EppsNet Archive: Death

Unintended Consequences: The Death of George Washington

16 Jul 2014 /
George Washington

In 1799, George Washington fell ill with an infection. Doctors at that time believed that illnesses were caused by an imbalance of fluids in the body. In particular, they believed that fevers were caused by an excess of blood, so they treated Washington’s fever with five separate bloodlettings, which together drained off over half the blood in his body.

Not only did the bloodletting not have a healing effect, it probably hastened his death.

The human body is a very complex mechanism. Society is a very complex mechanism. You might decide, with good intentions, to tinker with a complex mechanism thinking that even if your intervention doesn’t achieve the full benefit you’re hoping for, it will at least be better than nothing.

No — tinkering with a complex mechanism when you have no idea what you’re doing is only going to make things worse.

Related Links

“In Praise of Passivity” by Michael Huemer


What Comes Around Goes Around

16 Jul 2014 /

Via MSN News:

honor-killing

It’s a little-known fact that if a woman survives an honor killing, the would-be killers must themselves be killed in an honor killing for botching the original honor killing.


Futility

5 Jul 2014 /
BODIES

We saw BODIES: The Exhibition at the Luxor in Las Vegas. You’ve probably heard about this . . . dissected bodies are preserved and displayed for educational purposes.

Most of the bodies are displayed in athletic poses with props: baseball, basketball, tennis racket, etc.

One of the bodies is aiming a dart with his right hand while holding a second dart in his left hand. Of course he’s never going to need that second dart because he’s never going to throw the first dart. Because he’s dead.

It creates a sad effect in my opinion . . . plans, unbeknownst to the planner, that will never come to fruition. Futility doesn’t always end with death.

Meanwhile . . . I overheard a young woman telling her girlfriend that one of the cadavers had “a nice butt.” Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse.


Louis Zamperini, 1917-2014

3 Jul 2014 /

Killed by Prayer

30 Jun 2014 /

Thumbs down

A woman on Facebook a couple of days ago asked everyone to pray for her seriously ill father. Today, he died. Go figure.

Had he made a miraculous recovery, we would have said that prayer “worked” . . . but what does it mean when you pray for someone to live and he dies?

I had a college professor . . . his exams were graded by a graduate assistant, but students had the option of appealing grades to the professor. That’s not unusual, but most professors will either raise the grade or leave it as is. This guy, however, would either raise the grade, leave it as is or lower it. Risky!

Maybe God operates on the same principle. When you put someone’s fate in his hands, he retains the option of saying “toodle-oo.”


Eli Wallach, 1915-2014

24 Jun 2014 /

Legendary character actor dies at age 98.


People Who Have Died

14 Jun 2014 /

I am getting aware of the fact that I keep writing and thinking about people who have died. I love living. I do not want to die for a long time because I am not ready. I suppose if I thought I was going to die, I could get ready given a period of time, but I am not sure about that. Some folks think that this is not a good thing to think about. I envy the control they must have over their thinking processes.

— Neil Young, Waging Heavy Peace

Dying at the Right Time

6 Jun 2014 /
John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney has 5,700,000 Likes on Facebook. John Lennon has 15,000,000 Likes, despite being dead for more than 30 years.

As Nietzsche used to say, “One must discontinue being feasted upon when one tasteth best; that is known by those who want to be long loved.”


(Willis) Tower of Terror

31 May 2014 /

Cracks appear on Willis Tower’s 103rd-story ledge TODAY

Been there, done that, took a picture:

Willis Tower

It was boring. You know what would make it more exciting? If they put up a sign that said ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK and three to five times a year the glass cracked and people plunged to their death.

Is that too much? OK, switch it to one plunge every three to five years.


People I Thought Were Dead

26 May 2014 /

See You in Hell, Carl Douglas

5 May 2014 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan -- PE]

“It put a smile on my face that finally [Donald Sterling] would be unable to deny the racist allegations against him,” said Carl Douglas, a lawyer who represented former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor in a lawsuit against Sterling.

Carl Douglas is best known as a member of the O.J. Simpson defense team. O.J. Simpson has done some regrettable things, like murdering a couple of white people, but at least he’s never made negative remarks about Magic Johnson photos on Instagram.

See you in Hell . . .

P.S. Carl Douglas the lawyer should not be confused with Carl Douglas the “Kung Fu Fighting” singer. Him, I like.


Pope John Paul II Just Killed a Guy

25 Apr 2014 /

Man crushed by giant crucifix dedicated to Pope

A man has been crushed to death after a giant crucifix dedicated to Pope John Paul II collapsed, just days before a historic Papal canonisation in Rome.

The 30-metre-high (98ft) wooden and concrete cross fell during a ceremony in the Italian Alpine village of Cevo, near Brescia. Another man was taken to hospital.

The structure was dedicated to John Paul II on his visit to the region in 1998.

ITV News

It’s clear to me that the Pope intended to kill this man. What’s the rule? Does this cancel out one of his life-saving miracles?

