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Bodily Fluids: A Visual Guide to Embalming from 1897
09:44 am



I attended a lot of funerals when I was a kid. A consequence of coming from a large extended Catholic family. My father was the eldest of nine children—he outlived them all. During my childhood, his brothers and sisters, and a few of their cousins and kin, died within a very short time of each other. My mother came from a small Protestant family. Her parents, uncles and aunts lived longer than my father’s kin, but when they died they fell within a year or two of each other.

At most of these funerals the body of the deceased was displayed in an open casket—either in a chapel of rest or at home where the family said decades of the rosary around the coffin. Seeing a corpse never seemed strange—death was part of life. The only thing that did seem odd was the strange almost pained expressions on the faces of the deceased. I put this down to their being embalmed—but never quite understood what this entailed or how the undertakers managed to keep the deceased’s eyes closed or their mouths shut.

When my beloved great aunt died, the undertaker left a few startling clues to the secret processes of making a corpse presentable.

Although she wore little make-up, someone had rendered her as an embarrassed spinster ashamed for causing such an unnecessary to-do. Her cheeks were flaming red, her lips fuchsia pink and her eyelids a cheapening smear of blue. This was a portrait of my great aunt by a Sunday painter overly influenced by Henri Matisse—it was garish and bright. Her eyes seemed wrong—flat and squint. I later found out eyelids are glued closed or covered with a flesh-colored plastic skin. Her mouth was pursed and I saw a telltale crimson thread with which her lips (her jaw) had been sewn or looped shut. Her hair was flat, as if she had been sleeping on her side. It wasn’t how my great aunt—ever meticulous and precise in her presentation—would have wanted to be remembered.

Embalming has been carried out by humans for some 5,000 to 6,000 years. The Egyptians made the greatest use of it—believing the preservation of a body somehow empowered the spirit after death. The brain and vital organs were scooped out and stored in jars. The interior of the corpse rubbed with herbs and preservatives before being wrapped in layers of linen cloth. Similar methods of embalming were carried out across Africa, Europe and China.

The modern methods of embalming developed as a result of discoveries made by the English physician William Harvey in the 1600s. Harvey determined the process of blood circulation by injecting fluids into corpses. Based on Harvey’s experimentation, two Scottish doctors William and John Hunter developed the process of embalming in the 1700s—offering their services to the public.

However, it was the slaughter caused during the American Civil War that led to embalming becoming popular with the public as families of soldiers killed on the battlefield wanted their loved ones’ bodies preserved for burial.

In 1897, Eliab Myers, M.D. and F. A. Sullivan wrote The Champion Text Book on Embalming. This book offered “Lecturers and Demonstrators in the Champion College of Embalming.” It was produced by the Champion Company from Springfield, Ohio, which manufacture equipment for use in embalming.

The Champion Text Book on Embalming gave the user a history of its subject and illustrated step-by-step guide to the process of successful embalming. From the draining of blood and bodily fluids to the dissection and removal of internal organs. The process explained in these atmospheric photographic plates is virtually the same as it is today.
Fig. 15 Raising the brachial artery.
Fig. 16 Injecting the arterial system through the radial artery.
Fig. 17 Aspirating blood from the heart.
More tips on dealing with corpses from 19th century embalming techniques, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Sexy M*therf*cker: Amazing lifelike Prince doll with custom-made clothing from ‘Purple Rain’ & more!
09:58 am


Troy Gua

Le Petit Prince at
Le Petit Prince at ‘Lake Minnetonka’ with his customized Honda CB400A.
Tuesday, May 3rd marked the sadly poignant moment when it became “seven hours and thirteen days” since Prince left this world. And I for one have still not (and probably never will) come to terms with his passing. His loss is a truly immeasurable one that has left his fans (including myself and my colleagues here at DM), dumbfounded. 
Let Petite Prince in his
Le Petit Prince in his ‘Dirty Mind’ outfit.
If you’re a Prince fan (and I wouldn’t trust anyone who said they weren’t, it’s one of my rules), you know that he was an incredibly private person—and was quick to put the kibosh on video footage of his mind-bogglingly epic live performances that somehow made their way to the Internet. In the past when DM has posted footage of Prince blowing-minds live, it’s always come with a warning to watch it before it gets taken down. Such was the case with Prince and his request to Seattle artist Troy Gua, who created a lifelike figure of Prince called “Le Petit Prince” (or “LPP”) sometime in 2012, and was swiftly served with a “cease and desist” notice by The Purple One himself. Gua, a huge Prince fan, was devastated. Figuring out a way around the order, he continued to take photos of his “LPP,” only now it had a sculpted head in Gua’s own image. In 2015, Gua started to once again publish images of Le Petit Prince and one of his most recent posts on his Instagram featured the realistic looking figure beginning his ascent to heaven by way of a ladder. Sigh.

