My top 4 reasons you won’t see me in the water this summer.

I’ve been a horror movie fan for as long as I can remember. Over the course of many discussions, one common theme I’ve recognized in scary movie lovers is the older we get, the more the movies frighten us. I could have had a Silence of the Lambs/Rosemary’s Baby/Hellraiser all-day marathon and more when I was 13 and not bat an eye. Today? I’ll keep my fiancé up all night because of the house noises I think I hear or because I just can’t turn my brain off after watching something like that. Why? Simple – I understand more than I did back then. The very same thing can be said about my relationship with the ocean.

I had my first yearly family vacation to the beach when I was barely 5-months old and apparently, I was hooked instantly. Each year, we’d travel to the same place and I’d be one of those kids with balls of brass, charging right into the waves, not caring how deep the water was, how big the waves got, or what kind of creatures were near me. Now, you’re lucky if I get past ankles deep in the water, and this is why: the ocean is full of weird shit that I want nothing to do with.

4. Sheepshead Fish: because human teeth belong in humans.

Dude. Uncalled for.

Look at this guy – just look at him! No, it isn’t photoshopped; those human-like teeth are real, and they aren’t some freak-show accident, either. Unfortunately, this weirdo, known as the sheepshead fish, is fairly common; however, he won’t cause you to trip balls and he’s also not a hermaphrodite, so hey, there’s that.

3. Two-headed Shark: because fuck no.

Let’s just say, this one looks like it was made to attack mammals.

Then, we have this – er – these little fellows here. Yes, ladies and gentleman, we have a two-headed shark. While we may not see them very often, two-headed sharks, snakes, and even lizards are not overly rare; we just don’t see them often because they tend to die shortly after being born.

2. Cannibal Lobsters: because if you’re too eager to wait for the clarified butter, you don’t belong near my ankles.

This is what Wegmans looks like in horror movies.

Who could forget this? The touching tale of the cannibal lobsters in Maine. Apparently, overly warm water environments lead to cannibalism. Sure, unless you’re a lobster, you probably have nothing to worry about, but who really enjoys swimming with cannibals of any sort? Certainly not I!

1. The Ugly One: because anything that can survive Lake Ontario waters is probably undead.

Those beastly fangs. Those soulless eyes. And he’s not even from Buffalo.

I suppose I could be thankful I live in Rochester and therefore, hours away from any creepy underwater creatures, but nothing is ever that easy, now is it? I don’t know about you, but I still haven’t forgotten about “The Ugly One” – Lake Ontario’s very own mutant ninja…whatever.

I’d rather see all of the above in some terrible, barely B-rated made-for-tv SciFi movie than swimming past me and nibbling at my toes when I’m trying to keep cool on a hot summer day. With that said, I know as soon as the weather is right, I’ll be back at Charlotte Beach. We all have our weaknesses, isn’t that what horror movies are all about?

Happy SciFriday, Everyone!

Sci-Friday Space Porn

To Saturn and beyond? For Pac-Man, anything is possible.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope. It’s Pac-Man! Perhaps everyone’s favorite ghost gobbler from the 80s isn’t making a comeback to our television or computer screens just yet, but that’s okay. He’s found a much larger place to reside: in one of Saturn’s moons.

Scientists with NASA’s Cassini mission have spotted this second Pac-Man shaped feature on the moon Tethys in Saturn’s system. That’s right; this is not the first Pac-Man on the moon. The first space Pac-Man was found on Mimas back in 2010. According to Carly Howett, lead author of a recent paper in the online journal, Icarus,

“Finding a second Pac-Man in the Saturn system tells us that the processes creating these Pac-Men are more widespread than previously thought. The Saturn system – and even the Jupiter system – could turn out to be a veritable arcade of these characters.”

The Pac-Man shapes were found in thermal data obtained by a composite infrared spectrometer with the warmer areas making the Pac-Man shape. Scientists theorize that this is caused by the high-energy electrons bombarding the lower latitudes on the forward-facing side of the moon as it orbits Saturn. In turn, this bombardment then converts the area into hard-packed ice. As a result, the altered surface does not respond to heat or cooling as quickly as the rest of the surface.

Although you have to admit that Pac-Man in Space would be a pretty cool video game plot, this finding actually paves a lot of ground for future research beyond gaming. The origins of this particular Pac-Man provides scientists with deeper insight into how planets and moons are shaped, as well as the diversity of the processes in Saturn’s system. Moving forward, as Cassini project scientist, Linda Spilker says it,

“Future Cassini observations may reveal other new phenomena that will surprise us and help us better understand the evolution of moons in the Saturn system and beyond.”

