Friday, January 13th, 2012

The question that biological anthropologist Barbara King is pondering on the science blog 13.7: Cosmos and Culture is just this: burial, cremation, or donation to a body farm? Strangely, she did not include what I’ve always considered to be the non plus ultra in postmortem disposal: detonation.

When I learned about cremation, I realized we could do something more daring with our bodies after death besides box them up and bury them in a trench. Something exciting. One last hurrah. So I thought about it for quite a while and decided that, what I would most dearly wish my family would do with my body after I die would be: Set it atop a small mountain of explosives and blow it to teensy-weensy little pieces. Vaporize it, if possible. An atomic blast would be ideal, but if vaporization could be done the simple way with good old-fashioned dynamite, that would be just fine with me.

The next most appealing option would be to have my body frozen and cut into many thin, bologna-like slices that would be mounted between glass panels like that guy at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, except that I’d want the panels used as walls for bus stop shelters across the city. When we didn’t have a car and I had to take the bus everywhere, I remember being monumentally bored with nothing to do while I waited for the bus. This would give people something to do.

Because I doubt that anyone I know will seriously consider either of those options, I guess the body farm would be okay. If you don’t know what a body farm is, wait until after you’ve finished eating your breakfast to find out.

the end | 5:57 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, Life & Death
2 Comments | Add a comment


  1. 1 Gary j said at 10:07 am on January 13th, 2012:

    I have always been fond of the idea of having vultures pick my bones clean on a high mountain peak. Then have various large bones of mine turned into cribbage boards.

  2. 2 Dave said at 10:34 am on January 14th, 2012:

    Not sure how I feel about the part about the vultures, but the mental image of my descendants playing cards over my bones is almost … enchanting.