A birthday is the anniversary of the birth of a person, or figuratively of an institution. Birthdays of people are celebrated in numerous cultures with birthday gifts, birthday cards, a birthday party, or a rite of passage. Many religions celebrate religious figures with special holidays. There is a distinction between birthday and birthdate: The former, other than February 29, occurs each year, while the latter is the exact date a person was born. In most legal systems, one becomes designated as an adult on a particular birthday, reaching age-specific milestones confers particular rights and responsibilities. At certain ages, one may become eligible to leave full-time education, become subject to military conscription or to enlist in the military, to consent to sexual intercourse, to marry, to marry without parental consent, to vote, to run for elected office, to purchase alcohol and tobacco products, to purchase lottery tickets, or to obtain a driver's licence; the age of majority is the age when minors cease to be considered children and assume control over their persons and decisions, thereby terminating the legal control and legal responsibilities of their parents or guardians over and for them.
Most countries set the age of majority at 18. Many cultures have one or more coming of age birthdays: In Canada and the United States, families mark a girl's 16th birthday with a "sweet sixteen" celebration – represented in popular culture. In some Hispanic countries, as well as in Portuguese-speaking Brazil, the quinceañera or festa de quinze anos celebration traditionally marks a girl's 15th birthday. In Nepal and India, on a child's first birthday, their head is shaved while being held by a special fire. Removal of the hair is believed to cleanse the child of any evil in past lives, symbolizes a renewal of the soul. Hindu male children of some castes, like Brahmins, have the 12th or 13th birthday replaced with a grand "thread ceremony"; the child wears it, symbolizing his coming of age. This is called the Upanayana. In the Philippines, a coming-of-age party called a debut is held for girls on their 18th birthday, for boys on their 21st birthday. In some Asian countries that follow the zodiac calendar, there is a tradition of celebrating the 60th birthday.
In Korea, many celebrate a traditional ceremony of Doljanchi. In Japan there is a Coming for all of those who have turned 20 years of age. In British Commonwealth nations cards from the Royal Family are sent to those celebrating their 100th and 105th birthday and every year thereafter. In Ghana, on their birthday, children wake up to a special treat called "oto", a patty made from mashed sweet potato and eggs fried in palm oil, they have a birthday party where they eat stew and rice and a dish known as "kelewele", fried plantain chunks. Jewish boys have a bar mitzvah on their 13th birthday. Jewish girls have a bat mitzvah on their 12th birthday, or sometimes on their 13th birthday in Reform and Conservative Judaism; this marks the transition where they become obligated in commandments of which they were exempted and are counted as part of the community. The birthdays of significant people, such as national heroes or founders, are commemorated by an official holiday marking the anniversary of their birth.
Catholic saints are remembered by a liturgical feast on the anniversary of their "birth" into heaven a.k.a. their day of death. The ancient Romans marked the anniversary of a temple dedication or other founding event as a dies natalis, a term still sometimes applied to the anniversary of an institution. A person's golden or grand birthday referred to as their "lucky birthday", "champagne birthday", or "star birthday", occurs when they turn the age of their birth day. An individual's Beddian birthday, named in tribute to firefighter Bobby Beddia, occurs during the year that his or her age matches the last two digits of the year he or she was born. In many cultures and jurisdictions, if a person's real birthday is not known their birthday may be adopted or assigned to a specific day of the year, such as January 1; the birthday of Jesus is celebrated at Christmas. Racehorses are reckoned to become one year old in the year following their birth on the first of January in the Northern Hemisphere and the first of August in the Southern Hemisphere.
In many parts of the world an individual's birthday is celebrated by a party where a specially made cake decorated with lettering and the person's age, is presented. The cake is traditionally studded with the same number of lit candles as the age of the individual, or a number candle representing their age; the celebrated individual will make a silent wish and attempt to blow out the candles in one breath. In many cultures, the wish must be kept secret or it won't "come true". Presents are bestowed on the individual by the guests appropriate to her/his age. Other birthday activities may include entertainment, a special toast or speech by the birthday celebrant; the last stanza of Patty Hill's and Mildred Hill's famous song, "Good Morning to You" is sung by the gu
An obituary is a news article that reports the recent death of a person along with an account of the person's life and information about the upcoming funeral. In large cities and larger newspapers, obituaries are written only for people considered significant. In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information. Two types of paid advertisements are related to obituaries. One, known as a death notice, omits most biographical details and may be a required public notice under some circumstances; the other type, a paid memorial advertisement, is written by family members or friends with assistance from a funeral home. Both types of paid advertisements are run as classified advertisements. A premature obituary is a false reporting of the death of a person, still alive.
