The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.

2012.03.28 Social immortality can be yours

Written by David Green.


I asked a friend Saturday if she knew about She didn’t know what I was talking about and that was good news to me. I knew then I had a column.

I live in danger of being one of the last people to know about things. I’ll discover something interesting that’s old news to everybody else.

At the same time, I often run across something that really is fresh and I’m the one with the news. That’s the case with Turns out it was introduced only a couple of weeks ago.

I quickly explained the service to my friend this way: It sends out e-mail for you after you’re dead.

“That’s creepy,” she said, and that was the perfect answer. When I heard an interview that morning (“On the Media”) with James Norris, the founder of, the host of the radio program said that people often describe it as creepy.

Norris said his inspiration for the program came from a British comedian who recorded a public service announcement about prostate cancer that was broadcast four years after his death.

Norris first came up with a Twitter device called Grave Tweeter. Users would create a series of tweets that would be sent out after their death. That evolved into which Norris describes as a more delicate and suitable approach, something that would appeal to a broad segment of the population that’s active in social media.

How does it know you’re dead? You must choose someone to trigger the mechanism for you. He’s also working on a “dead-man’s switch” that kicks in based on your absence. For example, if you visit Facebook every day and then there’s no activity for a month, begins sending out notices of your departure.

A scheduled release of tweets, e-mails or posts to Facebook or your Google+ account begins to flow. Ah, social immortality.

It allows you to extend your digital legacy, Norris says, to amplify your voice and personality from the grave. 

When Norris said that death should not stop someone from keeping their friends up to date on how they used to live, I could hear interviewer Brooke Gladstone start to laugh. I laughed with her; I who haven’t visited my regular Facebook page in I don’t know how many months. Sorry Friends, I’m not keeping up with your lives. It’s challenging enough to keep up with my own.

To Norris, a dead social media account is a great way for people to give their final good-byes, for example, or for someone to develop a relationship with their unborn grandchildren. OK, I’ll say it myself: “That’s creepy.”

He says a person might use to say things to someone that couldn’t be said during real life.

What came to my mind was telling someone, “You know, you really are such a jerk.” Brooke Gladstone took it in another direction: “Here’s where I buried the money.” That would set off a flurry of activity.

If the next great social media tool arrives before the user dies, all of the data in the account can be transferred over so your messages can continue for years. “Happy Birthday” from your husband who died seven years ago. I can accept that many people will find this terribly appealing, but I’m not among them. 

As for the creepiness of the thing, Norris says that we in Western culture don’t accept death well. It approaches us before we approach it. He thinks the messages from the crypt will be well accepted by the receiver and the idea of his program will change from bizarre to something really appreciated.

There won’t be a big crowd around your deathbed, he said, and your good-byes will be limited. With you’ll be able to reach the wider crowd of all your associations. Write a general “it’s been nice knowing you” letter or create a special message to individuals.

Death is no longer a barrier to your social life. Your Facebook friends can remain interested in you forever and ever and ever, whether they want to or not. I hope my e-mails won’t become annoying. You won’t turn me into spam, will you?

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015