Old Age

Question: What is old age and why are we so afraid of it?

Robert Butler: Well, elderly I think is really a word that should be applied to people more or like 80-85 and above. Otherwise, I prefer older persons because most older people actually remain vigorous and healthy until they begin to reach their 80s.

Robert Butler: People are afraid of death very much, but also the accompaniments of aging, that [Inaudible] it be independent, being physically ill, being compromised, not be able to walk properly, not having your balance, all of those are fearful things including of course cancer and heart disease.

Robert Butler: Well, the brain is very critical. If we have our mind, if we have our ability to think, if we recognize our loved ones, that makes a huge difference in our lives.

Question: How can we slow the process?

Robert Butler: Well, we can't the stop clock yet. We may be able to slow it, but we can't stop it. This is something I developed in my book The Longevity Revolution that it is possible now to actually slow aging. So, what we can do now is largely, within our own making about 25% of what happens to us and the length of our life is related to genes. 70-75% is us. Don’t smoke. Moderate alcohol. You should probably eat off the salad plate instead of the dinner plate. Modest intake of food and certainly, exercise, not just aerobic exercise, but also working those muscles and that is about it. Having a purpose in life, having passion, something to get up for in the mornings, something that makes a difference. People actually live longer. Also, if you have a body relationship, sometimes moral support system or social network that also leaves to a longer, healthier life. Women in particular do better in that regard. We men may have the old boy network and help each other get jobs, but we are not as capable of intimacy and closeness, dealing with grief, and we don't do as well as in having a healthy community or body of people to help us.

Recorded on: Mar 17 2008

What is old age and why do we fear it?

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

Water may be an inevitable result of the process that forms rocky planets

New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.

Surprising Science
  • A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from dissolved solar nebula gas.
  • Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
  • New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
Keep reading Show less