Gua (who also makes all of Le Petit Prince’s painstakingly detailed clothes) says he doesn’t want to profit from Prince’s death, so you can’t actually purchase a small version of Prince dressed in era-specific attire (although Gua didn’t rule out this possibility in the future or selling prints of Le Petit Prince in action). When I say that the images in this post are almost as beguiling as Prince himself (almost), I’m not exaggerating. From Le Petit Prince riding a tiny replica of his customized 1981 Honda CB400A from the film Purple Rain, to the open trenchcoat and tiny black thong Prince wore on the cover of his 1980 album, Dirty Mind, Gua (who might be the greatest person ever) has created so many perfect Princes that I couldn’t possibly post them all here.

Prince as seen in the video for ‘Automatic’ from the 1982 album, ‘1999.’
More after the jump…

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In LACMA’s ‘Rain Room’ there’s purple rain falling for Prince
03:52 pm


Purple Rain

nothing more to say. #ripprince #rainroom @lacma #mylaexperience #purplerain #hollywood

A photo posted by valentinaschwanden (@valentin_aschwanden) on

Art collective Random International asked LACMA last night that their art installation “Rain Room” rain purple in honor of Prince. LACMA was was more than happy to oblige. The result is beautiful.

If you live in Los Angeles or are just visiting, I’d head on over to LACMA to visit the “Rain Room.” It looks they’re only doing it for one day.


#purple #rain #rainroom

A photo posted by Ghislaine Salabert-Mougin (@apiamphotos) on

via LA Curbed

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Lewd guitarist: Watch a young Prince on ‘American Bandstand’ and live in New York City, 1980/81
06:47 pm


American Bandstand

On January 26, 1980 Prince appeared on American Bandstand lip-synching “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” After Prince’s performance, Dick Clark made a game attempt at interviewing his Purple Majesty but Prince, even then, was tight-lipped.

“They wouldn’t let me produce myself,” Prince explains why he waited so long to release his first record.

“Do you think they didn’t know what you were doing?” Clark asks.

“Don’t know.”

Clark asks Prince how many instruments he played. Prince responds “thousands.”

When asked how many years he’d been playing, Prince raised four fingers.

From the very beginning, Prince knew how to create an aura of mystery around himself. Even in a semi-autobiographical film like Purple Rain, he managed to blur the line between reality and mythos. It is part of what made him one of the most compelling artists in the history of music.

Here’s Prince on American Bandstand. The clip unfortunately does not include the interview.

I advise you to watch it now. Even from beyond the grave, Prince is likely controlling what the ‘net gives and what the ‘net taketh away.

Update: Okay the ‘net tooketh away. Can we please have a week long grace period in which Prince’s videos can be enjoyed in an International visual love fest? Huh? How about that?

Anyway, here’s a consolation prize: Prince’s first TV appearance on Midnight Special in January 1980. Let’s see how long this one lasts. Enjoy.

I first saw Prince at New York City’s Ritz in 1980. He wasn’t a superstar yet and hadn’t been embraced by New York’s post-punk or new wave scene (he would appear on the cover of New York Rocker year later) so it was a relatively small audience. I had shown up to attend an Interview magazine party earlier and stayed for Prince. I wasn’t that familiar with his music but it was free. Staying was a smart move.The show was astoundingly good and ultrasexy. His carnal relationship with his guitar, as documented in this clip, is nothing short of jaw-dropping.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Watch Hunter S. Thompson exchanging gunfire with his neighbors over their cows

Hunter S. Thompson engaged in a dispute with typewritter at his Woody Creek estate the Owl Farm in Colorado
Hunter S. Thompson engaged in a dispute with a typewriter at his Woody Creek estate, the ‘Owl Farm’ in Colorado.
In this gonzo video that very much typifies a day in the life of the great Hunter S. Thompson, we get to see the Dr. Gonzo in his natural setting engaging in a gun battle with his neighbors over what appears to be a dispute concerning his neighbor’s cows. Because this is how disputes are settled when you’re Hunter S. Thompson.
The legendary living room at Hunter S. Thompson's Woody Creek estate, the Owl Farm
The legendary living room at Hunter S. Thompson’s home
The incident took place at Thompson 42.5-acre estate in Woody Creek, Colorado called the “Owl Farm.” A mythical place where Thompson once blew up a Jeep after loading it with dynamite and gasoline. It is also the place where Thompson sadly took his own life on February 20th, 2005. If things go according to plan Thompson’s widow, Anita, will soon turn part of the estate into a museum. Which is why she has left many of the rooms (such as the living room pictured above) at the Owl Farm virtually the way they were over a decade ago when Thompson took leave of this world.

