Weird Ways to Rest In Peace

Gene and Majel, in happier times.

Gene and Majel, in happier times.

Space IS the Final Frontier for “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry and wife Majel, who will have their ashes launched into the solar system in a “memorial spaceflight.” Roddenberry died in 1991, but his final wish was to be joined by Majel in the Milky Way. She died late last year, of leukemia.

Roddenberry joins the ranks of these famous people who go that certain extra mile, even in death:

  • Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes were shot out of a cannon atop a tower while fireworks went off over Aspen, in 2005.  As the gonzo journo’s wife helpfully explained, “he loved explosions.”
  • Baseball legend Ted Williams had his body frozen in liquid nitrogen in 2002, in the hopes that one day he could be revived and hit a few more homers. Hm, that might be hard, since his head and body were severed in a process called “neuropreservation” so that his brain could be stored separately, and the canister with the brain in it has already cracked.
  • Mao Zedong’s body was preserved with formaldehyde after his death in1976; just to be safe, doctors also made a wax model of the corpse. No one knows which version is displayed in the “Mao”soleum, one of Beijing’s most popular tourist attractions.


Word Up:
neuropreservation – the process, in cryogenics, of freezing the brain separately so that doctors of the future can grow a new body around it, using not-yet-invented “tissue regeneration technology” (via Alcor, the dubious company in charge of Ted Williams’ brain and bod)

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