People tend to make countless plans for their future, often without considering the possibility of their life ending. However, death affects everyone sooner or later, and it cannot be ignored. In the end, who you truly are, and how people will perceive and remember you are determined in that one final moment. I decided to focus this blog on the topic of death because it is something that always interested me since the passing away of my grandmother, and the key purpose is to be informative.

Perhaps my morbid curiosity is not normal, but who can really judge? Everyone has their own hobbies, some weirder than others. Mine just happens to be researching various topics and implications of the inevitable. I want to show that it is nothing to be afraid of, but rather, something that can be fascinating, and I believe that remembering our mortality and fragility of life may encourage personal growth and help us become better people as a result.


As described in one of my previous posts, environmentally-friendly funerals are increasingly gaining popularity. Interestingly, not all modern funerals in the western world involve disposing of the body by conventional means, such as cremation or full body burial. A method which has recently gained increased public awareness is promession, i.e. freeze-drying the human remains prior to disposal. The method allows the body to become a nutrient-rich fertiliser, allowing the life cycle to progress naturally.

The method is relatively straight-forward, involving 5 key stages: (a video demonstrating the process can be watched here:
1. Coffin separation: the body is removed from the coffin and placed in a chamber of the Promator machine.
2. Cryogenic freezing: liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees Celsius is used to freeze the body, in effect turning it into a human crystal.
3. Vibration: the body gets disintegrated into fine particles by means of shaking it in the cha…

Mass Bird Deaths - An Unexplained Phenomenon

An unusual phenomenon has been observed in various parts of the world, which has recently been ocurring more regularly. Flocks of flying birds suddenly appear to loose control and fall to the ground. While this has occurred with a variety of bird species, it appears to be most common with crows and blackbirds.

While most of the birds die after taking the fall, some survive but are usually not strong enough to pick themselves up and fly away. Some witnesses of these events reported that the surviving birds appeared to be paralysed, being too weak to stand, even when pedestrians attempted to help them. The most recent event to date was observed at the end of January this year in Italy, Europe, and Draper, US. The bodies of many of the fallen birds had been flattened.

Environmental experts had been investigating the phenomenon, however, without reaching a conclusive explanation. Presented possibile causes include contagious disease, effects of a toxic chemical or poison, or even in some …


Euthanasia is a very controversial issue. It is often described as compassionate killing, or an act of causing death for the benefit of a suffering person. The original Greek word, euthanos, means easy death. While human euthanasia is legal in some countries including Canada, Netherlands, Belgium and Colombia, in most other places it is considered illegal, although assisted suicide is more widely accepted. In the UK neither is legal.

Although similar, there is a difference between the act of assisted suicide and euthanasia. Euthanasia involves action or deliberate lack of it, with the intention of causing death. For example, it might involve a lethal injection or withholding food from a terminally ill person who is unable to feed themselves. Meanwhile, assisted suicide involves providing an indirect means of death for the sufferer, as per their request, such as giving out too much prescription medication, which would allow for an overdose.

While by definition the law of euthanasia is …

Boiling Alive

Boiling someone alive was a rather brutal punishment used by several rulers throughout history. It is believed to be one of the slowest and most painful ways to die. The method is documented to have been commonly used throughout the world in the 16th century.

An example of a British monarch who was known to use this punishment was Henry VIII. He typically used it on individuals accused of poisoning, as he believed it to be an unforgiveable offence. Those found guilty would be suspended via a network of pulleys and ropes above a drum filled with boiling liquid, such as water, tar, acid, wine, oil, molten lead etc. As a method of psychological torture the executioner would often slowly lower the guilty towards the pot, before bringing them back up without actually plunging them into the liquid.

While being lowered towards the pot, the skin of the prisoner would begin to blister, pop, and then melt away, revealing muscles, veins and arteries that clung to the bone. If clothing is worn du…

Gaza Zoo and Its Sad End

In one of my previous posts I wrote about the Qualqilya zoo, where taxidermy is used to preserve dead animals, many of which had been killed by war, so that they can still be exhibited. Similarly, the city of Gaza and its zoo had been significantly affected by the militant conflict between Israel and Palestine, but the Gaza zoo had suffered to a much greater extent.

The zoo in Gaza opened in 2007 and many of its animals were smuggled accross the Egyptian border to create the initially thriving attraction. However, in 2008 a military offensive was launched by Israel against Hamas, which lasted 3 weeks, and during that time the zoo owner was unable to access the establishment. As a result, many animals starved to death. To preserve them, Mr Awaida (the owner) decided to resort to self-taught taxidermy using formaldehyde and sawdust.

The conditions in the area had not improved since. Due to shortages in funding many of the animals continued starving. As the animals lost during the offens…

Why I enjoy funerals more than weddings

After coming back home feeling depressed after a friend's wedding, this time I decided to write a more personal post explaining my viewpoint regarding the common events of weddings and funerals, which almost everyone attends at some point during their lifetime. In almost all cultures throughout the world weddings are associated with happiness, while funerals are portrayed as sad events, associated with grief. In my culture a typical wedding would involve the ceremony of a wedding talk where the couple are given their blessing, and signing documents, followed by a party where the guests would dance to music, eat a lot of food and drink alcohol. Meanwhile, at a funeral, the body would be lying in a casket at a hall where a goodbye speech would be given, before being sent off to be buried or cremated. The guests would then go off to a wake, or reception, where food would be provided and people would talk to each other, commemorating the life of the deceased (often crying at the same …

Predicting Imminent Death

It is fairly common to hear of cases of people who were able to predict that their death was coming shortly before they passed away. It included a personal experience with my grandfather who seemed to have known it a month in advance. While it is a phenomenon which is difficult to explain, with many people being sceptical claiming that such predictions tend to be a coincidence, some animals were found to be able to predict deaths with noteworthy accuracy.

A relatively recent story is that of a cat called Oscar, who lives at a nursing home in Rhode Island and enjoys walking around the patients' rooms without interacting much with them. However, it was noticed that the cat is very friendly towards patients who are about to die and his prolonged presence by their bedside would often be an indicator of the patient being about to pass away within several hours. To date, Oscar had accurately predicted approximately 100 deaths. In 2007, there was a rumour that the cat had been killed by …