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Scythe through the Net to find the Grim Reaper

Everything you wanted to know about death but were afraid to click

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There may a load of rubbish on the Net but when it comes to the big issues - sex, life, death and Star Trek - it comes into its own. We spend very little of our lives pondering our inevitable demise and when the Grim Reaper does arise, it usually has an disproportionate affect on our psyche. So, in a special service, we have decided to cover what the wibbly wobbly web has to offer when it comes to going. First up is Death Clock, which will kindly tell you exactly when you are going to die to the last second. You also have the option to go for a pessimistic or sadistic lifespan. If it's your 70th birthday today, you've got nearly another four years left. While most people fade and some go tragically, a few will have the state finish them off. Capital Punishment has always been a hot potato and was banned in the UK in 1965, but in many countries the ultimate deterrent is still lawful. This being the Net, most material is US-based and one of the best sites is the death penalty information centre. Visit here is you want to know its history, state-by-state formats, costs, botched executions and a whole host of other information. The more serious and unsavoury a subject, the more humour that can be derived out of it. If you want a laugh, check out this list of top animated death sites. A million and one ways to die are acted out by cartoon characters, mostly stick figures. Download them - you'll die laughing. Things get a bit more morbid at the Natural Death Centre. As the name suggests, this is a pretty hands-on site dedicated to the ins and outs of dying and helping those dying at home. In fact, you can even buy a handbook on the site (or send a donation). A comprehensive section on woodland burial is strangely intriguing - 40 chipboard coffin anyone? If you want to know about dead US relatives, you can check them out through their social securities numbers at ancestry.com. If you don't know their number, you may still find them through their date of birth and city of origin. If you want to give a friend/relative/partner a cyber tribute, the UK's first online funeral parlour has opened at InMemoryOf.co.uk. You can set up an obituary for 25, 80 with photos. Or even add a guestbook for 120. There's not much here yet, but some of the tributes are genuinely touching. Lastly, there is a wealth of information, help and advice for those dealing with recent or impending death as well as sociological studies of what deaths means to different socities at different times. A really good links site which covers most eventualities can be found here. Of course, perhaps the wisest words concerning death come from the renowned ancient text The Tibetan Book of the Dead - which found renewed interest during the acid era in the 60s. It says, and we're paraphrasing here, to understand death is to understand life. There's a thought for the day.

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