Screw You, Linguistics!

In with our second magic entry, we have a science defier who might be a little easier to forgive:

Finally! A branch of study that I already understand! That is far more than I can say for Zatanna’s speech. Our lovely magician here has a great range of power at her disposal, provided she says everything backwards. .siht ekil og dluow secnetnes ,oS

To be fair, this isn’t a feat that is impossible, but gosh darn it would be hard. The only explanation I read for why spells are cast backwards is because it helps her concentrate on her magic. Of course it does, dearie.

Not that I have any proof, but I imagine that her and her father are walking all over the pronunciation of the English language. Since it’s backwards, and that’s not how we speak it, I’m sure that they’re just going willy-nilly. Well that’s an abandonment for proper speech that this English major does not appreciate. So while her transgressions against science pale compared to other offenders, she still made my list.

Thanks for stopping!

Screw You, Entropy!

Even the one of the legends of Marvel science can have some scientific issues. If there’s any character that won’t give a damn, it’s this guy:


So Iron Man has a huge pile of invented armors. Like many of our Marvel favorites, he’s been around since 1963, so he’s had a lot of time to make toys. In a couple of his suits he has photon/particle/something-science-sounding beams. From hands, chest, wherever. While we could probably argue about many of their scientific merits, I’m only taking issue with one right now.

One of his weapons fires this crazy hot beam, and actually collects energy after it’s fired in order produce a larger blast.


Entropy would call Tony Stark out on that. If entropy is measuring chaos in a system, and energy (heat) is doing it’s best spread itself all over the place – Iron Man’s weapon is not going to suddenly gain more order i.e. collect additional energy, after it’s already been fired.

Nice try, Tony.

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Screw You, Interactions!

Oh man, IT’S A GIRL:

Girls are weird. While that might be true in general, I’m mostly talking about comics. I’ve been doing my best to make sure that the heroes I pick are as varied as possible, but it’s really not possible. First I was going for half and half DC/Marvel (sorry smaller publishers!) but I discovered that Marvel seemed to have more scientifically diverse heroes vs. DC’s- at least when it comes to their A list characters. So getting 50/50 was hard to begin with, then I’m trying to measure race, which not surprisingly, there’s almost no diversity in the A listers. Yay. And after all that list makin’ I was trying to hold out for females. Which might sound easy- but it’s not. Let’s eliminate all ladies that share a name with another big name hero. That’s….a lot of girls. And let’s kiss goodbye any chicks that have similar powersets to guys I’ve already listed, since I can’t repeat scientific laws. And on top of all that, let’s hope that the hero is kind of someone I want to draw a little.

Man, that leaves….not a lot. So there’s a sprinkling of chicks that you’ll be viewing. So no fear! The future holds more buff white dudes.

Sorry, that was a long tangent – but Ms. Pryde doesn’t have too much to explain. If Kitty phases through things, and doesn’t feel anything, it means she is not interacting with anything. Sure, let’s totally accept that. However, the one wrench in that plan (as solid as it’s not) is that if Kitty truly weren’t interacting with anything when she phased, it means she wouldn’t be interacting with light either. If this is a lady not interacting with light? She’d be totally invisible. Explain that one away, Ms. Shadowcat.

Ah, that’s right. You just don’t care about science.

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Screw You, Carnot Cycle!

Another hero with a disregard for science:

The Silver Surfer! Goodness, I think he has to have one of the hokiest shticks in comics, but he’s so serious that you’re not allowed to laugh at him.

And if you did he could just use cosmic powers to unmake you, so poking fun probably isn’t the right way to go with Mr. Radd. (BUT he’s a SURFER whose name is RADD?! How is there surfers on his planet? Why did this ever make sense? He is SUCH a product of the 60s!). Yeah, so cool.

Anyway, I’m not here to debunk his name or sweet wave domination skills. This is a cosmic being that has many crimes against science, but the one we’re talking about is his talent of converting matter into energy. See, science doesn’t know how to do that. If you’re going to convert matter from one state to another, as Norrin does for food and weaponry, some energy needs to be used in order for that process to happen. You can’t just snap your fingers from one state to another. Unless you’re the Silver Surfer. The gentleman that would be most upset with Surfers’ screwing over science is¬†Nicolas Carnot. He proposed the theory that thermodynamics measures the efficiency of all engines against. There’s an idea of a theoretically perfect engine, that accomplishes what Surfer does, which is impossible. It’s by imagining this engine that you can compare all other engines. Depending on the engine, efficiency is all over the map.¬† Wikipedia tells me cars rate about 25% and the highest is a steam-cooled combined cycle gas turbine at 60% efficiency. One thing is very clear: it is not possible to be 100% efficient.

Unless you are a dude made of Ag.

By the by, you’re not reading your calendar wrong, this update is totally late. I’ve been priding myself on doing awesome, but while this was drawn, I didn’t set it to post. Annnnd spent the holiday weekend without internet down the shore. No fear, I have plans to be chained to my desk for awhile, so I’ll be back to doodlin’ on time.

Thanks for stopping!




Screw You, Surface Tension!

Here we have a very common issue among our super-powered pals:

Captain Marvel and Supes and Hulk and half of the superhero pantheon, are better than you ever knew. Duh, they are super-strong because that makes so much sense. What you might not appreciate is that they somehow make a building/plane/[insert large object here] ridiculously resilient just by touching it.

