Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The things most likely to kill you in one infographic...

Humans are notoriously bad at assessing risk. It's why someone lights up another cigarette while worrying about getting killed by a terrorist, and why so many of us calmly drive to work everyday but feel nervous getting on a plane.
To help people make sense of all this, the UK's National Health Service put together the Atlas of Risk, which we first saw tweeted by Duke University physician Peter Ubel.
Here are the leading causes of death in the UK, with larger circles representing more common causes:

And the top risks leading to death:
The charts above are averaged among the population, but at the Atlas of Risk site, you can tailor these charts to your sex and age group. (The leading causes of death and preventable death are similar in the US.)
The main idea is to visually show that our fears are often misplaced, and that most of us should worry more about quitting smoking and eating more vegetables than dying in a murder or freak accident.
"It's easy to lose perspective and worry about small or insignificant risks while ignoring, or being unaware, of the major threats," the NHS explains on the site. "The NHS Choices Atlas of Risk has been designed to help put health threats into perspective."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I Love My Job: The Gravedigger

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 10.49.30 AM

When you think about a job that makes you happy, what comes to mind? Or rather, if you think of the ideal job in a general sense, what occupation and setting come to mind? An open office? Opportunities to travel? Warm climate? Mentally and physically invigorating? Chances are most of us have a particular idea in mind of what would fulfill us career wise. Few would say "long hours, dirty, digging holes and dealing with dead bodies". What is freedom to some people would be oppressive to others.

"I don't understand people who wake up every day to go to a job they hate."


As Tony from Kingston Cemetery eloquently states in his interview "I don't understand people who wake up every day to go to a job they hate". The profession of grave digging is an oft misunderstood position. Grave diggers are not only on the margins of society in terms of career choices, they usually sit at the margins of the funeral profession. While they work with the dead, their interactions are typically viewed as minimal. Yet if you have been to a funeral recently you probably could not help but notice them. Once the casket has been dropped, while tears flow and people still stand, the grave diggers are shovelling dirt into the now occupied hole. Their roles put them within the circle of mourners, family and friends of the deceased. It is a job that requires tact, skill and emotional sensitivity.

In this short documentary film revealing the story and working practices of an often under celebrated profession, director Zac Davidson beautifully captures the world of the grave digger and his/her surroundings. Narrated by grave digger Tony, the short documentary tells the story of Tony's relationship to his job and the people he deals with on a daily basis. At the core, this short leaves us with the lesson that life is what you make of it and you should try your best to do what makes you happy. Death professionals especially get weird looks and questions as to their motivations, but a fulfilling job is a fulfilling job. At just over 3 1/2 minutes, this short is a much watch!

Directed & Filmed by Zac Davidson
Narration by Tony from Kingston Cemetery.
Music by Fleetwood Mac 'Man of the World'
Original article posted: Qeepr.com

Friday, February 6, 2015

Grandma's Funny Obituary Goes Viral


Even in her final days, one 83-year-old grandmother never lost her sense of humor. And she’s got the obituary to prove it.

An obituary published in Saturday's Connecticut Post, claiming the cause of an 83-year-old Fairfield woman's death was hypothermia after her dog ate her socks and boots at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, was just a continuation of her pranks from the afterlife.

According to the obituary, Norma R. Brewer died while attempting to climb the 19,341-foot mountain, Africa's tallest peak.

Brewer, the death notice read, never realized her life goal of reaching the summit, but made it to the base camp where she died in the company of her daughter, her cats and dog "Mia," which all joined the trek at the last minute.

"There is suspicion that Mrs. Brewer died from hypothermia, after Mia ate Mrs. Brewer's warm winter boots and socks," read the death notice.

"It was just typical mom," Donna Brewer, Norma's daughter, said with a chuckle Saturday. "She always had stories, many of which were not true, but thought were funny."

Donna Brewer said her mother recently died from a stroke and had been wheelchair-bound for more than a year.

"People who don't know my mother are bemused," said Donna Brewer.

"People who know my mother are laughing and saying, `Yeah, that's Norma.' ''

Donna said she has received all sorts of phone calls and inquiries regarding the bizarre introduction to her mother's death notice, including from her partners at work.

