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Startup offering to preserve brain with '100 percent fatal' procedure for $10,000

Need a way to hold on to your memories forever? One startup is offering a special, but fatal, procedure to help you keep your brain active.

>> Read more trending news

Researchers at Nectome, a medical company founded by MIT graduates, have discovered a way to maintain brain functionality after death with high-tech embalming, a process used to prevent a body from decay. 

“Our mission is to preserve your brain well enough to keep all its memories intact: from that great chapter of your favorite book to the feeling of cold winter air, baking an apple pie, or having dinner with your friends and family,” co-founders Robert McIntyre and Michael McCanna wrote on the business’ website.

>> On If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain could start eating itself

They will target patients suffering from terminal illnesses. The individuals will be sedated, connected to heart and lung machines, and injected with the embalming chemicals while they are alive.

The procedure is “100 percent fatal,” the founders warned, but the solution “can keep a body intact for hundreds of years, maybe thousands, as a statue of frozen glass.”

The analysts believe their investigations will help future scientists “recreate consciousness” and retrieve information from the brain’s molecular details. 

>> Related: A few glasses of wine a day can keep your brain ‘clean,’ study says

“You can think of what we do as a fancy form of embalming that preserves not just the outer details but the inner details,” McIntyre told MIT Technology Review.

“If the brain is dead, it’s like your computer is off, but that doesn’t mean the information isn’t there,” added Ken Hayworth, a neuroscientist and president of the Brain Preservation Foundation -- the organization that awarded McIntyre for his recent work on preserving the pig brain.

>> Related: Scientists worry brain-wasting 'zombie deer' disease could spread to humans

The surgery is not yet available to the public as they are still unsure if the memories will be found in the dead tissues. However, they are inviting prospective customers to join a wait list for a $10,000 deposit, which is fully refundable. So far, 25 people have signed up. 

“When a generation of people die, we lose all their collective wisdom. You can transmit knowledge to the next generation, but it’s harder to transmit wisdom, which is learned,” McIntyre said. “That was fine for a while, but we get more powerful every generation. The sheer immense potential of what we can do increases, but the wisdom does not.”

Snuggie refund: Some customers getting checks after buying 'as-seen-on-TV' products

If you’ve bought a Snuggie, a Perfect Tortilla, a Forever Comfy or any of a handful of other “as-seen-on-TV”-type products, you might be getting a refund.

>> Read more trending news

Officials with the Federal Trade Commission said more than 218,000 checks are being mailed -- each worth an average of $33.14 -- to customers who bought products from the Allstar Marketing Group, a direct marketer based in New York.  The company handling the refunds, Analytics, began sending refund checks to consumers Monday, according to FTC officials.

Authorities sued the company in 2015, alleging that it deceptively marketed its products by promoting a phony “buy-one-get-one-free” offer to consumers without disclosing additional costs for the deal.

In the FTC’s complaint, officials used as an example a commercial for the company’s Magic Mesh screen door.

“The company promised that it would ‘double the offer’ for consumers if they just paid ‘processing and handling fees,’” FTC officials said. “While consumers were led to believe that they would be getting two $19.95 products for ‘less than $10 each,’ in fact, the total cost with the undisclosed $7.95 ‘processing and handling’ fees jumped from the advertised price of $19.95 to $35.85.”

Officials also charged that customers who called Allstar Marketing were immediately prompted to share their billing information and were charged for products before they could indicated how many items they wanted to buy. The company would then attempt to up-sell customers using automated voice prompts and sometimes following up the process by sending consumers to other third-party sellers with even more sales pitches.

“Once all of the offers ended, consumers were not told the total number of items they’d ‘agreed’ to buy, or the total amount they would be billed,” the FTC alleged in its complaint. “Allstar even charged those consumers who hung up mid-call, not intending to complete a sale.”

A federal judge in Illinois ordered Allstar Marketing in 2015 to stop its alleged deceptive marketing and ordered the company to pay $7.5 million for refunds to affected customers.

United Airlines mistakenly flies dog to Japan instead of Kansas City

United Airlines is under fire again after a family said the carrier accidentally sent their dog to Japan instead of Kansas City.

>> RELATED STORY: Dog dies on United Airlines flight after being placed in overhead bin

According to KCTV, Kara Swindle and her family, who are moving from Oregon to Kansas, took a United flight to Kansas City. Their dog, a 10-year-old German shepherd named Irgo, was supposed to be waiting in a United cargo facility when they arrived. 

But that wasn't the case.

When the Swindles went to pick up Irgo, they were greeted by a Great Dane instead, KCTV reported Wednesday. They soon learned that the airline had mixed up the two dogs and mistakenly flew Irgo to Japan, the Great Dane's intended destination.

>> Read more trending news 

In a statement, United told KCTV: "An error occurred during connections in Denver for two pets sent to the wrong destinations. We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible. We apologize for this mistake and are following up with the vendor kennel where they were kept overnight to understand what happened."

Irgo will be returned to the Swindles "later this week," KCTV reported.

