The Far Side of E-Commerce 2000, Part II

In Part I of this special report, the E-Commerce Times explored an Internet industry segment that we have dubbed “odd-commerce,” highlighting some of the weirdest and wackiest items being offered for sale online.

However, some of the offerings on the far side of e-commerce are more interesting and surprising than weird. For example, The Property Organisation offers “odd or unusual” real estate for sale. If you have the means to invest in a truly unique getaway, consider an island, castle, lighthouse, martello tower, or railway station. The site offers a watermill in an “idyllic situation 4 miles from Norwich” that looks particularly nice.

Future Glory

The Internet also offers a variety of fascinating means to make your mark on civilization. The LegaSea Time Capsule provides an economical alternative to the widely publicized deployment of outer space capsules, which the site says are “financially out-of-reach for most of us.”

Referring to the out-of-this-world offerings of a company called Celestis, LegaSea explains: “For around $5000 (US$) you can contract to have a lipstick-sized canister of cremains placed into a low earth orbit by a Pegasus rocket. One day that small canister becomes a shooting star when its orbit degrades into the upper atmosphere. What a great idea for space lovers like Gene Roddenbury and Timothy Leary, who were on the first orbital load.”

But LegaSea offers a different, more enduring option. “How protected will a LegaSEA Time Capsule be, resting somewhere between 4,000 and 36,000 feet deep?” the site asks.

“Maybe a direct asteroid impact could destroy it. A volcanic eruption could end its mission. Perhaps undersea explorers like Dr. Robert Ballard, who discovered the resting place of the Titanic at nearly 13,000 feet, could grapple a LegaSEA and bring it back to the surface using the deep submersible Alvin. That’s not very likely considering the vastness of the oceans,” the site says.

“We think that future archeologists will look at a 100 to 500 year old LegaSEA Time Capsule that has been washed onto a beach as an invaluable find, sent to the future from the beginning years of the Information Age,” LegaSea predicts. Suggested contents include poetry, art, humor, manuscripts, essays, political ideas, photos, newspaper clippings and that unpublished manuscript — which LegaSea says “could be a big hit 500 years from now.”

Mind Out of Time

If you want to be around to see how your manuscript is received, check out the Alcor Life Extension Foundation site for information on “CryoTransport,” which the site says is “the process of placing a person into cryostasis after a terminal illness or a fatal accident, in the hope that medical science will be able to resuscitate that person in the future, when life extension and anti-aging have become a reality.”

Alcor’s services will cost from $50,000 to $120,000, depending on whether you select neurosuspension or whole body suspension. The site claims that the fee can be paid by taking out a life insurance policy and naming Alcor as the beneficiary. Alcor also charges a $150 sign-up fee and dues of $360 per year, which the company says are used primarily for nonprofit research.

By the time you are awakened from cryostasis, the information on a globe of Mars — which you can purchase from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific — may seem a bit more relevant. The site says the globe was produced in cooperation with NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, and includes over 100 well known topographical features. The Mars globe goes for $94.95, plus shipping. The site also offers globes of Venus and the Moon.

Roots, Rituals and Runes

If you are more interested in healing your body in the here and now than in preserving it for the next millennium, you might want to consider the offerings at Planet Herbs. According to the site, Planet Herbs is “a small botanical company located in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia.”

In addition to its extensive selection of herbs, roots and barks, Planet Herbs offers Native American ritual items such as abalone shells, smoking mixtures and sweetgrass braids. The site warns that some of the items might be hazardous if used improperly.

Considering the potential danger, you might rather have someone perform your rituals for you. In that case, fly by the “Magick Store” of The Ancient Order of Spitzalod, and for $80, Grand Master Tomemaster will perform a “Candle Ritual” for you. “You name the problem,” the site says.

Or you can pull out all the stops and engage four “covens of power” to cast a spell on your behalf for just $300. This is also the site that offers runes for sale containing “the highly charged blood of an authentic Wizard.”

Lest you forget that in odd-commerce, “commerce” is the operative word, the Ancient Order of Spitzalod accepts payment by electronic check.

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