NERD-SCIENCE:

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki is one of the strangest series ever created and, for this reason, it splits the audience into hardcore fans and haters. I found it brilliant, so, I’m definitely in the first category! When I watched the anime, I appreciated it so much that I decided to continue the story of the Joestar bloodline by reading the manga. Stone Ocean, the sixth story arc, is full of sci-fi references and many of the Stands present in this season are inspired by scientific concepts. In my opinion, Rikiel’s power towers above the others thanks to its particular inspiration and its masterful realization. This minor antagonist is also interesting in terms of character development. During his introduction, he is described as a coward that suffers since childhood from panic attacks which cause his eyelids to fall, his hands to sweat and his knees to give out. The encounter with father Pucci changes him deeply and it triggers his development into a brave and skilled fighter. …


Nerd-Science:

Creating an interesting antagonist is one of the most difficult part in the development of a story. The villain is one of the keystones of the narration because it often triggers the events and provides the motivation to start the journey of the protagonist. This character should be fascinating and disturbing at the same time in order to represent a deviated philosophy with great charisma. In the macroworld of anime and manga, there are many well-written villains and it’s difficult for me to decide which is the best. However, Gotou from the body horror series Parasyte — The Maxim (also known as Kiseiju) captured my interest in a peculiar way. This character is part of an alien parasitic species that appeared on Earth at the beginning of the story. The larval stage of these organisms can enter in one host, move toward the head and replace it by maturing into the adult form. As a result, the organism gains complete control of the parasitized body. When one alien fails to reach the target organ, it substitutes another part without taking control of the rest. The ability to hijack the human body allow parasites to blend in society and feed on people without being noticed. Besides, their tissues can morph into a variety of forms, become elastic and harden into a substance similar to steel. …


Nerd-Science:

Birds are essentially similar to Reptiles… These animals may be said to be merely an extremely modified and aberrant Reptilian type — Thomas Henry Huxley

Pokémon is one of my favourite videogame series, even though I’m not a kid anymore. This franchise captured my attention when I was an elementary pupil and I saw my friends playing with FireRed and LeafGreen version. Not long after, I decided to buy Pokémon Emerald, and from that moment, my love for the saga never stopped. Probably the reason for my fascination resides in the genius behind this marvellous world. Game Freak is famous for its attention to details, it put so much thought into the design, and the insight of every Pokémon. This is also enhanced by the well-planned regional geography, in which there are several ecosystems. They allow great biodiversity, place different Pokémon types in the map and produce an immersive scenario for the gamer. Another keystone of the franchise success is the lore of the entire series. Some species are fundamental for in-game progress and they offer some clues about the origin of the Pokémon world. Others play a central role in the mythology of certain regions, they are labelled as legendary and treated like demi-gods because of their enormous power and their balancing role in the ecosystem. Interesting enough, this mystical component coexists with a credible natural history in which certain species of Pokémon lived in the ancient past and then gone extinct. During the adventures in each region, it is possible to find some fossils that can be revived by bringing them to a scientist specialized in their restoration. The technique used in the series is a reference to the Jurassic Park saga, with the only exception of the eighth-generation, in which there is a different restoration process. Indeed, in the Galar region, two different fossils can be combined to produce a weird-looking hybrid, that probably never existed in the past. This bizarre technique is a reference to the artefacts produced by mistake during the early days of palaeontology. A clue about the Easter Egg can be found by looking at the name of the scientist responsible for the reviving process, Cara Liss, a word game that reminds to “careless”. Fossil Pokémon are among my favourites both for inspiration and design. …


Nerd-Science:

“Music is the pleasure the human mind experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting”- Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz

Before becoming a nerd obsessed with science, I was a metalhead teenager. I thought only rock, metal and cross over deserved to be called music and other genres were simply unworthy. Fortunately, now I’m more open-minded and my music taste is more complex than before. Anyway, during that period I discovered some of my favourite groups and among them, Tool captured my interest in a special way. This band is famous for its technical ability and its powerful and evocative lyrics. One song that exemplifies these rare skills is Lateralus, the title track of their third studio album. The reason for its success is the instrumental compartment that blends with astounding lyrics and visionary inspiration to produce a milestone able to trigger the imagination and inspire the listener. Tool placed spiritual and mystical references into a song designed on a specific mathematical concept, the Fibonacci Sequence. This unusual choice created a strongly evocative track which matches the language of the universe itself. The term Lateralus is a linguistic mix of Vastus lateralis muscle and lateral thinking. In fact, it proposes to use this ponder method to embrace the randomness and feel the rhythm of the universe. …


Nerd-Science:

What is the superpower of Batman? When I ask this question to the children of elementary and middle school, they often respond to me “Money!”. It’s not completely wrong, however, I think it is strongly reductive. Unlikely other superheroes Batman has no superpowers and he doesn’t even construct his weapons. He simply buys what he needs because he can afford it. On the other hand, he is really talented so, money is not the only thing that Bruce Wayne has. He is a brilliant detective; a very skilled fighter and he can adapt to many difficult situations. Anyway, the ability to use fear could be considered as a sort of superpower. Batman is not just a man with a mask, he is a living urban legend. His approach and his appearance made Batman someone to be scared of. Indeed, in Gotham, there are even rumours regarding the supernatural powers of the Dark Knight. …

About

Andrea Vissani

What happens when you mix pop culture and biology? Let’s discover the astounding world of Nerd-Science!

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