Monthly Archives: June 2005

Noble Suicide (Organ Donation Death)

My apologies in advance if this entry seems in bad taste. It is not meant to be. However, if you are sensitive about suicide, please don't read it. In addition, let me be very clear — suicide is not a very good idea, and I strongly urge you against it!

READ THIS FIRST

I recently read a book about the mechanics, politics, and procedures involved in organ donation. As I'm sure you know, a single body in good shape can donate a huge number of pieces — organs like the heart, kidneas, pancreas, lungs, liver, and intestines, as well as bits and pieces like your corneas, skin, bone marrow, connective tissue, and so on — saving or improving the lives of many people.

A lot of people have urged me to look at Jess's page, who says that she's selling all of her possessions in preparation for her suicide attempt, and it got me thinking about the possibility of a “noble suicide”. I did some searching for it online, and while suicide organs do get used, I wasn't able to find any information on planned post-suicide organ donation. If you're going to commit suicide, assuming you're not a member of the VHEMT, I would hope you'd at least want someone to be helped by your loss?

It's interesting as well that some of the minority groups that have the highest suicide rates are also most in need of organ donation — Native Americans for example are dramatically more likely to commit suicide (in many communities it's a bigger killer than car accidents) and are also in higher need of organ donations… As morbid as it sounds, why can't these two tragedies come together for a common good?

In all seriousness, what would happen if you had a signed organ donor card (and had informed your family of your wishes “should you” die), taped a note to your chest saying “I am donating my organs!”, and walked to a hospital emergency room and shot yourself in the head?

It's certainly less disturbing than China harvesting the organs of criminals for sale to wealthy foreigners.

Oww oww owww

Got these rather disturbing pictures from Dan at Lower Eastside in Toronto (check out his page for some intense self-implant pictures by the way) of a rusted and embedded nostril piercing that came into his shop:

"Here's two pics of why not to wear shitty mall jewelry. This is a nose bone that I had to pull out of someones face. If you look at the piece you can see that its rusting!!! Not to mention the purpleness on the womans face, in reality it's quite grey and that will last forever."

Tattoo update posted

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Just posted a bit over a thousand new images, mostly to the tattoo sections. Thanks to all the contributors and to fiddlysticks for being the cover model (tattoo by Brandon Hanna at Lone Wolf Tattoo).


With sincere public apologies to Shawn who I was supposed to see in Phoenix, I've headed back to Mexico. I was just too tired out (and stressed out) to spend any more time away right now.


Our flight back was overbooked, and almost got us tossed in Guantanamo as well… We were traveling with our two year old daughter — Rachel actually travels something like 50,000 miles a year with her — so we had her FAA approved airline seat with us. After getting on the plane (last, because they screwed up and put us in the emergency exit lane which is illegal for anyone under 15), we got Nefarious all buckled up and were ready to go. Sitting across from us was an obese black stewardess fanning herself maniacally with a magazine, who kept talking to herself and every twenty seconds (I kid you not) literally threw her hands up in the air and shouted “Praise Jesus!”

A few minutes before the plane was ready to disembark, she got up and went to tell “Vicky Jo”, another one of the AA stewardesses, that we really needed to put the seat in “the right way”. So Vicky Jo came up to us and asked, “Do we have a problem here? Are you going to put that seat in correctly, or do we need to have you removed from the airplane?”

Personally I think that our “look” offended their religious sensibilities and they were just searching for any reason they could to get us off the flight — we tried to explain to her that it was an FAA approved seat (there's a logo right on the side that shows it), and that we fly regularly with it, having bought it specifically for the purpose of flying. She was getting visibly agitated and angry, and said she had to “check her manual”.

When she returned, she told us that the seat wasn't approved and was placed wrong, and we were going to have to get rid of it. There are instructions on the bottom and even more “FAA approved” stamps, so we had to undo everything to show her. She immediately points at the “how to use” diagram and declares that it shows that we couldn't use the seat and had it in wrong, even though the diagram showed we had it mounted exactly right. Rachel corrected her saying, “no, see, this is the outline of the seat, it shows exactly how to use it…”

Vicky Jo shouts at her, “I don't need you giving me lip about this!”

