Monday, October 20, 2008

Yeah, but imagine the ice cream headache

I think it makes perfect sense to have your head frozen when you die.

It's my belief that someday they're going to figure out how to import your brain's cognizance and memories into somebody else's head - and you will essentially be reanimated as yourself, only with a different body.

Don't laugh. I do this same kind of thing all the time at my job. Our customers save their computer's entire system onto tape from one machine, and we help them restore the system back to a brand new machine with all the previous applications and memories still in tact and functioning exactly the way they did on the old box. And since our brains are really nothing more than a biological computer, there's no reason they shouldn't be able to figure out how to do this same system restore on us as well.

And the best part?... It doesn't matter how long it takes. You know how when you're on a long car trip and you fall asleep, and when you wake up you've traveled 200 miles but it only felt like it took 2 minutes? This is exactly the same thing. The perceived elapsed time from the time you expire to the time you're restored will be instantaneous. One second you'll be saying goodbye to your loved ones (or stepping in front of a bus) and the next instant you'll be waking up in a new body. It may be 100 years from now, 1000 or 10,000, but it won't make any difference - it'll still feel instant.

They're already doing this kind of thing today. At the Cryonics Institue in Michigan near Detroit, you can have your entire body frozen indefinitely for a mere $28,000. Apparently it's a very popular thing to do. Just look at this chart of their current "customer" base.


But holy cow... these guys are all business. And a little creepy to boot. Poke around their web site and you'll find detailed records of how each of their clients perished, or "deanimated" in their words - as well as how they prepared their bodies for "cyronic suspended animation."

Here's a sample of their latest entry:

"The 90th patient of the Cryonics Institute is a middle-aged management consultant who deanimated in the United Kingdom."
And:
"The patient's wife was holding his hand when it suddenly went limp — and was looking him in the eyes when 'the light suddenly went out'."
And it just gets weirder from there:

"With their beloved husband/father cooling in the cooling box, the wife and daughter lingered at the CI facility for about an hour-and-a-half..."
As you can see, they spare no details.

But that's not the creepiest part. Here's their web page of what you need to do in the event of a loved one's untimely passing:

Let me just repeat that: "PLACE ICE CUBES, OR CRUSHED ICE, OR WATER ICE, IN A PLASTIC BAG, AND COMPLETELY COVER THE FRONT, TOP, BACK AND SIDES OF THE PERSON’S HEAD."

Thanks. I'll make sure I remember that the next time I'm faced with this situation. But damn the luck of anyone who croaks at my house. Our refrigerator's ice maker is broken right now.

But I'm not as interested in saving my body for future restoration as I am just my head. Well, my brain actually, but as far as I know no one is freezing just brains so you have to have your whole head frozen. This is called "neurocryopreservation" and there are other companies that will gladly do that for you as well.

Oh, I know what you're saying... that Jeff is kookier than Walt Disney! But that's not true...

... Walt Disney didn't really have his head frozen.

39 comments:

mom said...

Holy Cow!!! That sure was a lot of information that I don't think I will ever use!!!

Babs (Beetle) said...

Oh my word! I just checked their site! I dread to think what will happen in years to come. JD's theory of a Zombie world come true :O)

Heather said...

Huh.

That's all.

Maureen said...

But Jeff, at least we here in the Frozen North most of the year can be secure in the knowledge that if/when we "deanimate", they can just throw us in a snowbank until the authorities from CI arrive....

So we have THAT going for us.

Michelle said...

Those are some freaky people.

My question is how do you find a body to reanimate in. Computers, sure you build the box. But people... I mean men and women and their eggs and sperm build them. If you do it that way, what do you do with the person currently animated in that body?

Bill said...

It has already happened. There are lots of people walking around with a frozen brain, but not in our family of course.

Gette said...

Um, ew.

Mooselet said...

What's funny - in a very macabre way of course - is that someone would take the time to seek out this website if their family member was already dead and not a member of the Frozen Head Institute. Wouldn't your first action be, oh I don't know, an ambulance? The doctor? Anything but jump online and look this up?

