Archive for the death Category

Strange Remains Week: Helium Balloons and Deep Freeze

Posted in absurd, death, humor with tags , , on March 19, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

The Eternal Ascent Society offers the release of your beloved’s cremains in a giant helium balloon. While this may appeal to the perpetually young at heart, I keep thinking of the moment the balloon inevitably bursts and casts a blizzard of death over the land. I have mild OCD, so I personally find being showered with dead people unpleasant.

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As stated on the bottom of the picture, they’re opening franchises. So if you were thinking of of buying into a Subway or Yogurtland but feel these options don’t involve enough corpses, you might not want to miss the investment opportunity.

Remember the urban legend of Walt Disney getting crynogenically frozen (bonus myth: that his body was stored under Pirates of the Caribbean)? Well, he was cremated in 1966, but YOU can be frozen by Cryonics.

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Cryonics is an experimental procedure that preserves a human being using the best available technology for the purpose of saving his/her life. We believe medical technology will advance further in coming decades than it has in the past several centuries, enabling it to heal damage at the cellular and molecular levels and to restore full physical and mental health.

This process poses some profound existential questions, so it’s actually worth looking through the site and forming your own opinion on the matter (you know, for when the topic inevitably comes up at parties…or is that only my circle of friends?).

My favorite part:
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Cryonics isn’t a dude in a fancy a beer cooler.

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Strange Remains Week: Mummies, Gems and the Moon

Posted in death, jewelry, space with tags , , on March 17, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

Tallying $67,000, modern mummification isn’t for everyone…but it’s Available at SUMMUM.

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These guys have resurrected (no pun intended) the ancient Egyptian art. You can see a description of the process here.

If you prefer something smaller in size and significantly more sparkly, there is LifeGem.

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Love. Life’s single greatest risk. Life’s single greatest reward. Love captures your heart in a second and holds it for eternity. You have experienced a love without equal.

You have had someone truly special in your life and mere words simply will not do.

Your very own LifeGem diamond(s) can be created from the carbon in cremation ashes, a lock of hair, or both. Of course, not only do we turn ashes into diamonds and hair into diamonds, we also have a full line of cremation jewelry, rings, and pendants to accent your beautiful LifeGem cremation diamond.

Or if you’d like your death to involve a space odyssey, you can be shot into the cosmos.

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Celestis Memorial Spaceflights place a symbolic portion of cremated remains into Earth orbit, onto the lunar surface, and into deep space. Missions into space that return the cremated remains to Earth are also available. Your loved one will venture into space as part of a real space mission, riding alongside a commercial or scientific satellite.

Celestis offers a number of options (click to enlarge):

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Strange Remains Week: Burial Pods

Posted in death, nature with tags , on March 16, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

I got in a little over my head committing to Strange Remains Week, because I have over 20 links to modern fringe postmortem preferences. Perhaps I will have to combine a few of them in each post. But let’s start with my favorite: the Burial Pod.

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The Capsula Mundi concept, from designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel, uses an egg-shaped burial pod made from biodegradable starch plastic as the coffin, in which the body is placed in a fetal position and buried under the ground. A tree (or tree seed) is then planted over the top of the pod, which will use the nutrients from the decomposing body as fertilizer for its growth.

I personally feel that a “sacred forest” of trees honoring the deceased, each one unique, growing, giving life, is far superior to boxes and stones that just SIT there in traditional cemeteries. I’m in favor of personal markers by each tree to commemorate the (former) person helping it thrive. Apparently there are legal regulation issues with implementing this sort of green burial.

How do you feel about this idea? Would you like to return to nature?

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Next Theme Week: Strange Remains!

Posted in announcement, death with tags , on March 13, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

I’ve had a folder of bizarre, shall we say, “death options” for years now, so it’s time we have a theme week! If you know of any interesting modern methods of preserving, honoring, disposing of, or creatively using human/animal remains, please share (think “ashes shot into space” etc).

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*Note: I’m restricting the contents of this theme week to modern death customs since I could write a whole other blog about the wealth of historical examples.

Albert Besnard: Images of Death

Posted in art, death, skulls and skeletons, vintage with tags , , , on February 3, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

French painter Albert Besnard has a series of figurative Death pieces, in which the ominous bony figure shows up boldly or furtively…blending into the crowd and shadows, startling those he encounters as an unexpected guest, or simply looking dapper.

Shhhh…
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While he is also known for his success in watercolor, pastel, oil and etching in portraiture, landscape and decoration, I particularly like this little collection I’ve assembled here.

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Death and the Robot

Posted in animation, death, film, robots, skulls and skeletons, you can't handle the cute with tags , , , , , on January 30, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

The other day I watched an animated short film about Death and a Robot. In this vignette, death is a lady…

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She meets a robot who longs to experience the world (and thus unplugs his power source to venture out).
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Together they transform a bare, grim cemetery into a beautiful garden.
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But Death does not know the robot is dying, and she blames herself when he ceases to function. In his memory, she tends to the beauty they created together.

