December 27, 2005

Ban on death

The town mayor of Biritiba Mirim, Brazil has outlawed death since environmental laws have prevented the construction of new cemeteries and prohibited cremation.

A ban on death

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:36 PM | Permalink

Alistair Cooke's bones

I hope that the body snatchers who sold Alistair Cooke's cancerous bones and sold them as healthy tissue to innocent patients rot in hell.

Alistair Cooke's bones stolen

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:33 PM | Permalink

I'm back

Well I'm back again and in my new place blogging for the first time. It seems I just couldn't think of blogging when there were boxes to pack and hundreds of boxes to unpack with all my things that have been in storage for several years. Needless to say, that took all my energy.

 Xmas Polar Bear

Since I finally have access to all my photos so you can expect a lot of posts about your personal legacy archives as I construct my own.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas or Hanukah or both and my best wishes for a healthy, wealthy happy New Year.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:30 PM | Permalink

December 9, 2005

I want to die like my grandfather

"When I die, I want to die like my grandfather--who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car"

author unknown, but a hat tip to Wicked Thoughts who always has the funniest stuff.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:14 PM | Permalink

December 8, 2005

Euthanasia by machine

Israelis to be allowed euthanasia by machine

Machines will perform euthanasia on terminally ill patients in Israel under legislation devised not to offend Jewish law, which forbids people taking human life.

A special timer will be fitted to a patient's respirator which will sound an alarm 12 hours before turning it off.

Normally, carers would override the alarm and keep the respirator turned on but, if various stringent conditions are met, including the giving of consent by the patient or legal guardian, the alarm would not be overridden.

Similar timing devices, known as Sabbath clocks, are used in the homes of orthodox Jews so that light switches and electrical devices can be turned on during the Sabbath without offending religious strictures.

Somehow, these seems too lawyer-like for me, even as the health minister says

This is one of the most important laws passed by the Knesset. It represents major moral value for the terminally ill and their families."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:52 PM | Permalink

December 5, 2005

Coming Back from the Dead

Chris Rose tells us what is it like driving by the "haunting messages and mystical artifacts [that] adorn the homes of neighborhoods struggling to come back from the dead. Via Ernie the Attorney

I drive around and try to figure out those Byzantine markings and symbols that the cops and the National Guard spray-painted on all the houses around here, cryptic communications that tell the story of who or what was or wasn't inside the house when the floodwater rose to the ceiling.
In some cases, there's no interpretation needed. There's one I pass on St. Roch Avenue in the 8th Ward at least once a week. It says: "1 dead in attic."
That certainly sums up the situation. No mystery there.
I wonder who eventually came and took 1 Dead in Attic away. Who knows? Hell, with the way things run around here -- I wonder if anyone has come to take 1 Dead in Attic away.
And who claimed him or her? Who grieved over 1 Dead in Attic and who buried 1 Dead in Attic?
I wonder if I ever met 1 Dead in Attic. Maybe in the course of my job or maybe at a Saints game or maybe we once stood next to each other at a Mardi Gras parade or maybe we once flipped each other off in a traffic jam.
1 Dead in Attic could have been my mail carrier, a waitress at my favorite restaurant or the guy who burglarized my house a couple years ago. Who knows?
My wife, she's right. I've got to quit just randomly driving around. This can't be helping anything.

On the other hand, there are the Mardi Gras Indians

On several desolate streets that I drive down, I see where some folks have returned to a few of the homes and they haven't bothered to put their furniture and appliances out on the curb -- what's the point, really? -- but they have retrieved their tattered and muddy Indian suits and sequins and feathers and they have nailed them to the fronts of their houses.
The colors of these displays is startling because everything else in the 8th is gray. The streets, the walls, the cars, even the trees. Just gray.
So the oranges and blues and greens of the Indian costumes are something beautiful to behold, like the first flowers to bloom after the fallout. I don't know what the significance of these displays is, but they hold a mystical fascination for me.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:14 AM | Permalink

December 1, 2005

"He Thought He Was Superman."

Andrew Rhoades, 24, a track star and body builder who wanted to get into broadcasting, dreamed of appearing on the reality show "Fear Factor."

"He thought he was Superman," said his father.

Visiting with friends in one apartment, Andrew wanted to get into the apartment of a friend in the next building, but the apartment building was locked. So he went up to the roof and called a friend to leave a message: "I'm up on the roof. I'm about to make this incredible jump, but I don't know if I can make it."

He didn't and fell instead to his death.

The Boston Globe reports his father said,

''You cannot imagine the horror of this thing; he's ripped my heart out."

Condolences to his family on this sad and tragic death.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:39 PM | Permalink

Louisa May Alcott and Little Women

 Little Women Cover-2

November 29th is the birthday of Louisa May Alcott, "the most disagreeable month of the whole year." Because her father Bronson Alcott kept a journal of his four daughters' growth and because we have the marvelous resource of the Library of Congress and the American Memory Project, we know what Louisa was like at age 2.

Louisa…manifests uncommon activity and force of mind at present…by force of will and practical talent, [she] realizes all that she conceives… Bronson Alcott, November 5, 1834.

I also learned that Louisa was home-schooled.

The Alcott girls enjoyed the natural beauty of Concord, boating on the river, ice skating on Walden Pond, and running free in the surrounding fields and woods. Henry David Thoreau was one of Louisa's instructors when she was a young girl. In one of his fanciful lessons, he taught her that a cobweb was a "handkerchief dropped by a fairy." As a teenager, Louisa enjoyed borrowing books from Ralph Waldo Emerson's collection and delighted in conversing with the "sage of Concord."

For the most part, the Alcotts taught their daughters at home. Daily journal-keeping formed a significant part of the home curriculum. Louisa and her sisters wrote a weekly newspaper in which they recorded family events and published their literary and artistic endeavors.

We are fortunate that Orchard House in Concord is open for tours, live and online. For countless American women who identified with Jo - "CHRISTMAS won't be Christmas without any presents" grumbled Jo lying on the rug, Little Women in book form or DVD - (the Katherine Hepburn version, the June Allyson version or the Winona Ryder version) still remains a favorite gift for daughters and nieces, a passing on of the Great Legacy of Louisa May.

  Louise Alcott-2

Image from a Louisa May Alcott fan site

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:30 AM | Permalink