It may occur due to unexpected survival of someone, close to death. Other reasons for such publication might be miscommunication between newspapers, family members, the funeral home resulting in embarrassment for everyone involved. Irish author Brendan Behan said that there is no such thing as bad publicity except dying in a toilet. In this regard, some people will seek to have an unsuspecting newspaper editor publish a premature death notice or obituary as a malicious hoax to gain revenge on the "deceased". To that end, nearly all newspapers now have policies requiring that death notices come from a reliable source, though this has not stopped some pranksters such as Alan Abel. Many news organisations have pre-written obituaries on file for notable individuals who are still living, allowing detailed and lengthy obituaries to appear quickly after their death; the Los Angeles Times' obituary of Elizabeth Taylor, for example, was written in 1999 after three months of research often updated before the actress' 2011 death.
Sometimes the prewritten obituary's subject outlives its author. Obituaries are a notable feature of The Economist, which publishes one full-page obituary per week, reflecting on the subject's life and influence on world history. Past subjects have ranged from Ray Charles to Uday Hussein; the British Medical Journal encourages doctors to write their own obituaries for publication after their death. Pan Books publishes a series called The Daily Telegraph Book of Obituaries, which are anthologies of obituaries under a common theme, such as military obituaries, sports obituaries and adventurers, rogues, eccentric lives, etc. For numerous summer seasons, CBC Radio One has run The Late Show, a radio documentary series which presents extended obituaries of interesting Canadians. Death Eulogy Funeral Lists of deaths by year Lists of people by cause of death Baranick, Alana. Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers. Oak Park: Marion Street Press. ISBN 1-933338-02-4. Johnson, Marilyn; the Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, And The Perverse Pleasure of Obituaries.
New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-075876-7. Massingberd, Hugh. Daydream Believer: Confessions of a Hero-Worshipper. London: Macmillan. P. 245. ISBN 0-333-69287-X. Obituary examples - Sympathies.co Obituary examples Newspaper Obituaries - ObituariesHelp.org Newspaper Obituaries Obituaries Research Guide Tips for finding obituaries
Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
On January 28, 1986, the NASA shuttle orbiter mission STS-51-L and the tenth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members, which consisted of five NASA astronauts, one payload specialist and a civilian school teacher. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:39 a.m. EST; the disintegration of the vehicle began after a joint in its right solid rocket booster failed at liftoff. The failure was caused by the failure of O-ring seals used in the joint that were not designed to handle the unusually cold conditions that existed at this launch; the seals' failure caused a breach in the SRB joint, allowing pressurized burning gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent SRB aft field joint attachment hardware and external fuel tank. This led to the separation of the right-hand SRB's aft field joint attachment and the structural failure of the external tank.
Aerodynamic forces broke up the orbiter. The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation; the exact timing of the death of the crew is unknown. The shuttle had no escape system, the impact of the crew compartment at terminal velocity with the ocean surface was too violent to be survivable; the disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program and the formation of the Rogers Commission, a special commission appointed by United States President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident. The Rogers Commission found NASA's organizational culture and decision-making processes had been key contributing factors to the accident, with the agency violating its own safety rules. NASA managers had known since 1977 that contractor Morton-Thiokol's design of the SRBs contained a catastrophic flaw in the O-rings, but they had failed to address this problem properly. NASA managers disregarded warnings from engineers about the dangers of launching posed by the low temperatures of that morning, failed to adequately report these technical concerns to their superiors.
17 percent of Americans witnessed the launch live because of the presence of high school teacher Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first teacher in space. Media coverage of the accident was extensive: one study reported that 85 percent of Americans surveyed had heard the news within an hour of the accident; the Challenger disaster has been used as a case study in many discussions of engineering safety and workplace ethics. Each of the Space Shuttle's two Solid Rocket Boosters was constructed of seven sections, six of which were permanently joined in pairs at the factory. For each flight, the four resulting segments were assembled in the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center, with three field joints; the factory joints were sealed with asbestos-silica insulation applied over the joint, while each field joint was sealed with two rubber O-rings. The seals of all of the SRB joints were required to contain the hot, high-pressure gases produced by the burning solid propellant inside, thus forcing them out of the nozzle at the aft end of each rocket.
During the Space Shuttle design process, a McDonnell Douglas report in September 1971 discussed the safety record of solid rockets. While a safe abort was possible after most types of failures, one was dangerous: a burnthrough by hot gases of the rocket's casing; the report stated that "if burnthrough occurs adjacent to tank or orbiter, timely sensing may not be feasible and abort not possible" foreshadowing the Challenger accident. Morton-Thiokol was the contractor responsible for the construction and maintenance of the shuttle's SRBs; as designed by Thiokol, the O-ring joints in the SRBs were supposed to close more due to forces generated at ignition, but a 1977 test showed that when pressurized water was used to simulate the effects of booster combustion, the metal parts bent away from each other, opening a gap through which gases could leak. This phenomenon, known as "joint rotation," caused a momentary drop in air pressure; this made it possible for combustion gases to erode the O-rings.
