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TV Show Seeks Terminally Ill Volunteer for Mummification 262

Posted by samzenpus
from the wrap-it-up dept.
Terminal illness got you down? Does your future seems bleak? Channel 4 and production company Fulcrum TV would like to brighten your day by making you the star of an upcoming documentary. They would like to offer you the chance to be mummified on TV and maybe even displayed in a museum afterward. An advertisement for the project reads: "We are currently keen to talk to some one who, faced with the knowledge of their own terminal illness and all that it entails, would nonetheless consider undergoing the process of an ancient Egyptian embalming."

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TV Show Seeks Terminally Ill Volunteer for Mummification

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  • Depends... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cryacin (657549) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @12:15AM (#30761024)
    Am I going to be done terriyaki style?
  • Creepy (Score:2, Insightful)

    Let me be the first to say thats kind of creepy. Are they gonna suck their organs out of them just like the egyptians used to? Cuz thats kind of weird.
    • by tuxgeek (872962)
      Yep, I'm with you on the "This is creepy" line of thought
      Pretty much the same as "Lets video tape a corpse decomposing in a grave"
      Nothing but a sick, twisted idea here ...
      • People have donated their bodies for medical research and education. Medical students dissect cadavers and I would bet that's been recorded and/or televised before. Is there something intrinsically creepier about using a cadaver to study mummification than human anatomy?

        • by natehoy (1608657)

          No, but there's something creepy about it being a television show that wants the soon-to-be-deceased subject. I mean, it's not really that it won't be an interesting experiment, it's that it'll be done on TV.

          I just hope the "TV show" isn't something like "Big Brother", where one of the contestants will now die on the show and be mummified and kept in the house. Though given "reality" TV shows in their current state, I wouldn't be terribly surprised.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DarkOx (621550)

      Because having you blood drained and replaced with embalming fluid and you body covered in makeup and posed like we do today commonly is perfectly rational.

      • Re:Creepy (Score:4, Interesting)

        by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @10:09AM (#30764266)

        Because having you blood drained and replaced with embalming fluid and you body covered in makeup and posed like we do today commonly is perfectly rational.

        It is rational. It gives people time to travel (sometimes long distances) to consol one another on the passing of a friend. The makeup, the embalming fluid, it's all there for the purposes of the viewing. The funeral is for the living.

        Irrational is leaving a body to decompose and make the gathering uncomfortable for the sake of being the 'thoroughly modern nihilist' who doesn't follow those lame and old-fashioned traditions because they are soooo much cooler than that.

    • by KingSkippus (799657) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @09:16AM (#30763544) Homepage Journal

      What the hell do you care? It's not like you're going to be lying there thinking, "Aw man, this really sucks!"

      My family has approached me a few times about what I want to be done with my body when I die. My answer is always the same. I want what organs might be useful donated. After that, I really don't care. Bury me, cremate me, donate me to science, do whatever gives you what comfort and solace you need, because that's not me.

      When my mom passed away, which is by far the single most gut-wrenching experience I've ever been through in my life, that thought was the only thing that got me through the funeral without totally falling apart. My mom was a lot more than just the collection of organic molecules that lay before me, and she's gone. I appreciate the body that lay before me; it was her "house" for 60 years and allowed me to see her, talk to her, interact with her, and love her. But the house was now empty. Sad, for sure, but it wasn't the loss of the house I was mourning.

      So yeah, once I'm gone, you can pull my brains out through my nose and make gut soup for all I care. It was just my house, and I don't live there any more.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 14, 2010 @10:45AM (#30764982)

        After that, I really don't care. Bury me, cremate me, donate me to science, do whatever gives you what comfort and solace you need, because that's not me.

        Assholes don't care. Here is an idea: Tell them what to do in writing same as you would communicate any wishes via a will with your possessions (whether a lot or a few). Otherwise, when you kick the bucket, your loved ones will be arguing over whether or not to spend $20,000 on a cemetary plot or leave you in dumpster behind Denny's. That corpse may not be "you", but it is your responsibility.

