Tag: optics

A Few Words From the Scientist Who Invented Wonder Women’s Invisible Jet.



First of all, I totally get it. You’re watching Super Friends or reading some Justice League of America comic book, and what do you see? Wonder Woman floating in mid air, in what is apparently an “invisible jet.” And for some reason, the fact that you know that it’s an invisible jet (because someone has gone to the trouble of outlining the jet with white phantom lines), is supposedly meant to make this OK.

Except that it doesn’t. You know this and I know this, and well, everybody knows this. Because the truth is: Wonder Woman looks kind of stupid floating in mid air. I mean, seriously, what is the point of having an invisible jet if the pilot—and a pilot wearing bright sparkly superhero colors—is so… well… visible?

So I get all the hate, I totally do.

But listen: I invented that invisible jet! That invisible jet is my research. It’s my baby.

And the reality is that the invisible jet was never meant to hide the pilot. It was just meant to be invisible on its own. If you don’t believe me, then by all means, look it up—my doctoral dissertation and my research publications are quite clear about this.

Wonder Woman totally got this. Actually, she was pretty amazing about it. She was like, “whoa… invisible jet… that’s pretty cool.” And then I was all like, “Yeah, but you know that it’s only the jet that goes invisible right? You know that you won’t be invisible when you sit inside it, right?” And she was like, “Yeah, I get it, but that’s OK, because well… invisible-freaking-jet!

She basically said that it was totally fine to spend a whole bunch of her money on it because (a), it was a good way to support interesting science, and (b), well… it was just awesome.

Unfortunately, her Super Friends buddies were all idiots about it. They were all like, “Diana… you know we can still see you?” And Superman was prone to flying in a seated position and making steering motions and going, “look at me,.. who am I?” Meanwhile, Batman was all like “my utility belt is way cooler.”

But she knew what was going on. She knew that the reality was this: that the jet is a goddamn SCIENTIFIC MARVEL! Something that should be admired—because ingenuity, years of hard work, and significant research funds was all involved to develop that piece of technology.

Now, do I want to continue my research so that things entering the jet also become invisible? Sure—because that would also be pretty awesome. And maybe, one day, I will work on that research goal, and if I do, Wonder Woman is totally going to get first dibs on that piece of hardware.

Because listen, folks: this is how science works, one small step at a time. It’s not fast (like a speeding bullet), or able to make progress (in single bounds). It’s not about gimmicky quick fixes (like the kind you pack in a utility belt), and it takes serious investment (we’re not all caped billionaires with money for caves and batmobiles). This discovery stuff is slow and incremental, and that my friends, is the honest to goodness Lasso of Truth.

(Originally published at McSweeney’s)

Pillow cases for sciencegeeks.





From Dirtsa Studio. Via Stacey Thinx

See the spectrum (taste the rainbow) #awesomeanimatedgif

From Ozneo.

Cartoon Episodes About Science


The Super Friends epsiode:
“Wonder vs. Wonder”

When it becomes clear that a mission is botched because Wonder Woman is clearly visible in her invisible jet, unhappy murmurs begin to surface within the Super Friends’ organization. In particular, Zan, of the Wonder Twins, is merciless in his teasing of Wonder Woman. It also doesn’t help that Wonder Woman, herself, is generally not impressed with his otherwise useless superpower (“Form of a bucket of water? What in Amazon is that about?”)

In any event, Batman decides to put his scientific mind to work by fixing the jet and soon discovers a small error in the optics of one of the twenty cameras that are responsible for the illusion. Unfortunately, this only seems to encourage Zan further, who torments Wonder Woman on the seemingly mundane manner that invisibility is conferred. (“It’s literally all done with cameras! What a loser plane!”) In the end, fed up with Zan’s abuse, Wonder Woman soundly beats the crap out of him.

– – –

Peanuts episode:
“That’s Biotechnology, Charlie Brown!”

Charlie Brown loses yet another kite within the branches of his nemesis, the kite-eating tree. However, Linus cleverly observes that this action is not unlike the concept of phytoremediation—whereby green plants are capable of removing pollutants from the environment. Linus, along with Sally as his doting lab assistant, immediately sets upon cloning this particular tree, and goes on to secure a patent for “the use of the kite-eating tree to remove kites and other airborne contaminants from the air.” As a result, Charlie Brown and Linus embark on a biotechnology business venture that quickly makes them extremely wealthy. Empowered with his new affluence, Charlie Brown finally tells Lucy to “fuck off.”

– – –

The Simpsons episode:
“My Fat Bonehead”

Guest starring as herself, Jessica Simpson visits Springfield to teach Homer the ropes of becoming a southern gentleman (à la My Fair Lady). This goes as well as expected, and Bart in particular becomes completely smitten by the young lady. However, it is then revealed that Lisa is recently diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, and furthermore is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Miraculously, Jessica Simpson is the perfect match, which culminates in the use of genetic testing techniques to show that she is, indeed, Homer and Marge’s long-lost lovechild. Bart then has to deal with conflicting feelings of lust and the heebie-jeebies from this apparently incestuous crush.

– – –

Dora the Explorer episode:
“¡Hola! I Have a Brain Tumor!”

In this episode, Dora visits her doctor to complain about her dry, red, and itchy eyes. The doctor quickly solves the problem by advising Dora to try blinking for a change. However, at this visit, the doctor quickly suspects Dora is plagued with a more serious psychosomatic condition, since she continually refers to a talking backpack, a talking map, and a talking monkey with a perceived preference for sturdy yet red colored footwear. When Dora continues to stare off into the distance and ask bizarre and loud questions towards no one in particular (“What was YOUR favorite part of the day?”), the doctor decides to take matters into his own hand and schedules her for a CAT scan.

(Originally published at Yankee Pot Roast)

Dark Side of the Loom #greatvisual #optics

What a great visual! Handy for all sorts of discussions on optics and light in general.

By Aldo Cavini Benedetti.

My business card is actually a microscope slide. #geekcool

This is very cool.

To promote their viral marketing efforts, Italian advertising agency Enfants Terribles (aka Ebolaindustries) created these microscope slide business cards. Ebolaindustries employees operate under pseudonyms, but their real names are printed on the slides in 1.6 point type—so small the names can only be read with a microscope.

By Enfant Terribles, via Laughing Squid.

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