Monday, July 30, 2012

E m B a L m i n G Process

[WARNING: Contains disturbing images] This is a fairly morbid topic but a very interesting one. Embalming is not required by law in many countries, but it is often performed for the benefit of loved ones. An embalmer has the very responsible task of ensuring that family members are not left with an undesirable last memory of their loved one. These are the five steps involved in the embalming process.

1. Pre-Embalming

At anytime, day or night, the funeral professional may be called upon to do his or her job. People have a tendency to die at the most inconvenient times, and a mortician cannot wait until later to retrieve a body. This means lots of getting up at 1 AM and having to work on holidays.

When someone dies and once authorization has been granted by the family, doctor, and/or by the medical examiner, the embalmer is called to make the “removal” of the body. After filling out the appropriate paperwork the embalmer takes the body to the funeral home, and if embalming is requested or required, begins the process.

An embalming report is filled out that logs all jewelry and personal items on the body; details any discolorations, cuts, bruises, etc. on the body; and documents the procedures and chemicals used during embalming. This report can become very valuable if a deceased’s family bring a lawsuit against the funeral home.

All clothing, bandages, IV needles, catheters and such are removed. A strong disinfectant spray is used to clean the skin, eyes, mouth, and other orifices. If rigor mortis (the stiffening of muscles after death) has set in, it is relieved by moving the limbs and head about and massaging the muscles. If the decedent is a man, he is normally shaved at this point. Razor burn (yes, not even death can save you from this) is less likely before the arterial chemical firms the skin of the face. Even women and children are shaved to remove the fine “peach fuzz” we all have on our faces. This is done to avoid the makeup from collecting on the hair and making the makeup more noticeable.

2. Feature Setting

Next begins the process of placing the facial features and the body itself in the position it will remain in the casket for viewing. This is done before arterial embalming, because the body will be truly “set” – firmed in position once formaldehyde reaches the tissues.

Great care is taken to close the eyes. The traditional method for doing this involves placing a bit of cotton between the eye and eyelid. Many times after death the eyes sink back into their sockets, so small plastic “eye caps” are placed on each eye ball. A small amount of stay creme is placed on the eyecap to avoid dehydration of the eyelids. Contrary to popular myth, the eyelids are never sewn shut, but in some cases that may be glued together to prevent separation.

The mouth is closed either by tying the jaw together with a piece of suture string or by a special injector gun. With the suture method, a curved needle with a piece of suture string is threaded through the jaw below the gums, stuck through upper jaw into to the right nostril, threaded through the septum of the nose into the left nostril, and then passed back down into the mouth. The two ends of suture are tied, careful not too tightly, so that a natural appearance of the mouth is created.

To finish closing the mouth, many times a mouth former is used. A mouth former is similar to an eyecap as it has a textured side that grips the lips, but it is shaped like the mouth. A small amount of stay creme is also used on the mouth to avoid dehydration and help hold the lips in place. The mortician may also squeeze inside the mouth a little mastic compound, a paste kind of like caulk to give the mouth a better and more pleasing shape.

3. Arterial Embalming

Arterial embalming is begun by injecting embalming fluid into an artery while the blood is drained from a nearby vein or from the heart. The two gallons or so needed is usually a mixture of formaldehyde or other chemical and water. In the case of certain cancers, some diabetic conditions, or because of the drugs used prior to death (where body deterioration has already begun), a stronger or “waterless” solution is likely to be used for better body preservation. Chemicals are also injected by syringe into other areas of the body.

Once the embalming fluid begins to flow into the arterial system, pressure begins to build up in the entire vascular system. This helps the fluid reach all parts of the body and penetrate into the tissues. Evidence of this can be seen in bulging veins throughout the body. The jugular drain tube is opened periodically (it is normally closed) to allow blood to escape and prevent too much pressure in the vascular system which could cause swelling. The blood drains directly into the sewer system, which sounds gross, but in reality much worse things go into our sewers.

Once arterial injection has been completed, the arterial and jugular tubes are removed, the vessels are tied closed, and the incision used to access the vessels is sutured closed and sealed with a special chemical.

