Cryonics

Cryonics, would you do it?

  • Yeah! Freeze me

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Just my head please

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No way, just let me die

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • oh I dunno

    Votes: 5 55.6%

  • Total voters
    9
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Anonymous

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Anybody remember hearing that Walt Disney's head is supposedly frozen? I wonder if it has mouse ears on.....
 

mejane

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Does anyone remember the name of the Dennis Potter TV play about retrieving memories from a frozen head?

Cold Larzarus, I think. Pretty good argument against having your head frozen.

Here's a philosophical question for you: if an afterlife really exists, do you get yanked away from Heaven (or wherever) when you get re-activated?

Jane.
 

ogopogo3

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Snopes tackles that Disney legend here:

http://www.snopes.com/disney/info/wd-ice.htm

One Disney story that I've read recently concerns Walt's 35th birthday. A couple of studio animators whipped up a movie featuring Micky And Minnie having sex. After the Disney staff viewed the movie, Walt laughed heartily and asked who was responsible for the cartoon. The two animators stood up and took credit. Walt promptly fired them then and there.
 
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Anonymous

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Great article Ogo but I'm still sure it's just his head...(his body was pretty shot wouldn't you agree?)
 
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Anonymous

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Baseball star in cryogenic storage

"ATLANTA (CNNSI.com) -- While the baseball world will honor the late Ted Williams at the All-Star Game in Milwaukee on Tuesday night, the Red Sox nation is giving his son John Henry the cold shoulder.

Ted Williams' body now resides in a cryonic warehouse at Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., moved there by the son because, as Dan Shaughnessy, columnist for The Boston Globe said: "There are only two ways to think of this: Best case -- The son is in denial and thinks he can bring his father back to life. Worst case -- John Henry hopes to profit from prospective cloning or DNA distribution."

Full details
ici.
 
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Anonymous

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And the Ted Williams saga rumbles on.

The Beeb offers a look at the prospect of cryonics, for those of us who have an extra 80K US under the mattress, though the Alcor website assures us this can be paid for by life insurance policies, though success is conditional on the survival of the human race for as long as a "cure" for death can be found(!)

So, would you like to spend the rest of eternity in liquid nitrogen? Where does this leave the soul? Would revival ensure it got sucked back in again just when you were enjoying those cocktails in the afterlife? I think it would be quite neat to be held in some kind of stasis, pop up once every hundred years to see what's going down, then go back under again.

Anyone for immortality?

http://www.cryonics.org/
 

rynner2

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This story has been out for a few days now - I expected someone here would have picked it up by now!
__________________________________________
One lucky New Scientist reader will win the chance to have their body frozen after death in the hope of being brought back to life in the future.
On dying, the competition winner will be taken to the Cryonics Institute in Michigan, US and immersed in liquid nitrogen at minus 196 degrees centigrade.

The magazine promises to "heal and revive" the winner's body once medical technology has become sophisticated enough.

People are paying around £28,000 to undergo the process even though genetic experts are skeptical about bringing frozen dead bodies back to life.

If the competition winner does lose their nerve, New Scientist is giving them the option to cash the treatment in and take a Hawaiian holiday instead.

Would you like your body to be frozen? How do you imagine it will be to come back to life decades from now?
___________________________________________

(I'll go find the NS link now if you'll wait a while...)
 

Pete Younger

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Originally posted by rynner


If the competition winner does lose their nerve, New Scientist is giving them the option to cash the treatment in and take a Hawaiian holiday instead.



No family, no friends.......no thanks, I'll take the holiday in the here and now.
 

rynner2

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NS Fun Quiz How Long Have You Got To Live? (It's very short, amusing, and leads to a link to the Cryogenic Freezing Prize competition!)

But No Thanks from me too: even if resuscitation becomes technically possible, I can't see people in the future being all that interested in reviving wrinkled, diseased old hulks who felt they were so important they should live forever. (Perhaps they'd revive a few for historical research, but I suspect most would be quietly buried/cremated.)

So it's Hawaii for me too, especially as the prize includes a trip to the mountain top Observatories.


BTW, according to the quiz, you've got at most just 14 more years to put up with me... :eek!!!!:
 

Pete Younger

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Oh well twenty years, not too bad, I just hope the pension keeps up with inflation.
 
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Anonymous

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rynner said:
But No Thanks from me too: even if resuscitation becomes technically possible, I can't see people in the future being all that interested in reviving wrinkled, diseased old hulks who felt they were so important they should live forever.
Sod thinking you're so important you should live forever, my take on it is my insatiable curiosity: I'd want to see what was happening, read what had been written, meet new people (and probably take the piss out of them), find out if people had finally seen sense by my way of it and banned religion, soccer and sound compression on TV ads, see what was new, find out what old excuses Govts. had recycled to keep everyone on a very probably resource-impoverished Earth.

