Ben Best as I Have Known Him

by Shannon Vyff/Trice author of 21st Century Kids, an adventure story that teaches futurist issues to children. One of the authors of The Scientific Conquest of Death. Educational adviser to The Lifeboat Foundation.

I first met Ben through "meeting" him on the net. I'd been referred to him by a friend in the CR Society for the answer to a nutrition question I was asking. He had left the CR society to start a CRAN group, but Ben was respected by long time members who referred me.

I was a newbie and had not heard of him before. From the first time I contacted him I was in awe of the depth he put into research. I kept contact over time and eventually met him in person. He was as warm in person as on-line, and I realized that he didn't just write like an encyclopedia -- he actually talked like that! Ben didn't need to research before answering a complicated technical question, he could not only give you a relevant answer, while making new connections in the process -- he'd also reference many studies while speaking on whatever subject you asked about "live time" and his sentences came out like paragraphs.

Over the years I stayed in contact with him from time to time. We shared life stories and I always appreciated his scientific outlook as to how the brain works and how we humans feel emotions. I contacted him when I went through a very hard time in my life, the break up of a 10 year marriage with the biological father of my three children. He helped me through a process of finding a new mate, and father for my children -- he gave me support every step of the way. Ben was always there for me, as a listening ear and to give sound advice; from how the brain works, to how hormones and emotions work. We would discuss our own respective backgrounds as to the very evolutionary nature of humans.

Ben is scientific and like a monk in how he sequesters himself to work. He is devoted to topics that interest him, he will do what he says he will do and he usually attempts to be very honest. Ben has had lovers, but has never married or started a family. There is the side of him that always wished he had.

I am an only child and Ben has been like an Uncle to my children over the years, and I'll always appreciate the time he has given them. Playing element games with my son -- letting my boy pick a number on the element chart -- while Ben -- without looking at a thing -- can often recite not only the element but everything about and its history back, to the amazement of my child. He sent links to on-line element and math games for the older two to play. He has consulted my eldest daughter on what she can use for her school cryonics project. He has said "hi" to my youngest and listens to her stories, just so she gets attention too!

I've known Ben for 5 years. I hope to know him for a long time to come. I'm a cryonicist as well, and am deeply in gratitude for all he has done for the field.

Also -- a telling story of the impact Ben has had not only on me, my family, the cryonicists, the dietary life extensionists -- but the world in general: When my eldest was 4 years old (she is now 11), before I knew Ben, before I was into Calorie Restriction, Cryonics, or spreading awareness about our moral need to end aging while also ending inequality in the world -- I looked up the roots of Christmas on-line. At every holiday, since I raise my children as Unitarian Universalists and we learn of all the world's religions -- I also research the history of the holiday and read it to them for a bedtime story. I printed off a well written story, that had good research, and read it to my kids never noticing who'd written it. Years later when Ben mentioned his Christmas article was the most "viewed" thing on his site -- I looked at it -- and it was the same one I had printed, folded and put on the "Christmas" section of my book shelf along with all the books I had! Here is the link if you have not read it:

The History of Christmas

I told Ben about that, and I've told him how much I appreciate all he does -- and he may never really know -- but I hope that in your interactions with him you too will come to be in awe of him for something...

Enjoy his site and all the contributions he has made to humanity's knowledge!