“Rage, rage against the dying of the light”

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March 5th 2030

The elevator doors opened, and I stepped out and rushed to our mail room. “Here, Mike,” our mail carrier said as he handed me a manila envelope with a government seal on the upper left corner. I thanked him and walked back to the elevator. On the ride up to my apartment, I remembered that the following day was my 90th birthday.

I opened the envelope and as I had hoped, it was the application that I had been expecting. It was from the U.S. Department of Life Extension…


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It was a late afternoon in September. I was having a drink in a downtown Vancouver bar near the wharf with my friend Frank, a brown 400-pound Giant Pacific Octopus from the Gulf Islands, off the town of Victoria. We had been getting together for a drink every month for the past year.

I set up my computer and started Google Translate for our conversation. (Did you know that Google offered interspecies translating for $14.50 a month?) …


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In 2017, a family member named Adelle told me about a personal experience that I was going to hear many times over the next few years.

The previous year she had fallen while painting a mural high up on a pool house wall. She landed head-first on the concrete slab surrounding the pool. Her head was bleeding, and she was unconscious. Her husband called 911 and the paramedic who checked her pulse said that her heart had stopped beating.

“Mike,” she said, “I was floating inside a tunnel whose walls were made of clouds. It was so peaceful. I sensed…


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I Love Superhumans

As children, we are drawn to fairy tales about giants, wizards and monsters. As we grow older, many of us remain fascinated by stories of superheroes. Stan Lee, the creator of numerous fictional superheroes, such as Spiderman, for comic books and movies, produced a successful tv series called “Superhumans.” Its 31 episodes portrayed people with unusual endurance, strength, memory, flexibility, temperature control, resistance to heat and cold and other qualities one might label “superpowers.” Lee gave his episodes exotic titles: “Electroman,” “Killer Punch,” “Rubber Band Man,” and “Human Crash Test Dummy.”

I loved this series and watched…


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Many years before the invention of cell phones and the global positioning system, my wife and I took a road trip through rural Vermont. At some point we got lost, and our maps turned out to be useless. We drove up the gravel driveway to a nearby farmhouse and heard the sound of someone splitting logs for firewood.

We introduced ourselves to the farmer, an old and bearded man, and asked for directions. My wife noticed the axe he was using and asked him about its history. He said, “Well, this axe is been in my family since 1860.” We…


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It’s early morning on New Year’s Day 2075. I’m sitting in my living room with a cup of coffee and watching the snow fall. The fireplace is throwing off heat as the logs slowly vanish. I’m enjoying a conversation with my twin “brother” who inhabits a small but powerful laptop computer that sits on a table with a view of our garden. Mike2, as we agreed to call him, doesn’t drink coffee or anything else. He is my uploaded brain.

I’m 81 years old and today is Mike2’s “birthday.” Three years ago, two technicians from Eternal Life Brain Scans came…


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In the 1998 movie Armageddon, NASA discovers a Texas-sized asteroid that will hit the earth in 18 days. The President asks: “What kind of damage are we…”. The reply: “Damage? Total, sir. It’s what we call a global killer. The end of mankind. Doesn’t matter where it hits. Nothing would survive, not even bacteria.”


How the Universe Slows Down Time

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In the film Interstellar, a global crop blight is slowly rendering the Earth uninhabitable.


Why Changing the Past Will Not Alter the Future

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I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of time travel, especially the possibility of using my knowledge of the present to change past lives or historical events. By travelling back in time, I could warn the U.S. government about the plot to bring down the Twin Towers. Or journey even further back to prevent Hitler from creating the Nazi Party and starting World War II.

On a more personal note, I could give my parents stock tips that would make them rich. I might even go back to 1958 and retake…


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In the 1968 film 2001 Space Odyssey, HAL, a sentient computer, goes rogue and attacks its crew. In the 1983 film The Terminator, a computer system called Skynet becomes self-aware and attempts to destroy the human race through nuclear war. When The Terminator was released, artificial intelligence (AI) was in its infancy. That has changed. Situations depicting AI-powered machines taking over now appear all too plausible and lead us to wonder whether AI is making a useful contribution or runs the risk of endangering humanity.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

In a 2018 paper for the Brookings Institution, Darrell West and…

Michael Franzblau PhD

Michael Franzblau is a NJ-based writer and educator with a PhD in Physics. Two of his books, Teach and be Rich and Tuition Without Tears can be found on Amazon.

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