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To which he responded: "Well… yes. And no. And yes. In classic George R. Martin fashion this says a lot and at the same time nothing at all. In an interview, Bran Stark actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright explained that his character becoming the new king of Westeros was part of Martin's plan for the ending.

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Martin had planned for Bran—and that was the Hodor revelation, and that he would be king. Martin told David Benioff and D.

Will the World End Because of Climate Change? - Apocalypse NowThis

What could go wrong seems more obvious than what could go right. This approach could also lead to another doomsday weapon: Shoot an enormous cloud of chaff into a stable spot between Earth and the sun and you could dim the whole world, possibly triggering an ice age. Odds: very low. The current thinking in physics is that time travel might actually be possible. Now the catch: The same theories say that a time machine could go back only to the moment when it was activated.

Even if genuine travel to the past is possible, Seth Lloyd of MIT argues that quantum rules would prevent the traveler from doing anything that contradicts what he already knows about the present.

Where is the fun in that? Odds: indeterminate, but logic dictates that destructive interference with the past is impossible.

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But in Ed Witten , the godfather of string theory, proposed that there might be a stable state of matter that consisted in part of a third type of quark, called a strange quark. This hypothetical type of matter, called a strangelet, could possibly be created naturally by an extremely energetic cosmic ray, or deliberately in a particle accelerator even more potent than the Large Hadron Collider.

Once unleashed, a strangelet could act as a kind of subatomic infection, converting any ordinary matter into strange matter.

Eventually it would consume the whole planet, leaving a lump of strangeness in its wake. Cosmic rays have been striking Earth for billions of years with no such effect.

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Understanding Healthcare Decisions at the End of Life

If a clump passed near our sun, its pull could shake loose comets from the outer solar system, sending some of them crashing into Earth. If a dark cloud headed right into and through Earth, that might have dire consequences too. In theory, dark matter particles could interact with each other, giving off gamma radiation. Odds: indeterminate. Dark matter is so elusive that an event could be starting right now and we might not know it.

Although the initial evidence for a solar shutdown evaporated, the mechanism remains possible. If the sun dimmed significantly today, the oceans would gradually freeze solid, and most multicellular life on Earth—humans included—would probably go extinct. Odds: low. Still not anxious?


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For two key natural disasters—asteroid impact and flood-basalt volcanism—it is not a question of whether they will happen again, but when. NASA is now quite sure that no Earth-killer asteroids are on a near-term collision course, but meter asteroids large enough to flatten a city strike every few hundred years, and almost all of them are uncharted. Large-scale eruptions happen roughly on million-year timescales; a regional supervolcano could erupt at Yellowstone in the next few thousand. A magnetic field reversal is a near certainty within the next few hundred thousand years, but there is no evidence that reversals actually are deadly.

Global epidemics, global warming , and environmental toxins are here now, but it is not clear that any of them have the potential to wipe out humanity. The risks of a biotech disaster are even less established, since nobody has yet designed a deadly pathogen or established a health risk from genetically modified organisms.

Another global war seems depressingly likely; the question mark is how deadly the weapons will be next time around. Ecosystem collapse may have helped usher out the dinosaurs. An asteroid and huge eruption also contributed, but we humans are putting a lot of our own stresses on the web of life. Gamma-ray bursts happen constantly, but we now know the likely kinds of progenitor stars, and there seems to be none close enough to cause serious trouble.

Black holes are a legitimate threat, but the nearest known one is 1, light-years away. The years have gone past in the blink of an eye. Can it really have been more than a decade since my manager Vince Gerardis set up a meeting at the Palm in LA, and I sat down for the first time with David Benioff and D. Weiss for a lunch that lasted well past dinner?


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Fortunately, they did. I had no clue, that afternoon at the Palm, that I was about to embark on a journey that would change my life. I had optioned books and stories for television and film before. I want to thank people, but there are so many. And the crew, though less visible than the cast, were no less important. We had some amazing people working on this show, as all those Emmys bear witness. The directors were incredible as well.

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Most other networks, this series never gets made at all. Parting is such sweet sorrow, the Bard wrote. In the weeks and months to come, I may post about some of my favorite moments from the making of this show… now and again, when I am feeling nostalgic… but just now, there are so many memories, and no time to do them all justice. Let me say this much — last night was an ending, but it was also a beginning.