Chapter 1: Area 51 was, in reality, a top secret military testing facility where newly developed aircraft were tested, one of which was a real flying saucer that never reached production stage because it was too hard to fly. The space aliens were a government hoax invented to obfuscate what was actually going on there. The information was declassified decades later.
Chapter 5: The first rough draft of this chapter was posted online on June 28, 2011. Just today, July 5, 2013, I learned of a time travel book by Stephen King that concerns someone going back in time to prevent Kennedy from being killed. Wikipedia says that the novel was announced on King's official site on March 2, 2011 and A short excerpt was released online on June 1, 2011. Although I love Stephen King's work, I haven't read (or heard of until today) this book. Mention of Kennedy was weirdly coincidental. These coincidences are strange; King didn't know about the dome in "The Simpsons" movie until after his "The Dome" was published. I'll have to read King's Kennedy book, that guy puts my writing to shame. I think I'll skip "The Dome", though.
Chapter 8: We don't know how rare life is in the universe. We could be alone, or every galaxy could be teeming with it.
Chapter 9: There is no such thing as grabonic radiation. I just made that up.
Chapter 12: Yes, that's a real chemical and a real newspaper article that was quoted. As to the muons they were to add to the substance, I have no idea, since muons only last 2.2 micro-seconds before decaying into an electron and two different kinds of neutrino.
Chapter 16: This was the first chapter written, and was written as a standalone story. It was prompted by a comment in a sub-thread of a slashdot article about the supercollider at Cern.
Chapter 19: I was married for 27 years. Poor O'Brien! As far as the title, when I see a pregnant foreigner I'll say "Look! A two headed alien!" Nobody ever gets the joke.
Chapter 21: What Rority didn't understand is that paramedics are usually needed in fires, and not all emergencies need an ambulance even if the person calling it in thinks it does. The "wired centuries" were from the first telegraph poles until everything is solar powered.
Chapter 23: As far as I know, there is no such thing as Gravitron Theory and no such thing as gravitrons (there is an amusement park ride with that name, Google informs me). At least, we haven't yet discovered them that I've heard of.
Chapter 24: It is left as an exercise to the reader to figure out the year, based on planets' orbits, in our quaint calendar.
Chapter 25: look up the title of this chapter in wikipedia. That particular article prompted this chapter.
Chapter 27: The word "Ornitholinguist" was newly coined, but even though it's not a science it's real; I met an Ornitholinguist when I was stationed in Thailand while I was in the military. It's a Buddhist thing I don't fully understand, but the fellow impressed me and taught me a little of it. Seriously!
Chapter 28: The Ordovician event was real. That mass extinction and some others were caused by supernovas, al-though the extinction was caused by the burned nitrogen and removal of the ozone layer. That particular gamma ray burst caused the biggest mass extinction in Earth's known life.
Chapter 30: The morning and evening stars are Venus and Mercury, and whether the morning star or the evening star was where the planet was positioned in relation to the sun. The evening star the farmer pointed out to his wife was Mercury. Venus was behind the sun.
Chapter 36: I've never actually read any Captain Future. I heard of it in a short story by Allen Steele titled "The Death of Captain Future" in the book "The Year's Best Science Fiction, Thirteenth Annual Collection."