"Rising up into the air, they took to the sky and flew. From west and beyond west, into the wind and through it, they came past countless moons and suns. One laughed and briefly wore a scarf of raindrops in her hair, and then with wicked feet she kicked a cloud and caused rain to swamp a boat."
“As we are all solipsists, and all die, the world dies with us.”
How one sets out to conquer death has everything to do with how one defines it. “We don’t get old, we rust from oxygen,” explains Dr. Harry B. Demopoulos, a researcher who studies ischemic injury, looking for methods to mitigate cellular damage caused by a restriction in blood supply. A Spaniard of the sixteenth century might put more stock in the Fountain of Youth, that mythic baptismal curative.
Then there’s nineteenth-century politician and eccentric Leonard “Live-Forever” Jones, a Kentuckian who ran for president in every election from the 1840s through 1868 on a platform that held extinction to be preventable via prayer and fasting. Jones died at seventy-one of pneumonia, refusing treatment for what he insisted was a purely moral disease. Jones’ idea of deathlessness had been transmitted from an itinerant minister named McDaniel, at whose funeral he was embarrassingly obliged to speak; they had planned to build a city without graveyards.
“Ever After,” an essay on the capitalist cult of immortality, Dracula, the Singularity, Russian oligarchs, Houellebecq, clones, mind-uploading, manifest destiny and Google, for the “Death” issue of Lapham’s Quarterly.
The water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds. The soda and salt causes the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry. (via Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns to Stone)