Jeff said...

mom - You'll be glad you learned about this when the CI guys I ordered up for you show up at your house someday.

babs - And if you freeze your head, you might be able to meet those zombies!

heather - I know...

maureen - The image of deanimated people stuck headfirst in the snowbanks with their feet up in the air while waiting for the truck to pick them up cracks me up. I only wish I was a good enough artist to draw something like that. Hey Maureen!

michelle - Well as you can imagine, we would have to be reanimated into people who passed along but still had bodies with no damage. You're not supposed to think about that part.

bill - So that's what happened to GW.

gette - What.

mooselet - I think my family members are now a little nervous that I've bookmarked their web site at the very top.

Jeff said...

mom - You'll be glad you learned about this when the CI guys I ordered up for you show up at your house someday.

babs - And if you freeze your head, you might be able to meet those zombies!

heather - I know...

maureen - The image of deanimated people stuck headfirst in the snowbanks with their feet up in the air while waiting for the truck to pick them up cracks me up. I only wish I was a good enough artist to draw something like that. Hey Maureen!

michelle - Well as you can imagine, we would have to be reanimated into people who passed along but still had bodies with no damage. You're not supposed to think about that part.

bill - So that's what happened to GW.

gette - What.

mooselet - I think my family members are now a little nervous that I've bookmarked their web site at the very top.

Ed (zoesdad) said...

deanimated people stuck headfirst in the snowbanks with their feet up in the air while waiting for the truck to pick them up...

"Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!"



Dude, this is a creepy post. I guess it it Halloween.

Free Music said...

well this is lot of info

Mom Thumb said...

This looks like something that my ex-husband would have founded. Ick.

rick said...

So how many layers of freezer paper do they use to prevent freezer burn? Zip-lock freezer bags?

Jen - Queen of Poo said...

I got brain freeze reading this post. Seriously. My head hurts. lol

Jeff said...

ed - Thanks for the Python reference. Those are ALWAYS welcome here :-)

free music - Free spam!

mom thumb - Ick maybe... but a very wealthy ick.

rick - They actually coat you with some kind of antifreeze substance that prevents you from getting freezer burn. Freezer bags is just dumb. You would suffocate in those. Duh.

jen - Yeah. I didn't even mention the shrinkage factor.

Memarie Lane said...

I'd totally do it, except Brad has worked in the mortuary field for a while and has seen so weird stuff, and I will just leave it at that. Let's just say I don't want to entrust my corpus to anyone for longer than absolutely necessary. Cremation for me. BTW have you heard of life gems? Talk about creepy. Google it.

Roger said...

This question begs to be asked... Why? Why did you even think of this? What prompted you to look into freezing your head/body? Are you a fan of Ted Williams?

I have to get a new license tomorrow, I'll see if I can get that phrase added. :)

"In case of Emergency - freeze head!"

I need a Slurpee!

Jeff said...

marie - You mean life gems aren't a girl's best friend?

roger - Why? Because I started thinking about brains and how there is so much information in them and how cool it would be if that information could be saved and restored somehow and how primitive our current science and medical capabilities are and how someday they'll be able to do that kind of thing - which led to the logical conclusion of somehow saving my brain for that day. Doesn't everybody think things like this?

VE said...

Is it extra to make your head grape flavor?

I read about this a couple of weeks back. I read an interesting piece about how despite these companies records there are actually a lot less frozen and that many of them have been unable to pay over the years and therefore their contract has been terminated. Oops... It also talks about the lack of technology to actually bring any of them back since the freezing process is quite destructive. Oops...

Elizabeth said...

Oooh cool! Sign me up!
:) Elizabeth

Sarah♥ said...

Wow.

You can pay them with paypal.

Seriously.

If Only I had 28,000-35,000 dollars in my checking account.


Who seriously freezes their "pet" Because even if it can come back to life.... the owner wont be here.
I know this because the owner just spent their savings freezing their dog.

Unless of course, they spend 60000 and freezed themselves and the dog.

Which is just creepy because ide rather spend 60000 and freeze someone more important....

carlae said...

uh, oh sure why not, I have nothing better to do in the next millenium.

Jormengrund said...

There's only one problem I've got with putting my brain's memories into someone else's head..

Who'd be running the show?

I'm a control freak, and if I can't be the one driving the who works, then I'd much rather call the shots, and have my head die a "natural" death.

Heck, I wouldn't like someone else's consiousness invading my time that much, either, so I think I'd beg off the whole scenario entirely.

