Long Life vol 3 no 7 - Immortalist Highlights September - October 2004
Long Life: the Cryonics Institute newsletter
September 2004 -- Volume 3, Number 7 - Immortalist Highlights
Welcome to Long Life -- the electronic newsletter of the Cryonics Institute. We're here to update you with brief cutting-edge news, updates, links, and information about the latest scientific, medical, health, anti-ageing, and social developments relevant to CI's goal of saving, preserving, and extending human life. Long Life may also include news about Cryonics Institute events and member activities and opinion. We welcome your feedback, and encourage readers to forward issues to friends and interested parties.
I would also urge readers to subscribe to the paper issue of The Immortalist (see http://www.cryonics.org/info.html ) as not everything is reproduced in this email version.Small Print:
We encourage readers to forward issues to friends and interested parties. Please send any suggestions or comments to Long Life by emailing John@...
Long Life would like to thank Longevity Report, Wired News, InfoBeat, The New York Times, The New Scientist, Nandot, Slashdot, contributors to the Extropian and CryoNet mailing lists, members of the Cryonics Institute, and others, for helping provide some of the free public information used in Long Life.
(Disclaimer: CI does not necessarily encourage or advocate the use of any products or practices mentioned in its newsletter.)This contains a smaller selection of material from this issue of The Immortalist than usual and no photographs have been posted. This is due to various mishaps due to the weather in the USA.
NEWS & VIEWS
A PROMISING METHOD OF TRANSITION
MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
LIFE EXTENSION NEWS
NEWS & VIEWSPresident's ReportThis summer has been a quieter time at CI, but it has certainly not been a period of inactivity. Dr. Pichugin was on vacation in Ukraine for the month of July and I spent much of July in China. Nonetheless, CI took on its 66th patient in July, thanks to the efforts of Andy Zawacki, Robert Ettinger and our co-operating funeral director, Jim Walsh.
CI's 66th patient was a woman in her 60s suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and after being hospitalized apparently choked and was declared brain-dead. An autopsy was never performed so although the cause of brain-death was somehow related to the MS, precise details are lacking. The family decided to have her cryopreserved and we were contacted. The patient was heparinized, cooled down, removed from life-support and transported from the hospital to our facility.In recognition of our growing patient population we have ordered two new cryostats. And facilities manager Andy Zawacki is building a walkway for the HSSV-6s, which should facilitate liquid nitrogen filling and increase safety.We have been preparing for the Annual General Meeting of the Cryonics Institute, which is to be held on Sunday, September 19, 2004. All CI Members and their guests are welcome to attend. If you do want to attend we request that you inform us of this -- e-mail CIHQ@... or phone (586) 791-5961. As of this writing 30 people are expected to attend, which means we could get as many as 50 or more people attending the meeting.Four Directors of the CI Board are to be chosen at the September meeting. Two of the incumbents are stepping down: John Besancon and Edgar Swank, but two new candidates have expressed their desire to be Directors: Alan Mole and John Strickland. The incumbents Royse Brown and Jim Fitzgerald wish to remain in office. Thus, an election may have been averted.
During my trip to China I attended my first conference of the Society of Cryobiology which was held in Beijing (attending at my own expense). The article I wrote which should appear elsewhere in this issue is largely the product of my latest bout of cryobiology study. I hope to attend the Society for Cryobiology conferences annually in the future.
To cope with the poor micrographs we have gotten using Dr. Pichugin's vitrification formula we have purchased a high quality microscope with digital camera to assist in CI Research. This will also give Dr. Pichugin more opportunity to brush-up on his microscopy-preparation skills, which may have been part of the problem. And it will give us more rapid feedback on our solutions, aside from saving on the costs of an external lab.
Tax-deductable donations to the Research Fund are a welcome assistance to our efforts. [E-mail CIHQ@... if you have questions about donation -- or phone (586) 791-5961 with questions or your credit card number.]
