1. theunhivedmind

    Jackson service set for Tuesday

    Friday, 3 July 2009 11:14 UKE-mail this to a friend Printable version

    A memorial service for Michael Jackson will be held on Tuesday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles where he had been rehearsing for his London concerts.

    His family announced the event as concert promoters AEG Live released a video of the singer rehearsing for the O2 gigs, two days before his death.

    Some 11,000 free tickets will be made available for the service.

    Meanwhile, a lawyer for Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe says she is undecided about whether to fight for custody.

    Tuesday’s memorial service will start at 1000 (1700 GMT).

    Footage of Jackson, recorded on 23 June, shows the star singing and dancing as he performed his hit They Don’t Really Care About Us – incorporating elements of History and She Drives Me Wild.

    The star was rehearsing for a 50-date residency at the O2.

    Randy Phillips, president of AEG Live, which also owns the Staples Center, said there were more than 100 hours of rehearsal footage which could be turned into a film and live albums.

    “We have enough audio to make two live albums, and he’s never done a live album,” he added.

    “This is really the last great work of a 21st century genius.”

    Meanwhile, Benny Andersson has quashed rumours that Abba would reform to take over Jackson’s O2 dates.

    “No-one’s asked us, and if they did we wouldn’t say yes,” he said in an interview filmed for BBC One’s Friday Night With Jonathan Ross.

    Hearing delayed

    On Thursday, Ms Rowe won a delay in a custody hearing while she decides if she wants to raise Michael Joseph Jackson Jr, known as Prince Michael, 12, and Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, 11.

    The singer’s youngest son – seven-year-old Prince Michael II – was born to a surrogate mother whose identity has never been revealed.

    Debbie Rowe was married to Jackson for three years

    Jackson’s will asks for his mother, Katherine, 79, to have permanent custody of all three children.

    A judge has now delayed a guardianship hearing – scheduled for Monday – until 13 July, at the request of Ms Rowe and Katherine Jackson, who has temporary custody of the children.

    It follows media reports that Ms Rowe wanted to look after her children.

    But her lawyer, Eric George, told reporters: “I am representing to you now. Debbie has not reached a final decision concerning the pending custody proceedings.”

    On Thursday, it was revealed that Jackson had left Ms Rowe out of his will.

    “I have intentionally omitted to provide for my former wife, Deborah Jean Rowe Jackson,” the document stated.

    Rowe married Jackson in 1996 but filed for divorce in 1999. She gave up custody rights to the children but sought them again in 2003.

    They agreed a settlement in 2006 but the terms were never disclosed.

    In 2003, Ms Rowe appeared in footage released by Jackson in response to a controversial ITV documentary, which raised allegations of inappropriate behaviour with children by the star.

    In it, Ms Rowe described her family as “non-traditional”, saying her children were her gift to Jackson.

    “My kids don’t call me mom because I don’t want them to,” she said. “These are Michael’s children.”

  2. theunhivedmind

    Michael Jackson to be buried without his brain

    organ removed as investigators seek clues to star’s death

    world exclusive by david gardner in los angeles 5/07/2009

    michael jackson will be buried this week– without his brain. as his family tries to finalise details for the king of pop’s funeral on tuesday they have been told it will be held back for tests.

    They faced the grim choice of waiting up to three weeks for jackson’s brain to be returned to them or go ahead and bury him without it – which they have decided to do.

    Los angeles coroner’s spokesman craig harvey confirmed that neuropathology tests will be carried out to see if it holds any clues to the exact cause of his death.

    But the examination cannot begin until at least two weeks after the death when the brain has hardened sufficiently to slice it open.

    Jackson died from a cardiac arrest at his beverly hills mansion on june 25 after a suspected overdose of painkillers.

    Sources at the coroner’s office revealed that his brain was removed before his body was released to relatives the next day.

    A forensic neuropathologist will test jackson’s brain for, among other things, past drug use and whether he has suffered overdoses in the past.

    The brain can also show any past abuse of alcohol or if the deceased had suffered from any one of a number of diseases. The source said that removing the brain is the “only way to carry out the tests”.

    “the tissue has to be examined,” he said. “i can’t tell you how long that is going to take.”

    one expert explained that the jackson family could decide to wait and bury the brain with the rest of the body. But it is far more common for the lab to burn the remains once they’ve been examined or for them to be placed into the grave at a later date.

    “it’s up to the family. They can bury him and then bury the brain later on,” said dr cyril wecht, a former coroner and one of america’s foremost forensic pathologists.

    But he added: “it’s rare for the body to be held back for two weeks or more.”

    jackson’s body was handed over to his family soon after the three-hour autopsy was completed and the jacksons went on to order a second forensic examination.

    But dr wecht said: “the brain cannot be properly examined at the time of the autopsy. You cannot test it while it is in the body. So it is cut off at the spinal cord and removed.”

    the brain would usually be placed in a plastic bucket, suspended in formaldehyde fluid, and put in a refridgerator at 4c to preserve it.