Jeff said...

ve - Yeah, and who exactly is supposed to make the decision - and when? And who is supposed to keep passing down the contract from generation to generation? Can you imagine how creepy that would be? "... and here son, is the contract for your great great great grandfather's frozen head. If by some chance they figure out how to attach it to another body in your lifetime, please tell CI to bring him back to life. Otherwise, you'll need to pass it on to your kids."

elizabeth - "Cool" is exactly right. But just so you know, this comment you just left is a legal and binding admission of your last wishes, so consider it done.

sarah♥ - Yeah, the frozen pet thing is really weird. Not like the frozen person thing.

carlae - I've heard of frigid women, but you'll take it to a whole new level.

jormengrund - Oh, your brain would be totally in charge, you'd just have someone else's body. Nothing odd about that.

Bill said...

You had better have good kidneys, and remember pork breaks down in a freezer after six months

JD at I Do Things said...

Babs is right: I can see this leading nowhere other than the Zombie Apocalypse.

But, oh, my, gosh. I am still laughing at the thought of packing a recently "deanimated" person's head on ice. Like that's the first thing I'd naturally think to do.

JD at I Do Things

Jeff said...

bill - Well then I guess reanimating pigs is out of the question.

jd - I'm just going to start putting ice around everyone's head who I can't tell if they're really alive, or passed out, or sleeping - you know, just in case. You can't be too careful about these things.

Sandy said...

I found it weird that so many pets were frozen. What's that all about?

Sandy said...

Okay, it's me again. Not to keep on the pet point, but wouldn't it be a heck of a LOT cheaper to just stick Sparky or Muffin in the freezer downstairs?

The Doozie said...

Yeah, I've always thought to myself, if I suddenly get my head lopped off, I hope the people around me put it on ice so the good doctors could re-attach it and I could go on living

muskrat said...

if someone croaked in your house, no ice would be needed...you live in minnesota!

i'd spend your time worrying instead about how to get out of being blamed/convicted for it.

Liara Covert said...

Your post reminds readers no matter how much they think they already know, they can always expand and learn differently.

Bill said...

Ya, everyone would like to leave heaven and return as an 80 or 90 year burned out old man. Throw in the arthritis, back trouble, poor hearing, eyesight, teeth, stents, memory, and prostate cancer. If I could return as a 22 year old Sergeant of Marines that just married a beautiful 19 year old blonde, I might still think I was in heaven.

Christa said...

Walt Disney's head ISN'T frozen.

I feel like somebody punched me in the gut.

Next thing you'll be spewing trash like "there's no Santa" or "St. Patrick was really Italian".

Come on man, stop jokin' on me.

Giggle On said...

Walt Disney's head ISN'T frozen.

I feel like somebody punched me in the gut.

Next thing you'll be spewing trash like "there's no Santa" or "St. Patrick was really Italian".

Come on man, stop jokin' on me.

Rickey Henderson said...

Hey, if it's good enough for Ted Williams, it's good enough for Rickey!

Kurt Schroeder said...

Here's a quandary: In Russian, dogs have been frozen, their lifeless bodies drained of their blood and replaced with freezing cold saline solution. After a few hours, the blood is reintroduced into their bodies, and the dogs are warmed up and reanimated, reportedly without suffering any major effects.

Once someone does this to a healthy human being, here's a question: Where'd your heaven go?

Jeff said...

sandy - No, you have to pay them a bazillion dollars to put special antifreeze in Sparky so he is revivable in 300 years when someone wants to reanimate an ancestor's old pet. Makes sense to me.

doozie - Maybe you should wear an alert bracelet that says that very thing.

muskrat - Get out of being convicted for what... living in Minnesota? No need, that's only a misdemeanor.

liara - Exactly. Flexibility is what I'm talking about here. Although it IS a little hard to be flexible when you're frozen stiff.

bill - That's why I'm opting for just freezing my head. Then they can put my brain into a young guy's head and I can do it all over again!

christa - It's even worse than you thought. Walt Disney WAS Santa!

rickey - According to CBS, the company that did him was a little careless:
"The operation was completed and Williams' head and body were preserved separately. The head is stored in a steel can filled with liquid nitrogen. It has been shaved, drilled with holes and accidentally cracked 10 times, the magazine said. Williams' body stands upright in a 9-foot tall cylindrical steel tank, also filled with liquid nitrogen." OOPS!

kurt - You have to come back and wait again for another day. But imagine the stories you'll be able to tell!