When You Gotta Go

Dr. Mike Robinson, UofL Communication Studies Professor~


Many years ago, my wife and I attended a costume party at an academic conference on superheroes in Australia.  We dressed as Spider-Man and the Black Cat. We had a blast dancing with our friends, and we were even interviewed for a television show.  Recently, we were laughing about one of the major challenges of that particular evening.

My Spidey costume was a full body suit that zipped up the back.  Since I was not bitten by a radioactive spider and therefore lacked the proportionate agility of that arachnid, I simply could not reach around to unzip my costume.  Thus, whenever nature called, I had to find my wife, get her to meet me at the door of the men’s room, and have her start the zipper for me.

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Weather Control

Dr. Mike Robinson, UofL Communication Studies Professor~


Recently, Pat Robertson made an effort to divert the course of Hurricane Florence.  Concerned about the storm’s impact on the Tidewater region, his beloved Regent University, and the CBN television network he runs, Robertson led a congregation in prayer to shield the Tidewater region from harm.  

Robertson was lampooned online for an approach that sounded more like sorcery and honestly I wasn’t too sure at the time about the efficacy of this particular approach. However, as I write this column, Florence has just made landfall in Wilmington, NC, pretty much right on top of some relatives and alarmingly close to my family’s barrier island home.  

Does this mean that when Robertson makes the classic post hoc ergo propter hoc error and claims credit for diverting the storm, we can blame him for whatever damage Florence does to us? If so, thanks a lot Pat.

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Nerd Factor: Thanos’ Big Dumb Idea

Dr. Mike Robinson, UofL Communication Studies Professor~

By now, you’ve probably seen Avengers: Infinity War. Or you’ve had someone tell you what happened in the end. If not, stop reading now.

Thanos killed half of the population of the universe.  With a snap of his fingers—and the unimaginable power of the Infinity Gauntlet—Thanos’ will was enforced and a number of beloved Marvel Cinematic Universe characters crumbled to dust. Read More

Not Your Wedding Best Friends

Dr. Mike Robinson, UofL Communication Studies Professor~marriage

It used to be that superhero weddings were occasions of chaos and vulnerability.  In some ways, that makes sense. After all, what villain could resist all those targets gathered together in one place?  This summer though, two weddings fell apart and the main culprits in both cases were “friends” of the bride.

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Nerd Factor: Who is Superman?

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

The answer seems simple enough.  But there is a certain genius in that small, factual sentence.  

Eighty years ago, Superman arrived in “Action Comics” #1. The cover of the comic depicts Superman lifting a gangster’s car over his head and crashing it against a rock.  By today’s standards, that seems like a light day’s work for the Man of Steel. But the harried look on the face of the fleeing villain in the cover’s bottom left corner shows us how startling it was at the time.   Read More

Nerd Factor: Let Thanos Win

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

While this edition of the Nerd Factor does not contain spoilers per se, it does reveal information about past Thanos stories that might give something away.

Thanos of Titan is one of the greatest antagonists in the Marvel Universe.  That’s not bad for a guy who was, by his creator Jim Starlin’s admission, a rip-off of DC’s Darkseid.  Like the best baddies from ole Marvel, Thanos does not see himself as a villain. Oh, he does terrible things, but he often sees these as actions taken for the best.   Read More

Nerd Factor: “My Cat” Magazine

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

Many years ago when I got my first cat, I accidentally subscribed to a magazine called “My Cat.”  I say that I accidentally subscribed because I honestly do not remember asking for it. It just started showing up one day, probably after I sent in some kind of rebate offer for Iams cat food.  

As an early aside – yes, that is how “they” got you before the internet.  Not quite as easy as clicking on an advertisement and having that advertisement follow you for life across the internet, but it was a similar process. Read More