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Ever wonder what it feels like to be old?

Ever wonder what it feels like to be old? "I am the same age as Sean Connery and Clint Eastwood. In Dog-years that is really really ancient..."
posted by banished on Jul 24, 2014 - 45 comments

Open defecation solves the child mortality puzzle among Indian Muslims

“Hindus are, on average, richer and more educated than Muslims. But oddly, the child mortality rate for Hindus is much higher. All observable factors say Hindus should fare better, but they don't. Economists refer to this as the Muslim mortality puzzle. In a new study, researchers believe that they may have found a solution to the puzzle. And, surprisingly, the solution lies in a single factor – open defecation.” [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Jun 5, 2014 - 33 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

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."

Sherwin Nuland, surgeon and award-winning author who challenged idea of dignified death, has died at age 83. The son of first generation immigrants, Nuland survived a troubled childhood and succeeded in medical school only to face near-paralyzing depression, for which he was successfully treated with electroconvulsive therapy (first-person TED talk). His award-winning book, "How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter", included realistic descriptions of the process of death and helped to frame the national debate on assisted suicide. [more inside]
posted by warm_planet on Mar 6, 2014 - 13 comments

She died well because she was willing to die too soon....

The Ultimate End of Life Plan. "...Torn, I called my mother's internist. 'I know your mother well enough, and I respect her,' he said. 'She doesn't want to risk a surgery that could leave her debilitated or bound for a nursing home. I think I would advise the same decision if it was my Mom.' I called my mother and said, 'Are you sure? The surgeon said you could live to be 90.' 'I don't want to live to be 90,' she said. 'I'm going to miss you,' I said, weeping. 'You are not only my mother. You are my friend.' That day I stopped pressuring my mother to live forever and began urging her doctors to do less rather than more. A generation of middle-aged sons and daughters are facing this dilemma, in an era when advanced medical technologies hold out the illusion that death can be perfectly controlled and timed."
posted by storybored on Feb 3, 2014 - 58 comments

I can’t go on. I’ll go on.

The pedestrian truth that you live one day at a time didn’t help: What was I supposed to do with that day? My oncologist would say only: “I can’t tell you a time. You’ve got to find what matters most to you.” —neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi on coming face to face with his own mortality. SLNYT.
posted by Athanassiel on Jan 24, 2014 - 29 comments

Ars Morendi.

“I am going to put you on a bit of morphine,” I said, like I was used to saying such things, announcing to dying patients that I was going to put them on a drug named for Morpheus, the god of sleep, descended from Thanatos, the god of death." A doctor reflects on the art of dying in 21st century America.
posted by sonika on Dec 12, 2013 - 9 comments

"We just choose to be present."

In 1986, Sandra Clarke was working as a staff nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, OR when a dying man asked her to sit with him. She agreed but first needed to make her rounds and the man died alone in his room before she was able to return. Troubled, and feeling that she had failed a patient, she resolved to gather volunteers to stay with those who were alone and close to death. Ms. Clarke enlisted her entire hospital for a bedside vigil system to help ensure that patients would not be alone when they died. In 2001, Sacred Heart formalized the program as No One Dies Alone (NODA) and over the last decade, it has spread to hospitals across the US. "Susan Cox Is No Longer Here" offers us a glimpse into the NODA experience in Indianapolis. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 7, 2013 - 23 comments

A Sailor's Dying Wish

I really don't have anything to add to this. They piped him ashore. CMDCM Grgetich leaned in and quietly told me how significant that honor was and who it’s usually reserved for as we headed towards the gangplank. Hearing “Electrician’s Mate Second Class William Bud Cloud, Pearl Harbor Survivor, departing” announced over the 1MC was surreal.
posted by COD on Nov 14, 2013 - 39 comments

"The shock value of what might be called death humor"

Laughing Past The Grave
We realize we aren’t supposed to speak ill of the dead, but we adore it, often to a perfectly scandalous degree, when others do, and especially when it’s funny.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 18, 2013 - 28 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

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

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

Allow Natural Death

"With multiple organ failure it’s hard to get everything balanced just right so that oxygen is getting to the brain and the person can “wake up.” So, if nothing else, I know how to misallocate an important moment. Here I was, with my mother dying in front of me, and I still wanted her to be proud. Just, proud."
posted by Pope Guilty on Dec 3, 2012 - 44 comments

AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH

AAAAAAHHHHHHH (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Sep 26, 2012 - 37 comments

Computer Science: Still have Byte? Or Down to Bits?

