Thursday, November 30, 2006

"Natural Burial Park" Means You Can Compost Yourself!

America's third "natural burial park, the Ethician Family Cemetery, has opened near Huntsville, TX. Biodegradable caskets, no steel vaults or embalming fluid allowed : )

So you ask, "What is an Ethician Cemetery?"

Ethician Cemeteries are "green cemeteries" where the Biblical philosophy of "dust to dust" is invoked.

So go ahead... this means you can compost yourself.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Roadside American Presents ... PET CEMETERIES

You heard it right .... on your next trip take some time to visit the pet cemeteries (not Stephen King's : ) ) Visit the Road Side American Presents Pet Cemeteries Site:

Great animals deserve post-mortem tributes as much as any President or rock star. It's unlikely you'll find Teddy Roosevelt's hide stretched over a frame and action-posed in a display case, but what about Trigger, Roy Roger's horse? Or Owney, the US Postal mascot dog? Or Old Rip, the desiccated miracle toad? You betcha. Americans adore their dead animal companions, if judged by the amount of stuffing and mounting, and of deified civic mascots and public statuary. Sometimes, it's just a worn granite slab and a sad story -- worthwhile enough for a snack-break off the interstate.

Noble Dog Mausoleum - Special pets, loyal and heroic.
Mascots - Representing and beloved by their towns and teams.
Pet Vets - Military pets. A posthumous salute to our furry finest.
Celebrities - Remnants and remembrances of the stars.
Behemoths - Immense giants, Nature's pets.
Elephant Burial Ground - Felled by mishap and misunderstanding.
Quarantine - Lonely rest for the contagious.
Faithful Steeds - Hero horses, happily ridden 'til they dropped.
Animal Magic - Special creatures; they know what you are thinking.

On your next vacation or road trip, plan on visiting at least one pet grave or animal memorial!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Great American Death Masks

Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004. “I shall secure him to a nicety if I am so fortunate as to get plaster enough for his carbuncled nose.” Originally from “A Collection of Death Masks,” Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 85, iss. 510, October 1892. By Laurence Hutton.

Washington was as blessed in his death as in his life. He rests still upon the banks of the Potomac, among the people whom he so dearly loved, and among whom he died; and no later administration has ever cared to cut off his head[1] for exhibition on the roof of the Patent Office or the Smithsonian Institute.

At least two plaster casts were taken from the living face of Washington. The first, by Joseph Wright, in 1783, was broken by the nervous artist before it was yet dry; and the subject absolutely, and, it is whispered, profanely, refused to submit to the unpleasant operation again. The second was made by Houdon, the celebrated French sculptor, in 1785, and from it he modelled the familiar bust which bears his name.

The original Houdon mask of Washington is now in the possession of Mr. W. W. Story, in his studio in Rome. He traces it directly from Houdon's hands, and naturally he prizes it very highly. It has been preserved with great care, and of it he says that there is no question that “it was made from the living face of Washington, and that therefore it is the most absolutely authentic representation of the actual forms and features of his face that exists. In all respects, any portrait which materially differs from it must be wrong.” Mr. Story cannot account for the fact that the sculptor opened the eyes of Washington in the mask, except upon the supposition that he did not remain long enough at Mount Vernon to have studied and modelled the eyes for his bust from the face of Washington himself.

It is but just to add here that Mr. Story says that never, to his knowledge or belief, has a cast been made from the original which he owns. He examined the so-called cast in the Corcoran Gallery at Washington, and he was fully satisfied that, like all the other specimens in existence, it is of no value in itself, and was made from a wornout copy of the bust. The Washington here presented is from a photograph taken by Mr. Story in Rome, and from his own copy of the mask.

When Houdon came to America in 1785 to make the bust of Washington, he was the companion of Benjamin Franklin, and he was, in all probability, the author of this cast of Franklin's face, taken in Paris that year as a model for the well-known Houdon bust of Franklin, which it somewhat resembles. The original mask was sold for ten francs after the death of the artist in Paris in 1828.

The familiars of Franklin have shown that his face in his old age changed in a very marked degree. He was in his seventy-eighth or his seventy-ninth year when he sat for Houdon in 1784-5. Many of the features of the Franklin cast as here reproduced, the long square chin, the sinking just beneath the under lip, the shape of the nose, and the formation of the cheek-bones, are strongly preserved in the face of one of his great-granddaughters living in Philadelphia to-day.

