Superpowers meet in space

Superpowers meet in space


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As part of a mission aimed at developing space rescue capability, the U.S. spacecraft Apollo 18 and the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 19 rendezvous and dock in space. As the hatch was opened between the two vessels, commanders Thomas P. Stafford and Aleksei Leonov shook hands and exchanged gifts in celebration of the first such meeting between the two Cold War adversaries in space. Back on Earth, United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim congratulated the two superpowers for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and praised their unprecedented spirit of cooperation and peace in planning and executing the mission.

During the 44-hour Apollo-Soyuz embrace, the astronauts and cosmonauts conducted experiments, shared meals, and held a joint news conference. Apollo-Soyuz, which came almost three years after the sixth and last U.S. lunar landing, was the final Apollo program mission conducted by NASA. It was fitting that the Apollo program, which first visited the moon under the banner of “We came in peace for all mankind,” should end on a note of peace and international cooperation.


India as a potential superpower

India is considered one of the potential superpowers of the world. [1] [2] [3] [4] This potential is attributed to several indicators, the primary ones being its demographic trends and a rapidly expanding economy and military. In 2015, India became the world's fastest growing economy with a 5% estimated GDP rate (mid year terms). [5] Before it can be considered a superpower, the country must overcome many economic, social, and political problems and it also needs to be as influential on the international stage when compared to the United States, China and the former Soviet Union.


Dueling Superpowers, Rival Billionaires. Inside the New Race to the Moon

I t’s easier to love Apollo 11 if you were around to see it happen. For those who didn&rsquot camp along the Cape Kennedy causeway to watch the Saturn 5 liftoff on July 16, 1969, or huddle around a rabbit-ear TV to watch Neil Armstrong climb down the ladder and walk on the surface of the moon four days later, it&rsquoll always have a whiff of cable-channel documentary. And yet it doesn&rsquot for Elon Musk.

Musk was born in 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa, two years after the Apollo 11 landing and half a world away from the country that achieved the great lunar feat. But somehow, he absorbed the primal power of the thing he was not there to see happen. &ldquoApollo 11 was one of the most inspiring things in all of human history,&rdquo he said in a July 12 interview at the Hawthorne, Calif., headquarters of SpaceX, the rocket company he founded in 2002 that has since become its own icon of space exploration. &ldquoI&rsquom not sure SpaceX would exist if not for Apollo 11.&rdquo

Today, SpaceX is one of a handful of powerful players&mdashstarry-eyed billionaires and the world&rsquos two richest countries&mdashcompeting in a race to set up shop on the moon. In the 1960s, it was a two-party sprint between the U.S. and the Soviet Union to be the first to get boots on the lunar surface, but this time around the U.S. finds itself in a bigger, multifront competition with private companies like SpaceX and Jeff Bezos&rsquo Blue Origin and international powers, most critically China.

Like the Soviet Union and the U.S. during the Cold War, Beijing is using its space ambitions as a powerful ideological&mdashand even expansionist&mdashtool of statecraft. In January, China successfully landed Chang&rsquoe-4, a small base station and rover, on the far side of the moon, becoming the first nation to touch down in that unseen hemisphere. &ldquoWe are building China into a space giant,&rdquo Chang&rsquoe-4 chief designer Wu Weiren said at the time.

Last year, Ye Peijian, the leader of the country&rsquos lunar program, described the agency&rsquos work by invoking Beijing&rsquos growing dominance across the South China Sea islands: &ldquoThe universe is an ocean, the moon is the Diaoyu Islands, Mars is Huangyan Island. If we don&rsquot go there now, even though we&rsquore capable of doing so, then we will be blamed by our descendants.&rdquo That may just be celestial saber rattling, but it&rsquos gotten the attention of Western observers. &ldquoI have no doubt that within the next five years, they will complete [their own space station] and announce a manned lunar program,&rdquo says Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor of national–security affairs with expertise in space, science and technology at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

Driving the new space race is a potent mix of economic, technological and geopolitical imperatives. There are possible fortunes to be made from lunar ventures. Space-based businesses currently contribute $350 billion to global gross domestic product, a figure projected to jump to $1.4 trillion by 2040, according to Morgan Stanley. The moon could become a first outpost in efforts to colonize and exploit space. Just one example: there&rsquos intense speculation about the fortune to be made from mining the moon for rare-earth metals used in electronics manufacturing. With current spacecraft tech, that fortune is canceled out fast by the billions of dollars it would cost to ship goods between Earth and the moon, but technology changes, and no one wants to be left out of a potential lunar gold rush.

There are scientific and technological reasons to go to the moon too. Observatories on the lunar far side&mdashshielded from earthshine and earthly radio emissions&mdashwould be more powerful and see farther than telescopes on the surface of the planet or orbiting it. And while NASA has been known to oversell the commercial spin-offs from the space program (&ldquoOff the Earth, for the Earth&rdquo is one of the agency&rsquos slogans, by now shopworn), there&rsquos no denying the decades of evidence that technology first developed for space travel often has terrestrial applications: scratchproof glass lightweight, high-storage batteries that make cordless tools possible memory foam and fireproof fabric and, most significantly, GPS navigation all had their origins in systems designed for exploring space.

Future benefits could include applications in artificial intelligence, biometric sensors and air-traffic control, as well as crop fertilizers and greenhouse LEDs adapted from systems now in development for establishing otherworldly agriculture.

Then, too, there is the fact that any road to Mars likely runs straight through the moon. Homesteading a world that is only three days from Earth is the best way to test the life-support infrastructure that would be needed on a far more distant&mdashand a good deal less barren&mdashMars.

All the lunar competitors are eyeballing the same spot on the surface: the south pole, which is as close to a fertile crescent as exists on the moon. The southern craters, cast in permanent shadow, are home to plentiful deposits of water ice, which could be used to sustain humans and their crops. The water can be broken down into oxygen, which can then be used as atmosphere for crews, and hydrogen, which&mdashrecombined with the oxygen&mdashcan make a simple, powerful and clean rocket fuel. Wrestling water and rocket fuel off Earth for a deep-space mission is a lot harder and more labor-intensive than carrying it up from the moon, where the gravity is one-sixth that of Earth, and then parking it in lunar orbit. Spacecraft on their way to Mars could, in theory, stop by the moon to top off their tanks before lighting out for deeper space.

None of that is outside the reach of current technology, but since the final Apollo lunar mission returned home in 1972, NASA&rsquos crewed space program has pursued much narrower goals, contenting itself with dog paddling in low Earth orbit. And since the final NASA space shuttle stood down in 2011, the U.S. has not even had its own way to get astronauts into space, instead buying seats&mdashat a cool $80 million per round trip&mdashaboard Russia&rsquos Soyuz spacecraft.

