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Ask the Times: Life expectancies, insight into Wavy Gravy

Ages around the globe

What's the life expectancy in the United States compared with other countries?

Life expectancy for women in the United States is now 80.97 years, according to the 2008 CIA World Factbook, which is based on 2007 estimates. American men come in at 75.15. Overall, American life expectancy is 78.06 years.

That puts the United States just 45th in the world.

No. 1 is Andorra, a small principality between France and Spain, at 86.23 for women, 80.62 for men and 83.52 overall. Second is Macau, a small territory off China, at 85.25 for women, 79.44 for men and 82.27 overall.

Japan heads the list of major countries, at No. 3. Women there have a life expectancy of 85.56, men 78.67, for an overall 82.02.

Some of the others ahead of the United States include Singapore, Sweden, Australia, Switzerland, France, Iceland, Canada, Italy, Spain, Norway, Israel, Greece, Austria, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Belgium, Guam, the United Kingdom, Finland, Jordan, Puerto Rico, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Bermuda.

The world average is 67.84 years for women and 63.89 for men (65.82 overall).

At the bottom of the list are five countries in Africa. Swaziland, where women can expect to live 32.62 years, men 31.84 (overall 32.23), is by far the lowest. Others in the bottom five are Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Angola.

That's Mr. Gravy to you

Who is counterculture icon Wavy Gravy? Could you give me some information on this individual?

Wavy Gravy, born Hugh Romney 72 years ago, is a 1960s hippie icon known for his tie-dyed clothing and clown persona. He once had a Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor named after him.

Gravy is one of the founders of the Hog Farm commune, which ran a pig for president in 1968 and served as security for the 1969 Woodstock concert.

Wavy was made famous as Woodstock's master of ceremonies and his announcement, "What we have in mind is breakfast in bed for 400,000."

He and his wife have run Camp Winnarainbow, a circus and performing arts camp for kids, for more than 30 years in California.

He also co-founded Seva, a nonprofit group initially organized to combat preventable and curable blindness in Third World countries.

He has been known as Wavy Gravy — black slang for gravy loaded with meat — ever since blues great B.B. King started calling him that.

Ask the Times: Life expectancies, insight into Wavy Gravy 06/22/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 12:59pm]
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