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

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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]

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TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images
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This Just In
What Do You Get the Person Who Has Everything? Perhaps a German Village for Less Than $150,000
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images

Looking for a gift for the world traveler who has everything? If cost isn't an issue and they're longing for a quiet country home, Fortune reports that an entire village in East Germany is up for sale. The tiny hamlet of Alwine, in Germany's Brandenburg region, is going up for auction on Saturday, December 9. Opening bids begin at $147,230.

Alwine has around one dozen buildings and 20 full-time residents, most of them elderly. It was once owned by a neighboring coal plant, which shut down in 1991, soon after East Germany reunited with West Germany. Many residents left after that. Between 1990 and 2015, the regional population fell by 15 percent, according to The Local.


TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images

In 2000, a private investor purchased the decaying hamlet for just one Deutsche Mark (the currency used before the euro). But its decline continued, and now it's up for grabs once more—this time around, for a much-higher price.

Andreas Claus, the mayor of the district surrounding Alwine, wasn't informed of the village's sale until he heard about it in the news, according to The Local. While no local residents plan to purchase their hometown, Claus says he's open to fostering dialogue with the buyer, with hopes of eventually revitalizing the local community.

[h/t Fortune]

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This Just In
For $61, You Can Become a Co-Owner of This 13th-Century French Castle
Guillaume Souvant, Getty Images
Guillaume Souvant, Getty Images

A cultural heritage restoration site recently invited people to buy a French castle for as little as $61. The only catch? You'll be co-owning it with thousands of other donors. Now thousands of shareholders are responsible for the fate of the Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers in western France, and there's still room for more people to participate.

According to Mashable, the dilapidated structure has a rich history. Since its construction in the 13th century, the castle has been invaded by foreign forces, looted, renovated, and devastated by a fire. Friends of Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers, a small foundation formed in 2016 in an effort to conserve the overgrown property, want to see the castle restored to its former glory.

Thanks to a crowdfunding collaboration with the cultural heritage restoration platform Dartagnans, the group is closer than ever to realizing its mission. More than 9000 web users have contributed €51 ($61) or more to the campaign to “adopt” Mothe-Chandeniers. Now that the original €500,000 goal has been fulfilled, the property’s new owners are responsible for deciding what to do with their purchase.

“We intend to create a dedicated platform that will allow each owner to monitor the progress of works, events, project proposals and build a real collaborative and participatory project,” the campaign page reads. “To make an abandoned ruin a collective work is the best way to protect it over time.”

Even though the initial goal has been met, Dartagnans will continue accepting funds for the project through December 25. Money collected between now and then will be used to pay for various fees related to the purchase of the site, and new donors will be added to the growing list of owners.

The shareholders will be among the first to see the cleared-out site during an initial visit next spring. The rest of the public will have to wait until it’s fully restored to see the final product.

[h/t Mashable]

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