Sunday Sundries 4

18th century Scottish gravestone featuring Memento Mori. Image from Martyn Gorman (CC2.0)

18th century Scottish gravestone featuring Memento Mori. Image from Martyn Gorman (CC2.0)

It’s Sunday again, which means time for more deathly nuggets found on the interwebs this week!

First up is The Conversation Project, an excellent site filled with downloadable resources to help people talk openly about their wishes for end-of-life care. The Project website says:

“Too many people are dying in a way they wouldn’t choose, and too many of their loved ones are left feeling bereaved, guilty, and uncertain.

It’s time to transform our culture so we shift from not talking about dying to talking about it. It’s time to share the way we want to live at the end of our lives. And it’s time to communicate about the kind of care we want and don’t want for ourselves.”

Do check them out and download a Conversation Starter Kit to help you have ‘the conversation’ with your loved ones.

Next, LiveScience has an image gallery of the anatomist and artist Gunther von Hagens recent work, the Animals Inside Out touring exhibition. I got to see this in London and it was breathtaking. Gunther uses ‘plastination‘ techniques to preserve the muscle, tissue and even blood vessels of animals (and humans) and turns them into scientific exhibits that are also works of art.

While on the topic of animals, here are nine touching epitaphs that ancient Greeks and Romans wrote for their deceased dogs. Just goes to show that the companionship of pets really is timeless.

Here at Deathly Ponderings, we’d also like to congratulate the Morbid Anatomy Museum in New York, which has opened this weekend. I hope to be able to visit there one day!

Right, that’s about it for another week. Let’s leave you with this rather wonderful creation of artist Thomas Kuntz, a hand-cranked automaton of a skeleton playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, because why not?

 

Image credit: 18th century Scottish gravestone featuring Memento Mori. Image from Martyn Gorman (CC2.0)

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Sunday Sundries 2

Welcome to this week’s roundup of interesting deathly miscellanea we’ve found on the interwebs recently. Let’s begin with the recently deceased Rik Mayall, a truly great comic actor, talking in his usual irreverent style about why we shouldn’t fear death:

https://static.squarespace.com/static/52ccc88ae4b00bc0dba01b72/t/52cf2690e4b0f83aafd7b961/1402711932069/?format=1500wThe GroundSwell Project is an interesting initiative in Australia designed by Clinical Psychologist Kerrie Noonan, and Playwright Peta Murray in late 2009, to encourage deep engagement with death in society. To do this, they use art, film and creative speakers to open discussion of death acceptance. Go check them out, on their site, on YouTube and on Twitter.

One thing they have on their website is a link (Dying to Know) to all the many great TED talks that have dealt with death. There’s a lot of excellent viewing on there, but I wanted to share one video in particular: Jae Rhim Lee talking about her environmentally-friendly mushroom burial suit. It’s not at all like that episode of Hannibal, don’t worry! But it is pretty cool.

And finally, the webcomic xkcd has a fascinating series of ‘what if’ questions discussed in terms of science and statistics. One such question is what would happen to the human population if just one extra person were to die per second. Check it out HERE. Mentioning xkcd also gives me an excuse to post this:

That’s all for this week’s Sunday Sundries, be sure to look out for more deathly posts from us soon!

 

 

Sunday Sundries

origin_3359385248As some of you more regular readers may already know, we have a Facebook page for Deathly Ponderings! We often share interesting articles, videos and other resources there as and when we find them on the Great Interwebs. So go and like us today!

However, rather than keep all of our found goodies on Facebook, we thought it would be nice to share a few on the blog too, so this will be the first of (hopefully) many Sunday Sundries posts where we share a few deathly nuggets that really interested us this week.

First up is a really interesting video from Hemant Mehta who blogs as The Friendly Atheist. A lot of death traditions and philosophies come from many different areas and cultures, with religious belief having a huge influence on how death is perceived and processed by humanity. However, we rarely hear about viewpoints on death from those who do not have this religious influence. So, have a listen to what Hemant has to say. It is certainly an interesting addition to the deathly discourse in society.

Next up is a fascinating TED talk from philosopher Stephen Cave who talks about our focus on immortality, among other things. He is a great speaker and really does take his audience on a journey through humanity’s interactions with death and what that means for us as a species.

Let us know what you thought of these videos. Also, if you find anything fun and deathly, pass it on! We’d love to see it!

Image credits: Todd Hall (header image) & Jes (bird skull)
Both via Flickr Creative Commons