********************************CANADIAN CRYONICISTS MEETOn Thursday, July 28th a meeting of cryonicists and fellow-travelers was held in Vancouver's West End which was more than twice as large as any previous such gathering ever held in British Columbia -- seven people, including the three locals, Chuck Grodzicki, Brent Young and Doug Skrecky attended.The Russian cryonicist Mikhail (Mike) Soloviev, a CI member (currently visiting Canada from Switzerland) came with his wife. (who is a microbiologist) Mike's wife is devoted to him and wishes to be with him for as long as he lives -- including a greatly extended lifespan -- and to assist him in fulfilling his dreams. Chuck suggested that finding Russian wives might be a good idea for some of the rest of us.Some mention was made of the anti-cryonics law in BC and how that law claims to only be against the "marketing" of cryonics -- and of the "comfort letter" received by Olaf Henry to the effect that there would not be persecution or prosecution for practicing cryonics. However, I pointed to the one cryonics case in BC in which the family of a young girl who died of leukemia were treated very harshly by hospitals, medical personnel and funeral service people.In the best of cases, BC organizations will insist on consulting lawyers before committing themselves to involvement in a cryonics case -- and the lawyers are likely to give their typical paranoid advice (insofar as lawyers are professional paranoids). If anyone wishes to practice cryonics in BC I believe they will have to do a lot of consulting ahead of time with lawyers, hospitals, funeral directors, medical personnel and common carriers to ensure complicity in a timely manner.Some members of the group expressed concern that there is too much private communication between the Toronto cryonicists which does not appear in the CSC list. . I said that we in Toronto often do not wish to presume to be Canada, and that we don't wish to pollute cyberspace with meeting-plans, etc. that apply only to Toronto and not the rest of Canada. Chuck said that it is an inspiration to see our planning, activity and organization even if it is physically remote from BC.I visited Doug Skrecky's apartment long enough to see his fly-experiment equipment and the beautiful & colorful science-fiction artwork adorning the walls. Concerning the former, it is very well-organized so as to occupy very little space and to be quite unobtrusive.Previously, Toronto cryonicists had held their annual summer party, hosted for the 14th consecutive year by Bruce Waugh. Approximately 22 people attended the event.
DATA STORAGEMany cryonicists are relying on CDs as a repository of lifetime memories. Their purpose, along with photos, artifacts etc. would be to fill in any memory gaps upon reanimation, and give them some connection to their past.However, as reported in FLORIDA TODAY, theres much more to consider, than just tossing them in a drawer. And it depends on who you listen to. Dan Koster, Web content manager for Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina, be-came a minor celebrity after reporting in the spring of this year that 15 to 20 percent of the 2,000 CDs in his properly stored collection suffered, from what has loosely been called CD rot and would no longer play.Jeny Hartke of Marlborough, Mass.-based Media Sciences, a company that, tests the integrity of the discs, thinks the hysteria is overblown. "I can take a CD and 'drill a 2-millimeter hole into it and still read it," he says.The library of Congress and National Institute of Standards and Technology are running "accelerated aging" tests on CDs and 'DVDs. Though results are premature, Michele Youket, a preservation specialist, says the poorest- quality CDs may last only four or five years; the best, more than 100.
Photographic prints are a tan-gible archive, at least. But how well they endure depends on exposure to light, humidity, pollution and, most of all, by the combination of ink and the paper used.Stay tuned!***************************
PHYSICAL IMMORTALITY EXPANDSPHYSICAL IMMORTALITY (with the July issue which is at the printers now) will in July have two major wholesale distributors. We have added a second wholesale distributor in New York. (the wholesale distributors each have about 100 or so retail magazine stores they sell to).But the big news is that a sample copy of the July issue of PHYSICAL IMMORTALITY will go to 600 new wholesale distributors. From this mailing we expect to pick up at least 50 to 100 additional wholesale distributors for the October issue. Even if we just add 50 wholesale distributors and each one of them places PHYSICAL IMMORTALITY in 100 retail magazine stores that will be 5000 magazine stores carrying our magazine. This is in addition to our direct subscription list.We at PHYSICAL IMMORTALITY feel we are now on the brink of breaking into a large readership.
WHAT DO WE NEED FROM YOU?With the possibility of a very large increase in readership we are considering adding 4 to 16 more pages to our magazine. Our present distributors feel that it would sell best at around 40 + pages. We need submissions from those of you who are practicing immortalists - people who don't want to die and are doing something about it. If you are signed up for cryonic suspension, you are probably a practicing immortalist.Please send a submission to Mike Perry at mike@... on your views. We need articles that are about 2 standard magazine pages in length. They can be on just about any immortalist topic. Here are some ideas:Why you want to live forever?
