Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Batman could totally beat Superman!

I have never considered myself a comic nerd, but I do love comics. I have been collecting them since the early 80's when I got my first issues of Captain Canuck, Silver Surfer and Rom: Space Knight. I have been going to comic shops almost as long as I have been reading comics, but it seems there is never enough time to really spend digging around my favorite comic shops. I'm always in a hurry, or have someone waiting for me, or worse yet, have my 2 year old son with me while I try to browse!
There has been the odd time where for some reason I wasn't in a rush and we able to hang out at the comic shop. I got to listen to and partake in some of those bizarre conversations about which comic book heroes would beat who, or discussions on why something that happened in a recent issue could never have happened the way it did. Real geek speak stuff... and just the kind of stuff that makes me smile.
So, while reading though an old copy of Wizard I picked up recently, I couldn't help but get a chuckle out of the following article.
Can it be done? The Flash's breathing rate. With DC's Scarlet Speedster sprinting toward a new era in his career, we got to wondering - since all living things process oxygen to perform physical acts like running, wouldn't the Flash use up all of Earth's oxygen during one of his light-speed dashes?
Professor James Kakalios of the university of Minnesota has the answer. "A student of mine asked that question in class, and I loved it so much that I used it in my new book," said Kakalios, author of The Physics of Superheroes (2005). "If you do some calculations using the Flash's body mass, the volume of oxygen used to run a mile and the number of oxygen molecules in that volume, and assuming he runs at the speed of light, you come up with a number like a trillion trillion oxygen molecules that he inhales per second. But since Earth's atmosphere contains 20 million trillion trillion oxygen molecules, he's have to run that fast for about 27 million years before he exhausted all the oxygen in the atmosphere."
That sound you hear is us breathing a sigh of relief. [Reprinted from Wizard magazine, issue 169]
The comic cover shown with this blog entry is from "The Flash", issue #118, from October 1996. This cover has been on display on the comic spinner in the basement for some time now, and I was thrilled to have an excuse to scan it and use it on my blog!

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