A study counts blood cells and footsteps to predict a hard limit to our longevity









  • to confer – to give
  • hubris – an extreme and unreasonable feeling of pride and confidence in yourself
  • corporeal – physical and not spiritual
  • to hack – to cut or chop roughly; to manage successfully (infml)
  • serendipity – a combination of events which are not individually beneficial, but occurring together produce a good outcome
  • incremental – increasing gradually by regular degrees
  • resilience – an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change
  • cohort – a group of people with a shared characteristic
  • insult – an injury or trauma
  • (to) overshoot – to go too far; an act or instance of overshooting; a momentary excessive response of an electrical or mechanical system
  • to linger – to continue to exist although very close to the end; to take a long time to leave
  • frail – having delicate health; weak; fragile
  • infirmity – physical or mental weakness
  • in this same vein – similarly
  • to intercept – to stop and catch something before that thing is able to reach a particular place



True or False?

1. In some corners of the world, like Silicon Valley, they are arrogant enough to think they can tinker with death.

2. Researchers have been analysing how long we can live if we are not hit by a bus coincidentally.

3. Professional runners tend to end their careers in their 30s.

4. Olshansky concludes that in the long run curing ailments is going to cease the aging process.

5. Unlike other researchers, Fedichev and his team are not dispirited by their estimates of maximum human life span.

ANSWERS: 1.T; 2. T; 3T; 4. F; 5.F




Practice Makes Perfect

Fill in the gaps in the sentences below with some of the words in Glossary. Make sure their grammatical form is correct.

1. He may be 70, but he’s still a vigorous individual with no sign of ……… .

2. The study followed up a …….. of 400 patients aged 60+ for half a year.

3. After the concert had finished, we ………… for a while in the bar hoping to catch sight of the band.

4. The father ………. the pineapple into smaller pieces and passed them on to the children.

5. This winter jacket is made out of a material with high ………….. to weather conditions.

6. Be careful when you handle this china. It’s very ……… .

7. Congress has ………… such an honor only 25 times before.


ANSWERS: 1.  infirmity; 2. cohort; 3. lingered; 4. hacked; 5. resilience; g. frail; 7. conferred



  • Have you ever felt like death warmed up?
  • Have you ever had an accident in which you nearly died?
  • Why do some cultures mourn death and others celebrate it?
  • Would you like to cheat death and live forever?
  • What life-changing moments have you had in your life?
  • Have you led an easy or difficult life so far?


Explore it more to create your own teaching-learning experience!


What happens when you die? A poetic inquiry