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100 Pieces of Advice from 100-Year-Olds

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What’s the secret to a long and healthy life? All centenarians have their own habits and morning routines by which they swear. In July, the world's oldest woman—116-year-old Brooklynite Susannah Mushatt Jones—attributed her longevity to a daily dose of four strips of bacon. For 110-year-old Agnes Fenton, “three cans of Miller High Life a day and a shot of good booze at 5 p.m.” does the trick (Johnnie Walker Blue is her drink of choice). From daily naps to ice cream, here's what some very old people credit for their lengthy lifespan.

In 2011, Huffington Post interviewed a centenarian named Ruth. Since the age of 92, Ruth has committed to weekly Pilates classes. She also has a mean sense of style.

1. “Don’t look at the calendar. Just keep celebrating every day.”

2. “Invest in quality pieces, they never go out of style.”

3. “I make myself go out every day, even if it’s only to walk around the block. The key to staying young is to keep moving.”

NBC talked to a 100-year-old doctor who still ran his own practice. He had a few untraditional pieces of medical wisdom to share.

4. “Exercise, to me, is totally unnecessary. I think it’s mostly overrated.”

5. “The use of vitamins? Forget it. And I don’t encourage going to a lot of doctors, either.”

6. “Fall in love, get married. Sex is to be encouraged.”

This centenarian shared advice about love, forgiveness, and passion:

7. “Even if you feel hatred, keep it to yourself. Don’t hurt other people for any reason.”

8. “Don’t ever give up on love.”

9. “Nobody else controls you.”

10. “Make time to cry.”

11. "Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.”

12. “Don’t compare. You’ll never be happy with your life. The grass is always greener.”

13. “If you are embarrassed to be dating someone, you should not be dating them.”

14. “Do one thing each day that is just for you.”

15. “Don’t be a cheapskate.”

16. “Forgive.”

17. “Find your passion and live it.”

18. “Most time things will figure themselves out.”

19. “Choose the right parents.”

20. “Have a pet. Life gets lonely sometimes. Pets are reminders of how we’re all living things.”

21. “I’m not saying you have to practice one religion or another, or not practice one religion or another… I’m just saying that you should figure out what you believe in and live it completely.”

22. “Learn to adapt.”

23. “Take time to mourn what you’ve lost.”

For Adrine Lee, the key to longevity lies in four simple steps:

24. “Keep going and never give up.”

25. “Make yourself walk.”

26. “I drink the faucet water.”

27. “Don’t just die all because you want to.”

And then there’s advice about how to find happiness.

28. “Life is fun. It’s all up to the person. Be satisfied. You don’t have to be ‘happy’ all the time, you need to be satisfied.”

29. “Love people. Find something to like about the person—it’s there—because we’re all just people.”

For others, the key is in education.

30. “Get a great education. That is something that no one can take away from you.”

One centenarian was interviewed by Jay Leno. She gave the following advice:

31. “Think positive.”

32. “Exercise every morning… I have a machine… it’s a cross between a rowing machine and a bicycle… [I do] 150, 200 [rows] every morning. I won’t leave my bedroom until I’ve done that.”

And then there are the 100-year-olds who are even more active than the average 20-year-old couch potato. This centenarian, an avid skier, had this to share with younger generations:

33. "Be active. I do things my way, like skiing when I’m 100. Nobody else does that even if they have energy. And I try to eat pretty correctly and get exercise and fresh air and sunshine.”

34. “If you’re positive you can get through it OK. When you think negatively, you’re putting poison on your body. Just smile. They say laughter is the best medicine there is.”

Sardinia, an island in Europe, is well known for its high proportion of centenarians. They offered their own advice about health and medicine.

35. “For years I would not take any medicines at all. I don’t think they do much, and lots of times the doctor is using you as a guinea pig.”

36. “Don’t die too early.”

A common trend among advice from 100-year-olds? Keep on truckin’.

37. “Just go ahead and do your thing no matter what.”

38. “You can involve yourself in local problems. There are all sorts of things that have to be tended to in the world.”

39. “Have lots of people in the house and lots of different kinds of people—young, old, black, white, people from all over the world. People have always energized me.”

40. “Just keep going.”

Many centenarians swear by exercise.

41. “I attribute my longevity to a great extent to walking, not being in the back of the car strapped down.”

42. “I’ve done almost everything that I know of: ballet, I’ve done tai chi. I’ve done yoga. I walked 4 miles a day. I stretched and flexed. I wrote the book.”

Other 100-year-olds believe in rock and roll lifestyles.

