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World’s First Human Composting Facility is Coming to Seattle in 2021

The revolutionary system converts human remains into soil as an alternative to cremation or burial.

Emma Fiala

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Human Composting

(TMU) — In a move hailed as a positive step by environmentalists, Washington became the first U.S. state to legalize the composting of human bodies in May of this year.

And now, the Evergreen State will become home to the world’s first human composting facility in 2021 thanks to Katrina Spade, founder and CEO of Recompose, after the legislation she helped enact goes into effect in May 2020.

According to its website, Spade founded the revolutionary company with the goal of offering “natural organic reduction to the public,” a system that converts human remains into soil as an alternative to cremation or burial.

Recompose’s website explains the benefits of natural organic reduction:

“By converting human remains into soil, we minimize waste, avoid polluting groundwater with embalming fluid, and prevent the emissions of CO2 from cremation and from the manufacturing of caskets, headstones, and grave liners.

By allowing organic processes to transform our bodies and those of our loved ones into a useful soil amendment, we help to strengthen our relationship to the natural cycles while enriching the earth.”

In November, around 75 people attended what was described by the Seattle Times as “a housewarming party for a funeral home where bodies would not be burned or buried, but laid in individual vessels to become clean, usable compost.”

Spade told the crowd, made up of investors, doctors, architects, funeral directors, legislators, and lawyers:

“You are all members of the death-care revolution.”

When all is said and done, the process will yield about a cubic yard of soil per person. The soil can be taken home by friends or family and used to grow a tree or a garden. Remaining soil will be used on 640 acres of conservation land in southern Washington that will one day become an ecologically sustainable village.

In contrast, those who have opted to be cremated as a means to save money or take up less space geographically, have inadvertently left a burden on their family members. Spade explained:

“These days, some families regard even ashes from cremation as a burden, not a joy. As in, ‘we’ve had these ashes in the garage for six years.’ And we’re creating a cubic yard of soil.”

While Recompose is not yet up and running, the company is aiming for a $5,500 price tag for its natural organic reduction services while a green burial in the state of Washington averages around $6,000, cremation can range anywhere from $1,000-$7,000, and a conventional burial in a cemetery can set you back at least $8,000.

The idea may seem outlandish or uncomfortable to some, but Recompose is more than just a pipe dream. As an architecture student, Spade first became interested in the funeral industry back in 2012. She quickly delved into the idea of “environmentally sustainable, urban-focused method of disposition of the dead,” after seeing a lack of environmental ethic in both the cremation and burial industries.

In 2014 Spade’s idea took a turn toward reality when she received the Echoing Green Climate Fellowship. With the funding that followed she founded the non-profit Urban Death Project (UDP) and began working with soil science researchers, law professionals, and those in the funeral industry to lay the groundwork for a revolutionary system of death care the world had never seen.

Over the next few years Spade continued to work on UDP before securing over $90,000 via a Kickstarter campaign. Her idea also reached wide audiences through worldwide media coverage.

Then in 2017 Space founded Recompose, a public benefit corporation, to bring her idea to reality—a reality now taking shape in a warehouse in SoDo, where the company is ready to live out their mission to “offer a new form of death care that honors both our loved ones and the planet earth.”

By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Jeff Bezos Thanks Amazon Workers And Customers For Paying For His Flight To Space

Elias Marat

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The billionaire space race chalked up one more ignoble milestone on July 20 when the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, boarded a reusable rocket his company Blue Origin built and funded, flew to the edge of space for a moment of weightlessness, and came back down to earth.

You can watch the flight and learn more about the journey here.

The Amazon founder has faced withering criticism for accumulating his massive fortune on the backs of an exploited workforce that is subject to harsh working conditions and low pay in warehouses or Fulfillment Centers where staffers must urinate in water bottles in order to meet their quotas.

In his press conference following the launch, Bezos thanked that same workforce for helping him to shoot himself into space in a move that many critics have described as a simple “joyride.”

“I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for this,” he told the crowd, which responded with laughter. “Seriously, for every Amazon customer out there and every employee thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. It’s very appreciated.”

Critics on Twitter responded with derision, noting that Bezos was able to enjoy the trip at the expense of his hard-working employees.

“Thing is, employers are supposed to pay their employees, not the other way around, but that’s basically how Amazon works,” one user tweeted.

While another tweeter asked: “Maybe they’re searching space for signs of a livable wage or a way to pay their fair share of taxes?”

On Tuesday, Bezos blasted off in the sub-orbital New Shepard rocket from Texas. The date for the launch was chosen to coincide with the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Members of the crew, which included his brother mark and 82-year-old female astronaut Wally Funk, brought a number of historic items on the flight, including a piece of canvas from the conceptual plane originally flown by the Wright brothers, the goggles Amelia Earhart used to fly across the Atlantic, and a brass medal made from the first hot air balloon which flew in 1783.

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Good News

Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces

Elias Marat

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Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.

And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.

The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.

The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.

At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.

When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.

Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.

The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.

The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.

“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.

“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.

His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.

Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.

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Animals

Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber

Elias Marat

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An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.

In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.

“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”

As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.

Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.

“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.

Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.

So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.

“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”

As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.

Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.

“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”

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