World's Oldest Person, Susannah Mushatt Jones, Dies at 116 Years Old

Susannah Mushatt Jones, the world’s oldest known person and the only living American born in the 19th century, died in New York City on Thursday evening at the age of 116, the New York Daily News reports.

Jones, who lived in a public housing facility for seniors in Brooklyn, was granted the title of “world’s oldest living person” in 2015. The previous record holder, Jeralean Talley of Inkster, Michigan, died in June 2015 at the age of 116. According to the Gerontology Research Group, the world’s new oldest person is now Emma Morano-Martinuzzi, a 116-year-old Italian woman born on November 29, 1899.

Born on a farm in Alabama in 1899, Jones was the child of African-American sharecroppers and the granddaughter of slaves. In 1922, she graduated from a private academy that was then called the Calhoun Colored School, New York magazine reports.

Jones was accepted to Tuskegee Institute’s teaching program, but her family couldn’t afford the tuition. Instead, Jones sought employment. She moved to New Jersey, and later, New York City, where she worked as a childcare provider and housekeeper for wealthy families. Jones used her salary to help send her nieces to college, and she also funded a college scholarship program for African-American students called The Calhoun Club, according to Time.

Jones retired in 1965, and moved back to Alabama. However, she eventually returned north after more of her relatives relocated there, according to Business Insider. Jones spent the remainder of her life in Brooklyn, where she became something of a local celebrity: Over the years, the supercentenarian received cards and well-wishes from President Barack Obama, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and countless other individuals.

Glaucoma caused her to go blind, and she also eventually lost most of her hearing. However, Jones remained otherwise healthy, and chalked her long life up to lots of sleep and steering clear of cigarettes and alcohol. (Good genes likely also played a part: According to U.S. Census data, Jones’s grandmother died at 117.)

Jones lived through two World Wars, voted in 20 presidential elections, and was around for countless other historic milestones. However, she's still not history’s oldest known person. That honor still goes to Jeanne Louise Calment, a woman from Arles, France, who died in 1997 at the age of 122.

Watch a video of Jones’s 116th birthday party above, courtesy of the New York Daily News.

[h/t New York Daily News]

Banner image courtesy of YouTube.

The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.

A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”


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