43. “I put my health down to whiskey and cigarettes. I only drink when I’m out, but my doctor said I wouldn’t be alive without them. I’m still alive, and I can lift my elbows—it’s great.”

This 100-year-old doctor had a treasure trove of advice for younger people.

44. “We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.”

45. “For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk, and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work. Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat.”

46. “There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65.”

47. “When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can’t cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery? I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.”

48. “To stay healthy always, take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.”

49. “My inspiration is Robert Browning’s poem 'Abt Vogler.' My father used to read it to me. It encourages us to make big art, not small scribbles. It says to try to draw a circle so huge that there is no way we can finish it while we are alive. All we see is an arch; the rest is beyond our vision but it is there in the distance.”

50. “Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it.”

51. “Don’t be crazy about amassing material things. Remember: you don’t know when your number is up, and you can’t take it with you to the next place.”

52. “Science alone can’t help or cure people.”

53. “Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do.”

54. “It’s wonderful to live long. Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one’s family and to achieve one’s goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.”

Other centenarians offered relationship advice.

55. “This is some advice for the ladies. Don’t marry an older man, marry a younger one.”

What else? Just live.

56. “I try not to worry. I just try to live.”

57. “I try to have enough trust and confidence in myself to deal with things as they come.”

For others, old age comes by keeping a simple lifestyle.

58. “I don’t eat very much, but I always eat a fruit, a vegetable, and a little meat, and always make sure that I get sardine and salmon at least once or twice a week.”

59. “For less than seven years I had a mortgage. I paid everything outright, and I’ve lived that way until today. That is the secret to longevity right there.”

60. “Keep busy doing what you like.”

Or is old age just about luck?

61. “You gotta have good genes.”

62. “You gotta be… lucky for 100 years.”

63. “Try not to eat anything that’s healthy. It’s true. I eat whatever I want. The secret to longevity is ice cream.”

64. “Quit while you’re ahead.”

65. “It’s just as important to take care of your mind. I take two classes… and I’ve studied everything from anti-Semitism to current events.”

The modern day fountain of youth? Humor.

66. “[Humor is] a life force, a way of surviving the difficulties of living.”

67. “When you laugh at yourself, you prevent others from laughing at you.”

68. “I think [people] have to be curious. They have to be interested in life outside their little aches and pains. They have to be excited about seeing new things, meeting new people, watching a new play—just passionate about life.”

69. “I don’t care what you’re passionate about: maybe saving Dixie cup covers. But if you do it passionately, you’re alive.”

70. “Age is not a disease.”

Other 100-year-olds offer advice about how to protect yourself.

71. “Don’t get hurt.”

On Reddit, a grandson created a thread where he allowed people to ask his 101-year-old grandmother for advice. This is what happened:

72. “Be honest. I’ve rarely lied. And when you are honest with people, it comes back to you, and they are honest with you. It’s too much work keeping up with a lie. You don’t need the extra stress.”

73. “Keep an open mind, and things seem less strange.”

74. “Always listen to the other person. You’ll learn something. Try to sit back, because you will learn a lot more listening to others than telling them what you know.”

75. “You have to love what you do. if you find a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life.”

76. “Take naps every day.”

77. “You get one family, so stick with them. But it depends if these hardships are financial or emotional or other types. Stick it out. Some days are worse than others, and you have to be ok with that. The night is darkest before dawn.”

78. “I try to take the time to look at and appreciate the smaller things that make this life beautiful. When I do that, time slows.”

Other centenarians had this to say:

79. “Do something interesting every day; otherwise you disintegrate.”

80. “Learning new things makes you happy and keeps your mind active.”

81. “Sleep well, try not to worry, and enjoy good dreams.”

82. “I participate in lots of activities. I play Bingo, do meditation and crafts, and attend fitness classes, like Zumba Gold for seniors, chair yoga, and sittercise… I don’t miss happy hour either! I drop in three times a week.”

83. “Be lovable. I’ve lived a long life because there are so many people who love me.”

84. “I take a drink of Scotch every day. And I feel great afterward.”

85. “Keep kosher.”

In an interview for the Washington Post, this 100-year-old took a reporter for a spin around the city in her car. She had this to say to him:

86. “I never drank, smoked, or fooled with the weeds, you know, that stuff. And I don’t let anything upset me, especially traffic.”

87. “I don’t like stress. I can’t stand arguing. If anybody is fussing, I’m gone. I like to be around positive people, people who lift you up not bring you down.”

What else? In the end, most advice seems to boil down to a common core: live your life to the fullest.

