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Jorge Semprun has died.

Jorge Semprun, author, resistance fighter, Holocaust survivor, has died.
posted by OmieWise on Jun 10, 2011 - 5 comments

The Widower Effect

I can’t live if living is without you. The Widower Effect. Also: Twins edition. [more inside]
posted by ColdChef on Jun 6, 2011 - 43 comments

Dr. Kevorkian dies at 83

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, "the central figure in the tumultuous national drama surrounding assisted suicide," died today at age 83. [more inside]
posted by John Cohen on Jun 3, 2011 - 164 comments

"I don't think there's ever closure. I think whoever came up with that concept is an imbecile."

The Survivor. "When your family is murdered, and the home you had made together is destroyed, and you yourself are beaten and left for dead — as happened to Bill Petit on the morning of July 23, 2007 — it may as well be the end of the world. It is hard to see how a man survives the end of the world. The basics of life — waking up, walking, talking — become alien tasks, and almost impossibly heavy, as you are more dead than alive. Just how does a man go about surviving such a thing? How does a man go on? ... Why does one man come undone while the next finds a way to make it through?" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 2, 2011 - 60 comments

When I was six... (or maybe seven)

Our Blood Stained Roof is a comic by Ryan Andrews. We've seen his work before. Via /r/TrueReddit.
posted by brundlefly on Jun 1, 2011 - 15 comments

Heaven's Not on His Mind

Famous physicist Stephen Hawking calls the notion of heaven a "fairy story" in an interview with The Guardian newspaper published today. He made the comment in response to a question about his fears of death.
"'I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first,' he told the newspaper. 'I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people who are afraid of the dark.'"*
[more inside]
posted by ericb on May 16, 2011 - 496 comments

* 162m others not shown

100 years of world cuisine is a statistical exploration of military conflict that is both artistic and disturbing.
posted by anigbrowl on May 15, 2011 - 28 comments

Britain's Got The Next Terri Schiavo

British "super-injunctions" goes one step further: "A High Court judge has issued an injunction which bans publication of information on Twitter and Facebook." [more inside]
posted by iviken on May 13, 2011 - 29 comments

Tweeting Bin Ladens Death

How the news spread via twitter Interesting visualisation of tweets of Bin Ladens demise. "...the Tweet by Rumsfeld chief of staff Keith Urbahn that got the ball rolling was retweeted more than 80 times within one minute after it was sent, and that by the 3-minute mark, it had led to more than 300 reactions"
posted by marienbad on May 8, 2011 - 22 comments

Let's get the chicks and kick it. Tony?

Arthur Laurents (wiki), writer of the libretti for West Side Story and Gypsy, among many other things, has died at the age of 93. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on May 6, 2011 - 15 comments

Derek Miller -- The Last Post

"I'm dead, and this is my last post to my blog." Writer, editor, musician and marine biologist Derek Miller, author of Penmachine, wrote this blog post to be published after his death from colorectal cancer. He died on May 3rd.
posted by mathewi on May 4, 2011 - 75 comments

“I do it because I care for people.”

Los Angeles grandmother sells suicide kits to allow the elderly to "die with dignity."
posted by hermitosis on Apr 30, 2011 - 99 comments

The Lockerbie Deal

How Britain's largest corporations helped engineer the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber.
posted by reenum on Apr 28, 2011 - 10 comments

Photographic Immortality

The Burns Archive is a collection of over 700,000 historical photographs that document disturbing subject matter: obsolete medical practices and experiments, death, disease, disasters, crime, revolutions, riots and war. Newsweek posted a select gallery this past October, as well as a video interview and walk-through with curator and collector Dr. Stanley B. Burns, a New York opthalmologist. (Via) (Content at links may be disturbing to some.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 26, 2011 - 15 comments

The Philanthropist "Godman"

"For the progress of humanity, work alone is not adequate, but the work should be associated with love, compassion, right conduct, truthfulness and sympathy. Without the above qualities, selfless service cannot be performed."
On Sunday morning, Indian guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba passed away. He leaves behind a massive empire, several million mourning devotees worldwide, an extensive religious philosophy, a great deal of controversy and a legacy of large-scale philanthropic projects in India, including free hospitals and mobile medical facilities, a free university and schools, and other efforts which included supplying clean water to hundreds of rural villages. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 25, 2011 - 41 comments

Elisabeth Sladen Has Died

She was Sarah Jane Smith: intrepid reporter, beloved companion, and stalwart defender. She was in two different spin-offs. The BBC is confirming that Elisabeth Sladen of Doctor Who and environs, is dead at 63.
posted by Legomancer on Apr 19, 2011 - 225 comments

"Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, he’s fucking dead, the guy from Brainiac is fucking dead. I want this to mean something to every fucking one of you."

