Violet Mosse Brown, World’s Oldest Person, Dies at 117


In April 2017, 117-year-old Violet Mosse Brown inherited the title of Oldest Living Person following the death of fellow 117-year-old Emma Morano, who was "the world's last living link to the 19th century" (as she was born in 1899).

According to the Jamaica Observer, Brown—who was affectionately known as “Aunt V”—passed away at the Fairview Medical Centre in Montego Bay at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Friday. Her death was announced on Twitter via Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s prime minister, who included a photo of him with Brown when he last visited her at her home.

While other centenarians have attributed their longevity to everything from exercise to lack of exercise, Brown—who was born on March 10, 1900—claimed her secret to a long life was hard work and an unbreakable faith.

“I was a cane farmer,” Brown told the AP in April. “I would do every work myself. I worked, me and my husband, over that hill.” She also credited her belief in God as an important part of her long life. “I spent all my time in the church. I like to sing. I spent all my time in the church from a child to right up [now].”

Brown’s husband, Augustus, died in 1997; and the eldest of her six children passed away in April, at the age of 97.

Brown’s death means that Japan’s Nabi Tajima—who just turned 117 on August 4—is now the world’s oldest surviving person.

[h/t: Jamaica Observer]

America's Divorce Rate is Declining—and We Have Millennials to Thank for It


Millennials are reportedly killing off yet another cultural mainstay, but this time, it may be a good thing. According to Bloomberg, divorce rates are going down, thanks to the commitment powers of younger generations.

Between 2008 and 2016, the divorce rate in the U.S. dropped by 18 percent, according to a new analysis of data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Controlling for related factors like age (older people are less likely to get divorced than younger couples), the rate still dropped by 8 percent. By contrast, Baby Boomers have consistently divorced at higher rates than previous generations.

Many declines that Millennials are blamed for—like rates of homeownership or having kids—can actually be attributed to the dismal finances of a generation that came of age in a recession, is saddled with crushing student debt, and faces high costs of living and low wage growth. Divorces can be expensive, too. Yet several trends point to a higher likelihood of marriage stability for the Millennial generation that has nothing to do with finances. On average, Millennials are marrying later in life, and spending more time dating partners prior to marriage than earlier generations, both of which correlate with a lower chance of divorce, according to social scientists.

“The U.S. is progressing toward a system in which marriage is rarer, and more stable, than it was in the past,” author Philip Cohen writes in the paper.

Sorry, law school students, but it looks like being a divorce lawyer is going to get a little less lucrative in the future.

[h/t Bloomberg]

Tune in Tonight: Mental Floss on Jeopardy!

All that time you've spent on here is about to pay off.

Tune in tonight for Jeopardy! and you'll catch the debut of the "I Learned It From Mental Floss" category. Big bucket list moment for us.

We've been working closely with the Jeopardy! team over on Instagram, sharing amazing facts on both @jeopardy and @mental_floss. Study up!

Check your local listings for stations and show times.