At the death of a year in which far too many of my loved and admired ones passed away, I stumbled across this documentary about the procedures of death – specifically, those who die without next of kin. The YouTube description is “unblinking and unsettling”, and there are scenes of dead bodies in various states of decomposition, but I found it intriguing. The medical examiners, investigators and funeral workers interviewed deal with this day in, day out, and their matter-of-fact tone is almost comforting. I was less disturbed by the sight of the bodies than of the sad little biographies gleaned from the personal effects of the decedents. Ave atque vale, 2011.