  • by incognito84 (903401) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @12:21AM (#30761052)
    Remember, the actual brain is located in the stomach. That thing in your head is just waste and is to be disgarded!
    • by bytesex (112972)

      Funny, mine is located lower still.. but hey - wasn't this an Asimov story ?

      • No, but the Ancient Egyptians did think the brain was the "heart", responsible for emotions of "life" and the brain was just a mess of stuff they didn't fully understand the significance of. Some ancient Egyptian physicians knew there was something vital about the brain, in that if a clot appeared, they would drill the skull/etc, but they never fully understood it was the nerve center of life.

  • Sequel? (Score:5, Funny)

    by tsvk (624784) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @12:23AM (#30761068)

    Terminally III?

    Is that, like, the sequel to Terminally II?

  • I am "faced with the knowledge of my own terminal illness" in that I am alive. I know that I will die, sooner or later. I understand that people who are terminally ill have a better idea as to the possible maximum, but we all have a possible maximum, and as you get older it will be looming for you, too. It annoys me when people are like "He KNOWS he's going to die, that must be so depressing". We all "know we are going to die". Nobody lives. Everyone dies. You should live accordingly.

    We can never satisfacto
    • by wizardforce (1005805) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @12:31AM (#30761108) Journal

      That is like saying that solar power isn't a renewable resource because eventually the Sun will die in 5+ billion years. It may be technically true but not meaningfully so.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DigiShaman (671371)

      We can never satisfactorily "cure" cancer or any other disease. "Curing" a disease is defined as letting you live long enough to die from a different one.

      True. But, there is a difference between dieing at the age of 25 vs 90. If possible, I would like to live as long as I potentially can. Life is too short as it is.

    • by Tomfrh (719891) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @01:00AM (#30761274)

      We all "know we are going to die"

      Well yeah, obviously, but that's completely different to being told "two months".

    • by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker&gnu,org> on Thursday January 14, 2010 @01:28AM (#30761422) Homepage

      I am "faced with the knowledge of my own terminal illness"

      I take it you've been diagnosed with the dreaded Alive, Well and Happy Syndrome, caused by a complex combination of healthy diet, regular exercise, a low to moderate alcohol consumption, a lack of tobacco or nicotine intake, frequent sexual intercourse and a supportive social network.

      Fortunately, it's in decline among US youth; see the article published in pubdot at http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/01/12/1337235 [slashdot.org]

    • by gruntled (107194)

      Yeah, everybody has to die eventually. I'm the exception that proves the rule.

    • by Hebbinator (1001954) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @05:26AM (#30762288)

      Reminds me of the quotation:

      "Life is a sexually transmitted disease with 100% mortality rate."

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tim C (15259)

      We can never satisfactorily "cure" cancer or any other disease. "Curing" a disease is defined as letting you live long enough to die from a different one.

      I know several people who are extremely happy to have been given the chance to die of something other than cancer.

      Numbers show that millions of lives have been saved by antibiotics, but have they?

      Yes, they have. If without them you would have been dead in days or weeks, but with them you successfully fight off the disease and are no longer in any danger of

    • by Tom (822) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @07:38AM (#30762842) Homepage Journal

      We all "know we are going to die".

      Not really, no. I'm serious. One thing that humans are fascinatingly good at is ignoring this "knowledge". There's some brain research that shows evidence of our brains actually being wired up so that we avoid facing this, on very low-levels. In other words: It's not a conscious decision, not even an unconscious one. Runs a lot deeper than that.

