Thursday, January 21, 2010

long tall drink of water

now I lay me

Resomation (a neologism meant to suggest rebirth) was first proposed for use in Europe as a method of disposing of cows infected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The corpse is placed in a pressurized chamber. The vessel is then filled with water and potassium hydroxide, creating a highly alkaline solution, and heated to 330 degrees. After about three hours, all that's left are a soft, white calcium phosphate from bone and teeth and a light brown primordial soup of amino acids and peptides. Bodies buried underground decompose in the same way, albeit over many years and aided by microorganisms.


The brown liquid, because it's sterile, can go down the drain. "There's no genetic material in it at all; it's just basic organic materials," Sullivan assures. "You might get some people who say they want the fluid as well, but at the end of the day, it's best to send it to the water treatment plant so it ends up back on the land, as nature intended it to."

Resomation in New York Times 9th Annual Year in Ideas, Dec 2009.

Like Soylent Green: only wetter.


anniemcq said...

"Like Soylent Green, only wetter.". Genius.

Perfect capper to a truly creepy little tidbit.

suttonhoo said...

thanks, Toots. I struggled with the grammar, but ultimately went for it because "wetter" seemed like funniest way to say it. ;)

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