Sunday, May 20, 2018
News Roundup

Physicist Michio Kaku shares predictions for 2100 at MOSI

TAMPA — In the future, cars will drive themselves, people will talk to walls and the walls will talk back.

With the blink of an eye, a contact lens will connect to the Internet, pulling up a biography on a person you look at and translate when he speaks Chinese.

Another blink, and you can choose a movie and watch it on a tiny LCD display on the eye's surface.

These inventions are coming down the pike, says Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist and futurist, who co-founded string field theory.

Kaku revealed his predictions for the year 2100 at the Museum of Science and Industry auditorium last week as part of the Frontier Forum lecture series, hosted by the USF Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Faculty.

About 1,200 people came to the free lecture, the largest crowd yet for the series that started in 2010. Kaku, a bestselling author known for making scientific theories relevant and understandable, was paid $27,700 for the Tampa event.

So why believe him? Kaku made a number of predictions in the 1990s that have mostly come true, he says. He said the human genome would be decoded by 2005 (it was completed in 2003), and that organs would be grown from a person's own cells for transplants (it's happening now).

In his latest book, Physics of the Future, Kaku interviewed 300 top scientists, Nobel laureates and directors of laboratories, picking their brains for future inventions. Like this: a chip in our toilets that will detect cancer 10 years before a tumor forms by analyzing our urine and feces.

And this: computers that are embedded in everyday objects such as note pads and household appliances and accessed from a "cloud" that follows us.

Aging will be slowed or maybe even halted. New discoveries have pinpointed the mechanisms that cause aging, Kaku said. It's the buildup of genetic or cellular errors. Over time, skin cells start to get sluggish and no longer function properly and bones become brittle and hollow. Error-correcting mechanisms in cells start to fail. Targeting those mechanisms, Kaku said, could extend our lives.

"Some of my colleagues say they want to live long enough to live forever," he said.

Kaku, who is 65, isn't so sure. But he does think people will be able to live decades longer.

• • •

As a child, Kaku had two heroes: Flash Gordon and Albert Einstein.

Both led to his passions for physics and the future. With Flash Gordon, Kaku realized it was the scientist who made things work — even though he didn't get the girl.

When Kaku was 8, Einstein's death was in all the newspapers. He remembered a front page story about the man, and an unfinished theory that had stumped him for the last 30 years of his life.

"I said to myself, 'I want to try to finish it,' " Kaku said.

Kaku's parents were poor Japanese immigrants who met behind barbed wire in an internment camp in California during World War II. Growing up, Kaku came to realize that pursuing his dreams would be up to him.

He was 17 when he asked his mom if he could build an atom smasher in the garage.

"She said 'sure, go ahead,' " Kaku recalled.

The experiment got him into Harvard University, where he graduated first in his physics class. He then earned his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.

Kaku's quest to complete Einstein's theory may have been reached with the Higgs boson, a particle that was discovered by scientists in Switzerland in July. It's the final piece of Einstein's theory and the holy grail for Kaku and other physicists because it is believed to contain the answers to how the universe came about.

Kaku calls this search his day job.

When Kaku isn't pursuing the origins of the universe, or predicting the future, he likes to unwind on the ice, where he and his wife are amateur figure skaters.

But then again, ice skating relies on physics, too, he says.

Elisabeth Parker can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3431.

Comments
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

UPDATE, 2:27: If the Rays win today, it would be their first four-game sweep since Sept. 20-23, 2013, vs. Baltimore and first on the road since Aug. 16-19 here at Anaheim. … It also would be the first time they swept back to back series on the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offere...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

SANTA FE, Texas — Hardworking. Funny. Loving. Grieving family and friends recalled the endearing qualities of some of the victims of Friday’s mass shooting at a Texas high school, as authorities on Saturday released the names of the 10 killed. Eight ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Softball: Scouting the Academy at the Lakes vs. Lake Worth Christian semifinal

Softball: Scouting the Academy at the Lakes vs. Lake Worth Christian semifinal

Academy at the Lakes (24-4) vs. Lake Worth Christian (10-3)Where: 11:50 a.m. Monday at Historic Dodgertown, Vero BeachHow they got thereAcademy at the Lakes defeated Seacrest Country Day 11-1, defeated Canterbury 5-1Lake Worth Christian defeated...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Published: 05/20/18

Up to two tons of fertilizer spilled into channel leading to Tampa Bay, Kinder Morgan reports to state

TAMPA — As much as two tons of fertilizer accidentally spilled into a channel that leads to the upper part of Tampa Bay, according to a report sent Friday night to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. DEP spokeswoman Dee Ann Mil...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

TAMPA — A two-goal lead was suddenly only one, and the Washington Capitals, having pulled their goalie, had a furious 96-second siege.Andrei Vasilevskiy made the last three of his 28 saves to preserve the Lightning's 3-2 victory Saturday in Gam...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

TAMPA — Dan Girardi knew where the puck was heading. It was heading to Alex Ovechkin for a one-timer on net, so Girardi did the only thing he could do. He blocked it.With his rump."It hit me right in the cheek," said Girardi, the Lightning defe...
Published: 05/19/18