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Deathwang

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In the middle ages the very rich were sometimes buried in a memento mori, or cadaver tomb - which featured a depiction of the person as a skeleton. In the christian context this was intended to indicate the transience of this life compared to the afterlife.

Nowadays death is much less a part of public life, and in any case a significant fraction of people are secular, and believe that death is the end of themselves as an entity.

Furthermore, there are objections to most of the current options for disposal. The shortage of usable land means permanent burial in cemetaries cannot be sustained, while cremation requires a large amount of energy.

Deathwang is a way in which to demonstrate disregard for the mortal remains, while using resources efficiently.

As per the woodland burial method an area is gradually converted into woods. However, Deathwang differs in the burial density and spectacle.
Each day, a large hole is dug, into which a number of corpses will be interred. The ceremonial backstop is installed. Families of the deceased gather, mingle and reminise near the launching area.
The deathwang ceremony then begins. One by one, the cadavers are loaded onto the trebuche. A short speech about the deceased's life is made, and the person they were. Then the corpse is hurled into the pit. Scoring is given for style and accuracy.
The removed soil is then bulldosed back into the pit, and trees planted on top, along with a small memorial of some description.

Loris, Apr 17 2013

cadaver tomb http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadaver_tomb
[Loris, Apr 17 2013]

This idea turns out to be similar to... Burial_20at_20Cliffs
Burial at Cliffs. And I did search beforehand, too. [Loris, Apr 17 2013]

Don Martin sounds http://www.madcover...d-alphabetical.html
[bungston, Apr 22 2013]

[link]






       Mass burials are usually not favoured by the relatives and are reminiscent of war-time, therefore giving one a distasteful rememberance. Other than that, I like the idea.
{not my fishbone}
xandram, Apr 17 2013
  

       as long as the trebuchetier has good aim I don't mind. Buggered if I want my corpse to keep getting dragged back for rehurling because some newb forgot to account for windage.
FlyingToaster, Apr 17 2013
  

       //Mass burials are usually not favoured by the relatives and are reminiscent of war-time, therefore giving one a distasteful rememberance.//   

       The reason for doing it as a group is because otherwise it would be over too soon. I didn't say, but it's probably important to attach identification to the bodies. Also, an ajudicator performs a head-count.
Of course, mass burials may not be for the squeamish (and deathwang particularly so), but graves are already often multi-occupancy. It's clearly more efficient to only dig the hole once - and the disposable coffin makes the standard methods so much less efficient.
  

       //Buggered if I want my corpse to keep getting dragged back for rehurling because some newb forgot to account for windage.//   

       Missing the pit is a penalty. Means we need to use the scraper.
Loris, Apr 17 2013
  

       //The shortage of usable land means permanent burial in cemetaries cannot be sustained, while cremation requires a large amount of energy.//   

       Poppycock and tombollockry. If you took every human being that has ever lived, you could bury them all in an area the size of the UK, horizontally and without stacking. Doing so would have the advantage of raising the land by a uniform 3 inches (allowing for compaction and mulching), as a safeguard against rising seal evils.   

       Better yet, we could use Australia, which has adequate capacity for many millennia to come and isn't used for anything else important. And adding a 3-inch layer of moisture-rich organic matter below all that desert soil can only be a plus. Transportation would be a problem (although it wasn't seen as problem when we tried it a couple of hundred years ago), but we could start a "Go to Australia to Die" campaign, giving a much-needed boost to the travel industry and freeing up hospital beds in the more popular parts of the world.   

       As for energy, a cremation takes about 300kWh of energy. This is equivalent to driving a small family car for 2-3 hours at motorway speeds. Frankly, if the end of my life is less justifiable than a road trip to Hull, I'll be a little disappointed.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013
  

       I prefer to be freeze-dried, vacuum-packed in aluminized mylar, and kept in a hermetically sealed stainless steel cannister.   

       I propose putting burial vaults under new highway construction. Memorial markers could be placed at the nearest rest center.
whlanteigne, Apr 17 2013
  

       //If you took every human being that has ever lived, you could bury them all in an area the size of the UK, horizontally and without stacking. Doing so would have the advantage of raising the land by a uniform 3 inches (allowing for compaction and mulching), as a safeguard against rising seal evils.//   

       I have to say I'm against turning the entire land surface into a cemetary. Even if it would keep the seals at bay. I'm not sure you've completely thought this plan through - I suspect many people would object to having to demolish their neigbourhood to bury people under it. Shipping carrion to Australia may have it's benefits - but again you're incurring an energy cost; think of the corpse miles.   

       //As for energy, a cremation takes about 300kWh of energy. This is equivalent to driving a small family car for 2-3 hours at motorway speeds. Frankly, if the end of my life is less justifiable than a road trip to Hull, I'll be a little disappointed.//   

       It's still a bit of a waste though, isn't it? In Birmingham there's a swimming pool heated by the crematorium, which is a step in the right direction I suppose.
Loris, Apr 18 2013
  

       I am concerned about these rising seal evils I have read about here. Because they sound concerning, and seals already seem pretty dodgy, and I do not like the idea that anything about them is rising and evil. Not clear how turning the UK into a mass grave could do anything but turn them on more, but something should be done.
bungston, Apr 18 2013
  

       Well, the seals have a few natural predators, such as orcas and polar bears, but it would be frightfully easy to inadvertantly ignite an 'old lady who swallowed the fly' scenario.
Alterother, Apr 18 2013
  

       Putting aside the seal evils for one moment, "at motorway speeds", would that be any motorway early on Xmas morning, or a bit more M25 about 6pm on a Friday?   

       I hear plans for twinning the M25 with a major German car park were shelved, for fear of reprisals.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 19 2013
  

       //for fear of reprisals.// Yes, if there's two things that typify all Germans, it's their lack of humour and their tendency to stereotype people.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 21 2013
  

       D'thwang reminds me of Don Martin. I will link him up for the edification of all.
bungston, Apr 22 2013
  
      
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