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Opinion | Thirty Years After Tiananmen: Someone Always Remembers - The New York Times
This view is not limited to a few dissidents or foreign scholars, people out to make China look bad or who just can’t let bygones be bygones. The memory of Tiananmen is also being kept alive by people in China who believe that a government that uses force to stay in power is illegitimate.

History is also written with the smallest of gestures. Every spring I make a small trip to the Babaoshan cemetery in the western suburbs of Beijing to pay respects to two victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre
Four lines of the poem inscribed on the back of Xuehan’s tombstone explain, in a code of sorts, both the cause of his death and Xu Jue’s ritual:

Eight calla lilies
Nine yellow chrysanthemums
Six white tulips
Four red roses

Eight, nine, six, four. Year, month, day. June 4, 1989.

Two years ago, Ms. Xu died of cancer, at 77. Both years since, I’ve made the trip to the graves, thinking someone ought to put out the flowers. Each time, the 27 flowers were already there, tied in a neat bundle. Someone remembered. Someone always remembers.
1989/6/4  history  concept  minjian  people  china  censorship  family  death  memory  ritual  beijing 
5 days ago by aries1988
Ghosts of D-Day: The Civilian Casualties of the Battle of Normandy – BLARB
Most Germans had actually left Caen by June 6, a fact the Allies knew, prompting one British historian to call the bombing of Caen “close to a war crime;” there are also indications that some planes flew too high to hit their targets accurately. But my mother’s family was deeply grateful for the Allies. Living in Caen, they had suffered for four years under a regime of daily humiliations and threats, of near-starvation rations. None of the survivors I knew referred to the deaths of their loved ones as a crime. Caen was bombed in order to isolate the Germans by destroying lines of communication. To call that a war crime is to fall into the same black-and-white thinking that leads us to avoid mentioning civilian deaths in the first place.
ww2  normandie  death  war  tragedy  story  family 
7 days ago by aries1988
Emilia Clarke, of “Game of Thrones,” on Surviving Two Life-Threatening Aneurysms

But I kept at it. In school productions, I played Anita in “West Side Story,” Abigail in “The Crucible,” one of the witches in “Macbeth,” Viola in “Twelfth Night.” After secondary school, I took a gap year, during which I worked as a waitress and went backpacking in Asia. Then I started classes at the Drama Centre London to pursue my B.A. As fledgling actors, we studied everything from “The Cherry Orchard” to “The Wire.” I didn’t get the ingénue parts. Those went to the tall, willowy, impossibly blond girls. I got cast as a Jewish mother in “Awake and Sing!” You should hear my Bronx accent.

In those days, I thought of myself as healthy. Sometimes I got a little light-headed, because I often had low blood pressure and a low heart rate. Once in a while, I’d get dizzy and pass out. When I was fourteen, I had a migraine that kept me in bed for a couple of days, and in drama school I’d collapse once in a while. But it all seemed manageable, part of the stress of being an actor and of life in general. Now I think that I might have been experiencing warning signs of what was to come.

I could hardly catch my breath. I went back to the hotel, where some people invited me to a party on the roof. “I think I’m good!” I told them. Instead, I went to my room, ate Oreos, watched “Friends,” and called everyone I knew.

The “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have said that Daenerys Targaryen is a blend of Napoleon, Joan of Arc, and Lawrence of Arabia.
GOT  tv  actor  story  hospital  death  struggle  growup  uk  health  acting  female  fame  success  girl  interview  job 
9 weeks ago by aries1988
Her Time
while FEN guides were there to help people die, they couldn’t help in the literal sense. Though suicide is legal in every state, the act of helping someone commit the act is illegal. The rule that FEN’s leadership came up with — the rule they hoped would keep the organization free from prosecution — was that exit guides could instruct and advise and sit with but could not touch a client.

According to FEN rules, clients didn’t need to be terminally ill or even dying, in the immediate sense, as long as they were suffering “intolerably” and “unbearably.”

