where is the cerebral jester?

where is the cerebral jester?
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Thursday, December 27, 2007

wanna be a superhero

as the year 2007 draws to a close...the promise of the future seems to be keeping its word...this is kind of a long post...but i thought it was so freakin cool i had to share it! which superpower do you want?


Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's… you?

Admit it — you've fantasized about soaring through the sky like Superman or swinging from building to building like Spidey. Unfortunately, superheroes exist in only comic books, cartoons and movies. And then it usually takes being doused with radioactive waste or belted by gamma rays to hear a gun cock from a mile away or crush cars like soda cans.

But with scientists apparently drawing inspiration from the comics they read when they were kids, the line between science fiction and science fact has become blurred. Superheroics suddenly seem like a viable career option. Follow the link to see how you, too, with today's technologies, can spin webs and get superhuman strength.

With his third major motion picture debuting today, Peter Parker's alter ego needs no introduction. He faces baddies like the Green Goblin, Doc Ock and Venom on a daily basis, so it's a good thing that bug bite gave Petey a talent for sticking to walls and the ability to shoot webs from his wrists, among other things.

gecko_herotech.jpgSynthetic Gecko: Be A True Wall-Crawler
You won't need Spider-Man to get you out of a sticky situation. Thanks to the Synthetic Gecko technology developed by BAE Systems, the Spidey-suit has become more than a child's Halloween costume. Researchers discovered that billions of tiny hair-like structures along the reptiles' feet allow geckos to get their grip. Mimicking the real-life counterpart, Synthetic Gecko acts as a reusable super-strong adhesive that leaves no messy residue or stickiness behind. Just think: It's only a matter of time before you, too, can be a wall crawler.

spiderweb_herotech.jpgBioSteel: Spin Your Own Web
Our beloved arachnid can do more than scale walls so you'll need the ability to sling webs, too, if you want to be a legit Spider-Person. Nexia Biotechnologies is eager to assist your pursuit of power. After injecting spider genes into a goat, researchers were able to extract a silk-like material, dubbed BioSteel, from the goat's milk. Because of its compatibility with the human body, BioSteel appears to have some remarkable real-life applications (artificial limbs, tendons and ligaments). Stronger than steel, and with a breaking strength of 300,000 pounds per square inch, wannabe webheads will undoubtedly dream about using the technology for a swing through New York City.

Fantastic Four's Invisible Woman and Human Torch
Like the rest of the Fantastic Four, Susan and Johnny Storm gained their special powers after their experimental rocket was bombarded by cosmic rays. Thanks to the spacecraft's sucky shielding, Sue gained the ability to turn invisible and project force fields. Her blazing bro Johnny picked up the power to surround himself in flames, fly and fling fireballs.

Invisibility Cloak: Now You See Me, Now
You Don't

If you want to be like see-through Susie, then clearly (pardon the pun) you, too, have to be able to make yourself invisible. Duke University scientists have created a cloak using artificial composite materials called metamaterials, which could enable you to do just that. "The cloak would act like you've opened up a hole in space," said Duke's David R. Smith. "All light or other electromagnetic waves are swept around the area, guided by the metamaterial to emerge on the other side as if they had passed through an empty volume of space." If you can understand the scientific mumbo jumbo, more (super) power to you. Researchers are still uncertain what degree of invisibility can be achieved, but I sure do wish they could make the Ghost Rider movie disappear.

heat-ray_herotech.jpgHeat-Ray Gun: Drop It Like It's Hot
Some like it hot, including the U.S. military, which has revealed a heat-ray gun for diffusing unruly crowds and forcing enemy surrender without the use of lethal tactics. This seemingly harmless weapon releases an invisible beam of high energy that can penetrate clothing and heat the skin (to a depth of less than 0.5 mm) to a harmless, but extremely uncomfortable degree (enemies can expect to run for cover).

