Posts Tagged: Death
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The Brooklyn Museum of Death

I attended my first rat class on a Sunday afternoon in January. The snow melted overnight, but by morning it had refrozen into black ice, which made the walk between the 4th Avenue-9th Street stop and the future Morbid Anatomy Museum, located in a vacant, pre-renovation nightclub in industrial Gowanus, extremely terrifying. This probably explains why most of the registered students bailed at the last minute, even after paying $185 for a dead rat, scalpel, access to a box of accessories fit for Barbie and expert instruction.

When I arrived, Katie Innamorato, the teacher, was wearing a polyester wolf jumpsuit with pointy ears, a row of white fangs, and [...]

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Enjoying Life Is The New Smoking

"A diet rich in meat, eggs, milk and cheese could be as harmful to health as smoking, according to a controversial study into the impact of protein consumption on longevity."

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It's Time To Admit That This Winter Will Never Get Better

"A Saturday storm will dump 4 to 6 inches of snow over New York City, according to the National Weather Service. The precipitation will clear up by Sunday afternoon, but is expected to cause delays at airports." Even the [...]

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For Dead Chickens, A Monument Denied

Do you think future generations will look back at us in horror and disgust because standards will have evolved to the point where we seem like savages for not having erected giant roadside memorials honoring the tragic highway chicken fatalities that happen along our nation's arteries with regrettable frequency? It's a trick question, because the odds are there aren't going to be very many future generations, and even if we somehow do survive as a species for another hundred years I am pretty sure the direction in which our sensibilities are headed is going to be one where we only express emotions about those who can do something for [...]

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Pete Seeger’s Death Inspires Brief Fantasies About Participating In Social Change

Moments after hearing about the death of 94-year-old singer and activist Pete Seeger, June Atley, 39, sat on her Chapel Hill, NC porch reminiscing about growing up with 70s-era union rep parents. Pete Seeger—whose five-string banjo twanged out the backdrops to the civil rights, social justice and labor movement—provided the family soundtrack. “I remember sitting in the back of our Volvo station wagon belting out 'Bring ‘Em Home' and 'Wimoweh,'" Atley says. “Pete Seeger was a hero to me, and I’m going to start living in a way that respects that.” Atley works in software marketing, but she’s going to cut back her hours so she can start volunteering at [...]

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What Do Vitamins And You Have In Common?

Vitamins are worthless and don't do anything to make you even a little bit better, but the alternative is "not smoking, eating well and getting adequate exercise," so it's probably just easier to keep throwing money away and kidding yourself that the supplements are working. You realize you're going to die either way, right?

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The Darkest Part Is Over

"The earliest sunset really comes in the first week in December, and the latest sunrise occurs in early January. Yet December 21 really is the shortest day of the year. Why?" —Click the link to get the Science stuff on solstices and orbital curvatures and whatever; the important thing to take away here is that the days of early darkness are over! I mean, in the sky. In your own life darkness will continue to come earlier with each passing page of the calendar until you wake up in the morning to discover that it is dark in your soul already and the sun [...]

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Cellphones Probably Killing You But What Are You Gonna Do?

"[M]odern technology (the source of the humanmade electromagnetic fields discussed here) has fueled a remarkable degree of innovation, productivity, and improvement in the quality of life. If tomorrow the power grid went down, all cell phone networks would cease operation, millions of computers around the world wouldn’t turn on, and the night would be illuminated only by candlelight and the moon—we’d have a lot less EMF exposure, but at the cost of the complete collapse of modern society. EMF isn’t just a by-product of modern society. EMF, and our ability to harness it for technological purposes, is the cornerstone of modern society. Sanitation, food production and storage, health care—these are [...]

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Terrible Thing Made More Awful

Lately when I have been laying awake in bed as dawn comes on and wishing there were some way it would all simply cease I have shifted my final fantasy from a giant sheet of ice that freezes me forever to an asteroid that appears without warning and suddenly puts an end to everything (I blame Elizabeth Kolbert for putting this beautiful dream in my head). Unfortunately, one cannot sustain thoughts of personal extinction forever; the mind tends to drift, and this morning my reverie of eradication was interrupted by my [...]

