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Monthly Archives: January 2009

28 coolest super powers – 7-1

7. Super strength

You don’t have to work out to get that hot bod, just get super strength (muscles and hot bods go together, just look at all the super heroes).  On top of that, you can lift your car.  Don’t worry about parallel parking, just place your car in the spot.  And if there’s a no parking sign, just lift it out of the ground and move it some where else.  See, there’s lots of great real-world applications for super strength.

Examples: Superman, Hulk, Thing

brain 6. Super intelligence

Ok, take this one to the extreme.  This is like, any language you hear, you instantly understand.  Or you can invent time machines out of coffee cans (even MacGyver failed there).  You could solve every unsolved mystery in the galaxy.  So many you won’t do all that yourself, but having a nice 400 I.Q. or something could make for some profitable endeavors.  Think of yourself as Bill Gates time a million.  Yeah, being smart might have sucked during grade school, but once you’ve made that first million, the suits and sluts will be lining up.  Or sluts in suits, whatever you’re into.

Examples: Braniac 5, Mister Fantastic

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28 coolest super powers – 14-8

14. Bullet proof/invulnerability

From a punch to the face to falling out of a plane, you just can’t get hurt.  They might say no pain, no gain, but who really cares about that.  Pain sucks.  You might not be able to peak anyone up, but if someone tries to hurt you, you can just laugh in their face.  Think of it as the make-high-school-easier power.

Examples: Superman

13. Duplication

Calvin and Hobbes, from Universal Press Syndicate

More of anything. You.  Money.  Your girl/boyfriend.  Yup, easy as that.

Examples: Multiple Man, Multiple Man, Multiple Man

12. Control machines

Windows Blue Screen of Death, from Microsoft

Does it feel like your computer hates you?  Will the washing machine never shut up?  Do you want your toaster to dance?  If you could talk to them, maybe they’d listen.  This uber-science-fictiony power could let you control the internet or just keep your refrigerator quiet, but both applications sound pretty awesome.  You’ll never worry about bandwidth again or not having the right tool for the job.  Hell, with enough skill, you could make your cellphone play PSP games.  What, we’re talking about make believe here, work with me.

Examples: Mayor Hundred (Ex Machina)

11. Regeneration

Jump off buildings, shoot yourself, or cut off an arm – it’ll hurt – but you’ll be just fine.  It might be cool to never get hurt, but it’s even cooler to just regrown everything.  Regeneration let’s you have some fun with life without worrying about silly things like death.  Regeneration isn’t simply invulnerability.  You can technically get hurt, but it doesn’t last.  Everything heals.  Even old age.  Maybe you’ll die at some point from old age (really, really, really old age), but nothing around can really do permanent damage to you (though you’re not technically immortal).  To life free and crazy.  No day can be your last.

Examples: Wolverine, Claire (Heroes), Adam Monroe (Heroes)

10. Time Travel

Want to see the dinosaurs?  Or maybe have lunch with with Leonardo Da Vinci.  Or better yet, invest a couple of bucks in Microsoft during its infancy.  Yeah, have some laughs, make a few million.  It’s all good.  The biggest downside to this power is just how risky it is changing time.  You don’t want to end up in a world where everyone’s a doughnut.  Or do you?

Examples: Hiro (Heroes)

teleportation 9. Teleportation

If you’ve ever run late, had a crappy commute, or been stuck in traffic, you can understand how awesome teleportation would be.  With a thought you could be somewhere else.  Wake up five minutes before work and then just snap your fingers to appear at your desk early.  Want to take a long lunch? Teleport in and out with no one the wiser.  Forgot Grandma’s Christmas present? Just teleport home and back, a real life hero.  Teleporting earns its spot for the fringe benefits.  You might not easily win the lottery (though stealing stuff and teleporting away is doable) or get laid, but you’ll have so much more time not traveling, you can learn to play an instrument (to win over the ladies/men) or play the stock market (also to win over the ladies/men).  Or to really impress them, teleport past bouncers and guards to get into exclusive clubs/concerts or movie premieres.  Make yourself look like one of the social elite and many someone will actually fall for it.

Examples: Nightcrawler

8. Flight

Possibly the most romantic super-power of all.  Yes, we all remember Superman flying with Lois, but flying is romantic not just as an aphrodisiac.  It’s the idea of soaring in the sky, with total freedom – no boundaries.  This power will not provide you wealth or women but you’ll have the thrill of your life.  Plus, avoiding the traffic to work is always a plus.

Examples: Superman

28 coolest super powers – 21-15

Dr. Dolittle, 20th Century Fox 21. Talk to animals

You’ll feel like an idiot the first couple of times, but you can be a living Dr. Dolittle.  And while there’s many better things to do than be a veterinarian, talking to animals would lead to some amazing conversations…I expect.  Find out why dogs sniff each others’ butts, what do cows think of being tipped over, do horses like being ridden, and why does my cat hate me.  All these answers can be yours to share with the world…and then have them call you insane.  But it’d still be cool.  Plus, it’s a lot easier to teach your dog to use the toilet if you know how to say toilet in dog.