“Excuse me, you're the one yelling at us,” I say, and she says, “do I need to call the cops about this?”

Immediately she picks up the airplane phone and says, “can you send some marshalls back here, I've got some passengers threatening to cause a problem.”

(!)

After a bit more of her berating us and checking her manual, she clues in that she's 100% in the wrong and that we had it done correctly in the first place. No apology, just some vague cop-out statement like, “alright, this situation is resolved and you can put the seat back now.”

psycho.

And that wasn't even the last issue with the flight. During take-off (literally as we're taking off, not “just before”) the woman sitting in front of us jumps up and starts walking to the bathroom. The Jesus freak stewardess looks at her (since it's neither safe nor permitted to be walking around let alone using the bathroom during takeoff) and starts to say “excuse me miss”, and then stops, saying “aww, forget it, I retire in eight days” — and then proceeds to again shout “Praise the Lord!” at the top of her lungs.

Landing was pretty scary as well. We came in really low, and about eight miles before the runway were only a couple hundred feet off the ground — I literally thought we were going to be doing an emergency landing in the desert. Suddenly the pilots throw the airplane back up to full throttle and we skim over the ground for the remaining eight miles with the engines screaming the whole way. San Jose del Cabo airport sits on a slightly raised area, and we must have missed smashing into the side of the drop-off cliff by no more than forty feet, coming onto the runway tarmac harder than any student pilot landing that either Rachel or I have ever done.


Other than that, watch this MeFi thread. Almost ten thousand animals have died in China of what appears to be the bird flu (with potentially a hundred million carrying it), Qinghai province is under quarantine and media blackout, and now humans are dying from it as well. Is this “the big one”?

I'll write on this more later if I can find some time, but has SARS got you thinking we can keep this stuff under control? SARS was hard to spread with a low death rate — better remember the influenza outbreak of 1918 which killed between 25 and 50 million people. 28% of all Americans (and about a fifth of the world population) were infected, with about 1% of the total world population dying.

PS. More info on EPIDEMICA.

Some better news

Thanks to much help from Allen (and Rachel) we have my new Manta Montage loaded in the back of our car trailer (hooked up to her totally “I'm the queen of Mexican real estate agents” bling truck). I only drove it about a hundred and fifty feet (it's not titled or insured yet), but we'll do the second half of the drive in a week or so (as those of you with kids know, driving a thousand miles with a two year old is only so much fun) when it can be a road trip for just Rachel and I.

Since I always get asked how much things like this cost, I'll link you over to eBay's Kit Car section (if that link doesn't work, go to eBay motors, click on “Collector Cars”, then on “Replica/Kit Makes”). While I don't see any posted today, cars along these lines show up pretty regularly in the $3,000 to $15,000 price range in varying levels of quality (this one fell about in the middle of that range).

If I was the suing type…

For the purposes of google this story is about the Holidy Inn Select (DFW) in Dallas, Texas.

So after a thousand miles of driving we were going to crash out in Dallas for the night and then continue on. I'm carring our luggage up to our room, open the door, and, since I'm looking down at what I'm carrying, don't realize that at exactly head level is a blade-like lamp assemble. As I stand up fully, my head of course hits it and it slices into my skull.

There's blood running down my head so Allen and I head down to the lobby to see if they have a first aid kit and to tell them what happened (given the suicidal placement of the lamp I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often).

They had a little gauze but didn't seem to have a first aid kit. They handed over the gauze and then gathered around us — “ohh… can I look at that?”

So I lean over and show them the injury and they sort of recoil a little and say, “no, man, I mean your tattoos, let me see that… didn't that hurt!?!

“Not as much as hitting my head on your lamp.”

“Hold out your arms! Let me see those!” (this continues for a while)

I'm a pretty laid back guy so I didn't really care, but it was really quite odd, as if they had no training whatsoever… If I was the suing type they were certainly compounding the problem by basically ignoring the injury, doing virtually nothing to help, and then essentially harassing me. It was pretty weird. I probably should have gotten stitches, but I didn't. Well, they've got a pillow covered in blood stains now.