Sam Simon, Co-Creator of The Simpsons and Atheist Philanthropist, Dies at 59

Sam Simon, one of the creators of The Simpsons died yesterday from colorectal cancer at the age of 59.

Simon knew his disease would kill him at a young age so he vowed a long time ago to give away most of the hundreds of millions of dollars he had made, especially to causes supporting animal rights.

A profile of him in Vanity Fair last year explained his non-religious outlook on life:

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Westboro Baptist Church Wanted to Picket Leonard Nimoy’s Funeral… but They Couldn’t Find the Location

You’d think these people would’ve figured out by now to find the location of a funeral before saying they’re going to be there… but after Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Mr. Spock on Star Trek, died a few days ago, they said they would be picketing his funeral.

That plan fell through, though, when they couldn’t find the location of the event:



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Becoming a Tree: A Practical — and Beautiful — Form of Burial

I don’t mind graveyards, but they do tend to be cold, somber places. Could we instead have memorial gardens of trees and shrubs, each organism drawing life from a human body placed in a biodegradable pod or shroud beneath it?

Yes, please!

Burying bodies is a huge waste of space that could be used by the rest of us who are still breathing. Even cremation, though cheaper and easier, can produce a lot of toxic waste. But what if your dead body could be turned into a tree instead? Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel are proposing just that, in the form of a biodegradable burial-pod project.



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Coffee Enemas and Mineral Supplements Couldn’t Save the Life of Cancer-Stricken “Wellness Warrior” Jess Ainscough

When, in 2008, Australian wellness writer Jessica (Jess) Ainscough was diagnosed with a rare disease called epithelioid sarcoma, it became clear that the cancer cells had grown throughout her left arm and shoulder.

Chemotherapy seemed to help, but within a year the cancer made a comeback, and Ainscough decided that, rather than undergo more chemo and possibly amputation, she would beat the odds with Gerson therapy: a “radical detoxification” regimen pioneered by a German doctor in the 1920s. For Ainscough, it entailed

… drinking 10 raw juices and undergoing five coffee enemas daily, as well as mineral supplements and sticking to a strict vegan diet.

Yes: Coffee enemas. That’s a thing. But don’t inject a venti frappuccino into your colon just yet, Wikipedia cautions:

Coffee enemas can cause numerous side effects, including infections, sepsis (including campylobacter sepsis), severe electrolyte imbalance, colitis, proctocolitis, salmonella, brain abscess, and heart failure. … Long-term use of coffee enemas can lead to malabsorption of fat, fat-soluble vitamins, and calcium. The use of coffee enemas has led to several deaths as a result of severe electrolyte imbalance, hyponatremia, dehydration, pleural and pericardial effusions.

None of that fazed Ainscough. She blogged with the firm conviction that she could find a shortcut to beating cancer.



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Leonard Nimoy, Who Played Mr. Spock on Star Trek, is Dead

Leonard Nimoy, the actor best known for playing Dr. Spock on Star Trek, died earlier today at the age of 83.



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