Tag Archives | Death

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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Death, Illness And The Theological Reasoning Behind “Creation Science”

Pic: Mycota (PD)

Pic: Mycota (PD)

Here is what it is in a nutshell: Fear of death. Which is actually a biggie. I mean you can scoff at it when you are in your 20’s and in perfect health, but if you or a loved one has terminal cancer, for example, it tends to occupy your thoughts.

When faced with death, people really want to know if there is anything on the other side, and if there is then it’s hopefully something pleasant; even heavenly.

The way Christians traditionally worked this out is that death is un-natural. God is love, yet for some reason, perfectly nice relatives and friends are periodically taken from us sometimes, after experiencing protracted periods of horrible pain. The reason for this, theologically, is that death is a judgement; a punishment for sin. God, in his righteousness, had to punish sin but he felt bad about it. He felt so bad about it that he decided to punish himself instead on our behalf, so that we wouldn’t have to suffer and die.… Read the rest

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1,000 Unmarked Bodies Found Buried Below University Of Mississippi

bodies_msOddly, the developers’ renderings do not include the massive stacks of corpses of mental patients, slaves, and Civil War casualties which will form the buildings’ base. Via the Huffington Post:

Burial sites found on a college campus have created a potential nightmare for administrators. While surveying land for a new parking lot at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, officials made a grisly discovery: more than 1,000 bodies thought to have been patients at the old Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum.

The unnamed, century-old graves present a problem for the university, whose expansion plans could be halted over the cost of relocating the bodies.

It’s possible there could be more unmarked graves belonging to tuberculosis patients, former slaves, or even Civil War dead. Experts think that future additions to the medical center and other buildings on campus will have to be reconsidered.

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Are We Hard-Wired To Believe In Life After Death?

spaceface-RAScienceDaily on a study suggesting that the conviction that our souls will survive beyond death is a feeling that emerges intuitively:

Most people believe they are immortal. That is, that part of themselves-some indelible core, soul or essence-will transcend the body’s death and live forever. But why? And why is this belief so unshakable?

A new Boston University study published in Child Development  suggests that our bias toward immortality is a part of human intuition that naturally emerges early in life. And the part of us that is eternal, we believe, is our hopes, desires and emotions.

Researchers have long suspected that people develop ideas about the afterlife through cultural exposure, like television or movies, or through religious instruction. But perhaps, thought Emmons, these ideas of immortality actually emerge from our intuition. Just as children learn to talk without formal instruction, maybe they also intuit that part of their mind could exist apart from their body.

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Signs Of Consciousness Found In Rats Brains After Death

ratsDo rats go to heaven? Via Ghost Theory:

Jim Borjigin of the University of Michigan’s team implanted electrodes on the surface of the brains of nine rats, then injected the animals with potassium chloride, stopping their heart and blood flow. At that point the rats are considered “clinically dead”.

Yet for up to 30 seconds, the researchers’ electrodes detected patterns of synchronized, high-frequency activity known as gamma waves. In humans, some scientists have suggested that gamma waves could play a role in the interplay of perception, awareness, and intent known as consciousness.

“By presenting evidence of highly organized brain activity and neurophysiologic features consistent with conscious processing at near-death, we now provide a scientific framework to begin to explain the highly lucid and realer-than-real mental experiences reported by near-death survivors,” wrote Borjigin’s team.

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Why Should We Try?

Pic: Ashok Prabhu (CC)

Pic: Ashok Prabhu (CC)

What follows is a bit of my own internal dialogue that’s been built into why it would even be worth the effort to launch an international tour to speak about how gnosis is a term that we should all have a good grasp of.

In the discussions of what our real ends are, some ideas have come up that have sent me into a back and forth about the actual value of any of it.

Have you ever felt yourself slip into an existential funk in which ask, “Why the fuck should I even care? Why the fuck should I try?” I mean what’s the point? Many of us have been long disenchanted with Religion, Politics, Love and pretty much every other institution of this mad consensus reality that we call life.

Take for instance the viewpoint of Nisargadatta Maharaj, a Spiritual teacher in the Advaita Vedanta tradition in his exchange with an interviewer:

Q: There is suffering and bloodshed in East Pakistan at the present moment.Read the rest

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Indonesian Man Strangled By Enormous Python He Was Attempting To Remove From Resort

800px-Burmese_python_in_Berlin

Pic: Interfase (PD)

A 59 year-old man became the victim of a 15-foot wild python he was hoping to remove from the grounds of the Bali Hyatt hotel. A sad but entirely avoidable event.

Via Newser:

A python strangled a man who had managed to briefly capture it near a luxury hotel on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali today. The incident happened around 3am as the 15-foot-long python was slithering across a road near the Bali Hyatt hotel, said Agung Bawa, a security manager at the hotel, which is closed for renovations until 2015. The victim, Ambar Arianto Mulyo, 59, was a security guard at a nearby restaurant who had offered to help capture the snake, which had apparently been spotted several times before, Bawa said.

Mulyo managed to secure the snake’s head and tail and put it on his shoulders, but the python wrapped itself around his body and strangled him…

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