Tag Archives | Death

Lesbian-Only Cemetery To Open In Berlin

Pic: Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (PD)

Pic: Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (PD)

Safia, an organization for older lesbians, is creating a final resting place for the women of their community.

Via Raw Story

The burial ground is part of the 200-year-old Georgen Parochial cemetery in Prenzlauer Berg, a district in the east of the once-divided city near Alexanderplatz square.

“The idea emerged four years ago in the lesbian group Safia, whose members, advancing in age, asked themselves where they want to be buried,” said Osterland, 69.

“We wanted to stay together, to be close to those with whom we lived, we loved, we worked, we fought,” she told AFP, adding that she has already reserved a burial plot for herself.

The 400-square-metre (4,300-square-feet) section of the cemetery, newly landscaped with a winding sand path, has space for 80 bodies or urns containing cremated ashes.

“We had surveyed several cemeteries, but we decided on this one because we knew it and we knew it was beautiful,” Osterland said about he project, financed by the women’s housing association Sappho.

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Why Freezing Yourself Is a Terrible Way to Achieve Immortality

Photo: Alcor Life Extension Foundation (CC)

Photo: Alcor Life Extension Foundation (CC)

Just in case you were thinking of cryogenically freezing yourself until technology exists to stop you from dying of whatever ailment you think will terminate your current existence, Gizmodo suggests it may not be such a great idea:

What happens after we die? It’s a question that has plagued the human mind since we first developed the concept of “death.” The search for an answer—and, more importantly, a means of circumventing its effects—has encited organized religion and served to shape one of the foundations of human culture.

We’ve built pyramids to house our dead in the afterlife, constructed terracotta armies to protect them, sacrificed the living in their honor, and even developed preservation techniques to ward off decomposition—all in the effort to somehow defy the permanence of death and resurrect at least a part, however intangible, of the deceased person.

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Dead Indian Guru Cryogenically Frozen By Followers

guruIf only modern refrigeration technology had existed in the biblical era. Via the BBC:

Devotees of a dead guru in India have told the BBC they put his body in a freezer to preserve him as they believe he will return to life to lead them.

Thought to have been in his seventies, Ashutosh Maharaj was declared dead by authorities in Punjab on January 29. But, confident that he was merely in a state of deep meditation, his followers froze his corpse.

He led the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan (Divine Light Awakening Mission) which claims more than 30 million followers.

His spokesman Swami Vishalanand told the BBC that although doctors had declared Maharaj “clinically dead”, he was actually alive and in a state of samadhi, which is the highest plane of meditation.

The website of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan says it was established in 1983 and aims to “achieve world peace”.

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Daniele Bolelli: The Drunken Taoist Takes On Gnosis

The following is from the new book, THE QUEST FOR GNOSIS, available now.Dan22

Mr. Bolelli is the author of the book, Create Your Own Religion: A How To Book Without Instructions. His perspective on life, death and everything in between has always intrigued and inspired me and I just had to have a talk with him for The Quest For Gnosis.

GDR: So… you’re called the “Drunken Taoist.”

DB: Sure.

GDR: Why is that? What’s the story behind that?

DB: Um… Drunken Taoist I guess, you know how in kung fu movies you’ve got the old drunk guy who looks like crap and always manages to defeat these burly, strong, younger, better, faster attackers and nobody can quite figure out how. The Drunken Taoist is the power of weirdness: It’s an unorthodox approach, that no one can quite figure out why it works, but it does.

GDR: Right.… Read the rest

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Death in Transition

PIC: Claus Ableiter (CC)

PIC: Claus Ableiter (CC)

A few months ago, I wrote a short series titled Approaching Death as a way of exploring grief rituals for my upcoming book with Elliott and Thompson (DEATH’S SUMMER COAT). Regardless of where we live or who we are, we must make preparations for the end that awaits us all. Historically, this was a problem of space and health as well as grief and loss. While our ancestors had to bear the burden of sorrow for a missing friend just as we, they also had to deal with pressing practical concerns–such as, what do we do with the body? To leave it lying would attract pestilence; to burn it would use fuel, to bury it would require workable soil. And so, in each culture, burial differs due to climate and geography as well as spiritual practice and cultural assimilation. As part of a series on the Daily Dose, I provide a brief look at death-in-transition–something that many cultures, from Borneo to India to Egypt have in common.… Read the rest

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Seattle Police Reopening Kurt Cobain Death Investigation

PIC: Flominator (CC)

PIC: Flominator (CC)

Something about this story seems sketchy to me, but Seattle CBS affiliate KIRO TV says that they’ve learned that the Seattle Police Department is reopening its investigation into the apparent suicide of Kurt Cobain. They’ll be airing an exclusive interview with the detective responsible for the case and share a photo from the crime scene that has never been seen before. They’ll also discuss “alternative theories” about the singer’s death.

