Science fiction captured my interest early in life with television programs
like “Star Trek” and “Twilight Zone” along with the works of Jules Vern’s
“Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” and “Around the World in Eighty
I was fascinated with seeing the science and invention predicted by early
fiction writers come true in real life.
Current television programming is filled with the science fiction genre with
shows like “Under the Dome,” “Intelligence,” “Person of Interest,” “The Walking
Dead,” “Intelligence,” “Resurrection” and many more. The more you know about
science, the more you can understand and enjoy these programs.
When I was teaching, I liked to entice my students to read by finding unusual
stories. One that stands out in my memory was about a new area of science called
cryonics. The main character awoke in the future having had himself frozen in
hopes that he could be brought back to life when a cure for the disease that
killed him had been found.
In anticipation of his awakening, he had deposited $10,000 in a bank account.
Thinking that the interest he would have gained would make him a wealthy man
when he returned to life, he was proud of his farsightedness. He immediately
drew his money out of the bank and then caught a taxi to the nearest realtor’s
office to buy a house. When he got out of the cab, the driver said, “That will
be $2,000.” Shocked, he realized inflation had made him a poor man in his new
Cryogenics is the study of what occurs when materials are frozen at extremely
low temperatures. Cryonics is the technique by which human bodies can be stored
and later revived. People who believe in the validity of the process are
experiencing the modern version of the search for the fountain of youth.
There are people who have paid for their future ticket to Mars and there are
those who have paid from $28,000 to $200,000 to have themselves preserved for a
life in the future. More than 200 bodies have been stored, and 1,000 have
already paid for their preservation after death.
Before one undergoes the procedure, he must be pronounced legally dead which
means that the heart must have stopped beating. These scientists believe that
there is a difference between legally dead and totally dead in that some
cellular brain function remains.
At the time of death, a cryonics team stabilizes the body with oxygen and
blood while it is transported to a cryonic facility. There the body is put
through a process called vitrification, deep cooling without freezing. Sixty
percent of the water in the body is replaced with protective chemicals as the
temperature is lowered to -202 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ted Williams, the famous baseball player, is among those who are awaiting
revival. Urban legend places Walt Disney among the frozen, but that is not true.
Cryobiologists have predicted the first revival attempts might happen around