      So, it's only true for broad definitions of "know". Yes, the fact is recallable from memory. But your brain goes to great lengths to ignore it, and almost always when you actually do recall it, it has about the same emotional impact as last year's sports numbers. Actually, for sports fans, less than that. But it shouldn't. Ever wondered why that is? Now you know. For some definitions of "know". :-)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 2obvious4u (871996)
        There is a very obvious reason for why this is. If we actually really understood what being dead meant and really thought about it on the deep levels we would be in such a panic that we couldn't function as a society.

        The more I think about my own mortality the more I view Religion as a coping mechanism.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jayme0227 (1558821)

      I think there's a big difference between "knowing" that you're going to die and "understanding" that you're going to die. Every one of us knows that our time is ticking down and that we will, some day, die. Most of us have had no reason to really grapple with our own mortality, and as such, don't really "believe" that we're going to die.

      I think this is part of the reason that funerals are so hard on so many people. They come that much closer to the understanding how fragile life is and to the fact that thei

  • Why does the person need to be terminally ill? why can't it just be someone who agrees to be mummified following their death?

    are the producers that impatient?
    • Re:why terminal? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @12:32AM (#30761110)

      Duh. Preferably you die the moment after you signed the contract so they can start making the documentary. Do you think they want to wait another 40ish years or however long you plan to live?

    • Re:why terminal? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by coastal984 (847795) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @12:44AM (#30761176) Journal
      Because obviously they'd like to get some filming done before May Sweeps... this is show business, you know. Can't be waiting for you to croak 20 or 30 years down the line...
      • i wasn't suggesting it should be someone youngish. i just think it would remove some of the morbidity it they didn't use the word terminal.
    • by AaxelB (1034884)

      Why does the person need to be terminally ill? why can't it just be someone who agrees to be mummified following their death? are the producers that impatient?

      Yes! Even if you've got some 100-year-old heroin addict, it could be years before they drop, and by then everyone involved will have lost interest and the body will either be buried boringly or go to, like, science or something stupid like that.

      ;-)

    • Re:why terminal? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GrubLord (1662041) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @12:49AM (#30761212)

      Because they're looking to cash in on the morbid fascination of seeing a sexy, healthy-looking person who died of some non-obvious disease (such as certain cancers) get stripped down and cut to pieces.

      It's much less can't-look-away horrifying if they're cutting up an 80-year-old. Who'll want to buy ads in THAT half-hour?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TapeCutter (624760) *
        Here in Oz, SBS broadcast this series [sbs.com.au]. Basically it was a live autopsy with the body hung in an upright posture by wires (facing away from the camera and live audience). The "can't-look-away horror" part for me was when he removed the brain, spinal cord and siatic nerve all in one piece.
        • by fbjon (692006)
          There's a similar series with the same doctor performing the autopsies called Anatomy for Beginners. Very uncensored and informative.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 14, 2010 @12:27AM (#30761092)

    Hello,

    Commiserations on the news of your imminent demise. At Channel 4, we believe that the most appropriate way of dealing with this sad news, and the undoubted grief of your nearest and dearest, is for you to submit your corpse to be messed about with on national television for public "infotainment". The documentary we are producing will take just as sensitive, informative, and considerate an approach as the famous documentaries "The Boy Whose Skin Falls Off", "The Woman Who Never Grew Up" and our other televised equivalents of old-time circus freak-shows.

    We've set up a 24 hour hotline, just in case you really are that close to popping your cloggs, and look forward to working with your mortal remains soon!

    best regards,
    Channel 4 Public Relations.

  • by daemonenwind (178848) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @12:28AM (#30761096)

    Being mummified on live TV isn't all that different from what kids are doing with Facebook these days, anyway.

  • What is next live executions?

    any ways are there laws saying that assisted suicide can't be done in states in us or other areas.

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      they aren't going to assist a suicide or murder anyone, they just want to sign on someone who will flop over dead very soon to meet T.V. season taping schedule. So if you just got diagnosed with lung cancer, forget it, they don't want you. If you were diagnosed with lung cancer 12-18 months ago and are breathing and fed from tubes, and have to hit the button on your morphine drip every 15 minutes to somewhat lessen the agony, then yes, by all means give them a holler.

