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Alt Text: Ashes to Caches -- Cremation Services for Dead Geeks

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Old 09-03-2008
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Alt Text: Ashes to Caches -- Cremation Services for Dead Geeks
I've been contemplating the ever-present specter of death and eternal nothingness, mostly because Warcraft has been getting a little dull lately. I'm not too worried about the disposition of what eternal soul I may or may not possess, but I realize my surviving loved ones will have to deal with the rapidly cooling rest of me.
I've pretty much settled on cremation, because of the efficiency and because the whole pallbearer conversation is so awkward. But then what? I'm just not an urn sort of guy. Those who are into urns, who are part of the urn scene, recognize me when I come in the door and avoid me.
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Technology, as always, comes to the rescue. There are so many neat things you can do with the dead, burnt part of yourself these days that mulling over the options is like visiting a death-obsessed Apple Store. Here are just a few of the options available to you, me or anyone mortal.

Ashes to Portraits will take your earthly remains, mix them into some paint and paint a picture ... of you! It's like a really sensitive mad scientist. If life were a movie, I'd completely go for this one, because you know you can't get made into a corpse-portrait without something cool happening. You'll come back to terrorize the family that moved into your home, or you'll help a young insecure woman find true love, or maybe you'll just drive someone insane with the staring. There's no bad outcome.
But this is real life, or so I'm told, so I see no reason to be painted into a portrait of me. I'd rather be a painting of a robot version of myself with vibro-claws, earthquake-beam eyes and a nice HD screen.

This is the go-to destination for the rich, accomplished, dead geekish person, thanks to Space Services. Timothy Leary went this route. So did Gene Roddenberry.
I'm not so keen on it myself. Why should my remains get to do something I can't? I'm the one hauling these calcium phosphates around, but after I get hit by a semi or try the pork tartare, they get to go on the trip of a post-lifetime? Let my ashes buy their own freaking ticket if they want to go into low-Earth orbit so much.

For those who enjoy jewelry, and the being thereof, LifeGem will infuse your remains into a diamond. Becoming one of the hardest substances known to humanity doesn't sound too bad -- at least I'd finally be in shape. Michael Phelps may have a perfect swimmer's body, but can he scratch chrysoberyl? I think not.
I'd want all my cremains made into diamond, though. No reason to break up the set. That's either a lot of diamonds, or one huge diamond, requiring the assets of a small European country to purchase. All the more reason to get one to install me now as overlord.

Yes, you can get your ashes made into a bunch of pencils. I'm not sure if this is commercially available yet, but I don't really care. Who uses pencils? People who are bad at crosswords, that's who. And people taking Scantron tests. Those are not groups I want fondling my remains. I'm sure there are many people who would love nothing more than to spend their post-life being sharpened, but I'm not one of those people.

Of all the services I've covered, the fireworks option is my favorite. My loved ones will be touched to see me reincarnated briefly as a shining work of art in the night sky, and my enemies will enjoy seeing me blow up.
The toughest decision is whether to go for the smiley-face. They can make me into one of those smiley-face fireworks, but do you think they'd be willing to explain to the crowd that I'm being ironic?
- - -
Born helpless, nude and unable to provide for himself, Lore Sjöberg eventually overcame these handicaps to become a moralizer, a morphologist and a memento mori.

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