I have a fascination with how dead bodies are treated within various cultural and social structures--you have been warned. ;)
Rare images of the Tibetan sky burial (not for the sensitive, by the way) are now available. It is the beautiful and economic practice of offering up corpses to the scavengers of Tibet. This is done because there is not enough fuel readily available for cremation and burial is out of the question due to rocky terrain and permafrost.
If you would like to see the photos (warning: they are graphic) they are included as "Further Reading" on the Wikipedia page referenced above.
Today, I was up at the asscrack of morning. I am not typically very....um....friendly/awake/friendly....at that hour. On the way to the gym we were listening to radio and the Bob and Tom Show was on. They were talking about a recent report from Italy claiming that some pizzerias in Naples may be using coffin wood to fuel their pizza ovens.
Apparently, some enterprising grave robbers have been raiding cemeteries and selling the wood to the restaurants at rock bottom prices.I am not terribly familiar with how embalming chemicals (or what Italian procedures for embalming are) react with the body and what may seep into the wood. Or if bodily fluids and effluvia seep into the wood.
So many bad, and inappropriate, jokes so little time.
My first reaction is--ew? but is it really ew? It is just wood being re-purposed after all. I do wonder about chemicals that may be present in the wood that may react with the food once burned.
The story does have some odd connection to movies that feature cannibalism. In this case that secret flavour is people, even if people are not being eaten directly.