April 18, 2016

Watch the dearly departed being cremated

Filed under: Architecture,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 3:20 pm


Already operational last month but recently opened by city officials, the Zorgvlied crematorium in Amsterdam features a unique teepee shaped building that has room for cremations and an audience watching the cremation – a Dutch first.

In fact, the design of the place was all about giving bereaved families and friends a chance to be with the dearly departed right until the end. The upwards swirling style of the crematorium gives the impression of going towards the heavens.

Cremation is more popular than burials in Amsterdam, for reasons of space and functionality, and its popularity continues to increase. Budget surely plays a role in this as well.

You can actually visit the crematorium on Sunday 29 May and Sunday 5 June between 12:30 and 17:00, follow the link below for more details. Last Sunday attracted 400 people curious to see what it looks like.

(Links and photo: www.uitvaartmedia.com-1, www.uitvaartmedia.com-2)

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December 29, 2014

Experiencing celebrities’ dying moments with smells

Filed under: Art,History by Orangemaster @ 1:02 pm

Famous deaths

Late November’s opening of the temporary exhibition ‘Sense of Smell’ of the Avans Hogeschool in Breda, a research project entitled ‘Famous Deaths’ featured a metal morgue-like box with the smells depicting the last five minutes of four famous people: Whitney Houston, Princess Diana, Muammar Gaddafi and John F. Kennedy.

“Those wanting to experience Houston’s final moments are transported to a bathtub at the upmarket Beverly Hills hotel where the diva died in February 2012. To the sounds of splashing water and Houston’s voice, a visitor first gets a whiff of generic cleaner, used in hotels around the world, followed by the olive oil the singer used in her tub. Then a strong chemical odour, similar to that of cocaine fills the box, grabbing its occupant by the throat, followed by the sound of rushing water and then silence.”

The metal boxes were completely dark inside and rigged with pipes leading to bottles containing pressurised smells. A soundtrack is played and on queue different scents are released into the box to recreate a specific final moment.

Avans mentioned that other institutions showed interest in the installation, so who knows what dead person we may have the chance to smell in 2015.

(Links: www.bndestem.nl, www.businessinsider.com)

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December 29, 2013

Peter van der Helm wants your tattoo when you are dead

Filed under: Art,Health by Branko Collin @ 12:55 pm

poster-harbour-amsterdam-facemeplsA tattoo artist from Amsterdam is offering a service of preserving your tattoos after you die, Mirror reports:

Tattoo shop owner Peter van der Helm says around 30 clients have already agreed to donate their skin to his company, the “Walls and Skin” tattoo parlour, after they die and have each paid a few hundred euro to have their inked designs made immortal.

After their deaths, a pathologist will remove the tattoo to freeze or package in it formaldehyde – ideally within 48 hours – before it is sent to a lab for a procedure to extract water and replace it with silicone.

Van der Helm told Parool that he got the idea because of Johnny Depp who is supposed to have said that his body should go to a museum after his death. The tattoo artist says “I am so going to get into trouble with this. I’ve practically talked to everybody these past months, the Netherlands Forensic Institute, lawyers, the health department, but nobody gave me a straight answer [about the legality of preserving tattoos].”

To take your order the Walls and Skin parlour requires a hand written letter in which you state you want your tattoo to be preserved by them and displayed in future expositions.

(Photo by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved)

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March 2, 2013

Dutch death clinic working at full capacity

Filed under: Health by Branko Collin @ 1:48 pm

The euthanasia hospital in The Hague, Levenseindekliniek, is too popular.

Parool reports that there is a waiting list of four months. The clinic, which caters to people with a death wish and whose own doctor refuses to help them, has had to expand from six teams to seventeen, but still has difficulty catering to the demand. Last year more than 700 patients applied, but on 31 January only 94 people had been killed. Almost twice that number, 180, had been refused.

The strict Dutch euthanasia law makes it difficult to get euthanized. A request for euthanasia must be made repeatedly and patients must be of sound mind when they make such a request. Requests must be verified by at least two doctors. These criteria make it difficult for example to euthanize people with dementia, although it is apparently possible. Doctors who break the euthanasia law by not applying the six criteria of due care face stiff prison sentences.

The Levenseindekliniek was founded by the Dutch Association for a Voluntary End to Life (NVVE, 1973) in order to enable people to “say goodbye to life in a humane manner while surrounded by loved ones”. Currently the clinic is funded by its members and getting euthanized is free, NOS reports. There doesn’t seem to be an actual building associated with the clinic, it’s more of a roaming death teams type of thing.

See also: Mobile euthanasia units to perform home deaths

(Photo by Wikimedia user Incry, some rights reserved)

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September 9, 2009

Netherlands has highest train suicide rate in EU

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 10:51 am

Of all the 27 countries of the European Union, the Netherlands takes first place when it comes to railway suicides. The Netherlands has racked up 1,4 deaths per million kilometres of train trips made in a year, while the much sparser tracks in Germany gets 0,6 and Belgium, also a country with much track, scores 0,9.

Although some 190 people in the Netherlands killed themselves by jumping in front of trains in 2006 and some 193 in 2007, the figure was down to 164 in 2008, but was not included in the report of the European Railway Agency on this topic.

One of the possible explanations for the amount of suicides is the fact that people live very close to the tracks. In other countries people who are suicidal probably chose a different method.

(Link: dutchnews, Volkskrant)

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February 8, 2009

Coffin made of Legos

Filed under: Shows by Branko Collin @ 9:08 am

A Lego nut had told the Mooi! Weer de leeuw show that she wouldn’t mind being buried in a coffin made of Legos, and the show’s producers obliged her last night … by giving her such a coffin. To make things complete they gave a fellow Lego addict a Lego urn and a Lego cake for after the funeral.

No idea if this is for real or just looks like Lego. You can catch the show here (I hope). The Lego bit is near the end, just before the segment where a ten year old girl declares that she’d like a non-childish colouring book, and gets a book with pictures of the murder of Pim Fortuijn and Teletubby porn.

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