I had been hoping to make up some ground on my backlog of comic reading, but apparently I will never be able to find the time to do so. Well that may not be the case, but it certainly wasn’t this week, so I am now only two weeks behind, but that is still behind so these aren’t as recent as I might have hoped. With that in mind though, I thought I might delve into the science of the most recent issue of Huntress. To be honest when I started out doing these I never thought they would become a semi-regular thing for me and we generally don’t think about science in terms of the Bat-family but it sort of worked for issue #3 where I looked at the accuracy of the depiction of Pompeii, so why not have a look at some real science? As usual there are spoilers.
Helena asks at one point to go to bakery to try some local pastries, but then afterwards says this misleading statement. It is strange for both statements which she makes. Having traveled a bit, I know the places that make their way into guidebooks are not ones that make generic food on a conveyor belt, but rather make their food almost every day. Thus the suggestions that the food in Italy would for some reason require preservatives is kind of absurd. The second panel is equally wrong, but for more scientific reasons. The removal of preservatives from the digestive system would send them to either the kidneys or the liver (sorry I don’t know enough about the digestive system to know which) but it does so in what is called a para-sympathetic process, meaning that we don’t have to think about it to make it happen, it just does the work by itself. So a workout is not really going to increase the rate at which they can be removed from the system.
Verdict: Bad Science
Electromagnetic Radiation and Computers
This is more sloppy than bad science. Helena needs to jam the communications ability of the ship so she sticks some device on the antenna and it shuts down all electromagnetic information leaving the ship. For those that actually bother to read these “Science of …” posts of mine, you might remember that electromagnetic energy is uni-directional, that is to say that it goes in only one direction. One of the exceptions to this is radio waves being broadcast off of a radio antenna. While this doesn’t work exactly the same way as sound for being omnidirectional, it still allows somewhat of blanket coverage for radios. So a device on one side of the antenna is not going to do much. There is the possibility that the device affects not the radio, but the computer though somehow. Seeing as this might be the case it is possible, but it falls victim to the usual cliché of a device that can be placed anywhere within 50 feet of a computer and it makes it crash.
Verdict: Comic Science
This is pretty much a problem across all of popular culture and not just this issue, but it bears mentioning. Anesthesia is not an easy job, and while there are drugs which are quite good at this task, it is a delicate balance being leaving the intended target groggy and leaving the intended target dead. So while Helena might have some stuff in her syringe, there is no real way to know how much of it to use unless she has a bit more knowledge of the individuals first.
Verdict: Bad Science (for all of pop culture though, so this issue is kind of off the hook)
Well, this is neither really good science or bad science, because the villain here is more resorting to a figure of speech, but the level of human-shark interaction in the Mediterranean is one of the lowest in the world, with something like 60 attacks in over 100 years. And the reasons behind this are not easy to explain either, as the Mediterranean has just as many sharks and is one of the busiest bodies of water in the world.