Category Archives: Could this Happen?

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No Light? No Problem.

Any superhero worth his or her salt has night vision: Doctor Mid-Nite, Wolverine, Peter Parker, Superman, Catwoman. Regular humans have desired this power for quite some time—night-vision devices have been around since World War II. But most of them look … Continue reading

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These Walls Have Ears

In season 5, episode 10 of Fringe, the Observers, hot on the trail of Walter and the gang, use an “LQ-7 unit” in Nina’s office to reconstruct the conversation she had a few minutes earlier. The Observers stick sensors to … Continue reading

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Microsoft’s Holographic System Will Project More Than Princess Leia

When I first watched R2D2 beam a hologram of a distraught Princess Leia onto a tabletop, I was more interested in how I could get my hands on that technology than I was about her problem (don’t judge—I was little … Continue reading

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The Apes Shall Inherit The Earth (Or At Least A Little Piece)

One of the reasons Planet of the Apes resonates so deeply with viewers is the plausibility of its premise. Have you ever seen monkeys up close? Their profound intelligence is clear, and there’s no question we evolved from them. Their … Continue reading

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Wake Me Up Before You Go Go

British neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote Awakenings in 1973, detailing his experiences giving a drug called L-Dopa (Levodopa, now commonly used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s by increasing the brain’s supply of dopamine) to catatonic patients. The book was later … Continue reading

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Am I Only Dreaming?

Ever since I first saw Nightmare on Elm Street as a kid (and watched Johnny Depp get blended by his bed and splattered on the ceiling), I’ve been fascinated and a little scared by dreams. If you die in your … Continue reading

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Back To The Future Part II: How Far Off Are We?

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads. Except we do. But flying cars do exist, such as the Terrafugia and the AeroMobil, aircraft-car hybrids that can fly, and then fold in their wings and drive around. There’s also the Florida-based … Continue reading

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Going Out For a Jaunt? Try Teleportation

I’ve long said that if I could have any superpower, it would be teleportation. To be liberated from airports, airplanes and tickets would be amazing. I wouldn’t mind leaving behind my passport and never suffering another border crossing again, although … Continue reading

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Double Take: NASA’s Twin Study

In the sci-fi novel Time for the Stars, Robert Heinlein explores something called the “twin paradox,” an Einstein-inspired thought experiment involving the splitting up of identical twins. One rockets off into space while the other remains on Earth. Even though … Continue reading

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New Man’s War

In John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, the home planet’s military consists of old folks who join the fight because they have nothing left to lose. Of course, they can’t just battle as is—they need some pretty serious upgrades first. They … Continue reading

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