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"I didn’t die?"

A Life-Or-Death Situation. "As a bioethicist, Margaret "Peggy" Pabst Battin fought for the right of people to end their own lives. After her husband’s cycling accident, her field of study turned unbearably personal." Via.
posted by zarq on Jul 19, 2013 - 26 comments

Vaccines: How Do They Work?

Noted anti-vaccination activist Jenny McCarthy is going to replace Elizabeth Hasselbeck as The View's newest panelist. So, now, she can take her anti-vaccine roadshow to the masses. Even though she admitted that her son never had autism. A Slate columnist is even trying to petition The View to not hire Ms. McCarthy.
posted by reenum on Jul 15, 2013 - 195 comments

A life well lived.

"In life, things happen twice if you're lucky. There's the father you get and the father you choose." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 10, 2013 - 10 comments

Godspeed Human Metronome

Alan Myers, drummer for Devo during their seminal '76-'85 period, has died. [more inside]
posted by item on Jun 26, 2013 - 74 comments

"Mourning" Chimpanzees

"After she passed, the chimps examined the body, inspecting Pansy’s mouth, pulling her arm and leaning their faces close to hers. Blossom sat by Pansy’s body through the night. And when she finally moved away to sleep in a different part of the enclosure, she did so fitfully, waking and repositioning herself dozens more times than was normal. For five days after Pansy’s death, none of the other chimps would sleep on the platform where she died."— "Want to Understand Mortality? Look to the Chimps", by Maggie Koerth-Baker in the NYT [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Jun 25, 2013 - 17 comments

“Always build people up. Never tear people down. Be kind.”

'Loss is difficult at any time of life. It can be particularly difficult for teenagers, who are still navigating their way, sometimes clumsily, toward adulthood. They know they need help, but are sometimes reluctant to ask for it. And often, because of their youth, their loss may be the first death they have ever known.' For a year, a reporter from the Cincinnati Enquirer sat in on meetings of a grief group at Archbishop Moeller high school, for boys who had lost a parent... and learned The Rules of Grieving.
posted by zarq on Jun 15, 2013 - 27 comments

His final words were "Set me free."

On Wednesday, William Van Poyck was executed by the state of Florida for murdering a prison guard during a botched 1987 attempt to free an imprisoned friend. Poyck spent 25 years in solitary confinement on death row, during which time he wrote to his sister about his life in prison. Since 2005 she has published those letters to a blog called Death Row Diary. 'Poyck used to write about everything from the novels and history books he was reading and shows he watched on PBS to the state of the world and his own philosophy of life – punctuated by news of the deaths of those around him, from illness, suicide, and execution.' Excerpts. His final letter.
posted by zarq on Jun 13, 2013 - 161 comments

The Suicide Epidemic

Self-harm now takes more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. Why are we killing ourselves, and how can we stop it?
Over the last five decades, millions of lives have been remade for the better. Yet within this brighter tomorrow, we suffer unprecedented despair. In a time defined by ever more social progress and astounding innovations, we have never been more burdened by sadness or more consumed by self-harm. And this may be only the beginning. If Joiner and others are right—and a landmark collection of studies suggests they are—we’ve reached the end of one order of human history and are at the beginning of a new order entirely, one beset by a whole lot of self-inflicted bloodshed, and a whole lot more to come.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 3, 2013 - 129 comments

Stifle.

The wonderful Jean Stapleton, has passed away at age 90.

Good Night Edith.
posted by timsteil on Jun 1, 2013 - 86 comments

But does the dog die?

Do you turn off Old Yeller before the end so you can pretend that he lived a long and happy life? Did a cute pet on a movie poster make you think it would be a fun comedy but it turned out to be a pet-with-a-terminal-illness tearjerker instead? Are you unable to enjoy the human body count in a horror movie because you're wondering whether the dog's going to kick the bucket? Have you ever Googled "Does the [dog/cat/horse/Klingon targ] die in [movie title]?" If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then welcome - DoestheDogDie.com is here for you! [more inside]
posted by jedicus on May 29, 2013 - 142 comments

for when Watership Down isn't available at the video shop

English singer-songwriter Keaton Henson's video for Small Hands, directed by Joseph Mann. [more inside]
posted by threeants on May 27, 2013 - 8 comments

Tonight's show is a little different.

