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Introspective memorial block

A gravestone which incorporates the deceased
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People often want some memorial to record their existence. In the old days there were less people, so there was much more space to go around. There was room for those who wanted it to be buried in large plots, with a gravestone or other monument.

Now, in many places - including the UK, there price of land has increased such that few can afford this. Furthermore, people are upset when these graves are disturbed for other development, and the gravestones reused for walkways or whatever.

Instead, many people choose for their bodies to be burned to ash, which is then variously scattered in favourite places or stored in a pot on a relative's mantelpiece or shelf. I would like to propose a further option for cremated remains, by which people can feel useful as well as have a documented place for loved ones to visit.

It is possible to set metal text into cement paving slabs - I've seen some in the pavement in a street near my house. It should be possible to set a short personalised notice into a cement paver or block for a relatively small amount. Furthermore, concrete can incorporate a fair percentage of ash.
I'm sure you'll see where I'm going with this, but to spell it out I propose that small standardised, labeled blocks could be produced, each incorporating the mortal remains of one person. These blocks could be used to make park walkways, or perhaps low walls in some scenic area. As the block is the combined memorial and remnants, they could be respectfully moved on for other purposes without distress to anyone living in the distant future.

Loris, Feb 08 2009

semi-baked in Hollywood...dead and alive- no real remains http://pro.corbis.c...C9A-CC242A2F917C%7D
[xandram, Feb 10 2009]

[link]






       [-] for using the word "repurposed". Now let me read the idea...
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 08 2009
  

       OK - on reflection, still a [-]. I am saving up for a pyramid.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 08 2009
  

       //pyramid// too flashy... garden gnome.
FlyingToaster, Feb 08 2009
  

       If I keep really quiet do you think Max won't realise he forgot to vote?   

       Incidentally, 'repurposed' - fixed.
Loris, Feb 09 2009
  

       A big block of lucite could work too... wouldn't need to be cremated either.
FlyingToaster, Feb 09 2009
  

       Shouldn't it be 'fewer people', rather than 'less' - even in the old days?   

       And, as much as I like the pavement idea, how about building a really massive pyramid out of all of those monumental bricks? [edit - oh, just saw the link - wow, what a neat idea)
zen_tom, Feb 10 2009
  

       If you are cremated, the ash which remains contains some silicates and a few trace elements (but not the mercury from your amalgam fillings - this goes up the chimney). If you heat this ash it will fuse into a glass-like substance similar to a pottery glaze, and you could glaze a small pot with it if you wanted. I've seen a mug which was glazed with a glaze made from the ashes of a much-loved pet dog, so it can be done.
hippo, Feb 10 2009
  

       //Shouldn't it be 'fewer people', rather than 'less' - even in the old days?//   

       Perhaps, although perhaps not (since it's implicitly -per unit area). I'll change it anyway.
Definitively less ash, though.
(edit - on third thought I won't change it - it just doesn't sound right.)
  

       Regarding the pyramid - I don't think there would be any difficulty doing that with these blocks. But there are a couple of down-sides to doing so.
Firstly, such a pyramid isn't useful, while walkways and walls are. The blocks could be used for the ground-floor walls of public buildings like libraries, for example.
Secondly, You lose the visitability of each gravesite as more people are interred. This may become less of a problem as the pyramid grows (and becomes big enough to take a few hundred years for each course to be covered). Although then even uncovered blocks at the top are difficult to visit.
Loris, Feb 10 2009
  

       <shudder> someone just walked over my grave
stupop, Feb 10 2009
  

       Don't Tread on Me! +
gnomethang, Feb 10 2009
  

       If as suggested the blocks are assembled into a structure, it would just go to show that the deceased was "Just another brick in the wall ..."
8th of 7, Jun 06 2014
  

       Or built like a brick _________
normzone, Jun 06 2014
  

       A public convenience constructed from building blocks containing the ashes of cremated* politicians would indeed qualify as a brick shit house ...   

       *Not actually being dead yet would not in any way be an impediment to the cremation process, of course.
8th of 7, Jun 06 2014
  
      
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