Tagged: Batman

“Lego Movie” Gets Great Reviews, Still Ridiculous

By Robin Ngai, Staff Writer
@bluebird1278

Are you going to "The Lego Movie"?/ PHOTO BY Robin Ngai

Are you going to “The Lego Movie”?/ PHOTO BY Robin Ngai

Since “The Lego Movie” came out two weeks ago, my Facebook news-feed has been filled with statuses raving about it, my friends have been raving about it, and even Rotten Tomatoes has been raving about it (the movie has a 96% rating, beating The Dark Knight!)

My point is everyone is raving about it, except me. No, I haven’t seen it yet and I’m not here to claim that it’s a horrible film. And I’ve heard nothing but praise. But I’m just a bit skeptical as to how brilliant this children’s movie could be (and whether it’s worth the $12 movie ticket).

My childhood was never centered on these tiny plastic blocks (“books or bust” was my parents’ motto) so it’s hard for me want to shell out some time to watch this movie. I’ve seen the trailer in theaters and wasn’t blown away by the cheesy jokes or story line.

It seems that animated movies are the thing of the moment. Last year we had “Monsters University,” “The Croods,” and “Despicable Me 2,” among others. The past few months we had “Frozen” melting hearts all around the world. And now, “The Lego Movie” has stepped up and taken its place.

Despite my skepticism, it’s been rated as a film that should be watched by all ages. Adults love it, children love it and my roommate who hasn’t even seen it yet, also loves it. She’s been trying to convince me to watch it for weeks.

I give it credit for being well animated and for taking the nation by storm. Maybe one day I’ll watch “The Lego Movie,” but I don’t think it’ll be any time soon.

Science Tuesday: Bat Crazy for The Batarang

By Chris Lisinski, Staff Writer
@chrislisinski

Question: Who is the best superhero?

You’re wrong. It’s Batman.

I know, I’ve heard all the arguments about how he doesn’t have superpowers, but doesn’t that make him more interesting? Watching Superman punch baddies over and over again without any threat gets boring. Batman is vulnerable and from this world, and that makes him easy to connect with.

Speaking of his human side, he’s also a role model for those of us with comic book inclinations, and expert boomerang-maker Victor Poulin has taken one step closer to becoming Batman: he successfully created a Batarang that actually circles back around when you throw it.

Poulin has already made some pretty fascinating products, including a tomahawk-looking boomerang and one that is almost as tall as he is, but he unveiled his recent bat-related throwing device in this Jan. 24 video on his YouTube account:

In the video, Poulin is standing alone in a snowy field. I like to imagine that field as high in the Himalayas near the secret hideout of the League of Shadows (unfortunately, Liam Neeson is nowhere to be found).

The batarang in the video is quite large, measuring a full 25.25 inches from the left edge to the right edge. It is made of 10-ply Finnish birch, and Poulin put in the effort to paint it black like the eternal night in which Batman resides.

He demonstrates the batarang, then hurls it out into the wilderness. You’ll have to use your imagination and pretend that the batarang smacks Mr. Freeze in the head during its flight. 

It disappears for a bit, and then BANG! It’s right back in his hand, albeit not from the flight pattern he quite expected.

It’s quite a fascinating process all made possible by science. Most returning boomerangs fly in a circular process away and back to the thrower, and they are essentially wings with the same design properties as you would find on plane wings.

Two of the edges of the boomerang are rounded off and the other two are flat, which is known as an airfoil. The curvature of the wing causes the streamlines of the air to curve, and this lowers the pressure on the top of the wing.

If you remember anything from high school science — air flows from high pressure to low pressure (just as heat moves from high temperature to low temperature), so when the air flows from the high-pressure area below the wing to the low-pressure area above the wing, it causes lift and allows flight.

But why does the boomerang turn around and come back? It wouldn’t be so prudent a weapon if Batman had to restock every time he used a batarang, even if he is filthy rich.

When you throw a boomerang properly, the “top” wing, or top half, actually flies through the air at a higher rate of speed because it is spinning forward in addition to flying forward, according to a HowStuffWorks article on the subject. This creates a “constant force” on the top of the boomerang, and, long story short, when there is a constant force on top, it is actually felt 90 degrees to the side, which forces the boomerang to turn constantly.

In case you were wondering/looking for a birthday gift for me, Poulin sells a smaller 7-inch batarang on his website. It will only set you back about $55, which, let’s be honest, is the most worthwhile expenditure you will make in your entire college career.

Batkid Saves San Francisco

By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
@Brandon_S_Lewis

Batkid

Batkid and Batman save the day/ PHOTO VIA Flikr user Eric Wagner

With Thanksgiving coming up next week, the holiday season is already in full gear. Kids all over the world are prepping their gift lists, attempting to be on their best behavior and asking their parents, “Is it Christmas yet?”

Last week, the Make-A-Wish Foundation put many of us into the holiday spirit by making a young cancer patient’s dream of becoming Batman come true.

Miles Scott, a 5-year-old from Northern California, was diagnosed with leukemia at just 18 months old and, after undergoing years of chemotherapy, is now in remission. The non-profit organization, along with the people of San Francisco, rallied together to transform the city into Marvel’s Gotham City and allowed the little man to roam the streets as Batkid.

Police Chief Greg Suhr called on Batkid do what Batman does best: fight crime. Batkid foiled the Riddler’s plans to rob a bank, rescued a damsel in distress from being struck by a cable car, and saved the San Francisco Giants’ mascot from being captured by the Penguin. But he wasn’t fighting crime alone: a Batman impersonator accompanied him on his crime fighting spree.

The day ended with the young cancer survivor receiving a key to the city from the San Francisco mayor, Edwin M. Lee, and a $10,000 check donated by an anonymous clothing company. Miles even got a shout-out from President Obama. And The San Francisco Chronicle circulated a special “Gotham City Gazette” edition in honor of Batkid’s heroics.

What an amazing day it was for both Miles and the city! The tireless work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the support of the city of San Francisco both prove that something good can come out of something bad and together we can make the seemingly impossible possible.