In Brian’s civilian life, he heard people say all the time that if they got dementia, they’d kill themselves or get someone else to kill them — that they were not going there. OK then, he would think, so what is your plan?
It made sense to Brian that the search for an alternative path was happening beyond the official gaze of the courtroom and the hospital ethics committee. People were scared, and they could find nobody to hold their hands and help them find a way out.

“She doesn’t want to lose her selfhood,” Brian said. “She sees it happening.” Brian believes that nobody wants to die, only sometimes they can’t live this way.

David had been an antiques trader before going into construction, and his house was filled with old things. Sometimes, Debra and David imagined that they had known each other in the Victorian era but that their relationship had been cut short for reasons they didn’t know and that God had sent them back to earth to meet again.

It was hard to think about money, though, because it was getting harder to think in straight lines. Debra’s thoughts felt like seeds that never germinated. Her attention was flighty; her stories lost their narrative thread. Sometimes, when she was at her computer, she’d come to suddenly and find that she had typed a page of gibberish. “I call them brain farts, for lack of a better description.”

She thought she probably wouldn’t, that she would have no self-respect left, by then, to offend. But still, she believed that some part of her would continue to hurt from all the small indignities of life in an institution where nobody loved her.

Patients in Oregon are more likely to request aid in dying for existential reasons than for physical ones.

Dutch doctors debate whether these two versions of the patient — the “then-self” before dementia and the “now-self” with dementia — are even the same person. If they are not, then why does the one get to dictate choices for the other?

Later, there was just one strange thing that Lieutenant Horton found hard to shake. It was nice out, but all the curtains were drawn.
aging  suicide  dementia  death  health  law  california  life  couple  house 
10 weeks ago by aries1988
Go gentle into that good night
Looking at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots representing towns and villages on a map.

Why, I ask myself, shouldn't the shining dots of the sky be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France?

Just as we take a train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star. We cannot get to a star while we are alive any more than we can take the train when we are dead. So to me it seems possible that cholera, tuberculosis and cancer are the celestial means of locomotion. Just as steamboats, buses and railways are the terrestrial means.

To die quietly of old age would be to go there on foot.
march 2019 by aries1988
The devil’s lottery: the perils of diving for ‘Baltic gold’

The rush for Baltic gold, which sometimes sells for more than the real thing, has been driven by consumers in China, where it is mainly used as jewellery for both men and women. From soyabean fields on the fringes of the Amazon to copper mines in the south of Congo, Kaliningrad is one of the many regions being reshaped by China’s voracious demand for commodities.

The Russian exclave of Kaliningrad is the epicentre for the world’s amber trade, with the region holding about 90 per cent of the global reserves of the fossilised tree resin. It also boasts some of the oldest amber in the world — the product of a coniferous pine forest that fell into the Baltic Sea between 40m and 50m years ago.

At the time when Mr Krupnyakov and his gang were offering their services to illegal miners, the market was booming. Amber dealers say prices increased as much as 10 times between 2012 and 2016 on the back of strong demand from China. Although used for little other than jewellery and ornaments these days, amber has been a prized commodity in China ever since the days of the Ming dynasty and is seen as carrying healing powers and good fortune.

In May last year, Hong Kong Customs seized about 50kg of suspected smuggled amber, which it said had an estimated market value of about $1.5m, making the amber worth about $30 a gramme. The white amber, dealers say, can be sold to China for as much as $40 a gramme, and if the piece is really special, up to $50 or even $100 a gramme. That is more than the current market price of gold: about $41 a gramme.

Amber jewellery for adults has gone out of fashion in the west over the past decade, but necklaces for babies have become popular, having been lauded for their ability to relieve teething pain. But after a one-year-old was strangled, the US Food and Drug Administration put out a warning in December about the safety risks of such necklaces.

