Archive for September, 2016

Six year old Angie and her four year old brother, Joel, were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had had enough. “You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church.” “Why? Who’s going to stop me?” Joel asked. Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, “See those two men standing by the door? They’re hushers.”-  Liguorian magazine, The Lighter Side column

Quote of the Week

Posted: September 27, 2016 in Quotes
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“I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” – Carl Sandburg

Yes, we can live on…forever…or at least as long as the internet exists. I’ve been cleaning up folders on my hard drive and came across a collection of some very strange but interesting articles on this topic of virtual immortality. Your cyberself now has the power to live on beyond your physical existence. We know we should be careful as to what we post, as our words might come back to haunt us, no pun intended. In the 4 articles listed below I will describe how.

Tweeting from the death bed – Capturing the last moments for eternity.

Virtual Mourning – Websites that let mourners reach out to family or to gather together virtually after someone dies.

Tweeting from beyond the grave – allowing a deceased to have a virtual avatar that continues to post, post-mortem.

Your words live on – Virtual Immortality through Facebook, blog posts, et al that never get taken off the Web.

My post today, “Tweeting from the death bed – Capturing the last moments for eternity.” references a posting by Art Caplan, who is from the Division of Medical Ethics at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. He posted it to Medscape, an online medical reference website. His question was “In this world of constant communication, real time updates, and the need to be ‘connected’ here is a twist on the use of Twitter: is it ethical to tweet from someone’s deathbed?”

His article goes on to describe how it’s become common place for individuals related to the terminally ill person to send tweets and e-mails to update friends and relatives, with some going even farther by posting feeds to Youtube. Of course this is all possible because our devices have become small enough to take anywhere and Wifi connectivity is all pervasive. That wasn’t so even 5 years ago. But Caplan finds ethical problems with all this ability to document a person’s last hours in real time. Yes, he says, it is wonderful that family members not able to be there in person can be connected with a dying loved one. However, if the loved one is no longer able to make decisions, is that what the person would want? Hooked up to IVs and other devices, lying prone in a hospital or hospice bed, maybe not even conscious, is that how he or she wishes to be remembered?

He also states that it would be a good idea, in this technologically connected world, that everyone writes down directives as to what should be allowed and not allowed in those last days. My concern is not what family members see but that these photos, taken in the person’s most vulnerable moments are hardly a dignified representation of a human’s life. They then can become the final and eternal memory about that person. I surely wouldn’t want to be remembered by a picture of respirator tubing coming out of my mouth!

In my next post I’ll write about “Virtual Mourning”.

Quote of the Week

Posted: September 22, 2016 in Quotes
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“You grow up the day you have the first real laugh – at yourself.” – Ethal Barrymore

Fun with words

Posted: September 16, 2016 in Fun with words

As seen on Tee shirts in a catalogue:

Traveling 33 rpm in an iPod world

How to count to 10 in software:
1, 2, 3, 95, NT, 2000, XP, VISTA, 7, 8, 10

After my trip to Ground Zero on Fri 9th I feel this quote about a city half way across the world from here describes accurately what it is like to walk that lower Manhattan area 15 years after 9/11:

“…marked today not so much by the destruction wrought by war but the rampant reconstruction that swallows up the past as wholesale as any bomb.” – Lina Mounzer in her Aramco magazine July/August issue article “Beirut Sounds Like This (a report on Labanese capital’s indie/alt music scene)

9/11

Posted: September 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

Keeping the Flame Alive

 

Like a beached whale the Oculus sits

Giving entry to the caverns beneath,

Sucking in people on the east perimeter of Ground Zero.

A recent addition to the rebuilding of sacred ground,

The whale yawns and gladly swallows the masses

Who now will shop in its belly’s mall.

 

The park on the South side

Was an afterthought to the relatively barren

View of the memorial below.

In a space of massive concrete and steel

Some colorful flowers might sooth the soul.

So walk its well-planned space,

Look at the growing things,

Turn and face the other side of what once was.

Can the pain of Ground Zero be that easily shut out?

 

What have we grown in this precious space?

Could any dreams have visualized what it’s become?

The Pit, became the Pile, became the “empty space”

Now to morph into a jumble of a NYC space

Never envisioned in the architect’s original plans.

 

Where smoke and fire rose.

Where DNA was smothered in concrete.

Where footprints were left in the dust…

We cannot turn it into the beauty it was before that day.

So remember the lost and keep an eternal flame

For them burning in our hearts.