Via KIRO TV:

Nearly 20 years after Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain was found dead in his home near Lake Washington, Seattle police have reopened the case.

Last month, police developed four rolls of film that had been sitting for years in a Seattle police evidence vault. The 35 mm film was processed by the King County Sheriff’s Office photo lab under high security.

Though the pictures have a slight green tint because of deterioration, police say they more clearly show the scene than the earlier Polaroid photos taken by investigators.

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Should Anyone Plan to ‘Protest’ Fred Phelps’ Funeral?

PIC: I Sasek JR. (PD)

PIC: I Sasek JR. (PD)

National media is running with the story (not that that means anything necessarily) that 84 year-old Phelps has been “excommunicated” from his own church and is very near death. Given the highly litigious history of the church , I’ll refrain from guessing (publicly, at least) what kind of deathbed confession would be shocking enough for the virulently homophobic Westboro Baptist Church to cast out their founder – if it’s true.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a WBC Protest, but when they actually show up (they often make a big deal about coming somewhere and then are nowhere to be seen), there’s usually just a couple of them with signs, and they usually get the hell out of Dodge within minutes. When I was in college, exactly ONE of them showed up just off the property of my school with a little sign. She bailed in minutes, staying around just long enough to grab some media coverage.… Read the rest

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Artist Paints Portraits With Cremated Human Remains

Pic: Adam Brown (C)

Pic: Adam Brown (C)

Missouri artist Adam Brown offers a unique memorial service to those seeking to remember deceased loved ones: He paints their portraits using paint mixed with ashes. He doesn’t just limit his services to human beings, either: He’ll do pet portraits, as well. It’s surprisingly affordable, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Via Beautiful Decay:

After Brown’s clients submit a sampling of sandy ashes, the artist dons a pair of gloves and mixes them with paint to create personalized renditions and imaginings of the dead that span from straight black and white portraiture to dreamy colored abstractions. He carefully preserves any and all unused ashes, ultimately returning them to his client.

The project, titled Ashes to Art, poignantly aims to reconstruct the deconstructed body, fixing delicate cremains with glue and paint; in this way, his paintings work to encapsulate the entirety of the human body and lifetime into one sly smile, one glint of the eye, or one splash of color.

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A Transhumanist Wants to Teach Kids That “Death Is Wrong”

Science Fiction League (March 1958) ... The Re...

Science Fiction League (March 1958) … The Real You (July 6, 2011 / 4 Tammuz 5771) … (Photo credit: marsmet541) (CC)

What do  you think disinfonaughts. Is death wrong, and should we teach the children that it is?

via Motherboard

Gennady Stolyarov is afraid to die, and not afraid to say so. He also strongly believes that human beings don’t have to die, or at least, will live much, much longer in the future. A writer and transhumanist activist, Stolyarov sees death as something that can be “solved” by technology and science, and one day it will possible to extend life indefinitely. To that end, he’s trying to buck the cultural perception that mortality is inevitable, and he’s starting with kids.

Stolyarov published the children’s book Death Is Wrong in November, and Zoltan Istvan, author of The Transhumanist Wager, unearthed the story in a post on Psychology Today. Now Stolyarov is promoting the book with an Indiegogo campaign, trying to crowdfund $5,000 to print and distribute 1,000 copies of the book and get the anti-death word out.

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Science Can Use Your Blood To Determine If Your Death Is Imminent

Blood testDo you really want to know that you’re about to die? If so, this test is for you. Report from GeekoSystem:

You know how you’re supposed to live life to the fullest because any moment could be your last? Turns out, science may have figured out a way to pin that time-frame down a bit for you. With new blood tests, researchers from Finland and Estonia think they can tell whether or not you’re going to live beyond the next five years.

Using a technique called NMR Spectroscopy, these researchers screened 17,000 blood samples, searching for any biomarkers that occurred frequently in the blood of people who died soon after their blood was taken. What they discovered and published in PLOS Medicine journal was that people with elevated levels of four particular biomarkers in their blood (plasma albumin, alpha-1-acid glycoprotein, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particle size, and citrate) had a super-high chance of dying within five years.

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