To Saturn and beyond? For Pac-Man, anything is possible.

Sci-Friday VIDEO

Forbidden love, magic and chicks with really long tongues. The newest Jet Li

We all have our flaws. Some love too quickly. Some love too deeply. Some love the wrong species. It happens.

And in China, there is an old story about a scholar and a mystical white snake who fall in love. This story has apparently evolved over the years into many different interpretations, including horror stories (the scholar is unaware that his love is the White Snake) and classical Romeo and Juliet meets Snakes on a Plane love story.

I’m not at all sure which interpretation, if either of those, is represented by Jet Li’s newest venture. Which ever one is most appropriately adorned with explosions and kick-ass kung-fu ass whoopin, I presume. Either way, the trailer promises lots of action, lots of Cirque du Soleil style colorfulness and a lot of feminine tongues of extraordinary length. All things considered, this seems like a potential win for the horny and the high. Speaking of which, don’t forget to tell the Democrat and Chronic(le) you’d be OK with voting to legalize weed:


Rochester Sci-Friday

Don’t stop the spooky! This weekend’s expiry-focused festivities in Rochester

Once again, Halloween has come and gone, but the spooky holidays aren’t over just yet. In fact, we are currently still in the midst of one, or two, depending how you view it. As per Mexican, Guatemalan, and Bolivian tradition (among others),  people across the Western Hemisphere are paying homage to lost loved ones in observances that began yesterday with All Saints Day and continue through today with All Souls Day, more commonly referred to as the Days of the Dead.

While the Halloween we celebrate was not directly influenced by Day of the Dead, it has adopted some of its customs, most notably the enjoyment of sweets, costumes, and macabre icons.  Hurricane Sandy may have put a damper on many youngsters trick-or-treating plans this week, but for those who celebrate Day of the Dead, this holiday represents much deeper roots that could not be canceled or delayed.  Elio Masferrer, an anthropologist who focuses on Mexican religious studies explains,

“In the European-Christian notion of death, our loved ones go far away and we’re left to survive on our own. But in the Mexican case, in Andean countries, the world of the living and the dead co-exist. The living seek help and protection from the dead, especially on Day of the Dead.”

Day of the Dead is viewed by many as a re-encounter with lost loved ones, and, despite its name, is a joyful holiday and celebration of life. Traditional celebrations include picnics in cemeteries, parades, gravestone decorating, and feasts. The most popular symbols associated with Day of the Dead are sugar skulls and marigolds.

Although Day of the Dead celebrations in Rochester are not quite the same, they aren’t nonexistent, either. If you’re looking to get out and about tonight, check out the Outer Body Masquerade Ball tonight at Max of Eastman Place to celebrate Halloween, Masquerade, and Day of the Dead all in one.

Remember – no matter what the retail stores tell you, it’s not Christmas yet, so make the most of this fun and spooky time before Turkey Day while we still can!


Sci-Friday Technology

Meet the sire of all vehicular manslaughter fantasy games: Death Race (1976)

I suck at video games.  The one and only time I attempted to play Halo, I somehow managed to keep shooting myself and that was the end of that. Not only am I terrible, but I tend to miss the point all together. Sure I could collect these coins and kill that boss, but I could also shoot a hole in this wall and have a dance party instead! Needless to say, I rarely get invited to play video games, and by rarely, I mean never.

However, despite my lack of gaming skills, I still consider video games an iconic part of my growing up. I’ve experienced most everything from my parents’ Atari when I was little all the way up through whatever the hell my boyfriend plays now. In addition to the consoles growing and shrinking and the graphics evolving from crude triangles on a screen to something so detailed and realistic it could pass for a movie, the hype surrounding games has been a constant source of media scrutiny for as long as I can remember; specifically, the controversial violence involved.

The earliest controversial game I personally remember is Doom, but this saga goes back even farther than that. Way back in the 1970s, a game named Death Race was released and soon granted the prestigious title of original controversial video game. What started as a harmless game of reckless driving soon turned into the mass murders of gremlins, which as we all know, is generally frowned upon and not okay.  Shame on you, Death Race!

