Friday, May 11, 2007

A Nobel for the Sandman - New York Times op-ed

A Nobel for the Sandman - New York Times op-ed: "SPIDER-MAN has returned to the big screen, and in addition to the thrilling action and new developments in Peter Parker’s love life, this latest installment provides a little education in cutting-edge physics. There’s nothing in the movie about string theory or extra dimensions, to be sure, but viewers are exposed to advances in another hot field of scientific research, thanks to Spidey’s foe Flint Marko, also known as Sandman.

Marko first appeared in the comic book Amazing Spider-Man No. 4, created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. In this story, an accident involving radioactivity (was there any other kind of accident in 1960s comic books?) mutated a hardened criminal into a supervillain, capable of transforming all or part of his body into living sand. O.K. — this part is not scientifically accurate.

But the feats that Sandman performs in comic books and in “Spider-Man 3” as he robs banks and tangles with our arachnid hero often correctly display the fascinating properties of granular materials."


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