A Place of Rest - For My Mummy
Come on... SOMEbody had to say it...
A German consortium has announced its plan to build the world's largest structure - a 578m-high "Giant Pyramid", designed to offer paying customers the chance to "outlast personal physical existence", as the group's website puts it. The plan is pretty simple: build a big pyramid where anyone willing to stump up about €700 can …
Being able to choose a design/picture for the stone that marks my final resting place is all well and good, but I think the question that really needs answering is; will I be able to select from a range of interesting booby-traps such as falling boulders, trapdoors over a pit full of snakes and the perennial favourite - a slowly descending ceiling of spikes?
And what about curses - probably a premium service, but definitely a must for the full entombed-for-eternity-in-a-giant-mausoleum experience.
They tried to bury people in unmarked graves in the last war, now they're simply stacking them in a damn great pyramid.
If your parents get buried there, don't you think it'll be a bit Oedipal being buried on top of (your) Mummy?
€700 for putting another block of stone on? Definitely a pyramid scheme!
1 - What do they do when the bereaved complain that they don't want Gran' to be in the middle of the pile because she's claustrophobic? (..and, by definition, the vast majority WILL be in the interior.)
2 - ...and, besides, they paid 700 bills and want to be able to SEE her electric-pink coffin!
3 - Even assuming that they build it as a series of "shells" (think pyramidal matryoshka dolls) as more deaders are added, so that it will always be gererally pyramidal, it'll rarely look as neat and tidy as their adverts show it.
4 - I'm getting "website can't be found" errors, so I can't check, but are the deceased buried intact in brick-shaped coffins, cremated and stacked in smaller boxes, or mixed in to concrete and stacked as cinderblocks? In any case, I can't imagine them being as structurally sound as the nutters imagine. I don't see a tier of standard-sized coffins on the bottom row being able to support the stacks above once you got to any significant height, although I could be wrong. ...and if any of the lower boxed collapse, you've got a corpse-slide of titanic proportions.
On the other hand, the blocks in the current Great Pyramid of Khufu/Cheops at Giza have dimensions in the 5' x 8' x 12' range (480 cu. ft.). Assuming a block for the proposed project - either hollow, for ashes, or a "mix-in" concrete block - of 9" x 9" x 12" (I'm estimating from memory of family members' granite-block reliquaries), it would take 270 of them to equal one average Giza pyramid bllock.
Even using mortar to hold the whole thing together, building a mass that is more than 10 times the volume of the Giza pyramid out of blocks that are less that 4% the volume of the ones used originally sounds like a recipe for disaster. I'm no engineer, but I have a feeling that, when you try building something that large out of pieces that small, you actually have to treat the aggregate as a fluid, rather than as a solid.
Ron Murray, above, may have been joking, but it does, indeed, sound like a take-the-seed-money-and-run pyramid scheme.
Unless the corpses pile up at a pretty spectacular rate it will be pretty damn small for a long time to come. Lets see, Germany has a population of around 80,000,000, and at the current death rate around 800,000 per year. Lets say that 10% of Germany's population choose to use this, which seems hopelessly optimisitic, but then some will come from outside too. Assuming our man above is a bit high, lets say 8 million bodies, then that's 100 years to complete the structure... After a year it won't be very impressive at all.. I think we're mre likley to see one of whatsits hovercars...
"Stones can be custom designed with any number of colors, images, or relief decorations."
Maybe I'm just being a bit too logical here, but who cares what color your stone is, or what image or decoration you have on it, when it's 500 meters up (or at the bottom, covered by 500m of other blocks)?!?
Not to mention, when most people (at least those I've known or seen) visit someone's grave, they want to get close to the grave. I'd call it a psychological issue, but nevertheless, that's what they do. They do not want to be standing on the ground looking 500 meters, at which point they won't even be able to see the gravestone.
"GIven that the perfect ratio of the dimensions of the Great Pyramid of Giza meant that you could sharpen razor blades if you put them dead centre in the pyramid, what would happen to the corpses at the centre of this pyramid if the ratios were repeated?"
"Yup! Ol' Gramps may be dead, but he's still as sharp as a tack!"
Well, assuming that it's built to the same ratios as Giza...
Each side of the 578m pyramid's base will be about 908.3m.
That would give the pyramid a base area of around 825 000 m^2, and a volume of 158 950 000 m^3.
Assuming that they're putting 100 million people in it, that gives each person a block of 1.5895 m^3, or in other words a block about 1.167 m to a side (a shy under 46 inches).
All those numbers look a bit arbitrary to me.
Should go to Steve Ballmer. It should be shiny and round (just like him!).
As for security: who needs it, with Steve at the top, it will be OK. Besides he represents all good security because the pyramid will certinaly have "windows" (to the soul?).
Further on Mr. Ballmer: The sooner the better (but it won't happen that way).
Are these guys serious. Their site uses wordpress and you can sign up for free? They then promise to fix GMail's spam problem and also let you provide a url which gets posted on their website. Sounds like an interesting mix between dodgy link exchange program and an undertaker's spam list.
Looking at their web site I think the plan to start off with a really small pyramid and just keep adding extra layers on the outside so that over time it will grow to a very big structure and the final size will most probably be limited by the structural limitations of the building materials as eventually the interior and lower levels will colapse under the weight of the structure.
This means that for a considerable amount of time the "Worlds Biggest Mausoleum " could be about the size, if not a justa bit bigger than a family house.
They could always employ costumed midgets to dance around it spinal tap style.
Actually €700 (aprox 500 quid) is pretty cheap - a basic funeral in the UK costs a couple of grand.
"I've always wanted to be buried in Germany. In a Pyramid. With lots of other people."
Well, unless your family has it's own crypt, you're going to be sharing a graveyard with lots of other (ex)people too. Or cremated, in which case one's ashes share the planet with a *lot* of other (ex)people.