Now, though, there is a renewed focus on lunar dominance. In March, Vice President Mike Pence, the head of the newly re-established National Space Council (it had been disbanded since 1993), announced that the Trump Administration would put Americans on the moon by 2024. &ldquoIt is the stated policy of this Administration and the United States of America to return American astronauts to the moon within the next five years,&rdquo he said at a council meeting in Huntsville, Ala. &ldquo&lsquoUrgency&rsquo must be our watchword.&rdquo

The timing for such a challenge was good because Florida&rsquos Space Coast is once again buzzing with activity. NASA leased Cape Canaveral&rsquos launchpad 39A, from which nearly all of the Apollo lunar missions took off, to SpaceX, which has plans for a crewed flight around the moon as early as 2023. &ldquoI can&rsquot believe we get to use that pad,&rdquo says Musk. &ldquoWe&rsquore not worthy! This pad is too good.&rdquo

The company also holds the lease on nearby pad 40 and has built a 54,000-sq.-ft. hangar on the Canaveral grounds for rocket processing. Its Hawthorne, Calif., factory teems with workers and clangs with machinery under construction, including two Dragon spacecraft being readied in a clean room, one to test the ship&rsquos escape system, the other for an automated flight to the International Space Station. But SpaceX envisions much more. &ldquoWe really want to have a vehicle that is capable of sending enough payload to the moon such that we could have a full lunar base, like we&rsquove got a permanently occupied base in Antarctica,&rdquo Musk says. &ldquo[But] it&rsquod be absolutely way cooler to have a science base on the moon.&rdquo

Similarly, NASA has leased Canaveral&rsquos launchpads 36 and 11 to Blue Origin, the rocket company owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Blue Origin has built a glittering $200 million factory on the Canaveral grounds and is planning a 90-acre expansion. In May, Bezos unveiled a mock-up of the company&rsquos Blue Moon lunar lander and echoed the Trump Administration&rsquos 2024 target date. &ldquo&lsquoIt&rsquos time to go back to the moon,&rdquo he told a crowd in Washington, D.C., &ldquothis time to stay.&rdquo

NASA itself is stirring anew, its partnerships with private companies begun under the Obama Administration now bearing all manner of fruit. SpaceX and Virginia-based Orbital Sciences have made frequent uncrewed cargo runs to the International Space Station, and both Boeing and SpaceX hope to fly crews as early as next year. United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, may supply the upper stage of the new rocket NASA hopes to use to send astronauts on the 2024 lunar trip.

Meanwhile, on Canaveral&rsquos launchpad 39B, NASA has erected a $500 million, 10.5 million-lb., 38-story mobile launch tower that will service that new rocket: the giant Space Launch System (SLS)&mdashNASA&rsquos 21st century version of Apollo&rsquos Saturn 5 moon rocket. Since Pence&rsquos announcement, NASA has accelerated the timelines for SLS launches and the completion of the Orion crew vehicle&mdashthe modern analogue of the Apollo orbiter&mdashas well as soliciting bids for a new lunar lander.

NASA is calling the latest lunar push the Artemis program, named after the mythical sister of Apollo. It&rsquos all, deliberately or not, an echo of President Kennedy&rsquos 1962 promise to have American astronauts on the surface of the moon by the end of the 1960s&mdasha hard target and a fixed date that he challenged the country to meet. If Artemis succeeds, it will re-establish American primacy in space and prove that a riven country can once again do great things. If it fails, the U.S. will cede the moon, and its potential, for what could be decades to come.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) caught the world napping. The People&rsquos Republic didn&rsquot launch its first satellite until 1970 and for decades was a space backwater. But in 2003, that started changing when China launched its first taikonaut&mdashthe Chinese equivalent of the American astronaut and the Russian cosmonaut. China has now flown multiple crewed missions, conducted spacewalks, and built and launched a mini space station. The country has also flown four robotic lunar missions, most spectacularly earlier this year, with the landing of the Chang&rsquoe-4 base station and rover on the far side of the moon.

Beijing has been explicit about the country&rsquos plans for a south-pole lunar base&mdashChang&rsquoe-4 landed within what would be the Antarctic Circle on Earth. The CNSA has not officially disclosed whether a future base would be crewed or robotic, but as recently as 2017, Xinhua, the official state news agency, reported that Yang Liwei&mdashthe country&rsquos first taikonaut&mdashannounced that China was indeed &ldquomaking plans for a manned lunar landing.&rdquo Yang is to China what Neil Armstrong is to the U.S. and Yuri Gagarin is to Russia, and if he were speaking out of turn, Beijing would surely not let so influential a voice go uncontradicted.

But some observers in the West are incredulous. &ldquoWhen we&rsquore dealing with the Chinese space program, the only thing we can rely on are the government&rsquos periodic white papers and the Party Congress reports,&rdquo says Dean Cheng, senior research fellow for Chinese political and security affairs at the Heritage Foundation, a D.C. think tank. &ldquoTheir last white paper, in 2016, did not mention a manned lunar program.&rdquo

China also says nothing at all about its space expenditures&mdashor at least nothing remotely believable. The figure most widely cited in the press for the annual CNSA budget is $8 billion, or about 40% of NASA&rsquos projected $20 billion. But most experts dismiss this figure as an almost laughable lowball. &ldquo[China&rsquos] space program is embedded in their military,&rdquo says Cheng. &ldquoThe defense-budget figure is generally cited as about $250 billion. It&rsquos a polite fiction.&rdquo In truth, he argues, China likely spends vastly more on both defense and space, and its infrastructure shows it: &ldquoIf they can sustain four different launch sites and two state-run [space-related] corporations with 90,000 employees, we should just pack it in if they&rsquore doing it on $8 billion.&rdquo

NASA, by comparison, gets by on relative pan scrapings. The agency&rsquos funding peaked in 1966, at just over $5.9 billion, the equivalent of $47 billion in 2019 dollars&mdashmore than twice what NASA gets today. After Pence announced the 2024 target for a return to the moon, the Trump Administration requested an additional $1.6 billion outlay, a figure not yet approved by Congress. Even if it were, it would still be well short of the $5 billion annual supplement many insiders believe is needed to make a 2024 moon landing happen. But the public buy-in for such a funding commitment just isn&rsquot there. &ldquoWe could fly more often with more funding if the nation wanted to fly more often,&rdquo says Orion program manager Mark Kirasich.

If China has a lead in finance and government commitment, however, by all appearances it&rsquos far behind the U.S. in rocketry know-how. Getting to the moon begins with the problem of figuring out a way to get very heavy machines to move very fast. The Apollo era&rsquos orbiter and lunar lander together weighed about 96,500 lb. That required building the massive Saturn 5 rocket, a leviathan that stood 363 ft. tall and generated a thrust of 7.6 million lb. For the more ambitious missions of the 21st century, NASA is designing the SLS to generate 8.8 million lb. of thrust. The additional muscle is key to getting the permanent infrastructure of the Artemis program off the ground. The plan is first to launch a mini space station, known as Gateway, into a near-lunar orbit. Crews of four astronauts would then fly an Orion out to Gateway, dock with it and take a lander down to the surface.

&ldquoThis time when we go to the moon … we&rsquore going to go sustainably,&rdquo says NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. &ldquoWe&rsquore going to learn how to live and work on another world so that we can eventually go to Mars.&rdquo Initially, Gateway will make the Artemis missions more difficult and expensive than the Apollo missions, but in the long run it may be as affordable or cheaper. That&rsquos because Orion is reusable. The lunar lander would be as well&mdashat least partly. Like the original Apollo lunar module, the new version will be a two-part vehicle&mdasha descent and ascent stage stacked one on the other. They land on the surface together, and when it&rsquos time to leave, the ascent stage blasts off with the crew, leaving the descent half behind. That ascent stage could then be used again.

Like the International Space Station, Gateway will be expandable, with multiple docking ports for international or private partners to attach modules to conduct experiments and stage lunar landings. Gateway will fly what&rsquos known as a near-rectilinear halo orbit, a series of elliptical circuits that can be adjusted with a relative puff of propellant, opening all parts of the moon to landing and exploration. Want to land at the south pole? Nudge your orbit one way. Want to land in the north? Nudge it the other. The Apollo spacecraft were locked in tight equatorial orbits, limiting potential landing areas.

First, though, NASA needs its rocket, and the SLS has been in start-stop development since 2005, with flat funding leading to repeatedly missed deadlines. Earlier this year, the Government Accountability Office issued a report finding that the SLS, the Orion and related systems have cost about $16 billion so far, some $1.8 billion more than was planned, largely thanks to delays. Now, however, the space agency insists the SLS is almost ready, and has an ambitious schedule, with the first crewed mission for around the moon planned for 2023.

