"Who wants to live forever", Queen's Freddie mercury asked his audience, and most would have replied not me, given the chance. Longevity without quality of life is more to be feared than set as an ideal. Old age can be a mixed bag and if you have no friends, little money and even less loving family it can be hell on earth.
So what about living past 100 or to the ripe old age of 116, the age the world's oldest person reached before their death this week? Mr Jiroemon Kimura, from Kyotango in Japan, had seen a lot of changes since he was born on April 19, 1897. Queen Victoria was the Biritsh monarch when he was born, two World Wars followed, inventions such as the Internet, space travel, television, talking movies and more were to come. It is hard to imagine how out of time this man have felt having lived so long.
He was officially recorded as the world's oldest living person in December 2012. Having been ill with pneumonia for around a month he passed away Wednesday, in hospital, in his hometown of Kyotango. Pneumonia used to be described as an enemy to the very young but a friend to the old and infirm. Often it is that which will end an old person's life rather than other illness they may have.
According to a report in the Guardian the "longest-living person in history was Jeanne Calment, a French woman who died in 1997 at the age of 122". Some record ages have been refuted due to non-existent records. It is fair to say however that some people just live much longer than the norm.
Misao Okawa, a compatriot of Mr Kimura, now holds the record, aged 115-year-old. The Osaka woman already held the title of the world's oldest woman.
The individuals put down their longevity to a mixture a reasons but none are specific indicators of a long life. More than likely genetics was the overruling factor. Some startling statistics from Japan makes us wonder though if that country has the secret of longevity:
Japan's average life expectancy when Kimura was born was around 44 years; it now stands at 83. The country is home to more than 51,000 centenarians and around 20 supercentenarians, or people aged 110 or older.