Episode 9 – Human Composting and the Curse of the Petrified Forest

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On this very special Halloween episode, we tell the creepy-crawly of environmental stories, including a new process for composting human remains and a supernatural motivation to follow the “Leave No Trace” principle. Plus, we make time for human skin books, barbecued grasshoppers, Indiana undertakers, and a few personal ghost stories.

*An important disclaimer: in the intro and our first story, we talk openly about death and the end-of-life process, so if you’re not into that, you can skip to Elise’s story at 33:45.

Before we get into the main stories, Olivia describes an amazing makeup tutorial for the Corpse Bride’s Emily (that we misidentified as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas — oops), if you’re looking for some Halloween costume inspiration.

Elise brings up one of her favorite podcasts Ologies and their episode on Anthropodermic Biocodicology, aka the study of Human Skin Books aka the kind of leather you probably didn’t want to know about. They have loads of other Fall and Halloween themed episodes if you need more spooky science content in your life.

Olivia describes the time she ate a barbecued grasshopper – would you ever eat a bug?

Story #1: Human Composting (Olivia)
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The future of death care is just around the corner. 🌱

A post shared by Recompose (@recomposelife) on

Sources:

Science Alert, December 10 2019, The World’s First Human Composting Facility Will Turn You Into Soil
Recompose, Recompose.life 
Undertaking: The Podcast, Episode #185, Human Composting with Micah Truman, Founder of Return Home
Chattanooga Times Free Press, August 22 2020, Human Composting: America’s newest end-of-life option
How Stuff Works, May 10 2019, Mushroom Burial Suit Creates Life After Death
Coeio (co – e – oh) formerly Infinity Burial Project, Coeio FAQ
Let’s talk about human composting | Katrina Spade | TEDxOrcasIsland 
Treehugger, How to Turn a Human Body Into Compost 
Technology review, October 21 2020, Recompose Startup Turning Human Bodies Into Compost  
Green Burial Council, Educational Tools 

Story #2: The Curse of the Petrified Forest (Elise)
Via the National Parks Conservation Association

Fines, signs, and curses – some parks will do anything to keep you from taking their natural materials. Elise runs through the history of Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, and why if you take a rock, you might be coming home with a bit more than you bargained for.

Sources:

Criminal, Episode 23 – Triassic Park 
The New Yorker, January 23 2015, Rocks, Paper, Sinners
The Ice Plant, Bad Luck, Hot Rocks edited by Ryan Thompson and Phil Orr
National Park Services, Leave No Trace

The Dump

Olivia loved the documentary The Mole Agent, about an elderly man who becomes a spy at a nursing home. It’s funny, super sweet, and not quite like anything you’ve seen before. You can rent it for $12 via Miami Film Festival, and it’ll be available on PBS in early 2021.

Elise has been watching Halloween classics like The Exorcist and Poltergeist. We tell our own spooky ghost stories (Olivia says the wrong movie title, classic, but we can’t remember what the real movie is so… ironically, it was probably The Forgotten).

Our World is Burning themed playlist is on Spotify.

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Thanks for listening! Hope you all have a happy Halloween and take care of yourselves. And of course, VOTE!

Ep. 24 – Climate Anxiety World Is Burning

This week we went rogue, sort of, to talk about the term we use at the beginning of every episode: climate anxiety. We've been hearing the term a lot lately, particularly in the social media response to Sarah Jaquette Ray's recent article for Scientific American, 'Climate Anxiety Is an Overwhelmingly White Phenomenon.' In this episode we finally define climate anxiety, break down the article and responses to it, and discuss the white-centering conversations around climate emotions. We also talk about coping with anxiety, turning it into action, and–if you come from privilege–how not to crawl back into the comfort of your shell. (Surprise, your shell is made of structural oppression!) Asides include processing fear through true crime, building a community, and being sad about our favorite music venue being made into a hotel. Subscribe/follow/press the button to keep up with new episodes every Wednesday! You can also follow us @worldisburnin on Instagram and Twitter, and check out our website worldisburning.com for extended show notes including sources and photos. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/worldisburning/message
  1. Ep. 24 – Climate Anxiety
  2. Ep. 23 – Fire – Indigenous Controlled Burns and Incarcerated Firefighters
  3. Ep. 22 – Agent Orange and the Delano Grape Strike
  4. Ep. 21 – Harry Styles and Sustainable Touring
  5. Ep. 20 – Save the Whales and Free Willy