October 31, 2012

Can quantum physics explain the bizarre experiences of patients brought back to life from the brink of death?

Near-death experiences occur when the soul leaves the nervous system and enters the universe, claim two quantum physics experts

A near-death experience happens when quantum substances which form the soul leave the nervous system and enter the universe at large, according to a remarkable theory proposed by two eminent scientists.  According to this idea, consciousness is a program for a quantum computer in the brain which can persist in the universe even after death, explaining the perceptions of those who have near-death experiences.

Dr Stuart Hameroff, Professor Emeritus at the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology and the Director of the Centre of Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, has advanced the quasi-religious theory.

It is based on a quantum theory of consciousness he and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose have developed which holds that the essence of our soul is contained inside structures called microtubules within brain cells. They have argued that our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects in these microtubules, a theory which they dubbed orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR).

Thus it is held that our souls are more than the interaction of neurons in the brain. They are in fact constructed from the very fabric of the universe - and may have existed since the beginning of time
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:46 AM | Permalink

October 30, 2012

The 'Great Brain Robbery'

Medical examiner's office refuses to release more than 9,000 brains belonging to New Yorkers so they can use them for 'experiments and practice'

It's being called 'the great brain robbery.' New York City's medical examiner’s office has kept the brains of more than 9,200 deceased New Yorkers — from the elderly to newborns — so newbie pathologists can practice their skills.

The discovery comes after three families publicly questioned whether or not the city is banking the brains for medical purposes.
'Vasean’s organs were removed for ‘testing’ without any investigative or medical necessity,' charges a suit by the family of Vasean Alleyne, an 11-year-old Queens boy killed by a drunken driver. According to the New York Post, months after his burial, his mom was shocked to read in the autopsy report that her son’s brain and spinal cord had been taken.
In November 2010, a judge ruled the city must notify families of seized organs. The ME began giving kin a form with three options: wait to claim the body pending “further testing” of organs; collect the organs later; or just let the city dispose of the organs. The disposal method is not mentioned. But an internal ME document spells it out: 'Medical waste is incinerated. Please do not tell NOK (next-of-kin) that unclaimed organs are ‘cremated …''
Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:51 AM | Permalink

October 25, 2012

Saddest picture of the week

 Pink Shrouds

Buried in white shrouds tied up with pink bows: The little girls slaughtered by Assad's thugs after massacre in Damascus

It is perhaps one of the most poignant and heart-wrenching images to come out of Syria after 19 long months of bloody civil war.

The bodies of four innocent young girls, possibly sisters, are wrapped in linen tied with pink bows as they lie among dozens of dead women and children, the latest victims of Bashar Assad's brutal regime.

The girls are believed to be among some 22 civilians slaughtered by the state-sponsored militia known as the Shabiha in the town of Douma near Damascus yesterday.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:06 AM | Permalink

October 23, 2012

What is the best disease from which to die?

One doctor votes for a heart attack

it’s now almost universally accepted that we should exercise regularly, not smoke, drink only in moderation (if at all), avoid too much fat in our diet (and now probably too much carbohydrate), and not gain too much weight as we age.

Even a quick perusal of this admittedly incomplete list of healthy behaviors reveals that most of the actions within our control aim at reducing our risk of death from heart disease. Certainly, we’re lucky that we have so many ways to reduce this risk as heart disease remains the number one cause of death worldwide. But here’s a strange paradox: as we’ve gotten better at preventing death from heart disease, we’ve increased our exposure to the risk of death from other diseases that kill far less quickly and that arguably end up causing far more suffering. The older we get, the more likely we are to become ill with diseases like cancer, dementia, and stroke, to name just three of the most common illnesses that preferentially affect the elderly.
Having watched so many patients die unpleasant and lingering deaths, I have little doubt that death from heart disease is better than death from many other maladies. Yet an early death from heart disease seems equally undesirable. Which has led to another uncomfortable paradox: all the work we’re encouraged to do to minimize our risk of death from heart disease actually increases our risk of having an unpleasant death.
What, then, is the best disease from which to die? Unfortunately, the one we’re the best at preventing.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:02 AM | Permalink

October 19, 2012

Fiddlers Farewell at Funeral of Larry Reynolds, Chieftain of Traditional Irish Music

Who thinks to bring a fiddle to a funeral?  Only those whose love of Irish music was inspired by this much-loved man.  What else could they do to pay tribute at his final sendoff?