Leigh Hunt in his Autobiography said that Franklin and Thomas Paine were frequently guests at the house of his maternal grandfather in Philadelphia when his mother was a girl. She remembered them both distinctly; and in her old age she told her son that while she had great affection and admiration for Franklin, Paine “had a countenance that inspired her with terror.” Hunt was inclined to attribute this in a great measure to Paine's political and religious views, both of them naturally obnoxious and shocking to the daughter of a Pennsylvania Tory and rigid churchman. Concerning the physical as well as the moral traits of the author of the Age of Reason, there seems to have been great diversity of opinion. To paraphrase the speech of Griffith in Henry VIII concerning Wolsey, He was uncleanly and sour to them that loved him not, but to those men that sought him, sweet and fragrant as summer.

His friend and biographer Clio Rickman, who considered him “a very superior character to Washington,” gave strong testimony to his personal attractions and tidiness of dress; while James Cheetham, his biographer and not his friend, told a very different and not a very pleasant story, in which soap and water ‒ or their absence ‒ play an important part. The former, according to Cheetham, was never employed externally by Paine, and the latter was very rarely, if ever, internally applied.

None of his earlier biographers give any hint as to the taking of this death-mask, nor is it to be found in any contemporary printed account of the death-bed scene. Experts agree that it is the face of Paine, and see in it a strong resemblance to the face in the Romney portrait, painted in 1792, seventeen years before Paine died. It was undoubtedly made after death, by John Wesley Jarvis, the painter, who was at one time an intimate of Paine's. He studied modelling in clay, and made the bust of Paine which is now in the possession of the Historical Society of New York.
Concerning this bust Dr. Francis, in his Old New York, wrote: “The plaster cast of the head and features of Paine, now preserved in the gallery of arts of the Historical Society, is remarkable for its fidelity to the original at the close of his life. Jarvis, the painter, then felt it his most successful work in that line of occupation, and I can confirm the opinion from my many opportunities of seeing Paine.” He added that Jarvis said, “I shall secure him to a nicety if I am so fortunate as to get plaster enough for his carbuncled nose,” which was not a very pretty speech to have made under any circumstances, particularly if the bust was a posthumous work.

Of Lincoln, as of Washington, two life-masks were made ‒ one in Chicago in the spring of 1860, by Mr. Leonard W. Volk, and here reproduced; one in Washington, by Mr. Clark Mills, about five years later.

Mr. Volk, in the Century Magazine for December, 1881, gives a pleasant account of the taking of the former. Mr. Lincoln sat naturally in the chair during the operation, watching in a mirror every move made by the sculptor, as the plaster was put on without interference with the eyesight or with the breathing of the victim. When, at the end of an hour, the mould was ready for removal ‒ it was in one piece, and contained both of the ears. Mr. Lincoln himself bent his head forward and worked it off gradually and gently, without injury of any kind, not withstanding the fact that it clung to the high cheek-bones, and that a few hairs on his eyebrows and temples were pulled out by the roots with the plaster.

This is, without question, the most perfect representation of Mr. Lincoln's face in existence. I have watched many an eye fill while looking at it for the first time; to many minds it has been a revelation; and I turn to it myself more quickly and often than to any of the others, when I want comfort and help.

1. cut off his head ‒ an allusion to Oliver Cromwell, whose body was exhumed in 1661, hung, drawn and quartered. The body was thrown into a pit, and the head displayed on a pole outside Westminster Abbey until 1685.

This is Great American Death Masks, an essay and a subject, originally from October 1892, published Monday, April 26, 2004. It is part of Death, which is part of Harper's Archive, which is part of

RelatedFounding FathersNavigate by HierarchyPrev: [First in section]Next: A Child's First Impressions of Death

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Clean Up in Frances Suicide Canyon Reveals Auto Graveyard

Tons of mangled cars piled up at the bottom of the Grand Canyon de Verdon in Provence are sombre evidence of France's high suicide rate. But on a brighter note, engineers now clearing the accumulated wreckage of 100 years are uncovering a veritable auto museum.