Musk has moved more quickly still. The SpaceX Dragon, he says, may be ready to take a crew of astronauts to the ISS within the next six months. And though SpaceX&rsquos biggest rocket, the Falcon Heavy, does not have the propulsive power of the SLS, at more than 5 million lb. of thrust, it&rsquos the most powerful currently flying. In late June, SpaceX announced that as early as 2021, it will launch the Falcon Super Heavy rocket&mdashwith 10.8 million lb. of thrust&mdashtopped by a stainless steel, -180-ft. orbiter called Starship, with room for 100 passengers. That&rsquos 17 times the size of the Orion, which has room for four to six astronauts. It&rsquos the Super Heavy, not the existing Falcons, Musk believes, that will get humans past the &ldquoflags-and-footprints&rdquo model of the Apollo era and toward a more permanent presence on the moon and, later, Mars.

&ldquoWe could sort of do a repeat of Apollo 11, a few small missions [with the Falcon Heavy], but the remake&rsquos never as good as the original,&rdquo he says. Musk has already sold a handful of round-trip tickets to the moon aboard a future Starship, to Japanese fashion billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.

While Musk makes no secret at all of his plans, Bezos and Blue Origin&rsquos are, at the moment, more of a mystery. The company&rsquos main building and factory in Kent, Wash., could just as easily be one of Bezos&rsquo Amazon fulfillment centers&mdashthough it&rsquos not without a certain wit. There is a planter in the lobby that, on closer examination, turns out to be an engine bell used on an actual rocket a huge model of the U.S.S. Enterprise just off the factory floor and a spacecraft door from the Battlestar Galactica set propped up on display like a huge piece of sculptural art.

With its Amazon parentage, Blue Origin is not running short of funding anytime soon, but space programs are exceedingly expensive, with burn rates of billions before making any of that money back on paying customers, and there are only so many Prime shipments that can pay the freight. So at this point, says CEO Bob Smith, &ldquothere&rsquos no question that our job at Blue at this phase of its life is to be a self-sustaining business.&rdquo The company&rsquos primary goal is to become a launch-service provider, like SpaceX, and then to start flying paying customers to space.

Blue Origin&rsquos New Shepard rocket&mdashnamed, like most of Blue&rsquos vehicles, after U.S. space heroes, in this case Al Shepard, the first American in space&mdashis fully reusable, designed to take payloads and people to suborbital space, for several minutes of zero G. That may seem like small-bore stuff: limited science and a vanity vacation for people with the money to afford it. But all of the hardware being developed for New Shepard is also intended for use on the much larger, soon-to-be-flying New Glenn rocket (after John, the first American to orbit Earth), the eventual New Armstrong (after Neil, the first person on the moon) and, most significantly, for Blue Moon, the company&rsquos future lunar lander.

NASA has solicited bids for lunar landers from multiple companies for its Artemis program, but there&rsquos no doubt that Blue Origin has a huge head start. &ldquoWe don&rsquot know what everyone else has until they actually give all their proposals out,&rdquo says Smith. &ldquoBut we&rsquove been working on it for a while. We&rsquove gotten very good interactions with NASA … about what our thoughts are in terms of how we would go back to the moon by 2024.&rdquo

As for China, whatever its goal, the country&rsquos crewed deep-space ambitions rely heavily on a new version of its Long March rocket series, called Long March 5. It has been poised to take a robot probe to and from the moon at the end of this year, and another mission to Mars in 2020. However, early development efforts haven&rsquot gone smoothly. A 2016 test flight of the rocket more or less succeeded, with only a few trajectory problems on the way to orbit. But a 2017 launch failed, with the payload never reaching space. And a test planned for July of this year was postponed&mdasha failure made public by European Space Agency satellite images, published online, showing the ships carrying the rocket idling at port well after they were supposed to have been en route.

&ldquoThis is really the first time the Chinese have had a significant slip in their space program,&rdquo says Cheng. &ldquoSometimes they&rsquove had to stretch definitions or goals, [but] they haven&rsquot had programmatic misses like the Long March 5.&rdquo And Long March 5 isn&rsquot even the rocket that would take taikonauts to the moon. It&rsquos a development phase intended to lead to the more powerful Long March 9. If China can&rsquot get the 5 off the ground, it surely isn&rsquot getting its bigger brother to fly.

There are also some questions about whether China&rsquos moon plans are actually a tactical misdirection, a way to play the public relations game while focusing on less flashy but more practical research and security projects in Earth orbit. &ldquoChina certainly isn&rsquot racing the U.S. to the moon or anywhere else in space,&rdquo says Gregory Kulacki, the China project manager of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a U.S.-based science-advocacy nonprofit. &ldquoYou can&rsquot win a race you already lost 50 years ago.&rdquo

Of course, there doesn&rsquot have to be a race at all, and international cooperation often works far better than competition. The U.S. has 15 partner nations working on the International Space Station. Russia, the European Space Agency, Japan and Canada have all contributed modules, and astronauts from 18 countries have flown aboard. With mounting tensions between the U.S. and Russia, space-station collaboration has been an effective pressure-release valve, especially when crews have to face problems together.

In 2015, a suspected ammonia leak in the American portion of the station required astronauts to hunker down in the Russian segment until the all-clear was sounded. Retired astronaut Terry Virts, who was aboard at the time, recalls that Dmitry Rogozin, then the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of defense and space industries, who had been involved in a heated exchange with D.C. over the invasion of Crimea, promptly radioed the station. &ldquo&lsquoAmerican colleagues,&rsquo&rdquo Virts recalls him saying, &ldquo&lsquoyou can stay as long as you want. We are going to work on this together.&rsquo&rdquo

In a world facing borderless threats like climate change and emerging diseases, that kind of cooperation will be increasingly important, and space is a good way to build trust. Collaboration between the American and Chinese space programs, however, is for now effectively prohibited by a 2011 spending-bill clause known as the Wolf Amendment, out of concern for technology transfers that could compromise national security. Technically, NASA could cooperate with China on civil projects that have no military applications, but practically, there is too much dual use in any space technology ever to clear that bar. And a space race with China, rather than a space partnership, has political utility in the U.S., in the same way the competition with the Soviet Union did 50 years ago. &ldquo[Former NASA administrator] Mike Griffin, Elon Musk and other U.S. space personalities routinely play on U.S. anxieties about China to get Congress to fork over more money,&rdquo says Kulacki. &ldquoPence seems to be using the same playbook.&rdquo

Ultimately, playbooks and politics are&mdashor at least ought to be&mdashminor matters in the far larger mission to make human beings what they briefly were half a century ago: a species of two worlds. Michael Collins, command-module pilot for Apollo 11, remembers being especially struck by a refrain he heard over and over when he and the rest of the crew were on a world tour following the mission. &ldquoI thought that when we went someplace they&rsquod say, &lsquoWell, congratulations. You Americans finally did it,&rsquo&rdquo he recalled in a recent interview. &ldquoAnd instead of that, unanimously the reaction was, &lsquoWe did it. We humans finally left this planet.&rsquo&rdquo


Contents

Jack Kirby returned to DC Comics with Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 and immediately began establishing characters to lay the foundation for his newly conceived Fourth World epic. The chief antagonist would be the villain Darkseid, who had a cameo in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #134 (November 1970) and a full first appearance in Forever People #1 (February 1971) . The character was originally designed as the chief antagonist of the titles Forever People, Mister Miracle and New Gods. After those titles ended, he continued to appear as a major villain in many DC Universe comics, fighting both Superman and Batman. According to writer Mark Evanier, Kirby modeled Darkseid's face on actor Jack Palance, while the villain's personality was inspired by Adolf Hitler and Richard Nixon. [4] [5]

Prince Uxas, the son of King Yuga Khan and Queen Heggra and the second in line to the throne of Apokolips, plotted to seize control over the planet from his older brother, Drax. [6] When Drax attempted to claim the fabled Omega Force, Uxas murdered him and claimed its power for himself. His skin turned to stone, Uxas rechristened himself as Darkseid. [7] [8] [9] [10] At some point, he fell in love with an Apokoliptian scientist and sorceress named Suli, with whom he had a son, Kalibak. However, Heggra ordered Desaad to poison Suli out of the belief that she was corrupting her son.

