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At 115, a Japanese man still breaking records

Spill any champagne?

While a champagne toast to times ahead "is a great way to celebrate, it's also sometimes the culprit of a seriously sticky mess," says The Huffington Post. "Luckily, Good Housekeeping found an easy way to remove champagne stains. First, combine warm water and mild liquid dish soap in a bowl. Then, dip a cloth into the solution and dab the stain. Finally, rinse the spot with warm water."

Oldest man on record

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"Jiroemon Kimura, a 115-year-old Japanese man born when Queen Victoria still reigned over the British Empire, became the oldest man in recorded history Friday, according to record keepers," reports Bloomberg News. "Kimura, of Kyotango in western Japan, was born April 19, 1897, in the 30th year of the Meiji era, according to Guinness World Records. That makes him 115 years and 253 days as of Friday, breaking the longevity record for men.… The oldest woman in recorded history, Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, died in 1997 at the age of 122."

Chicken alerts family

"A Wisconsin couple says clucks, not fire trucks, helped them escape a blaze at their home," says Associated Press. "Dennis Murawska, 59, said a pet chicken named Cluck Cluck woke his wife Susan Cotey, 52, with loud clucking from its cage in the basement two floors below about 6:15 a.m. Thursday.… Murawska said he had been half awake but didn't know about the fire because the smoke alarm hadn't gone off.… 'The chicken gets quite vocal when she gets excited,' he said. Cluck Cluck came from a nearby farm in Alma Center about 135 miles east of Minneapolis, Minn., Murawska said. When the chicken began wandering over to his house, his neighbour said he could kill it because it wasn't producing any eggs. But Murawska felt sorry for Cluck Cluck because she had a mutated foot and decided to keep it. He fed the bird and built a coop, and then his wife let Cluck Cluck into the basement on cold nights. 'I spent way more money than I ever should've,' Murawska said by telephone. 'I guess it paid off.' "

The value of an address?

"What's in a name? Plenty, when you're talking about the byway on which your house is located," writes U.S. syndicated columnist Lew Sichelman. "According to Trulia, an online real estate community, houses on 'boulevards' are the most expensive, selling for 36 per cent more than homes located on 'streets.' " The breakdown of address designations with at least 10,000 homes for sale: Boulevard, $117 (U.S.) a square foot; place, $110; road, $109; way, $107; terrace, $102; court, $101; lane, $101; circle, $100; trail, $97; avenue, $96; drive, $96; street, $86.

Willpower? You've got it

When it comes to willpower, recent studies suggest we get what we expect, writes Chris Berdik in the Los Angeles Times. "The new findings fly in the face of previous thinking about willpower, which tended to put the emphasis on power. In this way of looking at things, willpower was seen as a muscle that was easily depleted. Newer research casts doubt on this limited-resource theory and instead suggests that we have as much willpower as we expect to have. In this alternative model, willpower works less like a muscle and more like a placebo. … In a 2010 study led by Swiss psychologist Veronika Job when she was at Stanford University, only people who believed that willpower was limited (according to an initial questionnaire) showed evidence of depleted willpower in tests of self-control given after a mentally challenging lab task. Subjects who believed that willpower was unlimited did just as well on follow-up self-control tasks as control subjects facing the task fresh."

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Thought du jour

Patience and passage of time do more than strength and fury.

Jean de la Fontaine, French poet and fabulist (1621-95)

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