The Parc RĂ©gional du Verdon is a lush green landscape of deep canyons, thick vegetation and freshwater lakes. Located 90 km northeast of Aix-en-Provence in France's south-eastern Var district, the "Grand Canyon of Verdon" attracts one million nature-loving visitors each year. Unfortunately, some of them don't return. For decades, cars driven off the cliffs, some accidentally but many intentionally, have been piling up at the foot of the canyon.
It's a graveyard of old automobiles, some of them dating back to the 1930s. No one has bothered to it clean up -- until now. After two years of fund-raising, regional authorities recently completed the first two-week stage of a massive clean-up operation, lifting as much as 20 tonnes of debris out of the canyons.
Reason #1 Why you should drive slower in France ...

Extra Info:

Although it's much smaller than Arizona's Grand Canyon, the Gorges du Verdon is deep, compact, wild and beautiful. From Castellane to the village of Rougons, the Verdon river flows clear and swift, and the road follows along the banks. At Rougons, by the Point Sublime, the river plunges into the narrow rock walls, and there's no escape until it comes out the western end before flowing into Lac de Ste Croix.


There isn't much in the way of public transportation in this area. The nearest train station is at Les Arcs (station Draguignan-Les Arcs). There are buses from Les Arcs to Draguignan and Aups.


The canyon was formed in the Quaternary Era, as a result of earth movements while the Alpes were "growing" upwards and from erosion of the Jurassic limestone by the Verdon river.
Through the 19th century, the deepest gorges were thought to be impenetrable. Only a few local woodcutters went down into the gorges on ropes, looking for box wood (buis) stumps that they used for making boules.

The canyon remained unexplored until the 20th century. Armand Janet attempted a canoe exploration in 1896, but gave up because of the violent currents. In August of 1905, the speleologist Edouard Alfred Martel did the first complete exploration of the gorges on a 3-day expedition. Part of the Martel trail is still used, between Point Sublime to La Maline.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The American Dime Museum - Sideshows!

Ever been to the Dime Museum in Baltimore... if not you are missing a real treat. Remember the old carney stories, or reading the old dime novels when you were a kid ... well here is the real deal an actual museum that showcases side shows. Everything from the "Jackalope," the shrunken heads, mummies, and more...They are located in Baltimore, and I have had the pleasure of visiting this quirky, cool, museum. Housed in a small row house in old Baltimore, it's quirky, strange, unusual, incredibly amazing and well.... no other word to describe it .... "AMAZING." From their site, here is a true explanation of what they are all about:

Dime Museums & Sideshows - A Brief History

For as long as humanity has existed, there has been the desire to collect, especially to collect the strange, the unusual, the bizarre and the exotic. This drive led to the Cabinets of Wonder--collections of exotic objects gathered by wealthy and often eccentric Europeans prior to the 19th Century. These personal collections were the spiritual ancestors of the ultimate collections: the dime museums.

Though simply called museums in their early form, the idea of a collection of objects which the public would pay to see spread quickly in early 19th Century America. And by the mid-1800s, the idea had become so popular with the American public that entrepreneurial geniuses like P. T. Barnum became millionaires through the exhibition of vast collections of man-made and natural curiosities. Eventually, capitalizing on the public's need for entertainment of all types, museums came to house not only unique collections of objects; they also housed the first family-oriented performance spaces, menageries, and, in fact, nearly every type of entertainment available in 19th Century America. And all for only one dime.

Throughout the last days of the 19th Century and bulk of the 20th, carnivals roamed the American countryside as the circuses - the competition to the carnivals - had roamed the land since the late 1700s. In the days up to World War II, the carnivals were mostly shows - called the back end as that was the location of the shows on the typical carnival lot - with a ride or two thrown in among the concessions and games. The carnival shows grew from several traditions: The dime museums made famous by Barnum and the Peale family, with their fame in exhibiting the "wonders of nature, the works of man".

The traveling circuses, which showed that mobile entertainment could tap the resources of the exploding of population of a growing America.

The world's fairs, particularly the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, where the grand Midway Plaisance and its multitude of amusements is credited with demonstrating to showmen that a gathering of their kind could make big money.

Even after the Second World War, when the writing was on the wall for the decline of the shows, there were still grand and glorious days for the back end, and there were still classic shows on the road into the '60s and early '70s.
Here is the link ... you can view some info on line....

Friday, November 24, 2006

Not for the fainthearted ... Ever seen Plastination?

