The jewelry industry doesn't want you to know this, but diamonds can be made in the lab. It's not even all that hard. You start with carbon and apply heat, pressure and time. Wait a second! Human ashes have carbon in them! You know what that means!
Yes, if you died right now your family could cremate and wear your dead body as a rather morbid article of high end bling-bling within 6 to 9 months. This is the promise of Illinois-based, dead-human-to-pretty-diamond converters LifeGem.
Once a body has been cremated (or a lock of hair is obtained) LifeGem scientists perform science all over it, first placing the separated ash carbons into an evil looking crucible that may as well have been a terrifying artifact found on the floors of Auschwitz, foreboding serial number and all.
This crucible is then heated to around 3,000 degrees Celsius, converting the carbon into pure graphite. This graphite is then placed into a diamond press that replicates the heat and pressure generated by the earth in order to form a diamond.
These are molecularly identical to naturally occurring diamonds, and contain all of the same traits. This will help tremendously when your family inevitably pawns the fucker for beer money.
But don't just take our word for how valuable these things can get. Apparently, LifeGem borrowed 10 strands of hair off the head of Ludwig van Beethoven from a celebrity hair collector, and pressed it into a diamond that was valued at $1,000,000.
A diamond is the strongest substance on earth and, when sharpened correctly, can also be one of the deadliest. Have them take your diamond to designer Tobias Wong so he can sharpen your freshly forged visage into a wearable implement of carnage and mayhem. A diamond so sharp it can slice right down to bone. Man, get that for your son after you've been (again) brutally slain by a crime boss... he'll be 90% of the way to a superhero.
If you've ever seen The Matrix then you may have overheard Morpheus explain to Neo that "the human body generates more bioelectricity than a 120V battery, and more than 25000 BTU's of body heat." As retarded as the science behind their human power plant was, some European crematoriums are making the idea real.
Dukinfield Crematorium in England was having a problem when it came to burning their fresh crop of bodies: They couldn't afford to perform their creamationary duties while simultaneously keeping the mourners of the dead warm within the chapel. Their solution was a controversial one as they proposed that the energy given off should be recycled to power the chapel's boiler and lighting system. The system would capture the heat released by both the furnaces and the dead, then pass them through heat exchangers which would then be pumped into radiators.
No effort was made to NOT make it look like a place that burns humans.
But if you can power one little building, why don't you go all out and power a whole town? Three Swedish cities (Boras, Helsingborg and Racksta) are doing just that. Using the same basic ideas stated above, these crematoria have all cut deals with their local power companies and are contributing up to 10% of their respective towns' energy.
If you lived in an apartment with shoddy wiring you can now rest assured knowing that, in a roundabout way, your body will continue to shock the genitals of anyone using a plug-in vibrator.
Old school style mummies are played out. Now, we have a far more elegant way to keep people around way, way longer then they need to be. This new process is called "Plastination" and, just as the name suggests, it involves cramming a dead body so full of plastic that it essentially turns it into the giant action figure Jeffery Dahmer wanted as a child.
Plastination was developed in 1978 by Dr. Gunther von Hagens and is used today as a learning tool for medical students of all types. You may have even caught a traveling exhibit showcasing a collection of the bodies posed in positions that suggest that it's totally alright to play a game of football with your dick meat fully exposed.
Or, hey, basketball, too.
The process of plastination can be broken down into five steps, all of which kind of sound like hunting process of a serial rapist:
1) Fixation: Where decay is halted by the injection of formalin, a bacteria fighting agent, into the arteries of the body.
2) Dehydration: After the doctors slice-and-dice whichever organs they wish to set aside for later, the body is placed in an acetone bath where all of its fats are dissolved away and its water sucked into the body's cells.
3) Forced Impregnation: The body is placed in a vacuum chamber with a polymer such as silicone rubber. As the acetone leaves the cells it swiftly draws in the liquid polymer behind it, leaving the cell filled with plastic.
4) Posing: Once every cell is loaded with plastic the body can be maneuvered around to strike any pose the scientists wish. It is also in this step where the scientists must resist their primal urges to place the bodies in lewd sexual positions while their hands perform obscene gestures.
5) Hardening: The body gets hard and just, kinda, you know, stays that way. There really isn't a whole lot of science involved in this step.
The process takes just over a year to complete with the end result being a mannequin-like figure that serves as a diorama for the internal workings of the human body. The Institute for Plastination - located in Heidelberg, Germany - is always accepting bodies, but keep in mind that they will not, under any circumstances, except bodies that were thrown at their front doors from speeding cars. All bodies used are willing participants in the project... sort of.
"Gee, I hope my friends don't freeze my dead body in this position and put me on display for douchebag med students."
The Institute of Plastination has this thing for arranging the bodies in action oriented posses to accentuate the dramatic features of a specimen in motion; they also plastinate non-human creatures such as giraffes, camels and gorillas.
That's right: They can set you up so that you're wrestling a bear for eternity. Or arrange to have your body scoring a point during what people can only assume is a wicked awesome 1-on-1 tetherball match with a gorilla. Let your imagination run wild!
We're gonna be immortalized like this - forever watching internet pornography.
To read about what kind of batshit stuff people will do with their bodies while living, check out The 6 Most Badass Stunts Ever Pulled in the Name of Science. Or get in the holiday spirit and find out what Santa really thinks about your kids' letters in Letters FROM Santa.
And don't forget to visit Cracked.com's Top Picks, because that's what your grandmother would want you to do.