 Fiddlers Farewell

Larry Reynolds, fiddler of local renown, is mourned

Frank Joyce had to keep his funeral home in Waltham open a lot later than planned Wednesday night. Larry Reynolds’s wake was supposed to last for six hours. But it took more than nine hours to get everybody through the line.

“At least a couple of thousand people,” Joyce said. “They just kept coming.”

It seemed like half of them returned to Waltham on Thursday morning, to St. Jude Church, where Larry Reynolds was dispatched from this world with the two things that embodied him: kind words and beautiful music.

A Waltham cop, perplexed by the size of the crowd that spilled out of the church onto Main Street, tugged at a photographer and asked, “Who was this guy?”
If the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem led the renaissance of traditional Irish music worldwide, Larry Reynolds led it here in and around Boston. When he first got here, he played at Hibernian Hall in Dudley Square in Roxbury. He took the music to the suburbs, playing at the Village Coach House in Brookline, the Skellig in Waltham.

His hands were a contradiction. The skin that covered them was coarse, the skin of a working man who swung a hammer. But his fingers were the digits of an artist, as dexterous as a surgeon’s. For all his talent, he was a humble man. He blushed at praise. He carried his union card, Carpenters Local 67, and his fiddle case wherever he went.

He was an easy man to find on Monday nights. For a quarter century, you could find him every Monday, sitting in the Green Briar, a pub in Brighton. He didn’t go there to drink. He went there to play music, to teach music, to evangelize, really. He was a missionary, spreading the good news. Traditional music was a restorative force to Reynolds, a relaxing, mystic tonic for increasingly frenetic times.

His wife, Phyllis, is an accomplished pianist, and she threw open their Waltham home to a never-ending stream of musicians and dancers and singers. Larry and Phyllis Reynolds were married for 58 years, had seven kids, and gave birth to countless musicians.

It is not an exaggeration to say that thousands of people, many of them without anything remotely Irish about them, became purveyors or lovers of traditional music because of Larry Reynolds.

And that is why, in this day and age of celebrity, thousands of people came to Waltham to say goodbye to someone who was neither rich nor famous.

Even at 80, Reynolds was in no rush to leave this world. But he would have enjoyed his funeral. He always found the liturgy of the Mass comforting. And there were even more musicians than priests in the church, and they sent him off with a slow air, “For Ireland I’d Not Tell Her Name,” which he loved.

You can hear the fiddlers farewell at the end of a rather shaky Youtube video here
Irish Central Obituary

To be in Reynolds’s presence was to feel the full experience of the Irish in America who were proud to love two countries at the same time, and he embodied the best attributes of America and Ireland.

Reynolds’ name would not be known in many households of Irish America or as famous as one of Paddy Moloney’s Chieftains bandmates.  But Larry was a chieftain of traditional Irish music in the greater Boston area who touched all the local musicians and visiting musicians on tour with his sincerity, generosity and encouragement and his indefatigable love of sharing tunes and stories.

 Larry Reynolds File Photo 3-10-11

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:19 PM | Permalink

October 18, 2012

These people shouldn't have died

Father and son, 2, die after toddler fell into the pool and dad who couldn't swim tried to save him

Brian Tha Saechao, 30, was caring for his two-year-old son, Raphael, while his wife was running errands Friday afternoon when the boy somehow wandered outside and fell into the deep end of the backyard pool.  Saechao, who didn't know how to swim, apparently jumped into the water in a desperate attempt to save the toddler, according to his widow, Fam Chao.  Chao, who is eight months pregnant, returned home from a doctor's appointment at around 3pm to an eerily silent home.
When she went out into the backyard, she discovered both her husband and little Raphael dead in the pool. She recalled that her husband had sunk to the bottom, while the two-year-old was floating on top. The expectant mother jumped into the water, grabbed hold of her son's unresponsive body and screamed for a neighbor to call 911, but it was too late.
The family, who moved into the Pocket Area house only three weeks ago, were looking into installing a fence around the pool, but Chao said her husband was shopping around for a good deal.

