939 posts tagged with DEATH.
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My Periodic Table

Bismuth is element 83.
I do not think I will see my 83rd birthday, but I feel there is something hopeful, something encouraging, about having “83” around. Moreover, I have a soft spot for bismuth, a modest gray metal, often unregarded, ignored, even by metal lovers. My feeling as a doctor for the mistreated or marginalized extends into the inorganic world and finds a parallel in my feeling for bismuth.
Oliver Sacks on dying. (SLNYT)
posted by gaspode on Jul 24, 2015 - 20 comments

Don Joyce 1944-2015

Longtime Negativland member Don Joyce died yesterday at age 71. [more inside]
posted by item on Jul 23, 2015 - 50 comments

"I knew in my heart this was his last fall."

Cartoonist Jack Ohman of the Sacramento Bee recently completed a four part series of cartoons titled "The Care Package" based on his experiences with his father in his final years: "Getting old ain’t for sissies", "The last time I went fishing with my dad", "What I wish my dad said before he died", "In my dad’s final weeks, I was still in denial".
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 20, 2015 - 15 comments

“...I’m living every moment intensely, as if it were the last moment,”

​Omar Sharif, 83, a Star in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘Doctor Zhivago,’ Dies. [New York Times]
Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor who rode out of the desert in the 1962 screen epic “Lawrence of Arabia” into a glamorous if brief reign as an international star in films like “Dr. Zhivago” and “The Night of the Generals,” died on Friday in Cairo. He was 83. His death, at a hospital, was caused by a heart attack, his agent, Steve Kenis, said. Mr. Sharif — who later became as well known for his mastery of bridge as he was for his acting — was a commanding, darkly handsome presence on screen. He was multilingual as well, and comfortable in almost any role or cultural setting.

posted by Fizz on Jul 10, 2015 - 63 comments

"Honest to God, a dead body is not an emergency.”

Amber Carvaly and Caitlin Doughty on distrupting the funeral-home business:
"Although Undertaking L.A. will offer a conventional service like cremation, it will also work with families to facilitate what the two call a “more natural” death — no formaldehyde cocktail, no pods that fill hollow eyes, no mouth former, no satin-lined casket, no metal vault. The goal is to promote home funerals. If family members care to, they can undress, bathe, and cool the body with ice themselves or they can watch Carvaly and Doughty do so. “What I believe to be the problem is the lack of the dead body, the lack of reality, the lack of the ritual around the death,” Doughty says. “The solution is a return to all that.”
Caitlin Doughty, previously
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 8, 2015 - 58 comments

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Dispatches from Trauma Island. An essay by author Katie Coyle regarding the loss of her daughter, who was stillborn in May.
posted by zarq on Jul 6, 2015 - 11 comments

You're The One That I Want Satan

Death Metal Grease (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 6, 2015 - 34 comments

To bid them farewell.

For most of US history, our relationship with death was more intimate than it is today. Americans often died at home and remained there until burial, where they were washed, wrapped in shrouds, and laid out on boards while the family made preparations for a funeral feast and an at-home funeral. In addition to family, women known as “Layers Out of the Dead,” helped take care of the immediate tasks following a death. This homespun approach to death largely persisted until the Civil War, when embalming, hospitals and eventually funeral directors changed the way we dealt with our deceased. But now, with home funerals and even green burials slowly regaining acceptance, a new generation of “Layers Out of the Dead,” are emerging.
posted by zarq on Jun 30, 2015 - 17 comments

“Dead people have taught me how to live better,”

The Lonely End. "Three months ago in an apartment on the outskirts of Osaka, Japan, Haruki Watanabe died alone. For weeks his body slowly decomposed, slouched in its own fluids and surrounded by fetid, fortnight-old food. He died of self-neglect, solitude, and a suspected heart problem. At 60, Watanabe, wasn’t old, nor was he especially poor. He had no friends, no job, no wife, and no concerned children. His son hadn’t spoken to him in years, nor did he want to again."
posted by zabuni on Jun 28, 2015 - 59 comments

Action Man: Battlefield Casualties

Action Man: Battlefield Casualties is a disturbing spoof toy commercial in a campaign by Veterans for Peace UK to raise the military recruitment age from 16 to 18. Warning: autoplaying video with graphic violence.
posted by TheophileEscargot on Jun 24, 2015 - 18 comments

James Horner 1953-2015

Academy Award-winning composer James Horner died in a plane crash Monday. He was known for the scores to Titanic (the soundtrack for which sold 27 million copies), Braveheart, Apollo 13, and A Beautiful Mind among many others. [more inside]
posted by zachlipton on Jun 23, 2015 - 84 comments

"I think we have to respect when people say, 'No—that is enough.'"

