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Posts Tagged → death

Watch ‘Time and Space’ – a wonderful one minute film

This clever sci-fi short came in third place for a competition where filmmakers had two days to create a one-minute film.

Sarah Silverman mourns the death of her dog Doug

Faced with increasing health issues that progressed into Doug refusing food, the 42-year-old comedian made the decision to have her beloved companion euthanized. Silverman wrote a touching obituary on “Duck” and his passing which she shared with her fans:

Duck “Doug” Silverman came into my life about 14 years ago. He was picked up by the State running through South Central with no collar, tags or chip. Nobody claimed or adopted him so a no-kill shelter took him in. That’s where I found him — at that shelter, in Van Nuys. Since then we have slept most every night together (and many lazy afternoons.) When we first met, the vet approximated his age at 5½ so I’d say he was about 19 as of yesterday, September 3, 2013.

He was a happy dog, though serene. And stoic. And he loved love.

Over the past few years he became blind, deaf, and arthritic. But with a great vet, good meds, and a first rate seeing-eye person named me, he truly seemed comfortable.

Recently, however, he stopped eating or drinking. He was skin and bones and so weak. I couldn’t figure out this hunger strike. Duck had never been political before. And then, over the weekend, I knew. It was time to let him go.

My boyfriend Kyle flew in late last night and took the day off from work to be with us. We laid in bed and massaged his tiny body, as we love to do – hearing his little “I’m in heaven” breaths.

The doctor came and Kyle, my sister, Laura and I laid on the bed. I held him close – in our usual spoon position and stroked him. I told him how loved he was, and thanked him for giving me such happiness and for his unwavering companionship and love. The doctor gave him a shot and he fell asleep, and then another that was basically an overdose of sleeping meds. I held him and kissed him and whispered to him well passed his passing. I picked him up and his body was limp – you don’t think about the head – it just falls. I held him so tight. And then finally, when his body lost its heat, and I could sense the doctor thinking about the imminent rush hour traffic, I handed him over.

14 years.

My longest relationship.

My only experience of maternal love.

My constant companion.

My best friend.


iPad background has different meaning in Landscape view…


Bacon Casket

Skeleton Molestation Art… or something


Post-mortem photography

Post-mortem photography (also known as memorial portraiture or memento mori) is the practice of photographing the recently deceased.

The invention of the daguerreotype in 1839 made portraiture much more commonplace, as many of those who were unable to afford the commission of a painted portrait could afford to sit for a photography session. This cheaper and quicker method also provided the middle class with a means for memorializing dead loved ones.

Parents posing with their deceased daughter.

These photographs served less as a reminder of mortality than as a keepsake to remember the deceased. This was especially common with infants and young children; Victorian era childhood mortality rates were extremely high, and a post-mortem photograph might be the only image of the child the family ever had. The later invention of the carte de visite, which allowed multiple prints to be made from a single negative, meant that copies of the image could be mailed to relatives.

The practice eventually peaked in popularity around the end of the 19th century and died out as “snapshot” photography became more commonplace, although a few examples of formal memorial portraits were still being produced well into the 20th century.

A post-mortem photograph of a middle-aged man. The body is arranged so as to appear lifelike (circa 1860).

The earliest post-mortem photographs are usually close-ups of the face or shots of the full body and rarely include the coffin. The subject is usually depicted so as to seem in a deep sleep, or else arranged to appear more lifelike. Children were often shown in repose on a couch or in a crib, sometimes posed with a favorite toy or other plaything. It was not uncommon to photograph very young children with a family member, most frequently the mother. Adults were more commonly posed in chairs or even braced on specially-designed frames. Flowers were also a common prop in post-mortem photography of all types.

The effect of life was sometimes enhanced by either propping the subject’s eyes open or painting pupils onto the photographic print, and many early images (especially tintypes and ambrotypes) have a rosy tint added to the cheeks of the corpse.

Later examples show less effort at a lifelike appearance, and often show the subject in a coffin. Some very late examples show the deceased in a coffin with a large group of funeral attendees; this type of photograph was especially popular in Europe and less common in the United States.

Post-mortem photography is still practiced in some areas of the world, such as Eastern Europe. Photographs, especially depicting persons who were considered to be very holy lying in their coffins are still circulated among faithful Eastern Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Christians.

Odds of dying

It’s probably a good idea to print this out and carry it around with you for on the fly decision making.

One moms legacy left in video game

Wilkins Coffee

Jim Henson’s wicked brilliance in a set of regional brand coffee commercials.

