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Category Archives: Human Longevity

The Other Side of a Businesswoman

Posted: October 6, 2012 at 11:19 am

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --IC Places, Inc. (ICPA) At Punch TV, a network recently acquired by IC Places, the senior executives and staff are busily launching the Fall Season. For example, a Punch TV original mini-series: EROS: EMMANUEL AND ME that will air from October 22 October 28, 2012. EROS: EMMANUEL AND MEis a true love story of a man 30 years of age who falls in love with Armentha "Mike" Cruise, a woman 35 years his senior. But separately from the mini-series, Armentha "Mike" Cruise is not an unknown entity.

In April 1988, she founded Aspen Personnel Services, a human resources management and staffing company that was located in Takoma Park, Maryland. Within years of its birth, Aspen was being lauded for the rapidity of its growth and the quality of its services. Indeed, Armentha Cruise, or "Mike" as she is known to her friends, family and business colleagues, had accumulated awards such as: the 1995 BEST in Washington DC Tours presented to Aspen and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing from the Guild of Professional Tour Guides; the 1997 National Supplier of the Year Award from the National Council of Corporations; and the 1996 and 1997 INC. Magazine Award as one of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the country. Ms. Cruise was also chronicled in "Women of Achievement in Maryland's History" a statewide school textbook featuring prominent women, and in 2001 was awarded the "Customer Service Award" by Working Woman Magazine. Aspen also garnered the 2002 Business of the Year Award from the Washington DC Chamber of Commerce. More recent awards include the 2006 and 2007 Lockheed Martin STAR Award and Preferred Supplier two years consecutively; the 2009 Media Recognition and Publication (MBE Magazine June 2009 issue); the 2011 DC Chamber Champion of Women in Business Award; the Vanguard Award for Business Success and Longevity presented by the Maryland DC Minority Supplier Development Council and the 2012 Washington Business Journal "Business Leader Award". Aspen experienced a growth rate in revenues from $39,000 in 1988, to $11 million in 2000 to close to $50 million today. Today, despite experiencing a number of challenges from 2008-2011, Aspen Personnel, now known as the Aspen Group, Inc., has sustained sales of more than $45 million and delivers human resources management and staffing services at sites throughout the United States as well as abroad. With a Bachelor's from Morgan State University, a Master's from American University, and a brilliant mind that developed its business savvy when she began collecting rents for her entrepreneurial mother at the age of nine, Mike Cruise has indeed, established a place for herself in the world of business. But, today, Armentha "Mike" Cruise is in the world of news for a reason outside of her business acumen. Mike, a petite, beautiful woman whose presence can be felt the moment she enters a room, has allowed her love life to become the foci of the Punch TV original mini-series, EROS: EMMANUEL AND ME.

According to Joseph E. Collins, President of IC Places and Founder of Punch TV, and Steve Samblis, CEO and Chairman of the Board of IC Places, a company that acquired Punch TV in July of this year, Mike's (the businesswoman's) story is a perfect one for the EROS series. "There's a cynicism that has developed about love and relationships these days," says Joseph Collins. "With EROS, we wanted to bring viewers hope by offering true stories of true love," says Steve Samblis.

"When Ms. Cruise's story came to our attention, the story of her marriage at the age of 60+ to a young businessman of 30 years of age, we knew that we wanted to do it as a Punch TV original," Joseph Collins continues, "But, for me, the real clincher was the fact that Mike is such an excellent businesswoman. As a result, by allowing Punch TV to probe into this very sensitive area of her life her marriage to Emmanuel - we were also able to integrate some important other economic messages to the public, such as the importance of quantitative skills to what happens during an economic downturn."

When queried regarding "why" she allowed her story to be told. Armentha "Mike" Cruise, President and CEO of the Aspen Group for the last 24 years, offers a simple answer, "Perhaps my story will inspire hope by letting others know that we are never too old to experience true love and that magic really does exist. We must not be afraid to take risks; living in fear especially when we receive a gift. Seize it and simply get rid of the fences that prevent love from entering and living an enchanted life that we sometimes think is impossible to have."

EROS: EMMANUEL AND ME is scheduled to air on Punch Television Network from October 22, 2012 to October 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm PST. Please contact your local carriers for exact dates and times.

