Ironically enough, perhaps the only thing more emotionally painful than attending a funeral is having to miss one. But grieving friends and family in one Brazilian town are now able to say goodbye to their departed loved ones from anywhere in the world -- as long as they have an Internet connection, and some extra cash.
The Gonzaga funeral home, located in the city of Governador Valadares, has recently started streaming real-time video of burials, masses and processions on its website
. Once logged on, bereaved Brazilians can say their last goodbyes from the comfort of their own living rooms, and even talk with other guests via the site's online chat. Funeral home director Eres Gonzaga tells the AP that the online funeral attendees typically pay $60 an hour
for the somber stream, but says the cost can vary, depending on the service.
We're presuming that online guests have to be invited to the event before streaming services, and we certainly hope Gonzaga's taken extra precaution to boost his site's security, in the (unfortunately likely) event that some hacker would be depraved enough to actually crash someone else's virtual funeral. An online funeral, of course, may not be the ideal way to say goodbye, and it may even seem disturbingly cold. But if you think about all the old and infirm friends, or geographically distant relatives who might use the service, it actually makes a lot of sense. And besides, if a virtual funeral helps bereaved loved ones find closure, it's probably worth offering.
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Xbox's unveiling of its new, red 'Resident Evil' console is the most recent in a line of limited edition consoles designed to tap in to the "collector" market. While some of the limited edition consoles were released with a specific target audience in mind, others appeal to the sensibilities of all gamers. You can check out some other recent limited edition consoles in the following pages:
Metal Gear Solid 4 Limited Edition PS3:
This bundle not only included a gunmetal gray PS3 with matching wireless controller, but also the MGS4: Guns of the Patriot Limited Edition game.
Nintendo Pokemon DS Lite:
At the forefront of limited edition sales, Nintendo offered this yellow DS complete with Pikachu etching.
Guitar Hero: On Tour DS Bundle:
Nintendo offered fans of this franchise a special silver and black DS featuring a fiery Guitar Hero logo on the cover.
It's not difficult to discern the target audience for this console set to be released with the $199 Hannah Montana Entertainment Pack.
Nintendo Pink Ribbon DS
Nintendo not only pledged five dollars from every purchase of these $129.99 consoles to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, but that they would also donate at least $100,000 in total.
-- Warren Baines