Following Suli's death, Darkseid's heart grew even colder and his disdain for his mother intensified when she forced him to marry a woman named Tigra, with whom he had another son, Orion. Seeking vengeance against Heggra for killing the one he loved, Darkseid ordered Desaad to poison her so he could finally become the supreme monarch of Apokolips. Darkseid then tried to force Tigra to eliminate Orion, but the latter was ultimately traded with Highfather's son, Scott Free, as part of a peace treaty between the warring planets of Apokolips and New Genesis. [11] This trade eventually became a setback for Darkseid, with Orion growing up to value and defend the ideals of New Genesis as a powerful champion in opposition to his father. The prophecy foretold that Darkseid would meet his final defeat at the hands of Orion in a cataclysmic battle in the fiery Armaghetto of Apokolips. Likewise, Darkseid and his training minion, Granny Goodness, were unable to break Scott Free's spirit after a long, torturous upbringing and Free ultimately managed to escape Apokolips, taking with him the mightiest of the Female Furies, Big Barda, as his wife. Free, now known as the superhero Mister Miracle, and Barda began living on Earth, and Darkseid used this "betrayal" as a pretext to declare the treaty with New Genesis abrogated so the planets could resume their conflict.

Seeing other deities as a threat, Darkseid invaded the island of Themyscira in order to discover the secret location of the Olympian deities, planning to overthrow the Olympians and steal their power. Refusing to aid Darkseid in his mad quest, the Amazons battled his Parademon troops, causing half of the Amazon population's death. [12] [13] [14] Wonder Woman was able to gain her revenge against Darkseid for killing so many of her sisters by placing a portion of her own soul into Darkseid. This supposedly weakened the god's power as he lost a portion of his dark edge. [15] [16]

Darkseid's goal was to eliminate all free will from the universe and reshape it into his own image. To this end, he sought to unravel the mysterious Anti-Life Equation, which gives its user complete control over the thoughts and emotions of all living beings in the universe. Darkseid had tried on several other occasions to achieve dominance of the universe through other methods, most notably through his minion Glorious Godfrey, who could control people's minds with his voice. He had a special interest in Earth, as he believed humans possess collectively within their minds most, if not all, fragments of the Anti-Life Equation.

Darkseid intended to probe the minds of every human in order to piece together the Equation. This has caused him to clash with many superheroes of the DC Universe, most notably the Kryptonian Superman. Darkseid worked behind the scenes, using superpowered minions in his schemes to overthrow Earth, including working through Intergang, a crime syndicate which employs Apokoliptian technology and later morphed into a religious cult that worships Darkseid as the god of evil.

The Great Darkness Saga Edit

One thousand years in the future, Darkseid has been absent for centuries and is almost completely forgotten. He returns and comes into conflict with that era's champions, the Legion of Super-Heroes. After using both scientific and magical methods to enhance his power, Darkseid transposes the planets Apokolips and Daxam—which places Daxam under a yellow sun and gives each of its inhabitants Kryptonian-like superpowers equal to those of Superman. Placing the Daxamites under his mental thrall, he uses them in a massive attempt to conquer the known universe. However, he is eventually defeated by the Legion and many of its allies. [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22]

The Seven Soldiers and "Boss Dark Side" Edit

In Grant Morrison's 2005 Mister Miracle limited series, it was revealed that Darkseid had finally discovered the Anti-Life Equation, which he then used to destroy the Fourth World altogether. The New Gods fled to Earth, where they hid. Highfather and his followers were now a group of homeless people. Metron used a wheelchair, the Black Racer was an old white man in a wheelchair, DeSaad was an evil psychiatrist, Granny Goodness was a pimp (or "madam") for the Female Furies and Darkseid himself was now an evil gang leader who is referred to only as "Boss Dark Side". It is revealed that Darkseid actually gave the Sheeda North America in return for Aurakles, Earth's first superhero. [23] This was, in turn, purely in order for Darkseid to get Shilo Norman, whom he considers the "Avatar of Freedom", in his clutches so that he could eventually destroy the New Gods.

Final Crisis Edit

As prophesied, Orion returns to Earth via boom tube for his final battle with Darkseid. During the massive fight, Orion ultimately kills him by ripping his heart out, which created a firepit of Apokolips from Darkseid's chest cavity (in reference to the prophecy of their final battle). As Darkseid dies, a battered, wounded Orion walks away from the battlefield having "won" the battle against his father once and for all. However, Darkseid's life essence endured even the death of his body and fell back in time, where he was reborn as "Boss Dark Side", aided by his resurrected minions and the supervillain Libra.

Once again bound to the form of a human, "Boss Dark Side" began to appear in a number of titles in the run up to Final Crisis. In Flash (vol. 2) #240, he led an army of fanatics, their will broken by the "spoken form" of the Anti-Life Equation, to kidnap the Tornado Twins. In Birds of Prey #118, he runs his Dark Side Club where superhumans fight to the death, brainwashed by drugs produced by Bernadeth. In Teen Titans #59, it was revealed that he had employed the Terror Titans to capture the Teen Titans and use them in his club fights.

In Final Crisis, Darkseid has begun to take over Earth and corrupt the Multiverse with the aid of his herald Libra, a reborn supervillain and antichrist-like figure who soon converts much of the Secret Society of Super Villains to his cause with the aid of the Crime Bible and the Holy Lance. Darkseid is also joined by the souls of his fellow evil New Gods, who, like Darkseid, now possess either modified human bodies or the bodies of other superpowered beings, such as Mary Marvel.

Darkseid also arranges for detective Dan Turpin to be lured into the Dark Side Club, where Turpin is turned into Darkseid's "final host", as his Boss Dark Side body has begun to mummify due to Darkseid's foul astral presence. With his legion of followers and allies aiding him as he undergoes his latest "rebirth", Darkseid successfully conquers the Earth with the unleashing of the Anti-Life Equation onto mankind. However, the rebirthing process is still far from complete as Dan Turpin's mind and soul, while corrupted by Darkseid's essence, still remains in firm control over his body. However, at the same moment Shilo Norman, the "Embodiment of Freedom" is shot by S.H.A.D.E. operatives, thus signalling the "Victory of Evil". Darkseid wins control over Turpin's body, now twisted in a close copy of his Apokoliptan former appearance, and wearing an updated version of his battle armor. Darkseid then gains the fullest of his power, his "fall" having the effect of compressing and crumpling spacetime around Earth.

After escaping from captivity, Batman shoots Darkseid with the same radion bullet that killed Orion, while Darkseid simultaneously hits Batman with the Omega Beam, sending back in time and then "infecting" Batman with Omega energy that will cause him to jump forward in time, with disastrous results when he reaches the present. Darkseid is mortally wounded, but not before his Omega Sanction teleports Batman into prehistoric times. Remains believed to be Batman's (later revealed to be the last of the many Batman clones that Darkseid created) are found by Superman, who confronts Darkseid. As Darkseid mocks his old enemy for failing to defend Earth, it emerges that in Darkseid's fall through the multiverse, he created a doomsday singularity that now threatens all of existence. When Superman attempts to physically assault him, Darkseid reveals that he now exists inside the bodies of all those who fell to the power of the Anti-Life Equation and that killing Darkseid will kill humanity. Darkseid then reloads the gun that was used to shoot him, to kill Orion by way of firing the bullet backwards in time (a move Superman deems to be suicide due to the paradoxical nature of his actions: the bullet used to kill Orion is ultimately fired at him by Batman and is now poisoning him to death).