Why you don't want to die?If you don't want to live forever, but want to live more than a "normal" lifetime, write an article telling the world why.Is it moral to try to live forever?Is it immoral not to try to live forever now that there is a chance we might be able to do that.What does cryonics have in common with religions?How can the cryonics movement get religions to incorporate cryonics into their plans?Why you want others to sign up for cryonics?Why you think cryonics will work.What chances do you give cryonics of being successful?Are people who don't sign up for cryonics not very smart?With the possibility of a fast growing readership for PHYSICAL IMMORTALITY this can be *your* vehicle to express your views and win over others with your own personal argument. You write it well, and we will present it to the world.We also need artwork, humor, fiction, poetry.. Please send your submissions to our editor, Mike Perry, now, so that he has time to give consideration to every submission. You don't have to be a leader in the cryonics movement. You don't have to be well-known. Don't be shy. We know there are a lot of good ideas out there and we want to help get these new ideas to the general public.If you are not familiar with our magazine you can order a one year subscription for $24. just mail your check to The Venturists, 11255 State Route 69, Mayer Az 86333.David Pizer for The Society for Venturism
*********************************WHY IMMORTALISM WILL BE A TOUGH SELLIt will be, as long as there are people like Steven Teeter around. In the LETTERS section of FORTUNE, Steven Teeter comments on a recent article about Aubrey de Grey. De Grey is a proponent of anti-aging research, and is a researcher at Cambridge Universitys Department of Genetics.The End Of Aging
Aubrey de Grey is working to keep people alive for 5,000 years ("This Man Would Have You Live a Really, Really, Really, Really Long Time, June 14). So these people will enter the workforce at 25, retire at 60, and spend the next 4,940 years collecting Social Security and Medicare. They can enjoy Seinfeld reruns while civilizations rise and fall around them.The wish for eternal (or nearly so) life is the most selfish of human follies. All of us, in our time, need to gracefully leave the planet to make room for new people. This is the only opportunity for evolution to improve our species, which is clearly an unfinished task.Aubrey, get over it! Enjoy your time in the sun and then pass the baton.
***************************BRUCE KLEIN VISITBruce Klein, Chairman of the Immortalist Institute, recently visited Robert Ettinger, and posted this message (slightly edited) on the organizations web site.Robert Ettinger, author of The Prospect of Immortality (1962) and Man Into Superman (1972), was kind enough to meet me at his home and at the Cryonics Institute (CI) in Clinton Township, MI on Aug 3-4, 2004. Mr. Ettinger is a hero of mine for his successful efforts to introduce the concept of physical immortality and cryonics to a wider audience.During my overnight stay with Mr. Ettinger, I was fortunate to have about 2 hours with which we talked about such topics as "Death = Oblivion", the question of "Heat Death" and the possible creation of "Artificial Life." CI purchased their 7,000 sq/ft facility for $300,000 outright.... actually, the day I was there was CI's 10/yr anniversary at that location in Clinton Township, MI. Before Aug 1994, CI was situated in a smaller facility located closer to downtown Detroit... I'm not sure how long CI was at this smaller facility.Mr. Ettinger was very kind, as was Andy Zawacki who I talked with as well. Andy invited me to attend CI's Directors meeting to be held at the facility. Andy is an avid outdoors man. Also, Mr. Ettinger is currently working on his newest book, http://www.youniverse.biz/*********************************
SENIOR SCAMS INCREASINGCulprits are often victims own children.In a recent FLORIDA TODAY article, Sarah Aravanis, director of the Washington D.C. based National Center on Elder Abuse, commenting on elder abuse, elder scams and elder neglect, said This is a very big issue, we dont know how big it is across the country. But people on the state and local level tell us these types of situations are increasing.She went on to say that only one in five cases are ever reported, and when they are, some law enforcement agencies dont class them as elder abuse. They call them burglary or robbery.Trust Solutions was a Melbourne Florida business that helped elderly individuals with their finances, and took them to doctors appointments etc. The firms owner recently pleaded guilty to stealing more than $285,000 from at least seven clients.Signs of troubleSigns of financial exploitation of an elderly person:1. Sudden changes in bank account or banking practice, including an unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money by a person accompanying the account owner.
2. The inclusion of more names on the bank signature card.
3. Unauthorized withdrawal of funds with the person's ATM card
4. Abrupt changes in a will, or other financial documents.
5. Unexplained disappearance of funds or valuable possessions.
6. Substandard care being provided or bills unpaid despite the availability of adequate financial resources.
7. Discovery of the person's signature being forged for financial transactions or for the titles of his/her possessions.
8. Sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives claiming their rights to the person's affairs and possessions.
