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All Female X-men

All Female X-Men

In April a new X-Men comic will be released that features an all female cast. This has been claimed by some to be a step in the right direction with regards to the way women are portrayed in comics. Having this all female team is meant to be progressive and show that the superheroes are not just for boys. I don’t think this is the case, both in terms of it being a step in the right direction and that the comic genre is somehow lacking enough in terms of strong female presences to warrant a team of nothing but women.

I can think of two ways you could arrive at a team of only women. You can ether set out from the start with that in mind or it can arise naturally during the construction process. For me there is a world of difference between setting out to make a team of only A and setting out to make a team that ends up being made of only A.

Without reading the issue I can’t say which camp this falls into, but it seems like the former case, and people are certainly talking about it as if that were the situation. What I’ve found that I don’t agree with is that some people are talking about it being constructed purposefully to be female only as if that were a good thing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Blog, Comics

 

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Geek Shame

As you may or may not know I am a huge fan of comics and board games, however at times I find myself embarrassed by this. It usually happens in situations involving my family, or people I don’t know too well. With my friends it’s fine, some of them occasionally wet their feet in the waters of comics and graphic novels and all of them are avid board gamers (hence the bi-weekly games nights). But with other people outside of my circle of friends I’m far less comfortable discussing some of my more geeky proclivities. Now this could be because of some in-built insecurities or shyness to do with me, or, my reaction to a perceived attitude towards said proclivities by the general public. I think there is some element of the former involved but I feel it is mainly due to the latter.

Board Games

There are of course some games which I feel are immune to geek shame, card games like poker or blackjack or whole family games like monopoly or trivial pursuit. There are also games specifically for adults to enjoy (I dread the day someone pulls out this at our games night) but I won’t go into them here. Chess seems to have a certain geeky/intellectual feeling towards it, but it is not a game I would feel embarrassed having people know I play. The games I’m thinking of when I think of embarrassment are games things like Munchkin, Zombies!!! or Arkham Horror.

As an example, me and my friends have played poker at our local pub and on a few occasions we have had people watching and asking to join in. When we play Munchkin however it has seemed like there’s a different attitude. On one occasion there was pointing. Maybe it was the choice of game? Maybe it was because we were playing it in a pub? All I know is that I felt slightly uncomfortable about it.

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Blog

 

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Last Son of Krypton

As part of my undergraduate course at Leicester there was a module called Journal of Special Topics. It involved everyone in the year working in groups of 3-4 and writing weekly ‘science’ reports that other groups would peer review and give feedback on. If a paper was good enough I would be submitted to the archive, if not it would have to be redone. One of the paper I submitted for my group was a look at the potential scientific explanations for the some of the powers displayed by Superman. I thought I’d put it up here in case anyone else wanted to give it a read.

Superman

Superman is a fictional DC superhero created in 1938. He is the last survivor of the alien planet of Krypton, having been sent to Earth as a child by his parents moments before their planet exploded [1]. On Earth he realised that radiation from our sun interacted with his physiology in such a way that he obtained superhuman powers; one of which, heat vision, will be the subject of discussion in this paper.

CO2 Vision

We will model his heat vision as a type of carbon dioxide laser. A CO2 laser works by using the vibration and rotations of a CO2 molecule to produce the laser light in the 10.6μm range [2]. This infrared beam is mainly used in industry for cutting, welding and engraving. Superman uses his heat vision for similar purposes and when you combine this with the fact that that this type of laser uses molecules readily found in the body it seems to be good choice for modeling his heat vision. Although in the comics and films Superman’s heat vision is primarily displayed as bright red beams this is probably more for visual effect. Add to this the fact that he is able to produce invisible beams it does not seem unreasonable to model his vision this way.

Photosynthesis

As stated, Superman’s main source of energy is through the absorption of solar radiation, a process which will be assumed to work in a similar manner to photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a chemical process in plants that uses the energy from sunlight to convert CO2 into sugar and we can imagine Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Blog

 

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