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City cemetery and its history

City cemetery and its history 86

Withered trees, rusty gates, crumbling stones, a lonely mourner. These things come to mind when we think about cemeteries. But not so long ago, many burials were busy places with blooming gardens and crowds of people strolling among the tombstones.

How has the city cemetery become what it is today? Some of them have existed for centuries, as the world’s largest, Wadi al-Salaam, where more than five million people are buried. Here, burials have been performed daily for over 1,400 years. But most places that we would call cemeteries are much younger.

In fact, throughout most of human history, we have not buried our dead at all. Our ancient ancestors had many other ways to part with their deceased loved ones. Some of them were left in caves. Others on trees or on top of mountains. Still others were sunk in lakes, sent to sea, ritually eaten or cremated. All of these practices, although some may seem strange today, are a way of worshiping the dead.

The first known burials about 120 thousand years ago were most likely reserved for violators, excluding them from ordinary rituals designed to honor the dead. But the first burials revealed some advantages over other practitices. They protected bodies from scavengers, the influence of the environment, and decay. These benefits may have altered the thinking of ancient people about graves designed to honor the dead, and burial has become a more common occurrence. Sometimes these graves contained household or ritual objects that could be useful in the afterlife.

Community burial sites appeared in North Africa and West Asia about 10-15 thousand years ago. Around the same time as the first permanent settlements in these areas. These burials created permanent places to commemorate the dead. Nomadic Scythians dotted the steppes with burial mounds, the Etruscans built huge network-like streets with tombs, called necropolises, in Rome in the underground catacombs, both cremation urns and intact remains were located.

City cemetery and its history 87

Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris

The concept of “city cemetery” was first used by the ancient Greeks, who built tombs on the outskirts of their cities. In medieval European cities, Christian cemeteries were located in church yards where the dead were buried, as well as markets, fairs, etc. Farmers even grazed cattle on them, believing that graveyard grass would make milk more sweet. As cities grew during the Industrial Revolution, large suburban cemeteries were replaced by small urban cemeteries. Cemeteries such as the nearly 50-hectare Pere Lachaise in Paris or the 70-hectare Mount Auburn in Cambridge, Massachusetts were lush gardens filled with sculpted stones and richly decorated tombs. Subsequently, the reserved land for the rich and powerful became available to the middle class. People visited cemeteries for funerals, but also for anniversaries, holidays, or just picnics.

By the end of the 19th century, when more public parks and botanical gardens appeared, the city cemetery began to lose visitors. Today, many old cemeteries are secluded places. Some famous cemeteries in the Western world lure visitors with tours, concerts and other entertainment, but even when old cemeteries are reborn, future graves are revised. In cities like London, New York and Hong Kong, the burial place ends. Even in places where space is not so scarce, cemeteries constantly occupy land that cannot be cultivated or developed. Traditional landfills consume materials such as metal, stone and concrete, and can also contaminate soil and groundwater with toxic substances.

City cemetery and its history 88

Forests over Cemeteries

With increased awareness of environmental issues, people are looking for alternatives. Many turn to cremation and related practices. Along with this, people can now send the remains of the deceased into space, use them to grow trees or make jewelry, fireworks or even tattoos from the ashes of the deceased. In the future, such options may completely replace burial sites. Cemeteries may be our most famous monuments to the departed, but they are just one step in the ever-evolving process of perpetuating and honoring the dead.

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Planet Earth

Polar vortex: “wild” winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January

Polar vortex: "wild" winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January 89

In the upper atmosphere above the North Pole, experts saw a rapidly swirling vortex of cold air that could bring severe frosts to the United States, Northern Europe and East Asia. Serious cold snap and snowy weather are expected after January the 16th.