So very, very cool ... but to some may seem quite strange, quite quirky, quite gross. For others, quite impressive, sci-fi and indefinate. What is it .... the best way to describe it is to take the info from the Plastination History site: (P.S. Thre is an Anatomical Exhibition going on called Body Worlds 2)

In July 1977, while working as a scientist and research assistant at the University of Heidelberg’s Institute of Pathology and Anatomy, Dr. Gunther von Hagens had an outrageous notion. "I was looking at a collection of specimens embedded in plastic. It was the most advanced preservation technique then, where the specimens rested deep inside a transparent plastic block. I wondered why the plastic was poured and then cured around the specimens, rather than pushed into the cells, which would stabilize the specimens from within and literally allow you to grasp it."

The notion was an epiphany for Dr. von Hagens, and the genesis of Plastination — his groundbreaking invention where all bodily fluids and soluble fat from anatomical specimens are extracted to stop decomposition, and replaced through vacuum-forced impregnation with reactive resins and elastomers, such as silicon rubber and epoxy that harden with gas, light, or heat curing, giving the specimens rigidity and permanence.

Weeks later, while preparing serial slices of human kidneys for a research project, another thought occurred to him as he embedded the kidney slices in liquid plexiglass, and watched the air bubbles that resulted from stirring the hardener that had to be extracted under vacuum. "It crossed my mind that it would be possible to impregnate an acetone soaked renal piece with plastic under vacuum conditions simply by extracting the acetone in the form of bubbles, just as is done in degassing." Though many acetone bubbles were extracted from the specimen, it shriveled into a black mass within the hour.

But Dr. von Hagens was undeterred by the result of his maiden voyage into the world of Plastination. His basic knowledge of physics and chemistry enabled him to conclude that the black coloration stemmed from the refractive qualities of the impregnation process. This realization prompted him to repeat the experiment a week later using liquid silicone rubber that had more favorable light refractive properties. He administered the impregnation slowly, pouring fresh silicon in three separate baths to avoid premature hardening of the silicon and specimen from exposure to air. After curing the specimen in the open air, Dr. von Hagens held in his hands the world’s first plastinate.

In March of 1978, Dr. von Hagens filed a patent for his invention with the German Patent Office. However, he had only scratched the surface of Plastination. The refinement of his invention and the creation of the first whole body plastinate would take thirteen more years, though he declares even now that his methods are not yet perfect.

For more info check out these links:

Plastination Museum

As they say ..... "REST IN PLASTIC"

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

Austrailia's Life Art Coffins

Life Art Australia believes in celebrating and honouring people. I copied their "About us" page verbatim -- as it is written so well. And I like their style!

It is this generation who have challenged and rewritten the accepted norms. We have rewritten our wedding vows, rewrote our birthing ceremonies, and redefined the notion of family. Our generation rewrite every ritual that comes before us, and now we are considering the funeral ritual.

In recent years, there has been a definite change in the way we view funerals. Funerals are now viewed as “a celebration of life”. People are looking for more flexibility in how they conduct the ceremony, and are seeking to personalising the service to reflect the life of the individual.
This changing attitude created LifeArt Australia.The coffin is the central item of any funeral and probably the most symbolic. In today’s world of lifestyle choices and of environmental consciousness, people want the right to choose a coffin that reflects their values: from the ornate traditional, to the colourful personalised, to the modest environmental. LifeArt Australia has recognised two significant trends emerging in the Australian culture. The desire for:
the personalisation of funeral rituals - the demand for individualised funerals; - LifeArt Coffins and environmentally friendly coffins.- Enviroboard We see families creating their own traditions without fear of being "different”. We know it is the unique and personalised service that others remember.

We invite you to use our site as a resource to

  • View our range of designs

  • Learn about Enviroboard

  • See how to personalise your LifeArt Coffin

  • Reference our Personalisation collection to assist with ideas

  • Locate the funeral directors who supply LifeArt coffins

  • Enjoy reading and sharing stories and news

  • Participate in our surveys We will regularly be adding new designs and would welcome your feedback. We hope you come back to view our new images, read our stories and follow the developments to our LifeArt products.

We are proud to be an Australian company aiming to be recognised both locally and nationally as Australia's leading supplier of personalised and environmental coffin

Sunday, November 19, 2006

National Obituary Archive

Looking for an obituary? Looking for a celebrity obituary ... Check out The National Obituary Archive. I was looking for Elvis (just curiosity) and found Lionel Barrymore, Don Knotts and otehrs....

