At this very moment in time, I am sitting in my hotel in Seattle about to set out and explore the city. I arrived here yesterday afternoon after a two-day roadtrip from San Francisco via the beautiful coast of the state of Oregon. In the middle of my roadtrip the latest trailer for Avengers: Infinity War was released to much fanfare and appraisal. While some contend that too much has been revealed in the trailer, most people have been invigorated with enthusiasm for the upcoming film release.
Avengers: Infinity War will pit the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and Ant-Man (I hope) against the mad titan Thanos, who is hellbent on acquiring the Infinity stones so that he may “balance the universe”. To balance the universe he intends to wipe out half of all the inhabitants of the universe, which means half of planet Earth.
The trailer reveals a lot, including the last stand of the Avengers in Wakanda. In addition there is a nod towards potential deaths in the trailer, with Iron Man and Captain America both in one-on-one combat with Thanos near the end of the trailer.
However, both Ant-Man and Hawkeye are notably missing from the trailer. I have feeling that this is intentional. If not, then they play no major part in the film, which is a shame considering they are two great characters.
Nonetheless, Avengers: Infinity War is sure to be a big hit when it is released next month. The posters and the billboards are making their appearances in the US already and the excitement over the film is climbing towards fever pitch.
I plan to write further on Infinity War over the coming weeks, so stayed tuned for further thoughts and blog posts.
Since I published my book “Secrets of Superhero Science” back in February last year it’s been an exciting superhero-filled superpower-fuelled adventure. And the adventure continues to astound!
Next month as part of the International Festival of Technology I will be hosting the 1st ever symposium on Superhero Science. The symposium – Secrets of Superhero Science – will bring together speakers from various fields to discuss their work and the implications for possible superpowers in the future. There will genetics, 3D bioprinting, exoskeletons, bullet-proof materials, nano-vision and ethics. I’ve got to say I’m hugely excited about the event and can’t wait to host the incredible speakers I’ve got lined up for the symposium. A full list of the speakers can be found right here.
Stay tuned for more updates on the event over the coming days and weeks. It’s going to be super!
It’s March 1st. Where did January and February go? Time flies when you’re working working.
Yesterday I managed to see a pre-screening of Logan in Eindhoven. I won’t delving into the film right now (I’ll do that at a later date) but all I’ll say is that both Jackman and Patrick Stewart were impeccable in the film, a testament to their portrayal of these two famous X-Men characters.
Back in January (seems like a long time ago now) I presented a series of experiments at Physics@Veldhoven, a huge conference for all of the physics researchers in the Netherlands. These experiments were all superhero-themed and the photographer for the event took some quite memorable photos from the event. Over the next few days I’ll be sharing some of the images with you and giving a brief overview of the experiments that were presented. For each experiment BW Science linked up with a business or university in the Netherlands to present their work with a tangible link to superheroes.
First up it’s biosensors. The Iron Man suit is one of the greatest inventions in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It is the ultimate wearable technology and allows Tony Stark, the inventor and principle wearer, to fly and fire weapons as he desires. In addition to being an incredible suit, it is also makes use of advanced biosensors that monitors Stark’s bodily functions round-the-clock.
The vision of personalised medicine is that of miniature biosensors for personal sensing near, on, or inside the body. SensUs, a competition organised by students at TU Eindhoven, has the aim of stimulating innovation in biosensing worldwide. The first competition took place in 2016 during which five teams developed biosensors to monitor creatinine, a waste product biomarker that is normally filtered by the kidneys, in the blood. Team T.E.S.T. from TU Eindhoven took part in the competition and went home with one of the competition awards. It was a fantastic competition and as Master of Ceremonies for the final in September 2016 I sampled the event firsthand.
For my Physics@Veldhoven experiments members of the T.E.S.T. team and Menno Prins of TU Eindhoven brought along there ingenious biosensor to display, a biosensor smaller than a smartphone and one that can be connected to a smartphone to give a digital interpretation of the biological data. The development of devices like this can have huge benefits for health care in the future. But it might also hold the key towards the development of biosensors for a future Iron Man-like suit.
So it’s 2017 and it’s another year. After an epic 2016 and a very busy promotion schedule at the end of the year for “Secret Science of Santa Claus” 2017 kicked off with a talk in de Blauwe Zaal at TU Eindhoven as part of the program for Stadium Generale.
An audience of more than 200 people attended and met by a wave of superhero facts, trivia and clips as the talk opened with a trailer for the highly anticipated Spider-Man: Homecoming which reaches cinemas in July 2017. After testing their superhero knowledge, the audience were taken on a short tour of the science behind possibly creating the superpowers of their favourite heroes.
