Meeting Death on His Feet — Just to Prove a Point

Branwell Brontë was the brother of Wuthering Heights author Emily Brontë. He is historically noteworthy in his own right as a painter and writer. He would perhaps be better remembered had he not hastened his death through abuse of alcohol and opium. The approach of his own death really illustrated his tenacity. Although suffering from depression and... Continue Reading →

I Always Thought He Had Beady Eyes…

In South Korea, a law passed in 2000 requires anyone burying a loved one to remove the grave after 60 years. Because of dwindling graveyard space and this resulting law, cremation has become much more popular. But families don’t always opt for ashes. Several companies there compress remains into gem-like beads in turquoise, pink or black.... Continue Reading →

No Tears Shed at This Funeral

Obituaries typically portray the dearly-departed in the best of light. That being the case, one can't help but wonder what Dolores Aguilar (1929-2008) was really like. Consider this excerpt from her obituary, which was published in the Times-Herald Napa/Sonoma newspaper: "Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word... Continue Reading →

Don’t Kill the Messenger — Especially if He Comes from Genghis Khan

Haven't heard of the Khwarezmian Empire? You can thank the unbelievably bad decisions of its leader, Shad Ala Ad-Din Muhammad II (1169-1220). The Khwarezmian Empire stretched from the Sea of Oman to the Oxus River and encompassed what sociologists refer to as “Greater Iran,” incorporating parts of modern-day China, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Genghis Khan... Continue Reading →

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