Nerd Factor: Batman Smells?

bat man smells
Photo retrieved from Google images.


Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

We all know the popular variation of the holiday standard but in our annual rush to mock the Caped Crusader at Christmas time we rarely consider the central issue that it raises. Does Batman smell? And if so, how badly?

     Many elements of the comic tune have certain veracity to them. It is entirely possible for the Batmobile to lose a wheel, although one would assume that some kind of sophisticated WayneTech device would quickly replace the missing tire. And of course the Joker can get away. In fact, he’s ridiculously good at getting away. That is one of many qualities that makes the wily trickster so frustrating. 

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Nerd Factor: Claus-trophobia


santa-claus (retrieved from
Retrieved from

Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

     The Nerd Factor is vitally concerned with the public interest. As part of the column’s ongoing commitment to the health and well-being of its readers, an important safety announcement follows. 

     Claus-trophobia is a condition that affects millions of people each year, yet somehow the general public remains relatively unaware of the disorder. Claus-trophobia is a state of heightened anxiety, agitation, and even fright, related to the approach of the Christmas holiday. Like other phobias, Claus-trophobia can manifest in a variety of ways. 

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Nerd Factor: The Annexation of Thanksgiving 

thanksgiving annex
Photo retrieved from Pinterest.

Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

     Longtime readers know that I have been fascinated for a while by the so-called War on Christmas. A kind of concocted outrage that seems designed to get viewers to return to certain news stations after the commercial break, drive up page views on websites, and outrage those who like to quickly pass along memes without thinking about them much. The complaint goes that Christmas is somehow being wiped out. 

     This is ludicrously wrong. Christmas is just fine. 

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Nerd Factor: You Might Be in Trouble This Halloween IV: A New Beginning

nerd factor
Photo retrieved from Pinterest.

Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

     Wow, it’s the fourth year. You’ve been surviving these Halloween crises so well; folks are probably starting to look at you as the one who will save them all. But just because you’ve been so successful, don’t think you know it all. The Nerd Factor still has a lot of wisdom to impart that will help you decide if you might be in trouble this Halloween. 

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Nerd Factor: Bad Treats


Photo retrieved from Pinterest of candy.

Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

     Halloween is a holiday based on generosity, but that spirit is not completely selfless. Born of ancient beliefs that on a certain night, the door between the world of the living and the world of the dead opened, people thought it in their best interest to feed whomever. . . or whatever. . . stopped by. It was just safer that way. In America, that spiritual caution shifted into practical defense when very aggressive traditions of pranking developed, particularly in the Mid-West. The treat quite literally deferred the trick. 

     So while one might justifiably be shamed by others for not appreciating, say, a Christmas gift or a birthday present, I believe the origins of Halloween allow children to be judgmental. Young people should rightly ask if the candy adequately forestalled their holiday chaos. 

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