Our bodies are prisons for our souls. Our skin and blood, the iron bars of confinement. But, fear not. All flesh decays. Death turns all to ash. And thus, death frees every soul.
Grand Inquisitor Silecio, The Fountain
(Photo: Niall Carson/Press Association via AP)
A paralyzed Irish woman who says she is living in severe agony cannot commit suicide with the help of her partner, Ireland’s Supreme Court ruled Monday.
Ugh. Ireland. Can you stop?
According to documents, this is an Ottoman official teasing starving Armenian children by showing them bread during the Armenian genocide, 1915.
One has to imagine what sort of person is capable of tormenting dying children. Of course this genocide, like all others, involved more than just a single individual.
MIT community recalls fallen officer Sean Collier, who made a big impression in 15 months at MIT.
Remember the officer who died during the manhunt for the Boston marathon bombers.
At least 14 bodies of youths have been brought to three hospitals in eastern Baghdad bearing signs of having been beaten to death with rocks or bricks, security and hospital sources told Reuters under condition they not be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Nine bodies were brought to hospitals in Sadr City, a vast, poor Shiite neighborhood, three were brought to East Baghdad’s main al-Kindi hospital and two were brought to the central morgue, medical sources said.
Six other young people, including two girls, were wounded in beatings intended as warnings, the security sources said.
“Last week I signed the death certificates of three of those young people, and the reason for death I wrote in my own hand was severe skull fractures,” a doctor at al-Kindi hospital told Reuters. “A very powerful blow to the head caused these fractures which totally smashed the skull of the victim.”
Other sources put the”emo” death toll much higher. Hana al-Bayaty of Brussels Tribunal, a nongovernmental organization dealing with Iraqi issues, said the current figure ranges “between 90 and 100,” Arabic-language newspaper Al Arabiya reported on its website.
A leaflet distributed in the Shiite Bayaa district of east Baghdad seen by Reuters on Saturday had 24 names of youths targeted for killing.
“We strongly warn you, to all the obscene males and females, if you will not leave this filthy work within four days the punishment of God will descend upon you at the hand of the Mujahideen,” the leaflet said.
A 12-year-old boy from a Pennsylvania town is now deadweeks after being attacked and beaten at his school. The local NBC reports that the boy, Bailey O’Neill, died because of “a medically-induced coma after suffering several seizures.”
O’Neill turned 12 the day before he died. He suffered a concussion and broken nose from his attackers. His family says that he was bullied before being attacked.
Flags at his school in Glenolden, Pennsylvania flew at half-staff yesterday in O’Neill’s honor.
The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945.
The figure is so staggering that even fellow Holocaust scholars had to make sure they had heard it correctly when the lead researchers previewed their findings at an academic forum in late January at the German Historical Institute in Washington.
“The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought,” Hartmut Berghoff, director of the institute, said in an interview after learning of the new data.
“We knew before how horrible life in the camps and ghettos was,” he said, “but the numbers are unbelievable.”
The documented camps include not only “killing centers” but also thousands of forced labor camps, where prisoners manufactured war supplies; prisoner-of-war camps; sites euphemistically named “care” centers, where pregnant women were forced to have abortions or their babies were killed after birth; and brothels, where women were coerced into having sex with German military personnel.
Auschwitz and a handful of other concentration camps have come to symbolize the Nazi killing machine in the public consciousness. Likewise, the Nazi system for imprisoning Jewish families in hometown ghettos has become associated with a single site — the Warsaw Ghetto, famous for the 1943 uprising. But these sites, infamous though they are, represent only a minuscule fraction of the entire German network, the new research makes painfully clear.
The maps the researchers have created to identify the camps and ghettos turn wide sections of wartime Europe into black clusters of death, torture and slavery — centered in Germany and Poland, but reaching in all directions.
The lead editors on the project, Geoffrey Megargee and Martin Dean, estimate that 15 million to 20 million people died or were imprisoned in the sites that they have identified as part of a multivolume encyclopedia. (The Holocaust museum has published the first two, with five more planned by 2025.)
The existence of many individual camps and ghettos was previously known only on a fragmented, region-by-region basis. But the researchers, using data from some 400 contributors, have been documenting the entire scale for the first time, studying where they were located, how they were run, and what their purpose was.
From a tombstone in Tasmania, Australia (presumably):
Stop ye travelers as you pass by
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now, soon you shall be
Prepare yourself to follow me.
To which the following response was written in graffiti:
To follow you
I am not content —
How do I know
which way you went?
Mississippi mayoral candidate was found dead Wednesday and the case is being investigated as a homicide, authorities said.
Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith said the body of 34-year-old Marco McMillian was found on the Mississippi River levee Wednesday at about 10 a.m.
The 34-year-old McMillian was running for mayor of Clarksdale, a Blues hub where actor and Mississippi native Morgan Freeman co-owns a music club with Howard Stovall, a Memphis entertainment executive, and Bill Luckett, who also is running for mayor.
Meredith said the body was found between Sherard and Rena Lara and was sent to Jackson for an autopsy. He declined to provide further details or speculate on the cause of death.
The sheriff’s office said Wednesday in a news release on its Facebook page that a person of interest was in custody, but had not been formally charged.
The department also said authorities had been looking for McMillian since a man crashed the candidate’s car into another vehicle on Tuesday. McMillian was not in the car. The sheriff’s office said deputies responded to the two-car crash on U.S. Highway 49 South near the Coahoma and Tallahatchie county lines on Tuesday about 8 a.m.
Will Rooker, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, declined to release other details. He said the investigation is ongoing.
McMillian was a Democrat. Campaign spokesman Jarod Keith said McMillian’s campaign was noteworthy because he may have been the first openly gay man to be a viable candidate for public office in Mississippi.
One aspect of [suicide] survivors’ personalities that appears to have been left behind is whatever mind-tumble caused them to try to kill themselves in the first place. Since their attempts, none of the survivors I spoke with had experienced another impulse toward suicide. Nor had they spent much time seeing psychologists or hanging out in support groups. In Baldwin’s case, he attended just five therapy sessions after his jump from the Golden Gate.
“And after that fifth session,” he recalled, “the therapist said: ‘You know, I really don’t think you need to do this anymore. You seem to have it all put back together.’ And he was right.”
For each, it’s almost as if their near-death experience scared them straight, propelled them back to a point of recovery beyond even their own imagining. But that’s actually not so unusual; just as Seiden found that less than 10 percent of people thwarted from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge went on to kill themselves, a host of studies show that same percentage holds among those who carry out “near fatal” attempts but somehow survive. Beginning in the 1970s, Dr. David Rosen, a psychiatrist and Jungian psychoanalyst, tracked down and conducted lengthy interviews with nine people who survived leaps from the Golden Gate, as well as one who had gone off the nearby Bay Bridge.
“What was immediately apparent,” Rosen recounted, “was that none of them had truly wanted to die. They had wanted their inner pain to stop; they wanted some measure of relief; and this was the only answer they could find. They were in spiritual agony, and they sought a physical solution.”
When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me — it still sometimes happens — and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl.
But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous — not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance…That pure chance could be so generous and so kind…That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time…That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me & it’s much more meaningful…
The way he treated me & the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other & our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.
Ann Druyan, on her husband, Carl Sagan.