15 years ago Dayton, Ohio band Brainiac released their third, and final full-length album Hissing Prigs in Static Couture on Touch & Go records. Lead by Tim Taylor on vocals/keyboards the album perfected a brand of short-circuit robot rock that made dance music out of violent shrieks and spasms. The band has been credited by Trent Rezor in 'really inspiring to me from a sonic influence' and eulogized by Jeff Buckley at his last gig. [more inside]
posted by wcfields on Apr 14, 2011 - 41 comments

CONTINUE? 9 ... 8 ... 7 ... 6 ...

Videogame players die a thousand deaths, complete with appropriately nostalgic soundtrack. [via BB]
posted by bayani on Apr 14, 2011 - 32 comments

You know what it is to keep a promise to the dead.

Aboriginal Science Fiction was started in 1987 to rethink the look and feel of SF magazines; Charles Ryan published it in full sized magazine format, on glossy paper, with four-color interior illustrations and it sold well. Aboriginal kept up a full schedule through 1991, when a personal financial crisis nearly shut him down. He kept putting out the occasional issue until 2001, but the irregularity made it hard to find.

Aboriginal courted new writers, one of whom was Robert A. Metzger, an electrical engineer and laser specialist who wrote quirky, fun hard SF stories. After Aboriginal mostly folded and he got shafted on his first book deal, he mostly walked away from writing. He's drifted back in a bit since 2001, but fortunately at some point along the way he decided to put some of his boomerang era pieces online. And that's how it's possible for you to read one of the most haunting, breathtaking short stories I've ever read:

In the Shadow of Bones
posted by localroger on Mar 17, 2011 - 17 comments

Korg founder Tsutomu Katoh has died of cancer.

Korg founder Tsutomu Katoh has died of cancer. Korg has been an enormously influential maker of electronic musical instruments as well as tools like tuners and metronomes. There has rarely been a time when I've been involved in making music without some sort of Korg gear around. Tsutomu will be missed by many. [more inside]
posted by b1tr0t on Mar 15, 2011 - 41 comments

Plastination

Plasticize Me: Will recent advances in human tissue preservation change the way we think about bodies, death, God… and China? [Previously, Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 13, 2011 - 13 comments

RIP Agnes Milowka

Agnes Milowka, vivacious and courageous cave diver, was found dead last week in Australia's Tank Cave. [more inside]
posted by googly on Mar 10, 2011 - 28 comments

Battenberg

DEATH / HITCHCOCK (SLYT) (NSFW - brief nudity)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 9, 2011 - 31 comments

The Elephant After Death

Ever wondered what happens to an elephant's body after it dies in the wild? Now you know. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on Feb 18, 2011 - 34 comments

Just a Game?

Donnie Moore was the California Angels' relief ace in 1986. After he gave up a home run that began the Angels' collapse in the ALCS, Moore's life and psyche steadily deteriorated, until he committed suicide in 1989. Steve Hofstetter wrote about Moore and the divergent paths taken by other athletes in similar situations.
posted by reenum on Feb 11, 2011 - 17 comments

You are alive, you have to do it.

I've never known of a single colleague who has been tortured, or who lives with the threat of death and persecution for their work, in such a confused state of mind that they believe that working in the defence of individual and collective freedoms is an act of heroism. We know full well that it is nothing more than an exercise in survival and shared dignity. [more inside]
posted by Ahab on Feb 6, 2011 - 10 comments

Strength is Life

Stronger people are harder to kill. A 20-year study involving nearly 9000 men aged 20-80 found "Muscular strength is inversely and independently associated with death from all causes and cancer, even after adjusting for cardiorespiratory fitness and other potential confounders." Food for thought when designing your next fitness program?
posted by schroedinger on Jan 31, 2011 - 88 comments

"What was a physical body will become one with the sky"

Residents of the unique town of Crestone, CO (and surrounding areas) are among the only people in the USA to have the option of a funeral pyre.
posted by Burhanistan on Jan 31, 2011 - 31 comments

The Suicide Catcher

Chen Sah is an unlikely good samaritan, a gruff man who cajoles would be jumpers into the Yangtze River to rethink their plans of suicide. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jan 26, 2011 - 18 comments

How many tweens lifers are there?

Will an 11-year-old get life in prison? Here’s what you need to know. [more inside]
posted by fixedgear on Jan 25, 2011 - 115 comments

Roland Kayn 1933 - 2011

On January 5th, 2011 largely unknown modern composer, and pioneer of long format compositions on early computer systems Roland Kayn "... left this world today from his home". [more inside]
posted by wcfields on Jan 21, 2011 - 8 comments

Lonely Last Suppers

The last meals of executed prisoners - photographs of the final choices of death row inmates.
posted by mdn on Jan 20, 2011 - 75 comments

No civilisation by 2100?