Saturday, November 18, 2006

SSA Death Index ... A Helpful Link

Social Security Death Index (SSDI)78,267,930 Records

Search the Social Security Death Index by entering one or more fields in the form and clicking on the "submit" button. Keep in mind that the more fields you fill in, the more restricted your results will be (and you may even eliminate the record you are seeking).

Friday, November 17, 2006

Abandoned Places . . .

Aeric Kane's Abandoned Places - evocative photographic images of sometimes strange and often haunted locations. Here you will find castles, stately homes, historic villages, cemeteries, churches and RMS Queen Mary - the greatest ocean liner that ever coursed the seas. Enjoy : )

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Grave Hunter ... Cool Gathering Place

Interested in Dead Celebrities? Visit Grave Hunter! This is pr

If you are looking to find the grave of dead celebrities or a final resting place of the infamous and a biography, you are in the right place!

Gone are the living, but the dead remain,
And not neglected; for a hand unseen,
Scattering its bounty like a summer rain,
Still keeps their graves and their remembrance green.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Epitaph

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Obituaries 101 . . . Everything you need to find some one

Now this takes the cake ... Smart! Smart! Smart!

Finding an obituary just got easy. Visit Obituaries 101 and you can pretty much find any obit you need .... Search the USA & Canada Newspapers with the flick of a wrist. All you need is the Internet.

Nicely layed out -- by State ... and it looks like they have every newspaper out there listed!

Very cool indeed -- you should bookmark this one!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Beneath Los Angeles ... The only residents who stay in LA : )

This is a quirky little web site but oh sooo neat!: Beneath Los Angeles. Quite interesting. They have a good point too ....People come to L.A. from all over. The only folks who were born here will tell you it's not the same as it used to be, and they're leaving. In L.A. everybody's always coming or going. Except the dead. They're the only permanent residents here.

You can find grave stones / Markers of the famous, the infamous, and a grouping called "Just Plain Dead (which has fabulous markers and statues)! And they even have a gift shop!

Monday, November 13, 2006


Okay, this is a little creepy. No alot creepy.

A young girl dies before her time. Her mother is unable to let go and has a walk-in grave built. The woman spends each night sitting underground, facing the glass wall that separates her from her daughter. She sings, reads, anything to comfort a child who was afraid of the dark. Stuffed animals are also buried with the girl.Iron flaps up top can close or open to protect mother and daughter from winds and rain.

But it’s not the facts that give longtime cemetery director Don Estes the heebie-jeebies. Estes, now retired from the director job, doesn’t believe in ghosts. He’s walked the roads at the Natchez City Cemetery at night many a time. And he’s never seen a flying orb.

But the 1871 grave of Florence Irene Ford makes him believe — sort of.

Five cement steps lead down to the glass window — which has since been bricked over. Estes routinely gives tours of the cemetery and the grave of 10-year-old Ford.

“I brought a lady out here one time, and she just got frantic,” he said.

“Twelve years ago her mother had brought her here. Her mother went down the steps and came out screaming, rolling on the ground with a green glow all over her.”

The young woman told Estes how a cemetery worker at the time witnessed the glow. After a few minutes it began to fade. The worker bent down and scooped it off, making a ball he could hold in his hands.

He later released it into the air, where it went up, sparkled and disappeared, Estes said.

Sensible Estes didn’t quite believe and began some research of his own.

He found the cemetery worker, Mr. Davis.

“He told me the exact same story,” Estes said. “He said it felt like compressed air or like a tennis ball in his hand.”

The account was so similar, that Estes became a believer, he said.

“I believe because I had an actual testimony of an actual man, and I had it verified and I didn’t prompt him in any way,” Estes said.

But Jacqueline Stephens, who runs Ghost Tours with her husband, has even more evidence, she says.

Stephens uses a cell sensor to detect electromagnetic waves, energy and, well, ghosts.

She didn’t get any positive readings Monday night — 135 years after Irene died, to the day — but she has before.

“I got three readings one time, right in the center,” she said. “The best reading came down the steps.”

A positive cell sensor reading falls at about the number 5 on the sensor’s scale. The detector can be affected by electricity and streetlights, but Estes says there are no outlets near Irene’s grave.

