July 14, 2008

Becoming Batman

I've seen similar pieces before that postulate on the likelihood that someone could actually transform themselves into Batman, generally regarded as one of the more "realistic" superhero's as he possesses no "super powers," but this one in Scientific American is pretty good as it is an interview with E. Paul Zehr, a professor of kinesiology and neuroscience as well as a 26-year practitioner of Chito-ryu, who has a new book coming out in October entitled, Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero.  Here are a couple of good quotes:
How would Batman get enough rest?
The difficulty for Batman is he's going to be trying to sleep during the day. He's going to be really tired, actually, unless he can shift himself over to just being up at night. If he were just a nocturnal guy, he would actually be a lot healthier and have a lot better sleep than if he were doing what he does now, which is getting some light here and there. That's going to mess up his sleep patterns and duration of sleep.
. . . .

How would all those beat-downs have affected his longevity?
Keeping in mind that being Batman means never losing: If you look at consecutive events where professional fighters have to defend their titles—Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Ultimate Fighters—the longest period you're going to find is about two to three years. That dovetails nicely with the average career for NFL running backs. It's about three years. (That's the statistic I got from the NFL Players Association Web site.) The point is, it's not very long. It's really hard to become Batman in the first place, and it's hard to maintain it when you get there.
. . . . 

How many of us do you think could become a Batman?
If you found the percentage of billionaires and multiply that by the percentage of people who become Olympic decathletes, you could probably get a close estimate. The really important thing is just how much a human being really can do. There's such a huge range of performance and ability you can tap into.


Anonymous said...

But does the average billionaire/olympic superdude have the smarts to be Batman? Or would an overabundance of intellect prevent such a venture?

j said...

probably more important is something in their biography that parallels the death of bruce wayne's parents and which would drive them to make such an investment.

Pomeroy Kinsey said...

Interesting article. I was wondering similar things the other day. Think about the amount of time he has to spend each day to stay in the shape he's in. Plus all the time in the evening he's out fighting crime, and the amount of time he spends on Bruce Wayne cover. THe real constraint on Batman is the time constraint - there aren't enough hours in a day, I don't think.

But as for the 2-3 years of top fighting. DC Universe has a kind continuity that seems to freeze time. So, in theory, he's been roughly 33-38 or so since 1939, so I think that part is more consistent with the interviewee's point.

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