IC Places Safe Harbor Statement This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are based on the current plans and expectations of management and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks that could significantly affect the company's current plans and expectations, as well as future results of operations and financial condition. A more extensive listing of risks and factors that may affect the company's business prospects and cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the reports and other documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For further information, contact:

Rachel Ramos, Vice President, Marketing

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The Other Side of a Businesswoman

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Information Nation: Digital Social Experiment to Put a Human Face on Big Data

Posted: October 4, 2012 at 11:20 am

Imagine seeing life through one eyeball but then being given the ability to view the world through two or even three eyeballs at once. You would be greeted with not just more data about your surroundings but a better perspective of how all of that data fit together.

This is the explanation that photographer Rick Smolan gave to his 10-year-old son when asked the meaning of "big data," according to a story he recounted Tuesday at an event he organized in New York City to announce his latest social experiment: The Human Face of Big Data.

For years researchers and technology companies have talked up the notion that extracting meaning from massive amounts of sensor dataproduced everywhere from the oceans' depths to city streets to satellites circling the planetwill have a profound impact on the quality of our lives. Smolan's projectlaunched through his production company Against All Odds and sponsored primarily by EMC Corp.seeks to highlight big data's potential by culling information directly from mobile gadget users worldwide.

For the next two months The Human Face of Big Data is inviting Google Android and Apple iOS mobile device users to answer 60 questions made available in eight languages. The queries touch on a wide variety of users' beliefs, rituals and hopes. One question, for example, hypothetically asks, "If you could enhance your unborn child's DNA in only one way, would you choose: Immunity, Life Span/Longevity, Intelligence, Appearance or Nothing?" Based on the more than 1.5 million answers received through Tuesday morning, it's already clear that respondents who believe in a supreme being are less likely than other participants to want to alter an unborn child's DNA in any way.

Other questions ask respondents where they feel safest in the world, how they cope with stress, what rituals they perform for good luck and one thing they hope to accomplish before they die.

Data collected thus far has come from Android users. Whereas that mobile app launched on September 26, the iOS version currently is languishing in Apple's app vetting process. Project organizers hope to release it soon.

The free mobile apps also automatically gather usage and location data from participants' mobile devices throughout the survey period, which ends November 20. When enough data is collected, participants will be able to access anonymous information about their "data doppelganger"the age, location, gender, percentage of questions answered and other stats of another participant whose profile most closely matches their own.

Smolan and his team plan to make all project data public, but identifying data will not even be collected. The Human Face of Big Data Web site states that the information gathered through the mobile apps will be used for "noncommercial, educational purposes and is intended to provide a fun look at how each user's answers compare with those of other users around the world." The apps do not solicit users' names, e-mail addresses or other contact information, and users need not create a username or password to participate. "Big data is not Big Brother," Smolan said.

The project launch event in Manhattansimilar events were hosted in London and Singaporefeatured a number of speakers elucidating the potential impact of big data. Juan Enriquez, managing director of Excel Venture Management, posited that a person's presence online via blogs, social networks and photos can be thought of as digital tattoos, and that the availability of this information via search engines grants people a kind of immortality. Aside from any permanence that can be achieved, Esther Dyson, a venture capitalist and former journalist, pointed out that improvements in the collection and analysis of diet, exercise and sleep data can also help people on a more prosaic level by enabling healthier lifestyles.

A key component of big data is its dissemination, something that charity: water, a nonprofit organization, is leveraging in its effort to make clean drinking water available in developing nations. Founder and CEO Scott Harrison pointed out at Tuesday's event that people are more willing to donate to a cause when they think their money will be used to solve a problem, rather than to pay for administrative costs and employee salaries.

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For longevity, it's the survival of the nicest Save

Posted: October 3, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Oct. 4, 2012, 3 a.m.

Baboons, like people, really do get by with a little help from their friends. Humans with strong social ties live longer, healthier lives, whereas hostility and ''loner'' tendencies can set the stage for disease and early death.

In animals, too, strong social networks contribute to longer lives and healthier offspring - and now it seems that personality may be just as big a factor in other primates' longevity status. A study has found that female baboons that had the most stable relationships with other females weren't always the highest up in the hierarchy or those with close family around - but they were the nicest.

Scientists are increasingly seeing personality as a key factor in an animal's ability to survive, adapt and thrive in its environment. But this topic isn't an easy one to study scientifically, says primatologist Dorothy Cheney, of the University of Pennsylvania.

