There's an internal discussion folder at Microsoft named "SOC Weirdness", and a few days ago I came across a mention of LifeGem.

So, basically, their gig is that they extract the carbon from your beloved's remains (be they human, feline, canine, or, presumably, ursine), purify the carbon into graphite (they say "convert", but if I say that I *know* I'm going to hear from the spousal chemist), and then put it into a diamond press and after some time passes, you end up with a diamond between .2 and 1.25 carats.

For a few thousand dollars, of course.

Now, I'm not going to judge the people who choose to do this. Making a loved one into a diamond isn't any weirder than lots of other things people do. But for me, while I like the look of gems, they do lack basic utility, which is why I would like a different alternative for my remains.

Rather than going to the expense of creating a gem from the graphite, it will be put to a more conventional use.

As the LifePencil.

Perhaps they could be handed out during the ceremony, with a suitable inscription...