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Turn grandma into a diamond

28 March 2005

You'd think it was a hoax, but for a modest price a company named LifeGem will make you a real diamond out of the cremated remains of your loved ones, human or animal. They extract the carbon from the ashes to make the diamond, and give you back the rest to bury or place on the mantel.

"How many LifeGems can be made from one individual?" is just one of the FAQs on LifeGem's website. The answer is over 100, which is very convenient if the whole family wants one. Natural diamonds take millions of years to create, but LifeGem's "diamond presses" can speed the process up to a few months. It's not just for bereaved Americans. LifeGems are made in Australia, Canada, England, Hungary and The Netherlands too.

Imagine what the price of a celebrity diamond would be... Any bids on a Princess Diana diamond? Would anyone like to pre-order Solana Larsen earrings? Of course, if I decided to turn myself into diamonds, I couldn't use this other service from the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. These guys will freeze your body until the technology exists to bring you back to life. It's a lot more expensive, but a shot at eternal life might be worth it... Must think more about that before my 99th birthday.

Human remains are eternally political. Check out the openDemocracy article, "The Afterlife of Bodies" by Ken Worpole from about a year ago.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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