Over at OK Whatever, Jessie Schiewe tells of people who have looked up family addresses on Google Street View and found ghostly images of their dead loved ones in the midst of their everyday lives -- mowing the lawn, grabbing the mail, washing the car. From OK Whatever:
...For most people, finding dead relatives in Google Street View can be a great comfort. The father-in-law of a Reddit user called lovelyriver2929 was elated when he discovered his late-wife standing in front of their home in one of the photos taken of their address.
“He goes and looks at it sometimes,” she wrote. “He loves it because it was just her doing something completely normal on a completely normal day.”
For some people, it’s a reminder of what their loved ones looked like before they got sick, when they were still healthy enough to go outside and wash the car or mow the lawn. Sometimes these are even the last known images to be taken of a person.
“My grandpa died in 2017 and no one had any pictures with him from recent years. He only took photos when he was holding babies, and all us grandkids are in our teens and 20s,” one Reddit user wrote. “But I did this same thing and found a Google Street View photo of him mowing his front lawn from 2016. It was really good to see him doing something he loved to do and was always doing when he was here.”
And then sometimes, the ghosts vanish. Read the rest
Ken "Popehat" White (previously) has expanded on his excellent Twitter thread about Jeffrey Epstein's suicide in jail, and just how (shamefully) normal it is for prisoners to die in custody due to indifference, overwork, malfeasance and sadism on the part of prison authorities.
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Phoenix's Biological Resource Center advertised that it would collect your relatives' remains and dispose of their body parts for medical purposes, cremating the unused portions and returning them; it was founded by the aptly named Stephen Gore, whose highest level of educational attainment was a high school diploma and who learned the processes by which he dismembered and preserved the bodies in his care "from books or the internet."
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I'm all for stainless steel straws of the sort that we sell in the Boing Boing Store. They're an environmentally-friendly way to stop yourself from making the idiot-stick move (unless you need to use a straw, due to medical issues, then we're cool) of using one of the 175 million plastic straws that end up in landfills each year. If you opt for a metal straw, fair warning: don't pop it into your drink until you're seated and ready to sit and sip.
From The Boston Globe:
A British woman was impaled by a metal straw after falling at her home, a coroner said in an inquest this week that warned about the dangers of metal straws. Such straws have surged in popularity as cities, states, and even countries have banned single-use plastic straws.
The woman, Elena Struthers-Gardner, 60, who had a disability, fell and sustained a traumatic brain injury in November when the 10-inch straw pierced her eye, according to the coroner’s report.
“As a consequence of the fall, a stainless steel straw that was in a glass Kilner-style cup Mrs. Struthers-Gardner was carrying penetrated her left eye,” the report said.
Sadly, Mrs. Struthers-Gardner, died as a result of her injury.
Now, here's the thing and, don't ask me how I know, but you could very easily do the same thing with an OG plastic straw, so long as one end of the appliance has an air-tight seal. Are the odds as high of a plastic straw will fucking you up like stainless steel can? Read the rest
Bangkok's Death Awareness Cafe takes its design cures from a mortuary, complete with funeral wreaths and caskets. Patrons sip cappuccinos, read death-related "inspirational" quotes on the walls, and then climb into the coffins to consider their ultimate fate. Sounds, er, fun? From Rumble:
Despite the macabre appearance, owner Professor Veeranut Rojanaprapa says there’s a deeper meaning behind the eatery - improving society by encouraging people to reflect on their life.
He said: ‘’We’re concerned about a big problem in Thailand. The problem of corruption, the young mothers and criminal gangs.
‘’After a study, we found out that the root of the problems are greed and anger. When people are greedy, then they are corrupt. When they are greedy, they have prohibited sex. When people are angry they do harmful actions.’’
Buddhist followers believe that if people are aware of death they will be less greedy and do more good in the world.
(UPI via Weird Universe)
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Actor Keanu Reeves answers one of life's greatest questions in the way only Keanu Reeves can. Read the rest
Actor Luke Perry, who died last month following a massive stroke, was buried in a mushroom suit. According to his daughter, Perry had requested that upon his death he wear Coeio's "Infinity Burial Suit" that the company describes as "made up of of mushrooms and other microorganisms that together do three things; aid in decomposition, work to neutralize toxins found in the body and transfer nutrients to plant life."
