collected expertise in this area over many years. Besides improved materials and optimization of the structure, a new procedure called wafer bonding plays a central role. With this technology, we are able to connect two semiconductor crystals, which otherwise cannot be grown on top of each other with high crystal quality. In this way we can produce the optimal semiconductor combination to create the highest efficiency solar cells.”

“This world record increasing our efficiency level by more than 1 point in less than 4 months demonstrates the extreme potential of our four-junction solar cell design which relies on Soitec bonding techniques and expertise,” says André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, Soitec’s Chairman and CEO. “It confirms the acceleration of the roadmap towards higher efficiencies which represents a key contributor to competitiveness of our own CPV systems. We are very proud of this achievement, a demonstration of a very successful collaboration.”

“This new record value reinforces the credibility of the direct semiconductor bonding approaches that is developed in the frame of our collaboration with Soitec and Fraunhofer ISE. We are very proud of this new result, confirming the broad path that exists in solar technologies for advanced III-V semiconductor processing,” said Leti CEO Laurent Malier.

Concentrator modules are produced by Soitec (started in 2005 under the name Concentrix Solar, a spin-off of Fraunhofer ISE). This particularly efficient technology is employed in solar power plants located in sun-rich regions with a high percentage of direct radiation. Presently Soitec has CPV installations in 18 different countries including Italy, France, South Africa and California.

http://phys.org/news/2013-09-world-solar-cell-efficiency.html

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

World’s oldest man, Salustiano ‘Shorty’ Sanchez, dies aged 112

Salustiano Sanchez

The world’s oldest man, a gin rummy-playing, one-time sugarcane worker born in Spain, has died at 112 in New York state, a funeral home said on Saturday.

Salustiano “Shorty” Sanchez, recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest man, died on Friday at a nursing home in Grand Island, New York, the MJ Colucci & Son Funeral Chapels said on its website.

Guinness said in June that Sanchez, who also had been a construction worker, was the oldest man following the death of 116-year-old Jiroemon Kimura of Japan.

Sanchez credited his longevity to eating one banana per day and taking Anacin daily, according to a recent Guinness online profile. He told Guinness that living so long was not a special accomplishment.

Sanchez was born in El Tejado de Bejar, Spain, in 1901 and worked as a sugarcane field worker in Cuba before emigrating to the United States, where he found work in Kentucky coalmines.

Sanchez liked to garden, do crossword puzzles, and play gin rummy every night with friends, according to Guinness.

Sanchez was known for his musical talents as a boy, playing a dulzaina, a Spanish double reed instrument related to the oboe, Guinness said. He went to school until age 10.

Sanchez moved to the Niagara Falls area of New York state in the early 1930s and became a construction worker. He worked for Union Carbide Co for more than 30 years before retiring.

He married his wife, Pearl, in 1934. Sanchez had two children, seven grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren, according to Guinness.

With his death, the world’s oldest man is Arturo Licata of Italy at 111. The oldest woman is Misao Okawa of Japan at 115, according to the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks people 110 and older and validates ages for Guinness.

The greatest authenticated age for any human is 122 years, 164 days by Jeanne Louise Calment of France.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/15/worlds-oldest-man-salustiana-sanchez-dies

At 123, Bolivian Carmelo Flores Laura may be the oldest human who ever lived

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Carmelo Flores Laura, a Bolivian cattle and sheep herder, was born in 1890 — 123 years ago — according to Bolivian public records. That’s a year before the invention of the rotary-dial telephone and two years before the first Ferris wheel spun at the Chicago World’s Fair.

If the records are accurate, Flores is the oldest living person ever documented.

Associated Press reporters recently visited Flores at his straw-roofed hut near Bolivia’s Lake Titicaca. Although he has no teeth and is nearly deaf, Flores walks without a cane and speaks in a firm voice, the news agency reported.

“I see a bit dimly,” Flores told the AP. “I had good vision before. But I saw you coming.”

A Bolivian official presented as evidence of Flores’ age a registry listing his birthdate as July 16, 1890. He said Flores’ birth predates the existence of birth certificates in Bolivia by 50 years.

A Guinness World Records spokeswoman told the AP that she knew of no claim being filed for Flores. But if his age is correct, the Bolivian has bested by one year Jeanne Calment, a French woman who died in 1997 at the verified age of 122.

Flores chalks up his long life to a lot of walking.

“I go out with the animals,” said the longtime sheep and cattle herder.

He eats barley, instead of rice or noodles, and drinks water that originates on Illampu, the fourth-highest mountain in Bolivia.

As the Los Angeles Times reported in an obituary after Calment’s death, the French woman credited her longevity to an occasional glass of port wine and eating plenty of olive oil.

Calment smoked until 1995, when she became too blind to light her own cigarettes and disliked asking anyone else to do it for her.

On her 121st birthday, in 1996, she released a CD, “Time’s Mistress,” which showcased her reminiscences over a background of rap and other music.

As for Flores, he says he very much misses his wife, who died more than a decade ago. One of his children is still living, 67-year-old Cecilio. Most of his 40 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren have moved away from his small Bolivian hamlet.

http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-bolivia-oldest-person-123-20130815,0,4445976.story

World’s Thinnest House is Just Four Feet Wide

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A four-foot-wide space between two buildings in Warsaw, Poland has become the world’s thinnest house. Architect Jakub Szczesny built a series of vertical spaces into the void including a kitchen, bathroom, Keret House will function as a place for artist residencies lasting from five to seven days. Its size prevents it from being considered a full-time residence. Szczesny, who has been working on the narrow home for three years, was inspired by the work of Israeli writer Etgar Keret, who writes extremely short stories.