Before Darkseid can use the Omega Effect to kill Superman, Barry Allen and Wally West lead the Black Racer to Darkseid and making contact with him frees Turpin from Darkseid's control. Wonder Woman (having been freed from possession by one of Darkseid's minions) then uses her lasso of truth to bind Darkseid's spirit form, effectively freeing humanity from the Anti-Life Equation and being controlled by Darkseid. In his final effort, Darkseid's disembodied essence appears and tries to seize the Miracle Machine Superman has created however, Superman uses counter-vibrations to destroy him. Furthermore, the last piece of Darkseid's plan fails when Batman, thanks to the actions of the new Batman (Dick Grayson), Red Robin (Tim Drake), Robin (Damian Wayne), and the Justice League, is able to return safely to the present, consuming the Omega Energy in his body without damaging the time-stream further, thus becoming the second individual, along with Mister Miracle, to escape the Omega Sanction.

Doctor Impossible later manipulates the Crime Syndicate of America into helping him resurrect Darkseid via a machine that draws energy from the Multiverse itself. The resurrection backfires, and instead creates a new being known as the Omega Man. [24]

The New 52 Edit

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Darkseid's name is first invoked by a Parademon in Justice League #1. [25] He is later mentioned again in Justice League #2, [26] and in Justice League #3 Darkseid makes his first appearance in the series, seen in a vision by Victor Stone after he is injured by an exploding Mother Box. [27] In the final pages of Justice League #4, Darkseid himself appears. [28] In Justice League #5, the League confronts him but they are overpowered by him, when he severely hurts Superman with his Omega Beams and breaks Green Lantern's arm. [29] Finally, in Justice League #6, Darkseid is driven out when Cyborg activates the invaders' Mother Boxes and Superman forces him through a boom tube. The incidents that occur in these issues make Darkseid the very first foe the newly formed League faces as a team. The issue also reveals DeSaad and Steppenwolf, referring to Darkseid's daughter and their ceaseless search for her across countless worlds. [30] Darkseid's daughter escapes containment in Justice League of America's Vibe #7 after the dampeners on her cage are temporarily disabled. [31]

In the New 52 continuity, there is only one set of New Gods across the 52 Multiverse. So as Darkseid invades Prime Earth in Justice League, he sends his lieutenant Steppenwolf to do the same, with greater success, on Earth 2, resulting in the deaths of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, and stranding Helena Wayne and Kara Zor-L on Prime Earth. Five years later, Darkseid once again invades Earth 2, which never fully recovered from his armies' earlier assault, and it is revealed that he and Highfather of New Genesis struck a deal allowing him the unchallenged right to invade Earth 2.

In Darkseid #1, his background story was revealed. Formerly a farmer named Uxas, he hated the deities of his world. So he traveled up to their mountain while they slept and tricked them all into fighting each other. As they were all weakened from the war, he killed them one by one with his scythe (similar to Kronos of Greek mythology) and stole their power, before destroying his world and creating Apokolips.

In Justice League: The Darkseid War (after the retirement of the "New 52" imprint), Darkseid comes into conflict with the Anti-Monitor. Darkseid's daughter Grail leads the Anti-Monitor, who is revealed to be a scientist named Mobius, to Darkseid for the former to kill the latter. Mobius believes that with the death of Darkseid, he will be free from being the Anti-Monitor. After an intense battle, the Anti-Monitor fuses the Black Racer with Flash and sends it after Darkseid. Using the fused Flash and his own powers, he kills Darkseid. With Darkseid dead, the universe is unbalanced as it has lost its God of Evil. Later, Lex Luthor would be merged with the Omega Sanction, becoming the new ruler of Apokolips.

After killing the Anti-Monitor using an Anti-Life Equation-powered Steve Trevor, Grail would later resurrect Darkseid through the newborn child of Superwoman. The child has the same powers as his father Mazahs, with the ability to steal the powers of others. Stealing the new "God" abilities of the Justice League, Grail fuses them with the child and brings Darkseid back to life. However, he is under her complete control. Grail later attempts to redeem herself by seemingly killing Darkseid with the Anti-Life Equation. However, it is later revealed that she reincarnated him back as a baby with the intention of teaching him differently.

DC Rebirth Edit

Darkseid (as a baby) appears in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 where Grail tells him of Wonder Woman's long lost brother, Jason.

Baby Darkseid reappears in Dark Nights: Metal where it is shown that Batman stole him from Grail and intends to use the Omega Beams to send himself back in time. This never comes to fruition and Darkseid is either returned to or retrieved by Grail. [32]

Sometime afterwards, Darkseid matured into a toddler, and using telepathy, demanded that he needed to feast on Old Gods to return to his former self. After killing A.R.G.U.S. agents that were hunting them down, Darkseid and Grail began hunting down and taking the life force of Zeus' demi-god children, killing several including Perseus and Hercules, and growing into the size of a child. After recruiting Jason and luring Wonder Woman to him, Darkseid ages once again into a young man. He fights Wonder Woman himself and as he starts to drain her life force, he is betrayed by Jason. When Zeus appears and transforms into his true form, Darkseid fights the Olympian God, destroying their surroundings in their brawl. When they take a Boom Tube to Manila, Philippines, Zeus grabs onto Darkseid and unleashes bolts of lightning on him. However, Darkseid reveals that he planned for this and that his true target was Zeus himself, and he begins to drain and kill him, restoring Darkseid back to his original self. When the rest of the Justice League arrive, Darkseid decides it is best not to fight them as he does not want to risk revealing his greater plans, and promptly leaves through a Boom Tube with Grail. [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39]

Infinite Frontier Edit

During the Infinite Frontier era, as result of the Multiverse being expanded into an Omniverse, Darkseid is trapped in Earth-Omega, but regained his original form by fusing with all his previous counterparts.

As a New God, Darkseid is among the most powerful beings in the DC Universe. His most well-known and utilised ability derives from the Omega Effect, which allows him to blast Omega Beams from his eyes. Omega Beams are an intense form of heated energy that can either act as a concussive force to subdue an opponent or as a disintegrating agent capable of eradicating organisms or objects from existence. Some super-powered beings, such as Superman and Doomsday, have proven resistant to the Beams, although in the case of Superman, with a great deal of pain. Also, Orion and Diana were able to deflect them, Firestorm once used his powers to redirect them and in a crossover story, Galactus was unaffected by them. These beams stem from a cosmic energy source called the "Omega Effect". The Omega Beams can also resurrect fallen beings previously killed by them. He will sometimes use this as punishment upon those who fail him but are too valuable to kill outright. Darkseid has pinpoint control of this energy, and his unerring aim allows the beam to travel in straight lines, bend, or curve around corners and even pass through matter or other forms of energy. He can also teleport himself or others through time and space. [40] His Omega Sanction traps organisms in a series of alternate realities, each one worse than the previous. During the Final Crisis, Darkseid used his Omega Beams to grant power to Mary Marvel, and her powers afterwards were based on Anti-Life rather than magic.

