hi, i’m from Rwanda

There was an article in the Washington Post that I wanted to read, but instead of seeing the article I was asked to give them my personal information. Not a problem I thought, I’m more than willing to enter my vital statistics for demographic analysis.

I proceeded to enter the following information: Female from Rwanda born in 1504 with a zip code identical to the one they gave in the example. Evidenced by the error message, they didn’t like the fact that I was 498 years old so I decided to find out how old they would allow me to be. I began entering years, 1604, 1704, 1804, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1899 and finally they accepted 1900. It’s a pity that 102-year-olds get to read their article, but 103-year-olds aren’t good enough for them.


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  1. seriously though how many 103 year olds do you know who read the Washington Post online?

    Comment by whaleman on September 11, 2002 @ 4:53 pm
  2. True, it’s not very likely, but why 102 and not 100, or 99, or 150? It just seems like a random age to choose.

    Comment by dan on September 11, 2002 @ 5:13 pm
  3. 102 is a pretty random age, but 1900 is a nice even number, and that’s what you’re entering in rather than your age. It makes more sense when you look at it that way. If you have to arbitrarily cut off somewhere, it might as well be on an even number. I honestly don’t see any fault in this.

    Comment by Levi on September 12, 2002 @ 3:00 am
  4. Well, there are still people living who are 103, but I guess you don’t care about those poor, helpless, decrepit 103-year-old ladies who are crying because they can’t read their Washington Post articles online.

    Comment by dan on September 12, 2002 @ 11:57 am
  5. I’m sure that their strict ethics wouldn’t permit them to enter anything but their actual birth year.

    Comment by dan on September 12, 2002 @ 12:08 pm
  6. One thing you never ask a woman is her age. also they say you are only as old as you feel. She may feel like she is 80 and have no problem skirting the age thing.

    Comment by whaleman on September 12, 2002 @ 12:32 pm
  7. Hmm, here’s an interesting article about centenarians. Apparently there are over 50,000 of them in the US. 80% of them are women, 15% are men. I wonder what the remaining 5% are? Anyway, I imagine the likelihood of any of these old ladies actually using the internet is slim, but there are more of them than I thought. Maybe 1850 would be a better cutoff date, just to be sure.

    Comment by Levi on September 12, 2002 @ 3:29 pm

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