Nerd Factor: Winged Victory?

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

Longtime readers of the Nerd Factor will no doubt recall that this column remains more than a little dubious on subject of superpowered flight.  Although people often name flying when asked to fantasize about having a superpower, the ability itself is fraught with potential problems. Ease of high altitude transportation, for example, has to reckon with the difficulties of navigating from high altitudes.  Of the many and various ways that superhero stories have presented flight, one of the most problematic subsets of this power is the possession of actual wings. Read More

Nerd Factor: We’re Number One

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Professor~

Welcome to the very first issue of the Nerd Factor.  As of today, this column will be starting with an entirely new numbering system.  Oh, it’s the same old creative team (me), but this new number one designation will drive up reader interest as well as encourage collectors to pick up extra copies, one for reading and one for collecting.  Just think, someday in the far future, your grandchildren will look up in awe at you when you tell them that you have the first issue of the second volume of Nerd Factor. Read More

Nerd Factor: Fear of a Black Panther Planet

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Professor~

Earlier this month, the Rotten Tomatoes review site headed off an attempt to sabotage the scores of Black Panther and committed itself to eliminating hate speech in viewer comments. This weekend, reports surfaced of a number of falsified stories about black audience members attacking white viewers at showings of Black Panther.  Spread across social media, these accounts repurposed or altered other images already on the internet to imply that physical violence was being rained down upon white viewers who had dared to see a movie not for them. What is the cause of all of this?  Simple, it’s the fear of a Black Panther planet. Read More

Nerd Factor: You Might be Dating a Super villain if…

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communications Prof.~

Supervillains are a deceptive lot, by definition.  They plot and scheme in anonymity for as long as they can. Such people are unlikely to be forthcoming in their personal lives.  Because the Nerd Factor cares deeply about your emotional well-being, here are some tips for telling if you might really be dating a supervillain:

If your sweetie’s idea of getting dressed up for an evening out involves rocking some thigh-high boots and a cape, then you might really be dating a supervillain. Read More

Nerd Factor: Super Sports

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

So, the Superbowl is over. As I write this, I have no idea who won.  However, I can guess that you are either disappointed by your favorite team or you are starting to feel the euphoria of victory wane.  That’s a difficult high to come down from and while other sports are in play, there’s nothing quite so special about them yet.* Read More

Nerd Factor: Worse Than Redshirts

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

There’s a rule for the classic Star Trek television series.  If you see someone in a red shirt, and that someone is not Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott or Communications Officer Nyota Uhura, then chances are that character is going to die.  This makes some sense.  Jobs are color-coded on the U.S.S. Enterprise and security happens to be one of the jobs under the red designation.  So it’s not surprising that security officers, called “Redshirts” by the fans, would die horrible deaths.  After all, the main characters can’t be killed off all the time.   Read More

Nerd Factor: Immortality Rules

Dr. Michael Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

Immortality is an interesting superpower.  But as a matter of practicality, how does one figure out that one is immortal?  Obviously, one figures it out by not dying.  But there are complicated rules to staying young throughout eternity.  The movie Highlander (1986) offers an interesting solution.  Someone else comes along and teaches you.   Read More