Snowfalls and a cold snap hit South Korea since the start of 2021, hitting historic snow maximums and temperatures. In the country, for the first time since 1964, television and newer communications are sending people cold snap warnings:

https://twitter.com/sonyeoljin/status/1346841272347082752?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The situation is similar in Japan, where a new snow storm hit historic highs:

On January 7, the thermometer In Beijing dropped to -20 degrees Celsius, breaking the 1966 record. In other regions of China, the temperature is also not sugar, and you can only move around in special uniforms:

The cold even reached Taiwan, where the temperature in some areas dropped below freezing point, snow poured down and people realized that rice terraces can be used as a ski jump:

Even more snow went to Spain, where on January 6, 2021, a temperature of -34.1 ° C was recorded – the lowest on record. After that, a snow storm hit the country, which has not been seen for 80 years:

https://youtu.be/pHU533Krs5M

The same thing happens in Canada and in the northern states of the United States:

It seems that after a stratospheric warming, the subpolar vortex began to split:

The vortex itself is a standard phenomenon. However, this time experts were surprised at his movement. It is possible that in the near future it will be divided into two parts. 

Scientists associate the strange behavior with the changed climate in the Arctic, which has become warmer. From September to December, the amount of ice cover decreased significantly.

The polar vortex is a low-pressure region located in the stratosphere and filled with cold air. When the jet stream of air that holds the vortex weakens, the low pressure area moves south. 

As the ice shrinks, more moisture will move inland. It will turn to snow, so snowfalls are expected. Snow, in turn, reflects heat, leading to a cold snap.

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Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared

Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared 90

Eyewitnesses said they heard a loud crash at dawn when a huge hole in the ground formed outside the Ponticelli Ospedale del Mare hospital in eastern Naples.

Early in the morning of January 8, 2021, a sinkhole occurred in the parking lot of a clinic in Naples. The depth of the formed cavity is about 20 meters, the total area of ​​the hole is about 2,000 square meters.

No casualties were found at the scene; firefighters say the sinkhole “affected an area of ​​about 500 square meters” and engulfed several cars parked near the hospital.

As the press writes and as a little can be seen from the videos, rescuers and firefighters were running around the pit together with the governor of the area.  But who should be there in the forefront are Italian geologists, since Naples stands in the very center of the volcanic system known as the Phlegrean Fields.

If the surface collapsed, moreover – the surface reinforced with concrete and reinforced from below with some kind of communications, then we are talking about serious soil deformations caused by the activity of magma.

Italy has been in doubt since the summer of 2020, because swarms were observed there in very atypical places in May, and according to the forecasts of old Italian seismologists, who had witnessed many strong earthquakes, it should have boomed in the August region.

Fortunately, nothing bad happened to Italy and there was no big earthquake. But, since there are swarms, it means that something is being prepared, the magma is gathering strength. 

Following this particular sinkhole event – an obvious sign that a major earthquake in Italy is already very close.

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A new great pandemic cycle has begun (again) in China

A new great pandemic cycle has begun (again) in China 91

In the first months of 2020, the whole world with a certain fright followed the events unfolding in China, where people fell on the streets during the day and astronauts wandered, and in the evening crematoria began to smoke. And now, with the onset of December, the cycle seems to be repeating itself.

Shunyi area in Beijing, where the authorities announced “wartime status” the day before. As you can see in the videos, thousands of people are lined up in the queue for mandatory testing:

Dalian city, where “wartime” is also declared. Neighborhoods are blockaded, people are walled up in entrances, familiar characters of George Lucas roam the streets:

https://twitter.com/UndergroundSilk/status/1341741036297723905?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Chinese ‘rescuers’, before performing a combat mission:

Chengdu City:

Daluo Port, Yunnan – tourists came for adventure and they received the ‘time of their life’ after leaving the ramp:

If something happens in Beijing, it does not mean that tomorrow the same will happen everywhere. However, the trend towards such dynamics is observed and, as the practice of the first wave of the pandemic has shown, all countries and people, to one degree or another, have taken into account the ‘Chinese experience’. 

Therefore, one must think that everything will now be in peace, as in spring – a new global round of the fight against the Covid has begun in China, a new great pandemic cycle!

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