Death Race is played by driving your car around a single green screen, purposefully trying to run over “gremlins”. Simple enough, right? Here’s the twist. After you hit a gremlin, he shrieks, dies, and then turns into a grave marker. The more gremlins you kill, the more graves you have blocking your path, which, if you’ve reached the supreme level of “Gremlin Hunter” or “Expert Driver”, all those tombstones can become quite an obstacle. Time to let those driving skills shine where they matter most!

Perhaps the premise of the game was a little strange, but all in all, relatively harmless. Um, no.  Apparently, these gremlins resembled common day pedestrians way too much, and this caused quite the uproar. Also, a movie of the same name starring Sly Stone as a pedestrian-killing racer was released just before the video game. Either that, or people in the 70’s were really passionate when it came to gremlin rights. Regardless, parents protested, and news magazines and late night television couldn’t cover enough of it. Obviously, sales went up and Death Race became a big arcade hit.

Despite its compromising portrayal of gremlins, Death Race has thrived and grown over the years. You might know it today as the Grand Theft Auto series, which ironically, is the only game I have ever been semi okay at playing. Think of it! A world without GTA! Thanks to our arcade rat friends from Gen X, we’ll never have to.

Have any geeky, spooky, awesome, or just plain weird goings-on in Roc? Tell us about them in the comment section below! We’d love to cover them for Sci-Friday.



On your pre-Labour Day SciFriday, remember the workers: Metropolis on Netflix.

Happy Finally Friday! This week’s culmination happens to mark more than just the coveted end of the work week. It’s the last day of August (where the heck did this summer go anyway?), Killer Joe premieres tonight at the Little, and of course, there is the vaunted “blue moon” this evening.

For many of us, it’s the kickoff for a well-deserved long weekend. That’s right, folks, Labor Day weekend is just a mere few hours away! While a good majority of us can safely say we typically spend our work-free Mondays grilling and drinking beer anyway, that’s actually what this holiday is all about.  Cheers all around!

However, if beering and grilling your Monday away isn’t your preferred method of self celebration for your contributions as an American worker, you are festively in luck. Take 5 (and by 5, I mean more along the lines of 150 – minutes, that is) and indulge in a true iconic classic (albeit, not an American one, but stick with me here), Metropolis. Originally released in 1927, this dystopian science fiction film focusing on the plight of the workers, the thinkers, and a lusty hell-raising robot, will, if nothing else, have you truly appreciating your day off as well as whatever line of work you do – I promise. Plus, a good quarter of this film was lost for decades and only found and restored over the last four years; how cool is that?

The best part is you can currently find Metropolis streaming instantly on Netflix, just a click away on your computer or television in the comfort of the glory known as air conditioning. Sure, your grill-loving beer buddies will call you a nerd for opting to watch a SciFi movie on your day off instead of joining them for the true spirit of the season, but remember: they’re workers, and you, my friend, are a thinker. Just steer clear of robots, and have a safe a happy Labor Day weekend!



Don’t go anywhere! NetFlix pix for your SciFriday weekend!

I’m not the betting type, however, thanks to the wonders of social media (Twitter in particular), I’m willing to bet I’m not alone when I say this week was one of those weeks.  You know – the kind of week where when you finally get home from work, you want to immediately kick off your shoes and collapse into a pathetic heap on the couch and not do another single thing until your alarm summons you the following morning.  Luckily for me (and us, if you’re with me so far on this week’s commentary), Netflix had some stand-up gems in store.

One specifically I knew I had to share the first 20 minutes in. It’s called Super 8, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this film has it all. Do you like zombies? How about vengeful aliens? Or soundtracks composed of classic rock anthems from the ‘70’s? Maybe military conspiracies are more up your alley? Or just maybe, the typical Sci-Fi realm isn’t quite your cup of tea and you prefer the pre-pubescent male bonding over traumatic events a la Stand By Me? Whether you fit into all, none, or a combination of these categories, do yourself a favor and throw this movie onto your weekend queue.

Also, it’s time to get excited! As I covered in an earlier post, there’s quite an overlap between the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror – and I’ll be the first to admit I’m a horror movie fanatic! That’s why when I first saw the trailer for Killer Joe, the gory thriller flick starring Matthew McConaughey as a hit man, I was both elated and disheartened. Elated, because this movie looks downright awesome, and disheartened because the film received an NC-17 rating, something we don’t see a lot of (I personally have never seen a movie rated NC-17, despite turning 17 a decade ago). Most theaters either can’t or won’t show movies with this rating, forcing the producers to make changes that will bring the movie down to a nice wholesome R rating – but the team behind Killer Joe didn’t budge, which left me with a “rock on!” feeling for them, despite my disappointment in knowing I’d probably never get to see it.

