SAN JOSE, CA – On July 4th, 2006, the United States celebrated its 230th birthday. Last year at this time I tried my best guess at what life would be like 229 years from now, some predictions I still stand by and some I would like to revise…so here goes: My top 10 things that will be different in 2236 than 2006: 1. Independence from oil. Cold fusion will be solved and our power needs will be forever sated. As a result, the environment will be in a much happier state. (I stand by this…)2. In the US, the average life expectancy today is around 80 years, in 2235, it will be 120. (I stand by this…)3. That little diagnostic health device thingy that Bones uses on Star Trek. It will be for real. (Absolutely…)4. Everybody will speak English…or Spanish…or there will be a simultaneous translating mechanism that one can fit in one’s ear that will allow anyone to communicate with anyone…not as far as Dr. Doolittle, but all the human languages. (Yep…)5. The basketball hoop in the NBA will be 12 feet, instead of the 10 it is today. (Maybe only 11, but with better health, people will certainly be taller on average than today…)6. There will still be a Kennedy in the U.S. Senate and a major third political party will have emerged in the U.S. and be on par with the Democrats and Republicans. (Not sure on the Kennedy front, but still pretty sure on the major political party front…after all, Ross Perot did a pretty good job of getting one started in 1992.)7. The European Union will be one of the six Superpowers in the world…along with the U.S., China, India, United African States, and United South American States. Russia will have joined the EU. (I’m not leaving much to the imagination, huh? I left Japan and most of Asia out, however, I can’t include everybody.)8. Technology will be seamless in all that we do. Keyboards will no longer exist. Information will be instantaneously available for the asking through small devices worn on the body. (I guess that would be today’s equivalent of the cell phone or pager or blackberry or treo, etc.)9. Killing in the name of religion will finally be recognized as counter-intuitive. (Amen.)10. President of the United States: Roy Disney. Vice President: Ted Williams. (Why not?)My dad is a retired American history professor and he could paint a much better picture of what 1776 was like, but I just did a little web-surfing and thought the following was worth mentioning in the “Did you know?” category: We declared Independence from Britain in 1776, but it was’t until 1783, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, that the U.S. formally became a free and independent nation. So, is this really our 223rd birthday?On another note: There’s not a lot of focus on this in the U.S., but it is a big day in Portugal and France (and Italy!!) and most of the rest of the world as the final game of the World Cup semi-finals are to be played shortly…”bon chance” to France and “boa sorte” to Portugal.And, Happy Birthday, USA.