She confirmed that the rest of the death notice is correct, including Norma Brewer being the daughter of W. Raymond Flicker, former president and publisher of the Bridgeport Post, Telegram and Sunday Post (now known as the Connecticut Post).

Still there were questions why she made up the cause of her death and why she did it. Or, was the death notice one last foray into the news, or a test of the fact-checking process?

"Possibly," said Raymond Brewer, Norma's son. "It more had more to do with the way she viewed the world. While life is serious, it shouldn't be taken all that serious."

Raymond said her mother often recalled fond memories of spending time with her father as they watched newspapers come off the printing press in Bridgeport.

In November 2005, Norma Brewer, nearly died in a fire at her Salt Meadow Road condominium. Fairfield Fire Lt. Brad Sherman said Brewer was located using thermal imaging equipment, and began to regain consciousness once she was carried outside.

"But she wasn't breathing sufficiently to sustain life even after we did CPR and pushed air into her lungs, so we started (giving her) oxygen. At that point, she became conscious," the lieutenant said at the time.

Once she became conscious, "she asked about her cat," Sherman said. Sadly, her cat died in the blaze.

In her obituary, it would seem odd that another beloved pet would play a role in her demise. "She was tough to kill," said Raymond Brewer.

Ultimately, her children said they just honored their mother's wishes. "It was her way of having one last joke with the world," said Raymond Brewer.

The death notice can be viewed at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ctpost/obituary.

Since its publication, the Connecticut obit has gone viral and has been featured in news outlets as far away as Australia. 

Friends and family say it was a fitting final prank from a woman who was a life-long joker. “She was a very generous person, very kind person, and she had a sense of humor,” her son Ray Brewer tells Yahoo Parenting. 



Norma wrote the obituary with a friend eleven years ago and the whole family knew it was coming. And while Ray says the funeral director “looked a little askance at it,” the family never wavered on whether or not to publish it. “For someone who gave so much to us in our lives, it seemed a small thing to do to honor that last wish.” 

Ray says his mother would enjoy the attention her story has received. “She’d be getting a good laugh out of it,” he says. “If it gave some people somewhere a smile and lightened their day just a little bit, I think she would say ‘mission accomplished.’”

Norma’s isn't the first obituary that has gotten recent attention for mixing fact with fiction. The death notice for Aaron Purmort, who lost a long battle with brain cancer in November, claimed that the father was actually a superhero with a rock-star ex. “Purmort, Aaron Joseph age 35, died peacefully at home on November 25 after complications from a radioactive spider bite that led to years of crime-fighting and a years long battle with a nefarious criminal named Cancer, who has plagued our society for far too long,” it read. “Civilians will recognize him best as Spider-Man, and thank him for his many years of service protecting our city.” The obituary went on to explain that Purmort was survived by his “first wife Gwen Stefani.”

Original article posted HERE & HERE.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Limited Edition Valentine’s Day Chocolate Box for Every Funeral Director




Do you have a Funeral Director in your life? Talk about the perfect Valentine's Day Treat! This LIMITED EDITION Fatally Yours Gourmet Chocolate box is absolutely to die for. Packaged appropriately in a custom black heart with gold-embossed “Fatally Yours”. Each chocolate is delicately handmade and finished in gold leaf before being placed in a custom made insert tray for extra protection before dissecting.
Each box comes with a chopped, diced, and broken into bits cookies and cream white chocolate torso. You will also receive a Fatally Yours sticker and a medical diagram of the chocolate specimens.
In total, you will receive 19 pieces of premium, handmade and abysmally dark chocolates including:
  • White Chocolate Bones and Skeletal Hands
  • Blood-red Velvet White Chocolate Candies
  • Hazelnut Praline Tiramisu
  • Caramel-filled (and anatomically correct) Hearts
  • Peanut Butter Cup Coffins
  • Coconut Candy
  • Malt-filled Swiss Chocolate
  • Passion-less Fruit with Fragrant Vanilla Bean
  • Jumbo Speculoos skull
  • Jumbo Peanut Butter Cup Skull
  • Cookies and Cream White Chocolate Torso
NOTE: We have a very limited number available and will ship these out by Monday, February 9th in order to receive these in time for Valentine’s Day.
Order HERE.