Afternoon Inquisition

AI: To eternity and beyond

Last week we celebrated Moose’s 3rd birthday. We threw a Super Mario themed party, dressed his sister as a 1up and I made delicious Super Mario cakes. One was a power up mushroom and the other was a star. (Given that my art skills are only surpassed by my math skills, I was reasonably pleased with the fact that the cakes even remotely resembled a star and a mushroom.)

The power up cake didn’t seem to do much. No one grew to be 10 feet tall. The effects of the invincibility cake are yet to be determined. So far no one who attended the party has been killed by anthropomorphic bullets or turtles, but that could simply be that all of my family and friends have mad skillz (or cheat codes.) If everyone who ate it lives forever, then it worked. For now, I’ll just avoid infinitely deep canyons and hope to find some money floating in the sky… and, if all else fails, I still have that 1up around here (if I follow the smell of sour milk and poop, I can find her pretty easily).

So… I could give you some invincibility cake and some 1ups… but would you want to live forever? Would you like to be invincible? If you could be invincible for 2 minutes, what would you do?

BTW, It’s yellow cake with butter cream frosting, how big of a slice would you like? And is this a Super Mario LARP? I’m worried it might be. I don’t want to be a LARPer… my mom’s basement is too cold to live in!

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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  1. If could be invincible for 2min, I’d attack the laundry monster in the bathroom.

    Re Immortality, I might find enough to do to occupy the first couple of thousand years but I suspect after that the bordom of “having done it a million times before” would be unbareable.

  2. Hey Elyse, if you are going to LARP then Super Mario LARPing is the way to go on account of the awesome mustachios!

    I am going to a one year old’s party in an hour. If I could be invincible for that I would use it to eat all the cake. ALL OF IT.

  3. I’d love to be immortal, as long as I could turn it off when I got sick of existence. I’m sure after a few hundred or thousand years, it would get old. Being invincible permanently would be really handy in my job, as I work with sharp knives and burning hot cooking equipment. Don’t know what I’d do with 2 minutes.

  4. Immortality, yes please. I couldn’t turn down the chance to see what happens thousands of years in the future. Conditions: eternal youth must be part of the deal, and no invincibility, or rather, there’s gotta be some way out eventually. I’ll stick around till the end of the world, but I don’t want to be the only one left after the asteroid hits, or the ice age comes, or the sun blows up, or the zombies invade.

    So pretty much I’d like to be a Tolkien elf. Or a vampire (you know, a good one).

  5. If I were invincible for two minutes I would jump of a really tall building or free fall for slightly less than two minutes.

  6. I would not want to be immortal.

    However, if you gave me an invincible star, I’d do skydiving sans the parachute. It would be just like in my dreams!!!

    P.S. I would love some cake. Shall I start walking over now?

  7. Elyse, have you posted pics from the party? Super Mario is the BEST THEME EVER!

    Also, yes, I would take the immortality, and no, one would not get bored, as things change so fast now, and will continue to do so in the future.

    If I had a star, I would run as fast as I could…through the hallways at Fox News.

  8. I intensely curious about the future, so immortality would be cool. But frankly I think human beings might go nuts if we became immortal. Think of all the emotional baggage that is going to rack up over a millennium.

    If you want to be immortal you need to be invincible. Assuming you are immortal because your body is immune to disease, the odds of you having a fatal accident within a few hundred years are pretty high. Probably the odds are increasing as our technology and population density grows. So…not so immortal without invincible.

  9. Those who choose immortality aren’t thinking ahead. The human race will eventually cease to exist, and it will get mighty lonely. Even if we manage to survive a few billion years, the sun will eventually become a red giant and absorb Mercury, Venus, and possibly Earth. At best, it’ll be too toasty for humans to survive. So you’d be all alone on a barren planet (or pulled into the sun) for eternity.
    I think they call that Hell…

  10. Invincible for 2 minutes: I would use it to beat Ben Lurvey’s score in Bejeweled Blitz. TWICE!

    Immortality: I would love it if I was 9-years-old forever. Although it would only involve the dates of April 22 through April 29, June 2 through August 26 and December 22 through December 29 (the dates with no school from 1984).

  11. @SpiralArchitect:

    WTF??? You remember all your school vacations from 1984 but you’ve forgotten my birthday TWICE since we got married.

    You might want to use that star to protect yourself from my wrath.

  12. Two minutes of invulnerability I would kill myself and see what is after death, but I would still live so I could share. I’d call it “Starman’s trip to nowhere.”

    If immortality were offered – the kind where I’d live after the sun went kablamo – I’d be all over it like a Skepchick on a beer. Can you imagine the discovery? Every day would be twice as beautiful knowing I could pursue this or that idea as long and deep as I wish with plenty of time for all the other possibilities.

    After the end of our solar system I would get to see first hand the creation of a new solar system and (probably) fusion from inside the star! Billions of years would pass that way until, again, I would get to participate in another solar system’s life.

    If I were so lucky (or so well planned) I could even end up on a planet. Probably not Earth-like, but an amazing experience just the same. Or, possibly, I could join human’s in a space journey that never ends for me. Oh, wow!

  13. @Elyse:
    All I know is there are back-to-back days in June I need to acknowledge. If I show up with a gift (best if it is a Surlyramic), my chances for love will slightly improve.

  14. Immortality with eternal youth: Yes. Otherwise, no.

    As for the Invinvible star, I don’t know what I’d do. All those things do is stop you getting hurt if you bump into a creature,and I already don’t get hurt by bumping into people.

  15. @Elyse
    Do jumping off skyscrapers count as bottomless? :)
    Anyways, survivability seems to vary widely between Mario games. In super mario bros., it seems like bottomless chasms will do it. In Mario 64, a huge fall will take off 1/3 of your life, no matter the height, unless it is bottomless. In Mario Galaxy, oddly enough, you don’t take damage and you only die if you get spaghettified by a black hole, which is the equivalent of a bottomless chasm.

    I know, I am a Mario geek.

  16. @IBY:

    I think a Mario purist would say that any fall over 5 feet would mean certain death even if you are starified.

    I say if you’re going to risk it, eat my cake! At least it was delicious!

  17. I wish I could have the cake. :)
    Although you know, just because one is immortal doesn’t guarantee that whatever one does is not going to hurt. So I don’t think I would risk it.

  18. 2 minutes of invincibility wouldn’t be enough for me even to run the series of experiments of slowly increasingly dangerous activities necessary for me to believe I was invincible.

    And “would you like to be immortal?”… Okay, let me say “yes please, but I have a lot of required conditions”. I don’t want to risk floating around after the heat death of the universe with nothing to do except reminiscing about the good old days of 14*10^9.

  19. For all I know, I’ve already been intermittently invincible for periods much greater than 2 minutes. I was in two quite serious road accidents in one month on 2005 in one of which the car I was in got utterly totaled and in had nothing but a couple of bruises and a small abrasion to show for it.
    I’d love to live forever and am furious that there’s a non-zero chance that I won’t get to. Just think of all the marvelous stuff that will no doubt happen in the future and I’ll miss out on in the event I don’t live forever! The thought I may one day die is almost enough to make me cry. I already miss me.

  20. Ironically enough, I was thinking about wishes on the way home. The two I would start with are:

    1) To always be in perfect health for a man of my age.

    2) To win the Texas lottery next time I buy a ticket.

    I can see difficulties with living forever, especially if I were invincible (and thus couldn’t kill myself when it becomes intolerable).

    Two minutes of invincibility? I don’t know what I would do… pretty much everything that would result from two minutes of invincibility (i.e. beating the crap out of everything) would have long-term consequences.

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