The Vision, Iron Man, the Invisible Woman and Spider-Man were all the subject of discussion. And the powers of these four superheroes will also be the subject of a huge presentation I’m giving next week at the Physics@Veldhoven conference. Stay tuned for further updates over the coming days on that event!
Just over half way through my Science Week adventure and it has been a fantastic experience so far. I’ve spoken in Ennis, Limerick and Dublin and tomorrow I’m set to speak in Waterford and Dungarvan. Science Week has brought me from west to east and now down to the south coast. I’m getting a lightning tour of the Irish countryside.
Over the last few days I’ve met many students, teachers and members of the general public who have been fascinated by the amazing science behind the superheroes and Santa Claus. There is definitely the chance that some of the students will go on to create superpowers in the future. Hopefully they’ll remember where they got the ideas from and cite me in their Nobel Prize speeches.
It seems like an eternity since I spoke on RTE’s Ryan Tubridy show in March of this year, the first media promotion of my book “Secrets of Superhero Science”. Since that interview in March, there have been talks, presentations, workshops, interviews and newspaper articles, and I’ve got to say I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
One major goal that I had set myself this year was to have an article/review about the book in the national newspapers in the Netherlands. In April, I had three articles about the book published in local and national newspapers in Ireland. However, given that I wrote the book here in the Netherlands, I always felt that it was important to promote the book nationally here. I’m an ex-pat, living in the Netherlands for more than 4 and half years and in that time the Netherlands has been very influential in my professional development. In my opinion, it was important to highlight how the Netherlands had offered encouragement for the pursuit of ideas and eventually turned some of them into reality.
So this morning when I woke up and saw the book review by Martijn van Calmthout in the national newspaper de Volkskrant, I was immensely proud to have achieved one of my major goals. I’m delighted to have received a 4 out 5 star review and also very impressed with the review by Martijn on the book. In the piece, Martijn captures the essence of the book and even describes it as a manual to build superpowers in the future. I like that take on the book and thoroughly agree with his conclusion. Here’s hoping that many people take up roles as superpower creators in the near future. We need as many people as possible building superpowers.
You can read the review (in Dutch) by clicking here.
In terms of presentations and workshops, I now have a little break until next month when I’ll be heading to Ireland for Science Week. I’m very much looking forward to that!
In case you missed it I was speaking on Tipp FM in Ireland on Wednesday 17th August about the Secrets of Superhero Science. It was great to speak once again about superheroes and science, two subjects I’m very passionate about of course. Iron Man and the X-Men were subject to discussion and there was conversation about the fantastically amazing material that is spider silk.
If you want to listen to the interview you can check it out by clicking here. Move to the last 10 minutes of the podcast to find my interview.
We’ve all googled ourselves. Don’t lie. Everyone has done it. Most of the time it’s just borne out of curiosity – a curiosity of how the digital world sees you. A curiosity about our digital fame.
Over the last few months I’ve not searched for myself. However I have searched for the book “Secrets of Superhero Science” to see how much the term and information on the book has spread around the world. Naturally most articles appear in English, given that the book is written in English. Every now and then I have come across announcements in Dutch promoting bookshop presentations in Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Den Haag.
In April 2016 an excellent article written by Dick Ahlstrom about the “Secrets of Superhero Science” appeared in the Irish Times. The article received considerable media attention in Ireland at the time. It was even mentioned on an early morning radio show in Ireland in one of those “what’s in the papers segments”.
Yesterday I came across an online article that was published the day after Irish Times article that referenced both myself and the book in relation to technologies in the Iron Man suit. The most interesting thing about the article is that it’s in Spanish and published on a website with a Mexican url. Yes the “Secrets of Superhero Science” has made it to Mexico. According to the article I’m an “el experto” on superhero technologies. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many thanks to Andrea Lopez for mentioning me in the article. You can check out the article (in Spanish) right here.
At the moment I’m relaxing in Ireland, on the west coast in Kilkee, Co. Clare, getting some time to unwind after a hectic few weeks and months. Just over two weeks ago I had one of those crazy weekends consisting of two gigs with Ten Tap Trouble, work spilling over into the weekend, falling ill with the summer cold that has taken out so many over the last few weeks and Ireland played France in the second round of EURO 2016.
In the midst of all of that, on Saturday June 25th I spoke with Jonathan McCrea on Newstalk’s Futureproof program about the Secrets of Superhero Science. The interview touched on my infatuation with the superhero film genre, superhero film history and of course super-science and the science that could possibly lead to superpowers in the future. I spoke about the X-Men and genetics, Iron Man and the technology behind the suit and Spider-Man and spiderwebs.
If you want to listen to the interview just click here to hear the podcast. You’ll have to scroll a bit into the podcast to find my segment.
This week on Thursday July 14th I’ll be at Hodges Figgis in Dublin. Hope to see you there. I’ll be starting my super-science lecture at 18.00.