The authenticity of amber can be tested by burning, drilling into or even rubbing it. If genuine, it should give off a pinelike smell. It can also be tested to see if it floats in salt water (it should), while a UV lamp shone at it should show up as blue or green. Amber divers who go out to sea at night take UV torches with them.
russia  history  today  china  consumer  death  sea  diving 
march 2019 by aries1988
“First Man,” Reviewed: Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong Bio-Pic Is an Accidental Right-Wing Fetish Object | The New Yorker

First Man is worthy of enduring as a right-wing fetish object. It is a film of deluded, cultish longing for an earlier era of American life, one defined not by conservative politics but, rather, by a narrow and regressive emotional perspective that shapes and distorts the substance of the film.

the movie doesn’t stint on the distinctive Americanism of the action onscreen (including, in a scene of Armstrong ascending from the ground to the capsule of Apollo 11 in an elevator, a point-of-view shot that reveals, majestically, the words United States painted, vertically, on the side of the very tall rocket).

In its explicit content, and by artful omission, First Man subscribes to the misbegotten political premise that America used to be greater—and that the liberating and equalizing activism of the sixties ignored, dismissed, and even undermined that greatness.
critic  movie  rightwing  astronaut  nasa  society  usa  american  hollywood  hero  family  personality  children  death  moon  opinion  1960s 
october 2018 by aries1988
The American Scholar: Joyas Voladoras - Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle, who died on May 27, 2017, considers the capacity of the heart—including his own. Rest in peace.

When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall.
heart  life  essay  death 
august 2018 by aries1988
Who Killed More: Hitler, Stalin, or Mao? | by Ian Johnson | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

Their most prominent spokesperson is Sun Jingxian, a mathematician at Shandong University and Jiangsu Normal University. He attributes changes in China’s population during this period as due to faulty statistics, changes in how households were registered, and a series of other obfuscatory factors. His conclusion: famine killed only 3.66 million people. This contradicts almost every other serious effort at accounting for the effects of Mao’s changes.

According to Chang, Mao was responsible for 70 million deaths in peacetime—more than any other twentieth-century leader.

The peacetime adjective is significant because it gets Hitler out of the picture. But is starting a war of aggression less of a crime than launching economic policies that cause a famine?

How, finally, does Mao’s record compare to those of Hitler or Stalin? Snyder estimates that Hitler was responsible for between 11 million and 12 million noncombatant deaths, while Stalin was responsible for at least 6 million, and as many as 9 million if foreseeable deaths caused by deportation, starvation, and incarceration in concentration camps are included.

If one includes the combatant deaths, and the deaths due to war-related famine and disease, the numbers shoot up astronomically. The Soviet Union suffered upward of 8 million combatant deaths and many more due to famine and disease—perhaps about 20 million.

As for Hitler, should his deaths include the hundreds of thousands who died in the aerial bombardments of Germans cities? After all, it was his decision to strip German cities of anti-aircraft batteries to replace lost artillery following the debacle at Stalingrad.

Mao didn’t order people to their deaths in the same way that Hitler did, so it’s fair to say that Mao’s famine deaths were not genocide—in contrast, arguably, to Stalin’s Holodomor in the Ukraine, the terror-famine described by journalist and historian Anne Applebaum in Red Famine (2017). One can argue that by closing down discussion in 1959, Mao sealed the fate of tens of millions, but almost every legal system in the world recognizes the difference between murder in the first degree and manslaughter or negligence. Shouldn’t the same standards apply to dictators?

By contrast, Mao himself and his successors have always realized that he was both China’s Lenin and its Stalin.

In Xi’s way of looking at China, the country had roughly thirty years of Maoism and thirty years of Deng Xiaoping’s economic liberalization and rapid growth. Xi has warned that neither era can negate the other; they are inseparable.
comparison  dictator  leader  china  soviet  nazi  history  today  death  disaster  famine  numbers  research  narrative  mao  debate  ethic 
february 2018 by aries1988
He died as he lived: David Hume, philosopher and infidel | Aeon Ideas

Ever tactful, Boswell immediately brought up the subject of the afterlife, asking if there might not be a future state. Hume replied that ‘it was possible that a piece of coal put upon the fire would not burn; and he added that it was a most unreasonable fancy that we should exist for ever’.