While growth prospects in the field are incredibly high, recent trends, such as "tools grow[ing] more advanced" (see Adobe Flash Builder or MS Visual Studio) have had people wondering over the past few years if computer science has much room for growth left. Some question whether it is alive. Others, such as Carnegie Mellon, say not so fast. In any case, employment has been a bit iffy (/.). There is the possibility that Computer Science is simply growing up (PDF), then again the U of Florida decided to say good bye to it this past week. But hey, if you are not going to that University, and still are shooting for computer science, here are some tips.
posted by JoeXIII007 on Apr 23, 2012 - 57 comments

A Perspective on Death

Here's a thought-provoking interview with Philip Gould in which he describes his reaction to his impending death from oesophogeal cancer. [more inside]
posted by richyoung on Apr 20, 2012 - 13 comments

She is gone

She is gone. A Valentines story of love and loss.
posted by ColdChef on Feb 14, 2012 - 28 comments

various methods of shuffling off the mortal coil

List of unusual deaths; of inventors killed by their own inventions; of chess related deaths; of entertainers who died during a performance.
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 10, 2011 - 56 comments

Euthanasia Coaster. Yeah, you read that right.

Euthanasia Coaster is a hypothetical euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster, engineered to humanely kill a human being.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jun 24, 2011 - 64 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

Marching bands unite in tribute to Brandon Franklin, slain at 22

'If I die,' Brandon Franklin had said, 'I want all the bands at my funeral.' As Franklin’s family filed out of the eastern New Orleans church and the hearse waited, nearly 300 current and former band members performed a final salute. Via.
posted by ColdChef on May 24, 2010 - 32 comments

The right to live well leads to the right to die well.

Hannah Jones is a terminally ill 13 year old who has won a court battle in Britain allowing her to die peacefully instead of undergoing the major surgery that could prolong her life.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Nov 13, 2008 - 111 comments

Afterlife and the Mind

Never Say Die: Why We Can't Imagine Death. Why do we wonder where our mind goes when the body is dead? Shouldn’t it be obvious that the mind is dead, too? Examining self-consciousness and mortality.
posted by amyms on Oct 16, 2008 - 219 comments

Help

A photo-essay of life in a Cambodian Aids Ward. [images are distressing] [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Sep 23, 2008 - 7 comments

Don't drink the Kool-Aid! Dye instead.

Dyeing with Kool-Aid basic how-to. The best thing is the color chart. A good idea for a party, maybe? As usual, the folks at Flickr have got the goods: Kool-Aid dyed yarns in the Hand-dyed pool [1], [2], and the Yarn Porn pool, [1], [2]. And if you're one of those people who just hates to do things the easy way? Multi-colored custom yarn with Kool-Aid tutorial part 1 and part 2.
posted by taz on May 2, 2008 - 29 comments

Death Rattle

Can you say that again? you gurgled it the first time......Or it's simply the language of the zombies via, often full of groans. Since death rattle is a fairly difficult language to understand by word, it is common to understand through body language, and volume. For example, a loud angry "Rahhr!" will usually mean "I'm going to kill you." A soft "Bhrr." with hands in front will usually mean "Please, don't hurt me, I didn't know she was your girlfriend."
But more commonly, over-used to describe movies or fading trends and Russian Death metal...Hear the Rattle!
...otherwise possibly boring FPP's on terminology.
posted by greenskpr on Nov 23, 2007 - 12 comments

What does it feel like to die.

