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Live Forever or Die Trying
December 27, 2010 11:43 PM   Subscribe

If you're a man, get married and stay married, because married men outlive bachelors (but only if they talk as much as their wives). If you're a woman, have a baby after 40, but don't put anything on your face that you wouldn't put in your stomach.

Eat some seaweed and wash it down with a tall glass of sour milk. Bananas and tomato juice are also good, but only if combined with a regimen of walking on your hands and feet. Sip some skunk tea. Don't worry, nervous indigestion is a good sign. Draw yourself a baking soda bath. Make sure it's a cold enough to induce suspended animation.

Learn to breathe correctly, and breathe only country air. Preferably in Siberia, where you can become a Communist and not be a threat to our economy.

Consider getting some animal glands grafted onto your *ahem* "glands." Or just take a pill (made from sheep—NOT monkey glands.) No, wait, it's long-lived parents you want, not glands. But getting yourself castrated couldn't hurt. Whatever you do, stay calm.

Steer clear of fads—unless that fad is sunbathing. Live a life of deprivation. No, make that moderation. But only until you're past middle age. Study mollusks, but don't become famous doing it. If you must seek fame, become a U.S. Senator or a Supreme Court justice. In space.

Above all, be happy! You might live to be 200! But probably only 100. Truth be told, we'd all be better off if you died at 50.
posted by Knappster (29 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
I see that the cool thing about this is that it's all from old sources, but still, I can't resist the need to point out that there's a difference between correlation and causation.
posted by brenton at 12:29 AM on December 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


And if you like to use that squidgy grey thing in your head for something a bit more useful than watching The X Factor, learn a bit about statistics before being so foolish as to imagine you should build your entire life around data points on various ever-shifting graphs.

And yes, I realise that this is kinda your point. I just wanted to support it. :-)
posted by Decani at 12:54 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you want a contemporary guide, you can do no better than Kill or Cure: a handy guide for making sense of "the Daily Mail’s ongoing effort to classify every inanimate object into those that cause cancer and those that prevent it."
posted by honest knave at 1:22 AM on December 28, 2010 [13 favorites]


i don't know what to do.
posted by artof.mulata at 1:30 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is this where I should post my favorite correlation vs. causation story? I hope so, because here it is.

Okay, so we're in Psych class doing the correlation vs. causation lecture. Psych class in my HS was an AP class that a teacher came in and held in one of the English teacher's class, since it was only offered once a day. So we're in her classroom, talking about baldness.

Statistically, bald men tend to have been married longer than short men. One of the students makes the obvious point-- "Bald men make better husbands!" right when the English teacher walks in.

She shakes her head as if to say, silly Psych class, we don't even want to know what's going on in here.
posted by NoraReed at 2:16 AM on December 28, 2010


Smoke a lot, drink a lot, die young and get out of the way.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:26 AM on December 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


ok, I'll do it.
posted by cjared at 2:52 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you're a man, get married and stay married, because

it worked so well for Phil Hartman?
posted by three blind mice at 2:58 AM on December 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Truth be told, we'd all be better off if you died at 50.

...says Sir Arthur Keith (5 February 1866 – 7 January 1955), who was 62 when this was quoted, and lived to the ripe, old age of 89.

I wonder if he died a happy man?
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:12 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


And if you like to use that squidgy grey thing in your head for something a bit more useful than watching The X Factor

The squid in my skull that controls me is happy to hear this...

Also, without reading any of the links, I'm delighted by this as I got married last Wednesday. I'll have to tell the wife, I'm sure she'll be just as happy with this news as she is when I call her 'the wife'.
posted by Elmore at 3:23 AM on December 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I like Pret, but their posters claiming their food is 'chemical-free' makes me want to go stabbo with a Bread-Free Sandwich.
posted by mippy at 4:15 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's if you want to take the odds on staying married. Because getting unmarried takes years off your life in stress alone.
posted by spitbull at 5:03 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


After reading a smattering of these articles, I have come to the conclusion that Knappster may have a future career in the republican spin machine. Great finds in misreporting and misrepresenting data!
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:25 AM on December 28, 2010


I was pretty sure I was going to die before ever seeing my hometown paper (Spartanburg Herald Journal) on the Blue, married or not.
posted by jcking77 at 5:34 AM on December 28, 2010


If you're a woman [...] don't put anything on your face that you wouldn't put in your stomach.