Glorious footage of the great Hunter S. Thompson behaving exactly as you would expect him to, otherwise known as badly, follows.

Footage of Hunter S. Thompson engaged in a gun battle with his Woody Creek neighbors, apparently over cows.

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Watch Keith Emerson and Dario Argento work on the soundtrack to ‘Inferno’ in 1980
02:38 pm


Dario Argento
Keith Emerson

Keith Emerson and Dario Argento
Keith Emerson and Dario Argento
In light of the loss of yet another rock legend last week, prog-rock pioneer, keyboardist and composer Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer or ELP, I thought I’d share this video of Emerson in the studio with director Dario Argento working on the soundtrack to Argento’s 1980 film, Inferno.
The cover for the soundtrack to Inferno
The critical reception to Emerson’s Inferno soundtrack didn’t see it receive the same accolades as the Goblin-composed Suspiria‘s music did, which is understandable on many levels, but the fact is that Argento specifically requested that Emerson create something far different than Suspiria‘s much loved score.

More after the jump…

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‘I died in a bar of a heart attack’: Oliver Reed predicts his own death in a TV interview from 1994

Though we never know the exact moment when we will shove off this mortal coil, it was very small odds to wager Oliver Reed would pop his clogs in a bar after one too many jugs of ale. It was how the great actor said he wanted to go and he predicted as much in an TV interview for The Obituary Show in 1994:

I died in a bar of a heart attack full of laughter. We were having a cabbage competition. I was very confident that for once I was going to win this vegetable competition. And somebody made a bet with me that was so lewd that I took it on and he shook my hand. And I laughed so much I was sick and died.

Reed died in a bar in Valletta, Malta during the filming of Ridley Scott’s movie Gladiator on May 2nd, 1999. Though he died in a bar drinking is true, the myths of that fateful day have clouded one small fact about Reed during his final screen role. As one of his co-stars Omid Djalili surprisingly recounted earlier this year, Reed “hadn’t had a drink for months before filming started.”
Above him the sky…

Everyone said he went the way he wanted, but that’s not true. It was very tragic. He was in an Irish bar and was pressured into a drinking competition. He should have just left, but he didn’t.

The stories as to what and how much Reed consumed that day vary enormously. All that can be said is that Reed’s untimely demise was a great loss to acting, cinema and most of our lives in general. For if Reed did anything—he entertained us for forty years.

Gladiator would have been his comeback movie. His career had sadly withered during the 1990s to a handful of movies and too many inebriated appearances on TV. Reed never regretted his chat show escapades claiming he was an entertainer and the audience always expected him to be bad.

Reed’s role models for life and drink were the fighter pilots he met as a child during the Second World War. Many of these pilots had been his mother’s lovers. Reed’s job was to mix their drinks at the cocktail his mother organized. At each successive party, the number of pilots in attendance diminished as they were killed in active duty. Reed never forgot the carefree way they laughed, drank and enjoyed life fully without worrying about their ever-approaching death or injury.
Reed wanted to live “bravely.” He felt acting was a fraud compared to those who fought battles, won wars, or worked hard every single day of their lives to eke out a basic living to support their families. Acting was pretending. Real life was out there—somewhere—usually in a bar.

The Obituary Show was a novel—albeit somewhat morbid—take on the traditional chat show. It presented various celebrities in heavenly surroundings discussing their lives as if they were looking down from the other side. The guests weighed up their lives answering questions on regrets, failings and success.

Though “frightened of not dying bravely,” Reed ‘fessed up very few (serious) regrets:

I regret having not made love to every woman on Earth.I regret having not kissed the nose of every dog on Earth. I regret having not been into every bar on Earth. But that doesn’t make me a hellraiser. If somebody punches me on the nose, I’ll punch them back. If somebody buys me a drink I’ll buy them one back.

The punctuation mark I leave on this helter-skelter of life: On my gravestone is written “He made the air move.”

