The insertion of bones into the kiln is a key to his success.
One Chinese technique for sword-making involved adding a bit of person into the mix. National Geographic tracked down this practice in present-day Taiwan.
One sword-maker explains:
"In the past there's been a saying that if one wants to make a good sword, one needs human bones. By chance, my friend was collecting bones (from the deceased). Then I just asked him to give me some human bones for forging swords."
The linked article thinks a catastrophic loss of groundwater led to the rent. And offers this caution:
Just because Cthulhu isn't clambering out of the breach to wreak havoc on humankind DOES NOT MEAN we shouldn't be alarmed by the fact we've sucked so much water out of the ground that the surface of the earth is collapsing.
Business Week has a fine overview of changes in burial practices. One major issue is that it's often too expensive to bury people in major cities. Another: the sheer number of bodies is crowding out room for the newly dead in many sites.
Krause-Jackson touches on too many issues in an admirably short time to summarize. Just read it.
Specialists restoring the 18th Century artwork have discovered that the statue's eight teeth used to belong to an adult human...
His tortured look, blood streaming down his neck, open wounds on his face, hands and knees send shivers down your spine. But it turns out that the statue is even more realistic - and macabre - than previously thought.
Elsewhere in Mexico, parishioners are known to have volunteered their hair to make wigs for saints, as well as clothing or money. But the teeth and nails of statues are usually made of bones and animal horns. "It's the first time human teeth have been found in a sculpture," says Unikel.
CNN, America's most visible purveyor of Gothic horrors, now turns to China for a glimpse of the death simulator.
"Samadhi -- 4D Experience of Death," is a morbid "escape room" game that uses dramatic special effects to bring players close to what its creators imagine is an experience of death.
One highlight is a cremation experience. Oh yes:
Losers get cremated -- or are at least made to lie on a conveyor belt that transports them through a fake funeral home incinerator to simulate death rites. The faux cremator will use hot air and light projections to create what the organizers call "an authentic experience of burning."
Escape the room games seem to be developing well in the analog world.
In a nice touch, that funeral home has long been closed. The building is decaying, by one account.
Dover police were called by the owners, a bank, of a dilapidated funeral home to inspect suspicious containers that were found on the site. The remains of nine Jonestown victims were found in the former Minus Funeral Home in Dover, among 33 containers of remains...
The dilapidated former funeral home in Dover had a padlock on the double front doors. The building showed few signs of its former use, although a floral design was etched in glass panes at the entrance. Dead vines hung from the building’s white plaster walls, and cracked windows were repaired with blue tape.
The discovery of the ashes inside the former funeral home building prompted authorities to dig outside on Wednesday to check for any other unclaimed remains. None were found. During the dig, authorities found an arrowhead, two animal bones, oyster shells and charcoal outside, according to the release.
As Faulkner wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past."
(thanks to Steven Kaye, Jesse Walker, and other Infocult minions)