What happens when climate change ravages graveyards?

I spend more time than I probably should wondering when the luxury condo trend will finally come for the dead. Real estate is expensive, and there's lots of valuable land in urban areas that could be used for yet-another fancy steel-and-glass skyscraper used to hide foreign money—if it wasn't for the cemeteries that currently take up all that space. I even have a half-finished short story in a notebook somewhere riffing on the classic Stephen King scenario of towns built on Native American burial grounds, except it's just luxury condos built up on the corpses of, well, everyone.

But I was thinking too far ahead. Because I didn't stop to think about what happens to those graveyards now, as flooding and earthquakes and more extreme weather disturb the soil under which our loved ones have been laid to their eternal rests. As a recent article in Scientific American gruesomely details, coffins are already body-surfing through the streets of Louisiana during storms:

The caskets and their surface vaults are sealed airtight, so pressure builds inside them when a hurricane or flash flood covers them in water. Moisture weakens the vault seal, and eventually the water begins to bubble with dead air—the tell-tale sign a casket is ready to pop out of its grave, Hunter said.

“You hear the bubbles, you see the bubbles, and you know that seal is weakening because of that immense amount of pressure. And then the lid comes off,” he said.

The visual of bubbling coffins popping out of the ground is scary enough. Read the rest

Paul McCartney and Kanye West to record song titled "Piss on My Grave"

"Kanye," writes Alex Young, "is no stranger to collaborations with rock legends..." Read the rest

Warhol gravesite livestreamed to celebrate 85th birthday

Yesterday would have been Andy Warhol's 85th birthday. To mark the occasion, the Warhol Museum and @EarthCam are livestreaming footage of his gravesite. The broadcast is the work of Madelyn Roehrig, a part of her Asking Andy anything project.

Some passers-by wave at the camera. Some talk on their cellphones, apparently unaware of the countless invisible observers. One man, dressed in a kilt, spent many hours at the graveside, playing “Happy Birthday” on a horn and chatting with other Warhol pilgrims. Finally, alone in the dark, he lit up cigarette and took a closer look at Warhol's grave.

The live stream continues today, and visitors still file in and out of the frame to pay their respects—often for 15 minutes or so. Warhol would be amused. Read the rest