Craig Ferguson seems to have a special liking for conversation with Stephen Fry. Previously. On Wednesday night, Stephen was back on the Late Late Show as the only guest. The naturally wide-ranging discussion includes Arthur Conan Doyle, America, mortality, religion, philosophy, science, homosexuality, Wagner, and more. Enjoy. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on May 25, 2013 - 93 comments

"He had his life. And he did not yield."

The Final Days of 'Macho Man' Randy Savage [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 24, 2013 - 28 comments

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated, biatch

A rather surreal story seems to be developing around rapper Tim Dog, who recently died (previously) - or did he? Enough people believe he actually faked his death that an arrest warrant has been issued for him. [more inside]
posted by DecemberBoy on May 22, 2013 - 32 comments

The Lethality of Loneliness

I will die alone, like a dog, and my cats will eat my face.
posted by ereshkigal45 on May 16, 2013 - 71 comments

When your abuser or estranged relative dies

When your abuser or estranged relative dies - funerals, obituaries, & condolences. This is a practical, thoughtful and informative website created by two Christian women who are knowledgeable about dealing with pathological narcissists and sociopaths within a family context, in particular the topic of "Silent Partners". [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on May 4, 2013 - 29 comments

RIP Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly

Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly, one half of the rap duo Kriss Kross was found dead today at age 34 of what is being investigated as a possible drug overdose. [more inside]
posted by The Gooch on May 1, 2013 - 67 comments

"it’s one thing to survive, and another to live."

This past September, Jessica Ann Lum won a "Best Feature" award in the student-journalist category from the Online News Association, for her Master's project: "Slab City Stories." Less than four months later, on January 13, 2013, she passed away. She was 25. "Jessica loved to tell people’s stories. This is hers." [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 1, 2013 - 12 comments

How I Met My Dead Parents

Going through my parents' stuff didn't make me suddenly miss them, but I became more intrigued by them every day. I wanted to know more and more about them, to solve their mysteries. At the same time, I felt a corresponding, if conflicting, urge to speak, or write, about what many people seemed to think was unspeakable: my ever-present lack of grief. So I decided to combine these seemingly divergent impulses into an Tumblr blog called My Dead Parents, which I kept anonymous both out of respect for my family and because, after years of writing fiction, I wasn't sure if I could handle revealing so much about myself in writing.
Anya Yurchyshyn writes about rediscovering her parents through their letters, after their deaths.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 20, 2013 - 12 comments

Tallchieva? Never!

"If anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away." American ballerina Maria Tallchief died Thursday. [more inside]
posted by mynameisluka on Apr 13, 2013 - 18 comments

Google Inactive Account Manager

Google has announced a new feature called Inactive Account Manager "that makes it easy to tell Google what you want done with your digital assets when you die or can no longer use your account."
posted by jedicus on Apr 12, 2013 - 57 comments

Whodunit?

Greg Fleniken was a decent, honorable, smart, and successful man whom people liked. The sort of man nobody would murder—yet somebody had. But why? And how had The Body in Room 348 received its internal injuries? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 11, 2013 - 35 comments

Tell Death to bugger right off!

Inner Vision by Sunil Rao (SLFlash) This struck me as a rather powerful analysis of suicide and why not to, even if it is a rather simplistic Flash game. [more inside]
posted by Samizdata on Apr 8, 2013 - 22 comments

The Iron Lady has rusted away

Margaret Thatcher has died following a stroke her spokesman Lord Bell has said. Details are still coming out but the Iron Lady of British politics was and is a divisive figure even today. She will probably be best remembered for her role in the coal miner's strikes and the Falklands War. Her life in pictures is already online. The obituaries have been written for some time.
posted by Mezentian on Apr 8, 2013 - 1501 comments

Famous Last Words (in 140 characters or less)

The Tweet Hereafter compiles the final posts of well-known people (for some value of well-known). Mundane or monumental, it displays the fleeting tweets of the deceased. [more inside]
posted by smirkette on Mar 11, 2013 - 25 comments

"A law should serve the people, but it didn't protect me."

In Korea, Changes in Society and Family Dynamics Drive Rise in Elderly Suicides - "The epidemic is the counterpoint to the nation's runaway economic success, which has worn away at the Confucian social contract that formed the bedrock of Korean culture for centuries." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 4, 2013 - 23 comments

“...but the numbers are unbelievable.”