Boswell persisted, asking if he was not made uneasy by the thought of annihilation, to which Hume responded that he was no more perturbed by the idea of ceasing to exist than by the idea that he had not existed before he was born.
scotland  death  religion  thinking  leader  philosophy  19C 
february 2018 by aries1988
My father Pete, his dementia and our last year together

There is no cure, as yet. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, is variously described as having three to seven stages. Whatever. The last one is the shortest and ends in death. Some call the disease the longest goodbye as the average individual may live eight to 10 years after diagnosis.

Reaching and maintaining a state of contentment is the theme that dominates Contented Dementia by Oliver James, a clinical psychologist and bestselling author.
story  father  son  dementia  death 
december 2017 by aries1988
Comment Martin Luther a inventé le buzz, 500 ans avant Internet

Il y a 500 ans, Martin Luther publiait ses 95 thèses pour dénoncer le trafic de l'Eglise catholique qui vendait littéralement des places au paradis. Mais le père de la réforme protestante ne s'attendait pas à un si grand succès médiatique. Un entretien avec son biographe en démonte les ressorts.

Beaucoup de laïcs, de gens moyennement cultivés mais qui pouvaient au moins écrire en allemand, se sont faits les diffuseurs des idées de Luther, parce qu’il leur avait apporté un message qui les réconfortait.

C’est aussi quelqu’un qui a su donner une réponse pastorale, apaisante, réconfortante, cohérente, au tourment de ses contemporains qui se demandaient vraiment : "Est-ce que je peux réussir ma mort ? Comment est-ce que ça va se passer pour moi dans l’au-delà ?"

Ce que Luther a compris, c’est qu’il y avait un certain nombre de questions que l’on pouvait traiter dans de petits écrits destinés à un large public et rédigés en allemand. Et cela, ses adversaires ne l’ont pas compris d’emblée.

un bon nombre de clercs et de laïcs se sont mis à leur tour à écrire, à publier ce qu’on appelle des feuilles volantes, des Flugschriften, de petits écrits imprimés, dans lesquels ils exprimaient la manière dont eux avaient compris les idées de Luther. Donc ils se sont faits en quelque sorte des démultiplicateurs des écrits de Luther, et ça, c’est tout à fait nouveau à cette époque.
deutsch  media  communication  mass  religion  zeitgeist  middle-age  leader  movement  europe  history  explained  mentality  question  death  life  bio  book  français 
november 2017 by aries1988
Why it’s scary writing ghost stories
By contrast, a 21st-century ghost story set in 21st-century Britain can seem an anachronism. There are two ways to account for this. Ghost stories have long been seen as primarily a Victorian preoccupation, and every contemporary writer who sets a ghost story in the past furthers the notion that the present is not a suitable setting for such a tale. There is also the question of belief. To the Victorians, ghosts were real; it gave their ghosts stories a menace and an edge that our contemporary stories can’t match.

Except, of course, we do see them again. In the weeks and months after someone has died, they are often there in the corner of your eye. You see them in one person’s gait, another person’s hairstyle, a third person’s gestures. We know death has happened well before we learn how to believe it. From this place of sorrow and terror and incomprehension, the ghost story arises. Literary tastes shift with the seasons, but ghosts will always be with us, whether we believe in them or not.
death  ghost  modern  life  literature 
october 2017 by aries1988
I'm Finally Ready To Talk About How My Parents Died
Icky’s death was real. From his passing, I learned that death involves recognition of the life that has passed. It brings people together. It follows a logical process. My parents’ deaths did not follow these rules. Rather, it was unexpected, chaotic, and horrifying. It was an explosion that tore through my life and left a film of dusty, smoky particulate in its wake. Immediately after, you are choking and sputtering and gasping for lack of clean air. Eventually, time lets you breathe easier. You think you may have escaped unscathed, but the poison you inhaled settles in any chasm it can find. Let it simmer a good 10 years and it may just become a cancer. Eating you alive all the while without you even knowing it.
killing  crime  murder  death  children  growup  story  memory  parents  loss  love  couple 
october 2017 by aries1988
征服者 - 图书
征服者豆瓣评分:8.9 简介:通过“地中海史诗三部曲”(《1453》《海洋帝国》《财富之城》),《纽约时报》畅销书作家罗杰•克劳利确立了自己的地位:他是我们这一代研究欧洲伟大航海帝国的卓越历史学家,也是十字军东征之后东西方冲突领...
book  reading  portugal  war  discovery  history  death  lisbon 
october 2017 by aries1988
The school beneath the wave: the unimaginable tragedy of Japan’s tsunami
The trick is to preserve compassion without bearing each individual tragedy as your own;