Wait a minute.

"Resource-impoverished Earth"?

Oh crap. Since I don't for one moment believe Earth govts. will ever have the sense to exploit the solar system's off-Earth resources, that means any future society with the tech. to revive me wouldn't have the reources to spare to do it with.

Damn, looks like I'm going to Hawaii. And I hate sunshine, excessive warmth, and sand. Not crazy about volcanoes either. I do quite like ukeleles though, he said trying to make the best of it...
 

rynner2

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Zygon said:
Damn, looks like I'm going to Hawaii. And I hate sunshine, excessive warmth, and sand. Not crazy about volcanoes either. I do quite like ukeleles though, he said trying to make the best of it...
I think it's quite cold up the mountains where the Observatories are - not only that, but the atmosphere is very rarified. (Problematical - most of the observers actually work from much lower down, and limit their visits to the top.)
 

Mighty_Emperor

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And the Ted Williams saga rumbles on.

and on........

There is a very weird bit in Wednesday's (23rd August, 2003: page 26 bottom left) Guardian which suggests the corpse has been decapitated, had 2 holes drilled in it and that it has been cracked 10 times (thanks to my brother for spotting that one).

Oddly this isn't in the Guardian online archives (I'll send the clipping into the FT) but there is a lot of other news available on this:

http://news.google.com/news?q=ted+williams

just gets odder, e.g.:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/14/s...tml?ex=1061438400&en=41d955e9dec8b21b&ei=5062

http://www.woai.com/sports/story.aspx?content_id=88EDAB38-99A3-495D-BCAD-E927FF943B5C


A local state attorney continues looking into forgery allegations Thursday over a note spelling out baseball great Ted Williams' final wishes.

http://www.wcjb.com/news.asp?id=7841

We haven't seen the end of this one.

Emps
 

MrRING

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I don't know how many people saw the film Timothy Leary's Dead, but in it, it shows his head being removed at death so it can be cyrogenicly preserved.

Now, the thing is, I saw the flick and it looked real, but I also recall rumor that it was faked because he didn't want to be beheaded at the last minute, or that the footage was too horrible so a Hollywood effects team faked it.

Does anybody know for sure?
 

TheOriginalCujo

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I thought Leary was cremated and his ashes sent into space.

Cujo
(Or was that just an acid flashback?):rolleyes:
 

MrRING

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according to this site:

http://www.tombstonetravel.com/tales.html

only a small portion of Leary made it into space:

Seven grams of Timothy Leary and at least 22 other cremated bodies are scheduled to escape the earth's atmosphere sometime in December 1996. For $4,800, Celestis, a Houston, Texas company, will provide a memorial service in which "seven grams of human ash--think seven packets worth of Sweet & Low-" will be packed "into an aerospace-engineered capsule about the size of a .50 caliber antiaircraft round and sent into space on a rocket. (Source: Tyer, Brad. "Last Flights." Houston Press August 8, 1996.)
Their voyage succeeded with a launch from Madrid, Spain on April 21, 1997.


So maybe they creamated the body and just froze the head - I think that's possible in cryogenic circles
 

Anome

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I don't recall Leary getting his head frozen, but I do remember about the ashes being on a space probe.

There was a proponent of cryogenics called Tom Donaldson, who had his head frozen. (He taught my brother at the Australian National University. I think he had already learned of his brain tumour, and made his plans to be frozen while there. The page linked is the only one I could find. Since it was written, he has died.) He got on TV a bit, going on about cryogenics and such. Don't know if the (admittedly slight) similarity of names might have led to confusion. Then again, Leary may have had it done too.

As far as I know, Tom Lehrer has made no such plans.
 
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Anonymous

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Mr. R.I.N.G. said:
I don't know how many people saw the film Timothy Leary's Dead, but in it, it shows his head being removed at death so it can be cyrogenicly preserved.
Have my doubts, but mainly because Tim Leary was so into messing with other people's heads, and thus, to my eyes, the story sounds a touch too ironic for credibility.
 

escargot

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There have also been rumours about people's heads being removed shortly BEFORE death and not AFTER for freezing.
Just having the head frozen is the cheaper option- it is assumed that In The Future we will be able to create bodies to order.

Some companies have gone out of business leaving rapidly-thawing human remains in their warehouses. At least one has had its power disconnected after non-payment of bills.


I like cryogenics- it's full of chicanery and misplaced faith. A very Fortean subject.
 

MrRING

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I take nobody else has seen the film?

In it, it has Leary up to his final hour, then as soon as he dies the cyrogenic experts just come in and chop off his head, and it's lifted up to the strains of that "Timothy Leary's Dead" song. It looked pretty convincing, but it seems like there would be more of a trail online about it if it were true. My theatre showed the film, and it was presented in the press materials as fact.
 
