Dying Is Banned in a Town in Norway

Death is illegal in Longyearbyen, Norway because of the 1918 “Spanish Flu” that affected 500,000,000 people, killing 5% of the world’s population. Exactly 11 of those deaths were in Longyearbyen, where they are now buried and frozen underground due to the freezing temperatures. The average temperature in Longyearbyen is so low that beneath the surface is a layer of permafrost that is below freezing, permanently preserving buried bodies. When bodies are preserved, the viruses and bacteria inside are also preserved, so some of the only samples of the “Spanish Flu” are lurking below the town. These bodies hold clues to stop a future pandemic, but Longyearbyen doesn’t want diseases that could obliterate their future civilizations just laying a few feet underground, so death is illegal in the town.

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On Flatbush Avenue, tucked amidst the nexus of four iconic Brooklyn neighborhoods (Park Slope, Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, and Prospect Heights), medical cannabis company Citiva opened up their newest location at the turn of the new year. Walking through the shiny glass door, you’re first struck by the sleek tidiness of the front lobby. Both the dispensary's resident pharmacist and receptionist greet visitors as they clear patients (as does any medical dispensary in the country) before allowing them through to the retail room.

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