9. Unexplained sudden .transfer; of assets to a family member or someone outside the family.
Source: Natlonal Center on Elder Abuse, Washington D.C.
*********************************THINGS CHANGING TOO FAST?The rate of technological change is dizzying, and it's only getting faster. In September at Stanford, the Institute for the Study of Accelerating Change is acknowledging the trend with its second annual Accelerating Change conference. The 2003 confab was billed as the first in the world to focus on multidisciplinary implications of accelerating change and the consequences of a techno-logical singularity." What is a technological singularity? A moment when runaway ad-vances outstrip human comprehension and all our knowledge and experience becomes useless as a guidepost to the future. WIRED Sept 04
*********************************COSTCO FUNERAL CO.?We have previously reported in The Immortalist on the ingenious ways funeral homes are branching out into related areas to increase revenue. (Oversize caskets, themed funerals, videotaped memorials etc.) If Costco, the nationwide warehouse club is successful in their latest venture, perhaps the funeral homes should start selling washing machines and furniture. As reported in USA TODAY, Costco has started selling caskets in two suburban Chicago stores. They carry six models all priced at $799.99. If successful, the concept could conceivably expand to all 324 stores.*********************************MEET CHRISTINE GASPARA while back, John Bull offered to run a profile of me, for an issue of , The Immortalist. Although I was very flattered by the offer, I had put the issue on hold for a while. Maybe it was because I just didnt know how to write about my life in a way that would sound interesting to others, or maybe it was stage fright. Anyhow, Ive been giving the idea some thought, and figured it couldnt hurt too much to give this a try...As for the basics, I was born in London, Ontario, Canada, February 12th, 1973 and have spent most of my life living within an hour or so from Toronto, Canada. My parents emigrated from Portugal in the mid sixties to London Ontario, where they met, . During elementary school, I attended an enrichment program offered to gifted students and actually skipped grade 8, going from grade 7 to high school. At the age of 14, I joined the Air Cadets, and from early on, my interests were mostly in military or law enforcement careers, I didnt actually become interested in medicine until becoming an army medic later on.When I turned 17, in 1990, I joined the Canadian Army, (reserves). I spent 2 years in the Lorne Scots Regiment, an infantry unit, as a field medic. I was actually the first female to join (and make it through boot camp) in C company, which was based in Georgetown, Ontario.In the Canadian military, women can participate in front line occupations, and actually train together, with men - there arent separate womens corps there. I then transferred to the 11th Field Artillery Regiment, out of Guelph, where I worked for another 2 years. Briefly, before resigning from the army, in 1994, I joined an Intelligence Company, based out of CFB (Canadian Forces Base) Downsview, in Toronto. During my time in the army, my favourite task was handling weapons, and I actually distinguished myself as an excellent marksman. (As you can tell from the huge smile on my face) I can honestly say that the experience of being in the Army gave me a tremendous amount of confidence, and taught me that, cheesy as it sounds, anything is possible if you want it badly enough.(This is me at the age of 15, in the Air Cadets. We went on a field trip to a military base in Philadelphia, where we got to play with some of their toys)This photo, with me on the left, was taken at a party held at the 11th Field Artillery Regiment, probably in 1992I made a trip to a US army recruiting office, in Buffalo NY, but I couldnt work out the necessary immigration hurtles to join the US army. I went to George Brown College, in Toronto, too, for about a month, for Hotel Management. Alas, I decided, during an accounting class, that this really wasnt the job for me, so I actually got up out of that class and walked out, never looking back.OK...before I am labeled a total airhead, I must say that I did end up going to college, in 1995, and chose to try my hand at a nursing career. I had met my long time boyfriend, Andrew in 1993, and he and I ended up going to school together- he took Automotive Marketing, and I took nursing- both 3 year programs. Part of that decision was based on my experience as a medic, and part of it was influenced by the fact that Andrews mother was a nurse, thus exposing me to that potential career. It was during this time, that I finally got my hands on a personal computer, and the Internet, and got the chance to indulge my growing interest in science, and medicine. I became fascinated with cloning, nanotechnology, and other Discovery Channel type topics on life extension and transhumanism. There was a TV series at the time, (1997) hosted by Gillian Anderson, called Future Fantastic that I was riveted by.This fuelled my interest in high tech biology and physics. Somehow, and I am not sure how this actually started, I ended up doing some reading on cryonics. As long as I can remember, I have had a genuine dis-interest in dying, but I cannot recall when this interest solidified into a genuine interest