Ashes to Ashes

coeio-mushroom-burial-suit-1-537x403For the human body, death is only the beginning. These meat sacks of ours are hothouses of chemicals, and not just the good kind. Pesticides, flame retardants, heavy metals, and other environmental toxins we’ve picked up in life continue to leach into the mortal coil long after we’ve shuffled off. Current cremation techniques don’t help, either. Fumes expelled during incineration are chock-full of carcinogens such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur oxide, not to mention mercury from dental fillings. And let’s not even talk about the ingredients found in embalming fluid. The solution? Mushrooms, or more specifically, a mushroom-infused burial suit that accelerates decomposition of the body while neutralizing the pollutants within. In short, it turns corpses into compost.

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Composed of 100 percent organic cotton, the Infinity Burial Suit is a garment that’s been years in the making. Visual artist and MIT graduate Jae Rhim Lee spent the better part of a decade experimenting with different strains of fungi.

“We are using two different types of mushrooms­ edible and mycorrhizal,” Lee explained on her website. “Edible mushrooms are scientifically proven decomposers. These mushrooms break down material by emitting enzymes. The mycorrhizal mushrooms deliver nutrients to plant roots.”

By seeding the suit with these mushrooms, Lee is tapping into a documented process known as mycoremediation to degrade contaminants or otherwise render them inert.

“These various processes only provide positive benefits that save energy and resources,
improve the soil, and enrich plant life,” Lee said.

Through Coeio, the company she founded, Lee is already taking orders for the suit, which costs $1,500 and comes in three sizes in your choice of black or natural.

Soon there will even be options for pets, from the smallest hamster to the largest Great Dane. “The end result is the most dignified and ecological way to say goodbye to your beloved pet,” Lee said.

Vintage Halloween

Choosing what to dress up as for Halloween is not merely a modern dilemma. It can seem like everything has been done before – who wants to turn up as a pumpkin for a fourth year running?  So if you’re really struggling for inspiration, take a look at some of these Halloween costumes from times gone by.

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Masks:  Halloween costumes are meant to be scary, after all. 2

Mushrooms: Two mushrooms accompanied by an equally strange little man. aliencostume Alien: A rather disorientated time-travelling alien stumbles in from the year 2106.catcostumev1

Cats: A tribe of cat people with their bearded accomplice.

clubcostume

Clubs: A woman dressed as her favorite playing card. eyecostume

Eyes: These one-eyed beasts are fairly snappy dressers.  phonecostume

Telephone: Excellent in terms of looking like telephones, not so great in terms of visibility.

baconcostume

Bacon: Clearly, cured pig meat was the thing to give you the chills in 1894.

chickencostume

Chicken: Classic farmyard terror with this costume. kidscostume

Kids: The line between cute and terrifying has definitely been crossed here.

For more bizarre, hilarious and downright terrifying Halloween get-ups, check out the source of this content at the Independent.