In ancient times, this region of Japan, known as Tōhoku, was a notorious frontier realm of barbarians, goblins and bitter cold. Even today, it remains a remote, marginal, faintly melancholy place, the symbol of a rural tradition that, for city-dwellers, is no more than a folk memory.

Then darkness overcame him. Everyone who experienced the tsunami saw, heard and smelled something subtly different. Much depended upon where you were, and the obstacles that the water had to overcome to reach you. Some described a waterfall, cascading over sea wall and embankment. For others, it was a fast-rising flood between houses, deceptively slight at first, tugging trippingly at the feet and ankles, but quickly sucking and battering at legs and chests and shoulders. In colour, it was described as brown, grey, black, white.

A clock in a second-floor classroom at Okawa elementary school, which stopped at 3.36pm, about 50 minutes after the earthquake.
japan  earthquake  tsunami  school  human  error  children  death  japanese  2011  instapaper_favs  management  fail  2011/3/11 
october 2017 by aries1988
The end of a world of nation-states may be upon us – Jamie Bartlett | Aeon Essays

Yes, there are dictatorships and democracies, but the whole world is made up of nation-states. This means a blend of ‘nation’ (people with common attributes and characteristics) and ‘state’ (an organised political system with sovereignty over a defined space, with borders agreed by other nation-states).

Until the mid-19th century, most of the world was a sprawl of empires, unclaimed land, city-states and principalities, which travellers crossed without checks or passports.

as Karl Marx observed, if you change the dominant mode of production that underpins a society, the social and political structure will change too.

John Perry Barlow’s ‘Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace’ (1996) sums it up well: the internet is a technology built on libertarian principles. Censorship-free, decentralised and borderless. And now ubiquitous.

This is the crux of the problem: nation-states rely on control. If they can’t control information, crime, businesses, borders or the money supply, then they will cease to deliver what citizens demand of them. In the end, nation-states are nothing but agreed-upon myths: we give up certain freedoms in order to secure others. But if that transaction no longer works, and we stop agreeing on the myth, it ceases to have power over us.

Clearly, nation-states won’t go down tamely. Carving out a new form of sovereign authority from an existing one is extremely difficult, and is generally frowned upon by the UN.
debate  state  origin  today  death  government  world 
october 2017 by aries1988
Red Famine by Anne Applebaum — enemies of the people
The famine was an instrument of targeted mass murder. As peasants were dying in the countryside, Stalin launched a brutal attack on the Ukrainian national idea itself. Since the 19th century, Moscow had been hostile towards national groups that challenged the unity of the Russian empire. In Ukraine, the Romanovs embarked upon a programme of accelerated Russification, suppressing local languages, gutting civil society, and depositing outsiders from remote parts of the empire into Ukraine’s towns and cities. Stalin’s “War on Ukraine” was the violent continuum of this quest for hegemony in Europe’s bloodlands. Along with the peasantry, it was directed at intellectuals, politicians, writers, priests and public officials — agents of the nation’s moral and political order.
book  russia  europe  history  1930s  disaster  politics  communism  death  debate 
october 2017 by aries1988