in cryonics.It was then, when I lived in Barrie, Ontario, going to college, that I first spoke with Ben Best. At first, we had only had a couple of phone conversations, which got me a few strange looks from Andrew, but he was getting used to my ideas on science, or at least remaining quiet about his skepticism.Then, for a while, Ben and I lost contact completely. I graduated from college in 1998, and at this point, moved to Texas with Andrew. He went there to get a BBA, in a school in the Dallas area, and I went along for the adventure, and to try my hand in an American hospital. In 1998, nursing jobs in Canada were few and far between. I ended up getting a job on a medical floor, which was a good way to start as a new grad.In the spring of 99, Andrew graduated from university with a BBA. I really wanted to go to California, at the time, but he had a stronger inclination to return home to Canada, and I wasnt really interested in moving on aloneHe had emigrated once, from Russia, in 1991, and wasnt really interested in doing it again. If I remember correctly, I did have a couple of conversations with Ben Best while in Texas, but if so, they were few and far between. Lucky for me, when I returned to Canada, the nursing job market was looking a little better, and jobs were opening up. I worked for a year doing visiting (home care) nursing.In July of 2000, I saw an ad in the paper for full time ER positions at North York General Hospital, in Toronto, which included full training in critical care and an extensive internship. Since becoming a nurse, the area of nursing I wanted most to work in was the ER, so I did everything I could to get this job. I was hired in August of 2000, and so began a 3-month in-class and on the job orientation, to prepare me for the hardest and best job I have ever had. Here I got my fill of what the busiest ER in the city, and one of the busiest ERs in the country has to offer. We got our gang bangers, drive by shootings, drug dealers, you name it. I actually learned several handy phrases in Cantonese, quite a bit of conversational Russian- well, mostly bad words, and mostly from Andrew, and assorted words in Farsi, Hungarian and Mandarin.We actually had what we called theme nights, where for some inexplicable reason, everyone would seem to show up with the same symptoms.. We had croup nights, drunk nights, abdominal pain nights, and even once, we had prison night. This was on one particular Saturday night, when a fight had broken out at a local high security prison. We had twelve separate groups of guys in leg chains and orange jumpsuits- with two cops a piece show up with various injuries. Besides scaring the heck out of the other patients, it actually looked very comical. There was another night that stood out, where a large group of Russian gang members had a sword Besides scaring the heck out of the other patients, it actually looked very comical. There was another night that stood out, where a large group of Russian gang members had a sword fight in a nearby park. We had a lot of guys show up that night with holes in their bodies, and very vague, inconsistent stories to go along with their wounds.(This is a photo of me, in a Stryker suit which became a necessity during high-risk procedures, during and after the SARS outbreak, spring 2003)This was the type of job which provided me with endless material for really questionable, and I thought funny, dinner table conversation. Oh and by the way, nights with full moons always brought out the most weirdoes- ask any ER nurse and he or she will agree.I worked at this hospital until February of 2004. As many of you know, our hospital was host to one of the two SARS epidemics that ravaged Toronto in 2003. Our doors were closed for 3 months, as we tried to deal with the onslaught of this disease. I posted many updates on Cryonet during this time, describing the ordeal in as much detail as I could. We re-opened in late August, but it left a lot of scars, both on our institution, and on us as individuals.On a positive note, in August of 2003, in an attempt to encourage tourism to our city and send a message to the world that SARS was going away, we hosted a huge outdoor concert in Downsview, Toronto. It featured twelve hours of big bands, including the Rolling Stones as the headlining band in a concert that saw more than half a million spectators. As our ER was still closed, we got the opportunity to staff the huge (200-bed) field hospital at this concert, which was located in an airplane hangar behind the stage. The area hosting this concert was an old military airfield that actually hosted the Popes visit the summer before, for World Youth Day. Incidentally, that event brought together over a million spectators, in the same airfield. If you are interested in seeing more photos of this concert, that photo album is on the same site as my SARS photo albums, and some photos from my California road trip that I recently posted...http://community.webshots.com/user/christinegaspar1
As far as my involvement with Cryonics goes, I became actively involved with the Cryonics Society of Canada, around November of 2002, when our group assisted with the suspension of a lady in Toronto. She was the first person from Toronto to ever undergo the process, and is now safely tucked away at the Cryonics Institute, in Michigan. We had the opportunity to meet this lady, three weeks before her deanimation, and I learned some valuable lessons about co-ordinating cryonics arrangements with palliative and home care medical professionals. For a better description of this experience, see Bens article:
