Category Archive 'Funerary Practices'

18 Apr 2018

Coming Soon to Funeral Parlours Near You: Promession

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The Sun reports on the latest “always something PC out of Sweden”:

A controversial burial method that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and disintegrate a dead body is being heralded as the future of cremation by its creator.

Dubbed “promession,” the process takes place in a custom-built machine – just slot your dead relative’s corpse into the device, and watch as it removes their coffin, freeze-dries the water out of them, and shakes whatever’s left into dust.

This powder is then popped in a biodegradable bag (the size of a pack of potatoes) and buried in a shallow grave, and any leftover metals (like tooth fillings) are given back to the family.

As BBC Earth Lab notes, liquid nitrogen can cryogenically freeze an object at around -200 degrees Celsius.

This radically changes its internal properties, zapping out all the water and making it extremely brittle.

It can then be shaken or smashed into a powder.

Apply that to a human body, which is around 75% water, and you can imagine the transformation that takes place.

Promession is the brainchild of Swedish biologist Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak, who claims it is more cost-effective and eco-friendly than burial and cremation.

“You are still in an organic form, which means you are not broken down, you are still food for the soil and if you spread it around you will be food for birds, or fish, or whatever,” she told Wired in 2013.

Wiigh-Mäsak said she was driven to create the process through a concern for the damage done to soil by burials.


I may hold out for a Viking funeral, just arrange to be planted in my root cellar sitting in my chair, or have my cremains (or freeze-dried particles) loaded into shotgun shells (like Hunter Thompson) and used for multiple rounds of Trap.

05 Oct 2009

A Literary Solution For the Remains

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There’s an old joke about the lazy man’s wife upon his decease having him cremated, then placing his ashes in an hour glass, an announcing, Now, you’re finally going to do some work!

Nadine Jarvis’s solution for cremated remains, called Carbon Copies, seems to me to be the perfect post mortem revenge upon the procrastinating writer.

Pencils made from the carbon of human cremains. 240 pencils can be made from an average body of ash – a lifetime supply of pencils for those left behind.

Each pencil is foil stamped with the name of the person. Only one pencil can be removed at a time, it is then sharpened back into the box causing the sharpenings to occupy the space of the used pencils. Over time the pencil box fills with sharpenings – a new ash, transforming it into an urn. The window acts as a timeline, showing you the amount of pencils left as time goes by.

Hat tip to Ambisinistral.

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