Staying Connected From Beyond the Grave
The Internet may provide a kind of immortality: Numerous websites now offer professional services to make it easier for the bereaved to create an online presence for a departed relative.
What's the Latest Development?
A Silicon Valley start up has created a social networking sight not for the living, but for the dead. The service allows the living "to build their own virtual memorial, leave posthumous messages, and organise their affairs for the day they depart. It even lets the account holder send messages to the living long after he or she has shuffled off this mortal coil." Another company will reserve server space for a yearly fee so that the departed can tell the story of their lives and make sure their last wishes are sent securely to the intended recipients.
What's the Big Idea?
Given the amount of time many people now spend in the Internet's virtual space, it is only fitting that their lives also be commemorated there once they pass on. If immortality means the ability to interact with individuals still living after your own death, websites that offer digital tombstones fall more than a little short—but at least it offers a sense of chatting from beyond the grave. "For those dealing with grief," says The Economist, "the experience can be cathartic as well as rewarding."
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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