Never fear, horror/thriller fans – Rochester’s own Little Theatre is here! That’s right – starting next Friday, August 31, the Little will begin showing Killer Joe! Just one of the nice perks of having an independent movie theatre in our hometown, and you better believe I will be there.

Know of any other great sci-fi, thriller, fantasy, or weird ongoings in Rochester? Comment and let us know! We’d love to hear about them!

Rochester Sci-Friday

SciFriday Rochester! Shark Week at MacGregor’s, Hunger Games at the Dollar Theater

It’s been an excellent week for getting your Sci-Fi fix in Rochester! That is, if you know where to look.

For starters, it’s Shark Week, and chances are, you’re one of two kinds of people: either you hold countdowns and make an unnecessarily large celebration out of this week-long television special, or you don’t understand the hype at all and think it’s ridiculous. I happen to fall into the first category, but as fate would have it, I do not have cable television and found myself wondering if I could watch some quality shark attacks at a local watering hole the same way I do for football games. The answer is yes. MacGregor’s on Jefferson Road has been airing Shark Week all, well, week.  Drinks and sharks all around! (Sidenote: if you find yourself wondering how Shark Week qualifies as Sci-Fi, I present you with Sharkzilla and How Jaws Changed the World. You’re welcome.)

Need some cheap quality Sci Fi entertainment? Henrietta’s Dollar Theater has you covered. Your choices this week are The Hunger Games, the film adaptation of the first book in Suzanne Collins’ dystopian coming of age and sticking it to the government series, or Prometheus, for those of you who prefer the traditional outer space and extraterrestrial type of science fiction film.  Both movies have received more than decent scores on Rotten Tomatoes, and hey – you can’t beat the price!

Finally, it’s Friday, and we all have the weekend on our minds. To wind down this fantastic week of Sci-Fi, head over to the Dryden to check out Steven Spielberg’s, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, another classic aliens-obsessed story from 1977 with epic special effects. Show times are tonight at 8:00pm and Sunday at 2:00pm.

Know of any awesome science fiction book clubs, movie showings, or any kind of Sci-Fi production in Rochester that I’ve missed? We want to know about them! Comment below so we can check them out, too.




Will Wheaton saves the world! Two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation on the silver screen in Rochester

Nothing elicits such a huge range of reactions among the geek set as Star Trek. Everybody loves Star Wars, but very few people will actually discuss the movies in any great detail. Apart, that is, from near universal acknowledgment that Empire should have been much cooler than it was; that Jedi damned-near ruined the franchise; that of course, Revenge of the Sith was just inexcusable.

The thing about Star Trek is: while Star Wars was based on fantasy memes like wizards, pirates, princesses and heroic farmboys, Star Trek was always based on hard physical and quantum physical science. I never knew it when I started watching Trek, but tachyons are real. Warp bubbles are real as well  – at least theoretically, that is.

And if we loved the original Star Trek series for its hard science bent, geekdom thrilled to the adventures of The Next Generation, which went full tilt with the terminology, the mythology, the fantasy of quantum physics. You just kinda have to suspend disbelief with Midi-chlorians. But you can safely rely on quantum fluctuations as a jumping-off point for some serious conversation over pizza and Mountain Dew.

So when I heard that The Next Generation would be reissued as Bluray-quality video, I was very, very excited indeed. In the Nineties, watching low-def TNG on a fishbowl television blew my mind. But to get the chance to see those same shows on my big-ass man-child HDTV? Oh, I could not wait!

But wait!

It gets even cooler. Yes, the series will be issued on Bluray. But in fact, on July 23rd, the ultimate experience is at hand for those of us lucky enough to get tickets (me? I got a friend on the inside, you might say): four theaters in Rochester will be showing two back-to-back episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation right up there on the silver screen. Theaters across the country will be doing the same. I smell a hashtag in the offing…

Deal Chicken, the daily deals site that you’ve seen on the D&C, is giving away passes to this awesome night of geekery. You want some? Enter here.

