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Catching waves at 100

Updated on: 02 April,2023 08:05 AM IST  |  Japan
A Correspondent |

Scaling Mt. Fuji wasn’t enough for 90-year-old Seiichi Sanoi, who now wants to be a pro surfer

Catching waves at 100

Seiichi Sano, 89, riding a wave at Katase Nishihama Beach in Japan

A busy company owner for the early part of his life, Seiichi Sano began anew at 80 by climbing Mt Fuji. Apparently not challenged enough by Japan’s highest peak, he almost immediately took up surfing. Sano turns 90 later this year, and after being recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest male to surf, he’s ready for other tests.

“Maybe I’ll try bouldering,” he said, suggesting he might do it first in a gym. “Outside it might be a bit dangerous.” He ruled out bungee-jumping. “Too scary,” he said. Or maybe he’ll just stick with what he knows. “I think it would be interesting to try to surf until I’m 100,” Sano said. “I think I take better care of myself when I have goals like this.”

Sano lives about 20 minutes from Yokohama and gets out most weekends on the black-sand beach near Enoshima, the small island that hosted sailing for the recent Tokyo Olympics, and was the harbour for the 1964 Games. “I don’t consider myself an old man,” he said in his wet suit, board standing alongside. “I have never thought of myself as an old person. I always feel that I can still move forward. I can still do it. I can still enjoy it.” Sano still runs a business that supplies timber to construction companies, and still works 9-to-5 at the job. The surfing is just a stress reliever. “People often say that surfing is life, itself,” he said. “If I describe it in one word, I think it really applies to me right now.”

This is no child’s play

Would you want a doll that’s made with real human hair and eyes?

Nottingham’s Haunted Museum is home to many macabre and fear-inducing attractions, but few as disturbing as George, a doll dating back to 1930s Texas and reportedly made using a dead person’s eyes and hair. Marrie Wesson, who founded the Haunted Museum of Nottingham, brought along a couple of her most disturbing exhibits to BBC’s popular TV Show Bargain Hunt, one of which was George. He comes from a time when people made such dolls in memory of their loved ones, only in his case, the person who made him used the loved one’s actual hair and their glass eyes. “He came to us from Texas and, back in the day, they would make things like George in memory of passed loved ones,” Wesson said.

An expensive vice

A Japanese civil servant in Osaka was recently forced to return 1.44 million yen ('9 lakhs) of his salary after being found guilty of smoking during work hours more than 4,500 times in 14 years. The 61-year-old employee who was found to have smoked a total of 4,512 times in the past 14 and a half years while he was at work.

Zebra on the loose!

An escaped zebra galloped for hours in the busy streets of Seoul before emergency workers tranquilized the animal and brought it back to a zoo. The zoo is investigating how the zebra managed to escape. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Out of this world

French luxury accessory brand Coperni recently unveiled a limited-edition “meteorite” handbag that is hand-carved from a meteorite that fell on Earth thousands of years ago. It costs $40,000 euros ('35 lakhs). The bag supposedly contains a piece of meteorite.

A truly mammoth meatball

Australian company Vow makes mammoth meatball using actual mammoth DNA. The giant meatball was made of lab-grown cultured meat using the genetic sequence from the long-extinct pachyderm. The innovation was meant to fire up public debate. Cultivated meat — also called cultured or cell-based meat — is made from animal cells. Livestock doesn’t need to be killed to produce it, which is better for the animals and the environment.

She’s having a blast

Perla Tijerina is trying to set a world record by living on Pico de Orizaba, the highest peak in Mexico and the tallest volcano in North America. The 31-year-old will live 18,620 feet above sea level for 32 days — a feat she’s excited to accomplish. “I like to test my mental strength,” she said. Tijerina is working through the struggles of living on a volcano such as violent winds, electrical storms, hypothermia and mountain sickness. “I am never alone, I have too many books to read, and I meditate”.

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