Planning for the Alcor-40 conference continues to move ahead. We announced the date and venue and will send out a “Save the Date!” notice shortly. I have outlined a schedule, gathered a list of potential speakers, and have started inviting some of them. Initial invitations are tentative since we are likely to have more potential speakers and topics than available slots.
The recent BIL 2012 conference, held on the Queen Mary in Long Beach on the weekend of March 4-5, drew some 800 people. This “unconference” informal companion to the TED conference attracted a diverse group of people who nevertheless seemed predominantly creative, enthusiastic about creating better futures, and technology-positive. Bonnie Magee organized local Alcor members to volunteer at our table, situated fairly close to the main entrance, where we talked to interested passersby and handed out information packs and copies of Cryonics.
My talk on cryonics followed immediately after that of Aubrey de Grey, and was titled “Join the 0.00002% and Live”. Along with Bonnie and the Alcor volunteers, I was able to seriously talk about cryonics and Alcor with many people over the weekend. Unexpectedly, I sat down at lunch on that Saturday with someone I had never met. By the end of lunch, she said she was definitely going to join Alcor and that she didn’t understand why everyone wasn’t doing so. Where can we find more of these “naturals”?
We’ve had some interest from Canada recently, taking two forms: I was interviewed on February 21 by a writer doing a piece on cryonics for the Canadian Medical Association; and on March 13 the Radio Canada show, Histoire d’objets conveyed a bit of what we do, based around the idea of the freezer (their object of focus for that show).
In a previous report, I noted my cryonics talk at the SENS5 conference in Cambridge. The video of that talk just became available online: Here are two links:
If you live here in the Phoenix area, you can now pick up a copy of the Top Doctors special issue of Phoenix magazine, which includes an illustrated interview that I did with them a few weeks ago. The story is: “Death (un) Ltd. What happens to your body after death? Probably what you expect. Or maybe not – after all, this is Arizona.” Several pages of the article are devoted to Alcor, including several photos. The treatment is remarkably positive and accurate.
Also in the area of communication, I’m supporting an initiative by Aschwin de Wolf and Steve Bridge to produce a Best of Cryonics Magazine book. While he was in town this week, Aschwin and I visited our printer, were given a tour, and selected paper stock and binding style for both a paperback and limited hardcover version. The goal is to have the book available for the Alcor-40 conference in October. A two-part story, “Spending eternity in liquid nitrogen”, in the Canadian Medical Association journal was less favorable, with the writer insisting on referring to our patients as “corpses”, rather than the more neutral “bodies”.
Cost Analysis and Control
Bonnie and I have met with M&I Bank reps to find alternatives to existing expensive accounts for prepaid funds. With input from Hugh, I have met several times with the architect who was involved in moving the patient care bay six or seven years ago. This is to get a reliable estimate of the likely costs of expanding the patient care bay. Hugh and I have also estimated how long it may be until that expansion is needed.
We are moving ahead with building Alcor’s capabilities in Europe, starting with Great Britain. We are ready to ship the neuro dry ice shipper box to London, are evaluating the previous designs for whole body dry ice shippers, and expect to have all elements of the plan in place in the next month.
When power went down this week at Alcor (and in a wide radius around us), we discovered that the backup uninterruptible power supply for the server was not even connected to the server. Our regular backup generator was working well. However, the incident prompted Lisa Shock to ask about regular emergency preparedness checks. We will be reviewing and improving emergency plans and holding checks on a regular basis henceforth.
We are relieved that one of Alcor’s previous two contract surgeons appears to have recovered his health. Even so, we have talked to two new surgeons, and will ask them to observe our next cryopreservation case (which we expect to be in the next couple of weeks).
I have been involved in quite a bit of discussion about possible research projects. One of those – which will include, but not be limited to, testing our UK protocol – should soon be put before the Research Committee.
Max More, PhD
President & CEO