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Everything Is Broken

The ground beneath your feet is pitted and wrecked, the mighty towers in which you took so much pride rain death down on the heads of those passing below, and yet another massive storm wends its way toward your desolate environs. Look upon the ruin that you call your city and despair, New York. This is what happens when you let the Democrats back into Gracie Mansion.

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Funeral: Who Wore It Best?

"Top designers are pouncing on the celebrity bonanza surrounding Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death by sending out photos of stars wearing their brands while paying their respects to the legendary actor."

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Bill Finally Comes Due In Ghent

"He was a 'happy-go-lucky' guy who was notorious for spicing up life on benefits in the medieval Belgian town of Ghent by strolling into a restaurant, calmly ordering lobster washed down with the finest brandy or some other gastronomic delight and then walking out without paying the bill." You'll never believe what happened next!

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The Cascade Of Emptiness And You

So when you are home the week after next for the holidays are you planning to discuss the recent contretemps on smarm with your family? How you do think everyone around the Christmas table feels about Upworthy's multiple algorithms that repackage content in an attempt to get it trafficked on Facebook? Do you expect a lot of debate about what Twitter is doing with its block function in the wake of the IPO? Of course not. That would be insane. There are maybe a couple thousand people who care about any of that stuff and you know most of them. [...]

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The Way We Contextualize Nature Now

"The snowy owl — widely familiar to children as Hedwig, the beloved pet of boy wizard Harry Potter — was added to the kill list after one of them, nesting on top of a taxiway sign on an airport runway and got sucked into an airplane turbine."

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Murder In Los Angeles

I have one spiritual ritual in my life: every morning I check the Los Angeles Times' Homicide Report blog to learn who was killed in Los Angeles County while I slept.1

The Homicide Report addresses two questions every newspaper covering a major metropolis should answer: who was killed last night, and why? But most newspapers don’t do this because the logic of most newsrooms is that not all murders are sexy, grisly, or surprising enough to be written about. The Homicide Report operates on the inverse principal: Every murder gets a story because murder is inherently worthy of our attention.2

The Homicide report is anchored by a [...]

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How Your Antibodies Get Made

"Goat No. 11765 spent the last few days of her life foraging on a hillside near Shandon, a pretty town on the central coast of California. On the morning of May 2, 2012, she was placed in a truck and moved to a pen for goats in poor health. A few hours later, a Department of Agriculture inspector watched her struggle in the afternoon heat and, before the accompanying veterinarian could put her down, the goat died." —I am not going to pretend that this in an upbeat piece that will make you feel better about life, but so few of them are anyway that you may as well go [...]

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Runways Confusing

"You've got these runway lights, and you are looking at them, and they're saying: 'Come to me, come to me. I will let you land.' They're like the sirens of the ocean." —I was talking to a friend the other night and I brought up my embarrassing but shockingly firm superstitious belief that we are all born with so many airline flights to our name and when we reach our appointed number that is when our plane goes down. It's an absurd theory on its face—the idea that not only is there some higher agency which controls our fate but that it also keeps a ledger of our travel arrangements—but [...]

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Bodies Given To Science

Sometimes when we walk through the mall, my boyfriend Scott will whisper: “How many people here do you think have held a human heart?” Or: “Do you think that guy ever removed a brain?” Scott has held a human heart and he says it's heavier and whiter than you would think. He will remove a brain from a female cadaver in March.

Scott is in his second year of pre-med. He, along with two other students, based on their high grades in anatomy class, are the body preppers for this semester’s anatomy lectures. The dissections are supervised by two part-time anatomy professors. One practices as a physician’s assistant, [...]

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Ask Polly: My Mom Keeps Guilting Me About Visiting For Christmas!

Dear Polly,

So it's the Holidays again, which means everyone's going to come at you bitchin' about family. Let me throw my hat in the ring as a member of that (sizable) contingent. My mother and her husband live near where I grew up, about a seven-hour drive from where I live now. My father and his wife live out of state; I only see them twice a year or so. My two younger sisters both moved far out of state (to the same town no less) with their children within the past year and a half. The reason for this background—I'm the "only one left" close to visit my [...]

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How Do You Want To Die Today?

• Slush-planing delivery bicyclist.

• Over-excitement.

• The rising up of New York City's ever-growing underclass.

• Ice skate to the face.

• Trampled by sleet-encrusted fourth-grade class trip on subway platform.

• Molten hot chocolate.

• Boredom.

• Snow sharks.