Usually we talk about death as a tragedy, a mystery, a hard-to-comprehend fact of life. But in addition to all that, for all sorts of people it's also ... a job. This week, stories of undertakers, homicide detectives, slaughterhouse workers, enunculators, autopsy pathologists, exterminators, and others. Does their contact with death teach them something we should learn?
Germs were first understood at the turn of the 20th century and it turns out that the aesthetics of everyday life during this century—the way we dress, the way we groom ourselves, the way we make our homes—are all partly a response to this newfangled idea of germs.