Laura Huxley described: "I went into Aldous’s room with the vial of LSD and prepared a syringe. The doctor asked me if I wanted him to give the shot. I said, ‘No, I must do this." An hour later she gave Huxley a second 100mm. Then she began to talk, bending close to his ear, whispering, "light and free you let go, darling; forward and up. You are going forward and up; you are going toward the light. … You are going toward the best, the greatest love, and it is easy, it is so easy, and you are doing it so beautifully." The breathing became slower and slower and slower until, ‘like a piece of music just finishing so gently in sempre piu piano, dolcamente,’ at twenty past five in the afternoon, Aldous Huxley died.”
Tag Archives | Death
Legendary editor Russ Kick returns to the DisinfoCast to discuss his new collection Death Poems, an anthology of verse both modern and classic dedicated to all aspects of death: Funerals, the death penalty, serial killings, the Underworld and more. Funny, sad, atheistic, spiritual, mythic, wise and morbid, this is the perfect collection for anyone who needs a little “memento mori”.
Additional subjects discussed: Near-death experiences, morbid thoughts, the afterlife or lack thereof, “the 357 test”, the role of art, post-modernism and more.
Robert Lanza, MD sheds some light on death with quantum physics. Or does he?
… Read the rest
After the death of his old friend, Albert Einstein said “Now Besso has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us … know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
New evidence continues to suggest that Einstein was right – death is an illusion.
Our classical way of thinking is based on the belief that the world has an objective observer-independent existence. But a long list of experiments shows just the opposite. We think life is just the activity of carbon and an admixture of molecules – we live awhile and then rot into the ground.
We believe in death because we’ve been taught we die. Also, of course, because we associate ourselves with our body and we know bodies die.
A case of death by mythology? Via the News & Star:
Mystery surrounds the death of a 37-year-old man who collapsed after opening ‘Pandora’s box’. Jason Airey was found slumped unconscious by his parents in the bedroom of their Carlisle home in May this year. A box bearing the words ‘Pandora’s box’ was beside him.
An inquest into his death heard how no drugs were found in his system and the box – which bore the inscription in red letters – contained unused synthetic cannabis.
Coroner Robert Chapman said a post mortem showed Jason’s heart had stopped beating, causing his organs to fail – but they would probably never know why. “We don’t really know what caused his heart to stop.”
The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft houses the only known intact pair of necropants, a beyond-disturbing item popularly used for purposes of traditional magic in seventeenth century Iceland. To make your own (and thus reap good fortune), strike a deal with a friend than whoever dies first will allow the other wear the lower half of their corpse as a pair of pants, day and night:
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If you want to make your own necropants (literally; nábrók) you have to get permission from a living man to use his skin after his death.
After he has been buried you must dig up his body and flay the skin of the corpse in one piece from the waist down. As soon as you step into the pants they will stick to your own skin.
A coin must be stolen from a poor widow and placed in the scrotum along with the magical sign, nábrókarstafur, written on a piece of paper.
Annalee Newitz writes at the Daily Beast/Newsweek:
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Over the past four years, bee colonies have undergone a disturbing transformation. As helpless beekeepers looked on, the machinelike efficiency of these communal insects devolved into inexplicable disorganization. Worker bees would fly away, never to return; adolescent bees wandered aimlessly in the hive; and the daily jobs in the colony were left undone until honey production stopped and eggs died of neglect. Colony collapse disorder, as it is known, has claimed roughly 30 percent of bee colonies every winter since 2007.
If bees go extinct, their loss will trigger an extinction domino effect, because crops from apples to broccoli rely on these insects for pollination. At the same time, over a third of the world’s amphibian species are threatened with extinction, and Harvard evolutionary biologist and conservationist E.O. Wilson estimates that 27,000 species of all kinds go extinct per year.
Are we in the first act of a mass extinction that will end in the death of millions of plant and animal species across the planet, including us?
[disinfo ed.'s note: this is an exclusive excerpt from the new disinformation® book by Russ Kick, Death Poems: Classic, Contemporary, Witty, Serious, Tear-Jerking, Wise, Profound, Angry, Funny, Spiritual, Atheistic, Uncertain, Personal, Political, Mythic, Earthy, and Only Occasionally Morbid]
Every poem [is] an epitaph. – T.S. Eliot
Name any well-known poet from any age, any country. He or she wrote at least one poem about death, most likely several poems. I can basically guarantee it. Death is one of the most common themes in the entirety of poetry. Whether it’s a lamentation for a loved one or a public figure, a reflection on their own upcoming appointment with the grave, a meditation on the nature of death, or perhaps what happens afterward, every poet has found inspiration—sometimes welcome, often not—in the fate we all have in common. It provides a lens through which to examine life, changing everything else by its looming, inevitable presence.… Read the rest
I’m an organ donor, but stories like this one (and that one) sure give me the creeps. I’m happy if my spare parts can help other people, but I’d like to think that I’ll be done with them before they come to take them out.
An intriguing new study out of Montreal might redefine our concept of being “brain dead.” Researchers for the first time think that the brain remains active even in patients whose EEG lines have gone flat, reports the Los Angeles Times. The study sprang from an unusual case in Romania in which a patient lapsed into a coma, then got put into a deeper coma by doctors. Much to their surprise, doctors then detected cerebral activity in his hippocampus, never before seen in such a deep coma. The University of Montreal study replicated the feat with cats under heavy anesthesia.
A little twisted humor to start your day.
I believe this is the ultimate example of what is known as “cost externalizing.” Via the MIT News Office:
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Researchers from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment have come out with some sobering new data on air pollution’s impact on Americans’ health.
The group tracked ground-level emissions from sources such as industrial smokestacks, vehicle tailpipes, marine and rail operations, and commercial and residential heating throughout the United States, and found that such air pollution causes about 200,000 early deaths each year. Emissions from road transportation are the most significant contributor, causing 53,000 premature deaths, followed closely by power generation, with 52,000.
In 5,695 U.S. cities, the researchers [found] the highest emissions-related mortality rate in Baltimore, where 130 out of every 100,000 residents likely die in a given year due to long-term exposure to air pollution.
Barrett says that a person who dies from an air pollution-related cause typically dies about a decade earlier than he or she otherwise might have.