Sep 21, 2006

From pornology to video gaming

Radar uncovers the 10 flimsiest classes offered by American universities. A sample:
The Science of Superheroes
University of California-Irvine
Say goodbye to "rocks for jocks." Science profs are getting creative with their gut classes. The Science of Harry Potter, at Frostburg State University, used physics to explore the book's magic; now UC-Irvine is offering a class that asks the great stoner questions of our time: Can a gamma ray accident really turn you into the Hulk? Is there gravity on the planet Krypton? And what the hell is Spidey Sense anyway? Professor Michael Dennin uses Einstein's theory of relativity and the formula for the speed of light, among other scientific principles, to determine which superhero capabilities are realistic (turning green) and which are virtually impossible (X-ray vision; sorry, guys.)

Super Smash Brothers Theory and Practice
Experimental College, Oberlin College
Oberlin's Experimental College, founded by the student body in the 1960s, offers one-credit student-run courses that are more like bastard cousins to a traditional college curriculum. This year's offerings include classes on Six Feet Under and Strangers with Candy, in addition to a video game class that gives each participant semester-long access to a Nintendo Game Cube. Unfortunately, gamers who want to improve their scores with "basic, intermediate, and advanced combat techniques" will also have to sit through lectures from their peers on "censorship, stereotyped characters, addiction, and gaming as an evolving art form."

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