Page 26. " Nirvana for halfwits "

 Nirvana is an important concept in Buddhism and Jainism. Buddha described Nirvana as a perfectly peaceful state of mind and highest happiness.

Page 27. " cheaper than getting yourself cloned "

The 2005 film The Island and the book Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro both imagine worlds where human cloning is a reality.

Back in the real world, human cloning remains a highly controversial subject, although scientific advances see the possibilities drawing closer.


Page 27. " coastal aquifers turned salty and the northern permafrost melted "
High Arctic Permafrost
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeHigh Arctic Permafrost - Credit: Mila Zinkova

Global warming is the increase in temperature of the Earth's near surface air and seas.  Through much of the twentieth century, increases in temperature were recorded, and it is widely believed that the rise was the result of human-caused CO2 emissions leading to the Greenhouse Effect.

Possible consequences include the warming of the Arctic, the melting of ice caps and permafrost, rising sea levels, expanding deserts, species extinction and extreme weather.

Page 30. " they'd lived in a Cape Cod-style house "

The Cape Cod style of housing originated in New England in the 17th century. Small economical Colonial Revival houses became popular in America in the 1930s.

Colonial Revival style, built circa 1870 San Jose California
GNU Free Documentation LicenseColonial Revival style, built circa 1870 San Jose California - Credit: Eugene Zelenko
Page 30. " a large Georgian centre-plan "

The Georgian architectural style dates from the period 1720-1840: an elegant, formal style which later become popular in America.

Campell House, Canada in the Georgian style
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeCampell House, Canada in the Georgian style - Credit: Robert Scarth

Page 42. " Did you give him a dollar? "

A common superstition demands that when given a knife as a gift, one should pay the giver a token sum in order that the relationship is not severed.

Page 44. " He used to play chess with Crake "


Chess Board
Public DomainChess Board - Credit: Lee Daniel Crocker
Play online chess. 


Page 46. " I coulda been a contender "

"I coulda been a contender" is a quote from the 1954 film On the Waterfront starring Marlon Brando as an ex-prize fighter working on the docks.

Page 46. " the legendary dot-com bubble "

The Dot Com Bubble was the short-lived stock market boom in the late 1990s, driven by ridiculous valuations of Internet businesses with no proven business model.