Euthanasia for psychiatric patients was rare in the early years of the law, but patients complained that they were being unfairly stigmatized: psychic suffering, they argued, was just as unbearable as physical pain. Like cancer patients, they were subjected to futile treatments that diminished their quality of life. Dirk De Wachter, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Leuven and the president of the ethics commission for the university's psychiatric center, said that he reconsidered his opposition to euthanasia after a patient whose request he had rejected committed suicide. In 2004, she set up a camera in front of a newspaper office in Antwerp and set herself on fire.
Rachel Aviv traveled to Belgium, where euthanasia has been legal since 2002, to report on the complications and consequences that surround the practice of assisted suicide and euthanasia for psychiatric patients: The Death Treatment.
posted by divined by radio on Jun 22, 2015 - 52 comments

"We don't yet know the extent"

The Other Wounds - "Most Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ injuries didn’t occur during combat. But their ailments have become an enduring consequence of the conflicts." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 21, 2015 - 6 comments

nothing between the body and the earth

At rest in the fields. "Celebrating childhood's end" at Eloise Woods Community Natural Burial Park, in Cedar Creek, Texas. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 18, 2015 - 4 comments

PROBOSCIS TONGUES AND DEMONIC QUEEFING

An overview of folklore, religion and popular intuition surrounding childbirth, pregnant women, and young infants: abortion by aswang, blood-drinking Lilith, curses from witches, skeletal-faced spirits, and demonic births. content advisory: infant mortality [more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana on Jun 15, 2015 - 5 comments

...an impossible task.

The New Normal: Pieces of Grief, by Stephanie Wittels Wachs, sister of Parks and Recreation's co-executive producer Harris Wittels, who passed away in February.
posted by zarq on Jun 13, 2015 - 19 comments

robbed, assaulted and left for dead in 1267 by six thieves

@deathmedieval is a bot that tweets lines from coroner's rolls in England between 1200 and 1500 AD. (related)
posted by curious nu on Jun 12, 2015 - 31 comments

Walter Molino's Worst Case Scenerios

Illustator Walter Molino had an unusually spot-on take of the situations that would provoke maximum anxiety in his viewers.... provided his viewers were terrified of lions. Many parents dread the moment their toddler has to cling to the bumper of a runaway car, or , God forbid, has to fend off an angry lion, or a Nessie,. But who hasn't had a moment of doubt regarding our tightrope walking partner?
posted by biddeford on Jun 10, 2015 - 34 comments

he can’t see me

“One night we were eating spaghetti and meatballs and it fell out and rolled across the kitchen table. You said, ‘Dad, your eye popped out’ and kept on eating. I’ll never forget it. You must have been seven or eight. He felt so bad about that—for your sake.”
“I don’t think it bothered me,” I say.
“He worried it bothered you.”
The Glass Eye, by Jeannie Vanasco
posted by zarq on Jun 8, 2015 - 7 comments

The Biggest Threat To Your Retirement Portfolio: Mild Dementia

End of life planning is hard. There are checklists, like this set from Get Your Shit Together. There are practical tips for making things easier for whoever's dealing with your estate after you're gone, like the tech tips in this previously from MeFi's own Jessamyn. But in the murky middle between living completely independently and being incapable of managing everyday tasks lies a subtler and more difficult question: how to organize and manage your money when financial competence is one of the first areas to decline on the slide from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. SeekingAlpha contributor PsychoAnalyst has a surprisingly nuanced analysis of the steps self-directed investors can take to protect their finances from the underestimated risk of their own declining ability to make good financial decisions, and raises some points worth thinking about for folks beyond the site's investor wonk audience.
posted by deludingmyself on Jun 6, 2015 - 26 comments

"Today is the end of sheloshim for my beloved husband..."

Sheryl Sandberg reflects on the sudden, tragic death of her husband, SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg, thirty days ago. [more inside]
posted by New Year on Jun 3, 2015 - 41 comments

RIP Professional Wrestler Tommy Rogers (of the Fantastics)

Professional wrestler Tommy Rogers (real name Thomas Couch), best known as one half of the tag team The Fantastics, has passed away at the age of 54. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Rogers "...had been having legal troubles in recent years stemming from fighting. He was to be sentenced tomorrow over a fight with police officers and feared a long prison stay." [more inside]
posted by The Gooch on Jun 1, 2015 - 1 comment

How an acrobat fell to her death during a live performance.

Life and Death at Cirque du Soleil
posted by zarq on May 29, 2015 - 17 comments

What I want is to die on my own timetable and in my own nonviolent way.