Interestingly, the two episodes they will be showing are neither sequential nor necessarily, shall we say, “culturally relevant.” “Where No One Has Gone Before” is episode 6 of the first season, and is just another time-shift episode, this time dealing with the troubles of multiple light-speed travel and Einstein’s relativity problem. It is, disconcertingly, a bit of a “Wesley Saves the Day” episode, though thankfully, the really saccharine versions of that meme won’t happen for a few more seasons. “Datalore” is an interesting episode in which Lieutenant Data’s doppleganger “brother” Lore is introduced. But really, Lore wasn’t much of a plot driver after this episode. If I’d had my drothers, I would have preferred either the first two episodes – the first one introducing us to Q – or else the one where Tasha Yar dies, but that’s me.

My friend at Deal Chicken sent along this page with more information about the show, but I also found this video trailer for the “movie,” which hysterically does not feature a single scene from the actual episodes they’re going to be showing:

Am I going to see you there? Hmm?


Your automatic transmission is plotting against you

Just over a year ago, I either was really dumb or took a great leap of faith in myself. I bought a car with a standard transmission without knowing how to drive a stick shift. Needless to say, this “do or die” situation I put myself in greatly expedited my learning rate. By day two, I was near tears and convinced I would kill myself as well as everyone else on the road. By day four, I was a pro.

As everyone predicted, the inevitable happened: I became a manual transmission elitist. Yes, I do think my driving skills are superior to yours and no, I don’t care what cool features your vehicle has; if it’s an automatic, it’s lame. Case closed.

I’m one of those lucky people who absolutely loves my job – I work for a car dealership in Brockport. Sure, I have my regular tasks, but for the most part, every day is something different. In order to finish something I had been working on this past week, I needed to briefly move one of the SUVs on our lot. No biggie. I grabbed the keys, hopped inside, and was astounded by what I realized – I had forgotten how to drive an automatic.

After a few minutes of awkwardly shuffling my feet and accidentally flooring the gas pedal, it all came back to me, but I had to laugh at how the basic fundamentals of driving had thrown me for such a loop. The more I thought about it though, I realized I wasn’t simply bored by the idea of an automatic transmission; I was actually slightly creeped out by it.

What does an automatic transmission do? It allows the car to shift gears on its own. No shifting, no clutch, just put it in drive and go. Forget the fact that this immensely takes away from the driving experience; it’s also putting a large amount of trust into a machine which for all intents and purposes is just a big hunk of metal with a motor and some oil.

Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks essentially giving a car a mind of its own is a little scary. Who could possibly forget Stephen King’s classic, Christine? I’m sure most car owners can understand the feelings of closeness one develops with their automobile – hell, I’ve had full-out conversations with mine – but the day Jemma (yes, she has a name) cock blocks me by attempting to kill my love interest, is the day we are going to have some pretty big issues. I’m not worried, though; Jemma is a stick shift, and therefore, does not have a mind of her own.

It seems as though homicidal automobiles were quite a problem for Mr. King. Anyone remember his made for TV movie, Trucks a few years later? Once again, these vehicles develop minds of their own and begin attacking their owners. First they’re shifting themselves; next, they’re killing your friends. Where will this madness end?

However, I admit that I stand corrected. The wonders of Netflix recently introduced me to a little gem called Rubber. This time, it’s not the entire car that’s obsessive and demonic; instead, it’s just one single tire. If this is the case, it looks like all drivers are now doomed: automatic, standard, or otherwise. Damn.

Not enough science fiction in your weekly diet? Head straight to the Dryden Theatre this upcoming Wednesday, 5/16, to check out Faust! You won’t be disappointed with this mid 90s Czech tale of alchemy, puppets, and the occult. Be sure to let us know what you think!



What is science fiction?

Although it’s been a relatively short period of time, I can’t exactly recall how I found my niche as the designated ScFriday writer for DragonFlyEye.  I’m a two-time graduate from RIT, which means I naturally have more nerd in my blood than the average blogger, but it was still a step outside of my usual rock ‘n roll/cat love/bathroom gripes box of my personal blog, Blue Eyes & Spitfire.  The metamorphosis of writing for SciFriday has thus far been one of the biggest and best milestones of 2012 for me, not just because it forces me to broaden my writing horizons, but also because it’s made me look at daily life in a very unique way.

As I said to my boyfriend over dinner last night, this is a very interesting time to be alive. Even in my mere 27 years of existence, I’ve seen more technological, medical, and industrial advances than I’m sure my grandparents could have ever imagined possible.  Sure, we don’t have flying cars – yet – but look at all the things we do have that once were only found in science fiction stories. I remember watching old cartoon reruns of The Jetsons as a kid and thinking telephones that allowed you to see the person you were calling would be the coolest thing ever. Skype, Facetime, Google Hangout,  Anyone? Name your device or network of choice, and we can make it happen.