Because we know that they can pick up a few tons of weight. Heck, even Spider-Man can rock 10 tons and break a light sweat. But with amazing feats like Captain Marvel saving airplanes (he does that, right?) there would be a huge amount of pressure exerted on an object. In science, that means instead of catching a tank, Hulk’s fists would go through the tank. Even if Hulk can handle the weight, the exterior of the tank should not. Unless you’re a superhero. Because then who cares?

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Screw You, Thermodynamics!

And then there were these guys:

If this blog had any other subtitle, it would read, ” I LOVE Johnny Storm!” but that adoration does not change the fact that these guys….

They’re not possible. And let’s ignore all of the things that should make them not work as people, because ‘Cosmic Rays’ and ‘Mutations” satisfactorily explain that. Totally.

When it comes to thermodynamics and their powers, these guys just don’t care. One of their biggest issues is the energy they use and the lack of science consequences. Generating enough heat to go up to a couple million degrees? Making a mini-army of ice duplicates?

Gentleman, even if that made possible sense (it’s awesome, but c’mon) you are not infinite energy containers. Actually, it wouldn’t need to be infinite, but it you would certainly need to pack more mass than a human body. And don’t tell me that you had a big lunch, and that’s why you can melt Dr. Doom’s armor. Don’t.

And I like what Max brought up, the whole shrugging off of entropy. (Entropy: the idea that the universe is getting more and more chaotic). ‘Cause heat molecules are always ruining your day by trying to travel to cooler objects.

Not if your name is Jonathan Storm. Or Robert Drake. They just get to ignore entropy because: Superpowers. It means even as they generate a controlled system, there’s not necessarily a change in the environment around them. There’s no give and take for the hot and cold they control. Craziness.

But I guess that’s exactly what you can expect from one of the awesomest heroes around. Leave the science to Reed, Johnny. You got this.

Oh, you too Bobby.

Thanks for stopping!



Screw You, Pressure!

There’s a little part of me that knows that this is a very ridiculous pose for Aquaman, but there’s a bigger part of me that thinks it’s too funny.

Anyway, PRESSURE. No, not the peer type, and not the David Bowie type, but the force constantly applied to a body. How much force we’re talking about depends on the objects’ surroundings. You’re walking around on the surface? Eh, not too much. You swimming in the depths of your underwater kingdom?

Dead. You’re so dead.

Researching this one was not as…..lighthearted as other entries. We’ve got eardrums rupturing, suffocation, the bends (augh, the bends!), toxic oxygen, and lungs being reduced to such a small size that they are no longer usable.


And while there is truth that with gradual change in gases in a human body and a slow descent/ascent crazy-deep depths can be reached – we’ve all seen Aquaman speed around town. He’s just given the bird to stupid pressure.

And if you want to talk about how Arthur Curry is not technically human, then pretend this is @#$% Physiology. That dude is not allowed to be a humanoid that occupies land and water without screwing over some area of science.

So good job, Aquaman, for deciding to live it up in places that spell instant doom for humankind.

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Screw You, Conservation of Mass!

I promised I would not do this for this series, but I totally broke a personal rule with this entry:

I was only going to pick the most mainstream Superheroes, and not just do 20 of my favorite heroes. Because like all good comic fans, I’ve got a bunch of obscure second-stringers that are close to my heart. But Multiple Man was the reason I started buying floppies, and then getting really into comics. It’s also where I learned the term conservation of mass, so the buck had to stop here.

Not keeping with this law is a frequent sin among our beloved heroes. Ant Man, Captain Marvel, Hulk….anyone who decides that they can just spontaneously add mass to themselves. ‘Cause this law says that the mass you have remains constant. So Madrox, is either crazy dense – or he is screwing science over! Actually being crazy dense would still mean he’s screwing science over….just in new ways!

You sure showed Science, Madrox. Nice work.

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Screw You, Radiation Safety!

So yeah, this one isn’t really a scientific concept, but more of a procedure that should ALWAYS be observed.

Bruce Banner can tell you all about it:

Then again, Hulk was astounding in The Avengers…so I’m a little pleased he ignored safety measures…Sorry, Bruce.

Now that these are a 1/4 done, I figured I’d mention a bit about where these came from, and really give credit where it is due.

I’ve known that I wanted to do this set for a very long time. But I’ve also known that I’m not smart. Well I am, but not. You need someone to quote Shakespeare? Which sonnet? Explain the contributions of Norse trickster myths in pop culture today? I’ll pen that thesis.

I’m your gal for all of the humanities. But science, while I love learning about it – has never been my strong suit.

So I asked a bunch of my sciencey friends to put together this list for me. Because I promise, I had no idea what Drake’s Equation was before Quigz brought it up. And I’m still trying to get my head around special relativity.

So most of what you’ve been reading has been my interpretations on what they and a couple internet websites have taught me. More than anyone, my friend Max has been very gracious in explaining scientific concepts in as many ways as he can think of. That way my poor, fanciful brain can try and understand.

So yes, there are a couple ‘softer’ entries into this series, but hopefully either the sketch itself will make up for that, or you can draw strength from the other pictures.

Thanks for stopping!

Screw You, Drake’s Equation!

Once upon a Frank Drake, there was an idea for an equation that could guess at how many alien species us Earthlings might communicate with. The different considerations talk about the odds of different stars having orbiting planets, and whether they would even have life, and a bunch more. It’s pretty cool. You can go check it out.

When Drake proposed the equation in 1960, he calculated that there were maybe 10 alien civilizations that we could hypothetically find.


Not according to the Green Lantern Corps.


Coming at you from Space Sector 2814 out of 3600.

Thanks for trying, Drake, but they got this.

Thanks for stopping!