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Insuring the Dead

Inside the business of South American corpse-repatriation insurance [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Jul 1, 2014 - 4 comments

The best 143 songs of all time

Andrew Collins started a blog in July 2013 - Circles of Life: The 143 - he's about half way through now. [more inside]
posted by unliteral on May 21, 2014 - 32 comments

From working in an industry that fears death to one that embraces it

What do you get when your funeral director is a former women's magazine writer who describes herself as "a Kundalini-yoga-practicing Buddhist Presbyterian on the board of Brooklyn Heights Synagogue"? It's Amy Cunningham's blog The Inspired Funeral, chronicling trends, products, history, music and ideas related to all sorts of grieving traditions. (From this NYT article about boomers gravitating towards greener burials and funerals.) [more inside]
posted by Madamina on Mar 13, 2014 - 16 comments

"Yo"

"The Fireman"
posted by zarq on Mar 3, 2014 - 13 comments

Giving Back

"After two to three hours, the body is transformed into a sterile coffee-colored liquid the consistency of motor oil that can be safely poured down the drain, alongside a dry bone residue similar in appearance to cremated remains." GOOD magazine: The emergence of the sustainable death industry.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 17, 2013 - 93 comments

80 years of electronic music, heard in a selection of 55 tracks by Bleep

A bit over a year ago, Warp Record's digital music shop, Bleep.com, presented their guide to recorded* electronic music, spanning from 1930 to 2010 (also as a Facebook timeline, which apparently kicked the whole thing off). The overview of recorded electronic music was presented as a selection of 55 tracks, almost five and a half hours in full. Part of this presentation was a (now expired) promotional deal to purchase the collection of songs as a lot, but you can still read about each piece of music on Bleep and hear 49 of the tracks in a playlist on Grooveshark. There's more to hear and read below the fold. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 31, 2013 - 26 comments

Laying Tamerlan Tsarnaev to Rest

Funeral home director Peter Stefan: "This is what we do.... I'm burying someone who is dead." While protesters demonstrate in front of his funeral home, creating a burden for local law enforcement, Peter Stefan works the phones to find a cemetery willing to accept Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body and field media inquiries. Meanwhile, Tsarnaev's body is washed by his uncle in preparation for burial. No cemeteries agree to accept the body and plans to inter it at a prison fall through. Ultimately a "compassionate individual" steps forward so the saga can come to an end.
posted by carmicha on May 9, 2013 - 172 comments

Love is so short and forgetting is so long.

Pablo Neruda's Body Will Be Exhumed For Autopsy [bbc.co.uk] "A judge in Chile has ordered the exhumation of the remains of the poet Pablo Neruda, as part of an inquest into his death in 1973."
posted by Fizz on Feb 11, 2013 - 8 comments

An overview of the 16 years of music from Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet

Kieran Hebden recently released a 38 minute long collection of unreleased songs he recorded as Four Tet, between 1997 and 2001, called 0181, to stream or download from Soundcloud. If you like what you hear, in 2011 Hebden "leaked" his first Four Tet EP, which you can stream from Self-titled Magazine's website. If you want to hear and know more of Hebden, venture below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 25, 2013 - 23 comments

Cheated of feature by dissembling Nature

"So it was right after we had the rest of him uncovered, and [the spine] was really obviously curved and we looked at each other and said 'Wow, this is a really good candidate'. - archeologists in England uncover what is likely to be the burial place of Richard III under a car park. Having traced an all-female line of descent direct from Richard’s sister, Anne of York, to a lady living in Canada, the team (and the world) eagerly await the results of the DNA tests.
posted by Marauding Ennui on Sep 12, 2012 - 60 comments

Pushing Mushrooms

"We want to eat, not be eaten by our food, right?"[TED]. Artist/MIT graduate Jae Rhim Lee's current project explores the possibility of, and interest in ecologically responsible interment. She is currently cultivating personalized Infinity Mushrooms, which in combination with the Mushroom Death Suit will promote postmortem mycological growth, and more importantly intimacy with and acceptance of the physical realities of decomposition as vehicles toward death acceptance. [more inside]
posted by obscurator on Feb 22, 2012 - 18 comments

Jamie Woon, making "the new pop music" with layered and looping vocals, a laptop computer, a guitar, and sometimes a live band

It's only been about 12 years since Jamie Woon picked up a guitar and started writing songs, but he's progressed from his days of being a fan of Brit-pop, and his current work has been classified as sobstep, dubpop, and lovestep, or simply "the new pop music." "At the heart of what I do is R&B, it's groove-based vocal-led music, and I try to sing about things that are close to my heart and that matter to me," says Woon. His sound has garnered a lot of praise, including placing 4th in The Sound of 2011, the annual British music industry poll. More of Woon's background and music inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 17, 2012 - 19 comments

*crunch*

'Doritos Creator Dead, to be Buried with Chips.' Arch West, a former Frito-Lay executive and creator of Doritos, will be buried with the chips that made him famous.
posted by Fizz on Sep 26, 2011 - 121 comments

"Ireland is the old sow that eats her farrow."