2017  narrative  democracy  leader  death  china  today  politics  state 
july 2017 by aries1988
The Great Hanoi Rat Massacre of 1902 Did Not Go as Planned
A vintage photograph of Rue Paul Bert (now Trang Tien Street), Hanoi. Public Domain In 1897, Paul Doumer arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam. A 40-something French…
animal  death  killing  city  vietnam  story  français  health  economy 
june 2017 by aries1988
book  death  life 
april 2017 by aries1988
BBC Radio 4 - A History of the World in 100 Objects, Inside The Palace: Secrets At Court (700 - 950 AD), Chinese Tang tomb figures - Episode Transcript – Episode 55 - Chinese Tang tomb figures
"I used, oddly enough, to get lots of letters - in the almost decade I ran The Times obituaries - saying, 'Oh, I do not seem to be getting any younger, and I thought it might be helpful to let you have a few notes on my life'. And they were unbelievable. People's self conceit - saying things like, 'Though a man of unusual charm', and this kind of thing. I mean, I couldn't believe that people would write this about themselves. So of course no-one nowadays self-commissions their own obituary, and those that were sent in always ended up straight in the waste-paper basket.

"I think that probably they are designed as part of the history of our time. I mean one of the rows I used to have was whether you could put criminals into the obituaries page. Some people regard being on the obituaries page as the equivalent of being awarded the OBE, or the CBE even, and think it was quite wrong that you should put in, say, the Kray brothers. But I said, 'No, I'm sorry, that is they are part of the climate that's created the age in which we live, and therefore you can't have a moral test as to whether you get an obituary or not'. And I think that's right.

"I used to rather boast, and say that on the obits page of 'The Times', 'We are writing the first version of history of our generation'. And that is what I think it ought to be. It certainly isn't for the relatives, or the family, or even the friends."
chinese  comparison  death  culture 
march 2017 by aries1988
Learning to live with it | The Economist
Terrorism is a form of psychological warfare against a society. It is supposed to have effects that are utterly disproportionate to the actual lethality of the attacks. Thanks in part to the extensive media coverage that terrorist attacks attract, thanks also to the reaction of politicians who glibly talk of threats being “existential”, and thanks too to the security services who, for their own purposes, inflate the capability of terrorists, the perception of risk is typically far higher than the reality.
risk  death  terrorism  society 
november 2016 by aries1988
Aberfan - 50 years on

It was a normal October day for a small mining village, where it had been raining for what seemed like forever
story  disaster  children  school  wales  death  comparison  coal  mining  accident  closure  ptsd  family  tragedy 
october 2016 by aries1988
‘I Have No Choice but to Keep Looking’
Five years after the tsunami that killed tens of thousands in Japan, a husband still searches the sea for his wife, joined by a father hoping to find his daughter.

For his first dive, he reached a depth of 16 feet. He had expected silence, but the ocean had a sound. Takamatsu called it chirichiri — the sound of hair burning or a snake hissing. Takahashi instructed him not to touch the bottom with his hands or fins because he might kick up a disorienting cloud of sand. Takamatsu kept his head down and flippers up.

