Living to 100 and Other Fascinating News on the Web

6 minute read

1. Not Going Anywhere for Awhile?

What exactly makes us live longer? That’s hard to say. “Except with regard to infectious diseases, medical cause and effect is notoriously hard to pin down. Coffee, salt, butter: good, bad, or neither?” What we do know is that our lives are extending. And if some mice being worked on at the Buck Institute and other aging research centers are any indicator, humans are about to live a lot longer. “The number of Americans 65 or older could reach 108 million in 2050. That’s like adding three more Floridas, inhabited entirely by seniors.” In The Atlantic, Gregg Easterbrook provides some very interesting answers to the question: What Happens When We All Live to 100?

+ Ezekiel J. Emanuel: Why I Hope to Die at 75. (If only he knew what we plan to give him for his 76th birthday.)

2. Sweet Sorrow

It all seemed to so simple. Find a substance with the same sweet taste as sugar, but that doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels, and boom, you win. But you just can’t fool the human body. Researchers have found that artificial sweeteners can tweak your gut microbiome in a way that actually leads to higher levels of blood sugar that can end up being stored as fat.

3. The Front Down Under

The biggest anti-terrorism operation in Australia’s history has resulted in the apprehension of several ISIS supporters who were planning on carrying out public executions.

+ “Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, ‘He’s only doing this because he’s a prisoner. He’s got a gun at his head and he’s being forced to do this.’ Right?” ISIS releases a videotape of a British hostage warning against Western attacks on the Islamic State.


+ ISIS. ISIL. The Islamic State. In what seems like an instant, they’ve become the most notorious terrorism outfit in the world. But no one seems quite sure what to call them. And now France is adopting the term used by many in the Arab world: Daesh.

4. Beam Me Up, Scotland

Ninety-seven percent of the electorate are registered to vote in Scotland. So turnout was huge as people took to the polls for the independence vote.

+ Here’s your cheat sheet.

+ The pundits are describing the race as too close to call. The bookies are less uncertain.

+ What would Scottish independence mean for whisky? (In the short run, I’m guessing it would mean a hell of lot of it would be consumed.)

+ Scotland isn’t exactly breaking new ground. Here’s a map of all the countries that have declared independence from the British.


+ And here are the latest updates on the vote.

5. Which Kid is Your Favorite?

Which of your kids do you like the most? I know, you think you can’t answer that question without doing irreparable damage to the unfavored. Well, don’t worry about it. As NPR’s Nancy Shute explains, what matters is not how parents actually treat the children, but how the kids perceive it.”

+ Some researchers are wondering why girls get better grades across every subject. (Let’s just hope some of those researchers are women…)

+ My son’s third grade teacher asked all his students to write a letter to their parents. As you can see, we run a pretty formal household.

6. First and Ten Million Yards

Many NFL fans have dreamed of a day when everyone they knew would be talking football all the time. But these were not the topics any of those fans had in mind. The football storylines are officially out of the NFL’s control. One thing that could potentially stop the bleeding would be a change at the top. But this is no ordinary organization. From BloombergBusinessweek: Roger Goodell at the 50-50 Yard Line.

+ Slate’s Jeremy Stahl wonders: how much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?

+ And just in case anyone wondered if this whole negative storyline would just blow over, there’s this: “Arizona Cardinals backup running back Jonathan Dwyer became the latest NFL player to be arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.”

7. Is Eight Enough?

If you’ve been trying desperately to get someone’s attention, you had your chance yesterday during the time it took them to download and install iOS 8 on their iPhone. If you were one of those who updated, then you’ll probably be interested in 15 insanely great tricks to master Apple’s iOS 8, top ten secret features of iOS 8, six super-helpful tricks you probably don’t know about, the best new features you might not know about, and 25 things you can do with the new OS that you couldn’t do with the old OS. (I haven’t upgraded yet, but I hear the new software lets you get the Internet on your phone.)

+ Oh, and there’s a new Kindle and it’s supposed to be shockingly good.

+ Is there a difference between your paper reading brain and your device reading brain?

8. Find Your WeiWei

More than one million lego pieces will be used to compose the portraits of 176 prisoners of conscience and political exiles. The form of Ai Weiwei’s new art installation is unusual, and so is its location: Alcatraz.

9. No One Puts Babymama In a Corner

“During the days, people donated their skill sets to teach classes — a cooking class here, a couture class there. And there were themed parties the latter two nights. There was, perhaps most crucially, an open bar. What there wasn’t: cellular service, or Wi-Fi.” Welcome to adult camp.

+ CItylab: Wait your turn for the swings at Boston’s adult playground.

10. The Bottom of the News

It “does effectively represent the modern American Dream: flipping an incredibly stupid idea into a huge amount of money and then running swiftly away.” From Grantland: Five Years in, What Does Shark Tank Mean for America? (I really hoped Sharknado would’ve taken care of this show by now…)

+ So you’re performing in the most important flute competition of your life and a butterfly lands on your face. But the show must go on. Amazing.

+ Vox: Watch a mash-up of 23 amateur musicians, combined into one kick-ass band.

+ Miley Cyrus is in trouble for twerking with a Mexican flag. Dios Mio.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at