Darkseid's strength is depicted as immensely high, effortlessly breaking a Green Lantern Ring with his bare hands. He has easily overpowered two Kryptonians at once, and the entire Justice League. He can also move with great speed, as he has been able to catch Superman off guard, [41] and he is known to be able to react in nanoseconds. [42] Even without Darkseid's full power and strength, he is still able to hold his own against an Olympian God such as Zeus. He can also increase his physical size. [43] Darkseid also has additional powers of telepathy and telekinesis, and he can create psionic avatars. While Darkseid is a deity and immortal, having lived for several hundred thousand years, he is not invincible and has been killed on several occasions. [44]

In "The Great Darkness Saga", Darkseid displayed a range of deity-like powers, such as transposing the positions of two planets in different solar systems, taking mental control of the entire population of a planet, instantly absorbing all the information from another being's mind, manifesting the worst fears of other beings as realities, easily defeating incredibly powerful beings such as Mon-El, Mordru, and the Time Trapper, and pronouncing a curse.

Darkseid is a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant who has been trained in the art of war on Apokolips. Combining his superhuman powers with his combat skills makes him one of the strongest beings in the DC Universe. He is proficient in the use of various weapons, even though he rarely uses them due to other powers like the Omega beams

Despite Darkseid's extraordinary physical powers, he rarely engages himself personally in confrontations, as he prefers to use his superhuman intellect to manipulate or control others to his ends. [44] Darkseid has displayed his godly abilities by sensing the death of his son Orion [45] and fluctuations of the energy of the "Godwave". [42] As the ruler of Apokolips, Darkseid has access to all of its military and technological resources.

Darkseid is able to drain the life force of other godly beings to rejuvenate himself or return to his full power. Demi-gods are capable of slowly rejuvenating Darkseid, but a god (such as Zeus) can return Darkseid back to his original form by draining the demi-gods. [39] [ vague ]

Darkseid makes his first official appearance in Chapter 22 of the Injustice: Gods Among Us comic on Apokolips. He is seen overseeing the torture of an unseen figure as his son Kalibak approaches him. Kalibak informs his father of Superman's worldwide ceasefire on Earth. Darkseid muses if Superman has begun to soften before Kalibak asks to take a war party to personally investigate. When Kalibak sees just who it is Darkseid is torturing, the lord of Apokolips confirms the man's identity before saying, "He made a mistake." When Kalibak asks if he can be killed, Darkseid chides his son, "Of course not. Who would come for him?" He then allows Kalibak to go, bidding him to kill the Kryptonian and take the Earth. Darkseid grins to himself as he asks to be left alone with his prisoner: Black Racer, death himself, as Darkseid resumes his torture. In the Injustice Annual, Darkseid hires the bounty hunter Lobo to go to Earth and kill Superman in retaliation for the death of Kalibak at the Man of Steel's hands. However, Lobo returns some time later after a 'therapy' session with Harley Quinn, and brazenly challenges the Dread Lord to a battle. Later, under Darkseid's command, Ares manipulates the Justice League into battle with the Greek Gods. The attempt, while initially successful, is defused by Batman and Highfather's intervention. The Greek Gods depart with no further conflict and Superman brings Ares to Darkseid to torture in exchange for Darkseid, Ares and their underlings to "never step foot on Earth."


16 People With Real Super Powers

Have you ever dreamed about having super powers? Most likely if you are anything like me you have fantasized about having extraordinary abilities such as super strength or moving objects with your mind.

We have found 16 examples of people who claim to have developed some extraordinary abilities. Perhaps we are evolving into a world of zero limits.

1. X-Ray Vision

Natasha Demkina is a Russian woman who claims to be able to see into peoples bodies. Just like an X-ray machine she is able to detect problems inside of people and diagnose them.

Natasha was a normal kid up until the age of ten according to her mother. At that age her abilities began to manifest.

“I was at home with my mother and suddenly I had a vision. I could see inside my mother’s body and I started telling her about the organs I could see. Now, I have to switch from my regular vision to what I call medical vision. For a fraction of a second, I see a colorful picture inside the person and then I start to analyze it.” says Demkina

2. Magnetic Body

Liew Thow Lin is a man from Malaysia who can stick metal objects into his body. Although scientists cannot detect anything going on with the magnetics of his body he is able to hold and balance a unique amount of metal objects on his skin.

3. Super Human Memory:

Daniel Temmet is able to memorize incredible amounts of information. For example he was able to recite Pi up to 22,514 digits in five hours and nine minutes on 14 March 2004.

Most Savants are not able to explain how they accomplish their amazing abilities but Daniel is different. He explains that in his mind every whole number up to 10,000 has its own unique texture, color, shape and feel. This has helped him to remember things visually much easier then the average person.

In his experience the visual image of 289 as very ugly, 333 is particularly attractive, and pi is beautiful. Perhaps this is how the frequency of numbers and numerology work with the logical world.

4. No Need for Sleeping:

Imagine what life would be like if you didn’t need to sleep? I know we would miss out on a lot of fun dreams but what could we accomplish? Well Al Herpin was a man who knew what that was like.

Al Herpin claimed to have a rare type of insomnia where he didn’t need to sleep and at one point in his life had apparently been awake for over 10 years. This attracted the attention of medical professionals who investigated further.

They found no bed, or sleeping place in Al Herpin’s home. He claimed to go to work and then sit in his rocking chair reading until it was time to go to work the next day. He was found to be in good health and also lived to the old age of 94.

5. Stomach of Steel:

Michel Lotito was known for his ability to eat non-digestable objects without any bad effects. He was seen to consume glass, metal, rubber and other objects. Do not try this at home.

6. Super Languag e Abilities:

The average person on earth is estimated to only be able to speak 1.69 languages. Harold Williams, on the other hand was able to speak 58 different languages.

Harold was a normal kid until the age of 7 when he describes having an ‘Explosion in his brain’. After that he learned latin, which is the root to many languages, and couldn’t get enough.

He spent his life traveling the world going region by region learning all the languages he could.

7. Eagle Vision (20x more acute than the rest of us):

Veronica Seider holds the world record for being able to see the smallest object without assistance from technology.

In 1972 the University of Stuttgart, in then West Germany, reported that one of their students Veronica Seider had a visual acuity 20 times better than average person. For example she could identify people at a distance of more than a mile away (1.6 km).

The typical person would need a set of binoculars to be able to accurately accomplish that.

8. Sonar Vision (like Bats or Dolphins):

Ben Underwood is an extraordinary person with the ability to see using Human Echolocation. Ben lost his eyes to cancer and is completely blind. However, using a series of clicking noises Ben is able to navigate the world around him.

9. High pain tolerance:

Now we have heard of people using meditation to ease the pains of child birth but Tim Cridland has decided to use his high tolerance for pain as a means of performance and entertainment.

“There is nothing abnormal about me physically. Everything I’ve done, I’ve trained myself to do. I’d say what I’m doing is demonstrating some kind of extreme examples of what you can do with your mind and combining that with your body. You could take the same techniques I use to overcome pain and use them in your own life to inspire you to persevere against the pains in life we all have to deal with.” Tim Cridland – Speaking in Faze Magazine

10. Communicating with Animals:

Kevin Richardson is a south african animal behaviorist who had been accepted into several lion prides and clans of hyenas.

He has broken almost every safety rule in the book and says he focuses more on intuition than traditional knowledge when it comes to his interactions with these wild animals.

Imagine a world where we all lived in harmony with the animals around us.

11. Sensory Abilities and the Recognition of Music

Arthur Lintgen is an american physicist who can look at phonograph records and recognize the song. He says he is able to look at the grooves and recognize the song recorded. He can also tell if the song is being played loud or quiet based on his ability to focus in on the little details of the records.

12. Human computer:

Shakuntala Devi was a woman born in India with the natural ability to calculate numbers beyond normal human abilities. Even at the very young age of 6 and without formal training she was demonstrating her abilities to calculate and memorize in the University of Mysore.