Examples: Dr. Dolittle

20. Walk through walls

Never worry about losing your keys again.  This simple power allows you to avoid all those annoying solid objects in the world.  Perfect for simply getting out of a crowded room (just walk through everyone) to the less moral bank robbery (reach your hand into any locked case).

Examples: Shadowcat

19. Illusion

We always try to fool our parents and friends with pillows in the bed or feigning sickness, but now you can fool them all without fail.  Make anything from your imagination come to reality and let it fool everyone around.  Make people think you’re wearing Armani or get rid of that pimple.  You could be totally naked with no hair and no one would no.  Joke’s on them.

Examples: Mastermind

18. Manipulate molecules

Think of this as telekinesis on the microscopic level.  Instead of moving objects with your mind, you’re just moving molecules.  So maybe you’ll have to study physics a bit, but this can be a pretty powerful power.  Rearrange molecules to make new, twisted objects or maybe even chemicals.  Beats actually cooking, just mix the flour and sugar together to make your cookies.  There’s probably other applications, but when there’s cookies, who cares?

Examples: Molecule Man

X-Ray glasses, from Amazon.com 17. X-Ray

Pick between door #1 and #2.  Now it’s not a guess, cause you can see what’s behind both.  So maybe this power works best on game shows, but there are other, naughtier applications for x-ray vision and the like.  Don’t tell me you haven’t imagined it.  I want to help diagnosis broken bones too.  Seriously.

Examples: Superman, X-ray glasses from comic books

16    Control weather

If you hate the rain and prefer 73 degrees, controlling the weather might be just for you.  If you want to skip work, call for a snow storm.  If you’re going the beach, make sure it’s sunny and warm.  Want the leaves cleared away?  Just call for a gust of wind.

Examples: Storm

15. See the future

You won’t get hit by the speed car cause you’ll see it coming.  At the same time you’ll make millions playing the stock market.  Sure some of the surprise in life will be gone, but risk and no reward is just no fun.

Examples: Destiny

28 coolest super powers – 28-22

This week Prodigeek highlights the 28 coolest super powers to have. These are super powers that can make your life better – easier to get fame, fortune, and fellatio. These powers also can just make your life easier.  Embarrassing side effects like turn blue are looked down upon (it hurts the fellatio…some of the time). So start hanging around nuclear test sites so you can have your very own cool super power.

Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, from Warner Bros. 28. Control plants

It sounds corny, but think about how many plants there are.  Yeah, they’re everywhere.  There’s some limited application, but with some creative planning (and interior decorating) you can make your home a self-sufficient cleaning and producing machine.  Keep your yard stocked with fruits and veggies, make the vines paint your house, and keep a giant Venus fly trap around for security.  You’ll feel silly doing it, but it’ll be worth it.

Examples: Poison Ivy

27. Super agility

Jump 50 feet, do the limbo 10 inches off the floor, and bounce off walls like Daffy Duck.  Yes, the you can enjoy the acrobatic finesse of a trapeze artist or gymnast without all the sweat and toil and practice.  Sure this isn’t as glamorous as super strength, but think about all those kick-ass fighting games.  How fun are the tiny agile characters.  Yeah, the girls, but there were guys too.  And they were fun.  In an androgynous sort of way.  Still, agility is fun.

Examples: Spider-Man

26. Super senses

You can hear, see, touch, taste, and feel, flawlessly.  Ok, so maybe there’s some negatives (bad smells smell worse), but on the plus side, you can listen into any conversation in your office and help spread the gossip.  Or read the newspaper by feeling the ink raised on the paper (that’s what Daredevil does).  Super senses sounds silly, and always sniffing the air will make you look silly, but there’s still some fun to be had.  You wanna be like Wolverine don’t you?

Examples: Wolverine, Daredevil

Poker, form http://ur.rutgers.edu/medrel/images/poker.jpg 25. Probability control

So this may stink for fighting crime, but it rocks at playing craps.  Yes, don’t worry about that 1,000 to 1 shot cause with a snap of your fingers, it can be a sure thing.  Want to make that straight flush in Vegas.  No problem.  Any bets will be an easy win for you.  And to really impress your friends, mess with the probabilities to make your favorite win American Idol.  Yeah, that’ll show ’em.

Examples: Scarlet Witch

24. Immortality

So living past all your loved one might suck, but there are some pluses like never worrying about dying.  Yup, living forever can just be pretty damn fun.  You can travel the world, have ever experience, and never worry about filling each day as if it’s your last.

Examples: Duncan MacLeod (Highlander)

23. Control metal

Think of this as specialized telekinesis.  Move cars, planes, and dog collars with the power of your mind.  If you’re really powerful, you can even control the iron in people’s blood.  Yeah, get that blood rushing in all the right places.  You might have some limitations on your powers (you can only control metal, remember), but that’s a ton of stuff.  So don’t worry.  Be happy.