88. “Mind your own business, and don’t eat junk food.”

89. “Laughter keeps you healthy. You can survive by seeing the humor in everything. Thumb your nose at sadness; turn the tables on tragedy. You can’t laugh and be angry, you can’t laugh and feel sad, you can’t laugh and feel envious.”

90. “Look inside your soul and find your tools. We all have tools and have to live with the help of them. I have two tools: my words and my images. I used my typewriter, computer, and my cameras to fight injustice. Whenever I see a possibility of helping people who are in danger, I want to help them.”

91. “Have a good appetite, lots of friends, and keep busy.”

92. “Have a good wife, two scotches a night, and be easygoing.”

93. “Never run out of responsibility; if you don’t have one, find one. Find a cause and knock yourself out for it. It will enhance your brainpower, interest in life, and keep you alive longer. I’m alert because I work. Virtue is its own reward.”

94. “It is very important to have a widespread curiosity about life.”

95. “Keep yourself alert, active, and educated. Beat to your own drum.”  

96. “Don’t smoke, don’t drink, and don’t retire.”

97. “Take one day at a time, and go along with the tide.”

98. “You have to be lucky, but I made the best of things when bad things happened. I also ate prunes every single day.”

99. “Do what you have to do. Don’t analyze it, just do it.”

100. “Take it easy, enjoy life, what will be will be. Sleep well, have a Bailey’s Irish Cream before bed if you have a cold—you will wake up fine the next morning.”

This post originally appeared in 2013.

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Here Are the Colleges In Each State With the Best Job Placement Rates
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iStock

In a tough economic climate, kids trying to figure out where to go to college might be more concerned with their future job prospects than the on-campus party scene. This graphic from the career search site Zippia, spotted by Thrillist, provides a surprising look at the universities that boast the highest post-graduation job placement rates in each state.

Zippia looked at job placement ratings from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a collection of surveys from the National Center for Education Statistics that any college or university that gets federal funding has to complete. (That includes private universities.) The company ranked universities based on their job placement ratings for students 10 years after graduation.

Here's what the results look like across all 50 states:

A yellow map of the U.S. labeled with the college that boasts the highest job placement rate in each state
Zippia

Some of the institutions on the list may be colleges you’ve never heard of. While prestigious universities like Vanderbilt University in Tennessee might be familiar, other entries are more obscure. The highest job placement rate for a college in Massachusetts isn’t from Harvard—it’s Endicott College, a school near Salem with about 2500 undergraduates.

These are the 10 colleges with the highest job placement rates across all 50 states, according to Zippia’s analysis. Each school has a job placement rate of more than 95 percent 10 years after graduation.

1. Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania
2. Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island
3. Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio
4. Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon
5. Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York
6. University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
7. University of Wisconsin – Platteville in Platteville, Wisconsin
8. Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts
9. Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska
10. Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut

That said, it's not entirely clear what kind of employment is covered by this data. It's possible that some of the graduates included aren't working in their desired field 10 years on or are otherwise underemployed but still working full time. The jobs these graduates have may have nothing to do with their major or what they studied in school. And since Zippia looked at data from people who graduated 10 years ago, that means the company likely looked at 2008 graduates, who left college at the height of the recession and may not have had a lot of great job options, potentially skewing the data toward very specialized schools, like Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (the top choice in both Arizona and Florida).

The full list is below.

A list of the top colleges for job placement in each state
Zippia

[h/t Thrillist]

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Alex Wong, Getty Images
25 Facts About the Scripps National Spelling Bee
Alex Wong, Getty Images
Alex Wong, Getty Images

Call it the Super Bowl of Spelling. This week, a record 516 pint-sized spellers are sweating out their ABCs in the Maryland Ballroom of the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, hoping to be crowned the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion. You may know how to spell “victory,” but here are 25 things you might not know about the country’s best-known gathering of logophiles.

1. IT WAS ORGANIZED BY A NEWSPAPER.

The National Spelling Bee was inaugurated in 1925 by Kentucky’s Louisville Courier-Journal as a way to consolidate a number of local spelling bees and generate “general interest among pupils in a dull subject.” (Cash prizes have a tendency to do that.) The E.W. Scripps Company didn’t take ownership of the Bee until 1941.

2. FRANK NEUHAUSER WAS THE BEE’S FIRST OFFICIAL CHAMPION.

Neuhauser, an 11-year-old from Louisville, Kentucky, beat out eight other finalists to become the National Spelling Bee’s first champion. His word for the win? Gladiolus. Yes, the flower. On March 22, 2011, Neuhauser—a retired lawyer—passed away at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland at the age of 97.