She has been tested many times and has been able to do all of these calculations in her head. For example when she was tested at The University of California Berkley where she was asked to accurately calculate the cube root of 61,629,875, and the seventh root of 170,859,375 she passed with flying colors.

13. Photographic Memory:

Stephen Wiltshire is a British architectural artist who can look at a landscape once and then draw it with perfect accuracy.

“He frequently draws entire cities from memory, based on double, brief helicopter rides. For example, he produced a detailed drawing of four square miles of London after a single helicopter ride above that city. His nineteen-foot-long drawing of 305 square miles of New York City is based on a single twenty-minute helicopter ride” –Wikipedia

14. Long Distance Running (100 miles, JUST FOR FUN.):

There is a group of natives in northwestern Mexico called the Tarahumara People who are known for their ability to run very long distances. The Tarahumara word that they call themselves is Rarámuri which means “runners on foot” or “those who run fast”.

They have reported to run 200 miles (320 km) in one session typically over a period of two days.

This isn’t the only case of people being able to run crazy long distances. There is a man named Dean Karnazes who ran 350 miles (560 km) in 80 hours and 44 minutes without sleep in 2005.

Wim Hof is a man in his 50s who has pushed the limits of cold all over the world. In the past 35 years have faced all kinds of challenges and holds 20 guinness world records.

He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest in shorts, broke records by swimming under ice water, and ran half a marathon in the desert without drinking.

Wim uses a breathing meditation technique that makes it so he doesn’t feel the cold in the same way we do. He claims it has enhanced his immune system and that he doesn’t suffer any bad effects from this ice dips.

16. Super Human Reflexes

Isao Machii is a Japanese Iaido master who has the quickest reflexes in the world. He holds many world records for his quick sword skills. Check out the video below to see him attempt to cut a shot BB in half.


17 BODY MANIPULATION (GROWTH AND STRETCHING)

Body manipulation takes on a lot of forms, but in this case, we are just talking about the ability to alter the size or length of a body part. So, think about Reed Richards stretching powers, Plastic Man's ability to morph his body into various shapes, or Ant-Man's ability to shrink or grow. Of course, each of these powers has different uses, but are they really that big of a deal?

Sure, Reed can stretch and do interesting things with his body but his main power is not his stretching, but his intelligence. Ant-Man and Wasp can shrink, but they also control insects and have the blasting rays they can shoot. Plastic Man is mostly a joke character, though he stands as the one argument that these powers have limitless permutations. That outlier aside, there's a reason that Mr. Fantastic is often seen as the least (physically) powerful member of the Fantastic Four!


Territories

The vast land of the Roman Empire is divided into territories known as Provinciae, ruled by Praetores (Governors) appointed by the Senate whenever a Praetorian position opens (either by resignation, death, or impeachment). Praetors must be patricians born and having lived no less than 30 years of their lives in Italy. Once elected, the new governor forfeits his other magisterial positions and private jobs. Consequently, praetorship is a common successive post for senators or consuls after their terms. However, the position is precarious. A Caesar can remove Praetors at will. See above in Government & Politics for more information on the regional divisions of the Imperium Romanum ( e.g. Foederata, Curia, Municipia ).

List of Provinces

  • Germania Inferioris
  • Germania Superioris
  • Gothia
  • Cimbria
  • Venetia
  • Aetia
  • Francia
  • Sarmatia
  • Barbaria
  • Muskovia Inferioris
  • Muskovia Superioris
  • Magna Muskovia
  • Taurica

  • Nubia
  • Axum
  • Somalia
  • Swahilium
  • Ferunia
  • Konconia
  • Galleria
  • Alkonquia
  • Audenisonea
  • Ojibrea
  • Roanokia
  • Haevatenia
  • Apalachia

Tainuria (Caribbean)

Rome's Constitution is the heart of its law - without a doubt, the single most important document for the citizens of the empire. Nothing in the Constitution can be contradicted. For this reason, its tenets must be protected by the highest government office, the Censores, who have the power to conduct an inquiry into literally any activity in the Imperium. In any censorial investigation, evidence against the accused is brought before the eighteen person Comitia Censoria (Censorial Assembly). A 78% majority for a guilty verdict is needed before the appropriate punishment for the crime - consistent with the Constitution - is administered.

Tribunalis Ultima in Rome

The imperial judicial system emphasizes honour (dignitas). Citizens brought in as witnesses are always believed unless evidence directly contradicts their statements. Lying in a public court would be a fatal blow to a citizen's dignitas, a permanent scar on the reputation.

A trial for a citizen is presided over by a judge of the defendant's social order. Evidence is interpreted by a random jury of four plebeians, four equites and four patricians. While the majority of trials are held in a public urban field, the defendant can pay 5,000 Dn to take the case to the Tribunalis Ultima (Supreme Court) in Rome. Every citizen also bears the right to take an accusation before his province's Praetor. Whether the Praetor hears the case depends on his mood and the persistence of the citizen making a request.

There is a unique degree of egalitarian and cautionary principles used in Roman law. The natural rights of everyone, regardless of age, race, or gender, are preserved in its procedures and the same legal treatment is guaranteed to any citizen regardless of social class. Classism is nullified by drawing members of a jury from everywhere in Roman society and by only permitting judges of the social order of a defendant. Furthermore, judicial process is under the oversight of a Tribune and a committee of Censors, both of which have an eye for honesty and fairness.

Outside the courtroom, citizens are afforded medical care and receive free education. Every citizen has an equal share of national representation in the Senate and the cultural values of citizens are enforced in Rome by Consuls for culture. On the whole, there are great benefits to being a citizen of Rome.

Citizenship

Civitatem Romanum (citizenship) is the individual possession of every man and woman recognized by the Roman Senate. For a person to be a cives (citizen) they must be 16 years of age or older and satisfy one of the following conditions:

  1. Born to two Roman citizens.
  2. Born to one Roman citizen within a Roman province and served a set term in the Roman military.
  3. Recognized as a citizen by a Caesar or the Senate.

Citizenship is the most coveted possession of a resident of the Imperium Romanum. Once held, it is irrevocable without extreme violations of national law - demonstrable guilt in treason, perjury, barratry, or desertion. Citizens are exempt from the painful death penalties and are guaranteed the protection of the Legion when traveling outside the limites of the empire.

Since 1964, female citizenship has been identical to male citizenship. Any citizen today can run for office, vote, or own property. Non-citizens, however, are excluded from the Legion, political offices, embassies, free health care, free education, and Italy. Neither marriage to a citizen nor birth from one Roman parent can guarantee citizenship but it is possible for a son or daughter of a lone Roman to seek citizenship through military service and an eventual request to a provincial Praetor.

By the age of 16, a candidate for civitatem is allowed to visit the local Praetorian Palace to begin to become a citizen. First, a presentation of credentials is required, after which the candidate is to return once the secretaries have completed a background check. On return to the Praetor, an interview is conducted to determine whether the individual is fit to make decisions on his or her own behalf - an easy test to pass for anyone over 15. Finally, the candidate must read and sign a lengthy contract (pactum socialis) and declare to the reigning Praetor, "Civis romanus sum" (I am a Roman citizen), before being given a small token, which is nigh impossible to fake, proving his or her citizenship. Every new citizen's name is entered into official records.

Reviewing prospective citizens is one of the highest duties of a Praetor. In a large province like Magna Britannia, about 800,000 children become eligible for citizenship each year. There the task of interviewing the candidates is delegated to sixty magistrates employed by the Censorial Assembly. The 160,000 work hours required to interview every new citizen is a tremendous task but one that occurs without difficulty every year.