It’s such a lovely film. Watch the whole thing here:

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Notes on a Case of Melancholia

Posted in Books, death, illustration, psychology, skulls and skeletons with tags , , , , on December 13, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

Nicholas Gurewich, the creator of the surreal and wonderful Perry Bible Fellowship comic has kickstarted a project I’m incredibly jazzed about: Notes on a Case of Melancholia, inspired by Edward Gorey and Jungian analysis (two of my very favorite things! *covers mouth with hand so as not to squeal with joy*).

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This a book about Death’s despair regarding his kid- an affectionate “Little Death” who simply doesn’t have what it takes to carry on the family business. Dr. Edgar O. Wye is a psychoanalyst who takes Death on as a patient. The book’s rhyming narration will be taken from his case notes.

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The book will run about 42-50 pages long, and will be completely illustrated. Graphic novel “frames” will be used on occasion, but this will really be more of a picture book – deliberately similar to the short books of Edward Gorey, but with a character-driven plot. Though it has a pretty high body count, it is in essence a family story.

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Watch the video and support the project at the Notes on a Case of Melancholia Kickstarter.

La Popular’s “Corpse Bride”

Posted in death, macabre, oddities, wedding with tags , , , on July 17, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

I am basically going to reblog this morbid legend, because the source sites all the bizarre details quite well.

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For the past 75 years, a tiny bridal shop in Mexico has been the subject of some pretty crazy rumors. Tales of supernatural fiddling abound, with whispers of disembodied voices, mysterious cold spots, and even the occasional darting shadow seen from the corner of a visitor’s eye. But the creepiest rumor centers around a bridal mannequin sitting in the window; a highly detailed dummy that many say is a perfectly preserved corpse.

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The tale begins on March 25th in 1930, when the odd-looking mannequin was first placed in the windows of La Popular, one of the most well-known bridal shops in Chihauhau, Mexico. Almost immediately, the locals knew that something just wasn’t quite right with the figure. Before long, tales of the stunning mannequin began to spread far and wide, and visitors trekked from all over just to see the intricate details in the doll. From the individual wrinkles in the hands, to the real human hair, to the mesermizing gaze of her glass eyes, it was almost as if the figure was a real person frozen in time.

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Eventually, people began to notice the similaries between the mannequin, nicknamed La Pascualita, and the daughter of La Popular’s proprietor, Pascuala Esparza. According to legend, Esparza’s daughter had tragically passed away on her wedding day, victim of a Black Widow spider bite. Locals whispered that the beautiful figure in the window was, in fact, the embalmed body of Esparza’s daughter. More and more, the details began to make sense, and the townspeople became outraged. Of course, Pascuala Esparza formally denied the allegations, but by that point, it was too late – the legend was set in stone.

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75 years later, some have come to revere La Pascualita as a saint, leaving candles and offering prayers in front of the window. Some ask for good fortune, but most come to her seeking guidance in matters of love. Many brides even let Pascualita decide on their gowns for them, simply choosing whatever dress she’s wearing at the time they visit.

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So, is the strange mannequin really the preserved corpse of an ill-fated bride? Skeptics say no, pointing to the difficult upkeep when it comes to stopping a corpse from decaying, but those who have seen La Pascualita in person walk away believers… and very creeped out believers at that. After all, how strange is it for a store to keep the same mannequin for nearly eight decades, and shroud its undressing in secrecy?

What do you all think? The hands are indeed rather corpse-like, and graced with far more textured skin than any mannequin I’ve seen in the world. But…I’m not sure what methods could keep ANY flesh on a corpse over 80 years after the date of death.

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(Thanks to Steph for the link!)

Victorian Hearse Aquarium

Posted in antiques, death, home, oddities with tags , , , on May 15, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

Here’s a truly unique modification: the Victorian Hearse Aquarium. It was up for auction (and has since ended), but is worth showing for the craftsmanship.

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Large Victorian Ebonized Aquarium Cabinet, 19th century and later. Fashioned from the rear glazed doors of a New Orleans style horse drawn hearse, adapted on modern stand to accommodate tank, filter and lighting, all included, 80.5″ x 57″ x 41″ – 204.5 x 144.8 x 104.1 cm.

What do you think of this item? Too goth? Completely awesome?

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Toru Kamei

Posted in art, death, japan, nature on January 13, 2014 by bettiemuldoon

Vanitas art by Toru Kamei has stolen our heat.  “Toru KAMEI was born in 1976. He is inspired by Vanitas and try to express transience but beautiful, by drawing common vanitas symbols include skulls, which are a reminder of the certainty of death, flower, which symbolize transience of beauty.”

Here is a lovely way to start your week. The bats may not fit the vanitas theme, but, well, SWS welcomes the deviation.

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Toru Kamei All the Flowers and Insects (2007)

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Information is scarce. Source