And that’s not good for Irene. The little girl was, after all, afraid of the dark.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ghosts of Gettysburg ... Real or not?

Ghosts of Gettysburg .... What do you think? Real or not?

Caught in Gettysburg USA. Some have considered this the best and most authentic footage of a ghost, to have been caught in modern times. Although I think fireflies could have something to do with it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I have a friend whom I met when I was researching the dissapearance of my Great Uncle who went MIA on 12/22/43 during a bombing raid (WWII). At any rate, this man is a WWII pilot who periodically sends me tidbits of information and points of interest from his point of view. And this one, I thought was interesting and worth posting ....

Thought for the day

In case we find ourselves starting to believe all the anti-American sentiment and negativity, we should remember England's Prime Minister Tony Blair's words during a recent interview When asked by one of his Parliament members why he believes so much in America , he said:

"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in .... And how many want out."

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you:

1. Jesus Christ
2. The American G. I.

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.


Colourful Pet and People Coffins ... You'll be surprised : )

For a change, let's do the pets first .... : )

This is pretty cool. Colourful Pet Caskets offers an urn with a Pet Memorial Picture (with ashes container) - "Only you need to know". With the loss of a much loved pet, this memorial picture is designed, so that your pet’s ashes can be safely kept within the frame itself. Ashes are placed into a clear strong bag, which in turn sits inside a plastic folder. This is then totally hidden within the frame between the backing board and photo. Your pet’s picture can be easily inserted and each frame comes complete with all the fittings ready to hang. Made to accommodate landscape or portrait pictures. Pretty neat "eh"?

NOW the People Coffins .... which are adaptly named "Colourful Coffins." And, they are pretty unique. Check out the website for more info. But in the meantime I just have to show you the Train Coffin .... for a train lover ... he will love this!

And the ginham one is pretty cool for a homemaker, crafter or anyone who likes Pink. Think about it, you should have what you want. Afterall , you are spending eternity in your space : )

Friday, November 10, 2006

Famous Suicides ... An Incomplete List

Suicides. It doesn't matter how rich, how poor, how unknown or known you are. It happens across the board of life. And, people have a desire to understand the "Why's?" "How Could They?" and so on. And you will never ever know. So for those who are interested in the "WHO?" And/or those who have a morbid curiousity, I present the following list of notable people who have definitely died intentionally by their own hand, regardless of the circumstances. Suicides committed under duress are included. Deaths by accident or misadventure are excluded. Individuals who might or might not have died by their own hand, or whose whose intention to die is in dispute, but who are widely believed to have deliberately killed themselves, may be listed under Possible suicides. Click here.

UNFORTUNATELY, this is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy certain standards for completeness. Revisions and sourced additions are welcome. (This list is from Wikipedia)

See also: List of famous deaths by accidental drug overdose and Lists of people by cause of death
See also: List of songs about suicide and List of films about suicide

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Butter Fried Krispy Kreme Donuts...If this doesn't kill you I don't know what will! : )

Just how many fattening things can be done with Krispy Kreme donuts? Many, as it turns out. There are chicken sandwiches that use them, burgers and bread pudding. All are fattening and probably delicious, since people keep coming up with new ways to use them. A simple and even more fattening way to eat the donuts is to fry them in butter. This method produces something that has been described as "the most delicious food ever," as well as "heart-stopping." The directions are simple:
  • Place butter in hot skillet and melt

  • Put donut in butter, turning once when golden.

  • Eat.

  • Then you BETTER consider going for a nice, long run.

(Found at Slash Food) Check out -- they have a lot of great recipes!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Art Caskets... SOOO COOOL... Original. Unique.

I have been looking at these caskets for years. Before, they only had a few selections. When I looked today, I was amazed to see the selections available now. This company has been in the casket manufacturing business since 1973 with locations in North Carolina, Texas, and Alabama. In February of 2003, they purchased the Art Casket line and are the exclusive manufacturer of the Art Casket. Art Caskets are sold only through their nationwide network of distributors. You can contact them at their toll-free number, 877-278-2275, for a distributor near you or simply check out the website here.

And in all seriousness, I am leaning towards the lighthouse casket. I love the look of it. It reflects my personality and .... it's just so different. They offer so many choices, ones for: Firemen, Military, Police, Golfers, Farmers and more. They really are worth checking out.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Huggable Urns.... Wish I had thought of this ....