Man, 22, dies in jail after suffering severe food allergy from OATMEAL

A 22-year-old man died from a severe allergic reaction to the milk in his oatmeal after spending one night in custody over a misdemeanor charge for marijuana use.  An autopsy report from the Snohomish County medical examiner revealed that Michael Saffioti died from bronchial asthma triggered by the consumption of dairy after spending a single night in the Snohomish County Jail in Washington State.

On July 2, Saffioti turned himself in to police, after his mother Rose Saffioti assured him it was the right thing to do, and that he would be out the next day.
Mrs Saffioti told The Herald newspaper of Everett that despite reassurances that the prison staff would take his medical needs into consideration, her son was scared.  ‘He said, “Mom, I have a bad feeling that they are not going to take me seriously.”’

The mother, from Mukiteo, Washington, said that her son brought along a bag of medications needed to control his allergies and asthma, and he had expected to be placed in the jail's medical unit.  Instead, he was placed in the general population.  Mrs Saffioti received a call the next morning to inform her that her son was dead.

Boy, 16, dies after being shot in the head with arrow by his best friend in 'fluke tragedy'

No alcohol or drugs were involved when one shot a tipless aluminum arrow that richoceted off the street and into the head of the other.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:40 PM | Permalink

Irish Wakes

The truth about the Irish wake

Merrymaking was a common part of the traditional Irish wake and was a part of the grieving process, according to an article in the Irish Independent. Pagan ritual was a huge part of it and much of the carrying-on was frowned upon by the church.  Storytelling, mischief making, and games were all part of the send-off and eased the suffering for the deceased's family.

According to the article, the custom "most likely has its roots in the ancient Jewish custom of leaving the burial chamber unsealed for three days with relatives returning during that time to check for any signs of life.  "As in other Celtic countries, Irish mourners adopted the custom as a way to keep vigil over their dead until the time of burial, and it evolved into an occasion of sadness and merriment."
Common was hiding under the corpse’s bed and shaking it when someone walked in scaring the daylights out of them
According to the Independent, the wake began when neighbor women washed the body of the deceased. It was then covered in white linen adorned with black or white ribbons.  "Custom dictated that crying could not begin until after the body was prepared, for fear that evil spirits would be attracted which would take the soul of the deceased.  "Female keeners were often hired, and they wailed and cried and recited poetry lamenting the loss of the loved one, with the mourner at the head of the bed striking the first note or wail."

It's a good thing I quoted so much of the Anchoress' post on Irish wakes because it's no longer online.  The grand parties of Irish wakes imperiled

Not to be missed is her Irish aunt's description of an Irish wake in Brooklyn about 1926

“For two days, every adult careened between tearful remembrances and roaring recollections. The children milled about, snatchin’ bits of food and plain’ games, stopping’ by for swift kisses (or kicks) from their parents - two people took turns ‘watching’ each hour, in the liven’ room with the body, while the rest of us were in the kitchen or on the stoops, or in the street, sending him off in style. And didn’t everyone stop by! The policeman, the milkman - for the thing went on all day and all night - the knife sharpener, the ragman, the mailman! They would all stop in and pay their respects, and have a shot of the right stuff, in his memory!

The piano played, the songs were sung - I remember a donnybrook in the front, which seemed to include all the young men, pounding’ upon each other like mortal enemies, except they seemed to enjoy the bloody noses and raw knuckles - and when it was time for prayers, they’d come in, sweaty and respectful, they’d pray then have a drink, then head back out and fight some more! Wasn’t it lively - all that lovely life in the middle of all that death!

And the keening! The sound of the women howling’ in grief…well, it didn’t seem sincere, but it had a lovely sort of sting to it - it reminded us that life is pain. And wasn’t I tired after a bit, so tired that I stood looking at the coffin and saw him move! It seemed to me his arm slid down and I went screaming’ into the kitchen telling them, ‘he’s movin’, he’s movin’, he’s not dead!’ And didn’t my uncle Francis say, ‘ah, he’s just wanting to join the party, child!’ and they all went in and apologized to himself for not spending more time with him, and brought a plate of food and laid it on his chest and put a glass in his hand.

