Saturday, April 28, 2007

20 Things I Bet You Never Knew About Death

Just what you wanted to Read: 20 "INTERESTING" Things You Didn't Know About Death ..... might not want to read this over breakfast..... (I found #7 to be interesting)


20 Things You Didn't Know About... Death

Newsflash: we're all going to die. But here are 20 things you didn't know
about kicking the bucket.

 1 The practice of burying the dead may date back 350,000 years, as evidenced by a 45-foot-deep pit in
Atapuerca, Spain, filled with the fossils of 27 hominids of the species Homo heidelbergensis, a possible ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans.

2 Never say die: There are at least 200 euphemisms for death, including "to be in Abraham's bosom," "just add maggots," and "sleep with the Tribbles" (a Star Trek favorite).

3 No American has died of old age since 1951.

4 That was the year the government eliminated that classification on death certificates.

5 The trigger of death, in all cases, is lack of oxygen. Its decline may prompt muscle spasms, or the "agonal phase," from the Greek word agon, or contest.

6 Within three days of death, the enzymes that once digested your dinner begin to eat you. Ruptured cells become food for living bacteria in the gut, which release enough noxious gas to bloat the body and force the eyes to bulge outward.

7 So much for recycling: Burials in America deposit 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid—formaldehyde, methanol, and ethanol—into the soil each year. Cremation pumps dioxins, hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide into the air.

8 Alternatively . . . A Swedish company, Promessa, will freeze-dry your body in liquid nitrogen, pulverize it with high-frequency vibrations, and seal the resulting powder in a cornstarch
coffin. They claim this "ecological burial" will decompose in 6 to 12 months.

9 Zoroastrians in India leave out the bodies of the dead to be consumed by vultures.

10 The vultures are now dying off after eating cattle carcasses dosed with diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory used to relieve fever in livestock.

11 Queen Victoria insisted on being buried with the bathrobe of her long-dead husband, Prince Albert, and a plaster cast of his hand.

12 If this doesn't work, we're trying in vitro! In Madagascar, families dig up the bones of dead relatives and parade them around the village in a ceremony called famadihana. The remains are then wrapped in a new shroud and reburied. The old shroud is given to a newly married, childless couple to cover the connubial bed.

13 During a railway expansion in Egypt in the 19th century, construction companies unearthed so many mummies that they used them as fuel for locomotives.

14 Well, yeah, there's a slight chance this could backfire: English philosopher Francis Bacon, a founder of the scientific method, died in 1626 of pneumonia after stuffing a chicken with snow to see if cold would preserve it.

15 For organs to form during embryonic development, some cells must commit suicide. Without such programmed cell death, we would all be born with webbed feet, like ducks.

16 Waiting to exhale: In 1907 a Massachusetts doctor conducted an experiment with a specially designed deathbed and reported that the human body lost 21 grams upon dying. This has been widely held as fact ever since. It's not.

17 Buried alive: In 19th-century Europe there was so much anecdotal evidence that living people were mistakenly declared dead that cadavers were laid out in "hospitals for the dead" while attendants awaited signs of putrefaction.

18 Eighty percent of people in the United States die in a hospital.

19 If you can't make it here . . . More people commit suicide in New York City than are murdered.

20 It is estimated that 100 billion people have died since humans began.

(Source: Discover Magazine)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ghost slip ons .... Shoes by Ed Hardy ... I LOVE THESE!

I'm only posting this because they are called "GHOST" and I really, really like them!!!!!

GHOST/07 - $ 59.98

Friday, April 20, 2007

Elvis's Last Meal????

