Tuesday, July 31, 2007

In Celebration of Elvis' Life ... Knit your own Elvis Wig!

Too priceless not to post!

Only the Brit's would thing to do this. Create a pattern for a Knitted Elvis Wig - Directions available at The Shed's site! (below)

The hand knitted Elvis wig pattern is FREE and the brainchild of artist Simon Thackray, the knitted Elvis wig was specially designed by Sirdar to coincide with the world's first North Yorkshire Elvis Bus Tour.

Photo: (left to right) Ian McMillan, Wendy Moorby, David Rawson and Simon Thackray To get the pattern; visit The Shed.
Now, if you don't knit... you can go to the Elvis store and buy one!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Death and the Journalist ... Interesting Article

There are two kinds of journalists in this world: Those who think that writing obituaries is the news equivalent of scooping up behind the circus elephants, and those who understand that it can be a uniquely gratifying form of writing. (Guess which I am.) The obituaries editor at The Economist has been keeping a wonderful online diary with reflections on the job, the topic, and how it intersects with the life of a writer charged with documenting lives at their close. (Source USA Today)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Death List ~ Definitely a List You Don't Want to Be On

Hmmmmmm, came across a site called "The Death List".... interesting... and yes, creepy. Basicaly, they pick 50 people who they predict will die in the year. So far they have been right on 6/ out of 50 as of today. Tammy Faye was the last who was predicted right. What was a little unnerving for me was the message board ... mainly because the discussion I read was on Ernest Borgnine... who I adore. They are wondering if this is his year because he is 88, overweight, etc., etc..... I hope poor Ernie doesn't see it : ) Here's the blurb if you are interested in reading about their site:

"2007 sees the twentieth anniversary of the DeathList so let’s hope for a particularly successful year. For those unfamiliar with DeathList, here is a quick recap of the idea: A list of 50 celebrities is selected by the DeathList committee before the start of each calendar year for their likelihood to die during that year. Candidates must have a certain level of famousness, which is basically that their demise must be expected to be reported by the UK media. Candidates are ineligible if their only claim to fame is their likely death in the near future. Also, no more than 25 celebrities that appeared on the previous year’s list can be selected. 2006 finished with a solid score of 13 successes, but the 2003 record of 14 deaths remains intact. "

The Page of the Dead... Intersting stuff here!

There are thoughts that won't be spoken / And there's so much we can't discussBut there are moments that will live forever / And some of them are owned by us
From a Really Nice Website: The And Room Archives
Lots of information: Biographies SectionA huge selection of (bio)graphical information on people with some claim to fame, mostly focussing on the nineteenth century. Here is the index.The Page of The DeadJoséphine de Beauharnais, Oscar Wilde, Robert and Clara Schumann, Heinrich Heine, all the others... They left us in this world alone. But we can pay them a last respect, by visiting them at The Page of The Dead.
If you are into tombstones and gravesites... lot's of lovely pictures of resting places -- and info on famous playwrights, writers and even pirates -- like Captain Bligh.....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oscar ~ Cat That Acurately Predicts Death ....

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.

"He doesn't make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die," said Dr. David Dosa in an interview. He describes the phenomenon in a poignant essay in Thursday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
"Many family members take some solace from it. They appreciate the companionship that the cat provides for their dying loved one," said Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor of medicine at Brown University.

The 2-year-old feline was adopted as a kitten and grew up in a third-floor dementia unit at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The facility treats people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and other illnesses.

After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses. He'd sniff and observe patients, then sit beside people who would wind up dying in a few hours. Dosa said Oscar seems to take his work seriously and is generally aloof. "This is not a cat that's friendly to people," he said. Oscar is better at predicting death than the people who work there, said Dr. Joan Teno of Brown University, who treats patients at the nursing home and is an expert on care for the terminally ill .

She was convinced of Oscar's talent when he made his 13th correct call. While observing one patient, Teno said she noticed the woman wasn't eating, was breathing with difficulty and that her legs had a bluish tinge, signs that often mean death is near. Oscar wouldn't stay inside the room though, so Teno thought his streak was broken. Instead, it turned out the doctor's prediction was roughly 10 hours too early. Sure enough, during the patient's final two hours, nurses told Teno that Oscar joined the woman at her bedside.

Doctors say most of the people who get a visit from the sweet-faced, gray-and-white cat are so ill they probably don't know he's there, so patients aren't aware he's a harbinger of death. Most families are grateful for the advanced warning, although one wanted Oscar out of the room while a family member died. When Oscar is put outside, he paces and meows his displeasure.

No one's certain if Oscar's behavior is scientifically significant or points to a cause. Teno wonders if the cat notices telltale scents or reads something into the behavior of the nurses who raised him. Nicholas Dodman, who directs an animal behavioral clinic at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and has read Dosa's article, said the only way to know is to carefully document how Oscar divides his time between the living and dying.

If Oscar really is a furry grim reaper, it's also possible his behavior could be driven by self-centered pleasures like a heated blanket placed on a dying person, Dodman said. Nursing home staffers aren't concerned with explaining Oscar, so long as he gives families a better chance at saying goodbye to the dying. Oscar recently received a wall plaque publicly commending his "compassionate hospice care."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Adrienne Shelly ... Her Life, Death and the Movie Waitress

What a sad story. I came across this remarkable article about the life, death, and career of Adrienne Shelly by The Observer's Gaby Wood . Once I started reading the piece, I was completely mesmerized, both by the dramatic and tragic circumstances surrounding Shelly's death and by how committed she was to her final film project -- and why.Here's a brief snippet from Wood's article:

"Shelly wrote Waitress when she was pregnant with her daughter, Sophie, who was a toddler by the time it was shot....[Producer Michael] Roiff recalls that when they were editing the film in its final stages, 'one of the things she was most excited about was the fact that she had done this as a woman and as a mother. She was an amazing mum, and I remember one day when we had watched a cut of the film, she turned around and said: "Look, you can do it. Society wants to tell you that you have to choose, but you don't have to choose." To a huge extent, that's what the film's about."Related:In this video, Adrienne Shelly discusses how her feelings about motherhood motivated her to write the script for Waitress. (source Mother of all Blogs)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Florida Passes Legislation Allowing Humans to Be Buried With Their Pets

Florida passed a piece of legislation that allows humans to be buried with their pets. Previously, funeral homes were prohibited from handling animal remains and ashes of humans and animals could not be co-mingled.

At the Best Friends Animal Hospital at Gateway, office manager, Rainy Hoy, said about half of their clients take home their pet’s ashes. “They just want to keep them. They’re like family to them,” Hoy said.

Fort Myers resident Joe Castrogiovanni wouldn’t consider euthanizing his 2-year-old dog Barkley to put him in the casket, but he would consider saving Barkley’s ashes.

“It may be a little weird, but he’s like the son I never had,” Castrogiovanni said.

Jay O’Shaughnessy, funeral director for Anderson Funeral Home of Fort Myers with more than 30 years’ experience, said he has received requests from clients wanting their loved ones to be buried with remains of their pet.

“It’s not a real new deal. We’ve done stranger things than that,” he said. “It’s always the family’s idea.” Complete article here.

He’s right, it’s not unusual. Urngarden has received several requests for urns large enough to contain the pet owner and the ashes of their cats or dogs. Or couples that have left instructions for their children to bury their ashes in the back yard with the family pets. (source)