I think my favorite character with a long lifespan has been Robert Heinlein's Lazarus Long, but I'm a sucker (bad pun intended) for vampire novels and anything to do with time travel.

On the subject of weird beliefs, I recently read Michael Shermer's The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths. This was a very interesting book for me, as I've often wondered why people believe things that fly in the face of logic. Shermer investigates what actually happens at the neuron level when people are confronted with data that negates their beliefs, and it makes a lot of sense.

Another great read was Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, which I plan on giving to my daughter as part of a reading list when she's a little older.

I really don't care that people believe things I don't, but what scares me is when the people running the world make decisions based on erroneous beliefs. We need to appoint Mr. Spock as vice president in just about every country