In the event of widespread erosion, a flame path could develop, causing the joint to burst—which would have destroyed the booster and the shuttle. Engineers at the Marshall Space Flight Center wrote to the manager of the Solid Rocket Booster project, George Hardy, on several occasions suggesting that Thiokol's field joint design was unacceptable. For example, one engineer suggested that joint rotation would render the secondary O-ring useless, but Hardy did not forward these memos to Thiokol, the field joints were accepted for flight in 1980. Evidence of serious O-ring erosion was present as early as the second space shuttle mission, STS-2, flown by Columbia. Contrary to NASA regulations, the Marshall Center did not report this problem to senior management at NASA, but opted to keep the problem within their reporting channels with Thiokol. After the O-rings were redesignated as "Criticality 1"—meaning that their failure would result in the destruction of the Orbiter—no one at Marshall suggested that the shuttles be grounded until the flaw could be fixed.
After the 1984 launch of STS-41-D, flown by Discovery, the first occurrence of hot gas "blow-by" was discovered beyond the primary O-ring. In the post-flight analysis, Thiokol engineers found that the amount of blow-by was small and had not impinged upon the secondary O-r
A funeral is a ceremony connected with the burial, cremation, or interment of a corpse, or the burial with the attendant observances. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember and respect the dead, from interment, to various monuments and rituals undertaken in their honor. Customs vary between religious groups. Common secular motivations for funerals include mourning the deceased, celebrating their life, offering support and sympathy to the bereaved; the funeral includes a ritual through which the corpse receives a final dispositon. Depending on culture and religion, these can involve either the destruction of the body or its preservation. Differing beliefs about cleanliness and the relationship between body and soul are reflected in funerary practices. A memorial service or celebration of life is a funerary ceremony, performed without the remains of the deceased person; the word funeral comes from the Latin funus, which had a variety of meanings, including the corpse and the funerary rites themselves.
Funerary art is art produced in connection with burials, including many kinds of tombs, objects specially made for burial like flowers with a corpse. Funeral rites are as old as human culture itself, pre-dating modern Homo sapiens and dated to at least 300,000 years ago. For example, in the Shanidar Cave in Iraq, in Pontnewydd Cave in Wales and at other sites across Europe and the Near East, archaeologists have discovered Neanderthal skeletons with a characteristic layer of flower pollen; this deliberate burial and reverence given to the dead has been interpreted as suggesting that Neanderthals had religious beliefs, although the evidence is not unequivocal – while the dead were buried deliberately, burrowing rodents could have introduced the flowers. Substantial cross-cultural and historical research document funeral customs as a predictable, stable force in communities. Funeral customs tend to be characterized by five "anchors": significant symbols, gathered community, ritual action, cultural heritage, transition of the dead body.
Funerals in the Bahá'í Faith are characterized by not embalming, a prohibition against cremation, using a chrysolite or hardwood casket, wrapping the body in silk or cotton, burial not farther than an hour from the place of death, placing a ring on the deceased's finger stating, "I came forth from God, return unto Him, detached from all save Him, holding fast to His Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate." The Bahá'í funeral service contains the only prayer that's permitted to be read as a group - congregational prayer, although most of the prayer is read by one person in the gathering. The Bahá'í decedent controls some aspects of the Bahá'í funeral service, since leaving a will and testament is a requirement for Bahá'ís. Since there is no Bahá'í clergy, services are conducted under the guise, or with the assistance of, a Local Spiritual Assembly. A Buddhist funeral marks the transition from one life to the next for the deceased, it reminds the living of their own mortality. Christian burials occur on consecrated ground.
Burial, rather than a destructive process such as cremation, was the traditional practice amongst Christians, because of the belief in the resurrection of the body. Cremations came into widespread use, although some denominations forbid them; the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said "The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed. Congregations of varied denominations perform different ceremonies, but most involve offering prayers, scripture reading from the Bible, a sermon, homily, or eulogy, music. One issue of concern as the 21st century began was with the use of secular music at Christian funerals, a custom forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church. Antyesti "last rites or last sacrifice", refers to the rite-of-passage rituals associated with a funeral in Hinduism, it is sometimes referred to as Antya-kriya, Anvarohanyya, or Vahni Sanskara. A dead adult Hindu is cremated, while a dead child is buried; the rite of passage is said to be performed in harmony with the sacred premise that the microcosm of all living beings is a reflection of a macrocosm of the universe.
