Some stories don't end when you think they do. Some stories just pause. And then they sneak back around and whap you across the back of your unsuspecting head. So here's one I didn't expect to revisit, although maybe I should have: Part 2 of Episode 7, "Unmaking A Home."
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I’ve often wondered, as I suppose any parent has, what would continue to bind me to the earth if my child died.
I don’t know, is the answer. I have two close friends who’ve had young children die, and another friend whose one son committed suicide and the second died of brain cancer. Not sure how they start their days, what they think to push them forward, where their strength comes from. But they have gone on with their lives. I don’t see their pain, but it must lurk somewhere.
Perhaps if you’re a religious person you may find some hope in the belief that sooner or later you will be reunited with your loved one, however there is no such consolation for an atheist such as myself. The thought of your child dying seems that it would be an end to all … why write a book, take a trip, watch a movie, eat a meal, take the garbage out? What could seem to have any importance at that point. Still, my friends have persevered. Perhaps it is their spouses that provide the anchor.
My own little bundle of joy is now 15 years on this earth, fiercely smart, strong both physically and mentally, yet willful, torn by the contradictions of adolescence, looking for a way forward. Sometimes, well often actually, I am accused of various unspeakable acts, of being old, and so on. Everyone told me that these years would come, but it’s hard to conceive of the hurt and difficulty when they suddenly appear one day: seeing the sweet smiling face of the flesh of your flesh suddenly turn into cold contempt. Read the rest
No one is sure how 51 year old British man ended up dead, pantsless, tied to a bench in front of the Malaga airport with luncheon meat on his buttocks and his penis in a can of tuna fish. Read the rest
People are dying for a ride in Ellena Funeral Car's Maserati Hearse:
Multifunctional steering wheel - Dual-zone automatic climate control - Windshield wiper with rain sensor - Body in fiberglass - Hydraulic Alzabara - Interior lighting LED - Stainless steel cladding and imitation leather boating - Cross removable stainless steel - Hooks door wreaths - Audio engineer - Metallic paint choice
Optional accessories: - Opening the tailgate automatic - Platform Automatic - Parking sensors - Tinted windows
In northwest China, archaeologists dug up an ancient corpse in a burial shroud of cannabis plants. The fellow was buried approximately 2,400 to 2,800 years ago. Archaeologist Hongen Jiang and colleagues described the discovery as an "extraordinary cache" of well-preserved plants. From National Geographic:
Thirteen cannabis plants, each up to almost three feet long, were placed diagonally across the man's chest, with the roots oriented beneath his pelvis and the tops of the plants extending from just under his chin, up and alongside the left side of his face.
This discovery adds to a growing collection of archaeological evidence showing that cannabis consumption was "very popular" across the Eurasian steppe thousands of years ago, says Jiang.
...This is the first time ever that archaeologists have recovered complete cannabis plants, as well as the first incidence of their use as a "shroud" or covering in a human burial, says Jiang.
A "death put" on a certificate of deposit means that the bond matures immediately upon the bearer's death, rather than when its term runs out: they're used as a form of life-insurance, cushioning the blow to loved ones from unexpected death, and they can be held jointly, so that the bearer's heirs and a third party get a payoff on death. Read the rest
This brilliant billboard on the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto, Canada is actually a PSA to discourage texting and driving. After this, if Wathan Funeral Home were real, people would be dying to get in. (Sorry.)
Excellent work from the john st. advertising agency and Cieslok Media.
Our favorite PhD of high weirdness, Dr. Erik Davis, author of Techgnosis, recently gave a compelling cosmic rap at the Morbid Anatomy Museum about Timothy Leary and his appropriation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead! Listen to it here.
"While even most psychedelicists now discount the brazen and now rather dated work he created with Richard Alpert and Ralph Mezner, 1964’s The Psychedelic Experience," Erik writes, "I argue that there was also something deeply canny and even visionary about this mapping, which in some sense just extends possibilities already inherent in the ancient Tibetan concept (which is itself probably as indigenous-shamanic as it is Indian)." Read the rest
Shanghai's Longhua Funeral Parlor now offers 3D printing of faces and other body parts to improve the appearance of the deceased during viewing.