I ran across Huggable Urns (they offer a most unique way to keep your loved one close to your heart) You can actually hug the urn.... you have to see the pictures to believe it!

The founder came up with the huggable urn concept because she felt that society really doesn't deal well with the whole dying process" she says, " it can make it very hard for people who are grieving, when they are forcibly separated from the remains of their loved one. When my own father died, his ashes were put into a plastic urn which was

stored in my mothers closet. All I wanted to do was hold him again,but the urn was hard and impersonal."Alexandra's search for a way to keep her father near and able to hug and feel close to him led her to develop these unique urns which are extremely soft and comforting to the touch, perfect for holding, and discreet and stylish enough to keep visible in the home without causing discomfort or embarrassment to visitors."I just love to sit and hold my father" she says. "Even though I know that he as moved on, I feel as if he is still watching over me in his own way. It gives me great comfort to know he is physically close and a part of my life, instead of being hidden away in a closet or scattered somewhere."

"Huggable Urns has become Alexandra's life's passion. She hopes that Huggable Urns will help break down the mystery and fear surrounding the natural process of death and grieving. Anything which makes it easier and can give a little comfort when you need it most, has to be a good thing!

And I have to agree..... what a cool concept.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Men of Mortuaries Calendar . . . "They See Dead People!"

OMG!!!!! Forget Chippendales! Meet the Men of Mortuaries ..... I DIG THEM ....SERIOUSLY I DO! (Ahem.... nobody in my mortuary science class looks like this ...... : ( Visit their site Men of Mortuaries. All kidding aside, check out their calendar and ORDER ONE. It is for a good cause:

Monies raised from the calendar will directly benefit the KAMM foundation dedicated to the caring and assistance of people who are going through the treatment of breast cancer. Proceeds will provide these people assistance with such necessities as child care costs and groceries, to name just two. The primary goal of KAMM is to provide people going through cancer with
more opportunities to make their lives better. And if you are one of the first 500 customers to order a calendar and receive a the official men-of-mortuaries bumper sticker.

In addition, I saw this article and it is just so good, I am posting it Verbatim .... (found on the Daily News -- Check out the link)

A gang of calendar boys hits NYC,and they're no stiffs

Forget the foxy firemen of the FDNY.

The Men of Mortuaries, a group of flexing funeral directors, are currently starring in their own morbid calendar - and they're hitting the streets of New York.

These calendar boys' shots range from campy to downright bizarre, with plenty of dark humor thrown in. The calendar is the brainstorm of funeral-home owner Ken McKenzie, who created it in the hopes of changing people's impressions of morticians: i.e., they're not all Dr. rankensteins. Proceeds will go to KAMM Cares, a nonprofit benefiting women suffering from breast cancer that McKenzie helped create after his sister was diagnosed with the disease.

So what makes these mortuary men so sexy? While traipsing topless about New York City last week, they answered our questions, exposing the men behind the coffins.

Have you ever used the pickup line "I see dead people"?

"No, I have never used that line but I might try it. Good work."

Mike Haines, Mr. February, 32.

Did "Six Feet Under" make the whole mortuary thing kind of sexy?

"Yeah, I think a lot of people think we're a lot of older men who are kind of grave [said with a straight face]. People don't realize there are a lot of younger people and some of us are kind of hot. We're young, hip guys who have fun outside of what we do."

Kurt Zabor, Mr. April, 24.

What do you expect from a date?

"I want a date to do some research about what I want and what I don't want and make that happen. Call the mortuary and ask "What does he like? What does he not like? What does he want to do?"

Ken McKenzie, Mr. June, 40

Do girls think what you do is a turn-on?
"People get a kick out of it. It's definitely a conversation starter."

Kurt Zabor

What does your wife/girlfriend think about what you do? Is she freaked out?

"No, she's cool about it. She comes down to our place and helps out. But she doesn't deal with the bodies or anything."

Roger Santos, Mr. December, 26

How long do you wait to tell a woman what you do after you start dating?

"You try to wait as long as you can. When I would go out to bars and talk to the girls it even got to the point where I would say I was in the insurance business. You wait as long as you can and the more mature their reaction, then the cooler the girl."

Justin Zabor, Mr. March, 29

How do women respond when you tell them?

