If life imitates art, you may want to pencil in an apocalypse for today.
Welcome to Judgment Day, the date when the cyborgs who run Skynet, the artificial-intelligence-based missile defense system, are scheduled to launch a surprise worldwide nuclear attack on all of human-kind.
At least this is supposed to happen in the Terminator universe, or to be more specific, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. In TSSC, Skynet was brought online on Monday, and the network launches its attack today, April 21, 2011.
Granted, we can take some comfort from knowing that several previously scheduled J-Days were averted by fighters from the future who jerked with the timeline. These Judgment Days that never were, were originally scheduled for August 29, 1997 and July 25, 2004.
We know what didn’t happen on past J-Days, but let’s take a look at what did occur.
August 29, 1997
During the month of August 1997, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas merged, Steve Jobs returned to Apple, and a Korean airliner crashed in Guam.
The was a localized J-Day on August 29 in Algeria, where a massacre took place, but no worldwide tragedies occurred that day.
Two days later it felt like the world had come to an end for millions of people around the world, when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash.
July 25, 2004
After the former governator was liquefied in molten metal at the end of T2, J-Day was put on hold for a few years, then rescheduled for July 25, 2004 in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
On that day, 100,000 people joined hands to create a 90-kilometer long human chain in the West Bank to protest Israeli governmental policies.
Also that day, Lance Armstrong won his sixth consecutive Tour de France.
Had J-Day come off as scheduled, I would have hardly noticed because that was the same week I began dating Kimi, the love of my life, who I would marry just over a year later.
Checking the news today, it appears that the machines are still taking over, but at a much more subtle pace than what Skynet has in mind.
Yesterday in Philadelphia, a droid named Philliebot threw out the first pitch before a Phillies-Brewers game. The ball skipped in to home, and the unfortunate cyborg had to suffer the humiliation of getting booed by flesh-and-blood fans.
So it looks like we still have a bit of time before we all get outsourced from the planet by the machines, and we probably needn’t worry about J-Day today.
But, just in case … don’t skip dessert.