(Investigator 13, 1990 July)

Few topics are associated with more bull than longevity.

If you’re into fighting all wrinkles and staying young forever you’ve probably tried skin-care lotions, youth formulas, meditation, mega doses of vitamins, low protein or low fat diets, vegetarianism, spring water, jogging, antioxidants, a young spouse, yoga, etc.

Perhaps you’ve even tried an organ or gland transplant, or played chess:


Centenarian’s secret on how to live a long life 
(Hongkong Standard 1986 July 22)

BEIJING: A centenarian in Shanghai says he owes his long life to chess, according to the Beijing Review. 

Mr Xie Xiaxun, 100, honorary vice-chairman of the Shanghai Chess Association, was first crowned the King of Chinese Chess at the first Chinese Chess Tournament in Shanghai in 1918. 

According to Mr Xie, who has authored 29 books on chess, learning to play chess is just like “learning breathing exercises.” 

Mr Xie, who brought international chess to China, said decades ago he was invited to Malaysia (then Malaya), where a British airforce commander, the local international chess champion, challenged him to a game of international chess. He returned home with some of the Briton’s tricks and the British board. 

A native of Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, Mr Xie has 107 descendants, living in other countries, or in Hongkong and Taiwan. He has also trained many chess champions.–Xinhua 


Nancy Vine of Florida tried none of those things and yet (according to TV news reports) outlived all her family and her 11 children. Mrs Vine turned 124 on August 1 1989. She was “believed to be the oldest living woman."  Nancy plays bingo and: “loves to watch the world go by outside her nursing home.”

The long life-spans of up to 960 years recorded in the early pages of the Bible seem suspicious. From Moses onwards, however, the numbers agree with the maximums of recent times. Moses died at 120, his brother at 123, Joshua (successor of Moses) at 110, and Jehoiada (a priest in Israel around 850 BC) at 130.