354: Mistakes Were Made

354: Mistakes Were Made

Apr 18, 2008
It's the late 1960s, and in the new technology of cryonics, a California TV repairman named Bob sees an opportunity to help people cheat death. But freezing dead people so scientists can reanimate them in the future is a lot harder than it sounds. Harder still was admitting to the family members of people Bob had frozen that he'd screwed up. Badly.
  • Host Ira Glass talks about the way most political apologies go, and chats with a man named Derek Jones about similar sorts of apologies among preteen girls and King David, in the Old Testament. (7 minutes) FunnyGovernmentReligion

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  • In the late 1960s, a California TV repairman named Bob Nelson joined a group of enthusiasts who believed they could cheat death with a new technology called cryonics. But freezing dead people so scientists can reanimate them in the future is a lot harder than it sounds. Harder still was admitting to the family members of people Bob had frozen that he'd screwed up. Sam Shaw reports. (42 minutes) BusinessDeathScience

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  • There's a famous William Carlos Williams poem called "This is Just to Say". It's about, among other things, causing a loved one inconvenience and offering a non-apologizing apology. It's only three lines long, you've probably read it...the one about eating the plums in the icebox. Marketplace reporter (and published poet) Sean Cole explains that this is possibly the most spoofed poem around. We asked some of our regular contributors to get into the act. Sarah Vowell, David Rakoff, Starlee Kine, Jonathan Goldstein, Shalom Auslander and Heather O'Neill, all came up with their own variations of Williams's classic lines. (7 minutes) FunnyPoetry

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A meeting of the scientists who were advising Bob's cryonics society—before they all quit in protest. Bob is in the center, holding the paper.

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