Saturday, October 28, 2006

Want to diary your death? Ask online.

With Halloween looming, 'tis the season to be morbid and people wishing to know their expiry date can indulge in some online trick-or-treating at websites which predict the date of their death.

"I'm sorry, but your time has expired! Have a nice day," says the "sadistic mode" on

The site invites visitors to enter their date of birth, smoking habits, height, and weight in exchange for a pop-up ticker which counts down the seconds they have left.

Users can influence the verdict by inputting their mood, and the clock - "the Internet's friendly reminder that life is slipping away" - offers cheering sponsored links to promote healthier living, funeral ringtones, pet memorials, and other morbid merchandise.

"The Death Clock makes money and helps ensure I don't run out of Pepsi One and video games," writes its anonymous author, who adds that he, or she, is "also pro-Life" but does not elucidate on his, or her, own life expectancy.

"I believe in God, very strongly, but I don't believe that talking about Death would offend the big cheese," the site continues.

People who need a second opinion can undergo more thorough investigation from death calculators at (this one asks how often you brush your teeth) or (which significantly also asks if you wear a watch).

A do-it-yourself version at also offers links to celebrity death forecasts.

It gives users two more years to live if they own "an inter-active pet," as well as five years if they have cosmetic surgery once a decade (but then subtracts one year for each additional session in a decade).

If that seems a little complex, the quiz at has user-friendly options like "I am a gym rat" and offers the added bonus of a prediction on how and where death will come.

And once death has happened, the web offers ways to stay in touch. Among the least serious options is the chance to send a telegram to departed friends or relatives at

"With the help of terminally ill volunteers, our service is sending telegrams to people who have passed away," the site promises. "Since we can not guarantee delivery nor prove that a message has been delivered successfully, our customers do not pay for 'deliveries'. They pay for 'delivery attempts'."

Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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