Behold, the selfie.
It’s the flagship of a generation. The first generation, in fact, to spend its camera time pointed at the taker, and not the scenery. Just as the cassette tape is foreign to them, so too is the notion that I must snap shots of my mug at close intervals.
Emily of the Just Being Emily blog researched the selfie’s origins. She discovered that Robert Cornelius of the 1800s was a selfie trailblazer.
My girls have absconded with my iPhone for a flurry of selfies. So a week ago here on the CD, I opened the floor to a kid selfie contest like no other.
The contestants are in. They appear at the end of this post. Vote for your favorite. The winner will get a yet-to-be-determined prize pack of unimaginable riches.
The kids had superheroes, regeneration and tattoos on their mind. And no, we’re not talking about a tatted superhero who can grow back limbs, either.
1. Why do superheroes always land the same way when they jump?
That catlike pounce on their haunches, hands at the ready to take on a mortal enemy?
It’s so they can kick ass, of course. What’s of greater concern to me is the physics of catching a damsel in distress as she falls to her certain death. As Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory points out:
“Lois Lane is falling, accelerating at an initial rate of 32 feet per second per second. Superman swoops down to save her by reaching out two arms of steel. Miss Lane, who is now traveling at approximately 120 mph, hits them, and is immediately sliced into three equal pieces.”
Physics has no place in comic books, then. A damsel thrice sliced is no damsel at all.
That superhero landing, though? Makes for cool posters.
2. Regeneration doesn’t happen in humans, does it?
For Lois Lane’s sake, I hope so.
Humans don’t grow back anything. Except for hair, the occasional tonsil or sometimes even a backbone, in a figurative sense. There’s a story of a Cincinnati hobby-store owner who grew back the tip of a finger to the amazement of science and medicine.
Extracellular matrix is a powder extracted from a pig’s bladder. It helps to heal horses’ ligaments and treat ulcers in humans. It’s collagen, the main structural protein in connective tissue.
A fetus can also regenerate almost anything, even toes.
So you’re in luck, Superman. For unborn babies, at least.
3. Who’s that guy in the NBA with all the tattoos?
A Tumblr page on the subject says the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons have the highest ink rate among NBA franchises, at 80%. Your Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) rank last at 29%.
A former Nuggets player, Chris Andersen, is like no other among the inked up ballers.
The Birdman, as fans know him, inspired Tat Sleeve night at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Imagine little kids with faux-hawks and arms loaded with pretend ink. He’s a canvas, and he’s also a force on the court, racking up a plus 28 plus/minus with the Miami Heat.
This means his team is 28 points better than its opponents when he’s on the floor. When he’s not on the floor? He’s a canvas. He’s a lesson in perseverance for a guy on the verge of an NBA championship ring.
His road took him from the D-league to league stardom to a drug suspension to a key role on a title contender.
4. Who was Benedict Arnold?
He’s the player to be named later in one of Birdman’s trades.
His story goes a little like Birdman’s. He was a hero of the American Revolutionary War. We found these noteworthy accomplishments on the back of his bubble-gum card:
- Helped the U.S. capture a British garrison at Fort Ticonderoga in 1775
- Played a key role in thwarting a British invasion of New York at the Battle of Lake Champlain in 1776
- Helped force British General John Burgoyne’s army to surrender at Saratoga in 1777
Quite a three-year run. But the U.S. didn’t reward him with a new contract, so he signed with Great Britain. And became the poster boy for traitors for all prosperity.
At least he didn’t announce it on ESPN like one of Chris Andersen’s Heat teammates did.
5. Nail polish is toxic, right?
It’s rumored the American army tried to slip some into Benedict Arnold’s spot of tea, but it didn’t work.
Nail polish is an easy way to gain a new look, and is far less permanent than, say, neck tattoos. Your nails are porous, like your skin, and subject to toxins. Let’s make sure that massive box of polish you tote around doesn’t have these three ingredients:
It can affect your central nervous system. Bold fuchsia nails ain’t worth that.
It’s banned in Europe, but not in America. It’s known for reproductive toxicity.
Low-level exposure might just bother your eyes or respiratory tract. High-level exposure can lead to chemical burns.
Geez, should we end on such a downer? I feel like Dr. Oz telling everyone not to eat donuts and potato chips.
You’ve come here on a Friday for fun and frivolity, not frump and frowns.
I feel like a real LeBron Arnold.
You know what I mean.
So let’s vote for those selfies.