Alcor News

Alcor News

News Blog of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation

Alcor Southern California CryoFeast

Southern California is having their annual Alcor CryoFeast on Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 4:00 pm. This year they are also inviting members of other communities in the area, such as life extensionists, futurists and singularitarians.

You are invited to attend and chat with other interesting, visionary, imaginative and farsighted people as they kick off the 2008 holiday season. Everyone is strongly encouraged to bring a dish and their favorite beverage. For the dish, please bring something that’s not only festive, healthy and tasty but fun and imaginative! There will be a prize for the dish that most embodies these five characteristics.

The event will be hosted by David Kekich and Kat Cotter at the home of David Kekich, located at 1110 Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach, CA. If you are interested in attending this event, please RSVP to kat@vfair.com or you may call Kat at 310-528-6712.

For directions, parking and hotel information click on the link below:

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Singularity Summit 2008

Singularity Summit 2008: Opportunity, Risk, Leadership
October 25, 2008, 9am-5pm, Montgomery Theater (San Jose, CA)
Headlining:

– Peter Diamandis, founder, CEO, and chair of X PRIZE Foundation
– Esther Dyson, influential journalist, entrepreneur, investor
– Ray Kurzweil, acclaimed inventor, author of The Singularity Is Near
– Justin Rattner, VP and CTO of Intel Corporation
– Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, initial investor in Facebook
– Vernor Vinge, renowned science fiction author

The Singularity Summit is the premier dialog on the Singularity. The first Singularity Summit was held at Stanford University in 2006 to further understanding and discussion about the Singularity concept and the future of human technological progress. It was founded as a venue for leading thinkers to explore the subject, whether scientist, enthusiast, or skeptic.

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Alcor Sends Large Payment to Patient Care Trust

In 2006 Alcor cryopreserved a member with approximately $400,000 of
cryopreservation funding, including life insurance policies and estate
assets specifically directed to his suspension fund in his will.

During recent discussions between Alcor’s board and management
regarding disposition of these assets, the member’s will and Cryonic
Suspension Agreement (CSA) were examined. The CSA was executed in the
1980s, and contained language not in current agreements, specifically:

“After the legal death and cryonic suspension of the Patient ALCOR
shall maintain all Suspension Funds up to the minimum level of funding
in one account, undifferentiated by Patient, for the joint care and
maintenance of all suspension Patients. Suspension Funds in excess of
the minimum required amount will be maintained in separate internal
accounts for the benefit of the individual Patient who provided the
extra funding.”

Alcor does not have the separate internal accounts anticipated by this
old agreement because individual accounts are now understood to be
incompatible with Alcor’s tax-exempt status. Therefore the CSA provisions
could not literally be followed. Instead, after deducting $15,000
for the Patient Care Trust (PCT) fund, $3000 for the Comprehensive
Member Standby (CMS) fund, and case expenses, management recorded the
balance of the member’s cryopreservation funding as a bequest and used
it to help fund Alcor general operations since 2006.

Upon examining the language of the member’s CSA, the Alcor board has
determined that the intent of the agreement was that excess funding
provided by the member be used to fund patient care, even if
individual accounting was not possible. Therefore the excess funding
should have been directed to the PCT, which funds joint care and
maintenance of all Alcor patients. To address this, $130,000 has been
sent from Alcor general funds to the PCT. The remaining balance owing will be
recorded as payable to the PCT, and repaid over time. This will
strengthen the PCT and increase security of Alcor patients. However
Alcor’s operating budget will suffer as a result.

Management informed the board that procedures followed in this case
were customary. The board therefore intends to investigate past
cryopreservation cases to ensure that the PCT has received all funds
it was due according to the Cryonic Suspension Agreement of each
case. Enhanced oversight is being established to monitor funding
disposition of future cases, and to ensure that there is general
agreement on cryopreservation funding policy.

Technical Updates

Cart Caddy
We have recently purchased a necessary piece of equipment called a Cart Caddy for our patient care bay. Whenever there is a need to fill new dewar(s) with liquid nitrogen or to transfer patients from a cool down unit into a permanent dewar, the dewar must be moved into position. This used to take a minimum of four strong people to manually push the dewar. With the Cart Caddy, it is now a two-person job (one to operate the machine, the other to supervise). It is also a much safer and easier approach to the moving a dewar that weighs 5500 lbs. We have adapted this unit so that the crescent shape hugs the dewar firmly and allows us to maneuver it with little effort.

As our patient population grows, this small piece of equipment will become an important asset to our patient care bay.

Research and Development
The development of the whole-body system progresses with some changes to the user interface which will make the system easier to use and yet also provide more clarity on the data being generated at any given moment. We have also expanded significantly the note-taking capability of the system. We are at the point of final engineering testing for the ramp generation portion of the system and have yet to verify our 3-point calibration.

Administrative Statistics

Membership
On August 31, 2008, Alcor had 857 members on its Emergency Responsibility List. Two memberships were approved during this month, no memberships were reinstated, eight memberships were cancelled and no members were cryopreserved. Overall, there was a net loss of six members this month. Seven members were cancelled due to insufficient funding and one cancellation was due to member request. This month Alcor’s membership agreements were revised to change the word “suspension” to “cryopreservation”, the preferred term for describing Alcor’s procedure. These documents are available at our website in the Alcor Library section.

Applicants
At the end of September Alcor had 62 applicants for membership. Two new applicants were added, and two applicants were converted to members.

Information Packets
130 info packs were requested in September, and eight were handed out during facility tours or from special request. The average total of 202 info packs sent per month in 2008 is compared to 129 in 2007.

Media

Tanya Jones and a local member were interviewed at Alcor for a documentary about ways people are attempting to live longer. It includes interviews with Aubrey de Grey and Ray Kurzweil.