3. IN 1926, PAULINE BELL BECAME THE FIRST FEMALE CHAMPION.

In the Bee’s second year, it declared its first female winner, Pauline Bell, who won by correctly spelling the color cerise. Bell kicked off a trend of female winners: Of the Spelling Bee’s 93 champions, 48 of them have been girls. This year, 45 percent of the competitors are girls.

4. THERE WERE NO WINNERS IN 1943, 1944, OR 1945.

That’s because the Spelling Bee was put on hold during World War II.

5. THERE WERE TWO WINNERS ON SIX OCCASIONS

Spellers Nihar Saireddy Janga and Jairam Jagadeesh Hathwar hold a trophy after the finals of the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee
Alex Wong, Getty Images

Co-champions have long been a possibility at the National Spelling Bee, and were a reality in 1950, 1957, 1962, 2014, 2015, and 2016, when 11-year-old Nihar Janga of Austin, Texas, and 13-year-old Jairam Hathwar of Corning, New York, both walked away winners. To prevent this continuing trend, the Bee changed the rules in 2017 by requiring all of the spellers still standing at 6 p.m. on the Bee's final day to complete a written test to be used to break a tie.

6. THE BEE WAS FIRST TELEVISED IN 1946.

The Bee’s national finals were first broadcast live on NBC in 1946. Portions of the Spelling Bee have since been broadcast on PBS and ABC as well. But since 1994, ESPN has been the Bee’s biggest champion, broadcasting near-constant spelling action throughout the entire competition.

7. NO ONE REALLY KNOWS WHERE THE WORD “BEE” COMES FROM.

According to the folks at Scripps:

"The word ‘bee,’ as used in ‘spelling bee,’ is one of those language puzzles that has never been satisfactorily accounted for. A fairly old and widely-used word, it refers to a community social gathering at which friends and neighbors join together in a single activity (sewing, quilting, barn raising, etc.) usually to help one person or family.

"The earliest known example in print is a spinning bee, in 1769 ... Spelling bee is apparently an American term. It first appeared in print in 1875, but it seems certain that the word was used orally for several years before that."

8. MERRIAM-WEBSTER'S UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY IS THE SPELLING BEE BIBLE.

With more than 472,000 word entries, it’s the official dictionary [PDF] of the Scripps National Spelling Bee—and the only one that counts in terms of spelling.

9. KIDS ARE GIVEN A TOTAL OF TWO MINUTES TO SPELL A WORD.

The countdown begins when the pronouncer first pronounces the word.

10. “KNAIDEL” CAUSED A CONTROVERSY IN 2013.

 Arvind Mahankali of Bayside Hills, New York holds his trophy as president of the E.W. Scripps Company Rich Boehne looks on after the finals of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee
Alex Wong, Getty Images

In 2013, New Yorker Arvind Mahankali won the competition by spelling the word “knaidel,” another word for matzo ball. While a number of Yiddish speakers claimed that Mahankali's spelling was incorrect, the then-13-year-old's spelling of the word was the same as Merriam-Webster's, leading the event’s organizers to declare that there was no controversy at all.

11. A TRAFFIC LIGHT HELPS SPELLERS KEEP TRACK OF THE TIME.

Spellers have the benefit of viewing a monitor with a traffic light to keep track of time. For the first 75 seconds, the traffic light is green, followed by 15 seconds of yellow. At the 30-second mark, the light turns red and a countdown clock appears. Neither the judges nor the pronouncer can communicate with the speller once the monitor has shifted into “red light mode.”

12. PRONOUNCER DR. JACQUES BAILLY IS A CHAMPION SPELLER, TOO.

For the past 16 years, Dr. Jacques Bailly has served as the Spelling Bee’s official pronouncer, and was an associate pronouncer for 12 years before that. But his history with the Spelling Bee goes back even further—all the way back to 1980, when he won the whole shebang at the age of 14 by correctly spelling elucubrate.

13. DR. BAILLY DOESN’T PLAY FAVORITES.

“I always want them to get all the words right,” Bailly told TIME in 2009 about sympathizing with the entire lineup of spellers. “I think that's a lot of the fun of the spelling bee—you root for everybody. And I try to make it clear to the spellers that I'm there to give them absolutely every possible thing that I can to help them—within some limits.” In fact, it’s part of Bailly’s job to help the speller. If he has some word information that he senses could be helpful to the speller, he can offer it up without the speller requesting it.