http://www.benbest.com/cryonics/toronto.htmlDuring the time I have been involved with the CSC, and namely with a sub-group of the CSC known simply as the Toronto Local Group, I have watched a small, lesser organized group of cryonicists blossom into a larger, more cohesive unit, with a growing potential to assist Canadian cryonicists through the uncharted waters of cryonic suspension.Id like to hope that my involvement had some, albeit small influence on this, and I am honoured to know such an amazing group of people. In early 2003, while dealing with the craziness at work, I was elected to be the president of the CSC. I was surprised, and touched that our group would want me in that position, as I felt as though I had just arrived on the scene, and had the least experience out of everyone there, with cryonics and its development.Me, Brent Erskine and the videographer for TKO, doing the cryonics interview, September 2003, in my apartmentAs president, I did get the chance to do a speaking engagement, with others doing a panel type presentation to the Unitarian Church of Toronto. A journalist, Peter Walsh attended this presentation, from the CBC, who had intended on doing a story on cryonics, (although I didnt hear much more from him after that). I also did a television interview for a show on Global Television Network called TKO which is aired primarily on Canadas west coast, and is a 30 minute weekly show on whats new in science and technology. They did send me a video of the episode I was featured on, and I can say that it turned out to be a positive, informative look at the basics of cryonics.At least it wasnt a bad start for someone who had never spoken publicly on the subject, or on behalf of cryonics.I am not yet signed up with either Alcor or CI. I had great difficulty, last year, securing life insurance to finance my cryonics arrangements, due to the suddenly high risk work environment I was in (SARS again). Going back to last August (2003), just as my hospital announced its re-opening, Andrew and I broke up, ending a 10 year, mostly good relationship. This was a huge shock for me. It was at this time, after surviving the epidemic at work and the personal loss, that I decided I needed to make some real changes in my life, and decided, after all, that I wanted to do some travelling. I had never really put the idea of going to California completely to rest, and decided that there wasnt going to be a better time to try it out. My only real regret from having made this move had been the physical distance I put between me and my family, and my friends at the CSC.A shot of the CSC Christmas party at my place, December 2003.I gave up my apartment in Toronto, after throwing a big CSC Christmas party. This party was attended by more than 25 people, some of who were completely new to our little group, and Id like to think it was a big success.I moved to my parents house at the end of January, then made my way (for the road trip from hell) to California, with
my sister and two cats in tow, on February 9th. 10 days, and 5000 km later, I took possession of an apartment in Huntington Beach, California, and started my new career as travel nurse. My sister stayed with me for about 6 weeks, and then I flew her home. I did a 13-week assignment, in an ER in Huntington Beach, then got a new contract to work where I am now, in Oceanside California, which is about half an hour north of San Diego. I flew home for a visit the third week of June, to attend my mothers birthday. It was at this time that I had the opportunity to join my CSC friends at one of their monthly meetups, in a restaurant in Toronto. The photos of this, as well as previous get- togethers are posted on my webshots site: http://community.webshots.com/user/christine_cscAs for my plans, as continuing to be president of the CSC, well I guess thats up to the group. Im not really sure how long I am going to be in the US for. I realize that it isnt very helpful to have a president that is so far away, but a lot of what we do is online.For now, I am planning to stay in Oceanside until Christmas, but I am giving very serious consideration to moving closer to home once this contract is done.If I do end up managing to get a job in the Northeastern US, I will take Rudy Matics example, and make frequent enough trips to Toronto to be an active presence with the CSC. Even though I do not regret making this move, I am finding myself very isolated from those that I care about, and cannot see being this far away from home forever.Part of me feels that this trip was an effort to get as far away from the pain I experienced in Toronto as possible. Geographically, I think I succeeded in doing that, but time does indeed heal all kinds of wounds.Before I left Toronto, I had a lot of ideas for the direction I saw the CSC going. Id still like to follow through with some of these ideas, as I really believe that the CSC is a huge, untapped potential. Its members are diverse, intelligent and genuinely amazing people. I dont want to see what they have accomplished or can accomplish go to waste. While I am in California, I want to try to finalize my own arrangements as soon as possible. That process is already underway, and