The Last Day of Her Life. When Cornell psychology professor Sandy Bem found out she had Alzheimer’s, she resolved that before the disease stole her mind, she would kill herself. The question was, when? [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 15, 2015 - 42 comments

The Friend

"His wife was just thirty-four. They had two little girls. The cancer was everywhere, and the parts of dying that nobody talks about were about to start. His best friend came to help out for a couple weeks. And he never left." (SL Esquire)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 11, 2015 - 99 comments

to our love, send a coffin of wood

From eagles and robots to wrenches and cruise ships, the artisans of Ghana's Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop ensure decedents will be ushered to the afterlife in meticulously detailed coffins designed to fit the dearly departed's lifestyle, in accordance with Ga-Adangme traditions. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Apr 29, 2015 - 14 comments

The Forgotten Dead

Pennsylvania's oldest and largest is 400 acres. The oldest in New Jersey is now "trapped in the 19th century." NYC turned many into parks. What happens when a cemetery goes under? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 28, 2015 - 27 comments

Saving the day with new methods of rot

Corpses are no longer decaying in many German cemeteries. Instead, the deceased become waxen, an uncanny process that has become so rampant it can no longer be ignored. When bodies don't decompose, their graves can't be reused -- a common practice in Germany. Contrary to many other countries, where final resting places are traditionally maintained in perpetuity, Germany recycles cemetery plots after a period of 15 to 25 years. Experience has shown that the earthly remains of the deceased rot away almost entirely in this amount of time, but only under favorable soil conditions.
posted by sciatrix on Apr 23, 2015 - 48 comments

Recycling our bodies

The Urban Death Project is a Seattle-based nonprofit that will help turn you into compost when you die. "We aren’t just creating a new system that turns bodies into soil – we are striving for an entirely new paradigm of death care."
posted by velvet winter on Apr 3, 2015 - 25 comments

Dealing with the digital afterlife of a hacker

Dealing with the digital afterlife of a hacker It’s been three months since Michael died, and Beth has only been able to access and understand a sliver of what he left behind in the digital world. Kalat, who has been working closely with Beth to access Michael’s data, says this ought to be a wake up call to everyone who spends a significant amount of their life online—not just hackers.
posted by CrystalDave on Mar 23, 2015 - 27 comments

Death, Redesigned

A legendary design firm, a corporate executive, and a Buddhist-hospice director take on the end of life.
posted by ellieBOA on Mar 23, 2015 - 15 comments

"Sheer Political Retribution"

David Dow is an attorney and law professor in Texas who has represented over 100 death row clients. He has been suspended by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for missing an appeals filing deadline...or did he? [more inside]
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Mar 22, 2015 - 16 comments

People Who Live Forever: Indiana Jones’ Father, The Narrator in Borges’

TODD MAY
[PHILOSOPHER]
“In the seminar on death that I taught, there were moments where we were talking about death, and the class would just go quiet, because it was clear it was there in front of us… there wasn't really anything to say at that moment, because each of us just has to look." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 13, 2015 - 34 comments

The days are long, the years are short

Paul Kalanithi, writer and neurosurgeon, has died. A non-smoker, Kalanithi was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 but still managed to raise money for lung cancer awareness, worked to provide resources for doctors to educate them about palliative care. He and his wife, Lucy, also had a daughter who "filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied". He also wrote moving articles (and previously) that have resonated with many, patients and doctors alike.
posted by Athanassiel on Mar 11, 2015 - 14 comments

Shame and Ideology

Study Confirms That Abstinence Education Has Utterly Failed At Preventing AIDS In Africa
posted by Artw on Mar 7, 2015 - 22 comments

Save a loved-one's voicemail greeting

VMSave is a service by Pete Keen (zrail here on mefi). "When a loved-one passes away, sometimes the only recording you have of them is locked away on an answering machine or a voicemail box. Eventually the recording will disappear, either due to someone recording over it or service getting canceled. Before it disappears, use VMSave to save it, completely free." [via mefi projects]
posted by ocherdraco on Mar 6, 2015 - 18 comments

In the living room the voice-clock sang

Deathhacks: Tech tips for people who are going to die (someday) Jessamyn West (Mefi's own) describes the challenges that came with being executrix of her father's estate, and his house.
posted by zabuni on Jan 27, 2015 - 73 comments

BaconCat, 2003-2015

MeFi's own jscalzi suffers the loss of his beloved pet. Ghlaghghee (pron. "Fluffy"), a.k.a. the world-famous BaconCat, has passed away after a brief illness. John writes a quiet, typically wry eulogy and appreciation.
posted by PsychoTherapist on Jan 25, 2015 - 85 comments

Algorithms are essentially thoughtless.

