The opening sentence is sort of awkward. It could probably be cut in half while still being funny. "Death is when live things become dead things". (for example). Consider rewording the third sentence (cross your fingers that insect larvae feast voraciously on your meaty corpse) or something more exaggerated and disgusting. I don't really understand the last sentence of the first paragraph. I lived in England and I don't even know what a ball-cock is. You might want to replace that with a more universal term.
In the second paragraph consider being very sceptical of life after death and mocking those who believe in the supernatural for example: "An unfortunate majority of humans are bananas and believe that brain death isn't the end of life. They insist that a magical essence will leak out of a dead mans orifices and dance a jig on the way to sugar plum land...or be reborn as a queen termite." The eternal oblivion sentence is well done.
In the "these funerals" section try to trim the fat. The sentences ramble a little bit which is uncharacteristic of your writing (it usually doesn't have so much padding).
The roman emperor section is true and interesting but I don't think it is humorous enough to justify slowing down the pace of the article.
Last sentence of the intro is great.
Cut the first sentence. The rest of the paragraph is rather weak compared to the rest of the article.
In the second paragraph consider stating the obvious before the chocolate sentence. "Life becomes a struggle of staying alive." followed by the chocolate sentence.
In the "humans have become connoisseurs of death" again there's a lot of fat that could be trimmed. I'll give you an example of how the paragraph might appear with less padding:
Humans are connoisseurs of death and are experts at avoiding mortal ends by natural means. The most stupendous deaths are caused by the person who dies. Suicide is one strategy but stunning incompetence and stupidity is the norm.
I think this communicates the concept of the paragraph but with far less padding and a savvier tone.
The next paragraph is humorous but again I think there's tons of padding. I believe it would be far funnier and more effective if some cuts were made. For instance you use the words "the very first" twice in one sentence.
The same with the following paragraph.
The first millennium paragraph is great.
As with the following paragraph.
In the final paragraph I'd recommend expanding the last sentence giving far more examples of how we have made death more civilised but not reduced so greatly the amount of death. Examples I can think of are:
accidental electrocutions, ladder accidents, death by cop, accidental deaths on youtube, mountain bike failure, anthrax, Guantanamo bay fasting, lethal injection, pulling the plug, online suicide pacts. Some of many ideas that could be expanded on to hilarious effect.
Signs of death:
I'd recommend first starting with the most general and obvious signs of death and then expanding to the more extreme signs and then onto the absurd...in quick progression to make your funny examples all the more funny. For example:
"General signs of death include: blue skin with low body temperature, lack of heart beat, extremely stiff appendages, invasion of maggots, missing brain, large gunshot wounds, knives sticking out of soft tissues, fourth degree burns over entire body, body blown to smithereens."
I like a lot how the paragraph ends.
"direct funerals" is confusing. It could be a type of funeral or an occupation. I'd recommend altering it. A couple words are missing/unnecessary in the rest of the sentence: indeed many people find
that witnessing a person being minced by a jet engine is quite enough trauma to last them an entire lifetime.
The rest of the paragraph sort of falls flat. Mostly because there are so many ideas packed into a paragraph in a section that already has so many ideas. We have funeral directors, life time trauma, someone minced by a jet, alerting emergency services, covering up a crime and calling on batman. I'd recommend cutting a few of these out and maybe expanding on smaller set of ideas.
I also find the rest of the section somewhat out of place. I found the sentence with "loosing your head and running around screaming" pretty funny as well as the weirdo section...but it seems like you are trying to jam in some material with a fairly weak segue. A patchwork of ideas without a structure.
Great first couple sentences. This part is awkwardly written: "actually social and financial good sense". Brilliant way to end the section...though it feels like the article hasn't properly ended. As with the lack of clear structure throughout the article, here it is most pronounced. Where was the article going and why doesn't it end so abruptly the way it does?