hopefully very soon, Ill be able to make myself a full-fledged participant. I recently met Peter Voss, in Los Angeles, who is a member of Alcors Southern California standby team. Id like to get to know this group better, and learn from their valuable experiences. Id also love to go to Arizona and meet the Alcor people. It is my hope that while I am in this part of the world, I can learn as much as possible from the wealth of experience Alcor has there.At this point, I do want to clarify a point that I have sometimes read on Rick Potvins chat rooms, or on Cryonet. The CSC is not officially linked with CI. We are a group that contains Alcor and CI members. The fact that Ben Best was recently appointed to head CI is unrelated to CSC events or business.When the CI member was suspended in Toronto, both CI and Alcor members of the CSC participated in facilitating her suspension. I think that this is one of the CSCs many strengths- that it doesnt take sides, and tries to support members of either organization. We ultimately have the same goal, and it would behoove any cryonicist to lend a hand where it is needed- our numbers are too small to squabble over semantics.I hope that I was able to make this bio at least slightly entertaining. Id like to thank John Bull for giving me the opportunity to share some of my life with you. I am pleased that some of you enjoy the fruits of my newest hobby - digital photography, and have enjoyed seeing some of the photos I captured of CSC social events.I honestly hope that I can make a positive contribution, and hopefully help make it a little easier for us to achieve our ultimate goal.Christine Gaspar,
President, Cryonics Society of Canada
Since the last issue, we did a little traveling. We spent a few days in Seattle, and while there, took a Since the last issue, we did a little traveling. We spent a few days in Seattle, and while there, took a side trip down to Battle Ground, near the Oregon State line, and visited James Swayze. Readers may remember Swayze as the quadriplegic whose suspension fee was raised on Cryonet by donations.
We found him to be in good spirits, with a positive outlook. His array of communication gear in front of him is impressive, and shows hes trying to be as self sufficient as he possibly can, considering the circumstances. Read more, with photos on page 24 .
We also went down to Boca Raton, Florida, to see Suspended Animations facility. While there we met with Dave Shumaker, Mike Quinn and Chris Dougherty Theyre in the process of moving to a larger building about 10 miles north of the present location. They expect to have an open house around the end of the year.
Things are still as wacky as ever in Florida. "The Manatees" a minor league baseball team held a raffle last month. There was no charge to enter, and the prize, valued at $695 was a free cremation! The winner was presented with a certificate that could be used by any member of his or her family. Oh, and it was only good at the Beckman-Williamson Funeral Home in Cocoa Beach!
We had hoped that Ben Best would give us some details about his recent trip to China. But, as he says in the CIYG Digest section, anything he wrote would be more of a travelogue than related to cryonics and that if we want to read about, it we have to go to his website: http://www.benbest.com/travel/China.html
We have to admire Ben though, for his single-minded commitment to cryonics.
Speaking of Ben, we happened to mention to him that some peoples eyes glaze over when they read one of his technical pieces. (see Viability page 13) He gently reminded us that even if only 10 or 20 percent of our readers understand the material, its important that the information be disseminated to that minority. He clinched his argument by implying that the quality of our collective suspensions might be improved by this dissemination.
So, since Ben obviously put in quite a bit of time writing it, we read "Viability," and even understood some of it. We urge you other 80% to look it over, and if you happen to talk to Ben at the upcoming annual meeting, or if you speak to him on the phone, tell him you agree that "uncoupling of mitochondrial enzymes and ATP synthesis by chilling has been demonstrated, and coincident with the increased oxidative stress is a reduction of antioxidant enzyme activity due to chilling." We think hed like that!
We received a note from Fred Chamberlain offering us some cryonics related stories he and his wife, Linda wrote in the 80s. We thank him for the offer, and, we expect to carry one in the next issue.
Selected messages from the Cryonics Institute Yahoo Groups Forum
The issue of next of kin is one that continues to be in my mind. In terms of personal preservation. We all rely a great deal on next of kin.
If one's next of kin is also a potential cryonaut then the chances of their making sure ones own personal wishes are carried out, and push things all the way from home front to CI, is high.
In all other cases, as far as I can see, it comes down to the next of kin's word, and ratification in legal documentation. Which, in the final analysis, may or may not be enough, i.e. the next of kin may change their mind, another relative gets a court injunction, or some other complication. Once one is deanimated, the most thoroughgoing supporter of one's own preservation is no longer there to push the barrow. Hence, of course, cryo support groups worldwide.