It was mad. It was glorious. In the morning, we just stepped over the sleeping bodies on the floor or on the grass, and went out to play. When we returned, it was all on, again, until the funeral procession and the Holy Mass - at which everyone held their heads for fear they might fall off! And wasn’t it, after all, the sanest response to death I’d ever seen? When I die, I should have so grand a party!”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:46 AM | Permalink

"Playing on people’s fears and sympathies around dying in order to sanitise euthanasia"

At first glance, the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) seems like the way to go.  its objective is to ensure that a dying oerson is treated with as much dignity and comfort as possible during their last days.

But, as Melanie Phillips points out, it's often sued to hasten the deaths of those people doctors deem worthless, a backdoor form of euthanasia

One of its ten ‘key messages’ is that it ‘neither hastens nor postpones death’. But, on the contrary, many examples have emerged where it has, indeed, been used to hasten death.  Terminally ill patients have been heavily sedated and deprived of essential nutrients and fluids in order to make them die more quickly.  And there are claims that it is increasingly being applied without the knowledge of patients’ families, and when such patients still have a chance of recovering for a few more precious weeks, months or even years of life.

One report last year found that as  many as 2,500 families were not even  told that their relatives had been put  on the LCP.
Earlier this year, Patrick Pullicino, a consultant neurologist and professor of clinical neurosciences at Kent University, told a conference that the LCP had become an ‘assisted death pathway’ for than 100,000 patients each year. ‘Very likely, many elderly patients who could live substantially longer are being killed by the LCP,’ he said.

Horrifyingly, the LCP has become a  self-fulfilling prophecy. When people are put on it, they are said to be dying.  But they may not be dying at all — not, that is, until they are put on the  ‘pathway’, whereupon they really do die as a result.    In other words, they are killed. What’s more, they are killed in a most cruel and callous way through starvation or dehydration. And this in a health service that is supposed to be a national byword for compassion!

This really is an obscene abuse of people who expect the NHS to care for them, not kill them.
So how can this awful situation have been allowed to develop? How can hospitals governed by the ethical imperative to ‘first do no harm’ be killing patients in their care? The first and most cynical reason — believed by a number of deeply concerned doctors — is that it is being done to save money. There are suspicions, based on much circumstantial evidence, that such patients are being dispatched via the LCP because — simply and crudely — the hospitals need their beds to meet  overwhelming demand
Indeed, the abuse of the LCP is not just about economics. More fundamentally, it has arisen from a profound confusion in society caused by a collapse of moral absolutes and a resulting inability to make the key distinction between dying and killing.  This confusion lies at the heart of the powerful campaign to legalise euthanasia.

It was graphically illustrated by the decision of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society to change its name to Dignity In Dying, which deliberately muddled dying with the taking of life — thus playing on people’s fears and sympathies around dying in order to sanitise euthanasia.  It is precisely this corruption of language that has sent us hurtling down this most slippery pathway to killing.

First, the word ‘dying’ has been applied to people suffering from terminal illness  or who are considered by doctors or  other experts to have lives that are  not worth living, even when they are not dying at all.

The second stage in this abuse of  language has been to re-label actions designed to end the life of someone  who is not dying by calling this ‘helping them to die’.  Such actions include the withdrawal of food or water. But that is starving or dehydrating someone to death. And that is not helping them to die, but killing them.

One woman's lonely death on the NHS's 'care pathway' to the grave: MPs demand action after another patient is chosen to die without doctors telling family

As Miss Goom lay dying alone, staff reassured relatives on the phone just hours before her death that there was no urgent need to visit – even though doctors had already removed tubes providing vital food and fluids.

Her family discovered that she had died only when her niece went to visit her and found she was already being prepared for the mortuary. They said last night that they will never be able to stop feeling guilty that no one was there in her final hours.

The Mail has been contacted by several families who claim that relatives were put on the Liverpool Care Pathway – the controversial system designed to ease the suffering of the dying in their final hours – without any consultation.

