Monday, July 14, 2008

All-Star Diversion

I vaguely understand that Josh Hamilton is pulling a Superman act at the Home Run Derby. That's great. I guess so, anyway. Actually, I can't really be bothered to care. It's basically batting practice with a Chris Berman soundtrack.

Besides, Batman is way better than Superman (anyone suggesting otherwise in the comments would risk being banned if I could figure out how to ban people). To that end, I offer you a handy-dandy guide on how to become Batman:
What have comic books and movies told us about Batman's physical abilities?

There's a quote from Neal Adams, the great Batman illustrator, who said Batman would win place or show in every event in the Olympics. Probably if I were Batman's handler, I'd put him in the decathlon. Although Batman is shown in the comics as being the fastest and the strongest and all these other things, in reality you can't actually be all of that at once. To be Batman properly, what you really need to do is be exceptionally good at many different things. It's when you take all the pieces and put them together that you get the Batman . . .

Do you think Batman would take steroids to heal faster?

No. There is one comic where he did go on steroids. He went a little crazy and he went off them again.

How many of us do you think could become a Batman?

If you found the percentage of billionaires and multiply that by the percentage of people who become Olympic decathletes, you could probably get a close estimate.
Damn. I was kinda hoping I could be Batman.


Justin Zeth said...

According to Forbes, there are 1,125 billionaires in the world. We're really only paying attention to males (since we're looking for Batman), and I don't know exactly how many of the 1,125 are male. Let's say 1,000 of them, for ease of calculations. (I would bet the actual number is a little higher than that.)

I'm not certain of the exact number of (male) decathletes that will compete in this year's Olympics, but it's probably in the neighborhood of 100. We'll be generous and assume that, since athletic talent isn't evenly distributed among the world's nations, there are actually 1,000 people in the world who are, athletically, above the level of the bottom 10% of people that will actually compete in the Olympic decathlon.

Actually, simply multiplying the numbers would be a bit misleading, since the level of overlap between these two groups, even theoretically, is very small, since the vast majority of billionaires are over 40 years of age, and I'm guessing that all Olympic decathletes are under 40.

So you'd need to find the percentage of billionaires that are under 40 and then figure the probability (by dividing by total global under-40 male population) that one of them would also be an Olympic decathlete.

Even ignoring that and doing the calculations as suggested, our approximate calculations are:

.0000003333 (percentage of male global population that are billionaires)


.0000003333 (percentage of global population that are capable of being Olympic decathletes)



Multiplied by the original 3,000,000,000 (approximate male global population), we get.0003333, or a roughly .03 (1 in 3000) chance that there is somebody alive right now capable of becoming Batman.

Chris H. said...

And of course, Batman is far superior to Superman, but minus 10 points for quoting Neal Adams and then using a Batman image drawn by David Mazzucchelli. Even though David Mazzucchelli's art on Year One was brilliant.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Justin -- This is why we keep you around. Excellent work. I look forward to the full presentation to the board.

Chris -- I actually thought of that at the time, but that's probably my favorite Batman picture of all time, so I had to go with it.

FALCOR said...

I don't get Batman as a super Hero. He's the only super hero who doesn't possess super powers!

I like that he uses his fortune cleverly but he's way more "Smarts" than super hero.

Maybe Batman should be a SuperSmartAss :-)

Craig Calcaterra said...

The fact that he doesn't possess super powers is what makes Batman so damn cool.

If the term bothers you, however, let's agree to call him a masked avenger or something.

Sux2Lose said...

Superman can move planets. Batman has a utility belt.

Maybe I'd cheer for Batman if they went head-to-head b/c I mostly root for the underdog and can appreciate ingenuity and trying to overcome ones limitations, but Superman is without a doubt the better SUPERhero.

Craig Calcaterra said...

They did go head to head in The Dark Knight Returns. Batman won. Implausible? Um, yeah, but it really worked on a dramatic level.

At this point I feel like I need to reassure everyone that, yes, I have indeed been outside of my basement and yes, indeed, I have touched a woman before.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an online D&D convention planning committee meeting to attend, which I will do just as soon as I'm finished leveling up on WoW and can wolf down a few hot pockets.

Anonymous said...


10:00 am tix to "The Dark Knight" this Sat at the Metreon Imax in SF. For one morning, the beloved A's are on their own.

Daniel said...

Craig, what WoW server you on? I have a 70 druid on Andorhal, look me up sometime. My guild PWNZ roflcoptor.

I'm with you on Batman. Semantics about who's a better "superhero" aside, Superman has it easy. Batman doesn't need any of those "superpowers" to be a badass.

Mac said...

Coincidence? Well, yeah.

Craig Calcaterra said...

APBA: I'm all over that flick.

Daniel: Sorry, I don't really play WoW. To the extent that lingo made any sense, I ripped it off from a coworker who's some 70th level something or other.

Mac: Great minds think alike. I'm not sure how that explains me and you, but I thought I'd remind people of that trust maxim.

nickolai said...

There's a whole subculture of guys out there who are trying to be everyday Batmen. And it can be done for as little as $1,104:

Of course, that doesn't cover the costs of vehicles, martial arts training, advanced technology, British butler, etc.

Dre said...

looking forward to the Dark Knight... it was shot here in Chicago, most of it right down here by my office on LaSalle St

Ron Rollins said...

Do you realize that this blog has combined a form of sabermetrics (thanks Justin) with D&Dism (thanks Daniel)?

Is this a coincidence?

I know its stretching, but I couldn't resist.