Frank & Pfeffer

Things can get a little testy when you’re crammed into a small living space for months on end while hiding from the Nazi’s. This was the case with Anne Frank and Fritz Pfeffer. Of all the stressful relationships precipitated by living in such close proximity with each other for two years, the relationship between Anne and Pfeffer was one of the most difficult for both, as her diary shows.

frankpfefferIn November, 4 months into the Frank familys hiding, they were joined by Fritz Pfeffer, a dentist and friend of the family. Anne wrote of her pleasure at having new people to talk to, but tensions quickly developed within the group forced to live in such confined conditions. After sharing her room with Pfeffer, she found him to be insufferable and resented his intrusion, and she clashed with Auguste van Pels, whom she regarded as foolish.

Pfeffer was added to the 2 families already hiding int he secret annex after in inquiring to Miep Giess, one of the office workers who brought the hidden families food and supplies, on a place to hide. He had thought the Franks escaped to Switzerland, as was the rumor they had left before going into hiding and was surprised to see them in the attic when he arrived. Anne and Pfeffer (pronounced “Feffer” which makes for a pimp name) shared a room under the logic that Anne was just a child, so that was the best matchup, but they clashed due to Anne going through puberty while sharing a room with a middle aged man and they argued over who got to use the desk in the room, among other things. I mention the desk thing though because Pfeffer was annoyed at the very premise that Anne would need to use the desk for her silly girlish writings while he was conducting “important work” like studying Spanish and writing letters to his girlfriend – the latter, admittedly being personally important, but a case of dramatic irony nonetheless, considering the massive importance Anne’s writings would become.

Pfeffer is given the pseudonym Mr Dussel (meaning “Mr Nitwit”) in Anne’s Diary. Mr Dussel is played by comedic actor Ed Wynn in the 1959 movie:

Charlotta married Pfeffer posthumously in 1950, with retrospective effect to 31 May 1937. She had become estranged from his son Werner but both were united in their defense of Pfeffer after the publication of Anne Frank’s diary in 1947, feeling that Anne’s portrait of him—and of the pseudonym she had chosen for him, Mr. Dussel, which in German is “Mr. Nitwit”—was injurious to his memory. Otto Frank tried to placate them by reminding them of Anne’s youth and of the unflattering portraits of some of the other people in hiding. The subsequent exaggerations of this portrait in the 1955 play and 1959 movie  led Charlotta to contact the screenwriters Albert Hackett and his wife Frances Goodrich to complain that they were libelling her deceased husband, who was depicted as ignorant about Jewish traditions. The Hacketts replied that their script did not mirror reality and that to inform a non-Jewish audience of the significance of Judaic ceremonies one character had to be ignorant of them. Charlotta pointed out that her husband was far from unbelieving and a master of Hebrew, but the character of “Mr. Dussel” remained unchanged.

Embittered by the unrepresentative portrait, she severed her links with Otto Frank and Miep Gies as Anne’s fame grew in the decades after the war, and refused requests to be interviewed about her memories of him.

Werner remained in touch with Otto and had the opportunity to meet Miep shortly before he died of cancer in 1995, to thank her for her attempt to save his father’s life. The meeting between Miep and Werner was recorded for the documentary film Anne Frank Remembered.

A collection of letters written by Pfeffer to Charlotta and a box of photographs of him were rescued with some of Charlotta’s possessions from an Amsterdam flea market after her death in 1985.


On the morning of August 4th 1944, the secret attic was stormed by the German Security Police following a tip-off from an informer who was never identified and all the families were deported to concentration camps.

With the rest of the group and two of their protectors, Johannes Kleiman and Victor Kugler, Pfeffer was taken to the Nazi headquarters in Amsterdam-South, then to a prison for three days before being transported to Westerbork on 8 August. Pfeffer was taken to the Punishment Barracks with the others, where he undertook hard labour, until he was selected for deportation to Auschwitz on 3 September. He was separated from the others on arrival on 6 September and sent to the men’s barracks, where he was reunited with Otto Frank. On 29 October he was transferred with 59 other medics to Sachsenhausen and from there to Neuengamme concentration camp on an unknown date, where he died on December 20th 1944 of according to the camp’s records, enterocolitis, a catch-all term that covered, among other things, dysentery, which was a common cause of death in the camps.

In March 1945, a typhus epidemic spread through the camp and killed approximately 17,000 prisoners. Witnesses later testified that Anne died of the disease 3 days after her sister. They stated that this occurred a few weeks before the camp was liberated by British troops on 15 April 1945, although the exact dates were not recorded.