"The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking" [NYTimes.com]
"The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945."

posted by Fizz on Mar 2, 2013 - 61 comments

RIP William Bennet, Oboist

William Bennett, principal oboist of the San Francisco Symphony, passed away today after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage while performing a concerto onstage. [more inside]
posted by Red Desk on Feb 28, 2013 - 26 comments

"Life is fragile, use it roughly." (slSlate)

When death takes someone you love suddenly.
posted by Kitteh on Feb 28, 2013 - 17 comments

"once having given a pig an enema there is no turning back,"

Death Of A Pig, E.B. White.
I spent several days and nights in mid-September with an ailing pig and I feel driven to account for this stretch of time, more particularly since the pig died at last, and I lived, and things might easily have gone the other way round and none left to do the accounting. Even now, so close to the event, I cannot recall the hours sharply and am not ready to say whether death came on the third night or the fourth night. This uncertainty afflicts me with a sense of personal deterioration; if I were in decent health I would know how many nights I had sat up with a pig.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 26, 2013 - 32 comments

this is why that is important

NSFWCORP presents This Is How You Healthcare: American Death in London by Sarah Bee:
The main things that keep me sane are the airy beauty and peacefulness of the hospital building, messages from friends and family far away on earth, the mundane magnificence of the staff: and the knowledge that all of this is free and taken care of and I do not have to fill in a single fuckforsaken form or bust one precious braincell worrying about how I might have to find money to pay for the futile care of my dying deadbeat dad.
[more inside]
posted by fight or flight on Feb 19, 2013 - 84 comments

Spiel mit dem Tod

A german documentary about a war game in Russia. Watch it until the end, it's worth it. The version with english subtitles was the best I could find.
posted by Fillus on Feb 15, 2013 - 23 comments

Jonathan Rendall, 1964-2013

Late last month, the writer Jonathan Rendall was found dead at his home in Ipswich. He was 48. He was the greatest gonzo writer you've never heard of. [more inside]
posted by hydatius on Feb 13, 2013 - 9 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

Respect must be paid

Since March 21, 1994, when the first regular obituary segment was dropped into an Academy Awards show, a spot on the yearly scroll of recently deceased movie luminaries has become one of the evening’s most hotly contested honors. And as in most Oscar races it is the focus of sometimes ferocious campaigning.
posted by Chrysostom on Feb 9, 2013 - 16 comments

She might've called it Getyouracttogether.org, but she changed one word.

Get Your Shit Together helps you do what it says on the tin. After her husband died in a 2009 bike accident, Chanel Reynolds created the site as a step-by-step toolkit to help keep track of important life documents and tasks. Four days after its launch, the New York Times got in on the action. [more inside]
posted by Madamina on Feb 6, 2013 - 28 comments

"Mr. Koch is survived by New York itself."

"He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith. He fiercely defended the City of New York, and he fiercely loved its people. Above all, he loved his country, the United States of America, in whose armed forces he served in World War II." - a self-written epitaph by the former 105th Mayor of New York City: Edward Irving Koch.
"Hizzoner" passed away on Friday morning at the age of 88, and the New York Times City Room blog spent the day collecting and posting stories about him. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 1, 2013 - 53 comments

I am become Hello Kitty, destroyer of worlds: Domestic Cat Holocaust USA

In a report that scaled up local surveys and pilot studies to national dimensions, scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that domestic cats in the United States — both the pet Fluffies that spend part of the day outdoors and the unnamed strays and ferals that never leave it — kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year, most of them native mammals like shrews, chipmunks and voles rather than introduced pests like the Norway rat.
That cuddly kitty is deadlier than you think
See also Feral Cats Kill Billions of Small Critters Each Year
See also The impact of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife of the United States
posted by y2karl on Jan 30, 2013 - 171 comments

Funeral Procession Includes Stop at Burger King Drive-Thru

Funeral Procession Includes Stop at Burger King Drive-Thru
posted by ColdChef on Jan 29, 2013 - 32 comments

we love metal and we love unicorns lets party!!!!:)

Unicorns from Hell
posted by unliteral on Jan 23, 2013 - 8 comments

Fuck Yeah Creepy Victoriana

Sheltered and Safe from Sorrow: Victorian mourning rituals, tombstones, epitaphs, and other creepy things
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jan 17, 2013 - 19 comments

To tell the story to someone else...