Examples: Magneto

22. Shoot elements/control elements

Human Torch, from 20th Century Fox

This is kind of a catch-all for being able to manipulate fire or water or air or earth.  Having all would obviously kick more ass, but let’s assume for the sake of this list that you only get one element, like the Human Torch or Iceman.  Different elements have different awesomeness about them from being able to warm yourself when it’s cold (or cool yourself in the heat), splash people in the face, and more.  It takes some creativity to makes these powers help your daily life – they’re much better for super heroing, but offer such a range of skills.

Examples: Human Torch, Iceman, Hydro Man, Terra

Why are shameless knock offs a bad thing?

The hardest part of debating intellectual property is the widespread misconceptions people have.  Many people I talk to who don’t even realize they are copyright holders (of their doodles and term papers) fall into thinking people should own ideas so they can make money without considering why.  Ideas don’t happen in a vacuum. They build on many ideas before.

I became more frustrated by Forbes’ magazine’s praising of Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, exacerbating the misconceptions .  Kotick has become a business press darling overseeing the merger of the largest video game company with an obvious eye on profits (to the chagrin of video game fans). Forbes writer Peter Beller explains “EA also teamed with MTV to sell Rock Band, a shameless knockoff of Guitar Hero that added drums, bass and a microphone to the world of make-believe rock stars.”

First, Guitar Hero wasn’t an original idea unto itself. It built on many, many ideas before it from people who enjoy air guitaring to the many previous versions of plastic musical instruments. I had a toy piano when I was a baby only a short, few years ago.  Did Activision shamelessly knock-off all these ideas too?

Second, why not look at what Rock Band did differently. The interface is very similar and even the controller instruments look alike, but Rock Band added many features, namely singing and drums. That’s building on someone else’s idea, just like Guitar Hero did.  Rock Band improved the idea so much, Guitar Hero shamelessly knocked them off with its new edition, featuring singing and drums.

Everyone copies everyone. It’s natural and a major part of how innovation happens – people see what works and make it better. This is why copying is good thing. Everyone does it and it makes everyone else better. The sincerest form of flattery is imitation. Don’t be scared of stealing ideas. Just be scared of not making them better.

There’s another side to jobs lost: new jobs

It’s a sad time to try to put a silver lining on job losses, especially when many of my friends are accepting unemployment for the first time.  But there is a silver lining for our economy few look at.  New, better jobs.

Slate posted a list of all the industries that have been hurt or put out of business because of improving technology. This includes typewriters to turntables to toll collectors (replaced by E-ZPass) and film cameras.  They don’t even mention horse and buggy.  Agriculture is the best example. Once the dominant economic force in this country, now agriculture is less than one percent of its GDP.

The economy keeps growing because new industries create new jobs, and often these new jobs are better. They require more skill and pay more money, lifting the living conditions of the nation as a whole.  This is why loosing toll workers and bank tellers to automatic systems isn’t a bad thing. It’s an opportunity.

Technology helps free human labor for the jobs technology can’t do.  As technology improves, it can replace human labor more and more.  Humans used to have to ride their horse or bike themselves, but soon let automobiles do the hard work. We used to do hard math on paper until calculators and computers did the work for us. This doesn’t make us lazy or stupid or worthless. It lets us move on to the next job.

Technology can’t problem solve or think on its feet like humans can (not yet at least).  More people can now work as problem solvers, as nurses, technicians, or repairmen for all our gadgets. These jobs require training, so there’s also trainers to hire. Because of the qualifications, these jobs pay more than being the toll worker or bank teller.  That is a good thing.

Thomas Friedman showed in his book The World is Flat why outsourcing isn’t the bad word, but a benefit to the United States and the world. China, India, and other countries take the jobs we don’t want. They take simple accounting, doctoral, or easy-to-do customer service jobs that Americans want higher wages for but don’t enjoy doing. To an Indian coming out of school, these outsourced jobs are the ticket out of poverty. They are fought over by thousands of applicants for a fraction of the pay Americans get.  When they get the job, they are excited and motivated because the job is so prestigious.  They make more money than they would have without the outsourced job, work more productively, saving companies money.  These workers then use their new middle-class wages to buy more goods (some American even) and educate their children allowing the next-generation to have more.  This is how a country builds wealth.

Watching entire industries crash is frustrating, but inevitable.  The U.S. automotive industry wants a bailout for their lack of innovation and market success, but what about newspapers and the recording industry. Do they get bailouts too? The United States needs to encourage the next-generation of technology to flourish so it can replace these jobs with more, better jobs increasing our economy and wealth.  There is a silver lining to even this economic collapse. It gives the nation and world a chance to learn from mistakes (however unlikely) and build a stronger nation with better jobs tomorrow. Now accepting applications.