Rocketed to Earth as an infant from the doomed planet Krypton (stop me if you've heard this one before), Kal-El's extraterrestrial physiology lets him absorb immense energy from his adopted homeworld's yellow sun, bestowing him with a host of mad superhuman skills. Two favorites: x-ray vision and the power to fly.

xaver_XRAY_herotech.jpgXaver 800: I See London, I See France,
I See Lois' Underpants

You, too, will be able to see right through those skyscrapers with Camero's Xaver 800 device. Because its ultra-wideband signal can travel through plaster, brick and reinforced concrete, acts of heroism are in your future. Your super-vision will allow you to locate people through walls up to 26 feet thick in just seconds, with hopes that in the future, a thickness of 300 feet won't be difficult. Unlike its conceptual counterparts, Xaver 800 is already on the market to police, fire and rescue teams and costs merely $100,000 — pocket change for getting Supes' super power.

rocket_belt_herotech.jpgRocket Belt: Ready For Takeoff
You'll be soaring the blue skies with the Rocket Belt, from Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana. Donning this device won't put you on any best-dressed lists, but so what if it's not as stylish as Clark's red cape. TAM offers hands-on training (with housing and food, probably tastier than you'd get on any airline), 24/7 expert support and 10 flights in your own custom-made Rocket Belt. As long as you don't tip the scales at 300 pounds, you're ready for takeoff — and to become the marvel of your own Metropolis.

Black Canary
Founding Justice League member (and Green Arrow's main squeeze) Dinah Lance was born with her superhuman ability: the "canary cry." With this ultrasonic scream, the stunning siren can shatter objects and incapacitate her opponents. Your girl may have the gift of gab, but be glad you're not getting an earful from Ms. Lance.

LRAD_herotech.jpgLRAD: Sonic Assault
We're wondering if Black Canary inspired this next tool of the superhero trade: the long-range acoustic device, LRAD, created by American Technology Corporation. LRAD, touted as a nonlethal weapon, has the capacity to cause permanent hearing damage within a range of 300 feet by producing a high-energy acoustic beam (technically known as a loud noise), enabling you to neutralize any neighborhood nuisance. U.S. forces in Iraq and the States have used LRAD for crowd control and protecting ports. And thwarting pesky pirates is now simple for cruise ships. Worried about your own drums? Though targets will feel like they are standing next to a jet engine, those producing the sonic scream are shielded from harm.

Captain America
Scrawnier than Sanjaya and thusly rejected by the military, patriotic Steve Rogers agreed to become the recipient of the Super-Soldier Serum. With his body, agility, strength, speed, endurance, and reaction time elevated to peak human levels, Rogers became San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds, er, um, Captain America, the living symbol of freedom.

exosuit_herotech.jpgPowered Exoskeleton: Unleash Your Inner Avenger
It's possible to be like Cap without taking performance enhancers (legal or otherwise). The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is planning to build an army of super soldiers, with powered exoskeletons designed to improve the freedom fighters' speed, strength and endurance. This exoskeleton would enable troops to carry hundreds of pounds as easy as a backpack and leap extraordinary heights and distances (watch out, Man of Steel). It may not be a serum, but it looks like the army just might someday get the juice they need to become super.

Iron Man
In between boozing and womanizing, wealthy weapons contractor Anthony Stark set aside enough time to design a suit of armor that would keep his bum ticker ticking. Later, he pimped out the suit to give himself superhuman strength, virtual invulnerability, flight capabilities and an array of weapons.

futurewarriorsuit_herotech.jpgFuture Warrior Concept: Dressed to Kill
Unless you're like Tony — a genius inventor with Benjamins to burn — don't hold your breath for the Future Warrior Concept. You won't be able to get your hands on the Natick Soldier Research Center's tricked-out uniform until 2025, which aims to outfit soldiers in a fully integrated, lightweight and lethal combat system.

The Iron Man-esque outfit is equipped with sensors that monitor the wearer's body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure as well as hydration and stress levels, which can be transmitted to medics and field commanders who might be miles away. An emissive display inside the headgear will let soldiers view GPS-generated maps and real-time video provided by forward-positioned troops, aircraft or satellites. The helmet also houses wide- and local-area network connections for sharing mission data (or photos of Jessica Alba) among squad mates. Additional bells and whistles include a built-in heating and cooling system and sensors for 360° situational awareness.

X-Man Wolverine was born with a mutant gene that lets him heal at an accelerated rate. Gunshot wound or burn injury? No biggie. The ol' Canucklehead needs mere minutes to recover. The atrocity that was X3? That might require an extended stay in the ICU.

arptrainer_600_herotech.jpgARP Trainer: Get Well Soon
Trips to the ER could be far less frequent for you, too, with a little help from an Accelerated Recovery Performance (ARP) trainer. This device helps prevent injury by relaxing healthy muscles. For injured muscles, electrical currents penetrate deep into tissue (no worries, bub, it won't hurt a bit) to strengthen and elongate them, speeding up recovery time. As a superhero, you can't afford to be on the DL for long. You could join the pack of 50 MLB, 100 NBA and 300 NFL players who already use ARP to prepare for game day.



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