The search for love, the search — his, hers, everyone’s — is not for a needle in a haystack, nor a fish in the sea. It’s for a specific person on earth. The world never looks as big as when someone is lost.
death  disaster  japan  love  search 
august 2016 by aries1988
cancer  death  family  story  instapaper_favs 
may 2016 by aries1988
Atomic Bomb Victims Stand Alone
TOKYO — This newspaper’s recent obituary for Theodore Van Kirk, the last living crew member of the Enola Gay — the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on…
essay  ww2  japan  death  victim 
march 2016 by aries1988
Maija Tammi: Timeline to death -
“Forget the rabbit,” is the first instruction from the photographer Maija Tammi. “Just focus on the death, its time and spatiality.” However beautiful it might appear in the early stages of decomposition, the rabbit is there to supply a visual
animal  death  photo 
february 2016 by aries1988
Head count: executions by country
Many countries have given up capital punishment: 101 had abolished it by July, says Amnesty International, up from 59 in 1995. Some may be getting less keen: in America—the only rich country other than Japan still practising the death penalty—28 prisoners have been executed this year, the fewest since 1991. Yet plenty of enthusiasts remain. The global toll is unknown, because thousands are believed to be executed annually in China, where official figures are a state secret and there are 55 capital crimes, including corruption and drug offences. The war on drugs is eagerly waged elsewhere too, accounting for half the executions in Iran and Saudi Arabia; Indonesia reinstated the death penalty for drug crimes in 2015. Pakistan reversed a moratorium on executions last December, after the massacre of 149 people, including 132 children, at a school. Since then over 300 prisoners have been put to death, by no means all for terrorist crimes.
death  government  law  human 
december 2015 by aries1988
In Search of Their Fathers: Seeking Redemption in Vietnam
Six Americans who lost their fathers in the war met in Ho Chi Minh City with Vietnamese who also lost their parents and found a shared sadness, but no anger.
story  war  death  vietnam  revisit  memory  parents  children 
december 2015 by aries1988
The Lonely Death of George Bell
The solitude of so many deaths wears on Mr. Plaza, the fear that someday it will be him splayed on the floor in one of these silent apartments. “This job teaches you a lot,” he said. “You learn whatever material stuff you have you should use it and share it. Share yourself. People die with nobody to talk to. They die and relatives come out of the woodwork. ‘He was my uncle. He was my cousin. Give me what he had.’ Gimme, gimme. Yet when he was alive they never visited, never knew the person. From working in this office, my life changed.”
death  story  newyork  life  reportage  funeral  instapaper_favs 
december 2015 by aries1988
‘I Think About It Daily’: Life in a Time of Mass Shootings
Times readers responded by the thousands to a simple question: How often, if ever, do you think about the possibility of a shooting in your daily life?
people  life  guns  usa  story  death 
december 2015 by aries1988
The Ghosts in Our Machines - The New Yorker
The confluence of emotions, when I registered what I was looking at, was unlike anything I had ever experienced—something akin to the simultaneous rush of a million overlapping feelings. There was joy, certainly—“Mom! I found you! Can you believe it?”—but also deep, deep sadness. There was heartbreak and hurt, curiosity and wonder, and everything, seemingly, in between.
story  parents  google  map  love  death  memory  serendipity 
november 2015 by aries1988
A Dying Young Woman’s Hope in Cryonics and a Future
Cancer claimed Kim Suozzi at age 23, but she chose to have her brain preserved with the dream that neuroscience might one day revive her mind.
death  brain  science  medicine  future  mind 
september 2015 by aries1988
story  children  nostalgia  fire  life  death 
august 2015 by aries1988
Of a hundred and fifty doctors in the city, sixty-five were already dead and most of the rest were wounded. Of 1,780 nurses, 1,654 were dead or too badly hurt to work. In the biggest hospital, that of the Red Cross, only six doctors out of thirty were able to function, and only ten nurses out of more than two hundred.

Hiroshima ... had been an inviting target—mainly because it had been one of the most important military-command and communications centers in Japan, and would have become the Imperial headquarters had the islands been invaded and Tokyo been captured.

As for the use of the bomb, she would say, “It was war and we had to expect it.” And then she would add, “Shikata ga nai,” a Japanese expression as common as, and corresponding to, the Russian word “nichevo”: “It can’t be helped. Oh, well. Too bad.” Dr. Fujii said approximately the same thing about the use of the bomb to Father Kleinsorge one evening, in German: “Da ist nichts zu machen. There’s nothing to be done about it.”
reportage  ww2  japan  japanese  disaster  religion  death  history  instapaper_favs 
august 2015 by aries1988
Oliver Sacks: My Periodic Table -
I LOOK forward eagerly, almost greedily, to the weekly arrival of journals like Nature and Science, and turn at once to articles on the physical sciences — not,…
death  essay 
july 2015 by aries1988
Anders Breivik’s Inexplicable Crime
He is a person filled to the brim with himself. And that is perhaps the most painful thing of all, the realization that this whole gruesome massacre, all those extinguished lives, was the result of a frustrated young man’s need for self-representation.
norge  race  story  death  terrorism 
june 2015 by aries1988
This is what happens after you die
© Lightning + Kinglyface and Jess Bonham “It might take a little bit of force to break this up,” says mortician Holly Williams, lifting John’s arm and gently…
biology  explained  body  death 
may 2015 by aries1988
The Heart-Stopping Climbs of Alex Honnold
Even if you have perfect confidence in your climbing ability and perfect emotional control in the face of danger, as Honnold appears to, most climbers fear the unexpected: the handhold that suddenly breaks, the bird that erupts from a hidden nest.
risk  death  sports  nature  fear  gravity 
april 2015 by aries1988
Brutal ISIS Videos Show Potency of Shock Value
Broadcast to frighten and manipulate, the Islamic State’s flamboyant violence consumes the world’s attention while more familiar threats kill far more people.
propaganda  video  death  terrorism 
february 2015 by aries1988
Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer
I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.