14. THEY TAKE “THE GIGGLE FACTOR” INTO ACCOUNT.

In a 2003 interview with the St. Petersburg Times, Bailly admitted that in the days leading up to the final event, Spelling Bee officials review every word for a final time and take into account something they call “the giggle factor,” explaining that “A word like ‘titillation’ might cause a sixth-, seventh- or eighth-grader to giggle.”

15. THE FIRST RULE OF THE SPELLING BEE WORD COMMITTEE IS YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT THE SPELLING BEE WORD COMMITTEE.

 Despite misspelling his word, Ronald Walters of Onalaska, Wisconsin, is high-fived by his fellow competitors during the third round of the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center May 30, 2018
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

Though there is a committee of officials who approve all the words that will be used in any year’s competition, “The first rule of the committee is not admitting that you’re on the committee,” Bee spokesman Chris Kemper told TIME in 2013. “The committee is the secret sauce of the spelling bee and the identity of those on the committee will not be revealed.”

16. BUT DR. BAILLY IS A MEMBER.

“It is true that Jacques is on the word committee,” Kemper admitted to ABC Denver in 2014. “But beyond that, the members of the team and their process is secret.”

17. MISSPELLINGS AREN’T THE ONLY CAUSE FOR DISQUALIFICATION.

In addition to clearly misspelling a word, there are four other reasons a speller can be disqualified. These include not approaching the microphone when it’s the speller’s at-bat ("unless there are extenuating circumstances that, in the judges’ sole discretion, merit holding the speller’s word in reserve and offering it to the speller after all other spellers in the round have spelled and before the close of the round"); engaging in “unsportsmanlike conduct”; altering the letters or sequence of letters in the process of retracing a spelling; or uttering “unintelligible or nonsense sounds” during the spelling process.

18. THE SPELLING BEE REQUIRES MORE THAN JUST SPELLING.

In 2013, vocabulary questions were added to the preliminary rounds, a move that was met with criticism by some, who believe that a spelling bee should be a test of one’s spelling ability only. But the Bee’s executive director, Paige Kimble, says the change in procedure is one that helps reinforce the Bee’s educational purpose. “What we know with the championship-level spellers is that they think of their achievement in terms of spelling and vocabulary being two sides of the same coin,” Kimble told the Associated Press in 2013. “These spellers will be excited at the opportunity to show off their vocabulary knowledge through competition.”

19. PAIGE KIMBLE AND DR. BAILLY GO WAY BACK.

When Dr. Bailly became the Spelling Bee champion back in 1980, it was Kimble (then known as Paige Pipkin) who he defeated. But all was not lost: She won the very next year, and has been working with the organization in a professional capacity since 1984.

20. “SCHWARMEREI” HAS KNOCKED OUT TWO FINALISTS.

 David Tidmarsh peers over his placard as his final opponent, Akshay Buddiga, spells a word during the National Spelling Bee June 3, 2004
Matthew Cavanaugh, Getty Images

This German origin noun, which means excessive sentimentality, has knocked out two finalists in recent years, once in 2004 and again in 2012. The former incident happened to 13-year-old Akshay Buddiga, who famously fainted on stage in the middle of spelling alopecoid earlier in the competition, only to get up and spell the word correctly.

21. "CONNOISSEUR" IS A WORD TO ANTICIPATE.

The French origin noun is the most frequent word on the Scripps National Spelling Bee word lists.

22. GOOD SPELLERS MAKE GREAT SCIENTISTS.

Jeffrey Blitz, who directed the 2002 Oscar-nominated documentary Spellbound about the National Spelling Bee, told TIME how he observed that many Spelling Bee finalists go on to have careers in science and medicine. “Something about the kind of brain that’s not intimidated by the dictionary in childhood seems well-suited to the work of medicine in adulthood,” he noted.

23. MORE THAN ONE-FIFTH OF THIS YEAR’S SPELLERS ARE BEE VETS.

Of 2018's 516 competitors, 113 of them—nearly 22 percent—have competed previously at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

25. SIVASAIPRANEETHREDDY DEVIREDDY IS THIS YEAR’S YOUNGEST SPELLER.

 Competitors walk past the championship trophy on display during the third round of the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center May 30, 2018
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

In 2017, 5-year-old Edith Fuller became the Bee's youngest-ever speller. This year, 8-year-old Sivasaipraneethreddy Devireddy (Speller #383), from Mooresville, North Carolina, is the youngest competitor.

An earlier version of this article ran in 2014.

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