The news comes the same week another family's dog died on a United flight after a flight attendant reportedly said the pet had to travel in an overhead bin.

Read more here.

Walmart to expand online grocery delivery to 100-plus cities

Walmart said Wednesday that it plans to expand its online grocery delivery option to more than 100 metro areas, up from its current six markets.

>> Read more trending news 

The giant retailer’s announcement will mean it is joining a fierce battle for customers in the growing market for grocery delivery, as the industry continues to be reshaped by e-commerce.

>> On 5 ways grocery stores will change in the next 4 years

The news comes days after Kroger shared that it was also dramatically expanding grocery delivery by working with a third-party delivery service, and Amazon said in February that it’s planning to bring two-hour delivery to Whole Foods across the U.S. this year.

Walmart said after it expands its online grocery delivery option that more than 40 percent of U.S. households will be able to buy groceries through the service.

>> On After Amazon’s Whole Foods purchase, grocery industry braces for change

“Ninety percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store, and we serve more than 150 million customers a week, which gives us a unique opportunity to make every day a little easier for busy families,” said Tom Ward, Walmart’s U.S. vice president of digital operations.

Walmart is already growing its grocery pickup option where the order is brought to the customer’s car, which is another trend in the industry also being used by its competitors. The option is in 1,200 stores with 1,000 more to be added this year.

Rita's Italian Ice offering free treats on first day of spring

As the country says farewell to a long, harsh winter for many, it's time to celebrate springtime with a free treat.

>> Read more trending news 

Rita's Italian Ice is once again giving away a free Italian ice on March 20 from noon to 9 p.m.

The promotion has grown in popularity over the years, with almost 1 million Italian ice cups given away in a nine-hour period in 2017, according to Rita's.

For those who love cool treats, Dairy Queen will mark the first day of spring with a free cone promotion.

Dairy Queen's ‘Free Cone Day’ promotion returns for first day of spring

After a brutal winter across many parts of the country, many will welcome the first day of spring March 20.

>> Read more trending news 

Dairy Queen is once again marking the season change with its fourth annual Free Cone Day. Participating Dairy Queen locations will offer customers a free small vanilla soft-serve cone, while supplies last. 

In addition to free ice cream, Dairy Queen locations will be collecting donations for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Last year, Dairy Queen raised more than $300,000 in a single day, according to a company news release.

Walmart to expand new meal kit service

Last fall, Walmart started offering meal kits from third-party brands. Now it’s ready to take the trend into its own hands.

The major retailer announced Monday that it will be selling its own affordable preportioned meal kits with recipes developed by its Culinary and Innovation Center.

The meal kits, which will be available in more than 2,000 of its stores over the course of this year, work the same way as the pricier Blue Apron, HelloFresh and other meal subscription services.

>> Read more trending news 

Walmart’s kits, which include meals such as steak dijon, basil garlic chicken, sweet chili chicken stir fry and pork Florentine, are designed to serve two and only cost $8-$15, according to the company.

Also up for grabs at Walmart stores: An assorted selection of meals, including chicken Alfredo, curry chicken and other entrees, ready to be heated up and on the table in less than 15 minutes. 

“Customers are busier than ever and we know getting a delicious dinner on the table can be a chore. We’re here to help,” Tyler Lehr, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of Walmart’s deli services, said in the news release. “These delicious meals give the best or worst of cooks a fresh, easy option for dinner tonight, or later this week.”

According to the release, also offers an assortment of meal delivery kits and other specialty food items, such as snack boxes and farm-fresh crates.

Oreo is giving away a million bars for National Oreo Day

Fans of Oreos can snag a free treat Tuesday, which is National Oreo Day.

>> Read more trending news 

Oreo is giving away a million free Oreo chocolate candy bars. The first million to register on Oreo's website will receive a coupon for a free candy bar. The giveaway ends Monday, or after a million participants have been registered.

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is celebrating his birthday by promoting the Oreo giveaway.

The famous cookie was created by the National Biscuit Co. in 1912.

Lacoste temporarily replaces crocodile logo with endangered species

Fashion brand Lacoste’s iconic crocodile was replaced with rare reptiles, birds and mammals for a limited run of shirts to raise awareness of endangered species.

>> Read more trending news

During Paris Fashion Week, the French clothier teamed up with the International Union for Conservation of Nature for the “Save Our Species” collection. The line of 1,775 shirts was made up of Lacoste’s signature polos, each with one of 10 endangered animals taking the place of the brand’s crocodile.

The shirts have since sold out, CNN reported.

The polos featured the Gulf of California porpoise, the Burmese roofed turtle, the northern sportive lemur, the Javan rhino, the Cao-vit Gibbon, the kakapo, the California condor, the Saola, the Sumatran Tiger and the Anegada ground iguana in place of Lacoste’s crocodile.

The number of polos made with each endangered species on it corresponds to the number of animals still living in the wild, according to Lacoste. The Gulf of California porpoise, considered the most endangered marine mammal species still on Earth, was on 30 of the shirts. The Anegada ground iguana got the most polos, with a run of 450 shirts.

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