Reality Check - Real Superhuman Strength?
The Amazing Spider-Man may be crazy strong, but what would it take for regular humans to exhibit superhuman strength? The answer is lots of stress, adrenaline, and just a touch of PCP.
by Sarah Lynch on
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Flex those mental muscles and join Cam Robinson on a journey of discovery in Reality Check, the show that investigates the science behind your favourite games, and spawns a few wild theories of its own.
Schedule: Thursdays at 12pm PT
Host: Cameron Robinson
in one istace i was playing a cup final and i had to play considering i had the flew and i scored in the 55 th minute and after that the pain was gone and i never stopped running till the 90th minute. considering the ppl there thoght i was on drugs how much i was running now i know why they thoght that :) incredible feeling of being one with what you are doing :) ppl that have achived this will agree
Oh man, oh man, oh man. Did they have to show that person being bent in half? Ouch!
Don't care about super human strength since we as a species have the mental capacity to overcome our physical limitations. Just make an exoskeleton suit and that will take care of that! I believe there was an older episode that talks about this and eventually the tech will get better. So in other words who needs to be the Hulk when we all can be Iron Men! LOL
Here's a suggestion for another topic I've been pondering about myself: We're all aware that video games can assist in relieving symptoms of depression, but could too much gaming cause it?
good show seb and if cams reading check out a really small bar called circus circus in Iceland it was my local when i lived in Reykjavik
Seb Ford has superhuman nipples. It is said that they can slice through diamonds as if they were butter. Despite their clearly apparent protrusion in this video (causing several viewers to second guess whether or not they had 3D monitors), it should be known that they in fact were being covered under his shirt by a fine layer or gauze and duct tape.
Hey, I actually understood parts of this episode. Looks like that year of psychology actually paid off to some degree.
I'm surprised there was no mention of any groups working on developing a superhuman serum or some such thing. You'd have thought the military would want it.
The real question is, can games trigger the flight or fight response? Can it seem real enough to the body that it happens?
A couple of related things that may be of interest, but are slightly off topic:
First, I have to recommend an essay I read years ago by science fiction author Larry Niven about the hazards of super-strength -- "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_of_Steel,_Woman_of_Kleenex
Second, there is this thing called the square/cube law -- strength tends to increase proportionate to the surface area of an animal/structure/etc. But mass increases proportionate to the volume. Therefore, strength tends to increase as the square of the height, while mass tends to increase as the cube of the height. So as things get bigger, they actually can lift less mass proportionally to their height, simply because they already have to lift their own weight, which is increasing by the cube of their height. In other words, you'll never have a human being with the 'proportional strength of a spider' because too much of that strength is occupied simply keeping the person upright. If you were designing a giant creature, at some point, as the height increased, you'd have a creature so big that it would be unable to walk because its mass would just about match its strength, and any larger, and you'd have something that could actually collapse under its own weight. Whales get around this problem btw, by living in water.
The only way I see to achieve superman strength is with exoskeletons.
(I don´t know if it´s a problem from my xbox, but for some weeks now, some shows appear out of sync on your xbox app.)
Great show Seb, I was expecting another gag at 1:19 where you were introducing the topic..
Also, you should have spoken about steroids, or the possibility of radio active mutations giving you super human abilities.. It's how science works in our fantasy world.
This one time, this guy punched me, so I punched him back, then his 5 friends decided to jump me... I woke up 2 minutes later with 4 people lying on the floor in serious pain, and 2 others knocked out cold. People who witnessed everything, told me that i beat the living sh*t out of those 6 goons who were picking on me. To this day I have no idea what I did or how I did it.
I miss being younger, I felt like I had superhuman Strengths back then, now I've gotten older, lazier and fatter and the only superhuman strength I have left is a fatass to sit on for hours playing games, nice little power to have for long periods of sitting.
Oh dear... well, no PC game reviews for a few weeks I guess.
P.S. Iceland IS another planet. Can anyone other than a native even hope to pronounce (never mind spell) that country's capital??
Unfortunately in stressful situations I dont get any super human strength. Just super human sweating. Which I suppose could come in handy if I got stuck crawling through a ventilation system.
Good job filling in, Seb :D
hmm I can remember that once when I was a kid, my sister fell into the swimming pool and I grabbed her from her shirt to keep her from drowning, and screamed at the top of my voice until my older sister came to help XD but probably the water helped pull up a bit.
I can also think of other sources of power besides from life threatening, like anger! Or it just makes you more aggressive? not sure :P There was once this guy at school who kept making me angry, until I once pushed him to the floor with one arm, everyone was surprised XD it was a good feeling, he never bothered me again.
Heh heh, I bet you felt a little surge of adrenaline when you saw that dent in the floor, Seb :p
This is a cool topic though, I'd say I've had a couple adrenaline pumps in my days, generally when doing carpentry work (some very tense moments when working in high or unstable places, as well as holding up en entire wall frame several stories above ground while wind gusts attempt to pry it from your grip.. scary stuff!). Also a few times when hiking, I like rock climbing and that kind of stuff and I've definitely been in situations where I legitimately thought I was done for, exciting but scary too!
Oh and one more... I was a lifeguard for several years and that's definitely an adrenaline filled job at times, though I never really encountered any serious emergencies in my time on the job, thankfully!
I haven't experienced 33% more strength, but I have experienced a distortion of my perception of time.
Has there been a Reality Check on bullet time?
Cheers Seb, You'll be happy to hear you explained the SNS better than my physiology lecturer... was Cam giving you hints? :)
@Raizak Any activity that a depressed person does in order to avoid symptoms of depression psychologists label as self-medication. You can self medicate with video games, or alcohol, or food, or exercise, or isolation and/or staying in bed. I telling you this as someone who's been diagnosed as clinically depressed. It's not necessarily a bad thing, at least the video game and exercise part. But anything done to excess is bad (yes, even exercise). We all get depressed, but the difference between normal and clinical depression is that when the source of the depression fades, a normally depressed person starts getting back to his normal activities, whereas a clinically depressed person continues to suffer.
@thebrown07 Dead-lifting it's do-able, but I need grips. Can't hold on to the bar at that weight!
@evil_m3nace I've definitely undergone a physiological change while playing some games. Perhaps not the increased strength part, but stressful sections of intense fighting have caused an improvement in my reflexes to the point I've had to stopped and take a breather afterwards.
@drpep14 Kerry Katona.
@drpep14 Vikings and Scotsmen!
@tonytones21 Ahhh the white hot rage-out. Had a friend do that too: provoked into fight, made a mess of the guy. I asked what happened later on and he said "I kinda blacked out, I don't remember".
@mesomorphin Depends on how you lift it. Clean and jerk is much harder than just squatting, 100kg is really easy for squatting.
@nl_skipper indeed scary, take care buddy :)
@ndmq Just going by my one-rep max on dead lifts. Not squats or bench.