Bleats

Supervillains Could Have Fixed Climate Change For Us So Maybe They're The Real Heroes

"They said I was a madman! Me! Mwwaaahahahahaha! Those pitiful fools - I'll SAVE THEM ALL!"

We live in a golden age of superhero movies, and a horror time of human-created climate change – and yet, so many of the supervillain plots of the last several decades involved solutions to our climate nightmare.

So maybe… maybe we’ve been getting our hero films all wrong.

This magnificent premise was set up by Rob Bricken at One Zero, who pointed out that loads of supervillains have developed surprisingly helpful tech.

Sound doubtful? Then check these bad (mostly) boys out.

Doc Ock was this close to nailing nuclear fusion

Nuclear energy has a bunch of stumbling blocks, ranging from cost to disposal of the waste to the whole Chernobyl thing, but For Otto Octavius was so close to creating the dream of physicists everywhere: a room-temperature fusion reactor in… um, a loft apartment, by the looks of it?

And this isn’t completely impossible, as best as we can work out, but Spider-Man ruined the whole experiment just because it had a power spike, exploded and killed some people, and also fused Octavius’s mechanical arms to his back and drove him mad with vengeance. Thanks a lot, Pete.

Batman & Robin involved thwarting two great climate change solutions

In the rightly abhorred fourth Batman movie before Christopher Nolan decided to go the gritty reboot route, Poison Ivy proposed a reforestation strategy which, admittedly, would have killed millions. But given what’s happening with the Amazon right now, that feels like a decent tradeoff.

Similarly, if Mr Freeze could turn Gotham to ice then he would appear to have a solution to the question of how cities can survive the extreme temperatures predicted by the end of the century.

Although to be fair, maybe it wasn’t worth the number of puns we’d need to endure.

So very, very many villains have had weather machines

Destro had the “Weather Dominator” in GI Joe, Sir August De Wynter had his “Prospero Project” in the Avengers movie that no-one remembers because of rather more successful subsequent franchises, Professor Menace had one in Static Shock, there was one in one of the goddawful Get Smart movies and in an Underdog episode… god, it got used a lot.

However the best one was in the Man With The Golden Gun, which was the “Sole Agitator”, essentially a solar focussing device. Which, again, has obviously applications for clean energy. Oh, Scaramanga, you could have been Elon Musk.

When all else fails…

There’s the break-in-case-of-ecological-devastation option, aka the Genesis Device in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

“Oh, hey.”

That basically wiped a barren planet clean and then created a new and verdant utopia in its place, assuming that it all went to plan. Which – spoiler! – it did not.

You know, climate change does seem like a tricky issue, and supervillains are maybe not that trustworthy. perhaps we’re better off just taking better care of the place?

You're The Same Person Drunk As You Are Sober So No More Excuses

It's a lame excuse and needs ending.

Bad news for everyone that’s rolled out the “sorry, I had a bit much last night” as excuses for your bad behaviour – it turns out that you’re the same person morally when you’re drunk as when you’re sober.

So if you’re a good person and woke up blearily wondering what you said and did last night, good news! You were most likely your usual pleasant self, if more unsteady.

But if you’re constantly holding horrible opinions or furtive desires in check then… well, in vino veritas.

This helpful piece of new information comes from a study which got participants to face a moral quandary sober, and slug down some vodka before doing it again.

And the researchers found that alcohol absolutely did impair empathy, in that participants found it harder to recognise and respond appropriately to, for example, a happy or sad expression. So drunk you is definitely inappropriate, that’s fair.

And adorable!

But they found that the moral compass of those in the study remained consistent, in that they responded to moral quandaries like the Trolley Problem the same way when sober and when smashed.

Yes, the Trolley Problem. Like in The Good Place.

Now that’s some chunky moral philosophy.

For those not across it, the Trolley Problem has a runaway carriage racing toward a group of people on the track who will definitely be killed. You have the power to flip a switch and send it on another track, where it will also definitely kill one person. What do you do?

Is it better to save several lives at the sacrifice of one, or does it make a difference that you make the active decision to kill that one person, even to save five people that would have died had you not intervened?

It’s a thorny question with no easy answer, which is why it’s a great way to discuss moral actions. Especially when tanked.

And the result? According to researcher Kathryn Francis, “If people refused to sacrifice the person’s life in the same situation because they believed that killing was wrong regardless of the consequences, they also did the same when drunk.”

So there you go, team. Drunk or sober, we have no excuses anymore. We’ll need to come up with a better excuse for being a jerk after a few.

Nirvana Are Officially Better Than Queen Which Everyone Obviously Already Knew

Here we are now, entertain us!

Saying that Nirvana are better than Queen is similar to saying that orgasms sting less acutely than pant-wasps, not least because Nirvana made good records which are enjoyable to listen to and Queen are dreck.

It’s a fact, don’t @ me.

Yep.

Anyway, science (science!) have confirmed this basic universal truth via a new analysis of songs by researchers from Goldsmiths, University of London, led by music AI expert Professor Mick Grierson, which concluded that ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is the most iconic song of all time.

Number 2 was John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, number three was, confusingly, U2’s ‘One’, Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ was fourth, and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was wrongly placed at five instead of at nothingth.

Oh, and before you ask: the Beatles were in there, at number six with ‘Hey Jude’.

As an aside, Dr Grierson found there were certain words which were especially common in the songs on the list, including “love”, ‘baby” and “nah” – although the aforementioned inclusion of ‘Hey Jude’ probably pushed that nah-count way, way up.

Yeah: nah.

Since iconicness isn’t a thing that can be measured they went with running the songs from seven all time best of lists from respected music publications through software which analyised the key, tempo, lyrics and “timbral variety, and sonic variance” which is a fancy way to say “sound”.

Now, this was a British study using largely British music lists – as Spin points out, this explains why Oasis’ highest ranking song is the passionately Brit-loved ‘Live Forever’ (at number seventeen) rather than the international hit ‘Wonderwall’ – but even so we could assume that it’s even more parochial and UK-centric than would be the case with international data.

And thus in a better-weighted study, Queen should be even lower. Maybe even last. That would make sense.

Because Queen are awful.

Again, don’t @ me.

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