What does it feel like to die?
posted by Jimbob on Oct 11, 2007 - 77 comments

Death finds us (furb)all

Oscar the cat. Harbinger of death. (more info available behind registration at the NEJM)
posted by revmitcz on Jul 25, 2007 - 95 comments

The fortynine days of death

BardoThodal the tibetian book of the dead, a way of life.This is what happens on the 49th day of our being dead. If you do not escape the Matrix, the day after you are inside a woman's womb. part one part two (Google video)
posted by hortense on Oct 31, 2006 - 6 comments

Not Your Ordinary Newspaper Obituary

"He spent much of his life recovering from the misadventures that plagued him even in the womb." A most unusual obituary that illuminates the life of a Denver-area man with unusuably horiffic bad luck.
posted by huskerdont on Sep 26, 2006 - 40 comments

transitional states of mind

The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Part One. Part Two. [YouTube videos] [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jul 28, 2006 - 20 comments

A laugh before he goes

Columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning author Art Buchwald is dying. On today's The Diane Rehm Show on NPR, he was interviewed in the Washington hospice he has moved to, about many topics, including his decision to suspend treatment for his advanced kidney disease, and live out his life in hospice.[more inside]
posted by paulsc on Feb 24, 2006 - 18 comments

Kearl's Guide to Sociological Thanatology

Kearl's Guide to Sociological Thanatology, covering such topics as How We Die, The Politics of Death, Bids for Immortality and Longevity, and so much more!
posted by OmieWise on Jan 19, 2006 - 7 comments

Do everything for others, nothing for your own people?

``I don't treat my dog like that,' 47-year-old Daniel Edwards said as he pointed at the [dead] woman in the wheelchair. ``I buried my dog.' He added: ``You can do everything for other countries but you can't do nothing for your own people. You can go overseas with the military but you can't get them down here.' People dying and left in streets waiting for aid at a New Orleans Convention Center.
posted by omidius on Sep 1, 2005 - 260 comments

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, the pioneering psychologist who devoted her life to studying death and dying, has moved on.
posted by moonbird on Aug 25, 2004 - 13 comments

cancergiggles

Cass is dying of colon cancer, and he is telling us all about it in his beautiful, witty and absolutely inspiring blog.
posted by Fat Buddha on Apr 6, 2004 - 11 comments

The Really Dead Letter Office

"MyLastEMial.com is a unique online service, which allows you to leave messages for those you care about – to be emailed after your death." Oh. My. God.
via - would you believe? - Yahoo's Daily Links
posted by wendell on Nov 17, 2003 - 28 comments

Afterlife Telegrams

Afterlife Telegrams. For a fee of $10 per word (5 word minimum), our customers can have a telegram delivered to someone who has passed away. This is done with the help of terminally ill volunteers who memorize the telegrams before passing away, and then deliver the telegrams after they have passed away.
posted by Wet Spot on Nov 24, 2002 - 27 comments

Prop me up

Prop me up beside a jukebox is one option. Some think you'd be better off in a pinebox, there's always an Eternal reef. But now, there's an ecofriendly way to spend eternity, or at least a short time.
posted by SuzySmith on Oct 24, 2002 - 11 comments

With the daily bloody death counts in the dozens and propagandists rooting for more, perhaps it's appropriate to pause and take into consideration the pain and suffering each individual death creates. Studs Terkel's interviews with a paramedic, a social worker, an undertaker, and a mother about their experiences with death and dying. (more great links on the site)
posted by semmi on May 12, 2002 - 6 comments

Beyond Indigo

Beyond Indigo is a site devoted to death and dying. Includes channels on funerals, caregiving, and sudden death, as well as quizzes, stories, memorials, products and more.
posted by swift on Jan 30, 2002 - 6 comments

"Man's Body Left on Front Porch After Funeral Home Isn't Paid for His Cremation."

"Man's Body Left on Front Porch After Funeral Home Isn't Paid for His Cremation." Ah, American Death Inc.--gotta love 'em. Any other stories like this out there? Not that all funeral homes are so um efficiently run.
posted by aflakete on Oct 9, 2001 - 20 comments

Talk is cheap

Talk is cheap Coming soon: 50-90% off. Discuss (in English).
posted by bregdan on Jun 19, 2001 - 48 comments

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