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Japanese man, 115, oldest person

world Updated: Dec 19, 2012 00:21 IST
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A Japanese mayor has hailed a resident of his city for becoming the world’s oldest person. At 115 years old, Jiroemon Kimura inherited the title from an American woman who died on Monday.

Yasushi Nakayamahe, mayor of Kyotango, near the ancient capital of Kyoto, confirmed Kimura’s status, calling him “the pride of our town.”

Kimura, born April 19, 1897, is 15 days younger than his predecessor, Dina Manfredini, who died in Iowa less than two weeks after inheriting the title as the world’s oldest living person.

Kimura, a former postal employee, has 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren. He lives with his son’s family. AP

Anti-insomnia light bulbs for iss

New York: Nasa plans to install new high-tech LED bulbs in the International Space Station, which can switch colours to fight insomnia and reduce astronauts’ dependency on drugs.

The US space agency will replace the fluorescent bulbs with an array of light-emitting diodes, costing $11.2 million, which can switch between blueish, whitish and reddish light based on the time of day.

The changes can be programmed in by the ground, or by the astronauts and the new light bulbs are due to be swapped in by 2016.

Half of those who fly to space rely on sleep medication to get rest and studies showed that hospital staff made more medical errors during the darkest times of the year. PTI

Japan PM mistakes Obama for Bush

Tokyo: Japan’s presumptive premier Shinzo Abe got his US leaders mixed up, when he told business chiefs he had been speaking to “President Bush” after a phone call from Barack Obama.

The gaffe came in one of Abe’s first speaking engagements since his landslide victory in weekend polls that saw his Liberal Democratic Party returned to power.

Abe, who was Prime Minister in 2006-07 during the final years of George W Bush’s presidency, quickly realised his error when assembled journalists and business leader began chuckling.

The 58-year-old corrected his verbal misstep and told officials of Japan’s business lobby, Keidanren, that he and Obama had agreed on the importance of the Japan-US security alliance. AFP

Computers in 2018 will have 5 senses

Washington: Within the next five years, computers will gain the five senses and be able to experience the world as humans do, IBM has predicted.

By 2018, vibrators within smartphones will be precise enough to mimic the vibrations experienced when your fingers touch a particular surface. Even though you’ll just be touching glass, it will feel like you’re touching whatever object is displayed on the screen, it said.

“We’re not talking about fuzzy screens. You’re not going to have to dry clean your Samsung,” Bernie Meyerson, IBM’s vice president of innovation, saidg.

In five years, the firm says, computers will be able to interpret images better than we can, analysing colours, texture patterns and gaining insights from other visual media.

They will even surpass doctors’ abilities to read medical imagery, including MRIs, CT scans, X-Rays and ultrasounds, IBM predicted.