''Research in mammals, birds, fish and insects shows individual patterns of behaviour that can't be easily explained. But the many studies of personality are based on human traits like conscientiousness, agreeableness, or neuroticism. It isn't clear how to apply those traits to animals,'' she says.

Along with a group of scientists, including co-authors Robert Seyfarth, also at the University of Pennsylvania, and primatologist Joan Silk of Arizona State University, Professor Cheney has studied wild baboons at the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana for almost 20 years.

Besides providing detailed observations of behaviour in several generations of baboons, the research has yielded a wealth of biological and genetic data.

In previously published research, Professor Cheney and co-workers showed that females lived longer, had lower stress hormone levels and had more surviving offspring when they had close, long-lasting relationships with other females (characterised chiefly by spending time together and grooming).

Although dominance rank was significant for male baboons - alpha male baboons may live longer than lower-ranking males - this wasn't true for the females. Nor was an abundance of family the key to longevity. Not all of the longer-lived, less-stressed females had large families.

To find out more about how female baboons forge bonds, Professor Cheney and co-authors focused on detailed records of observations of 45 female baboons from 2001 to 2007. As a personality gauge, the researchers used specific behaviours, including how often the females were alone, how often they touched other females, how often they behaved aggressively, how often they were approached by others and how often they grunted when approaching other females of various ranks. Among female baboons, grunting is a sign of good will, Professor Cheney says. Using these criteria, the researchers characterised the baboons as ''nice'', ''aloof'' or ''loner''. The team also tested the baboons for levels of stress hormones known as glucocorticoids.

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For longevity, it's the survival of the nicest Save

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What whales tell us about the evolution of menopause

Posted: October 2, 2012 at 7:17 am

Scientists have been hard pressed to explain why menopause happens so early in humans there's no obvious evolutionary advantage to having your reproductive system shut down decades before the rest of your body.

Most other long-lived animals keep reproducing until the end. Female turtles can lay fertile eggs at 100. Our primate relatives, too, keep pumping out young until they are near death.

Now, scientists are finding clues to our unusual life pattern in killer whales - one of the few other species in which females get decades of so-called post-reproductive life. What they found was a surprising connection between longevity of mothers and their sons.

Biologist Emma Foster of Exeter University in England said that females become fertile around 12, have a calf every 3 to 5 years, and then stop reproducing in their late 30s and early 40s. After that they can live many years, sometimes to 90 and beyond. "No other animals have such long post-reproductive lives," she said, except for pilot whales and humans.

And while there's a small difference between the sexes in human longevity, it's extreme for whales, with females living to 90 and males rarely getting past 40. Scientists have little understanding of why this would be.

In puzzling over this anthropologists have proposed what they call the grandmother hypothesis - the possibility that post-menopausal women gain an evolutionary edge by helping their existing children and grandchildren.

In Darwinian terms, after all, no matter how many offspring you have, you'll still be a dead end unless your offspring have surviving offspring.

Ultimately, according to the hypothesis, grandmotherly support could allow women to pass on more copies of their genes than by investing the same energy in continuing to have their own babies.

The other possibility is that menopause is some sort of evolutionary byproduct that can occur in long-lived animals.

Scientists have tried to test the grandmother hypothesis by studying hunter-gatherer populations - people representing the way humans lived through most of our evolutionary past. Results over the years have been mixed, but work in the last decade has supported the idea, said Foster.

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Posted: at 7:17 am

New York,1October2012 - Secretary-General's message on International Day of Older Persons

Rapid population ageing and a steady increase in human longevity worldwide represent one of the greatest social, economic and political transformations of our time. These demographic changes will affect every community, family and person. They demand that we rethink how individuals live, work, plan and learn throughout their lifetimes, and that we re-invent how societies manage themselves.

As we embark on shaping the post-2015 United Nations development agenda, we must envision a new paradigm that aligns demographic ageing with economic and social growth and protects the human rights of older persons. We are all -- individually and collectively -- responsible for the inclusion of older persons in society, whether through developing accessible transportation and communities, ensuring the availability of age-appropriate health care and social services, or providing an adequate social protection floor.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. As the proportion of older persons in society grows, the bold vision it put forward -- of building a society for all ages is more relevant than ever.