If you believe that a dead person can be the agent of unexplained happenings on Earth, then you’ve got to take the bad with the good. If the Pope gets credit for a miracle when a woman’s health improves after seeing his picture in a magazine, then he should take the rap when his crucifix falls over and kills someone.

pope-crucifix


South Korea Ferry Disaster

24 Apr 2014 /

The stories coming out of this South Korea ferry disaster are wrecking me . . . I say that as someone who normally finds death interesting, especially on a large scale.


Gabriel García Márquez, 1927-2014

19 Apr 2014 /
Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez, the influential, Nobel Prize-winning author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “Love in the Time of Cholera,” has died, his family and officials said.

He was 87.

CNN reported the death of García Márquez with more or less equal weightiness as the following “top stories”:

I didn’t cherry-pick those stories, by the way. They were all listed as Top Stories on CNN.com.

CNN is a “serious” news outlet. García Márquez’s death was also reported in the “popular” media, amongst reality show updates, celebrity pregnancies and Kardashians.

Orwell wrote about a society in which books are banned. As it turns out, there’s no need to ban books because no one has any interest in reading one. We’re drowning in a sea of trivia.

RIP Gabriel García Márquez


More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

9 Apr 2014 /

People who hijack the occasion of another person’s death to offer up long-winded tributes – to themselves:

“My fondest memory of the deceased is the time many years ago when he fixed me with his penetrating gaze and, in that intense manner of speaking he had that brooked no dissension, he told me how great I am. What an inspiring moment! Blah blah blah . . . me me me . . .”

Thank you, Professor Pompous.

Stuck in India - Humayun's Tomb


Let it Bleed

3 Apr 2014 /
Hemophiliac (album)

Hemophiliac (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At my piano lesson tonight, I noticed what looked like a streak of blood on one of the keys. The next thing I noticed was that the tip of my right index finger was bleeding — apparently a paper cut from a sheet of music, although I didn’t feel anything at the time.

I didn’t want to ruin the piano so I stopped playing and tried to get everything cleaned up.

I asked my teacher, “If you’re playing a concert and you start bleeding, what should you do? Just keep going?”

“Yes.”

“What if in addition to being a pianist, you’re also a hemophiliac and you might die? Would that alter your advice?”

“Are you a hemophiliac?”

“Fortunately, no.”


At Any Rate, That Is Happiness

1 Apr 2014 /
Field of pumpkins at harvest time

Nothing happened. I did not expect anything to happen. I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness: to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.

— Willa Cather, My Antonia

EppsNet Book Reviews: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

29 Mar 2014 /

Richard Yates poses the question of how much reality people can stand, and the answer he comes up with is “not very much.” Alternatives to facing reality head-on are explored in Revolutionary Road: avoidance, denial, alcoholism, insanity and death.

Some excerpts:

“You want to play house you got to have a job. You want to play very nice house, very sweet house, you got to have a job you don’t like. Great. This is the way ninety-eight-point-nine per cent of the people work things out, so believe me buddy you’ve got nothing to apologize for. Anybody comes along and says ‘Whaddya do it for?’ you can be pretty sure he’s on a four-hour pass from the State funny-farm; all agreed.”

 

And all because, in a sentimentally lonely time long ago, she had found it easy and agreeable to believe whatever this one particular boy felt like saying, and to repay him for that pleasure by telling easy, agreeable lies of her own, until each was saying what the other most wanted to hear — until he was saying “I love you” and she was saying “Really, I mean it; you’re the most interesting person I’ve ever met.”

People’s inability to absorb large, unfiltered doses of reality probably explains why New Yorker fiction editor Roger Angell wrote to Yates’s agent in 1981, “It seems clearer and clearer that his kind of fiction is not what we’re looking for. I wonder if it wouldn’t save a lot of time and disappointment in the end if you and he could come to the same conclusion.”

And why at the time of his death in 1992, all of Yates’ books were out of print.

Rating: 5 stars


Death Row Headlines We’d Like to See

19 Mar 2014 /

I saw this headline on MSN News this morning:

Texas Set to Execute Aspiring Rapper

Here’s an undated photo of the musical murderer:

Ray Jasper

Ray Jasper

The fact that he was an aspiring rapper seems comically irrelevant to the fact that he was convicted of slitting a man’s throat — which didn’t kill him — and then stabbing him — which did.

Some future Death Row headlines we might expect to see from MSN:

  • Texas Set to Execute Aspiring Comic with 37 Twitter Followers
  • Texas Set to Execute Amateur Banjo Player
  • Texas Set to Execute Man With Irritating Laugh

Geoff Edwards, 1931-2014

6 Mar 2014 /

Geoff Edwards

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Geoff Edwards, the hip-looking 1970s and ’80s host of TV game shows including “Jackpot!” and two incarnations of “Treasure Hunt” died Wednesday, his agent said. He was 83.

“Geoff was one of the cleverest, funniest radio and television personalities I’ve worked with,” said fellow game show host Wink Martindale. The two were DJs at pop radio station KMPC in Los Angeles.

Shocking, shocking news . . . Wink Martindale is still alive?!

RIP Geoff Edwards


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