This is not indifference but detachment — I still care deeply about the Middle East, about global warming, about growing inequality, but these are no longer my business; they belong to the future. I rejoice when I meet gifted young people — even the one who biopsied and diagnosed my metastases. I feel the future is in good hands.
essay  death  fear  life  temoignage 
february 2015 by aries1988
Doctors Who Don't Know How to Talk About Death - The Atlantic
The one time I remember discussing mortality was during an hour we spent on The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Tolstoy’s classic novella. It was in a weekly seminar called Patient-Doctor — part of the school’s effort to make us more rounded and humane physicians.
death  doctor  ethic  opinion 
november 2014 by aries1988
Life-and-Death Choices in a Himalayan Blizzard
Scores have been rescued after a blizzard killed at least 27 hikers on one of Nepal's most popular hiking routes.
death  adventure  youth 
october 2014 by aries1988
The Best Possible Day

Neither seemed right. But for more than a decade in medical practice, I had not really understood what other choices might exist. I wasn’t effective in these situations. And it bothered me — as a surgeon caring for patients with problems I often could not fix and then as a son with a father in his 70s experiencing mounting difficulties in his life. So for three years, I researched a book on what has gone wrong with the way we manage mortality and how we could do better.

I also discovered that the discussions most successful clinicians had with patients involved just a few important questions that often unlocked transformative possibilities: (1) What is their understanding of their health or condition? (2) What are their goals if their health worsens? (3) What are their fears? and (4) What are the trade-offs they are willing to make and not willing to make? These discussions must be repeated over time, because people’s answers change. But people can and should insist that others know and respect their priorities.

Someone in her position who was offered “death with dignity” — assisted death — might have taken it as the only chance for control in the absence of other options. But hearing her fears, I suggested that Peg try hospice. It’d at least let her get home, I said, and might help her more than she knew. Hospice’s aim, at least in theory, I explained, is to give people their best possible day, however they might define it under the circumstances. It seemed as if it had been a while since she’d had a good day.
death  doctor  life  story 
october 2014 by aries1988
The Dying Russians by Masha Gessen
But the two-and-a-half decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union are the longest period of depopulation, and also the first to occur, on such a scale, in peacetime, anywhere in the world.
russia  today  history  life  death  story 
september 2014 by aries1988
The War to End All Wars? Hardly. But It Did Change Them Forever. -

Nearly 12,000 soldiers are buried here — some 8,400 of them identified only as A Soldier of the Great War, Known Unto God. Despite the immensity of this space, the soldiers represent only a tiny portion of the 8.5 million or more from both sides who died, and that number a fraction of the 20 million who were severely wounded.

In Europe’s first total war, called the Great War until the second one came along, seven million civilians also died.

It gave independence to nations like Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries and created new nations in the Middle East with often arbitrary borders;

a system of rivalries, alliances and anxieties, driven by concerns about the growing weakness of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires and the growing strength of Germany and Russia that was likely to produce a war in any case, even if there was some other casus belli.

The memory of July 1, 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme — when 20,000 British soldiers died, 40,000 were wounded and 60 percent of officers were killed — has marked British consciousness and become a byword for mindless slaughter.

The end of the Cold War was in a sense a return to the end of World War I, restoring sovereignty to the countries of Eastern Europe, one reason they are so eager to defend it now.
ww1  today  history  battle  death  cemetery  soldier  war 
july 2014 by aries1988
来,别害怕,到这边来 -- 槽边往事 -- 传送门
death  survive 
may 2014 by aries1988
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