According to The Great Food Almanac: A Feast of Facts from A to Z by Irena Chalmers, the last food that Elvis Presley ate was four scoops of ice cream and 6 chocolate chip cookies.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Famous Last Words ... Epitath

Leave 'em laughing, they say in show business, and if you've ever wandered around an old cemetery, you know that some folks do -- or, at least, manage to end the conversation on a memorable note. (Everyone wants to be remembered); The Epitath Browser has a nice mix of famous folk (and how glad am I to learn that Mel Blanc rests beneath a stone with "That's all folks" on it?) and obscure, who have in common terrific epitaths on their gravestones or cenotaphs. There are some beautiful items here, but those of a cheerfully morbid disposition will appreciate the funny ones too, such the inscription above Ms. Sarah Ford: This stone was raised to Sarah Ford,

Not Sarah's virtues to record--
For they're well known to all the town--
No Lord; it was raised to keep her down.

(source: USA Today)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Legendery Crooner Don Ho has Died : (

Legendary crooner Don Ho, who entertained tourists for decades wearing raspberry-tinted sunglasses and singing the catchy signature tune "Tiny Bubbles," has died. He was 76.
He died Saturday morning of heart failure, publicist Donna Jung said.

Ho had suffered with heart problems for the past several years, and had a pacemaker installed last fall. In 2005, he underwent an experimental stem cell procedure on his ailing heart in Thailand.

Don Ho worked right up to the end. Promoter Tom Moffatt said he attended Ho's final show Thursday and Ho received a standing ovation. Afterward, Ho reminisced about his many years in Waikiki and talked about how Judy Garland sang with him one night.

Ho entertained Hollywood's biggest stars and thousands of tourists for four decades. For many, no trip to Hawaii was complete without seeing his Waikiki show _ a mix of songs, jokes, double entendres, Hawaii history and audience participation. Shows usually started and ended with the same song, "Tiny Bubbles." Ho mostly hummed the song's swaying melody as the audience enthusiastically took over the familiar lyrics: "Tiny bubbles/in the wine/make me happy/make me feel fine."

"I hate that song," he often joked to the crowd. He said he performed it twice because "people my age can't remember if we did it or not."

Donald Tai Loy Ho, who was Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and German, was born Aug. 13, 1930, in Honolulu and grew up in the then-rural countryside of Kaneohe. In high school, he was a star football player and worked for a brief time in a pineapple cannery. After graduating in 1949, he attended Springfield College in Massachusetts on an athletic scholarship. He grew homesick, returned to the islands and ended up graduating from the University of Hawaii in 1953 with a degree in sociology.

Inspired by the U.S. military planes flying in and out of Hawaii during World War II, Ho joined the Air Force. As the Korean War wound down, he piloted transport planes between Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu and Tokyo.

When he returned home and took over his parents' struggling neighborhood bar, Honey's, he put together a band and started performing at his father's request. "I had no intention of being an entertainer," Ho said. "I just played songs I liked from the radio, and pretty soon that place was jammed. Every weekend there would be lines down the street."

Honey's became a happening place on Oahu, with other Hawaiian musicians stopping in for jam sessions. Ho began to play at various spots in Hawaii, then had a breakout year in 1966, when appearances at the Coconut Grove in Hollywood helped him build a mainland following, and the release of "Tiny Bubbles" gave him his greatest recording success.

Soon he was packing places such as the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. Stars such as Lucille Ball, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra were known to be in the audience for Ho's shows.
Ho also became a television star, and hosted the "The Don Ho Show" on ABC from 1976-77. One of Ho's most memorable TV appearances was a 1972 cameo on an episode of "The Brady Bunch."
If you want to meet the "man" read this Q&A from "Weekly Hi Hi - Honolulu" and if you want to hear the great "Don Ho" listen to his music: Don Ho - Greatest Hits.
Rest in Peace Don.

