Cremation 101

Society | Posted by George Louis
Dec 24 2014

In many countries and across different religions, people practice the act of burning human bodies when death claims the said bodies physically. Today, there are many existing definitions and explanations for the practice, but to better understand it, it is important to know its origin and how it has evolved by and by.

So what is this practice anyway and where did it actually originate?

Cremation is more than just the simple act of burning a dead human body. It is actually done in a very scientific way that includes vaporization, oxidation, and of course, high-temperature burning. This whole process should be completely and thoroughly done because a dead human body needs to be broken down into basic chemical compounds (such as gases, minerals, etc.) in order to be reduced to ashes.

It is also significant to bear in mind that cremating is done, first and foremost, to dispose of a dead body into ashes quicker than the traditional burial.

CremationHowever, there are methods called “primary” and “secondary” cremation. Primary refers to the burning of dead bodies on the spot, while secondary refers to on the spot burning plus burying of the remains and the dead person’s properties on another site. These terms are oftenly used in archaeology, or the study of human history and prehistory.

The earliest cremated body ever recorded was that of the Mungo Lady in Australia roughly 20,000 years ago. Although only parts of her and not her entire body was found to had been cremated, her body that was found in Lake Mungo in Australia still holds the record for the first ever burned dead body.

Documents and academic papers also show that several other countries have been cremating dead bodies since 8000 BC. Cremating bodies was said to be the final stage in the rites of passage in China, which was also adapted by Greece, Sweden, and other parts of Europe later on.

Religions have also played an important role in the history of cremation. In religions common in Asia like Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism, it is an accepted and mandated practice. This is because there religions believe that the human body is a vessel which carries the soul. Thus, when death comes, the soul is detached and freed from the vessel. The dead body is also believed to be an offering to Agni, the Hindus’ god of fire.

However, other religions also oppose and actually forbid cremating bodies. Islam, for instance, has different and specific ways in disposing the human body. Burning it is not one of them. Judaism also traditionally opposed the practice, along with preserving the bodies of the dead (like mummification). However, it later on allowed it, thanks to the so-called “liberal Jews.”

Christianity and Catholicism, on the other hand, do not strictly forbid the act, but they discourage it. Both religions prefer burying the body over burning it for the simple reason of letting the body go back to ashes the “natural way.” However, as time evolves, more and more Christians and Catholics prefer to cremate dead bodies for practical reasons.

Over the years, the attitude towards the practice of burning dead bodies as an act of disposing them have changed and became more favorable. During the late 1800s, a certain Professor Brunetti presented a modern way of cremating bodies at the 1873 Vienna Exposition. He took into consideration not only the cultural and traditional aspects of the practice, but also the practical and hygienic aspects of it. It was when modern cremation, or the thing people do now, was born.

Today, cremation is practiced in over 31 countries. From the Mungo Lady in Australia, the practice has definitely evolved along with the human race.

Convey the Right Message by Choosing the Best Keynote Speaker

Motivation | Posted by Bradley Beatty
Dec 23 2014

Conventions, plenary, and conferences all require one essential component– the presence of a keynote speaker who will anchor the subject and deeply inculcate the essence of it in the minds of the participants. This is a very important component that is factored in by several companies and professional organizations. However, the real question is – how can you really find the ‘ONE’?

Finding the right speaker for an event takes a lot of evaluation and pondering – taking into account the overall theme of the event, the type of the participants, the output expected, as well as the budget. So if you are tasked to find one for your company’s next event, then here are some tips in knowing who to hire for the day:

Find a keynote speaker who has VALUABLE information, knowledge, skills to share

This is quite obvious, isn’t it? However, this is also among the fundamentals that many companies fail into account. Others are extremely focused on finding the person who can ‘entertain’ the crowd more than ‘inspire’ them. Finding the balance between these two is crucial. Scout a number of potential speakers – highlight what they can share and check if they are able to truly move a crowd. Someone who has unparalleled knowledge on a particular subject and a ‘little’ extra on the side could be the perfect choice.

Hire a keynote speaker who is able to communicate both verbally and non-verbally

It is a known fact that people convey their message through gestures, facial expressions, and involuntary actions more than using mere words. Someone with wit and knows how to synch it with his movement is a good candidate. Someone who understands the formula of ‘movements combined with timing’ will surely deliver the goods the day of the presentation itself. A really good speaker does not depend on a podium, spiels, or any other form of visual aid.

Get someone who has a good understanding of your company.

Compatibility is also among the most essential keys in selecting the right keynote speaker for your company. Someone who is particularly inclined to the activity of your company could provide the most benefits. A person, who is equipped with the right knowledge, and not just the skills on addressing a large group of participants, can also establish the connection to your audience the most easily. A person who has enough experience in dealing with a company such as yours can speak more naturally.

Look for the person who would stir the curiosity of the audience

Keynote speakerSomeone who seems a little ‘odd’ can also spice up any given occasion. When selecting, the right speaker to encourage and motivate the employees, it is also a good idea to hire someone who can offer an element of surprise to the entire event. For example, hiring a known celebrity who has a different profession in real life can be a good option, or a known architect who had always dreamt of becoming a doctor. Plot twists are always amusing and very inspiring to hear. They can also be a good instrument in imparting real-life lessons to the employees.

Optimizing a conference and selecting the right persons is truly beneficial to the company. Motivated employees and inspired staff are the lifeblood of any business operation. Participants who attend fruitful seminars also tend to inspire others and see their working environment differently. It is essential that people, who also invest time in attending, will get something valuable in return. Selecting the right keynote speaker for any given event is also considered a very good short-term investment that will ensure good results for the company in the long run.