"'Dude that's gross!' Or they just walk away. Some women are freaked out by it. They always ask crazy questions. They want to know about the whole process. The embalming, whether we sew their mouths shut and stuff like that. I haven't found any that find it a weird turn-on. I'd probably run if I did."

David Fisch, Mr. August, 28

Have you ever brought a girl back to the funeral home?

"Actually yes, because I lived in a loft above it. At first it was kind of weird, but after a month I got used to it. I'm glad to be out of there. My social life is a little bit better."

Kurt Zabor

Favorite TV show?

"'CSI.' I guess I bring my work home with me."

Mike Haines

What's your perfect date?

"A fall motorcycle ride in the mountains."

Mike Haines

Have you ever gotten lucky in a coffin?

"It's very uncomfortable in there."

Ken McKenzie

Originally published on October 8, 2006

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Taphophilia ... Morbid curiosities, Thanatology and more ....

Taphophilia - What an unusual site. Worth looking into ... kind of poetic. It is a site that serves as A repository of morbid curiositiesThanatology and Taphophile Issues, Cemetery, Funeral Industry and Death Related News. For example, learn about current news:

  • Hollywood monsters
  • The Death of Dracula
  • Christies is auctioning off a mummy!
  • Pimp my Coffin
  • A message board

And quite a few other cool topics .... i.e., dictionary, cemetery art gallery and more. You could definitely spend some time reading all the news here ... might take your mind off the hereafter : )

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Burial at Sea

How many people do you know who want to be buried at sea? I have heard a few people "mention," it, ... and I thought it was interesting to see how many "Celebrities," have chosen this method: Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia, Ingrid Bergman and Rock Hudson to name a few (for more people click here ). At any rate, I thought it might be nice to post a few links for those who want to know more, so here you go:

19th Century Nautical Slang A Navy man is a gentleman. But here you'll learn the only time that a Navy seaman was allowed to curse the officers, the ship, the navy, or any other institution in the vilest language he was capable of uttering with impunity. This family-rated page contains fascinating old expressions of naval lore.

American Veteran Burial at Sea Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration website. If you served in the American armed forces, this site fully explains your burial and memorial benifits.

Final rest at sea Friend and columnist Brian Curry looks back at the humble beginnings of Sea Services as he writes his weekly column in Patchogue, New York's Long Island Advance.

Dear Abby on Scattering Cremated Remains
Attorney Harvey I. Lapin writes to Dear Abby to clarify common misconceptions. An interesting article that should be read by anyone considering scattering, burying or dividing cremated remains. Mr. Lapin is the attorney for the Cremation Association of North America.

Navy Members Burial Entitlement:Retired Navy members and their dependents are entitled to a burial at sea from the Navy. This page offers information about obtaining this benefit.

Think about it... it's one way you can make waves! : )

Friday, November 03, 2006

A new twist on "Hangman" ... it's fun

Start the day with a nice holiday-themed game of Hangman, complete with a smart-aleck skeleton on the scaffold. Perhaps after I've had a few cups of coffee I'll have figured out how exactly one would go about executing a skeleton by hanging... I mean, the broken-neck thing would still apply, but there's hardly enough weight to effect a drop such that... hmm?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

DEAD? or ALIVE? Your guess is as good as mine!

This site tracks whether famous people are still alive or whether they have passed away. This site is quite interesting. You can track:
  • Who you have outlived?
  • Who Died in the last 6 months?
  • By name
  • By Date
  • There are quizzes, and so much more

Who'd have thunk it? That death could be so entertaining! : )

Give them a "look" and "See." Visit the site here: Dead or Alive

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

NaBloPoMo Challenge... I'm taking it... so should you!

I decided to take the November NaBloPoMo challenge and make a post a day. Maybe I will be a better blogger because of it. I like blogging and am always looking for something cool to put up! So enjoy ... and please .... leave comments!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Don't Be Caught Dead Without One! : )

I love this guy's logo!

"When it's too late to make a first impression. . . make a great final impression with a custom coffin or crematory urn from master coffin builder Bud Davis."

This is the Pope John Paul II CoffinA near exact replica replica of the simple cypress coffin in which Pope John Paul II was laid to rest in 2005.

Bert & Bud's Vintage Coffins. This compCustom builders of fine, handmade wooden coffins and crematory urns for people and pets.