Weekly News 1/4/16: Selfie deaths and who died first?

By: Funeralwise | Date: Thu, January 7th, 2016

Strange Deaths 2015: Selfies top the list.
This year, our Strange Deaths 2015 report identifies 27 deaths that can be attributed to taking photos. (Jump to the full list of selfie deaths below.) It’s a pretty good bet that there are even more than that.

New features on the blog this week cover selfie deaths and the first death of the new year. On the national scene we saw the good (compassionate pilot turns plane around for grieving family), the bad (female WWII pilot denied burial at Arlington cemetery), and the sort of ugly (lots of stabbings and other assorted deaths in Shakespeare’s plays). We also heard the touching story of a man who took his dog on a bucket list journey, and a father created a video game based on his son’s battle with cancer.


Brian Johns

Former managing director of the ABC, Brian Johns died on Jan 1. Photo: ABC (via theguardian.com)

Who Was The First Death of 2016?

According to a gaming site called Steam, it was Australian newsman Brian Johns, “who passed away on January 1, 2016 at age 79 due to cancer.” But was it really Johns? Read Justin Noble’s latest blog entry to learn more.

Selfie Deaths top the list

This year, our Strange Deaths 2015 report identifies 27 deaths that can be attributed to taking photos.

Strange Deaths 2015: Another big year for selfie deaths.

Last year our strange death report uncovered a disturbing trend–death by selfie. The 2014 list identified 10 cases where people died trying to get that perfect vanity shot. We thought that was a lot. As it turns out, that was just the beginning. Read Molly Gorny’s latest blog entry to learn more.


Family Fighting to Allow Female World War II Pilots to Be Laid to Rest in Arlington National Cemetery

1/5/2016–abcnews.go.com: The family of late World War II pilot veteran Elaine Harmon is fighting for her and other female WWII pilots to have the right to be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1944, when Harmon was 25, she joined 1,000 female pilots as part of the Army’s Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) program in World War II… Read the full story

New Age funerals: Celebration prevails over mourning

1/5/2016–japantoday.com: Life changes but death remains the same, you’d think, but it’s no longer true. Diversity in life begets diversity in death, or at least in the disposal of our remains, says Shukan Post (Dec 25). Funerals, symbolizing the sacredness of life, used to be solemn, reverential affairs, one very much like another, the presiding priest setting the tone, tradition ruling supreme. Imagine how shocking it was when, in 1993, actress Takiko Mizunoe held a “living funeral.” She was 78 and very much alive, but death was on her mind and the idea of dying seemed rather a lark … Read the full story

A Father, a Dying Son, and the Quest to Make the Most Profound Videogame Ever

1/4/2016–wired.com: YOU FIND YOURSELF in a hotel room in a strange city, like a character in the first scene of a videogame. Take a second to get oriented, to remember where fate has delivered you. Seattle. OK. You have come here to meet Ryan Green, who has made a videogame about his young son Joel’s battle with brain cancer. You’re not sure you’re ready for this, but you don’t have much choice. Deep breath. Go… Read the full story

Man Helps Dying Dog Complete 81-Item Bucket List

1/4/2016–time.com: A Pennsylvania man is helping his dying dog complete a lengthy bucket list after learning the beloved pooch was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Todd Burchanowski, 36, decided to take his 8-year-old beagle poodle mix Reyes on one final adventure before she succumbs to lymphoma in a few months, ABC News reports. The 36-year-old high school teacher from Franklin, PA found out the devastating news shortly after Thanksgiving… Read the full story

‘Happy’ funerals hinder grief

1/4/2016–au.news.yahoo.com: The growing trend towards funerals that “celebrate life” may interfere with people’s ability to grieve, according to the body that handles Perth’s burials and cremations. Metropolitan Cemeteries Board WA chief executive Peter Deague said changes in the way funerals were held and a lack of organised religion meant the average Australian was “rudderless” when faced with the death of a loved one… Read the full story

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Lots of stabbings and 2 deaths by pie: every death in Shakespeare, in one chart

1/3/2016–vox.com: One of the really great things about Shakespeare fandom is that you have a limited number of things to work with. Unlike, say, being a fan of a particular comic book series — where new issues, storylines, and entire universes of continuity get swapped out all the time — Shakespeare fans only have to deal with the 38 plays that are commonly considered “Shakespeare plays… Read the full story

Family Makes It to Funeral After Pilot Turns Plane Around

1/2/2016: nbcnewyork.com: An Arizona woman and her family made it to her husband’s funeral after a pilot, in a rare move, delayed their connecting flight and returned to the gate. Delta Air Lines said Thursday that Capt. Adam Cohen turned an aircraft around at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport earlier this month after a Phoenix-area family frantically waved at him through airport windows… Read the full story

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