Friday, June 8, 2007

Death Be Not Cramped

Vertical development is a fact of life in urban areas. Now it's a fact of death.

GRAVE SITUATION. From the country that gave us double-decker buses comes the double-decker burial. England is running out of space for the deceased, so some of the dearly departed will have to be buried on top of older graves.

From Associated Content:
A technique called "lift and deepen" will be used to make old grave sites have enough room to take up to six new coffins each. These new coffins will placed on top of the older remains, as reported by the BBC. Once the deeper graves have been used once there will be no time constraints on when they can have fresh bodies placed in them. 150,000 people are buried in churchyards and cemeteries every year in England and Wales.
Reports BBC:
It will be left to the local authorities who look after graveyards to contact relatives of those who are buried - a job which may be thwarted by illegible weathered gravestones from more than 100 years ago.
Even in death, we don't know our neighbours. But above everything, your Lightning Round hopes the expired Brits won't have to end up sleeping with the fishes -- in a literal sense.

WHAT PRICE DEATH? You know the cliche about money and happiness, but that's not stopping a couple of economists. They're looking for the magic number that will bring back smiles after the death of a loved one, especially in wrongful death cases.

From Scientific
They calculated that it would take $220,000 annually to raise someone's happiness to pre-death levels after a spouse dies, $118,000 for a child, $28,000 for a parent, $16,000 for a friend and only $2,000 for a sibling. Taking into account that some people might be harder hit than others could as much as double those amounts, [researchers] Oswald and Powdthavee wrote in paper reported at a conference held last week on happiness research, law and policy at the University of Chicago (UC).
Still, this theory has fine print.
Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt of the University of Virginia says there is "so much more at stake when people suffer loss than simply the hit to their happiness." Actual suffering should factor into damage awards, he says, but so should other things such as feelings of outrage or injustice.
Otherwise you're left with more feelings of outrage and injustice at the jury who stiffed you.

LIVING IT UP. Wily coyotes are going upscale, hanging out in the Biltmore area of Phoenix.

From the Arizona Daily Star:
They're feasting on plenty of quail and jackrabbits, they have lakes nearby and plenty of places to hang out, wildlife officials say. They've even taken a liking to pets. Recently, coyotes have attacked and seriously wounded pet dogs and cats in the Biltmore.
We guess those world-class restaurants just can't please everybody.

ROLL ON. A deranged man in a pink shirt tried to jump into the Popemobile while it was cruising through Vatican City. Bodyguards tackled the man, and His Holiness was not harmed. He barely noticed, as you can see from the video below.

With defense like that, the NFL is once again considering expansion.

CORRUPTING OUR YOUTH. Dennis Seavers, the executive director of Arizona's Board of Fingerprinting, got a wrist-slapping for a MySpace page where he described himself as a "wild debaucher" who turned children into little lawbreakers.

From the AP:
Seavers told The Associated Press in a May 21 interview that the page's contents were "exactly the opposite of me as a person" and were a joke intended for viewing only by friends.

"If I had known that the public would see it, I never would have done it," Seavers said.
Rule of thumb, Mr. Seavers: if it's on the web, it's out there for everybody.

CAN'T SIT STILL. Part chair, part robot. Meet Hubo FX-1:

From "Future application include carrying old and disabled persons and moving heavy loads."

Didn't I see this thing in The Empire Strikes Back?

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