4. Cavity Embalming

Arterial fluids mainly treat the skin, muscles, and organs themselves. What’s inside the organs (such as urine, bile, etc.) begins to decompose. Gases and bacteria can build up and cause distention, odor, and purge (such as brown fluids coming out of the mouth – not exactly the way you want to remember grandma). These bacteria can sometimes spread to other parts of the body, even after arterial embalming, causing decomposition problems (and then sometimes legal problems for the funeral home).

Cavity treatment starts with aspirating (suctioning) fluids out of the internal organs in the abdomen and thoracic cavity. This is accomplished this with the use of a trocar. The embalmer uses it to puncture the stomach, bladder, large intestines, and lungs. Gas and fluids are withdrawn before “cavity fluid” (a stronger mix of formaldehyde) is injected into the torso. The anus and vagina may be packed with cotton or gauze to prevent seepage if necessary. (A close-fitting plastic garment may also be used.)

These steps apply only to a body that has not been autopsied. During autopsy all the internal organs are removed and inspected by the medical examiner and then placed back inside the body or sometimes incinerated. At the funeral home, the mortician removes the viscera and places it in a plastic bag called a “viscera bag” and allows it to soak in cavity chemical. The inside of the body cavity is aspirated with a special instrument and then coated with an embalming gel and/or an embalming powder. The treated organs are then placed back inside the body or the bag full of organs gets placed at the foot end of the casket (so never try to admire a deceased’s shoes!)

5. Post-Embalming

The body and hair are washed once more to remove any blood or chemicals and then thoroughly dried. Any restorations are done now, such as rebuilding features, masking sores or abrasions, etc. Makeup gets applied to the face, neck, and hands. Either a translucent makeup is used in normal cases or an opaque makeup is applied if the skin is discolored. In either case, the effect should be a subtle as possible to avoid Uncle Roger looking like Aunt Rose. The fingernails are trimmed. The hair is styled, either by the embalmer or by a professional hairdresser or barber.

The remains are dressed in the outfit chosen by the family. This outfit almost always includes underwear, shoes, and socks. In the case of autopsy or other difficulties, plastic undergarments are placed on the body to prevent leakage.

Finally comes casketing. The body is placed into the casket and posed in the proper position. The family normally views the body at this point and decides on any changes that need to be made. During the viewing period (which can sometimes last for several days) the embalmer will periodically check the body for signs of decomposition and takes any corrective action.

Monday, July 23, 2012

BS Criminology Student Wins ISSC Presidency

Garnering a total of 2,097 votes, Razzel Aldwin U. Moreno of CAUPOD Party was declared the new SSG President after defeating Hazel L. Medrina of PULSO Party with 2,052 votes during the synchronized Institutional Student Supreme Council (ISSC) and Collegiate Student Council (CSC) Election held on July 19, 2012 at Northwest Samar State University (NwSSU) Main Campus, Calbayog City.

The new ISSC President who won over the BSED Major in English student, was a third year student taking up Bachelor of Science in Criminology from the College of Teacher Education and Arts and Sciences (CTEAS). Razzel, as fondly called by his friends is the second child of Mr. & Mrs. Bong Moreno and presently the SK Chairman of Oquendo Poblacion, Calbayog City.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


As I walked home one freezing day, I stumbled on a wallet someone had lost in the street. I picked it up and looked inside to find some identification so
I could call the owner. But the wallet contained only three dollars and a
crumpled letter that looked as if it had been in there for years.

The envelope was worn and the only thing that was legible on it was the
return address. I started to open the letter, hoping to find some clue. Then
I saw the dateline--1924. The letter had been written almost sixty years ago.

It was written in a beautiful feminine handwriting on powder blue
stationery with a little flower in the left-hand corner. It was a "Dear John"
letter that told the recipient, whose name appeared to be Michael, that the
writer could not see him any more because her mother forbade it. Even so, she
wrote that she would always love him.

It was signed, Hannah.

It was a beautiful letter, but there was no way except for the name
Michael, that the owner could be identified. Maybe if I called information,
the operator could find a phone listing for the address on the envelope.

"Operator," I began, "this is an unusual request. I'm trying to find the
owner of a wallet that I found. Is there anyway you can tell me if there is a
phone number for an address that was on an envelope in the wallet?"

She suggested I speak with her supervisor, who hesitated for a moment then said, "Well, there is a phone listing at that address, but I can't give you
the number." She said, as a courtesy, she would call that number, explain my
story and would ask them if they wanted her to connect me. I waited a few
minutes and then she was back on the line. "I have a party who will speak
with you."