Did Zombies Roam Medieval Ireland? Two 8th-century skeletons with stones shoved in their mouths suggest that the people of the time thought so.
posted by Fizz on Sep 18, 2011 - 44 comments

shoot ... there goes daddy

Holy Smoke - "The process of having cremated ash placed in live ammunition begins when you contact us. You tell us what type of hunting or shooting that the decedent practiced and we can help you decide what will best suit your needs....1 Pound of ash is enough to produce 250 shotshells."
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 31, 2011 - 46 comments

Crossbones Graveyard

Crossbones Graveyard (YT) is a disused graveyard in Southwark, London. Lying outside the old city walls, it became the last resting place for 15,000 paupers and prostitutes (the latter known as the 'Winchester Geese' because they were licensed by the Bishop of Winchester). The history of Crossbones is being rediscovered by local playwright John Constable, and is becoming a place of pilgrimage to remember the outcasts in London society (audio/slide). A ritual is held there every Halloween.
posted by carter on Oct 31, 2010 - 8 comments

Beware the Electronic Automatic Sound-Spectrograph Computing Digit Translator Playback Recognizer Machine

Telephoneme: Even if your Alphabet Conspiracy succeeds and you destroy the books, machines have no minds of their own. They are easily confused by different voices and different accents. It is the brain of man that tells them what to do. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 20, 2010 - 10 comments

Journey to the Bottom of the (Cold War) Sea and Back

Submarine causalities are tragedies of war that are not always directly associated with combat. Systems failures at sea are often mysterious, with evidence and remains disappearing to all but the deepest diving vehicles. This was no different in the Cold War, with non-combat losses from the US and the Soviet Fleets. In that era of nuclear secrets, both those of nuclear-powered submarines and nuclear weapons, learning about the enemy's technology was paramount. Such an opportunity came to the US with the sinking of K-129, a Golf Class II Soviet submarine that went down with 98 men on board. The recovery took over six year, involved the possible payback of Howard Hughes, a videotaped formal sea burial that was eventually copied and given to then-President Boris Yeltsin, and decades of CIA secrecy. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 27, 2010 - 41 comments

Use Your Loved One on Your SATs!

8 Unconvential Ways to Be "Buried." We've all heard about strange practices surrounding the remains of the deceased, but even I (who am morbid to a fault) hadn't been aware of half of these.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Mar 10, 2010 - 61 comments

A warm cup of Halloween cheer

"How would you like to tour my famous tomb?" he asked. "It's impossible to be buried alive there."

This gentleman is almost alone in his concerns today, thanks to modern medicine's advances (and advances in embalming). But in the 19th century, plans to prevent live burial were frequent. Timothy Clark Smith of Vermont had a window installed in his grave, where you can check on him to this day. The Germans instituted Leichenhauser (or "waiting mortuaries"), halls in which corpses rested among flowers, their fingers tied to alarm bells, until it was clear to everyone that it was time for their burial. [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena on Oct 31, 2008 - 27 comments

"Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones!"

The Mercury Prize shortlist for 2008 is: Adele - 19 | British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music? | Burial - Untrue | Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid | Estelle - Shine | Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim | Neon Neon - Stainless Style | Portico Quartet - Knee-Deep in the North Sea | Rachel Unthank & The Winterset - The Bairns | Radiohead - In Rainbows | Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand | The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Jul 22, 2008 - 45 comments

Caution: May contain nuts

Where would you like to spend the rest of eternity? The man who designed the Pringles potato crisp packaging system has been buried in one of the iconic cans. Sandra Ilene West was buried in her favorite Ferrari. And a man buried in a suitcase (not by choice, it would appear) Previously: 1, 2
posted by subgear on Jun 2, 2008 - 30 comments

Political correctness drives me around a twist.