The world is well on track to achieve 4 degrees of warming by 2100. In September 2009, a conference organised by the Tyndall Centre looked at this scenario, with the papers recently published in a special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Pr. Anderson of the Tyndall Centre suggests that only 10 percent of humanity may survive this conflagration.
posted by wilful on Jan 18, 2011 - 114 comments

Mensch

"A desperate Arizona man faced with a horrible family tragedy is praising a Southwest Airlines pilot today for displaying an act of human kindness some say is rare in the airline industry: he delayed a takeoff so the man could reach the bedside of his dying 2-year old grandson." Via. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 14, 2011 - 84 comments

RIP Debbie Friedman

Debbie Friedman passed away today. She was the most well known and influential composer of Jewish music and litergy in the United States. The Jerusalem Post says that "Friedman’s music is performed in synagogues around the world more than that of any other modern composer." Her most well known song is a setting of Mi Shebeirach, a prayer for healing.
posted by kdern on Jan 9, 2011 - 24 comments

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

176 Horn Lane, Acton, London, probably isn't an address you think of when it comes to death sentences in Arizona and California. It is the home of a small driving school. And Dream Pharma, a mom and pop pharmaceutical wholesaler. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Jan 7, 2011 - 13 comments

The afterlife of your digital self.

Cyberspace when you're dead.
posted by xowie on Jan 5, 2011 - 55 comments

They came unto a land, in which it seemed always afternoon.

British actor Pete Postlethwaite has died at the age of 64, after a lengthy battle with cancer. A renowned veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company (he held the leading roles in both The Tempest and 2009's King Lear among others), Postlethwaite is perhaps best known worldwide for his roles in The Usual Suspects (trailer), The Constant Gardener and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Steven Spielberg supposedly described him as "the best actor in the world", although Postlethwaite himself often denied this.
posted by fight or flight on Jan 3, 2011 - 136 comments

Number 11: Get some darn shiny nice new glasses

The List. After losing his wife Meghan to breast cancer, Adam Warner has set out to complete his wife's to-do list, which has already taken him in a train across Canada and on pilgrimage to India. From the (newly revived) Chicago Public Media program Love & Radio. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Dec 28, 2010 - 9 comments

He counted them all out...

BBC Correspondent Brian Hanrahan, who rose to fame during his coverage of the Falklands Conflict in 1982, has died at the age of 61. [more inside]
posted by penguin pie on Dec 20, 2010 - 10 comments

You've got to end this war in Afghanistan.

A top-ranking American diplomat, Richard Holbrooke, dies. [more inside]
posted by mooselini on Dec 14, 2010 - 40 comments

truth hangs by a hair

A DNA test has proven that a man was executed for murder by the State of Texas on the basis of false forensic evidence. [more inside]
posted by hat on Nov 12, 2010 - 99 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

One wall was destroyed, many more were built.

Ever wonder how the folks who make all those cool Lego creations get all those pieces? It's not because they buy multiple sets to get thirty or so cheese slopes. They go to Bricklink, where hundreds of sellers offer up individual parts you can get in pretty much any quantity. Bricklink was started by Daniel Jezek in 2000 (it was originally called "BrickBay" but someone pressured him to change that) and is at the top of every Lego enthusiast's list of bookmarks. Jezek passed away suddenly on September 24th at the age of 33. His memorial page on Bricklink reveals that his was not an ordinary life, as this Americanized entrepreneur was born in Communist Czechoslovakia. The Lego Community would simply not be what it is without Dan Jezek.
posted by Legomancer on Oct 28, 2010 - 20 comments

Didn't predict that...

Paul the Psychic Octopus is dead. The English-born octopus shot to fame this summer by successfully predicting the results of World Cup matches.

Tributes are flooding in.
posted by i_cola on Oct 26, 2010 - 82 comments

RIP Bob Guccione

Porn mogul and entrepreneur Bob Guccione is dead at 79. I'll never forget sneaking peeks at my mom's copy of Viva, submitting my first post-Clarion story to Omni, and leaving the room when my college housemates were watching Caligula. Rest in peace, sir.
posted by xenophile on Oct 20, 2010 - 77 comments

Greg Giraldo dead

"The internets a creepy thing, especially if you have kids. It says something very creepy about the fact that I use the same machine to masturbate with as I use to teach my kid the alphabet." Comedian Greg Giraldo died of a drug overdose.
posted by fungible on Sep 29, 2010 - 63 comments

A Reminder that Every Life Matters

"A solitary man who knew his likes and lived within his means, a man who could be counted upon." Responding to vicious Internet snark following a hit-and-run death, the St. Petersburg Times asked award-winning obituary writer Andrew Meacham to write on the life of 48 year old dishwasher and Boston sports fan Neil Alan Smith.
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Sep 29, 2010 - 52 comments

Insane russian biker

Insane russian biker (youtube) takes a Yamaha R1 down the Warsaw highway in moscow. Biker culture is taking off in a land where it is too cold to ride for half the year.
posted by Lanark on Sep 27, 2010 - 92 comments

Death To Toxie!

Toxie, the adorable little toxic asset purchased by NPR's Planet Money, has died. Her story is told through adorable animation, a radio segment, a text story, and there's even a song at the bottom of the page.
posted by hippybear on Sep 24, 2010 - 56 comments

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