May 1, 2017

Bog Bodies

Europe’s Famed Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets

 Tollund-Man Bog Body


I drove here on a damp March day with Ole Nielsen, director of the Silkeborg Museum. We tramped out to a desolate stretch of bog, trying to keep to the clumps of ocher-colored grass and avoid the clingy muck between them. A wooden post was planted to mark the spot where two brothers, Viggo and Emil Hojgaard, along with Viggo’s wife, Grethe, all from the nearby village of Tollund, struck the body of an adult man while they cut peat with their spades on May 6, 1950. The dead man wore a belt and an odd cap made of skin, but nothing else. Oh yes, there was also a plaited leather thong wrapped tightly around his neck. This is the thing that killed him. His skin was tanned a deep chestnut, and his body appeared rubbery and deflated. Otherwise, Tollund Man, as he would be called, looked pretty much like you and me, which is astonishing considering he lived some 2,300 years ago.
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What really gets you is his lovely face with its closed eyes and lightly stubbled chin. It is disconcertingly peaceful for someone who died so violently. You’d swear he’s smiling, as if he’s been dreaming sweetly for all those centuries. “It’s like he could wake up at any moment and say, ‘Oh, where was I?’” says Nielsen, who has clearly fallen under Tollund Man’s spell himself. “Looking at his face, you feel you could take a trip back 2,300 years to meet him.
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The best-preserved bodies were all found in raised bogs, which form in basins where poor drainage leaves the ground waterlogged and slows plant decay. Over thousands of years, layers of sphagnum moss accumulate, eventually forming a dome fed entirely by rainwater. A raised bog contains few minerals and very little oxygen, but lots of acid. Add in low Northern European temperatures, and you have a wonderful refrigerator for conserving dead humans.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/europe-bog-bodies-reveal-secrets-180962770/#m0QyTA7girZCiEAD.99
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Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:32 PM | Permalink

Miscellaneous links

Fury as officials place 'undignified' signs advertising 'space available' on vacant plots at a cemetery

A Texas cemetery is facing backlash after posting 'Space Available' signs to advertise open plots. The bright yellow signs are scattered around the San Jacinto Cemetery in Harris County, and many believe that they are in poor taste. The signs feature the words 'Space Available' alongside the cemetery's phone number for those interested to call....

 Space Available Cemetery

25-year-old female FUNERAL DIRECTOR who began working with dead bodies at age 17

Amy Sagar, from Sydney, began working at funeral homes when she was just 17.  Sitting in a classroom watching morticians work on a dead body, 16-year-old Amy Sagar knew she had found her calling. "It was just a very ordinary experience and they were just so casual. It was the first time I'd seen any form of media presenting the body as a normal thing as opposed to being spooky."

Amy, who recently married, said being exposed to death on a daily basis has taught her to not take life for granted.
"I certainly value life and the people around me a lot more. I never leave the house without kissing my husband goodbye and I never leave an argument without saying I love you."

Excessive fat from an 'overly obese' body being cremated causes funeral home to go up in flames

The 4 lines from an obituary that inspired so many

When Jeanne Esther Barbour, 91, died on March 8, she passed on a bit of her philosophy of life with the world in her obituary:  “In lieu of flowers, please be kind to someone. Call a friend or relative you haven’t reached out to recently. Visit a shut-in or nursing home resident. Forgive someone. All acts of kindness are appreciated.”

New York newscaster Michael Benny posted Barbour’s message on his Facebook page, noting, “Central New York woman’s obituary has a wonderful idea…RIP lady, wish I knew you.”  Hundreds of people responded to his post, and many left comments about how her inspiring words had moved them:

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:26 PM | Permalink

Last known photograph

The Last Known Photographs Of 27 Icons

Philip Seymour Hoffman posed for this tintype portrait at the 2014 Sundance film festival, his final public appearance.
Soon after, Hoffman would be found dead in his apartment with 70 bags of heroin and 20 used needles.

 Hoffman Tintype-1

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:55 PM | Permalink

On May 1, Remember the 100 million UPDATED

Remember the VICTIMS of Communism on May Day!

May 1, is -- as we all have heard repeatedly -- International Workers' Day.

 May Day

...May 1 is also suggested as a commemorative day for another, much darker, reason. Ilya Somin has been campaigning for years to have May 1 declared Victims of Communism Day.

 Forgotten Victims

...Communism in the 20th century killed 100 million people, according to the Black Book of Communism. That included Jews, Kazakhs, Ukrainians in Russia, millions of Chinese under Mao, millions of Cambodians under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge; for most of that time, western media was at best indifferent and at worst directly misleading (like Walter Duranty and the Holodomor).

 100 Million Victims

As Somin says:

Our comparative neglect of communist crimes has serious costs. Victims of Communism Day can serve the dual purpose of appropriately commemorating the millions of victims, and diminishing the likelihood that such atrocities will recur. Just as Holocaust Memorial Day and other similar events help sensitize us to the dangers of racism, anti-Semitism, and radical nationalism, so Victims of Communism Day can increase awareness of the dangers of left-wing forms of totalitarianism, and government control of the economy and civil society.

UPDATE:  Another NY Times Piece Extolling the Virtues of Communism.

It's depressing to see the NY Times get all weepy-eyed and nostalgic for for commie thugs and murderers:
It is perhaps hard to understand now, but at that time, in this place, the Marxist vision of world solidarity as translated by the Communist Party induced in the most ordinary of men and women a sense of one’s own humanity that ran deep, made life feel large; large and clarified.
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But it was part of the NY Times "Red Century" series of articles. I'm not making this up, they actually called it 'Red I wonder why they never run articles about old Nazis getting together to reminisce about the good old days and sing the Horst Wessel song and such?

Dennis Prager on the Left’s unending love for communism even as it reviles Nazism

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:05 AM | Permalink