The Null Device
Wired News, veering ever further from its mid-90s WELL-digerati origins, has
a brief history of ways to determine if a corpse is really dead
, to prevent premature
burials, These included everything from tongue-pulling machines and smoke
enemas to devices such as the "security coffin" and the "vitae dubiae asylum".
And it warns that to this day, we may well be sending the comatose to wake
in horror in a buried coffin, especially where the cosmetic practice of
embalming isn't practiced.
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