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Anonymous

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escargot said:
There have also been rumours about people's heads being removed shortly BEFORE death and not AFTER for freezing.
That would make a bit more sense, actually, if you were trying to get the thing to come back to "life" eventually. If it was all done really quickly (i.e., slice off the head with a big blade and whip it straight into a nitrogen freezer), the tissues wouldn't have time to start falling apart at the molecular level, as invariably happens with a "natural" death. You would then have a reasonable chance of reattaching and reanimating it, as you can nowadays do with a severed finger/hand etc. Even more sensible would be to quick-freeze the entire body before the illness became terminal, and the organs started failing. Leaving the freezing until disease has ravaged everything and the person is dead is pretty much like freezing a butchered animal. You just end up with deep-frozen meat.
Since cyrogenics has been going for so long now and medicine has advance so much in the meantime, has anyone ever tried thawing out and revivfying any of the earlier ones?
 

MrRING

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Okay, here is what I've found so far scouring the net.

1) A place that sells the video, where it discribes the end as a great bizzare moment:

http://www.beatmuseum.org/store/leary/leary.html

2) A live journal entry where the fellow watched the film and had this to say: A few months age I went to see the movie Timothy Leary's Dead at Cinema Village. The title is taken from an old Moody Blues song with that lyric, but of course it also refers to Leary's recent death of cancer, and his decision to have his head frozen. (My wife was fascinated by the scene of Leary's head being cut off and frozen. I was grossed out.)

http://www.elharo.com/journal/leary.html

3) This review had this to say: The last scenes of "Timothy Leary's Dead" show his head being removed and frozen. But can we believe our eyes? Considering his relationship with reality, it's the perfect Leary-esque parting shot.

http://www.shoestring.org/mmi_revs/timothy-dead.html

4) And here is a review online at Rotten Tomatoes, written by Steve Rhodes: The most shocking aspect of the film is not the ideas pontificated, but the picture's ending. It seems that Leary, with his inflated view of the power of his brain, wanted his head frozen so his brain could be preserved for future generations. We "get" to witness the actual decapitation. And it is as horrific as it sounds.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/TimothyLearysDead-1080989/preview.php

5) But this is the most freaky of all:

Your site, in two separate reviews of Timothy Leary's Dead, unwittingly perpetuates a total fabrication. A bunch of opportunitists were living in Leary's house during his final weeks, making a movie of his gradual death—which was mainly caused by malnutrition, since he refused to eat, and none of the "don't worry, be happy" types in the house tried very hard to feed him. A cryonics team had installed an ice bath and other equipment. I have personal knowledge of this, since at that time I was the president of the organization with which Leary had made cryonics arrangements. I visited his house several times with the team leader, Mike Darwin. However, after several weeks, we felt compelled to remove the equipment, fearing for its safety and our own, largely because Leary was talking about assisted suicide, which could have been classified as homicide in view of his diminished ability to make decisions. At the very least it would have precipitated a homicide investigation, during which Leary would have been autopsied (thus ruining his chances for good cryopreservation of the brain), our equipment would have been impounded as evidence, and we might have been regarded as possible accessories.

In several phone calls to Leary I reiterated our desire to fulfill our contractual and ethical obligation to preserve him, if he so wished, and I emphasized that we could have our equipment back at his house within a matter of hours if there was an emergency, or if the situation in the house stabilized, or if Leary would absolutely agree to make no attempt at assisted suicide. Finally, however, I received a call from Leary stating that he had decided, largely on the basis of a conversation with John Perry Barlow, that he did not want to be cryopreserved under any circumstances. I swapped email with Barlow in which he verified this.

Therefore, I feel certain that Timothy Leary was not decapitated for cryopreservation. According to reliable news reports, he was cremated, and a small portion of his ashes was sent into space with samples of ashes from some other famous people.

To the best of my knowledge, the scenes at the end of Timothy Leary's Dead are totally fraudulent. If the makers of the film claim otherwise, I invite them to state where the decapitation took place. Feel free to quote this message if you wish. —Charles Platt


http://www.svtoday.com/svt/leary.htm

So it seems to me there is plenty of confusion about what has happened.... a Fortean end to a great Fortean.

*Edit due to a question this raised in my mind - did the filmmakers just cut off Leary's head for the film and then had him cremated entirely, did a different cryonics firm take over from "Charles Pratt" s company, or was it faked intentionally and sold as the real thing???
 
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Anonymous

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Cryogenics, would you indulge?

