cutoffmyfeet.com! Yep, that's right. "Cut off my Feet dot-com." Paul "Freck" Morgan is planning on cutting off his feet with a homemade guillotine on Halloween, and will be web-casting it to anybody who pays the $19.99 subscription fee.
But, seriously, it's for medical reasons. Several years ago Freck was riding in the back of a pick-up truck that was towing a boat. Freck decided to hop from the truck onto the boat while the whole thing was going down the highway at 50 mph. Freck didn't make it into the boat.
Freck lost the use of his feet, but new advances in prosthetics would make it possible for him to walk normally once again. The problem is, you can't be fitted for a prosthetic while you are still attached to your original limbs. Freck has no insurance, and Medicaid won't pay to amputate feet that pose no immediate danger to their owner.
Enter the web. Freck is building a homemade guillotine to chop off the offending feet on October 31. He's hoping to raise enough money from the web-cast to purchase new prosthetic feet that will help him live a more normal life. Oh, and he's having the original feet frozen, in case they can be re-attached someday. See, it's not such a strange story after all.
cutoffmyfeet.com - Freck's New Feet
The full story on Alternet
Meanwhile, it's time for a reading update. Yesterday I finished Sunnyvale: The Rise and Fall of Silicon Valley Family by Jeff Goodell. According to the dust jacket, Sunnyvale is "a portrait of one family's fate in a brutally Darwinian world" and that doesn't even begin to describe this incredible book.
Think your family's got problems? Think you're stuck in the middle, enmeshed between feuding siblings and parents? You've got nothing on the Goodell clan. Set against a backdrop of the growth of the Silicon Valley, from sleepy little slow-paced orchard-filled bedroom community to the congested frenetic center of the new economy, Sunnyvale reads as a Shakespearean tale of a deposed King trying vainly to keep his dynasty together. And it's all true.
In this stunning memoir Goodell contrasts his father's downfall in the old world of landscape design and construction to his mother's rise in the new world of bits and bytes, and the disastrous effects it had on their children. Throw in a couple of divorces, plenty of sex and drugs, enough alcohol to fill the San Francisco bay, cancer, AIDS, and the prodigal return of a robot building grandfather, and you've got one hell of a good book.
This is truly "can't put down" reading at its best. Jeff Goodell is also the author of The Cyberthief and the Samurai. I give a strong recommendation for Sunnyvale: The Rise and Fall of Silicon Valley Family.