In Chayanta, Bolivia, three brothers, ages 12, 10 and 8, came upon a black widow spider while herding goats. They poked at the spider until it bit each of them. Why? They hoped to become Spider-Man. According to a report in Telemundo, their mom found them very upset and took them to a health center that moved them to a hospital. From the New York Post:
The would-be Peter Parkers were transferred a third time, taken to the Children’s Hospital in La Paz the next day with fevers, tremors and muscle pains, according to the report.
There, they were treated and discharged last Wednesday, almost a week after they were bitten, the report says.
No word on whether they can now sling webs.
(Thanks, Rick Pescovitz!)
image: Chepyle (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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Chinese nanotechnologists injected tiny particles into the eyes of mice resulting in the rodents demonstrating "infrared 'night vision'" that lasted for months. According to nanoscientist Tian Xue and colleagues the University of Science and Technology of China, the technology could eventually help those with certain kinds of color blindness and "provide the potential for close integration within the human body to extend the visual spectrum." From New Scientist:
Like humans, mice cannot perceive light with a wavelength longer than 700 nanometres, which is at the red end of the visible spectrum. But the nanoparticles absorb light with longer – infrared – wavelengths and convert it into shorter wave light that retinal cells can detect. This converted light peaks at a wavelength of 535 nanometres, so the mice see infrared light as green...
Some mice did develop cloudy corneas after the injection, but this disappeared within a fortnight and occurred at similar rates to those in the control group. The team found no other evidence of damage to the mice’s eyes two months after the experiment.
The researchers published their findings in the scientific journal Cell: "Mammalian Near-Infrared Image Vision through Injectable and Self-Powered Retinal Nanoantennae"
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Every now and then I meet people who seem to possess superhuman powers. Elliott Terral is one of those individuals and his official title is Director of Magic at a company called Art of Magic.
How cool is that?!
After speaking with Elliott for a few minutes, I asked if he was a performing magician to which he didn't answer. Instead, he began patting down his pockets for a deck of cards. I beat him to the punch and handed him my very own deck of Erdnase 1902 Green Acorn Playing Cards. One thing to know about this deck, is that you either own it because you're a genius with a deck of cards, or you're a poser.
And for the record, I am not a genius with a deck of cards.
Elliott took my fancy cards and did the impossible. He showed me a King of Hearts and slowly flexed it back and forth as the card changed from king to an ace and then back again. His movements were slow and it was real magic to everyone that was with me. If you'd like to see the effect performed by the guy who invented it you can watch it here.
And if you'd like to purchase the method, it's only $5.00 but you need to know it isn't a trick you can do just because you bought it. There's a reason an "EXPERT LEVEL" descriptor is attached. But the good news is that there are other effects and concepts on the website that are far more approachable and equally satisfying. Read the rest
University of Leicester students spent 7 years using math and physics principles to answer "Who’s the best-equipped superhero?" They've published a series of papers on the subject in the university's "Journal of Physics Special Topics" and "Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics." The answer? Superman, followed by Wolverine, Mystique and Thor. From the University of Leicester:
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Whilst Black Bolt, ruler of the ‘Inhumans’, may be the most destructive of the superheroes (capable of planetary annihilation), the student work suggests that, based on the range of superpowers at his disposal and the only limiting factor seemingly being the planet’s Sun, the ‘Last Son of Krypton’ Superman is likely to be the best equipped to win in an epic clash between all of the studied superheroes.
Boasting a super-powered array of skills, Superman, if obeying the ‘Law of Energy Conservation’, could exhibit a calculated stored solar energy output of 7.07x105 Joules per second for his ‘Super Flare’ attack. It is also shown that the ‘Man of Steel’, in theory, could have higher density muscle tissue than the average human which could aid in several of his superhuman abilities.
This incredible display of power makes Superman the number one candidate for ‘most powerful superhero’.
Honourable mentions go out to X-Men duo Wolverine and Mystique who were close contenders for the title of world’s finest in the student papers with their multitude of mutant abilities – including increased regenerative capacity and, in the case of Mystique, a mastery of gene manipulation to aid in disguise.
The superhero Thor, based off of the Norse god of the same name, would also be one of the most formidable superheroes, having high energy efficiency and explosive powers.
In comic books, radiation exposure always leads to awesome superpowers. In reality, not so much. Except in the case of Cladosporium cladosporioides, a fungus exposed to high doses of radiation during the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. Not only did C. cladosporioides survive it gained a superpower — the ability to "eat" radiation. Read the rest