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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019) and AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Laser beams from my eyes

PZ Myers has claimed to be able to shoot laser beams from his eyes, based on this dubious evidence. Well, perhaps. But he's an amateur compared with some, as demonstrated by this unedited silver-and-gold shot of me with Amanda Pitcairn (corroborated by the less dramatic (until you click on it) pic with Nicole Vincent).


Steelman said...

Proof positive of the assertions made by some theist bloggers that atheists really do believe in, yet deny, the Almighty; fearful, suppressed visions of hellfire can be observed through a close inspection of the windows of the soul. Or maybe the most paranoid UFO faithful are right about the evil alien android invasion? Don't get tricky here; they say those who deny the evil alien android invasion are themselves evil alien androids.

Russell Blackford said...

I thought it was just a genetic mutation like Cyclops in the X-Men ... but what would I know?

Blake Stacey said...

Speaking of Cyclops et al., you might know about this:

What is the energy source in the X-Men universe for firing energy beams, levitating suspension bridges and all that? Is the source of all that power defined, canonically?

Russell Blackford said...

You need to read Karen Haber's book on the science of the X-Men.

Without having read Karen's book, I think the explanation that Marvel used to give of Cyclops' power beam was that he taps into an extradimensional energy source. Something similar happens when, for example, Bruce Banner changes into the Hulk and adds hundreds of pounds of mass. But I don't know whether this has ever been discussed in the actual comics.

As far as I know, it's never been made clear whether Magneto is "just" manipulating the Earth's magnetic field in some pseudoscientific way when he levitates suspension bridges, or whatever, or whether he can also create new magnetic fields of great power. Given the range of effects he can produce, the latter seems more likely. In either case, I have no idea how he does it. :)

Blake Stacey said...

Thanks. I only ask because the "shoot laser beams from the eyes" thing reminded me of this discussion from back in July.

Anonymous said...

Something similar happens when, for example, Bruce Banner changes into the Hulk and adds hundreds of pounds of mass.

If you can find it, read Alan Moore's Miracleman comics. The comic explicitly explains that the reason that unassuming Whatsisname can turn into Miracleman is that he has a second body in a parallel universe.

In fact, this is used against him: shifting mass this way releases energy, so they trap mild-mannered Wossname in an elevator, where he can't bring in his superhero body without frying the innocent people around him.

Russell Blackford said...

Well, that'll delight Blake - now I've read the post he was talking about.