    Dr wecht went on: “people don’t realise how soft the brain is. To do the type of detailed examination required you need to have the brain much harder – and for that you have to wait for at least 10 days to two weeks.”

    dr wecht, who was not involved in the jackson autopsies, has reviewed and been consulted on many high-profile deaths, including john f. Kennedy, elvis presley and anna nicole smith.

    “in los angeles they have a neuropathologist they work with, and he will be looking at the brain,” he said.

    It is cut into sections of less than half-an-inch thick and reviewed first by the naked eye and then through a microscopic. “that all takes 17 to 18 days,” dr wecht added in an exclusive interview.

    Dr wecht, who chronicles his career dissecting more than 16,000 bodies in his best- selling memoir a question of murder, added: “in the 47 years i have been doing this i reckon only about one per cent of families say they want the brain back so they can bury it. In most cases it is incinerated.”

    the autopsy is expected to show that the 50-year-old singer had drugs in his system when he died.

    At various times, he is said to have been taking demerol and oxycontin for pain from old back and leg injuries and diprivan, a hospital anaesthetic, to help him sleep.

    – michael jackson starred as the scarecrow in the wiz, the 1978 musical version of the wizard of oz – playing the character without a brain opposite diana ross as dorothy.

  3. theunhivedmind

    Egyptian afterlife ceremonies, sarcophagi, burial masks

    Ancient Egyptian civilization was based on religion; their belief in the rebirth after death became their driving force behind their funeral practices. Death was simply a temporary interruption, rather than complete cessation, of life, and that eternal life could be ensured by means like piety to the gods, preservation of the physical form through mummification, and the provision of statuary and other funerary equipment. Each human consisted of the physical body, the ‘ka’, the ‘ba’, and the ‘akh’. The name and shadow were also living entities. To enjoy the afterlife, all these elements had to be sustained and protected from harm.

    Before the old kingdom, bodies buried in desert pits were naturally preserved by desiccation. The arid, desert conditions continued to be a boon throughout the history of ancient egypt for the burials of the poor, who could not afford the elaborate burial preparations available to the elite. Wealthier egyptians began to bury their dead in stone tombs and, as a result, they made use of artificial mummification, which involved removing the internal organs, wrapping the body in linen, and burying it in a rectangular stone sarcophagus or wooden coffin. Beginning in the fourth dynasty, some parts were preserved separately in canopic jars.

    By the new kingdom, the ancient egyptians had perfected the art of mummification; the best technique took 70 days and involved removing the internal organs, removing the brain through the nose, and desiccating the body in a mixture of salts called natron. The body was then wrapped in linen with protective amulets inserted between layers and placed in a decorated anthropoid coffin. Mummies of the late period were also placed in painted cartonnage mummy cases. Actual preservation practices declined during the ptolemaic and roman eras, while greater emphasis was placed on the outer appearance of the mummy, which was decorated.

    Wealthy egyptians were buried with larger quantities of luxury items, but all burials, regardless of social status, included goods for the deceased. Beginning in the new kingdom, books of the dead were included in the grave, along with shabti statues that were believed to perform manual labor for them in the afterlife rituals in which the deceased was magically re-animated accompanied burials. After burial, living relatives were expected to occasionally bring food to the tomb and recite prayers on behalf of the deceased.

    Egyptians also believed that being mummified was the only way to have an afterlife. Only if the corpse had been properly embalmed and entombed in a mastaba, could the dead live again in the fields of yalu and accompany the sun on its daily ride.

    Anubis and ma’at

    anubis is the greek name for a jackal-headed god associated with mummification and the afterlife in egyptian mythology. In the ancient egyptian language, anubis is known as inpu, (variously spelled anupu, ienpw etc.). The oldest known mention of anubis is in the old kingdom pyramid texts, where he is associated with the burial of the king. At this time, anubis was the most important god of the dead but he was replaced during the middle kingdom by osiris.

    Anubis takes various titles in connection with his funerary role, such as he who is upon his mountain, which underscores his importance as a protector of the deceased and their tombs, and the title he who is in the place of embalming, associating him with the process of mummification. Like many ancient egyptian deities, anubis assumes different roles in various contexts, and no public procession in egypt would be conducted without an anubis to march at the head.

    In ancient egyptian religion, when the body died, parts of its soul known as ka (body double) and the ba (personality) would go to the kingdom of the dead. While the soul dwelt in the fields of aaru, osiris demanded work as payback for the protection he provided. Statues were placed in the tombs to serve as substitutes for the deceased.

    The funerary scene

    arriving at one’s reward in afterlife was a demanding ordeal, requiring a sin-free heart and the ability to recite the spells, passwords, and formulae of the book of the dead.

    For more; http://www.crystalinks.com/egyptafterlife.html

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