Longevity is a public health achievement, not a social or economic liability. On this International Day of Older Persons, let us pledge to ensure the well-being of older persons and to enlist their meaningful participation in society so we can all benefit from their knowledge and ability.

Statements on 1October2012

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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Men without testicles might live longer, study suggests

Posted: October 1, 2012 at 10:25 am

Want to live to 100? A new study suggests that, for men, your testicles might be holding you back.

Korean eunuchs men who had their testicles removed outlived their contemporaries by as many as 14 to 19 years, suggesting that male sex hormones somehow act to shorten the male human lifespan, according to a new historical study of records spanning from the 14th century through the early 19th century.

The finding, reported Monday in the journal Current Biology, argues for something called the "disposable soma theory. The idea is that since animals have limited access to energy, there is a natural trade-off between reproduction and the maintenance of the body's cells.

But evidence for the theory has been limited, and some strong counter-evidence exists: Numerous studies in mammals have shown that restricting caloric intake can lengthen the lifespan of some animals though sometimes such animals become infertile, a fact that may favor the disposable soma hypothesis.

If the theory were true, South Korean researchers figured that it could be seen in humans by looking at the production and circulation of male sex hormones. That makes eunuchs a nice group to study, since the testicles are responsible for much of that work.

The study authors used an historical document from the early 19th century called the Yang-Se-Gye-Bo, which is a genealogy of eunuchs who worked in the palace and served the nations royalty. The researchers were able to identify 81 eunuchs in the document for whom they could identify birth and death dates. Then they cross-referenced the information with other historical Korean documents, including the Annals of the Chosun Dynasty, to ensure the data were accurate.

They found that the eunuchs lived to be around 70 years old on average, while non-eunuchs who lived alongside them with similar social and economic status lived to be between 50 and 55 years old a difference that was striking and unlikely to be due to chance.

The researchers use the finding to explain another common observation: The fact that women generally live longer than men, which they say may be because women lack the same quantities of hormones like testosterone.

While it is possible that working in the royal palace contributed to the eunuchs longevity, the researchers did their best to control for this by comparing them to men in the royal family, who, according to the Annals of the Chosun Dynasty, rarely made it to 50 years of age.

The small group of eunuchs studied included three centenarians well above the statistical averages seen today across the developed world. Japan has only one centenarian for every 3,500 people; the U.S. has one in 4,000, according to the study.

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Buffalo Grove discusses move to merit-based raises

Posted: at 10:25 am

Article updated: 9/30/2012 6:29 AM

Buffalo Grove trustees last week discussed a proposal for a 2 percent general wage increase for village employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements.

The proposal floated by Human Resources Director Art Malinowski at last weeks committee of the whole meeting sparked a lengthy discussion of moving to a system of merit-based wage increases.

Malinowski said the proposal was based on a survey of surrounding communities.

He also recommended establishing a budget of $150,000 to address the salaries of about 30 employees who have been stuck in the middle of their pay ranges for some years.

He said village staff is in the process of developing a new performance evaluation tool that will enable future range progression to be tied to performance, rather than such criteria as longevity.

We have been trying to address this question for what seems like decades, Trustee Jeffrey Berman said. The fact that we still struggle to apply a merit-based component to this is difficult for me to accept.

Village Manager Dane Bragg said the pay system is not ideal. Its, I would say, kind of bandaged and paper-clipped together right now, because we havent had much money to distribute.

Trustee Steve Trilling had reservations about implementing a 2 percent raise plus an increase to move people through pay ranges.

He said, I believe that employees that excel and do a good job deserve pay raises commensurate with the ranges that have been established. I also believe that those that generally do an adequate job or even less than adequate job, if thats the case, being stuck at the midpoint in range or even below that midpoint is certainly justified.

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New Jersey Senior Care Company Teams Up with the American Society on Aging to Offer Free Continuing Education Units …

Posted: at 10:25 am

Home Care Assistance, the premier provider of in-home care for seniors, is offering free continuing education credits (CEUs) as part of its ongoing Healthy Longevity Webinar Series; the program has been adapted for CEU accreditation in collaboration with the American Society on Aging (ASA).

Monroe, NJ (PRWEB) September 28, 2012

The first webinar, titled The Human Touch in Caring for Individuals with Dementia, will be held Tuesday, October 2nd at 11 AM Pacific, 2 PM Eastern.

