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 -
The Course of Their Lives.
While much in medicine has changed over the last century, the defining course of a first year medical student's education is still 'Gross Anatomy.' This is their hands-on tour of a donated cadaver -- an actual human body -- and is an experience which cannot be replicated by computer models. When Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Mark Johnson came up with the idea of following a med school gross anatomy class for a feature story, his editor challenged him to make it different. So he chose to intertwine the students' stories with that of Geraldine 'Nana' Fotsch, a living future donor, as sort of a stand-in for the cadaver. (Via
. This four-part series contains descriptions of a human dissection. Some may find it disturbing.
) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 19, 2013 -
The Quality of Life: As Macaulay once noted: “If men are to wait for liberty till they become good and wise in slavery, they may indeed wait forever.”
posted by Gyan
on Aug 2, 2013 -
The Delights Of Disgust
I confess I am disgusted by a great many things about people (and about myself, but let's put that aside). I do not believe it is particularly urgent for me to overcome my disgust, even if I recognize that this emotion must remain entirely separate from my thinking about which laws would be most just. I am disgusted by other people's dandruff, facial moles, food stuck in their beards, yet I do not accept that in feeling this way I am judging those people to be subhuman. I take it rather that humanity, while endearing, is also capable of appearing disgusting. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jan 16, 2013 -
The Jumper Squad.
"Each year, the New York City Police Department receives hundreds of 911 calls for so-called jumper jobs, or reports of people on bridges and rooftops threatening to jump. The department’s Emergency Service Unit responds to those calls. Roughly 300 officers in the unit are specially trained in suicide rescue, the delicate art of saving people from themselves; they know just what to say and, perhaps more important, what not to say."
posted by zarq
on Oct 9, 2012 -
"Always remember that beautiful experiences and massive amounts of love are on their way. If you are able to feel pain and sadness this profoundly, more than most people can ever imagine, remind yourself that you can feel happiness and joy and love this profoundly as well, and that’s our little reward as depressed people. We feel things harder than other people do, and when those things are negative they are complete and total torture. But while we feel pain harder than other people have to, we feel beauty and joy and love harder than anyone else gets to, and that’s the victory that’s waiting on the other side of this pain for you. Hang on. Be tough. Better times are coming. Beautiful things and loving people are already out there, and when this cloud passes you get to experience them all so, so deeply."
-Comedian Chris Gethard
addresses an anonymous fan contemplating suicide
(Trigger warning: discussion of suicide) [more inside]
posted by inturnaround
on Sep 13, 2012 -
Each morning at 9am for the next two weeks, (Mefi's Own) scifi and fantasy author John Scalzi
will be chatting with musician Jonathan Coulton
about one of his science fiction songs -- a different song each morning, -- in a daily podcast over at Tor.com called Journey to Planet JoCo
. Series index
. On May 29th, they'll be premiering a brand new, previously unheard Coulton song.
posted by zarq
on May 17, 2012 -
Dr. Nick Bostrom
puts the probability of an existential event
wiping out humanity in this century at 10-20%.
Each time we make one of these new discoveries we are putting our hand into a big urn of balls and pulling up a new ball---so far we've pulled up white balls and grey balls, but maybe next time we will pull out a black ball, a discovery that spells disaster. At the moment we have no good way of putting the ball back into the urn if we don't like it. Once a discovery has been published there is no way of un-publishing it.
(Dr Bostrom, previously on Metafilter
posted by COD
on Apr 28, 2012 -
A video by the students of Liberty Middle School in Madison, Alabama. Featuring the students and faculty of Liberty Middle School, Bob Jones High School, and James Clements High School; and the music of Sigur Rós. (SLYT)
posted by BitterOldPunk
on Jan 17, 2012 -
short glimpse of an alien's life as it is caught in the midst of humanity. It's not really a game that you can win or lose, there are no bosses or leveling up. It's a beautiful but sad look at humanity.
posted by schyler523
on Mar 1, 2010 -
"The Kindest Cut"
A Colorado surgeon is helping to restore sensation, biological structure and self-esteem to victims of female genital mutilation. She's "Trinidad's Transgender Rock Star"
Bowers performs the surgery free of charge, and the hospital caps its fees at $1,700. "...you cannot charge money to reverse a crime against humanity," she says. "Sexuality is a right." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 21, 2009 -
What the World Eats
A photo slide show of images taken of families around the world, and the food they consume in one week. The commentary also provides the amount of money they have to spend, and what their favorite meals are.
posted by Dave Faris
on Jun 5, 2007 -
While there have been many posts on Mefi of blogs written by those affected by the Iraq War, I have not seen this one posted. No matter your stance on the war, your opinion of American soldiers, or the amount of other Iraq war blogs you've read, all I ask is that you at least read these few entries
. I've used too many words already, when the journal does more than enough to speak for itself. A Soldier's Thoughts. (via) [more inside]
posted by wander
on Feb 7, 2007 -
National Geographic has a special issue
on Africa out this month. There's also their Africa resource
posted by Gyan
on Sep 21, 2005 -
The Nature of Normal Human Variety
A talk with Dr. Armand Leroi
"Almost uniquely among modern scientific problems [the problem of normal human variety] is a problem that we can apprehend as we walk down the street. We live in an age now where the deepest scientific problems are buried away from our immediate perception. They concern the origin of the universe. They concern the relationships of subatomic particles. They concern the nature and structure of the human genome. Nobody can see these things without large bits of expensive equipment. But when I consider the problem of human variety I feel as Aristotle must have felt when he first walked down to the shore at Lesvos for the first time. The world is new again." (via Arts & Letters Daily)
posted by Kattullus
on Mar 29, 2005 -
is a distributed computing
project involving users of the google toolbar
. It's a light application which uses idle processor cycles to analyse data for "carefully selected charitable projects, with the guiding principle being to help humanity and advance scientific knowledge
posted by walrus
on Nov 1, 2002 -
Refugees denied human face.
'Taking photographs that could "humanise or personalise" asylum seekers was banned by former defence minister Peter Reith's office, the Senate inquiry into children-overboard claims was told yesterday.'
posted by kv
on Apr 17, 2002 -