How the press reported it.
Reed gave a rare and thoughtful interview in this edition of The Obituary Show with his most moving admission made when discussing events after his death:

The only thing I regret about my own funeral was that I couldn’t go to my own wake because it was a wonderful party. And every time I kept on tapping somebody on the shoulder—I’m going to cry now. They didn’t know I was there.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
No tears: Tuxedomoon’s Bruce Geduldig dead at 63
02:30 pm


Bruce Geduldig

I was sorry to hear of the death of Bruce Geduldig of Tuxedomoon.  He died after a long term illness on Monday, his 63rd birthday.

Tuxedomoon’s Blaine L. Reininger shared the news of Geguldig’s passing on their website:

Our erstwhile colleague and collaborator, Bruce Geduldig has died, on the occasion of his 63rd birthday, March 7, 2016. He departed from his home town, Sacramento, California, attended by his family and friends. He had been suffering for many years from liver complaints. We will miss him sorely.

After a period of working with Winston Tong on his quirky theatrical shows in San Francisco, Bruce Geduldig joined Tuxedomoon in 1979 to add a visual element to the band’s concerts via film projections, video art and other multimedia elements. (At a particularly amazing mid-80s Tuxedomoon show that I saw at the Palladium in NYC, Geduldig swung a hot oil projector/smoke machine-type thing around the stage. A big glob of burning hot oil from his infernal device went right onto my friend’s nose—SPLAT—leaving a burn mark he feared would be permanent. Luckily it wasn’t.)

Geduldig’s wife, filmmaker Bernadette Martou, who he met while living in Brussels, died before him, in April of 2015.

After the jump, Tuxedomoon live in Hamburg, 1985…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Clock tower in Norway to chime songs by Bowie and Motörhead every day until the end of May

A fantastic but sadly fake
A fantastic, but sadly fake “photo” of David Bowie and Lemmy Kilmister (see the actual photo of Lemmy and his French girlfriend, here)
The clock tower that stands on the grounds of City Hall in the capital of Norway, Oslo, has marked the passing of the hours with musical interludes for many years. Now at six and seven pm respectively, the 49 bells in the tower’s carillon will play “Changes” from David Bowie’s 1971 album Hunky Dory and, the track “Electricity” from what sadly turned out to be the last record Lemmy Kilmister would record with Motörhead, 2015’s, Bad Magic.
The music of Motorhead and David Bowie to play from the clock tower on Oslo City Hall through May 31st
The music of Motorhead and David Bowie to play from the clock tower on Oslo City Hall through May 31st

In an interview with Oslo Town Hall’s carillonist, Laura Marie Rueslaatten Olseng, after seeing how many of her fellow Oslo residents were affected by Lemmy’s passing, she felt that the lyrics to “Electricity” reflected “an attitude that fit Oslo very much.” After Bowie’s untimely passing, Olseng said that there was “no discussion” and the choice was made to add “Changes” to the clocks daily musical rotation which also includes music from Kraftwerk, Nine Inch Nails, and John Lennon. The clock tower will play both songs daily until May 31st. You can listen to the bells chiming for Bowie below, and the belfry belting out Motörhead, here.

The clock tower at City Hall in Oslo, Norway chiming to David Bowie’s “Changes.”
h/t: Metal Hammer

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The worst Bowie tribute
11:10 am


David Bowie

(You’ll note that I didn’t end the title with a question mark.)

If you’ve ever toiled at a daily newspaper—I worked at the LA Times for a year once—then you’ll know how many layers—copy editors, photo editors, editor editors, graphic designers—are between what you initially write and what ends up on the printed page. Eventually whatever text the original writer got the ball rolling with, is pounded like a sheet of tin into the official “voice” of the publication by many often very opinionated hammers as it is pushed down the assembly line towards the printing presses. At any point, a concerned party might ask “Are you sure about this?” and then perhaps there would be further debate.

And this is what makes this item—ostensibly a fashion tribute to the late David Bowie taken from the pages of a newspaper in New Zealand—all the more perplexing.

Who along the way looked at this at any stage in its production in the hallowed halls of the Timaru Herald and gave the thumbs up?

Take a moment to absorb the magnificent and dumbfounding stupidity of it all. Imagine any workplace conversations that took place before, during and maybe even after this glorious idiocy saw print. It’s not successful on any level. Not as “fashion” reporting, and certainly not as a tribute to one of the greatest fashion icons in all of history. It’s got no information that’s useful, or even entertaining whatsoever. It’s just ludicrous from top to bottom. Arguably there might be worse Bowie tributes out there, but this one, I think you’ll agree is at least, as my mother might say… “different.” Certainly it’s the worst Bowie tribute that Smash Mouth weren’t involved with.

Click here for a larger view.

H/t Anorak

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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