The soul is believed to be the immortal essence, released at the Antyeshti ritual, but both the body and the universe are vehicles and transitory in various schools of Hinduism. They consist of five elements: air, fire and space; the last rite of passage returns the body to the five origins. The roots of this belief are found in the Vedas, for example in the hymns of Rigveda in section 10.16, as follows, The final rites of a burial, in case of untimely death of a child, is rooted in Rig Veda's section 10.18, where the hymns mourn the death of the child, praying to deity Mrityu to "neither harm our girls nor our boys", pleads the earth to cover, protect the deceased child as a soft wool. Among Hindus, the dead body is cremated within a day of death; the body is washed, wrapped in white cloth for a man or a widow, red for a married woman, the two toes tied together with a string, a Tilak placed on the forehead. The dead adult's body is carried to the cremation ground near a river or water, by family and friends, placed on a pyr
A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures and objects, performed in a sequestered place, performed according to set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions including a religious community. Rituals are characterized but not defined by formalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism, performance. Rituals are a feature of all known human societies, they include not only the worship rites and sacraments of organized religions and cults, but rites of passage and purification rites, oaths of allegiance, dedication ceremonies, coming of age ceremony or rites and presidential inaugurations and funerals, school "rush" traditions and graduations, club meetings, sporting events, Halloween parties, veterans parades, Christmas shopping and more. Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes, such as jury trials, execution of criminals, scientific symposia, are loaded with purely symbolic actions prescribed by regulations or tradition, thus ritualistic in nature.
Common actions like hand-shaking and saying "hello" may be termed rituals. The field of ritual studies has seen a number of conflicting definitions of the term. One given by Kyriakidis is that a ritual is an outsider's or "etic" category for a set activity that, to the outsider, seems irrational, non-contiguous, or illogical; the term can be used by the insider or "emic" performer as an acknowledgement that this activity can be seen as such by the uninitiated onlooker. In psychology, the term ritual is sometimes used in a technical sense for a repetitive behavior systematically used by a person to neutralize or prevent anxiety; the English word ritual derives from the Latin ritualis, "that which pertains to rite". In Roman juridical and religious usage, ritus was the proven way of doing something, or "correct performance, custom"; the original concept of ritus may be related to the Sanskrit ṛtá" in Vedic religion, "the lawful and regular order of the normal, therefore proper and true structure of cosmic, worldly and ritual events".
The word "ritual" is first recorded in English in 1570, came into use in the 1600s to mean "the prescribed order of performing religious services" or more a book of these prescriptions. There are hardly any limits to the kind of actions; the rites of past and present societies have involved special gestures and words, recitation of fixed texts, performance of special music, songs or dances, manipulation of certain objects, use of special dresses, consumption of special food, drink, or drugs, much more. Catherine Bell argues that rituals can be characterized by formalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism and performance. Ritual utilizes a limited and rigidly organized set of expressions which anthropologists call a "restricted code". Maurice Bloch argues that ritual obliges participants to use this formal oratorical style, limited in intonation, vocabulary and fixity of order. In adopting this style, ritual leaders' speech becomes more style than content; because this formal speech limits what can be said, it induces "acceptance, compliance, or at least forbearance with regard to any overt challenge".
Bloch argues that this form of ritual communication makes rebellion impossible and revolution the only feasible alternative. Ritual tends to support traditional forms of social hierarchy and authority, maintains the assumptions on which the authority is based from challenge. Rituals appeal to tradition and are continued to repeat historical precedent, religious rite, mores or ceremony accurately. Traditionalism varies from formalism in that the ritual may not be formal yet still makes an appeal to the historical trend. An example is the American Thanksgiving dinner, which may not be formal, yet is ostensibly based on an event from the early Puritan settlement of America. Historians Eric Hobsbawm and Terrence Ranger have argued that many of these are invented traditions, such as the rituals of the British monarchy, which invoke "thousand year-old tradition" but whose actual form originate in the late nineteenth century, to some extent reviving earlier forms, in this case medieval, discontinued in the meantime.
Thus, the appeal to history is important rather than accurate historical transmission. Catherine Bell states that ritual is invariant, implying careful choreography; this is less an appeal to traditionalism than a striving for timeless repetition. The key to invariance is bodily discipline, as in monastic prayer and meditation meant to mold dispositions and moods; this bodily discipline is performed in unison, by groups. Rituals tend to be governed by a feature somewhat like formalism. Rules impose norms on the chaos of behavior, either defining the outer limits of what is acceptable or choreographing each move. Individuals are held to communally approved customs that evoke a legitimate communal authority that can constrain the possible outcomes. War in most societies has been bound by ritualized constraints that limit the legitimate means by which war was waged. Activities appealing to supernatural beings are considered rituals, although the appeal may be quite indirect, expressing only a generalized belief in the existence of the sacred demanding a human response.
National flags, for example, may be considered more than signs representing a country. The flag stands for larger symbols such as freedom, free enterprise or national superiority. Anthropologi