Science fiction, or what was once seen as science fiction, is around us every day; whether it’s my personal choice of birth control, someone’s medical miracle, or claiming the mayorship of your place of employment, it’s everywhere.  Every day I catch myself looking for (and more often than not, finding) the sci-fi twist in my conversations and surroundings. This week, however, I questioned myself.

I found myself in a very interesting and in-depth Twitter conversation regarding ghost stories in Rochester, particularly the Main Street Armory’s haunting history dating back to the first World War. I’ve always been a huge fan of ghost stories but was especially excited for this Roc-Centric story to turn into a SciFriday article. But wait – ghosts are horror, not sci-fi. Right?

This is what got me thinking. What is the determining factor to categorize something as science fiction? As I thought and researched, I found an infinite amount of stories, books, and movies that could easily bounce between sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, depending how you decide to look at them.

Mythological creatures are obviously fantasy, right? Well, no, not necessarily. We’re all familiar with the portrayal of a Cyclops, but Cyclopia can (and has been, albeit rarely) documented in real life, making it a possibility and something that could fall under science fiction. Okay, well what about, say, zombies? Blood, brains, and horror all the way! Sure. But what makes up the foundation for zombie tales? A virus. Something we find new cases of every day. Is it really so far-fetched of an idea that your kooky neighbor could be fiending for your brains someday? Maybe. Maybe not.

Essentially, we live in an amazing time and an amazing world where most anything can be viewed or explained with a science fiction spin – so this is where you help me, DragonFlyEye reader:  what daily occurrence do you want to hear about in a spooky, fantastical, science fictional light? Tell me, and I’ll make it happen!

Sci-Friday Technology

Rochester, New York – The Capital of Cyborg Nation

If you happen to follow me on Twitter or any of the other blogs I write for, then you’ve undoubtedly (and perhaps, unwillingly) been privy to the details of my quest for an IUD. For those of you who don’t, I’ll keep this brief. Long story short, I am unmarried and have not yet had a baby, which for all intents and purposes should have nothing to do with anything as far as choices of contraception are concerned, especially in the year 2012, but unfortunately it does. After what has seemed like an eternity, but in all actuality just a mere 2 months of jumping through hoops, I finally received my IUD insertion earlier this week.

Never being one to truly understand shame and always being an open book with all my friends, males and females alike, I happily shared this victorious news with anyone who would listen. The day of my insertion, I received a good luck text from a male friend of mine, assuring me I would be fine and soon have “the best robotic cyborg uterus ever.” To say the least, this unconventional compliment got me thinking.

A cyborg, short for cybernetic organism, by definition, is a living creature having both biological and artificial parts. The term cyborg is typically applied when the organism demonstrates enhanced abilities due to its technology from these inorganic parts. I would definitely say my IUD is giving me superior abilities compared to someone who doesn’t have one, so by the loosest definition of the word, sure, I am in fact a cyborg – but so are many others.  Metal rods, pacemakers, cochlear implants – the list goes on and on.  Are we living in a Cyborg Nation? We might be – and Rochester might just be the capital.

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have been on the cutting edge of implant technology since the 1990s with Dr. Arthur Moss. Moss led a series of trials leading to a new way to treat heart failure with implantable devices.  These devices, known as implantable  cardioverter defibrillators or ICDs can detect potentially fatal arrhythmias and shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. ICDs have significantly reduced the risk of sudden cardiac death by 31 percent in heart attack survivors and are now implanted in hundreds of thousands of patients each year, including former Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney.

More recently, another URMC researcher, Dr. Spencer Rosero, has received a patent for an implantable chip that can monitor physiological and chemical changes in real-time, such as changes in blood protein levels in a patient with heart failure. This biochip is designed to send a wireless signal, which could be used to alert a physician or to interact with another device, such as an insulin pump or a pacemaker. In his patent application, Rosero described the possibility of using the technology to treat patients with a variety of disorders, including epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and hypertension.

Sure, these implants are used to correct something that is wrong (or in my case, prevent something until I’m ready!) but I don’t think anyone could pose that they aren’t giving us a one up on where we’d be without them, or at the very least, making our lives a little easier. On that note, I say cyborgs unite! It’s a lovely day to be a cyborg in Rochester.

Love Science Fiction and want to enjoy on days other than just #SciFriday ? Check out Rochester’s very own Science Fiction Book Club!