Captain Planet: Super Hero

October 5, 2007

Because I haven’t posted anything in a while, I thought I’d go back into the archives and give you a little treat. This gem is from Senior year Physics. We had to write a one page paper on a superhero whose abilities either agreed with or contradicted the laws of physics. I, of course, chose Captain Planet. Behold our powers combine! Enjoy.

Captain Planet is a character from a pop culture television show of the 1990s. In times of need, the Planeteers, a multicultural group of young people brought together by Gaia, an unnamed, non-denominational “spirit,” summon Captain Planet. The five members of the Planeteers do this by combining the power of their magical rings, each of which has a special power related to the elements (in the alchemical sense) of earth, wind, fire, water, and (though not an element but a nice way to get love involved) heart. Captain Planet, being an amalgam of all these powers, is capable of controlling all of nature. In addition, he has super strength and can fly. Perhaps his greatest power is his ability to absorb sunlight in order to heal himself. His only weakness, not surprisingly, is toxic waste and other pollutants. Well, that, and his flamboyantly horrible red, blue, and green outfit.

The majority of Captain Planet’s abilities agree with the laws of physics, though most would require technology to actually implement them. For example, his ability to fly would require an aerodynamic machine (perhaps an airplane). His great strength could be simulated through a suit embedded with nanotechnology that augments his existing strength. And his ability to heal himself with sunlight could theoretically work if scientists could develop a way to embed and utilize functioning chloroplasts in humans. However, without technology, which the Planeteers abhor, none of these powers would be humanly possible. But then again, he is a super hero. And perhaps his greatest power is his ability to unite all of humanity behind a single cause: environmentalism. But everyone knows that is impossible because of both the laws of physics and the conventions of modern society.


One Response to “Captain Planet: Super Hero”

  1. dave in the back said

    That show is the devil… who is this Gaia. I only stay true to the one all powerful and omnipotent God.

    Well now that that’s out of the way, I’m just going to comment on everything from here:

    I like your descriptions of the technological devices. An aerodynamic machine… to make aerodynamic… things, lol.
    The world is up for grabs, its amazing isn’t it?
    And yeah, resistance doesn’t feel good. I don’t spend a majority of time being resistant anymore. Just when I’m trying to get pumped up for something.

    Although, back to that second one, you should really take that to heart. It really is amazing what you can do if you really want. Sometimes half the battle is learning to want and not buying into that Buddhist idea that one should be satisfied with the minimum. You’re going to have to be a little immature about you’re desired implementations.

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