Life, Death, Ego and Eternity

This week on HOME: Stories From L.A.

The original Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in the hills above Glendale, may be best known outside California for inspiring the sledgehammer satire of the 1965 cult comedy "The Loved One." For tourists and curiosity-seekers, it's the gonzo life's work of Hubert Eaton, who memorialized himself as The Builder in the park's every corner. For the families of the people interred there, though, it's something more, and harder to joke away: A place of their own, green and quiet, and eternity-adjacent. 

This is the second episode of Season 5. You can catch up on the whole series at the iTunes Store. While you're there, please take a second to leave the show a rating and review. And you can subscribe right here:  

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Roger Ailes' son threatens accusers: “I’m coming after them and hell is coming with me.”

Fox News founder Roger Ailes was forced out of the company last year by his bosses in the Murdoch family after being exposed. He died last week at the age of 77. Then his teenage son, Zachary Ailes, honored the old man's memory by threatening his accusers at his eulogy with a quote from Tombstone.

Zachary pledged to fight to clear his father’s name after a series of sexual harassment allegations led to his ultimate ouster from Fox News.

“I want all the people who betrayed my father to know that I’m coming after them,” Zachary Ailes said during a speech at the ceremony, “and hell is coming with me.”

Hey, at least he knows where dad is. Read the rest

Turkey cat funeral explained

This video of turkeys circling a dead cat went viral yesterday...

... and here's the explainer, from The Verge's Alessandra Potenza and Rachel Becker. They're a) warily inspecting a potential predator they don't realize is dead while b) getting stuck in a natural follow-the-leader pattern.
“predator inspection,” says Alan Krakauer, a biologist at the University of California, Davis, who studies the behavioral ecology of birds, in an email to The Verge. Sometimes, animals lower down in the food chain approach predators — a behavior that can be seen as risky, but can actually help the prey. Making the predator aware that the prey know it’s there can sometimes scare the predator away. ... What could be happening is that the turkeys are stuck in some kind of never-ending circle, with each bird following the tail in front of it. “It’s not unusual for them to get into those dances where they chase each other around,” Scott Gardner, a turkey expert with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, tells The Verge.
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Maserati Hearse

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

Maserati Hearse (via Uncrate)

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Funeral fundraising scam jars feature face of woman who is not dead

Over the weekend, the mother of Lupita Gonzalez heard from a family member in Shafter, California who was concerned that Lupita had died. Apparently, the person had spotted a donation jar emblazoned with Lupita's photo and a request to help send the woman's remains back to Mexico for burial. Lupita is just fine and lives in the next town over.

The photo had been grabbed from Gonzalez's Facebook page and taped to at least three jars placed on store countertops.

"It's a scary feeling," Gonzalez said.

Bakersfield Now reports that the "jars had a sob story about a girl named 'Enriquetta Nunez' who had died and whose family needed money to bring her remains back to Mexico."

Police are investigating. Read the rest

Shave the corpse

Found in the January 1912 issue of Casket and Sunnyside magazine, "the foremost journal of the funeral profession since 1871."

As our friends at Weird Universe noted, Shave the Corpse would make a terrific band name. Read the rest

Have your body turned into effluent and just poured down the drain when you die

A funeral home in Ottawa, Canada, is using a new body eco-friendly disposal technique called Alkaline Hydrolysis, which leaves only a coffee-like slurry that can be simply poured down the drain.

Aquagreen Dispositions began operating in a rental unit within the former Rideau Regional Centre in Smiths Falls in May 2015 after receiving a licence from the Ontario government. Hilton's Unforgettable Tails, a parallel business handling the remains of pets, had been using the same process for a couple of years prior to Aquagreen Dispositions, but it took longer to get a licence to handle human remains.

The owner, Dale Hilton, who is from a family of funeral home operators in Smiths Falls, said he watched as the "green wave" swept through the funeral industry, bringing biodegradable caskets and urns.

We've covered the technique before here and here, where John Brownlee pointed out that a straightforward chemical disposal process is, if nothing else, more dignified than the disgusting bilking-of-the-bereaved that oftentimes goes on at funeral parlors.

Nevertheless, "we keep an eye on these things," a local water quality official, Ted Joynt, told CBC News.

Cremations take hours to complete and release carbon dioxide; the alkaline disposal system uses potash, salt and water to "break down a human body in a heated, pressurized vessel" that allows implants and artificial joints to be recovered and reused.

In wide use for animal disposal, similar equipment can be seen at Pri-Bio's Thermal Tissue Digester product page.

Here is a deleted scene from Dune where a body is broken down to water and the remains given to the dead man's killer, who must safeguard it for the tribe. Read the rest

Funeral parlor 3D prints new faces for disfigured corpses

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