I asked the woman on the other end of the line if she knew anyone by the
name of Hannah. She gasped, "Oh! We bought this house from a family who had a daughter named Hannah. But that was 30 years ago!"

"Would you know where that family could be located now?" I asked.

"I remember that Hannah had to place her mother in a nursing home some
years ago," the woman said. "Maybe if you got in touch with them they might be able to track down the daughter."

She gave me the name of the nursing home and I called the number. They told me the old lady had passed away some years ago but they did have a phone number for where they thought the daughter might be living.

I thanked them and phoned. The woman who answered explained that Hannah herself was now living in a nursing home.

This whole thing was stupid, I thought to myself. Why was I making such a
big deal over finding the owner of a wallet that had only three dollars and a
letter that was almost 60 years old?

Nevertheless, I called the nursing home in which Hannah was supposed to be living and the man who answered the phone told me, "Yes, Hannah is staying with us. "

Even though it was already 10 p.m., I asked if I could come by to see her.
"Well," he said hesitatingly, "if you want to take a chance, she might be in
the day room watching television."

I thanked him and drove over to the nursing home. The night nurse and a
guard greeted me at the door. We went up to the third floor of the large
building. In the day room, the nurse introduced me to Hannah.

She was a sweet, silver-haired old timer with a warm smile and a twinkle in
her eye.

I told her about finding the wallet and showed her the letter. The second
she saw the powder blue envelope with that little flower on the left, she took
a deep breath and said, "Young man, this letter was the last contact I ever
had with Michael."

She looked away for a moment deep in thought and then said Softly, "I loved
him very much. But I was only 16 at the time and my mother felt I was too
young. Oh, he was so handsome. He looked like Sean Connery, the actor."

"Yes," she continued. "Michael Goldstein was a wonderful person. If you
should find him, tell him I think of him often. And," she hesitated for a
moment, almost biting her lip, "tell him I still love him. You know," she said
smiling as tears began to well up in her eyes, "I never did marry. I guess no
one ever matched up to Michael..."

I thanked Hannah and said goodbye. I took the elevator to the first floor
and as I stood by the door, the guard there asked, "Was the old lady able to
help you?"

I told him she had given me a lead. "At least I have a last name. But I
think I'll let it go for a while. I spent almost the whole day trying to find
the owner of this wallet."

I had taken out the wallet, which was a simple brown leather case with red
lacing on the side. When the guard saw it, he said, "Hey, wait a minute!
That's Mr. Goldstein's wallet. I'd know it anywhere with that bright red
lacing. He's always losing that wallet. I must have found it in the halls at
least three times."

"Who's Mr. Goldstein?" I asked as my hand began to shake.

"He's one of the old timers on the 8th floor. That's Mike Goldstein's
wallet for sure. He must have lost it on one of his walks."

I thanked the guard and quickly ran back to the nurse's office. I told her
what the guard had said. We went back to the elevator and got on. I prayed
that Mr. Goldstein would be up.

On the eighth floor, the floor nurse said, "I think he's still in the day
room. He likes to read at night. He's a darling old man."

We went to the only room that had any lights on and there was a man reading a book. The nurse went over to him and asked if he had lost his wallet. Mr. Goldstein looked up with surprise, put his hand in his back pocket and said, "Oh, it is missing!"

"This kind gentleman found a wallet and we wondered if it could be yours?"

I handed Mr. Goldstein the wallet and the second he saw it, he smiled with
relief and said, "Yes, that's it! It must have dropped out of my pocket this
afternoon. I want to give you a reward."

"No, thank you," I said. "But I have to tell you something. I read the
letter in the hope of finding out who owned the wallet."

The smile on his face suddenly disappeared. "You read that letter?"

"Not only did I read it, I think I know where Hannah is."

He suddenly grew pale. "Hannah? You know where she is? How is she? Is she still as pretty as she was? Please, please tell me," he begged.

"She's fine...just as pretty as when you knew her." I said softly.

The old man smiled with anticipation and asked, "Could you tell me where
she is? I want to call her tomorrow." He grabbed my hand and said, "You know something, mister, I was so in love with that girl that when that letter came, my life literally ended. I never married. I guess I've always loved her. "

"Mr. Goldstein," I said, "Come with me."

