Kids Try To Steal Head From ALCOR

ASHLEY: Be careful what you sign up for!

A Colorado probate judge has ruled that custody of a deceased grandmother’s head will go to an Arizona-based cryonics company, not her family.

Colorado family fights cryonic company over their mother’s head.
The legal battle over Mary Robbins’ head has been building since her death on Feb. 9 from cancer. Her children, led by her daughter, Darlene Robbins, lost their argument today that their mother’s contract with the non-profit Alcor Life Extension Foundation was voided in the days before her death.

BRAIN: my mom has clauses in her will that rule out things we can do with her. Example: “no shooting me into space.”

ASHLEY: I think this is pretty horrific. I mean, trying to get back your mother’s head from a group of people that want to freeze it and use it for experimental purposes? I feel for them. Pretty wild stuff.

BRAIN: Ah I see what you may be missing in the article –

  1. Alcor is a cryonics company. They don’t experiment on your head!
  2. You sign a contract with Alcor telling them “freeze my head when I die, so I can be cloned back to life in the future.” That is what “cryonics” is for.
  3. I think what is happening here is that contract didn’t get cancelled in time. So Alcor is trying to honor what they see as the wishes of their client (“save me!”) and her heirs are essentially trying to “kill” her, i.e. prevent her immortality.

From another perspective:

Say your kids join a cult where they eat your head. Your sane friends want to prevent them from eating your head. You put in your will “don’t eat my head when I’m dead!” and give it to all your friends. But then, just before you die, you say “ah, you know what? It’s cool kids, go ahead and eat my head.”

You die. Your friends steal your head so it cannot be eaten, in compliance with your will. But your heirs want your head so they can eat it. Who is right?!

JAGER: I don’t know, but this conversation is making me hungry.

ASHLEY: Thanks Brian. Yeah they may not experiment on your head now but they’re still messing with it later! And, the friends are right for stealing your head. I think… I need more time to think about this. Let’s talk in a week… By the way, you’re going to come back in another life with a completely new head, body, agenda or whatever so keeping your old head frozen is just not being able to let go to the past. I think the whole idea of freezing your head so you can come back “later” (if there is a later for your new existence) how do they plan on actually putting her same self/soul in a body with her head? Do you want someone walking around with your old head in 20 years? Must research more. Still don’t like it.

BRAIN: ha! The ENTIRE POINT of signing up with cryonics is to have your head installed on a new body. It is a service that the woman was seeking out. The eventuality of her head being “messed with” was inherent in her wishes in the original contract.

And anyway, you’re arguing against cryonics, which is not germane to the issue. The issue is: the woman had two thoughts on what should happen to her body. Now two different parties are acting upon it.

In my example, I intentionally reversed the order of the insane plan. First, “you” plan to not have your head eaten, and you put it in writing. Then, you decide to have your head eaten, but you aren’t as complete about communicating this to everyone before you die.

Your “friends” in this case would actually be Alcor, so if you think the people preventing your head from being eaten in the cult example are the ones in the right, then you are endorsing Alcor. In the real story, the insane plan is the first one, and it’s contractually binding.

Here’s another example: you have cancer, and you want to be cremated. Unbeknownst to you, your children have joined the Cult of Our Saviors Gallagher and Jayne Mansfield, and part of their religion’s funerary rites include taking your naked body and smashing your head with a mallet on television, in front of an audience under a plastic tarp. When you die, they tell the court “oh, yeah, mom said that this would be okay, but we don’t have it in writing…”

ALEXA: who the hell would want to “come back” with an old lady head anyway?

ASHLEY: Brain, your examples are freaking me out. I understand what she wanted to do and why she signed on with Alcor. This is my own opinion and I don’t understand why she ever signed on in the first place. But, everyone has their reasons! Obviously she had a change of heart before she died right? But she did it verbally over the phone which didn’t make the cut.

ASHLEY: Alexa: my sentiments EXACTLY! And who wants to be walking down the street in 20 years and see someone with their ma’s head?

BRAIN: this is so cracking me up

HOT plastic swimsuit model body, all oiled up, with YOUR UNDEAD GRANDMOTHER’S HEAD.

“want some cookies dear?”…

Das Boot and It’s a Long Way to Tipperary

In a fun moment in Das Boot, the enlisted men sing along to a recording of It’s a Long Way to Tipperary

This clip is pretty complicated:

  • Das Boot is a movie about a German WWII U-Boot crew
  • the song is British and became popular during WWI amongst the soldiers. It’s associated with WWI
  • …but it was also a popular song
  • the song is about being homesick
  • because it’s British, it’s annoying to the officer who is party-line Nazi, who clashes with the captain during the story, playing to the anti-war theme of “the people who make wars (politicians) are not the people who die in wars”

Mad Men is actually not perfect

After hearing a lot about how awesome Mad Men is we finally watched it. While the Art Direction is indeed good, there’s some major problems with the show:

  • The acting is not very period – it reeks of contemporary cable drama. I realize the challenge of getting actors to act like people in the 1960s, and even that it may not be desirable, since the audience might not be into it.
  • The writing is a bit overconfident: Some of the history jokes and flourishes the writers add are incorrect in stupid ways:
    • Flourish example: A long “brilliant” speech declares advertising is about telling people they are happy, and that everything is alright – but even an incredibly stupid advertising person could tell you that this is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what advertising is about. The basic message of all advertising is “you could be MORE HAPPY THAN YOU ARE NOW with this product.” Nice try, nerds!
    • Anachronism joke example: “There’s no magical machine that duplicates things” or something – making reference to the audience that there are not yet copy machines. Ho ho weren’t things primitive then! But actually there were ways to duplicate documents – they were called mimeographs.