Don Ho Singing "Tiny Bubbles"

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Medusa Van Allen "Little Miss Sunshine"

Medusa Van Allen was Born in Ohio on March 19, 1908, she was 30" long and weighed in at 55 lbs. The bones in Medusa’s body never grew, with the exception of her head. Because of her undeveloped bones, Medusa could never sit or stand. She could only lay flat. Doctors could do nothing for her bizarre condition. As an adult, Medusa’s head was a normal size, yet her body remained like that of a baby. With the help of a private tutor her brain also reached an adult level. She exhibited herself as one of Ripley’s human oddities in the 1930s and was dubbed "Little Miss Sunshine." In her pamphlet pitched at shows, Medusa said, “I enjoy life in much the same way as any normal person, and find life filled with really worthwhile pleasures.” (source)

For more visit: American Sideshows Bookshelf

Monday, April 09, 2007

Cardboard Coffins.... Paper friendly : )

Looking for an eco friendly way to be buried? An inexpensive way? What do you think of cardboard? You will be surprised. Visit to view their services and price list. You will be quite surprised. Here are a few pictures to get you interested. : )

The Eco Burial - Unfortunately modern cemeteries all too often destroy natural landscapes and chew up valuable open space: creating fertilized and herbicided, environments with dense interments and plastic flowers. A tremendous amount of money goes into expensive “leak-proof” caskets, vaults and mausoleum crypts, and to “perpetual care”.

The average cost of funeral, burial space, casket and vault is now exceeding $5,000, and can go considerably higher.

In our parks, a significant part of the burial space expense goes to purchasing, restoring and maintaining real nature parks. Burials and ashes scatterings occur in these parks, but the interments must be natural, “dust to dust” burials (see related article on natural burials): no toxic embalming fluids, no vaults, and only biodegradable caskets. Because these are often the very expensive items, the total funeral costs for burial at Memorial Ecosystems parks are much less expensive than current averages. Because the total number of burials is strictly limited, far fewer interments occur than at usual memorial parks.

In addition, there is a grass-roots reaction to the centralization and skyrocketing costs of burials. Industrial boards which set legislative policies ("laws") are composed of members of the consolidated industry itself, giving these few individuals power to set regulations to A) keep their profits (your costs) as high as they can and B) prevent anyone from challenging "A". Not only are the inmates running the asylum, but they are setting laws for those on the outside!
In our grandfather's era, no such intervention was expected, or even permitted. The deceased was dressed for viewing, usually in the home where the services were also usually held, and then off to burial. Care for the departed remained with those he or she loved in life. This caretaking may also have assisted in grieving as it provided an involving and proactive way to say goodbyes. It has been so for hundreds of thousands of years of human history... except for the last century.

We now have an industrial machine which has by its own admission consolidated in preparation for the huge profits it believes will come with the passing of the baby boomer generation. An industry that has turned death into a sanitized and intellectualized service, rather than a reality as natural as the birth that preceeded it.

Weather these caskets will involve a burial or no, is entirely up to you. Please check your local laws... your local group of funeral directors may have made it illegal to bury your own dead ithout their embalming, metal caskets, hearses, floral arrangements, service kickbacks, concrete vaults, and all the rest of it that makes for such lucrative trade in death.

- John Bottomley, with the first part of this letter gratefully copied from

Monday, April 02, 2007

James Doohan, "Scotty" of Star Trek -- Going to Outer Space : )

The ashes of James Doohan, who played chief engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott on the original "Star Trek" TV series, have been loaded into a rocket that is set to launch in New Mexico later this month.

The remains of Doohan, Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper and some 200 others were loaded into the rocket Friday by Charles Chafer, chief executive of Celestis, a Texas company that contracts with rocket firms to send cremated remains into space.

"And we're ready to go," Chafer said after inserting the silver canister.
Jerry Larson, president of Connecticut-based UP Aerospace Inc., said the rocket will be launched April 28.

Families paid $495 to have a few grams of their loved one's ashes placed on the rocket.
Chafer said he's aware of the dedication of "Star Trek" fans.

"There's no doubt that we'll find a way to accommodate fans who travel here and want to be part of that experience," he said.

Doohan died in July 2005 at age 85.

The remains of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry were blasted into space in 1997.