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The End of the World

Fifty miles off the coast of Nantucket, 250 feet beneath the Atlantic, lies the RMS Republic and her secret treasure. As soon as Republic sank in 1909, rumors spread of a precious cargo, but the ship has kept her secrets intact for over a century, until now. Life-long treasure hunter Martin Bayerle joined Connie Willis (email) for all four hours to discuss how he has devoted the past 35 years of his life researching the shipwreck and proving the existence of her reputed cargo of 150,000 American Eagle gold coins, a bounty worth a billion dollars in today’s economy, and his quest to recover the it on his second attempt at the Republic.

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Mon 06-27  Press Manipulation/ Near Death Studies Tue 06-28  Economic Chaos/ Vatican and E.T.
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Wed 06-29  Naturopathic Medicine Thu 06-30  Earth Sounds and Alien Structures Fri 07-01  Open Lines

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The End of the World

Show Archive
Date: Sunday - May 30, 2004
Host: Art Bell
Guests: Open Lines

In a night of Open Lines, Art invited callers to share their thoughts on how the world would come to an end. One repeated assertion was that it would be "by man's hand," either through nuclear exchanges or biowarfare.

A female caller referenced the T.S. Eliot line "not a bang, but a whimper," in her prediction that the male Y chromosome would die out, and then the surviving women would kill each other off in two generations "out of boredom." Another caller foresaw a "series of jabs," that would include famine, extreme weather, earthquakes and plagues followed by a pole shift that would "kill everyone that wasn't already dead."

The Far-Flung Future

In a special issue of Astronomy magazine, Steve Nadis ponders the long-term fate of not only our galaxy, but of the universe itself, based on recent data. By projecting from the currently accepted model that the universe is constantly expanding, some astrophysicists are concluding that the mysterious dark matter that now composes 70% of the universe, will eventually encompass 97% of the total, "rendering matter insignificant in the grand scheme of things," he writes.

The sun will grow so large in about a billion years that life on Earth "will no longer be an option," Nadis notes. Yet, if humanity does manage to migrate to other planets, here is the long (as in very long) range forecast:

  • In around 14 billion years, the Milky Way will merge with Andromeda and other nearby star systems. Distant galaxies will begin to recede from view.
  • In 100 billion years, our mega-galaxy will be all that can be seen from here, with only darkness beyond it.
  • 100 trillion years down the road, most stars will have burned out and new ones will only form through the rare collision of two brown dwarfs.
  • At around 10/100 years squared (that's 10 with a whole lot of zeros after it) the last remaining objects in the universe, black holes, will begin to evaporate, leaving a mere whiff of stray particles.

The Return of J.C.

After a long hiatus, the notorious phone caller known as J.C. returned this evening to subject Art to one of his trademark harangues. "I'm God's General in the war against porn," he declared, suggesting that the "atrocities in Iraq" were caused by the porn industry.

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