In 1974, Leon Leyson was one of a group of Jews who greeted Oskar Schindler when he visited Los Angeles. It was the first time the two had seen each other since the war. He began to introduce himself, but Schindler interrupted: "I know who you are," Schindler said, grinning at the middle-aged man before him. "You're Little Leyson." On Sunday, the youngest name on Schindler's List passed away at the age of 83. "The truth is, I did not live my life in the shadow of the Holocaust," he told the Portland Oregonian in 1997. "I did not give my children a legacy of fear. I gave them a legacy of freedom." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 14, 2013 - 35 comments

Poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio

Cancerous skull (NSFW for some links of skulls below)
Carved skull
Just some skulls I picked up today from my skull guy...yeah, I have a skull guy”
Tree
Tibetan Ritual Skull
Too many drinks?
Skull Bookshelves Formed with Everyday Items
Crania Anatomica Filigre by Joshua Harker
Lies & persuasions by Kris Kuksi
Lily of the Valley (Welcome BB fans)
A skull made from typewriter parts
Apple & potato skull [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Jan 11, 2013 - 30 comments

Beate Sirota Gordon, 1923-2012; "The Only Woman In The Room"

Beate Sirota Gordon, Long-Unsung Heroine of Japanese Women’s Rights, Dies at 89: a NYT obituary relates the fascinating story of a young woman who was just the right person in just the right place at just the right time and managed to strike a blow for gender equality. [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 4, 2013 - 20 comments

The hunt for the Death Valley Germans

In 1996, a family of German tourists went on vacation in the desert Southwest of the US. They disappeared in Death Valley sometime late July of that year, and despite repeated searches, their remains were not found until 2009. Tom Mahood details how that happened.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt on Jan 3, 2013 - 168 comments

"It shows how drastically our conception of dealing with the dead changed at that point."

I understand your great grandfather was a grave robber?
My family is Greek and they lived in Alexandria back when it was a Greek town. At that point there was a trade in mummy dust, which they called mummia, which was thought to be a cure all. Louis XIV actually used to carry mummia in a pouch and snort little bits of it. The problem was that by the late 19th century they didn’t have a bunch of old Egyptian mummies to dig up anymore. Instead, when criminals were executed, people would steal their bodies and take them to the middle of the Sahara and cover them in tar. They’d come back a year later, dig them up and sell them to apothecaries, where they’d get ground up. This was a burgeoning trade.
A Q&A with author, photographer, and ossuary expert Paul Koudounaris.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 30, 2012 - 17 comments

The brief and beautiful life of Stella Joy

The Toronto Star has recently published a three-part story (1, 2, 3) on the life and death of toddler Stella Joy, who was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) at age 2. As this disease is considered 100% fatal, Stella's mothers (link to blog) chose not to have Stella undergo radiation treatment in order to preserve as much quality of life as possible. The love of Stella's family and community as they support her and each other through her death is truly inspiring. [more inside]
posted by fiercecupcake on Dec 17, 2012 - 13 comments

291 diseases and injuries + 67 risk factors + 1,160 non-fatal complications = 650 million estimates of how we age, sicken, and die

As humans live longer, what ails us isn't necessarily what kills us: five data visualizations of how we age, sicken, and die. Causes of death by age, sex, region, and year. Heat map of leading causes and risks by region. Changes in leading causes and risks between 1990 and 2010. Healthy years lost to disability vs. life expectancy in 1990 and 2010. Uncertainties of causes and risks. From the team for the massive Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010. [more inside]
posted by hat on Dec 14, 2012 - 11 comments

Ravi Shankar has died.

Ravi Shankar, sitar virtuoso, has died at 92.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Dec 11, 2012 - 126 comments

Death in the backcountry

What started as a glorious powder day ended in a desperate fight for survival after three skiers were buried by a killer avalanche in the backcountry of Stevens Pass, in Washington's Cascades. Megan Michelson lived to tell about it, but she can't shake off a haunting question: How did a group of expert skiers make such a deadly mistake?
posted by Chrysostom on Dec 7, 2012 - 16 comments

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