God's Waiting Room is a British documentary about the daily struggles of Haji Taslim Funerals, the first European Muslim Funeral Directors, and how they work to honor the requirements of ancient faith while cutting through the red tape of modern death. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Nov 26, 2007 - 6 comments

What happens after you die

Thanatorama [flash] You died this morning. Are you interested in what comes next? Webdocumentaire.
posted by tellurian on Nov 1, 2007 - 25 comments

German giant pyramid

A German consortium has announced its plan to build the world's largest structure - a 578m-high "Giant Pyramid" where for €700 anyone can get a burial spot.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 9, 2007 - 35 comments

Quel Pays

Nazi collaborator buried in France with his Légion d'honneur medals.
posted by pwedza on Feb 21, 2007 - 29 comments

Global cooling?

Big freeze an alternative to cremation A town in Sweden plans to become the first place in the world where corpses will be disposed of by freeze-drying, as an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation or burial. Jönköping, in southern Sweden, is to turn its crematorium into a so-called promatorium next year. Sorry - registration is required to access Sydney Morning Herald so more of the article will be included: "the pioneering method ... involves freezing the body, dipping it in liquid nitrogen and gently vibrating it to shatter it into powder. This is put into a small box made of potato or corn starch and placed in a shallow grave, where it will disintegrate in six to 12 months. People are to be encouraged to plant a tree on the grave. It would feed off the compost formed from the body, to emphasise the organic cycle of life." After seeing the destruction Katrina wreaked on the above ground graves in Louisiana, one might seriously consider an environmentally friendly alternative.
posted by Cranberry on Sep 29, 2005 - 48 comments

Cult Leader Buried Alive

Cult leader proves his divinity by being buried alive and resurrecting himself. Except for the resurrecting bit. Good show for trying though
posted by criticalbill on Dec 16, 2004 - 26 comments

Ecological burial

Capsula Mundi is an Italian project to promote ecological burial. Alternatively, those who prefer the sea can become reefs. A Swedish company has come up with a freezing method. [Via Aeiou and MoFi.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 17, 2004 - 10 comments

I hate when this happens

Pardon? Posted on Thursday, May 27, 2004. From the transcript of a phone call made by Kevin B. Wyckoff to his parents, Charles and Martha Wyckoff, a few hours after they had attended his funeral on December 22. Kevin B. Wyckoff is an inmate at the Lexington Correctional Facility in Oklahoma, where he is serving a five-year sentence for offenses including kidnapping and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Originally from Harper's Magazine, March 2004.
posted by sunexplodes on Jun 3, 2004 - 18 comments

Soylent Green is...me!

A new way to go How would you like to get to the next world: burial, cremation, or alkaline hydrolysis?
posted by gimonca on Jul 30, 2003 - 8 comments

Tibetan Art

The Himalayan Art Project. An online collection of Himalayan visual arts and heritage, '...containing over 8,000 records, 10,000 images and 700 thematic sets'. The exhibits page is good: here's a collection of photographs of Tibet as it was in the 1950's, and here's an essay on the history of 'visual Dharma'.
Some related links :- Mongolian stories and anecdotes about politics, religion, sport and horses (Mongolians belong to the same religion as Tibetans); a privileged witness to a sky burial (via the Tibetan Studies Virtual Library); the Tibetan game of rebirth.
posted by plep on Mar 29, 2003 - 3 comments

105 unconscious children temporarily buried alive in the name of religion.

105 unconscious children temporarily buried alive in the name of religion. In a horrible ritual witnessed by an Indian government official, who quit his position shortly afterward, children were worked until exhausted, wrapped in cloth, and then buried for one entire minute. Sometimes it feels like that we will never shake off the need for ancient tradition, myth, and groundless faith, but there is a bright side. There are more non-religious people now than ever. As the information age expands, education becomes more accessible and may be the most important factor in determining how religious one is. Unsurprisingly, a follow-up article on the mass-burial quotes, "Inquiries also revealed that no educational programme had been introduced anywhere near Perayur in the last six years."
posted by skallas on Sep 6, 2002 - 93 comments

African fantasy coffins

African fantasy coffins are produced by the Ga and other tribes of the Ghana coast to confer the status of travel and luxury goods upon the deceased. The coffins themselves are incredibly detailed works of art that range from miniature Mercedes automobiles and cellphones to giant fish and Coke cans. What would you like to be buried in?
posted by MrBaliHai on Dec 29, 2001 - 13 comments

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