Now, there's just gotta be a smutty joke in there, but I can't put it together. The correlation & causation are completely the wrong way around!
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:55 AM on December 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is this where I should post my favorite correlation vs. causation story? I hope so, because here it is.

Going to bed with your shoes on gives you a hangover.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 6:07 AM on December 28, 2010 [27 favorites]


Kill or Cure: a handy guide for making sense of "the Daily Mail’s ongoing effort to classify every inanimate object into those that cause cancer and those that prevent it."

Dear god, look at the size of that list! That page is the #1 go-to link example of why the hell people should stay away from the Mail.
posted by JHarris at 6:12 AM on December 28, 2010


How many of the above links would fail someone like
John Ioannidis examing their methodology:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/8269/
posted by zog at 6:12 AM on December 28, 2010


Did you know that if you eat peanut butter and jelly for 100 years you'll live long?
posted by AugustWest at 6:55 AM on December 28, 2010


I think accepting the fact that one day you will die is a hurdle you absolutely cannot avoid if you want to become and fully functioning adult human being. You have to seriously wrap your mind around the fact that one day you will cease to exist, and in another hundred years everyone you ever knew will be dead, and in several hundred more years everyone who ever knew of you through secondhand accounts will be dead, and in a few hundred more every record of the fact that you ever existed will be gone, and in an indeterminate number of years after that either humanity will have died out and all evidence of its existence will be swallowed by the earth or the earth itself will cease to exist and at that point every ripple caused by your life, every effect you ever had on our universe, will be gone. It will truly be as if you never existed. Those time periods sound long to us, but in real terms they are less than infinitesimal. It doesn't matter if you are the pope or Elvis or the father or a thousand children or the night manager of a Wendy's, at some point in a very short period of time relatively speaking your life will have meant nothing. No matter how kind, no matter how cruel, no matter what great deeds you do, it makes no real difference whatsoever in the scheme of things. This time right now while you are sitting in front of a computer is one of only an unfathomably short number of moments you have to take what pleasure this life has to offer before everything you ever were disappears as if it never was. Without coming to terms with this fact you can never truly be a man or woman, you will always be a child. This is a real life gom jabbar test. Only by really accepting this truth in your very core can you be a full person.

I prefer to avoid having to do so by just trusting that the singularity will invent a way to upload consciousness to computers within the next 80 years so that I can live forever on the internet. Much simpler that way.
posted by ND¢ at 7:18 AM on December 28, 2010 [14 favorites]


I don't know why, but all of those links take me to the Google front page.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:11 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


ND¢, there are days when I'm good with all that and days when I wonder, "why get out of bed, then?" And the answer usually is "To make the damn cat shut up about not having been fed yet."

As reasons for continued existence go, I've heard worse.
posted by emjaybee at 9:44 AM on December 28, 2010


Most days, I think about my life as I do about my child-rearing days: it was a lot of fun and I wouldn't have missed it for the world, but I'm glad I was eventually done with it (in the sense that my child is now an adult and I'm no longer directly in charge of his daily well-being). I think - I hope - I'll expire, whenever that happens, with the thought "I had a good run, but I'm kinda relieved it's over." And relax and enjoy living as much as possible in the meantime, so that I can have that thought without regret when the time comes.

I'd say "I'll let you know how that works out", but...well...
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:01 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, with a beer in one hand, shouting 'Whoo, what a ride!!'"
-Unknown
posted by tspae at 10:20 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Reading this link has just confirmed every single stereotype I have ever heard about the 1950s. Amazing...and disappointing.
posted by jnnla at 12:09 PM on December 28, 2010


“Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time.”
-George Carlin
posted by Twicketface at 12:46 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Saliva causes stomach cancer but only is swallowed in small amounts over long periods of time.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 1:49 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


A few columns to the right in that Leader-Post "don't put anything on your face" link:

"CHICAGO, Nov 27- Saturday, Mrs. Anna Cummings, 26, won a carving set at a neighborhood store as a prize. Sunday, she used the knife to stab to death her estranged husband, Frank, 30. She says she killed him in self-defense."


If she'd only gone to the cinema and won a set of dishes instead. Alas. Now she's a jailbird and a widow.
posted by droplet at 6:24 PM on December 28, 2010


This quote from the "threat to our economy" link sticks out:

"Whereas civilized governments spend billions on Social Security, pensions, human relief, hospitals, nursing homes, physicians and nurses, the Communists devote their funds to preparations for war and world conquest!"
posted by Aiwen at 1:15 AM on December 29, 2010


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