"It is difficult for relatives to see incomplete faces or bodies of their loved ones when they attend memorial services, and makeup cannot always sufficiently repair them," Liu Fengming, an official with the Shanghai Funeral and Interment Service Center, said. From the Shanghai Daily:
After the explosion at Tianjin Port in August last year, the center sent experts to help repair the faces of firefighters killed in the blast.
The 3D-printing technology can also be used to make loved ones appear younger or better looking before they are interred, said Liu, who added that partial repair costs less than 10,000 yuan.
More at the World Post: "Chinese Funeral Home 3D Prints Body Parts For Damaged Corpses" Read the rest
It's a good time to be a US airline: the 10 listed US carriers made $24.2B in profits last year, up from $7.3B the year before. Read the rest
If you're searching for some uplifting bedtime reading, you might enjoy this e-book of a 1953 CIA report titled "A Study of Assassination," made public in 1997 as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. Here are a few choice nuggets:
Read the rest
Assassination is a term thought to be derived from "Hashish", a drug similar to marijuana, said to have been used by Hasan-ibn-Sabah to induce motivation in his followers, who were assigned to carry out political and other murders, usually at the cost of their lives.
It is here used to describe the planned killing of a person who is not under the legal jurisdiction of the killer, who is not physically in the hands of the killer, who has been selected by a resistance organization for death, and who has been sele cted by a resistance organization for death, and whose death provides positive advantages to that organization....
The essential point of assassination is the death of the subject. A human being may be killed in many ways but sureness is often overlooked by those who may be emotionally unstrung by the seriousness of this act they intend to commit. The specific technique employed will depend upon a large number of variables, but should be constant in one point: Death must be absolutely certain. The attempt on Hitler’s life failed because the conspiracy did not give this matter proper attention...
It is possible to kill a man with the bare hands, but very few are skillful enough to do it well.
Filmmaker Candice Drouet "collected images from all the movies I have seen in my life and split them in different themes" for a project titled "My Life In 1.000.000 Frames." The first edited collection, seen here, is titled "(A Story Told With) The Last Words From 129 Films."
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Gravity / Zero Dark Thirty / My Own Private Idaho / Punch Drunk Love / Lost in Translation / Flawless / Last Days / The Knight of Cups / Psycho / The Hours / Snatch / 127 Hours / Control / Carrie / Natural Born Killers / Interstellar / Ruby Sparks / The Matrix / The Pianist / High Fidelity / Jaws / The Reader / My Week With Marilyn / StrangerLand / Contagion / Little Miss Sunshine / Drive / Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas / The Terminator / Donnie Darko / Only God Forgives / Snowtown / Slow West / Behind the Candelabra / The Great Gatsby / Kill Bill 1 / Flightplan / Fargo / Being John Malkovich / The Babadook / Breakfast at Tiffany’s / Kill Bill 2 / Little Children / Notes On a scandal / Minority Report / Savages / The Piano / Big Fish / Cosmopolis / Child 44 / The Royal Tenenbaums / Catch me if you can / Barton Fink / The Birds / Walk The Line / The Grand Budapest Hotel / Manglehorn / Dark Shadows / The Kids Are All Right / The Big Lebowski / Dazed and Confused / Goodfellas / Blue Jasmine / American Hustle / Groundhog Day / The Master / The World’s End / Inherent Vice / Macbeth / Raging Bull / Boogie Nights / Ex Machina / Monster / Titanic / Gangs of New York / Mulholland Drive / The Machinist / Insomnia / August Osage County / Wrong Cops / Broken Flowers / Tangerine / Doubt / Dogville / Apocalypse Now / Night Crawler / It Follows / Secret Window / Still Alice / Fight Club / Youth / Edward Scissors Hands / Irrational Man / Casino / Confessions Of a Dangerous Mind / Her / Transpotting / Filth / The Unbearable Lightness of Being / Inglourious Basterds / Philomena / There Will Be Blood / Citizen Kane / Reservoir Dogs / Marie-Antoinette / The Dreamers / The Others / Django Unchained / Pulp Fiction / The Hurt Locker / The Silence of The Lambs / The Queen / City Of God / Inside Llewyn Davis / Taxi Driver / Black Swann / One Hour Photo / The Diary of a Teenage Girl / American Psycho / 2001 A Space Odyssey / Eyes Wide Shut / Holy Motors / O Brother, Where Art Thou ?
Americans are likely to die earlier than folks from other developed nations. What could it be?