Blackadder’s Lair

The home of many a cunning plan

How to Be Batman

Battling bad guys. High-tech hideouts. The gratitude of the masses. Who at some point in their life hasn’t dreamed of being a superhero? Impossible, right? Or is it? Possessing no supernatural powers, Batman is the most realistic of all the superheroes. His feats are achieved through rigorous training and mental discipline, and with the aid of fantastic gadgets. Drawing on his training as a neuroscientist, kinesiologist, and martial artist, E. Paul Zehr explores the question: could a mortal ever become Batman? Zehr discusses the physical and skill training necessary to maintain bad-guy-fighting readiness while relating the science underlying this process, from strength conditioning to the cognitive changes a person would endure in undertaking such a regimen. In probing what a real-life Batman could achieve, Zehr considers the level of punishment a consummately fit and trained person could handle, how hard and fast such a person could punch and kick and the number of adversaries that individual could dispatch, what it would be like to fight while wearing a batsuit, and the amount of food one would have to consume each day to maintain vigilance as Gotham City’s guardian.

More. An interview with the author in Scientific American can be found here.

July 17, 2008 Posted by | Weirdness | Leave a comment

An Argument Against Expanding Entitlements

1. It’s wrong to make promises you know will not be able to keep.

1a. This is particularly wrong when you know people will rely on such promises to their detriment.

2. Medicare currently has unfunded liabilities of $65.4 trillion dollars.

3. The Federal government is not going to be able to raise enough revenues to cover this $65.4 trillion shortfall, let alone any expanded health care entitlements.

4. If people are promised expanded health care services from their government, they will be less likely to save sufficient money to provide such services for themselves should the government fail to deliver.

5. Thus, it is wrong (given current conditions) to advocate expanding government health care entitlements.

July 17, 2008 Posted by | Health Care, Morality, Politics | 1 Comment