Morbid Anatomy Museum 424A 3rd Ave Brooklyn, NY 11215 During the month of August, I will be the Scholar in Residence at the Morbid Anatomy…
Death + Popular Culture
July 22, 2014
Selfies from the 9/11 Memorial Leah Finnegan, The Awl (July 21, 2014) Let us begin Day 22 of the 31 Days of Death posts with…
July 12, 2014
The Art of Getting American Citizenship After You’re Dead Only seven people ever have. Jim Festante, Slate (July 12, 2014) Chalk this one up to…
July 11, 2014
Want to Understand Mortality? Look to the Chimps
Maggie Koerth-Baker, New York Times Magazine (June 25, 2013)
Today is the release date for the new Planet of the Apes movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
We’ll set aside all the timeline problems and alternative universes this specific reboot created. And no one should ever speak again of Tim Burton’s terrible remake.
What everyone should be discussing is how apes grieve for their dead. The New York Times Magazine ran an article in June 2013 on this topic. The Death Reference Desk has also written about Chimpanzees and grief before, in 2010 and 2009.
You can also read more generally about animals and death here.
Whenever we Humans start discussing our primate cousins and grieving, we run the risk of going on an anthropomorphising rampage. That said, it’s clear that our Great Ape relatives could teach us a few things about understanding mortality and the finality of time.
Want to Understand Mortality? Look to the Chimps Maggie Koerth-Baker, New York Times Magazine (June 25, 2013) Today is the release date for the new…
July 8, 2014
South Dakota man dies after choking during hot-dog eating contest
Walter Eagle Tail, 47, died at a hospital on Thursday after attempts to save him at the scene failed, police said
Associated Press (July 8, 2014)
I was writing a verbose and longish post about radical life extension today but then this story about a man dying during a hot dog eating contest popped up and, well, living to 500 can wait.
I’m inclined to say that this is a mid-year entry into the annual Darwin Awards but it sounds like the gentleman who died was a decent guy. He just had some bad luck.
Out of curiosity, I started poking around the internet to see what kind of safety warnings accompanied eating contests and, lo, I was not disappointed. This WebMD article, helpfully titled Competitive Eating: How Safe Is It?, covers all the bases. Then this Time article called Here’s What Competitive Eating Does to Your Body really goes in-depth on what these contests do to your innards and made me never want to eat food again.
And while this specific story is certainly tragic, it did remind me of the hot dog eating scene in the movie Meatballs.
South Dakota man dies after choking during hot-dog eating contest Walter Eagle Tail, 47, died at a hospital on Thursday after attempts to save him…
July 7, 2014
794 Ways in Which BuzzFeed Reminds Us of Impending Death The dark side of all those LOLs and fails, and how John Updike saw it…
July 5, 2014
Which Science Fiction Or Fantasy Book Do You Want Read At Your Funeral?
Charlie Jane Anders, io9 (July 4, 2014)
The io9 blog and news site (motto: We Come from the Future) is a reliable and entertaining source for science fiction, fantasy, technology, and scientific research information.
Every once in a while, a death related question or story pops up. A lot of the articles focus on radical life extension, which is to be expected.
The most recent death listing was different enough that I decided to feature it today on Death Ref.
Charlie Jane Anders asks a straight-forward but really intriguing question: Which Science Fiction or Fantasy book do you want read at your funeral? I’ll add in Memorial Service in case you don’t have a standard funeral.
Since my early teen years, the introduction to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams was something I wanted read at my funeral. In case you’re wondering, I really did think about these kinds of questions when I 13. I was a walking Judy Blume character.
After thinking more about different options, I came back to a perennial death soliloquy favourite. The problem, however, is that it’s in a film. I’m cheating. I admit it.
The final monologue by Rutger Hauer’s character Roy Batty in Blade Runner always lingers in my brain whenever I think about dying with dignity and grace. Blade Runner is of course based on Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? but Roy Batty’s final bit of dialogue was improvised by Rutger Hauer.
Talk about sticking the landing.
You can post your responses on the io9 page or, actually, here in the Death Ref comments section. I will send the requests over to io9.
Which Science Fiction Or Fantasy Book Do You Want Read At Your Funeral? Charlie Jane Anders, io9 (July 4, 2014) The io9 blog and news…
July 2, 2014
I’m kicking off Day 2 of Death Ref’s 31 Days of Death project with a fundraising appeal. A really smart Brazilian journalist and Anthropologist…
April 27, 2014
And lo, the Morbid Anatomy Anthology is now available for one and all to read. Death Ref John brings up the Anthology’s rear with an…
March 22, 2014
An Online Generation Redefines Mourning Expressions of grief take on many public forms in the digital age. By Hannah Seligson, New York Times (March 21,…