Category Archives: Nerd Factor

Nerd Factor: Fear of a Black Panther Planet

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Professor~

Earlier this month, the Rotten Tomatoes review site headed off an attempt to sabotage the scores of Black Panther and committed itself to eliminating hate speech in viewer comments. This weekend, reports surfaced of a number of falsified stories about black audience members attacking white viewers at showings of Black Panther.  Spread across social media, these accounts repurposed or altered other images already on the internet to imply that physical violence was being rained down upon white viewers who had dared to see a movie not for them. What is the cause of all of this?  Simple, it’s the fear of a Black Panther planet. Read more

Nerd Factor: You Might be Dating a Super villain if…

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communications Prof.~

Supervillains are a deceptive lot, by definition.  They plot and scheme in anonymity for as long as they can. Such people are unlikely to be forthcoming in their personal lives.  Because the Nerd Factor cares deeply about your emotional well-being, here are some tips for telling if you might really be dating a supervillain:

If your sweetie’s idea of getting dressed up for an evening out involves rocking some thigh-high boots and a cape, then you might really be dating a supervillain. Read more

Nerd Factor: Super Sports

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

So, the Superbowl is over. As I write this, I have no idea who won.  However, I can guess that you are either disappointed by your favorite team or you are starting to feel the euphoria of victory wane.  That’s a difficult high to come down from and while other sports are in play, there’s nothing quite so special about them yet.* Read more

Nerd Factor: Worse Than Redshirts

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

There’s a rule for the classic Star Trek television series.  If you see someone in a red shirt, and that someone is not Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott or Communications Officer Nyota Uhura, then chances are that character is going to die.  This makes some sense.  Jobs are color-coded on the U.S.S. Enterprise and security happens to be one of the jobs under the red designation.  So it’s not surprising that security officers, called “Redshirts” by the fans, would die horrible deaths.  After all, the main characters can’t be killed off all the time.   Read more

Nerd Factor: Immortality Rules

Dr. Michael Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

Immortality is an interesting superpower.  But as a matter of practicality, how does one figure out that one is immortal?  Obviously, one figures it out by not dying.  But there are complicated rules to staying young throughout eternity.  The movie Highlander (1986) offers an interesting solution.  Someone else comes along and teaches you.   Read more

Nerd Factor: By Any Other Name

Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor,

CAUTION – This article contains potential spoilers for Star Wars movies that you really should have seen a long time ago.

The Skywalkers are a curious bunch.  The family has a habit of forming emotional bonds in ways that many of us would not consider normal, thus giving the family a creepy vibe.  Much sport has been made, for example, with Anakin’s almost stalker-like pursuit of Padme Amadala in Attack of the Clones.  And of course Luke yearned for Princess Leia, unaware at the time that she was his sister.   Read more

Nerd Factor: Santa’s Resume

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

Way back in Sensational She-Hulk #8, writer/artist John Byrne introduced Nick St. Christopher to the Marvel Universe.  Nick was an interesting fellow, because he could tell who was naughty or nice.  He could enter any residence with a chimney, and he could travel anywhere in the world almost instantly.  As such, his powers were uniquely suited to private detective work, but mostly during the summer months when he was not doing his main job.   Read more

Nerd Factor: TV Comic Origins

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

Superheroes have been part of the television landscape for a long time.  But for much of their early history on the medium, they arrived as cartoons or in live-action shows aimed squarely at children.  Batman (1966-1968) was the first primetime superhero hit.  While the brightly colored pop program had action sequences galore, its mission was often more pop movement camp than serious adventure.  Imitators followed that glorious show, but for me, there is an unsung hero of the genre.   Read more

Nerd Factor: Where Did the Monsters Go?

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

Another October has come and gone.  As the big box stores start to gear us up for Christmas, our collegiate minds are at last starting to turn toward final assignments and Thanksgiving breaks. But Halloween just happened.  Am I the only one left who is wondering about where the beasties and baddies went? After all there should be plenty of opportunities for things to go bump in the night when the nights are getting longer and longer. What would cause the ghosts and ghouls to vamoose so quickly? I have some theories. Read more

Nerd Factor: Halloween II

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

Well you got through it all last year, but the spooky energy of the season just keeps coming back.  As always, the Nerd Factor cares about you and offers these tips to tell if, once again, you might be in trouble this Halloween.

If you and the other survivors of last year’s events have decided to go to college together or have all taken a job at the same location, then you might be in trouble this Halloween. Read more

What’s In My Bag?

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

I have long made snarky and mocking comments about US Weekly’s attempts to normalize celebrities through its series of features that suggest stars are just like the rest of us while simultaneously promoting products.  Recently though, it occurred to me that I may not have taken the difficulties that such articles pose for the unsung heroes of the magazine to write.  So, in the finest tradition of experiential learning, I have decided to create my own “What’s in My Bag” article to see just what creating such a feature is like.  
Read more

Inhuman Conditions

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

The Inhumans are not going to happen.  Oh, there will be a series called Inhumans and it will presumably air on Friday nights on ABC.  It’s just not going to “happen” in the more contemporary, “stop trying to make fetch happen” Mean Girls sense of the term.  And the reason for that is fairly simple.  The Inhumans never have really managed to happen.   Read more

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