      • they aren't going to assist a suicide or murder anyone

        Why not? Assisted suicide live on TV? Think of the ratings!

        • by DigiShaman (671371) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @12:51AM (#30761226) Homepage

          Why not? Assisted suicide live on TV? Think of the ratings!

          Why not turn it into a game show where you get to pick a vowel? We can call it "Hangman".

          (I'm so going to hell for that)

          • My, what a tall mummy you are.
          • Why so boring? This [wikipedia.org] is the way ahead.

            Quick plot: You get a million if you survive for a week while some nutjobs try to kill you. Problem: The network fixes the game to make sure you can escape them for a week. Then they make sure they finally get you, saving a million.

            Think of the ratings!

            (and yes, I'm aware that Running Man has a similar plot. But this one was done earlier and it looks way more "realistic". Greed > liberty!)

        • they aren't going to assist a suicide or murder anyone

          Why not? Assisted suicide live on TV? Think of the ratings!

          Nah, reality shows like "cops" have that niche stiched up.

    • any ways are there laws saying that assisted suicide can't be done in states in us or other areas.

      A while back there's been a documentary about assisted suicide, they investigated where it was legal and not, non-profit organisations aiding people who wanted euthenasia.

      It ended with following someone who decided to helped to die, he said bye to his girlfriend, and drank some suicidemix provided with the help of the non-profit.

      After he drank this, he's lays down on his bed, his speech gets slower and after a

  • by Fotograf (1515543) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @12:32AM (#30761116) Homepage
    how is that possible, i thought he was an robot from the future...
  • I volunteer! I expect to return to terrorize the world in a few hundred years though.

    Wait, what do you mean life doesn't count as a terminal illness ?

    • Brutally said, it's because you don't die soon enough. Basically, the "terminally ill" part is in there because it would probably not be too good an idea to simply say "we make you a mummy TV star if you off yourself damn right now". Not so much because of the outrage, but rather because they only need ONE specimen and wouldn't know what to do with the surplus.

  • Now it's obvious what project Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul have gone to. Insist on earplugs if Simon's on the panel of judges, to help keep you motivated toward reaching the Grand Finale competition.
  • Maybe they could sweeten the pot and sign me up for any future 'When Monsters Attack' specials.
  • Anyone else read it as entrails?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I much prefer the late, great prophet Bill Hicks' suggestion of recruiting the terminally as stunt fodder in action movies.
  • Are those guys back in business again?
    Don't believe them folks, they say you will be preserved for all time and eventually resurrected so you sign up and pay them a fortune, then you get fucking ripped off by those stonemason bastards who are all part of some secret price-gouging club. You get the procedure, get settled in for 'eternity', then some asshat comes along after a couple of millennia, digs you up and uses you to power his steam train!

    That's not right. I, for one won't get burned like that again.

  • by BancBoy (578080) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @02:25AM (#30761634)
    Tut tut tut...
  • volunteers who are willing to undergo the process of zombification so I can have an army of the undead to do my bidding. I'll bet that my reality show is going to be way cooler than Channel 4's pathetic "mummy" reality show.

  • No?

    No deal, then.

  • by lemur3 (997863) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @04:41AM (#30762126)

    I remember watching this done on a modern human over 10 years years ago on discovery networks... it was very cool.

    from his wiki article:

    "In 1994, Brier and a colleague, Ronald Wade, director of the State Anatomy Board of Maryland, claimed to be the first people in 2,000 years to mummify a human cadaver using ancient Egyptian techniques. This research earned Brier the affectionate nickname "Mr. Mummy" and was also the subject of the National Geographic television special of the same name."

  • A friend died of a stroke a couple years ago and donated herself to a med school. Said she always dreamed of being a skeleton in the corner at a med school.

  • The tag-line says "science tv idle terminally morbid story"

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