Some said they found out that their relatives were on the pathway only after they happened to read their medical notes; and by that time it was too late.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:36 AM | Permalink

'Those bandits in white coats gave up too quickly because they wanted an organ donor'

The girl who wouldn't die Incredible story of the 19-year-old who woke up as doctors were preparing to harvest her organs

A teenage girl in a coma after a catastrophic car crash came round just as doctors were about to declare her brain dead.  Carina Melchior had had life support withdrawn on the advice of medics and was being prepared for organ donation.

But to the astonishment of staff at the Aarhus Hospital, in Denmark, the 19-year-old suddenly opened her eyes and started moving her legs.

She is now making a good recovery at a rehabilitation centre and is able to walk, talk and even ride her horse Mathilde.

 Carina Melchor

Her family is now suing the hospital for damages, claiming that doctors had been desperate to harvest her body parts.  'Those bandits in white coats gave up too quickly because they wanted an organ donor,' her father Kim told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

Ms Melchior, now 20, crashed her car in October last year. She was in hospital for three days before doctors realized her brain activity was fading and consulted her family about stopping treatment.  It was at this point they agreed to donate her organs.

Takeaway: Do not give up the possibility of recovery too soon, especially for young patients.

Earlier posts:  What you lose when you sign that donor card. Bleeding Heart Cadavers,

How a donor network 'pressured medics to declare patients dead so they could harvest organs.  "This kid is dead, You got that?"

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:35 AM | Permalink

October 16, 2012

Two men that couldn't have been more different

Some comments on two recent obituaries by Jeff Jacoby, The moral giant and the leftist creep

I REGRET that it was only upon reading his obituary this month that I first learned of Nguyen Chi Thien. He was a courageous Vietnamese dissident who had spent nearly 30 years in prison for his opposition to communist repression, cruelty, and lies. Much of Nguyen's opposition was expressed in poetry, most famously "Flowers from Hell," a collection of poems he memorized behind bars, and only put down on paper after being released from prison in 1977.
By coincidence, the same newspaper page that carried Nguyen's obituary also ran a much longer story about Eric Hobsbawm, the famous British historian who died on Oct. 1 of pneumonia at age 95. The two men could hardly have been less alike.

Nguyen defied communist totalitarianism, sacrificing his freedom in defense of the truth. He refused to pretend that there could be anything noble or uplifting – let alone ideal – about a revolutionary movement that pursued its ends through mass slaughter and enslavement. Like so many other dissidents, from Andrei Sakharov to Liu Xiaobo, he was a champion of liberty, sustaining hope and keeping conscience alive in the teeth of regime that persecutes decent men for their decency.

Hobsbawm, on the other hand, was a lifelong Marxist, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party from his teens until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Long after it was evident to even true believers that the Bolshevik Revolution had unleashed a nightmare of blood, Hobsbawm went on defending, minimizing, and excusing the crimes of communism.

Interviewed on the BBC in 1994 – five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall – he was asked whether he would have shunned the Communist Party had he known in 1934 that Stalin was butchering innocent human beings by the millions. "Probably not," he answered – after all, at the time he believed he was signing up for world revolution. Taken aback by such indifference to carnage, the interviewer pressed the point. Was Hobsbawm saying that if a communist paradise had actually been created, "the loss of 15, 20 million people might have been justified?" Hobsbawm's answer: "Yes."

Yet Hobsbawm was fawned over, lionized in the media, made a tenured professor at a prestigious university, invited to lecture around the world. He was heaped with glories, including the Order of the Companions of Honour – one of Britain's highest civilian awards – and the lucrative Balzan Prize, worth 1 million Swiss francs.
Such adoration is sickening. Unrepentant communists merit repugnance, not reverence. Compared with a true moral giant like Nguyen Chi Thien, Hobsbawm was nothing but a dogmatic leftist creep, and the toadies who worshiped him were worse.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:18 PM | Permalink

October 13, 2012

The Irish relationship with death

Up below we live - The Irish relationship with death and the finest writers, James Joyce and Paddy Kavanagh included

Then there is the Irish and their relationship with death which always fascinates. I know many a professional wake attendee, my father included.  Talking recently with a friend, the singer and All-Ireland tin whistler Kevin Guerin, he asked how the parents were.

