September 18, 2014

All Access Press Club (Subscribers)

Online all-access is free to print subscribers. Username is your account number, 7-digit number before the expiration date on your mailing label. Password is your zip code.


Science fiction can become fact
Written by Jim Robertson   
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 8:00 PM

In case you missed it, the White House has stated that they will not be building a Death Star as has been suggested by supporters to stimulate the economy.  A Death Star?  Really?

Somebody needs their Star Wars collectibles put in time out.

I believe that there is a treaty that our country is a signatory to which prohibits the militarization of space.

I know we probably are the only signer of the document to still be in business but the spirit of the agreement was clear.

God bless those nerdists who look like they belong on The Big Bang Theory for blurring the lines between fact and fantasy.

Why not work on something practical like teleportation. It worked great in Star Trek, not so good in The Fly.

How about time travel?  H. G. Wells examined the possibilities in print at the end of the 19th century.

Generally, movies and TV shows dealing with the subject make it seem relatively safe.

Think of the smell
I don’t want to travel back if nothing but for the smell.

Lack of sanitation would have made the experience just reek of history.  Just think of the diseases still prevalent that have been successfully treated with modern drugs.

For example, if you needed penicillin in the Middle Ages you would have had to lick the mold off the bread.

There is a theory that UFOs aren’t really from another world but that they are our distant descendants traveling back in time to observe us and make sure that we don’t do anything to jeopardize their future existence.

After all, for space travelers to be visiting us would most surely require the use of faster than light travel.

Traveling faster than the speed of light could be fun.  Is it possible given the laws of physics?

Don’t know.  One question posed by comedian Steven Wright comes to mind.  He said, “If you are traveling in an automobile at the speed of light and you turn on the headlights, do they do anything?”
How about the biosciences?  Movie scientists can clone anything.  We have ethical issues with actual cloning.  Remember Dolly the sheep?

Beats running from a Tyrannosaurus Rex that was cloned from the blood found in a mosquito locked in amber.

Remember those great black and white classics of the 50s? Radiation caused everything. Giant things, shrinking things, mutant things, big people, little people.

If you wanted to create some sort of monster movie in those days, radiation was your go to explanation.

But eventually we learned some uses of controlled radiation to treat disease, detect danger, cook and preserve food and many other uses.  We only seem to have a problem when safeguards don’t work and an entire nuclear plant melts down.

There are rumors in northern Japan of a giant lizard evolving near the nuke that was struck by the tsunami.  Who’d have thought it?

Taking flight
Science fiction sometimes becomes science fact. My grandmother was born seven years before the Wright Brothers first powered flight and by the end of her life, flights in space shuttles, the cargo trucks of space vehicles, were common.

Who knows what discoveries are in process in laboratories all over the world?

Just remember, they don’t always turn out good on the first attempt.  I had an uncle once who was an inventor.

He was trying to invent a new soft drink.  He came up with 1-up, 2-up, 3-up, 4-up, 5-up and 6-up.  Then he gave up.  Just think if he would have kept at it.

Excuse me.  I have to go.  Now if I can just get my Delorean up to the right speed, I can go back and tell my uncle to stick with it.

Jim Robertson is a longtime Harrison resident, a member of Harrison City Council, and a weekly columnist for The Harrison Press.