Inadvertent Algorithmic Cruelty: Author and Web design consultant Eric Meyer lost his daughter Rebecca to a brain tumor earlier this year, as mentioned previously on the Blue--or in this case the Purple. At the year's end, Facebook's Year in Review app has been sending him ghastly reminders of this recent history with an auto-populated, cheerily decorated slideshow featuring pictures of his dead daughter. Mediating on the influence of such algorithms in our lives, he writes: To call a person “thoughtless” is usually considered a slight, or an outright insult; and yet, we unleash so many literally thoughtless processes on our users, on our lives, on ourselves.
posted by Cash4Lead on Dec 25, 2014 - 83 comments

California's whooping cough crisis, Latinos affected disproportionately

"'It really speaks to the lack of access to health insurance that's particularly predominant within the Latino community,' says Sarah de Guia, executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, an advocacy group. Latinos make up 62 percent of the uninsured, she says, either because they can't afford to pay for health insurance, or because they're afraid that signing up for coverage will expose family members who aren't lawfully present in the U.S." California Whooping Cough Infections Run High Among Latino Babies, NPR. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 19, 2014 - 15 comments

“We all feel sad, Big Bird”

To usher in the discussion of Mr. Hooper’s death, Big Bird gives out pictures that he’s drawn (done by Spinney himself) to his friends on the block. Big Bird already knows about Mr. Hooper’s death but he does not understand that death is for forever. “Big Bird, don’t you remember, we told you. Mr. Hooper died. He is dead,” Maria says. “Oh, yeah. I remember. Well, I’ll give it to him when he comes back,” Big Bird replies. There’s no philosophical explanation from the other characters as to why Mr. Hooper won’t return, no afterlife, no complications of spirituality. He’s just dead. It’s blunt, but it’s true.
That time on Sesame Street when they taught Big Bird about death.
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 12, 2014 - 53 comments

(Canine) Guardians of the Corpse Ways

Guardians of the Corpse Ways is a thorough one-stop resource for all of your canine Underworld mythological needs. Why did countless cultures associate dogs with the realm of the dead? Here's a tiny sample: "The essence of the hellhound is his intermediary position - at the border of this world and next, between life and death, hope and fear, and also (given its pairing with the dog of life) between good and evil. For this role, the dog is perfectly suited, being the domestic species par excellence, the tamed carnivore who stands midway between animal and human, savagery and civilization, nature and culture [26]. 'The growl of the hellhound is yet another expression of this liminal position, for the growl is a halfway station between articulate speech and silence. It is a speech filled with emotion and power, but utterly lacking in reason. Like death itself, the hellhound speaks, but does not listen; acts, but never reflects or reconsiders. Driven by hunger and greed, he is insatiable and his growl is eternal in duration. In the last analysis, the hellhound is the moment of death, the great crossing over, the ultimate turning point.' [27]" [more inside]
posted by quiet earth on Dec 6, 2014 - 8 comments

One Does Not Simply Assume Sean Bean Always Dies

Does Sean Bean really die more than other actors?
posted by Sara C. on Dec 6, 2014 - 44 comments

A hundred death whistles marching

Ancient musical reconstruction has led to the discovery of the sounds made by Aztec "death whistles".

[more inside]
posted by quiet earth on Dec 3, 2014 - 63 comments

“If you can read you can cook. You can always feed yourselves..."

Kent Haruf, ‘a great writer and a great man’, dies aged 71 [The Guardian]
"Pan Macmillan, Haruf’s UK publisher, said that the novelist died on Sunday 30 November, praising his “beautifully restrained, profoundly felt novels” which it said “reflected a man of integrity, honesty and deep thoughtfulness”."

posted by Fizz on Dec 2, 2014 - 5 comments

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Ex-Maple Leaf coach Pat Quinn dead at 71 [Toronto Star]
"Former Toronto Maple Leaf coach and general manager Pat Quinn has died at the age of 71. Quinn died Sunday night in Vancouver after a lengthy illness, the Hockey Hall of Fame and Vancouver Giants said Monday. Quinn, who was co-owner of the WHL’s Giants, was 71.

posted by Fizz on Nov 24, 2014 - 25 comments

This Kid Just Died [VIDEO]

"Grief porn enters the Facebook era" "And, like regular pornography, the internet has transformed it. Freed from the already relaxed constraints of tabloid journalism, grief porn is no longer obligated to fake newsworthiness or importance. You don't need to die in a particularly tragic way; your death doesn't need to be the occasion for punishment or law-enactment. You just need to have produced consumable, shareable content before your untimely death. Rather than a news angle allowing a writer to smuggle grief porn into a paper, a grief-porn angle allows a content creator to smuggle a shareable unit onto Facebook." An interesting essay by Kelly Conaboy, ironically on Gawker.
posted by HuronBob on Nov 23, 2014 - 65 comments

Dangerous days

For whom the bell tolls: accidental deaths in Tudor England
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 23, 2014 - 40 comments

How bad lawyering and an unforgiving law cost death row inmates

Death by deadline.
posted by T.D. Strange on Nov 16, 2014 - 9 comments

Bye Bye Mrs. Kot-ter

Marcia Strassman most famous as Mrs. Kotter, but also known for roles on M*A*S*H, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, and her brief foray into music recording has died of breast cancer at 66. [more inside]
posted by jonmc on Oct 27, 2014 - 44 comments

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