In a perfect world we would all be listed on a global register, itself acknowledged by international law, ratifying our wishes to have our bodies preserved, and that our wishes are to be carried out. Reliance upon a next of kin would thereby diminish. Such international law may come to be sometime in the near future. It would be a standard of law befitting us. Has anyone here had/have similar thoughts?
Having to rely on next of kin, in my opinion, is a circumstance which arises from laws which govern estate distribution. The problem is, in some countries, and in some states and territories, there is no provision in such laws for the decease's body. Only real property and chattels.
In fact, in some cases, there is no law to protect the wishes of a deceased person who had expressed to be either buried or cremated. Eg., a person who wishes to be cremated may not end up being so unless a next of kin makes sure it happens, and vice versa for a person who wishes to be buried.
Cryo-preservation is a big deal, pregnant with potential, enormous in vision. By comparison the law we have to deal with seems infantile, retarded and a sometimes neo-lithic.
Robert Ettinger wrote:
I previously said I didn't recall a case where the next of kin had reneged. I meant a spouse. We know that recently a cousin, who was next of kin, refused to honor the patient's wishes.
This brings up an interesting point. What if you have a wife (like myself) who does not in any way believe that Cryonics is a good idea but at the same time says that she will respect my wishes to be preserved by the Cryonics Institute? By the way, her objections to cryonics are fueled by her religious beliefs.
From James Swayze:
(Discussing means to call for help such as commercial panic button services for the elderly.)
I have just purchased an item to help my own situation. I of course have live in caregivers, my parents, and as I get older I seem to deteriorate more rapidly than they due to my many afflictions. Diabetes is bad enough but try having it when you're paralyzed and cannot exercise to regulate blood sugar levels and especially to lose weight. Despite eating very little I slowly gain as my metabolism comes under slowing pressure both from age and from starvation syndrome, the effect that occurs when one tries diet only means to weight loss and the body thinks it's starving and so gets more efficient making it a zero sum gain. So, long story short, I need more reliable means to get their attention, especially as they aren't spring chickens themselves, when I have an emergency or simply need urgent care. Unfortunately for me urgent care needs left unmanaged quickly turn into emergency care needs.
I said I was shortening the story didn't I? Ok, here's the ticket. I found these wristwatches, Dick Tracy-esque walkie-talkies. We already have wireless intercoms but they are really terrible and located at stationary spots they're not where the caregivers/parents often are when I need to reach them. If I can get them to wear the wrist walkie-talkies then I can reach them anywhere they are, like outside pruning some tree or tilling the garden or up to a mile and a half away, say at a neighbor's. The best part is they aren't expensive, just around $30 each.... a good thing on my budget.
So, I recommend these for anyone in a similar situation either being cared for by a mobile active person or being that mobile active person caring for someone. Of course both of my folks have cell phones but often leave them laying somewhere and aren't in the habit of even taking them with them away from the house, a habit I need to work on as I continue to get more fragile.
Here is the model I got shown here at the manufacturer's website
http://www.xactcommunication.com/items.asp? item_id=26 but available much more cheaply here at Amazon.com and search for xact communications X2X or wrist watch walkie talkies]
However, now that mine have arrived I find they have a newer model available and I'm reminded to always look more carefully before buying, arrrgh! Not only is there a newer model called the X3X but there's also the X33XIF that has privacy sub coding capability. I really wish I'd seen this first. See it for yourself here:
Look around there because if wearing one on the wrist is not your thing there's what appears to be an around the neck medallion like the M3X but it doesn't have privacy sub coding capability.
I hope these can help someone else among us.
From Ben Best:
Should CI make its own LN2?
I have just learned about the CryoMech company which sells do-it-yourself liquid nitrogen plants which produce liquid nitrogen directly from air. The prices are not listed, but I am sure that they are costly: http://www.cryomech.com/products.php?item_type=3
The largest unit I see produces 60 liters per day, which means that we would need about 5 of the units to meet our current needs of over 273 liters per day for our cryostats as described in my report:
(My (cryostat) report did not mention the small steel dewar we have for pets and tissues.) Because we have already invested $60,000 in our 3,000-gallon bulk tank -- which gives us a very low per-liter cost for liquid nitrogen -- it would certainly make no sense
(Message over 64 KB, truncated)