How to prepare to join the Internet of the dead

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In January 2015, security researcher and beloved, prolific geek Michael "Hackerjoe" Hamelin died in a head-on collision that also hospitalized his widow, Beth Hamelin. Read the rest

This graph shows causes of death by age

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People between the ages of 15-30 are more likely to die from external causes than any other reason. The 60s, 70s, and 80s are cancer years. If you've made it that far, your failing heart is most likely to kill you. Nathan Yau created this stacked area graph that "shows how cause of death varies across sex and race, based on mortality data from 2005 through 2014. Select a group to see the changes. Select causes to see them individually." Read the rest

Watch this film about living with Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) by a filmmaker who has it

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Don't miss this amazing film.

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Keith Richards tells his kids to snort his cremation ashes

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"I'll give them a straw," he said, according to The Mirror. You might recall that Richards also made headlines years back after claiming that he snorted his own father's ashes.

He later elaborated on that: "I opened dad’s ashes, and some blew over the table. I asked, should I desecrate them with a broom? So I wet me finger and I shoved a bit of me dad up me fucking hooter. I’m sure he’s still blessing me. The rest I put round a tree.”

(The Mirror) Read the rest

Connecticut kills death penalty

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Judges struck down the state's death penalty, commuting 11 doomed killers' sentences to life imprisonment, notwithstanding the fact the state hasn't actually executed anyone since 1960 except Michael Ross.
The divided, 4-3 ruling cited factors that have come up in other states to abolish the death penalty including racial and economic disparities in its use, the costs involved with appeals, the cruelty of the wait for execution and the risk of executing innocent people.
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Somebody stole the skull of Nosferatu director FW Murnau

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The skull of FW Murnau, the director of the classic vampire film Nosferatu (1922), has been stolen from his grave in Stahnsdorf, Germany. Read the rest

Memento Mori: the beautiful ways we have kept the dead among the living

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Art historian Paul Koudounaris travelled the world, visiting 30 countries to document the practices—ancient to modern, solemn to joyous—by which human remains are displayed. From good luck charms to genocide memorials, his gorgeous art book Memento Mori collects the finds.

Short film: "Denali"

“There's no easy way to say goodbye to a friend, especially when they've supported you through your darkest times.” Read the rest

Existential risks: RPGs versus real life

In 2012, Jim Henley got tongue cancer, but it was the good kind -- his odds are like making a save-against-death throw on a D8 and needing to beat a one. Read the rest

Sending Terry Pratchett home with HTTP headers

In Terry Pratchett's novel Going Postal, an allegory about the creation of an Internet-like telegraph system called "the clacks," workers who die in the line of duty have their names "sent home," by being transmitted up and down the line in the system's signalling layer ("A man is not dead while his name is still spoken"). Read the rest

LISTEN: An uplifting lecture about death

The 2014 BBC Reith lecture with Dr Atul Gawande (previously) continue to amaze, delight and inform, and the third one, "The Problem of Hubris," fundamentally changed how I think about (and what I fear about) death. Read the rest

Lecture on zombies, art, and death

Zombie artist George Pfau sends us, "Zombies Identified: A slideshow-lecture performed for BAASICS 5:Monsters, a free event at ODC Theater in San Francisco." Read the rest

Retro-computing and grieving

Paul Ford has written a haunting, beautiful essay about his voyage into the emulation of extinct, obsolete computers and the way that this has allowed him to come to grips with the death of an older friend and father figure, who helped him through a very difficult period of adolescence through their shared love of computers. Read the rest

Scientific evidence of very brief "life after death"?

The largest scientific study of "life after death" and near death experiences in cardiac arrest patients (who were resuscitated) suggests that some people may sustain several minutes of awareness after the heart stops. Read the rest

Yaruvi: A necropolis for the Dead Sea

You'd bring your dead to it on a boat, bear the body through a ceremonial labyrinth and the body lifted to the rooftop, exposed to the elements. Read the rest

A horrible way to kill fruitflies

Redditor Ergas has a disgusting way to lure fruit flies to a very personal fiery death. Read the rest

T-Mobile: your dead dad's active phone will let you stay in touch

Robert, a Consumerist reader, called up T-Mobile to close his dead father's cellular account; the rep suggested that he should keep paying for it so he could listen to his dad's voice on the voicemail message whenever he wanted. Read the rest

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