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  1. 1

    Stefan Plattner

    Gina, WolframAlpha is perfectly right, that your mother has a higher life expectancy. If she was 81.53 years old, would you expect the value to be 81.54? The older you are, the higher your LE is. Good news!

  2. 2

    Gina Trapani

    But LE’s go up depending on when you were born… so someone born in 1939 has a lower LE than someone born in 1975, no?

  3. 3


    At 33, your life expectancy is lowered by all the people that die in car-crashes, of heart attacks, eaten by sharks, etc. But your mother has already lived to 70, she is more “likely” to live to 86 than you are simply because she has a head start.

    To put it bluntly you have more time (from age 33-81) to die than she does (from 70-86).

    BUT you’re right – at your birth you had a much higher life expentancy than her.

    For example, if you look at the “% of living past” stats on those pages you’ll note that statistically, you are more likely to live beyond age 75 than her – on raw statistics alone.

  4. 4

    Stefan Plattner

    No, Gina. This was the case if you jump back to 1939 and would predict her LE then. But in the meantime your mother has already lived out many other people, which for example died young because of car accidents, cancer etc. A 1975 born has many “risky years.”

    Live long and prosper! 😉

    BTW: my mother is born in 1939 too.

  5. 5

    Stefan Plattner

    PS: sorry for all the grammar mistakes in my previous post. D’oh! I hope it’s clear what I meant to say. I should read the stuff I write before hitting the submit button.

  6. 6

    Mason Wendell

    Sadly, it can’t calculate the conversion from dollars to doughnuts $ = (❁ × n) http://bit.ly/n30j2

    It is interesting how my first name is growing in popularity, tho. http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=mason

  7. 7

    Gina Trapani

    @Stefan: Ok, I *think* that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation. 🙂

  8. 8

    Gina Trapani

    Ok, yes, thanks everyone. Getting my head wrapped around LE tables. Interestingly, my spouse’s 94-year-old grandfather’s life expectancy is 97.6 years. Cool!

  9. 9


    Most of these questions don’t work. Starting from the second question in your post — http://snipr.com/fields-between-earth-sun — to the dollars to doughtnuts stuff.

    Nice concept but I’ll save my excitement for when basic queries yield something over and above google and clusty.

  10. 10

    Gina Trapani

    Here’s the query that yields the answer to the first question:

    distance between moon and earth / length of a football field

  11. 11


    first time poster – fan from Lifehacker and TWiT

    re LE changing with age

    “It is important to note that life expectancy rises sharply in all cases for those who reach puberty.

    A pre 20th Century individual who lived past the teenage years could expect to live to an age close to the life expectancy of today.”


    and re personal longevity – lower on the same page

    “On an individual basis, there are a number of factors that have been shown to correlate with a longer life.

    Some factors that appear to influence life expectancy include family history, marital status, economic status, physique, exercise, diet, drug use including smoking and alcohol consumption, disposition, education, environment, sleep, climate, and health care. [22]”

    statistics are fun to interpret

  12. 12


    I told it i was born in 1800 and it said my survival probability was ‘minimal’!

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