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Post Mortem: September 16, 2007 - September 22, 2007

Burial at Sea

Ever since I read Jessica Mitford's "American Way of Death" years ago, the whole idea of burying bodies in dedicated parks with impenetrable vaults seemed, well, kind of creepy to me. Whatever happened to recycling? Doesn't the Bible say something about "from dust to dust"? Anyway, for eco-conscious, green, reef-loving...

By Patricia Sullivan  |  September 20, 2007; 6:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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If Only We Knew ...

In today's paper (Sept. 20), we have an obituary of Ernest Peter Uiberall, an Army lieutenant colonel who was an interpreter during the Nazi war crime trials at Nuremberg after World War II. Uiberall had a fascinating, if harrowing life. He was born in Vienna and was part of the...

By Matt Schudel  |  September 20, 2007; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Matt Schudel  
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The depth of archives

Overlooked in the hoopla about Brand X removing online restrictions on its columnists is that they are also opening up the last 20 years worth of news archives to all comers. As obit writers, we are great fans of archives. We occasionally get calls from people doing genealogical research who...

By Patricia Sullivan  |  September 19, 2007; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan  
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Death Du Jour

Lurid tales of 19th-century New York have always captivated me. They destroy the illusion fostered by generations of politicians of a better, cleaner America before (take your pick) Stravinsky, ragtime, jazz, rock and rap hastened our moral collapse. The New York Times today offered this marvelous woebegone account of a...

By Adam Bernstein  |  September 19, 2007; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Adam Bernstein  
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Radio, Radio

Last Friday, a reader sent an outraged note to the Post ombudsman, Deborah Howell, saying it was " just insane, ridiculous" that we hadn't done an obituary on Jake Einstein, who had developed the Washington area's first alternative rock station, WHFS-FM, in Bethesda. The reader said our oversight was "just...

By Matt Schudel  |  September 18, 2007; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Death Du Jour

Favorite detailed obit of the day comes from the Times of London and its terrific use of the word "yomp": http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article2469102.ece...

By Adam Bernstein  |  September 17, 2007; 6:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Adam Bernstein  
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Ways to Meet Your Maker

Few people want to leave this earth before their time; but who's to say when the right time is? I marvel at the dangers that surround us daily (Is that street grate latched? Ever consider how much trust we place in highway engineers?) and wonder that we don't see more...

By Patricia Sullivan  |  September 17, 2007; 11:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Saint Noochie?

The Post offers a Sunday obit feature called A Local Life, which structurally can be more relaxed than the standard "news obit" that immediately tells the who, when, where, how and why of a story. I have tried to find subjects who are unpredictable, in some ways elusive. Two of...

By Adam Bernstein  |  September 17, 2007; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Fascinating Fake

The New York Times wrote an obituary recently for Joe O'Donnell, who professed to have been an official White House photographer for five administrations and taken defining images of those eras (Little John-John saluting his father's coffin in 1963, et al.). When a series of retired news photographers started questioning...

By Adam Bernstein  |  September 17, 2007; 10:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Adam Bernstein  
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