Participants in this web seminar will:

As part of our mission to change the way the world ages, we are excited to offer this continuing education program. This is our way to thank the many senior care professionals with whom we work throughout North America who go above and beyond to support older adults in their communities, said Lance Abramowitz, Regional Director of Home Care Assistance of Monroe.

The following two webinars will be held on Tuesday, November 6th and Tuesday, December 4th, both at 11 AM Pacific, 2 PM Eastern. The topics covered will be Recreational and Social Activities: Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Dementia and Cognitive and Sensory Activities: Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Dementia.

Pre-registration will be required for all webinars. Participants can pre-register through the ASAs website at by clicking on the desired web seminar and following the instructions.

Professionals will take a short survey online after the webinar and then will receive one hour of CEU credit through the ASA. If a senior care professional is unable to participate in the live webinar but would still like to obtain CEUs, a recorded version will be available online for 30 days after the live presentation. Pre-registration is also required to access the recorded webinars.

CEUs are available if the senior care professional is licensed in a field or profession from one of the boards listed below. Professionals who are not sure whether the licensing organization will accept a particular boards CEUs should contact the organization before making their selection.

-- American Occupational Therapy Association

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Eunuchs May Hold Key to Longevity

Posted: at 10:25 am

Call it making the best of a potentially bad situation. Eunuchs -- castrated men -- live nearly 20 years longer than other men, a new study has found.

The study of over 80 eunuchs from the Chosun Dynasty, which ruled in Korea from 1392 to 1897, looked at the world's only known record of eunuchs' lives and compared them to genealogical records of other men of similar social rank. The researchers cross-checked their results with other royal records.

They found that the average lifespan of a Korean eunuch was about 70 years, 14 to 19 years higher than non-castrated men of similar social standing.

Three of the 81 eunuchs lived to be over 100 years old. The researchers calculated that the rate of centenarians among this group of eunuchs was at least 130 times higher than the current rate in developed countries.

"Our study supports the idea that male sex hormones decrease the lifespan of men," said the lead author of the study, Kyung-Jin Min, an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Inha University in Inchon, South Korea.

This study does not prove that castration directly increases human longevity, said S. Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois in Chicago, who studies longevity but was not involved with the study. "It may not have anything to do with being eunuchs," he said, adding that this study did not adjust for lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, and stress.

Previous studies have shown that castration -- which removes the source of male sex hormones -- increases lifespan in animals. But studies in humans haven't been conclusive. One past study found that castrati singers did not live significantly longer than non-castrated singers. Another study has shown that castration increased longevity by 14 years in mentally disabled, institutionalized men. That increase in lifespan is similar to the findings in the Korean eunuch study.

Women reach the age of 110 ten times more often than men, said Dr. L. Stephen Coles, a co-founder of the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group, who was not involved with the study. In a research group of 67 confirmed centenarians, he said, only three are men.

There may be several reasons for a sex difference in lifespan, experts said.

Females may have an advantage in longevity because they have a back-up X chromosome, Coles said. A women's body is a mixture of cells, half containing an active X chromosome from her mother and the other half from her father, he said. If there is a defect on one X chromosome, half of her cells will be unaffected.

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Join GSA in San Diego for the Nation's Premier Aging Conference!

Posted: September 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Public release date: 20-Sep-2012 [ | E-mail | Share ]

Contact: Todd Kluss 202-587-2839 The Gerontological Society of America

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) invites all journalists to attend its 65th Annual Scientific Meeting the country's largest interdisciplinary conference in the field of aging from November 14 to 18 in San Diego. Media representatives may register free of charge.

An estimated 4,000 professionals are expected to attend the five-day gathering at the San Diego Convention Center. The theme for 2012 is "Charting New Frontiers in Aging" and the program schedule contains more than 500 scientific sessions featuring research presented for the first time. Noteworthy meeting highlights include:

The complimentary media registration allows access to all scientific sessions and the Exhibit Hall. Badges and printed program materials can be picked up in the Press Room, which will be located in Room 5A at the Convention Center.

Registration information is available at GSA has locked in special conference rates at three nearby hotels, which will be available until October 19.

We look forward to seeing you in San Diego!


The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society and its 5,400+ members is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA's structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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