We took the elevator down to the third floor. The hallways were darkened
and only one or two little night-lights lit our way to the day room where
Hannah was sitting alone watching the television. The nurse walked over to

"Hannah," she said softly, pointing to Michael, who was waiting with me in
the doorway. "Do you know this man?"

She adjusted her glasses, looked for a moment, but didn't say a word.
Michael said softly, almost in a whisper, "Hannah, it's Michael. Do you
remember me?"

She gasped, "Michael! I don't believe it! Michael! It's you! My Michael!"
He walked slowly towards her and they embraced. The nurse and I left with
tears streaming down our faces.

"See," I said. "See how the Good Lord works! If it's meant to be, it will

About three weeks later I got a call at my office from the nursing home.
"Can you break away on Sunday to attend a wedding? Michael and Hannah are going to tie the knot!"

It was a beautiful wedding with all the people at the nursing home dressed
up to join in the celebration. Hannah wore a light beige dress and looked
beautiful. Michael wore a dark blue suit and stood tall. They made me their
best man.

The hospital gave them their own room and if you ever wanted to see a
76-year-old bride and a 79-year-old groom acting like two teenagers, you had
to see this couple.

A perfect ending for a love affair that had lasted nearly 60 years.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

IDOL PIDOL!!! Thank You So Much for the LAUGHTERS!

Si Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Sr. (Hulyo 25, 1928 - Hulyo 10, 2012) o mas kilala sa tawag na Dolphy ay isang artistang Pilipino. Siya ang tinaguriang "Hari ng Komedya" sa larangan ng showbiz sa Pilipinas. Nagsimula siyang lumabas sa pelikula sa produksyon ng ama ni Fernando Poe Jr. si Fernando Poe para sa pelikulang Dugo ng Bayan.

Nakilala siya nang maging kontratadong artista siya ng Sampaguita Pictures at gawin ang una niyang pelikula dito, ang Sa Isang Sulyap Mo Tita. Naging malaking patok ito sa takilya bagay na binigyan siya ng kanyang unang starring role sa Jack & Jill kung saang ginampanan niya ang papel ng isang baklang kapatid ng tomboy naman na si Lolita Rodriguez.



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Eyes here ABDevCom-1 (Nat.Sci.1) 1st online Assignment

The Earth's shape most closely resembles which of the following object
  1. a basketball
  2. a pear
  3. a ping-pong ball
  4. an apple
An observer watching a sailing ship at sea notes that the ship appears to be "sinking" as it moves away. Which statement best explains this observation?
  1. The surface of the ocean has depressions
  2. The earth has a curved surface
  3. The earth is rotating
  4. The earth is revolving
According to the Earth Science Reference Tables, the equatorial radius of the Earth is approximately
  1. 637 km
  2. 6370 km
  3. 63700 km
  4. 637000 km
At which location would an observer find the greatest force due to the Earth's gravity?
  1. North Pole
  2. New York State
  3. Tropic of Cancer (23.5N)
  4. Equator
The water sphere of the earth is known as the
  1. atmosphere
  2. troposphere
  3. lithosphere
  4. hydrosphere
Which statement provides the best evidence that the Earth has a nearly spherical shape?
  1. The sun has a spherical shape.
  2. The altitude of Polaris(N. Star) changes with the observer's latitude in the Northern Hemisphere.
  3. Star trails photographed over a period of time show a circular path.
  4. The length of noontime shadows change throughout the year.
The latitude of a point in the Northern Hemisphere may be determined by measuring the
  1. apparent diameter of Polaris
  2. altitude of Polaris
  3. distance to the Sun
  4. apparent diameter of the Sun
If the deepest parts of the ocean are about 10 kilometers and the radius of the Earth is about 6400 kilometers, the depth of the oceans would represent what percent of the the Earth's radius?
  1. less than 1%
  2. about 5%
  3. about 25%
  4. more than 75%
The true shape of the Earth is best described as a
  1. perfect sphere
  2. perfect ellipse
  3. slightly oblate sphere
  4. highly eccentric ellipse
Compared to Earth’s crust, Earth’s core is believed to be
  1. less dense, cooler, and composed of more iron
  2. less dense, hotter, and composed of less iron
  3. more dense, hotter, and composed of more iron
  4. more dense, cooler, and composed of less iron