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💋In December I went to San Francisco with two of my best friends. One of them, had never never been to California, so we went to show him the Redwoods. I took this picture while we were there, because i thought, “damn, those mushrooms are beautiful.” Now, mushrooms hold an entirely new meaning for me. Any explanation i give will not do justice to the genius that is the mushroom burial suit, but it is essentially an eco friendly burial option via mushrooms. All i can say is that you should all look into them at coeio.com or just by googling “mushroom burial suit” . My dad discovered it, and was more excited by this than I have ever seen him. He was buried in this suit, one of his final wishes. They are truly a beautiful thing for this beautiful planet, and I want to share it with all of you.
On Friday, the Washington state legislature passed a bill legalizing the "recomposition" of human remains, defined as the "contained, accelerated conversion of human remains to soil." If signed by Governor Jay Inlee, the bill will become law next year. From CNN:
Katrina Spade is the CEO of the human composting company, Recompose, and told CNN affiliate KIRO-TV she is hoping her company can be one of the first to build a facility for the practice...
"(The) body is covered in natural materials, like straw or wood chips, and over the course of about three to seven weeks, thanks to microbial activity, it breaks down into soil," she said.
While the dead body is being broken down, Spade said families of the deceased will be able to visit her facility and will ultimately receive the soil that remains of their loved. It is up to the family how they want to use that soil, Spade said.
"And if they don't want that soil, we'll partner with local conservation groups around the Puget Sound region so that that soil will be used to nourish the land here in the state," she said.
image: "Vision of a Future Recompose Facility" by MOLT Studios
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In the year 2,000, Susan Potter, then 72, donated her body to medicine. After Potter died, scientists froze her corpse, sliced it into 27,000 slivers thinner than a human hair, photographed each slice, and created "the world’s most advanced virtual cadaver using the highest-quality imagery of an entire human body in existence." Not only is the virtual cadaver an incredible accomplishment but so is National Geographic's story about Potter and the lead researcher, Dr. Vic Spitzer Ph.D., director of the Center for Human Simulation at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Why? Because National Geographic followed this incredible story of the Visible Human Project for almost two decades, from before Potter died through the completion of the simulation. Watch the documentary above. From National Geographic:
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Are you interested in working with us before you die? (Spitzer) finally asked (Potter). Are you interested in giving us more than just your body—in giving us your personality and knowledge?
Spitzer wanted to videotape her while she was living and record her talking about her life, her health, her medical history. Your pathology isn’t that interesting to the project, Spitzer told Potter. But if I could capture you talking to medical students, when they’re looking at slices of your body, you could tell them about your spine—why you didn’t want the surgery, what kind of pain the surgery caused, and what kind of life you led after the surgery. That would be fascinating.
“They’ll see her body while they’re hearing her stories,” he explained, adding that video and audio of her would make her more real and introduce the element of emotion to students.
GIF: John Keats, 1785-1921.
Enjoy this beautiful, creepy, ethereal short ambient ambient video loop by Bill Domonkos, a filmmaker, GIF maker and stereoscopist. Read the rest
Since September, Nick Cave has been thoughtfully answering fan's questions through his site The Red Hand Files. To answer the latest query, Cave shared his thoughts on death and how he and his wife Susie were mourning their son Arthur who died in 2015.
Cynthia of Shelburne Falls, Vermont wrote that she had lost her father, sister, and first love over the past few years and said she communicated with them in her dreams. She wrote that it was helping her. She asked if Cave and his wife were communicating with Arthur in a similar way.
Here's how he responded:
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This is a very beautiful question and I am grateful that you have asked it. It seems to me, that if we love, we grieve. That’s the deal. That’s the pact. Grief and love are forever intertwined. Grief is the terrible reminder of the depths of our love and, like love, grief is non-negotiable. There is a vastness to grief that overwhelms our minuscule selves. We are tiny, trembling clusters of atoms subsumed within grief’s awesome presence. It occupies the core of our being and extends through our fingers to the limits of the universe. Within that whirling gyre all manner of madnesses exist; ghosts and spirits and dream visitations, and everything else that we, in our anguish, will into existence. These are precious gifts that are as valid and as real as we need them to be. They are the spirit guides that lead us out of the darkness.
Have you ever wondered if someone died in your house, or worse?
Enter DiedInHouse.com. A simple $11.99 search through them will tell you everything you (probably don't) want to know.
A query on this website will uncover if a specific address is "stigmatized," meaning that it's got issues beyond its physical condition. Sellers are generally not under legal obligation to share if something horrible -- like a murder, suicide, or, say, a meth lab -- has happened on a property. And they certainly aren't required to disclose "paranormal" activity.
