Writing science fiction means that I do a lot of research, and I run across a lot of interesting things. Sometimes they make it into the novels. Others, they’re filed as “good to know” for potential use later. Today, I’d like to share a few other fun facts that I’ve run across while writing my novels.
- There are also genetic mutations that can help you run faster, be more flexible, sleep less, sharpen your sense of taste, increase or decrease bone density, and protect you from malaria, high cholesterol, HIV, and prion diseases. Other mutations can also give you an extra set of eyelashes, help you see a wider range of colors, and increase your pain tolerance. This will come in handy writing the second half of Singularity.
- You can’t take antipsychotic medications with dementia medications. The combination can cause complications and even death. You have to chose which condition to treat. I learned this while researching drugs that can hallucinations if used improperly.
- There’s a mysterious signal coming from Proxima Centauri, and nobody’s certain what it is. It isn’t aliens, but the possibilities are so fascinating that I incorporated it into Broken Time.
- Forget light speed, there’s a speculative spacecraft we call an Alcubierre Drive that can achieve faster than light speeds by folding space. It was proposed by Miguel Alcubierre, a theoretical physicist, in 1994. I’ve used this concept several times in my scifi novels.
- There are a lot of spatial anomalies in our solar system. Most aren’t stable, but there are some sticking around that we don’t fully understand. Check out this article for some happening right in our solar yard!
- Research reported in 2022 indicate that depression is most likely not caused by a chemical imbalance. According to the study, research comparing levels of serotonin and it’s breakdown products in blood and brain fluids didn’t find a difference between individuals with depression and the control patients. Oops. That might explain why SSRI’s aren’t working. I ran across this recently doing research for the first half of Singularity.
- We’re getting dumber. A new study of human intelligence shows that, while American IQ’s rose drastically over the past century, there was a decline in cognitive abilities from 2006-2018 across four broad domains of intelligence. We’re slipping in logic, vocabulary, visual, and mathematical problem-solving and analogies. Overall IQ scores dropped 2 points and only rose by 1 point in the area of spatial reasoning. Why? The bets are that we’re getting lazy because our phones have become our surrogate brains, although there’s also a theory that we’ve plateaued, and it’s all downhill from here. We’d best be careful, because the AI is watching and learning as we continue to decline. It’s not a threat now, but it could be in the next 45-50 years at the current rates of development.
It’s amazing how you learn more about the world around you while you’re creating new ones. This stuff might not be applicable outside of writing, but it’s interesting to know more about the reality we live in.
And now, I’d better pull together the research I have, and get the second half of Singularity written.
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great week.