Dion's random ramblings

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

16 Tombstones that make you go hhmmmm.... [Pictures]

Here's a link to 16 of the funniest (and saddest) tombstones I have ever seen.

Click here to see all 16 of them

I need to find something interesting to put on mine (and write it into my will!)

Any suggestions?

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

What is the worst way to die? A strange, and insightful, article.

I found this very interesting article on how stuff works, I thought it was quite interesting, although somewhat morbid!

Anna Gosline's recent article in New Scientist, entitled "How Does It Feel To Die?" got our hearts pumping here at HowStuffWorks. Gosline interviewed experts to find out what it's like to drown, fall from a tall building and ride the electric chair, among other terrible ways to die. This got us to thinking: Is there a worst way to die?

Buddhist monk burning alive
Courtesy Keystone/Getty Images
Immolation is one of the most painful ways to die -- which makes this Buddhist monk's protest of the Vietnam War by publicly burning himself to death all the more significant.

As it turns out, determining which mode of death is the worst way to go is subjective. There are impromptu polls on sites around the Internet (burning has a high ranking). But there's no consensus among professionals like physicians or funeral directors about which method is the least desirable way to exit this mortal coil. A person's fears may factor into his own personal worst way to die. The thought of falling to one's death from a tall building, for example, would probably scare the daylights out of someone who is afraid of heights, but wouldn't qualify as the worst death for someone else.

Awareness of the type of death and fear of the unknown can also make one kind of death more grisly than another. Dying in a plane crash is one example: The time between the airplane beginning its rapid descent and the moment of impact is more than long enough to generate terror. What's worse, depending on the circumstances, the passengers may remain conscious during the entire process. The plane is literally -- and unstoppably -- carrying its passengers to their probable deaths, and of this they are all totally aware.

With most forms of death, unconsciousness meets the victim before the grim reaper does, thus releasing the dying person from the fear that grips him. But the moments before death can be fraught with fear and pain.

A physician we interviewed recounts the story of a laborer in Africa who worked around vats of sulfuric acid -- one of the most caustic forms of acid. The man fell in one day. He quickly leapt out, but was covered in sulfuric acid, which immediately began to burn him chemically. In a panic and excruciating pain, the man ran outside. By the time his coworkers caught up to him, the man had essentially dissolved.

The acid burned the man to death, searing through skin, cauterizing blood vessels, and eating through organs until he died. The pain would be unbearable, and the circumstances irreversible. This is unquestionably a really bad way to die.

But what is it about stories like this? Why is it that on some primal level we feel the urge to imagine the man running madly about as his tissue fell away from his bones? Why do articles like Gosline's become so popular? In other words, why do we think about death? Read on to find out about an entire field of study dedicated to exploring death.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Top 10 IMMORTAL people... Guess what, Jesus is NOT one of them... I wonder why?

You may have noticed that I have been rather busy of late... I have had back to back meetings, classes, and appointments. As I've said a few times before I don't mind being busy. Occasionally, however, I do wish that the days had a few more hours to them!

However, what would you do if you could live forever!? I got to thinking about immortality AND eternal life....

First a bit of theology, a common heresy (and I used the word heresy very lightly here, since it could equally be applied to much of what I say and think) in popular Christian theology is that everlasting life means never dying... I can't tell you how many youth pastors, lay preachers, and ministers, I have heard speaking about accepting Christ and equating that acceptance with immortality (often framed with the notions of overcoming death, and living forever). Everlasting life is quite a tricky concept. Since the phrase does not assume that one has never died, it simply suggests that once one has received the gift of everlasting life one shall not die again. So Lazarus, in the New Testament, did not receive everlasting life when Jesus raised him from the dead... he just got a another chance at it, until he died again... Everlasting life is something that is likely to have come for him after he died again... You get the idea!?

Now, of course there is some truth in what our pastors and ministers say... One shall certainly overcome the effects of death through salvation in Christ, and then go on to an eternity of bliss in Christ.... However, death is central to the Gospel of Christ... It is NOT that Jesus DOES NOT die, neither is it true that we shall not die. Rather, the power of God is shown in that God overcomes sin and death. Death cannot hold us - that's the point!

Anyway, have you every thought who the TOP 10 IMMORTALS are (Just remember, that according to my little rant above, Jesus is NOT immortal! He died, and NOW lives forever)...?

Here's a link to a nice little list of top 10 IMMORTALS... I found a few of them quite entertaining. See if you can suggest any other 'immortals'.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

An appeal for help - Life in Zimbabwe is murder these days

The poster above, which is in South Africa, reads "Life in Zimbabwe is Murder these days. Just remember your country still needs you - come home at election time and vote for FREEDOM"

I was born in Zimbabwe. It is a beautiful land.

It is so sad to see what has happened there. It is time to start helping out!

I have a colleague who drives up to Zimbabwe from South Africa with a trailer full of basic food stuffs and stationery for ministers and their families about once every two months. He smuggles in things like pencils, powdered milk, nappies for babies, a few sweets and treats, hand cream, rusks, coffee and many other things that I take for granted. Of course it is not that these things cannot be bought in Zimbabwe, they can be bought, but usually one needs to barter on the 'black market', and payment can only be made in South African Rand, or US dollars.

Well, I want to help him as much as I can. Naturally it would not be a good idea to share who this person is on the internet. However, if you're eager to help then please make contact with me off the blog and I'll be sure to put you in touch.

I shall be donating the proceeds of the sale of my little book "A guide to prayer for use during examinations" to this cause - so, if you want to buy a few copies to give out as gifts, the proceeds go to a worthy cause! Just search for 'pre-order', or drop me an email, and I'll send you as many as you need.

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