“I haven’t seen your Dad in a while,” said the Clare man. “No one died lately.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:40 AM | Permalink

"Tell me everything you remember about my Dad"

Our responsibility to orphans is first to tell them the stories we know about their parents  but sometimes Words Do Not Suffice.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:59 AM | Permalink

October 10, 2012

"Why should doctors have a monopoly on undermining public trust in their profession by aiding suicides? Police and lifeguards could help out too." '

Why should doctors have a monopoly on undermining public trust in their profession by aiding suicides? Police and lifeguards could help out too.

Please Step Back From the Assisted-Suicide Ledge

In the November elections, voters in Massachusetts will decide on "Question 2," a ballot initiative to allow physicians to prescribe (but not administer) a lethal dose of a toxic drug to assist their patients in committing suicide. Advocates of physician-assisted suicide assure us that this can be a good choice for someone who is dying, or who wants to die.

If physician-assisted suicide really represents a good choice, we need to ask: Why should only physicians be able to participate? Why should only physicians be allowed to undermine public trust in their profession through these kinds of death-dealing activities?

Why not include police? If a sick person expresses a wish to die, the police could be notified, and an officer would arrive bearing a suitable firearm. He would load it with ammunition, cock the gun and place it on the bedside stand of the sick patient. After giving instruction on the best way to angle the barrel, the officer would depart, and the patient could then pick up the device and take it from there—police-assisted suicide.

The assisted-suicide paradigm readily admits of other creative approaches as well—we could sanction, for example, assisted drownings, with lifeguards asked to help those wishing to die by providing millstones to take them to the bottom of lakes and oceans.
It is troubling how many individuals fail to grasp the absurdity of encouraging physician-assisted suicide. Suicide is no joking matter. Regardless of how it transpires, it is a catastrophe for those who end their own lives and for loved ones left behind.
I remember reading a letter to the editor in the local paper of a small town many years ago. A woman wrote in about the death of her grandparents—well-educated, intelligent and seemingly in control of their faculties—who had tragically committed suicide together by drinking a deadly substance. They were elderly and struggling with various ailments.

Her firsthand perspective was unflinching: It took her years to forgive her grandparents. She was angry at what they had done to her and her family. She felt betrayed and nauseated. She could hardly believe it had really happened.

The woman was still upset that they hadn't reached out to the rest of the family for assistance. She dismissed the idea that suicide could ever be a good thing as a "total crock and a lie," noting how it leaves behind deep scars and immeasurable pain on the part of family and friends. Without demurring, she declared that we don't have the right to take our own lives because we didn't give ourselves life.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:14 PM | Permalink

Converting a camper van into hearse, Mick said "it would be the death of me" and it was

It's what he would have wanted: Mechanic who joked that converting camper van into a hearse 'would be the death of me' - is its first customer after suffering heart attack

A mechanic appears to have predicted the circumstances surrounding his own death when he died from a heart attack after completing work on converting a VW camper van into a hearse.    Mick McDonald, 50, had joked that the job would 'be the death of him' but then he became the first person to use it.

Mr McDonald had carried out the work for his friend Carl Bell's business, Retro Farewell.  After the fatal cardiac arrest he was driven for his own funeral from John Meynell parlor in Darlington to Acklam crematorium in Middlesbrough.

 Rip Mick
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:17 AM | Permalink

October 9, 2012

What if a body doesn't fit into the crematorium?

Funeral director suspended for dismembering 800lb body that wouldn’t fit in crematory

A funeral director may lose his licence after chopping up an obese body to make it fit inside his crematory oven.

William Ellenberg is accused of dismembering the body of an 800lb woman because he couldn't get it to enter through the metal opening to the cremation chamber.  He admits hacking 'fatty tissue off the side of the legs so it would fit inside that crematory', but denies any wrong doing.
'It is actually not an uncommon practice that the body is sometimes too large to fit into the furnace,' said Conyers Police Lt. Jack Dunn, who carried out the investigation.  Nonetheless, he failed to follow the regulations that require the funeral director get consent from the family before the body is dismembered.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:05 AM | Permalink

October 8, 2012

Harvard neurosurgeon experiences the afterlife

 Newsweek Heaven Is Real

The cover story in Newsweek:  Heaven is Real.  A Doctor’s Experience With the Afterlife.  Dr. Eben Alexander.

