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101 Things to do Before You Die #2: Achieve Immortality

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Jon Aird | 12:39 UK time, Thursday, 3 March 2011

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The first thing on our bucket list is to publish weekly columns every week rather than every fortnight, but without further ado, Leila Johnston's weekly column continues. Catch up on part 1 here, or read on to find out more.

First off, here's an interactive introduction: follow the on screen instructions:

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According to those in the know, "life’s too short". It's too short to worry, too short to do anything slightly challenging, and certainly too short to have regrets, apart from the one massive ongoing regret about the shortness of life, which they never shut up about. It makes you wonder why these people bother doing anything. They might as well just make themselves comfortable and wait for the inevitable.

Fame. I'm gonna live forever. I'm gonna get my consciousness injected into a Hydrogen atom. Baby, remember my atomic weight. Yes, in the battle for immortality, science will always beat celebrity. For example, did you know there's enough carbon in a human body to make a diamond – or, if you're on a budget, a small pencil? A diamond is forever, but an Ikea pencil says "You can't take it with you. Actually, can you? No one is really sure what the rules are on this."

Science has achieved a lot in this field. Modern immortal Doctor Who uses his alien Timelord powers to regularly trick nerds into watching a kids' costume drama, and scientists have been artificially extending the lifespan of laboratory mice for decades. Some living rodents are now so old they can remember back to the very first time Russell Howard did his "little boy voice" on Mock the Week.

Cryonics is the science of freezing corpses until someone invents magic. The elderly are the most likely to undergo cryopreservation, partly because that's the age when people usually give up the ghost, and partly because they're always cold anyway. To an old person, the thought of all that meat going to waste is the only thing more alarming than a full-size bottle of ketchup. But remember that elderly subjects should always be taken outside before thawing, or they won't feel the benefit.

101 Things to do Before You Die will continue next week. In the meantime, why not leave your own suggestions in the comments below?


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