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 Post subject: 20 Things You Didn't Know About....Death
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:29 am 
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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.

By LeeAundra Temescu

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.

----------------------

*Editor's note: A Discover reader wrote to the magazine saying this "thing" was not true. We acknowledge that this was probably a hoax perpetrated by Mark Twain in his 1869 book Innocents Abroad. No less an authority than the BBC repeats the claim, but as Heather Pringle points out in her book The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession, and the Everlasting Dead (Hyperion, 2001), "No mummy expert has ever been able to authenticate the story, although several have tried and written about their frustration. Twain seems to be the only published source—and a rather suspect one at that, given his penchant for fiction and his own published disclaimer: 'Stated to me for a fact,' he observed of the train tale in a note to Innocents Abroad. 'I only tell it as I got it. I am willing to believe it. I can believe anything.'"

LINK: an email from feydamsel

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:17 am 
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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.


I like this! Ecological burial, YES!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:38 pm 
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Here's some more facts about death-

Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older.

Thirty-three Popes died violently!

17 assassination attempts were planned on the life of Adolf Hitler, none succeeded.

Referred to as "angel lust", post-mortem erection occurs when males die vertically or face-down – and remain in this position. Gravity causes blood to settle in the lower body causing edema (swelling)...you-know-where!

Don't laugh too much, it can kill you! Greek philosopher Chrysippus died of fatal hilarity after seeing a donkey eating figs. (Now THAT's funny - but "drop dead" funny?)

Die laughing: 50-year-old bricklayer, Alex Mitchell, from King's Lynn, England, was unable to stop laughing on 24 March 1975 while watching a kilted Scotsman use bagpipes to defend himself from a psychopathic black pudding in a demonstration of Scottish martial arts. After 25 minutes of unstoppable laughter Mitchell keeled over dead. His widow later sent the cast and producers of the show a letter thanking them for making his final moments happy ones!

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

Dead skin makes up most of the dust particles in your house.

The Marlboro company's first owner died of lung cancer.

In Madagascar, families dig up dead relatives and parade their bones around the village in a ceremony called Famadihana. After the shindig, remains are wrapped in new shrouds and reburied. The old shroud is given to a newly married, childless couple to cover their bed. Oh joy,oh bliss!

Mummies were used as fuel for locomotives during a 19th century railway expansion in Egypt because construction workers unearthed to many of the pesky things!

Hair and finger nails continue to grow after death.

The "Spanish Flu" epidemic which broke out in 1918 killed more than 30 million people worldwide in less than a year.

The Black Death, in just four years (1347 to 1351) reduced the population of Europe by one third!

The children's song "Ring around the Rosy" originated in medieval Europe during the Black Plague. Rosey rings appeared on the skin of infected people. "Pocket full of posies" refers to the belief that, if rose petals were carried in one's pocket, one would not be infected. "Ashes to ashes" refers to the burning of corpses. And, "We all fall down" meant everyone infected - died. Cheery little tune, isn't it?

Seven US presidents who died in office were elected at precise 20-year intervals.

The "SOS" (Save Our Souls) signal was adopted as the international distress signal in 1912. On April 15th, 1912, the Titanic, on her maiden voyage, became the first ship to use it when it stuck an iceberg and sank, killing more than 1,500!

Fourteen years earlier Morgan Robertson published a novel describing a similarly sized ship which crashed into an iceberg on its maiden voyage on a misty April night...just like the Titanic. The fictional ship's name? The Titan!

You will die - if locked in a completely sealed room - of carbon dioxide poisoning before oxygen deprivation.

You will die from total lack of sleep sooner than from starvation. Death occurs in about 10 days without sleep. Starvation takes longer.

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