When a neurosurgeon found himself in a coma, he experienced things he never thought possible—a journey to the afterlife.

As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences. I grew up in a scientific world, the son of a neurosurgeon. I followed my father’s path and became an academic neurosurgeon, teaching at Harvard Medical School and other universities. I understand what happens to the brain when people are near death, and I had always believed there were good scientific explanations for the heavenly out-of-body journeys described by those who narrowly escaped death.
In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated, I experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.
There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind—my conscious, inner self—was alive and well. While the neurons of my cortex were stunned to complete inactivity by the bacteria that had attacked them, my brain-free consciousness journeyed to another, larger dimension of the universe: a dimension I’d never dreamed existed and which the old, pre-coma me would have been more than happy to explain was a simple impossibility.
Where is this place?

Who am I?

Why am I here?

Each time I silently put one of these questions out, the answer came instantly in an explosion of light, color, love, and beauty that blew through me like a crashing wave. What was important about these blasts was that they didn’t simply silence my questions by overwhelming them. They answered them, but in a way that bypassed language. Thoughts entered me directly. But it wasn’t thought like we experience on earth. It wasn’t vague, immaterial, or abstract. These thoughts were solid and immediate—hotter than fire and wetter than water—and as I received them I was able to instantly and effortlessly understand concepts that would have taken me years to fully grasp in my earthly life.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:53 PM | Permalink

October 3, 2012

Death by his own truck

Man, 53, Run Over And Killed By His Own Pickup Truck

Rogelio Avina was struck and killed around 12:40 a.m. Friday at the intersection of Archwood Street and Hayvenhurst Avenue, according to coroner’s investigator Christie McCracken and Los Angeles police Sgt. Cameron Dunnet, watch commander at Valley Traffic Division.

Avina was reportedly scavenging through trash bins for recyclables in the Lake Balboa when the vehicle went backwards and ran over him.

Dunnet said Avina died at the scene.  “They found him (Avina) with the vehicle resting on him,
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:18 PM | Permalink

Last tweet: "Should have known"

'Should have known': The chilling final tweet of college student, 21, who was beaten to death by her high school boyfriend after he came to visit her

Hours before 18-year-old college student was brutally beaten to death in her dorm room by her high school sweetheart, she wrote a final, chilling final tweet: 'Should have known.'

The Alexandra Kogut had been carrying on a long distance relationship after with Clayton S Whittemore, 21, after she went to school at the College at Brockport near Rochester, New York, 150 miles away from their hometown of New Hartford.
Whittemore, a student at Utica College near his hometown, was arrested at a Thruway rest stop near Syracuse, 100 miles east, about an hour later. He told state troopers he intentionally killed Kogut, according to a criminal complaint. No motive was given.
campus police chief Robert Kehoe told ABC affiliate WHAM.  'When a young lady who's a college student and apparently in a safe environment, is brutally murdered as this young lady was, it's certainly a tragedy for her family and friends and the entire Brockport college community.'

 Alexandra-Kogut Rest in peace.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:18 PM | Permalink

Farmer eaten by pigs

Oregon farmer eaten by his pigs

Terry Vance Garner, 69, went to feed his animals last Wednesday on his farm by the coast, but never returned.  His dentures and pieces of his body were found by a family member in the pig enclosure, but the rest of his remains had been consumed.

The Coos County district attorney's office said that one of the animals had previously bitten Garner. The animals are estimated by the authorities to each weigh about 700lb  Investigators say it is possible that the hogs knocked Garner over before killing and eating him.  But they have not ruled out the possibility that the farmer could have collapsed from a medical emergency, such as a heart attack.

Garner was a Vietnam war veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to his brother, and the farm had been a "life-saver" for him.

Michael Garner said one of the hogs had bitten his brother last year, after he had accidentally stepped on a piglet.  "He said he was going to kill it, but when I asked him about it later, he said he had changed his mind," he told the Register-Guard.

Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier told the local newspaper: "For all we know, it was a horrific accident, but it's so doggone weird that we have to look at all possibilities."
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:13 PM | Permalink