You might imagine that such a thin house, crammed between two large buildings, would feel dark and claustrophobic inside. But a transparent roof, open stairways and a wall of windows enable lots of sunlight to stream inside. The house is set about ten feet above the ground, is 33 feet in depth and about 30 feet tall.

Slim Living: World’s Thinnest House is Just Four Feet Wide

Germany Eliminates 63-Letter Word “Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz”

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The word – which refers to the “law for the delegation of monitoring beef labelling”, has been repealed by a regional parliament after the EU lifted a recommendation to carry out BSE tests on healthy cattle.

German is famous for its compound nouns, which frequently become so cumbersome they have to be reduced to abbreviations. The beef labelling law, introduced in 1999 to protect consumers from BSE, was commonly transcribed as the “RkReÜAÜG”, but even everyday words are shortened to initials so Lastkraftwagen – lorry – becomes Lkw.

The law was considered a legitimate word by linguists because it appears in official texts, but it never actually appeared in the dictionaries, because compilers of the standard German dictionary Duden judge words for inclusion based on their frequency of use.

The longest word with a dictionary entry, according to Duden is at 36 letters, Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung, motor vehicle liability insurance.

However a 39-letter word, Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften, insurance companies providing legal protection, is considered the longest German word in everyday use by the Guinness Book of World Records.

In theory, a German word can be infinitely long. Unlike in English, an extra concept can simply be added to the existing word indefinitely. Such extended words are sometimes known as Bandwurmwörter – “tapeworm words”. In an essay on the Germany language, Mark Twain observed: “Some German words are so long that they have a perspective.”

The Teutonic fondness for sticking nouns together has resulted in other famous tongue-twisters such as: Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän – Danube steamship company captain – which clocks in at 42 letters. It has become a parlour game to lengthen the steamship captain’s name, by creating new words such as Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänswitwe, the captain’s widow. And, Donaudampfschifffahrtskapitänsmütze – the captain’s hat.

At 80 letters, the longest word ever composed in German is Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft, the “Association for Subordinate Officials of the Head Office Management of the Danube Steamboat Electrical Services”.

The longest word in the Oxford Dictionary of English is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis – at 45 letters. Its definition is “an artificial long word said to mean a lung disease casued by inhaling very fine ash and sand dust.

The longest word to be found in Britain is the Welsh place name Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10095976/Germany-drops-its-longest-word-Rindfleischeti….html

Ferris Wheel World Record Broken At Chicago’s Navy Pier

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A manager of Chicago’s Navy Pier rode the tourist spot’s Ferris wheel for more than two days – 384 times, up and around – bringing the world record for the longest ride to the birthplace of the amusement park favorite.

“I thought Chicago should have that title,” Clinton Shepherd said after finishing his record-breaking ride on Sunday. Shepherd, the park operations manager, spent 48 hours, 8 minutes and 25 seconds riding Navy Pier’s Ferris wheel over the weekend.

The first Ferris wheel was built in 1893 in Chicago for the World’s Columbian Exposition.

Guinness World Records allowed him to have one five-minute break each hour. He played hours of videogames to stay awake during the ride, and watched James Bond and Batman movies. His gondola on the wheel was specially outfitted with a big-screen TV, cushions and curtains.

Supporters followed him on Twitter. A video camera recorded the feat while volunteer timekeepers documented Shepherd’s activities.

Fans could join Shepherd for a spin by making a donation to the USO. Shepherd’s girlfriend rode with him Saturday for a candlelight anniversary dinner with food from a Chicago restaurant owned by Michael Jordan.

The 32-year-old Shepherd called his adventure “a very overwhelming experience” that was made easier by the support of friends, family and the city of Chicago.

“I was thrilled and honored to be able to have all the love and support I did,” Shepherd said.

The previous record was 30 hours and 35 seconds. Shepherd said he didn’t want to simply beat the record, “I wanted to shatter it.”

“It was little rough at about three in the morning, but the more I kept busy, the better,” Shepherd said.

He said his legs felt wobbly after the ride.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/20/ferris-wheel-world-record_n_3306361.html

Samurai Isao Machii slices speeding pellet (200 mph) in half

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This truly needs to seen to be believed: A man who calls himself a modern-day samurai warrior has been videotaped slicing a speeding pellet in half with a sword.

Isao Machii accomplished the seemingly superhuman feat in a video filmed at a firing range outside Los Angeles last year. The clip was recently recirculated by Oddity Central. The filmmakers used a special camera to slow down the film by 250 times. Viewers can see Machii’s blade slicing into the pellet, which was moving at 200 mph.

Witness Dr. Ramani Durvasula, an associate Professor of Psychology from California State University, said she heard the blade connect with the bullet, but could not see it.

“This is about processing it at an entirely different sensory level because he is not visually processing it,” Durvasula says in the video. “This is a different level of anticipatory processing. Something so procedural, something so fluid for him.”

Machii’s skills with a blade are well-documented.

The Daily Mail notes that the swordsman began studying the ancient art at age 5 and is now the leader of his own samurai school.

Machii also holds multiple Guinness World Records, including one for most sword cuts to straw mats in three minutes. Machii’s record of 252 cuts was achieved on the set of Lo Show Dei Record, in Milan, Italy, in April 2011.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, YouTube is filled with videos of the talented samurai’s various feats. Machii has been filmed cutting an egg in half, slicing the delicate top of a mushroom and cutting clean through an iron pipe.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/28/isao-machii-modern-day-samurai-cuts-pellet-half_n_2377386.html