Would you consider being frozen in your final days?

what implications would cryogenics have on the afterlife? (if any)

If they found a guaranteed way to revive you, would you consider being frozen while you are healthy to be revived in 50 years or so. You could invest some ££ for say 50 years endowment then cash it in the following day (kind of)
:p
 

tzb57r

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Just freeze me. I don’t believe in an afterlife and see cryonics as a good bet. If it turns out to be a crock then what have you lost:
your dignity…don’t care I’m dead
your money…don’t care I’m dead
the respect of your peers…don’t care I’m dead and so are they

What happens if they revive you and the world is not a pleasant place… who cares you’re getting another shot a life.

For those who do believe in an afterlife it does present some serious problems, does your soul get sucked back from heaven/hell/Hounslow.

More interesting are the legal implications. You are dead and the laws of intestate inheritance apply. If you are revived it is not your money in the high interest bank account. Legally there is no way to restore someone to life. For the next 50 years I see this becoming an ever larger problem as computer systems, which will increasingly dominate our lives, will have to be really forward looking to include the function “Alive? Y/N” and then allow you to change it back to Y. At UK Student Loans the IT systems were set up that if you were dead you were staying dead without some serious data fixing.

At the moment if a prisoner dies during a sentence we bury them, thus allowing them off the hook. What if a lifer is frozen and reanimated do they then return to prison or released back into society?. If we execute someone and they are frozen and reanimated, can the state execute them again?
 

OneWingedBird

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The home of cryogentic suspension:
http://www.alcor.org/FAQs/#Are cryonics patients dead?

This from their website:

As of mid-2003 Alcor has about 55 cryopatients, many companion animals, and some tissue samples.

I can't help wondering wether they waited for the pets to die naturally :(

And wasn't there a scandal a few years back where investigators visited the storage site of a cryo company and found that the refridgeration had failed and some of the bodies were rotting?

And what have I got to lose by getting myself frozen, well, erm, a whole bundle of money that I could have had some fun with while alive...

Naw, it's not for me.
 

escargot

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'The world's first comprehensive facility devoted to life ex

House of the temporarily dead

Officially, the building is "the world's first comprehensive facility devoted to life extension research and cryopreservation", a six-acre structure that will house research laboratories, animal and plant DNA, and up to 10,000 temporarily dead people. They will have paid to have their bodies (or perhaps just their heads) stored there until somebody works out a way to revive them. If Valentine is right, they won't have to wait too long. "This is going to be the century of immortality," he says. "Children being born today are probably going to live an average lifespan of 120 years. Their children, it is being predicted, will never die. There will be a time when people won't be able to comprehend the thought of not existing any more and just becoming fertiliser."

This is a longish but fascinating Guardian interview. I'll finish reading it after breakfast...........:cross eye
 
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Anonymous

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Re: 'The world's first comprehensive facility devoted to lif

escargot said:
House of the temporarily dead



This is a longish but fascinating Guardian interview. I'll finish reading it after breakfast...........:cross eye

Well, I always think of the world as a child. Surely enough, when a baby gets a virus he heats up. We know that the world is heating up, so I think we can live as long as we want, but in time we will all die anyway.

Crime will take these "freaks" down a peg or two. I want to live long enough to see these piles of scum walking on the streets, to decrepit to move LOL. That is great! Like futuramas proffessor "Good news everyone, I wont ever die"

classic
 
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Anonymous

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Re: 'The world's first comprehensive facility devoted to lif

escargot said:
House of the temporarily dead

"Children being born today are probably going to live an average lifespan of 120 years. Their children, it is being predicted, will never die. There will be a time when people won't be able to comprehend the thought of not existing any more and just becoming fertiliser."
By the time my kids are grown up there be +/- 9,000,000,000 people on the planet.

How is that generation going to take to 120 year old grandparents?

And, just think of the possible scenario where it'll be the ultra-rich who can actually afford immortality. Just think of a World effectively run by a small group of undying egomaniacal crazies like Michael Jackson and Rupert Murdoch.

A World in which, to them, the rest of its inhabitants are just so much fertiliser.

If that isn't how they see it already.

:confused:
 
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Anonymous

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Yes, life expectancy will go up, for some more than others, assuming the world does continue to become more wealthy; in a few hundred years time the poorest citizens of our world may be as rich (in terms of material resources) as a weathly westerner today, if not more so. This will require the throughput of a lot of energy through our little world, but it could be done.

Whether it will happen is another thing...
the decline in death rate will need a corresonding decline in birth rate, which implies strict central control of breeding; similarly
piggarro99's concerns about crime might usher in a world with universal surveillance;

a utopia with few young people and little real freedom.

Nevertheless it may suit a lot of people to live like that, especially if the entertainment industry becomes as advanced as some say it might- the Feelies of Huxley's BNW were a dim foreshadow of what might occur.
 
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