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32821.  Sun Nov 20, 2005 4:41 am Reply with quote

do we need it?

32832.  Sun Nov 20, 2005 5:29 am Reply with quote


Nature REALLY has to re-cycle for evolution to go on and DNA polymerase makes mistakes so eventually your DNA doesn't spell you. Anyway even if it still did the you that it spelled in the abscence of evolution would be a primitive form of (immortal) proto-life rather than what Hamlet would describe as the 'piece of work' we currently see.

32883.  Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:04 am Reply with quote

Of course death is needed or half the Earth's population would be in a vegitative state while the rest have to work 24 hours a days to pay for pensions. Not to mention the starvation from overstrecthed food supplies.

32908.  Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:30 am Reply with quote

oh i see!

33081.  Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:00 pm Reply with quote

What fun would immortality be without strength and health anyway? Swift got it right with his Struldbruggs:

After this Preface he gave me a particular Account of the Struldbruggs among them. He said they commonly acted like Mortals, till about thirty Years old, after which by degrees they grew melancholy and dejected, encreasing in both till they came to four-score. This he learned from their own Confession; for otherwise there not being above two or three of that Species born in an Age, they were too few to form a general Observation by. When they came to four-score Years, which is reckoned the Extremity of living in this Country, they had not only all the Follies and Infirmities of other old Men, but many more which arose from the dreadful Prospect of never dying. They were not only Opinionative, Peevish, Covetous, Morose, Vain, Talkative, but uncapable of Friendship, and dead to all natural Affection, which never descended below their Grand-children. Envy and impotent Desires are their prevailing Passions. But those Objects against which their Envy principally directed, are the Vices of the younger sort, and the Deaths of the old. By reflecting on the former, they find themselves cut off from all possibility of Pleasure; and whenever they see a Funeral, they lament and repine that others have gone to a Harbour of Rest, to which they themselves never can hope to arrive. They have no Remembrance of anything but what they learned and observed in their Youth and middle Age, and even that is very imperfect. And for the Truth or Particulars of any Fact, it is safer to depend on common Traditions than upon their best Recollections. The least miserable among them appear to be those who turn to Dotage, and entirely lose their Memories; these meet with more Pity and Assistance, because they want many bad Qualities which abound in others.

If a Struldbrugg happen to marry one of his own kind, the Marriage is dissolved of course by the Courtesy of the Kingdom, as soon as the younger of the two come to be four-score. For the Law thinks it a reasonable Indulgence, that those who are condemned without any Fault of their own to a perpetual Continuance in the World, should not have their Misery doubled by the Load of a Wife.

As soon as they have compleated the Term of eighty Years, they are look'd on as dead in Law; their Heirs immediately succeed to their Estates, only a small Pittance is reserved for their Support, and the poor ones are maintained at the publick Charge. After that Period they are held incapable of any Employment of Trust or Profit, they cannot purchase Lands or take Leases, neither are they allowed to be Witnesses in any Cause, either Civil or Criminal, not even for the Decision of Meers and Bounds.

At Ninety they lose their Teeth and Hair, they have at that age no Distinction of Taste, but eat and drink whatever they can get, without Relish or Appetite. The Diseases they were subject to still continuing without encreasing or diminishing. In talking they forgot the common Appellation of Things, and the Names of Persons, even of those who are their nearest Friends and Relations. For the same Reason they never can amuse themselves with reading, because their Memory will not serve to carry them from the beginning of a Sentence to the end; and by this Defect they are deprived of the only entertainment whereof they might otherwise be capable.

The Language of this Country being always upon the Flux, the Struldbruggs of one Age do not understand those of another, neither are they able after two hundred Years to hold any Conversation (farther than by a few general Words) with their Neighbours the Mortals; and thus they lye under the Disadvantage of living like Foreigners in their own Country.

33231.  Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:21 pm Reply with quote

People that have the surname "Death" usually pronounce it "De-ath".

Seems daft to me...

33233.  Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:30 pm Reply with quote

Although if, as often, they also spell it De'Ath, there is a very slim chance that it is nothing to do with dying, but reflects their family's origins in Ath in Belgium. Perhaps. But almost certainly not.

33285.  Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:03 pm Reply with quote

Surely the Ath connection would make the surname D'Ath?

33292.  Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:15 pm Reply with quote

Yeah. That is the major weakness of that theory. I found it mentioned as a possible occasional origin for the name in the Penguin Dictionary of Surnames, and Brewer's dictionary of names, and sort of assumed that they had a very clever reason for that not to matter, but I suspect they don't. Ah well, such is life, mused Mr. Grinling.

33313.  Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:59 pm Reply with quote

Ned Kelly's last words, I believe (apart from the 'mused Mr Grinling' part).

33329.  Mon Nov 21, 2005 6:24 pm Reply with quote

Were they? Finally! A source!

33418.  Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:44 am Reply with quote

On the subject of interesting deaths, specifically of composers (such as Chausson, who accidentally rode his pushbike into a brick wall), try post 9171 and following.

Mostly Harmless
33425.  Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:51 am Reply with quote


Last edited by Mostly Harmless on Sun Jan 08, 2006 3:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

33429.  Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:55 am Reply with quote

Surely General John Sedgwick must be near the top, for his last seven and a half words (before a bullet claimed him) at the battle of Spottsylvania, 1864 (American Civil War):

"They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist..."

Haven't checked this, mind.

33436.  Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:12 am Reply with quote

I was sure there was a "Famous Last Words" thread on this forum, but I can't locate it.

"On the whole I'd rather be in Pennsylvania," "Bugger Bognor" and "I think I'm feeling a little better now" are three of the more well-know ones - doubtless a quick Google would come up with more.


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