Software engineer Roy Condrey founded the site in 2013 after getting a strange text.
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The website’s creation begins like a ghost story. ...Condrey received a text message in the middle of the night from one of his tenants that read: “Did you know that your house is haunted?” Condrey went down a cyber rabbit hole seeking, but not finding, an easy way to determine if his property had indeed seen a gruesome crime or fatality.
“I went online to find a ‘Carfax’ of sorts for deaths in homes and I didn’t find anything, but I did find pages and pages of people asking if there’s a way to find out if their house is haunted,” says Condrey, who rents out several properties. He later learned through his data collection that, in fact, at least 4.5 million homes nationwide have had documented deaths take place on the premises. The number of homeowners that know about the history of their home, however, is unknown.
If you ever hear an announcement on a Disneyland or Walt Disney World PA calling for a "HEPA cleanup" it means that someone has just dumped a dead person's ashes in a ride. Again.
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Awesome baking project for Halloween. Read the rest
Want to be buried in a giant wooden coffin that looks like a Coke bottle?
Coffin artist Paa Joe is the guy who can make that happen. He crafts fantasy wood "proverb coffins" (aka as abebuu adekai in his culture) out of his shop in Ghana. He's considered the grandfather of the fantasy coffin trade and his work is exhibited in museums worldwide. But hard times fell on his business.
Paa Joe & The Lion is the 2017 documentary that tells the story of how he and his son are rebuilding the family legacy together. It's now available to stream on Amazon (free with Prime). It's really inspiring!
Paa Joe dreams of his bygone days — bringing money home in briefcases and work being shipped to galleries the world over. Now, he sleeps as the cars hurtle passed. There are no customers, no tourists — there are no coffins to make. His son, Jacob, dreams too, he dreams of returning his father to his glory days and rebuilding the family legacy together. Over the next four years they stand side-by-side, conquering love and death and embracing a life changing opportunity to travel to the UK to undertake an artist residency. It is the start of their future together — master and son... Paa Joe & The Lion
Here's a look at some of his pieces:
via john nash
Cacao pod coffin image via akhenatenator
via Allison Meier
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Rhino fantasy coffin
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A mighty oak tree has broken leaving a legacy behind.
Are you sitting down? After months of anti-government protests, over 300 civilian deaths and, more recently, the rounding up of protesters and intellectuals who were designated as terrorists or linked to risks to Nicaragua’s sovereignty, the country’s president-cum-dictator Daniel Ortega announced today that he refuses to step down from his post. On the bright side, Ortega told Fox News (the preferred network of dictators and kleptocrats, apparently) that he has fabulous news: the violence that's plagued his nation for months is over! Just like that!
Except, it isn’t.
From CBS News:
Thousands of people marched yesterday in Nicaragua to demand that President Daniel Ortega step down. The demonstrations over proposed benefit cuts, which began three months ago, are expected to continue today.
CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reports an eerie quiet during much of the day in the capital city of Managua, as people stay home and business owners close up shop for their own safety.
But after the calm, the sounds of protest pierce the air, and the fear of bloody confrontations returns.
Within minutes of arriving in the capital, Bojorquez encountered an anti-government protest and the sound of mortar fire.
It didn’t take long for Bojorquez to find the source of the mortar fire. He spoke with a group of young men who’d DIY’d their mortars, firing them off as a warning that government forces and para-militaries were drawing near. The mortar crews provide the warning with good reason: over the past few weeks, violent attacks against protestors by loyalist paramilitaries and Nicaraguan police have intensified. Read the rest
Buying a casket from a funeral home can be damn expensive. The average one costs a little over $2000. And while selling your soul to get one cheaper from Walmart may be tempting, it's not as inexpensive (or as awesome) as making one from a kit sold from Northwoods Casket Company in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. For $599 and some manual labor, you can make their simple pine box model with your own hands.
This casket kit comes complete with all wooden parts pre-cut. No cutting. No clamping. Kit includes Casket Kit Assembly Instructions, screws, glue, and a piece of sandpaper. The parts are smooth, but sanding is one of those tasks that is never finished. The kit assembles in 1-2 hours. Extra hands make for light work. Keep the blue-stained pine as is, or finish with oil, varnish, paint, or any creative method that inspires you.
Now, if $599 is out of your price range, perhaps you should consider cremation and putting the ashes in this Modest Urn?
All kidding aside, do check out the website for Northwoods Casket Company though. They've got all kinds of interesting things to look at.
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