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Famous corpses we have known

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When yer dead, yer gone and that's it -- or so they say. Ashes to ashes, right? Not necessarily: here's a list of people who refused to molder quietly into that good grave; who nature, and/or some very strange morticians, decided to keep around for awhile longer.

Vladimir Lenin

According to Uncle John (king of bathroom books), more people have seen Lenin's mummy than any other mummy in history. The man shuffled off this mortal coil in 1924, but to look at him today, hyber-embalmed and lying in an airtight glass coffin in his humidity- and temperature-controlled mausoleum in Red Square, you'd think he kicked it last week. Despite his requests for a modest burial, a few days after his death, a team of Soviet scientists began working to preserve him forever. This "body brigade" has been on the job for 83 years now, giving Lenin a thorough dusting and embalming touch-up twice a week, not to mention a new hand-tailored suit every eighteen months. Lucky stiff.

Jeremy Bentham
Jbentham.600px.jpgMeet Jeremy Bentham. One of 18th century England's foremost thinkers, he was by most standards a genius, and by all accounts, a pretty eccentric fella. To wit: his will mandated that his body be preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet at University College London, which he founded. It sits there today, at the end of a hall, wearing the same clothes he wore when he was alive. His head, badly damaged in the preservation process, sits in a jar at his feet. The "Auto-Icon," as it is known, is hauled out for University Council meetings from time to time, at which Bentham is listed on the official register as "present but not voting."

The Tollund Man
Homme_de_Tollund.jpgNamed after the village of Tollund in Denmark he was discovered in one of those remarkable peat bogs in 1950, he was so well preserved by the anaerobic environment of the bog that police initially thought they had stumbled upon a recent murder. In fact, T.M. died in the 4th century B.C., with the rope that hanged him still around his neck. Some experts speculate that he was ritually drowned in the bog as part of the cult of Nerthus, the Danish subjugation of which a few centuries later lay behind the epic Beowulf. (Don't expect the Tollund Man to show up in a supporting role in Robert Zemeckis' new adaptation, however; word on the street is that it's all about Angelina Jolie -- or rather her strange, motion-captured avatar -- being half-nude throughout.)

Otzi the Iceman
OetzitheIceman-glacier-199109b.jpgOtzi died after a skirmish in the Ötztal Alps about 5,000 years ago. Having been preserved by a glacier and rediscovered in 1999 by hikers, his body and tools have been a veritable smorgasbord for anthropologists. Being 53 centuries old makes him Europe's oldest mummy, and something of a cult icon. A footwear company is developing a shoe based on the ones Otzi was wearing (between those and McFlys, you'd have quite the anachronistic shoe collection). X-rays have revealed that Otzi was also one of history's most illustrated men, sporting more than 57 tattoos.

Lucy: now on tour!
Lucy_fossil.jpg
Discovered on an African dig in 1974, Lucy is one of the oldest known hominid fossils ever discovered -- more than 3.2 million years. Named for the Beatles' famous ode to LSD -- which was on heavy rotation in the anthropologists' camp during the dig -- Lucy is just 3.5 feet tall, a member of the Australopithecus afarensis species. Long kept locked away in an Addis Ababa museum, she's now preparing for a six-year tour of the U.S., which will help to raise funds for the impoverished museum where she normally resides.

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science
6 Radiant Facts About Irène Joliot-Curie
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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Though her accomplishments are often overshadowed by those of her parents, the elder daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie was a brilliant researcher in her own right.

1. SHE WAS BORN TO, AND FOR, GREATNESS.

A black and white photo of Irene and Marie Curie in the laboratory in 1925.
Irène and Marie in the laboratory, 1925.
Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 4.0

Irène’s birth in Paris in 1897 launched what would become a world-changing scientific dynasty. A restless Marie rejoined her loving husband in the laboratory shortly after the baby’s arrival. Over the next 10 years, the Curies discovered radium and polonium, founded the science of radioactivity, welcomed a second daughter, Eve, and won a Nobel Prize in Physics. The Curies expected their daughters to excel in their education and their work. And excel they did; by 1925, Irène had a doctorate in chemistry and was working in her mother’s laboratory.

2. HER PARENTS' MARRIAGE WAS A MODEL FOR HER OWN.

Like her mother, Irène fell in love in the lab—both with her work and with another scientist. Frédéric Joliot joined the Curie team as an assistant. He and Irène quickly bonded over shared interests in sports, the arts, and human rights. The two began collaborating on research and soon married, equitably combining their names and signing their work Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

3. SHE AND HER HUSBAND WERE AN UNSTOPPABLE PAIR.

Black and white photo of Irène and Fréderic Joliot-Curie working side by side in their laboratory.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Their passion for exploration drove them ever onward into exciting new territory. A decade of experimentation yielded advances in several disciplines. They learned how the thyroid gland absorbs radioiodine and how the body metabolizes radioactive phosphates. They found ways to coax radioactive isotopes from ordinarily non-radioactive materials—a discovery that would eventually enable both nuclear power and atomic weaponry, and one that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.

4. THEY FOUGHT FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE.

The humanist principles that initially drew Irène and Frédéric together only deepened as they grew older. Both were proud members of the Socialist Party and the Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes (Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals). They took great pains to keep atomic research out of Nazi hands, sealing and hiding their research as Germany occupied their country, Irène also served as undersecretary of state for scientific research of the Popular Front government.

5. SHE WAS NOT CONTENT WITH THE STATUS QUO.

Irène eventually scaled back her time in the lab to raise her children Hélène and Pierre. But she never slowed down, nor did she stop fighting for equality and freedom for all. Especially active in women’s rights groups, she became a member of the Comité National de l'Union des Femmes Françaises and the World Peace Council.

6. SHE WORKED HERSELF TO DEATH.

Irène’s extraordinary life was a mirror of her mother’s. Tragically, her death was, too. Years of watching radiation poisoning and cancer taking their toll on Marie never dissuaded Irène from her work. In 1956, dying of leukemia, she entered the Curie Hospital, where she followed her mother’s luminous footsteps into the great beyond.

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Live Smarter
You Can Now Order Food Through Facebook
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iStock

After a bit of controversy over its way of aggregating news feeds and some questionable content censoring policies, it’s nice to have Facebook roll out a feature everyone can agree on: allowing you to order food without leaving the social media site.

According to a press release, Facebook says that the company decided to begin offering food delivery options after realizing that many of its users come to the social media hub to rate and discuss local eateries. Rather than hop from Facebook to the restaurant or a delivery service, you’ll be able to stay within the app and select from a menu of food choices. Just click “Order Food” from the Explore menu on a desktop interface or under the “More” option on Android or iOS devices. There, you’ll be presented with options that will accept takeout or delivery orders, as well as businesses participating with services like Delivery.com or EatStreet.

If you need to sign up and create an account with Delivery.com or Jimmy John’s, for example, you can do that without leaving Facebook. The feature is expected to be available nationally, effective immediately.

[h/t Forbes]

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