The process of acquiring Roman citizenship reflects social contract theory. As electors, citizens are required to be of sufficient ability to think for themselves and to understand their rights and duties. In this way, the government can be made dependent on the people as the true sovereigns of Rome. Political power exists solely by virtue of this legal relationship.

Possessing citizenship in Rome is no small advantage in life. Besides the tax and welfare benefits, citizens are defended by the Legion anywhere in the world - allowing a cives to walk the earth unmolested - and granted immunity from foreign trial - exile and deportation are the only powers other states have over Roman citizens. The reverse is not true. In this day, the proudest boast that a man or woman can make truly is civis romanus sum.

Although it has tremendous benefits, citizenship comes with great responsibility. A Roman citizen must demonstrate honour, virtue, and vigour. He cannot betray his country, lie on his name, or abandon his civil or military commitments. Failure to abide by these duties can result in loss of citizenship after a fair trial. By consequence, citizens are instilled with firm reasons to be honest witnessess in court, to never plot against the state, and to never desert the Legion.

Security

Maintaining the peace in cities, towns, and villages are vigiles (police). The fluidity of officer jurisdictions is such that any vigilum can be quickly assigned elsewhere in the empire or make arrests outside his usual patrol routes. Vigilum is a relatively unreliable job for a citizen as they are hired and fired to meet present needs, with only the most natural vigiles retaining their posts. The political nature of the job is such that people may take a break from work to fill a temporary demand for officers while their employer is compensated by the provincial government.

Rome, the city and province, uniquely lacks vigiles patrolling its streets, having other means of civil protection. Praetoriani (Praetorian Guards) are the most distinguished officers of the law, with an average annual salary of 2,900 Dn ($145,000 US). While Praetorians primarily patrol the Imperial and Valentissima districts, other districts are protected by watchmen hired by a local collegium in what are technically private security forces or by the legionaries of the emperor's personal 101st legion.

Magistrates are afforded personal Lictors (imperial bodyguards) according to the degree of political imperium possessed by their office - an emperor has 24 lictors and a censor has 18 but a praefectus urbi has 2. Wielding the fasces to indicate their civil authority, lictors have the power to arrest suspected criminals and kill anyone they deem a threat to their assigned magistrate.


The Ancient Egyptian Text That CONFIRMS Aliens Visited Earth In The Past

It has been believed for quite some time now that the ‘Tulli Papyrus’ is probably the best evidence ever of ancient flying saucers in the distant past, but leading historians have questioned its authenticity and meaning and constantly dismiss it as evidence that Earth has been visited by Extra-terrestrials – But this factual piece of historic evidence should NOT be ignored.

Like many other ancient texts around the world, this ancient piece of evidence appears to tell an amazing story, one that could potentially change the way that we look at ourselves (past, present and the future), our history and the entire Universe!

It’s believed that this ancient piece of documentation, which in fact isn’t a papyrus actually, offers the earliest proof ever of flying saucers on planet earth – The Tulli “papyrus” is a translation of a modern transcription of an ancient Egyptian document.

The Pharaoh that ruled over Egypt was Thutmose III and according to this intriguing ancient text, this mass UFO sightings happened back in 1480 BC. At this time this incredible event was recorded in history as a day of significant importance – the day that something unexplainable and shocking occurred.

Please see below an actual translation into the above text pictured:

“In the year 22, of the third month of winter, sixth hour of the day […] among the scribes of the House of Life it was found that a strange Fiery Disk was coming in the sky. It had no head. The breath of its mouth emitted a foul odour. Its body was one rod in length and one rod in width. It had no voice. It came toward His Majesty’s house. Their heart became confused through it, and they fell upon their bellies. They [went] to the king, to report it. His Majesty [ordered that] the scrolls [located] in the House of Life be consulted. His Majesty meditated on all these events which were now going on.

After several days had passed, they became more numerous in the sky than ever. They shined in the sky more than the brightness of the sun, and extended to the limits of the four supports of heaven […] Powerful was the position of the Fiery Disks.

The army of the King looked on, with His Majesty in their midst. It was after the evening meal when the Disks ascended even higher in the sky to the south. Fish and other volatiles rained down from the sky: a marvel never before known since the foundation of the country. And His Majesty caused incense to be brought to appease the heart of Amun-Re, the god of the Two Lands. And it was [ordered] that the event [be recorded for] His Majesty in the Annals of the House of Life [to be remembered] for ever.”

This ancient old text was translated by many leading historians and scientists and is probably one of THE most important pieces of evidence of Ancient Aliens visiting earth – perhaps they have never actually left Earth?

They have been with us for a very long time – Art by Raphael Terra @http://ufoartist.blogspot.co.uk/

This simply amazing historical event was described as being silent, but with incredible views of mysterious flying disks highly reflective, shining like the sun. According to this ancient text, the departure of the otherworldly visitors was marked by a mysterious event, as fish rained down from the heaven, almost as if some kind of unknown force affected the surroundings!

This ancient text clearly does not mention whether the ancient Egyptians did actually establish contact with these otherworldly Beings, but it is nonetheless an extremely important day in planet earths history – that is for both humanity and the ancient Egyptian Civilization at the time of this incredible event.

One VERY important thing to remember is that the Ancient Egyptians were extremely experienced and rather gifted astronomers, and it was by the year 1500 B.C, that they were already experts in this field, which means that they would not have mistaken these “fiery disks” with some kind of strange astronomical or weather phenomena – they would have described an astronomical phenomena in a completely different way. It is also rather important to remember that in these ancient documents, the “fiery disks” are described very clearly as they changed directions in the skies above the people who witnessed them, so it is very clear that we know that these objects didn’t fall, but remained in the Egyptian Sky

this is not normal for an astronomical event (obviously).

In order to truly understand this ancient text this evidence would ideally need to be studies again in more detail. But isn’t it interesting that the original papyrus is gone!? But guess what people, top Researcher Samuel Rosenberg has already requested from the Vatican Museum an official opportunity to examine this mysterious/unknown important document, but the reply he received pretty much confirmed that ‘somebody’ does not want ANY interest shown in this key area and he had a response of:

The Papyrus Tulli not property of Vatican Museum. Now it is dispersed and no more traceable.” Said the VATICAN museum.

It’s time to dig up the TRUTH from our past.

U.I.P SUMMARY – It appears that the Vatican are trying to hide away and archive this extremely piece of evidence, hidden on purpose away from the people of planet earth, perhaps hidden away in a secret archive, but why? Could it be that this piece of important evidence is that incredible and life changing that the elite and the heads of the Catholic church are SCARED about what this PROOF could cause amongst the masses.

This could be one of the most important pieces of evidence ever, and this could actually prove that the ET’s influenced the ancient Egyptian civilization as many Ancient Astronaut theorists believe? It is literally criminal that our so-called leaders are trying to hide this from us, however it is also very clear that the world leaders out there are playing games and trying to make us believe what THEY want us to believe!

THIS is such an important story and one that we can never ignore. SOME stupid world leaders LAUGH when the subject matter of ‘Aliens’ is raised – soon they will NOT be laughing, when the control starts slipping away from their hands and the TRUTH starts spilling out!

Lets not forget some of the incredible stories behind Egypt, including project ISIS and the 13,000 year old alien visitor discovered:

The Pyramids are so important to all of our history, you can feel this just by looking at them and seeing the sheer amount of energy coming from them!

The pyramids are to this day still a mystery, but a mystery that is soon about to be dragged out kicking and screaming!


The Ancient Egyptian Text That CONFIRMS Aliens Visited Earth In The Past

It has been believed for quite some time now that the ‘Tulli Papyrus’ is probably the best evidence ever of ancient flying saucers in the distant past, but leading historians have questioned its authenticity and meaning and constantly dismiss it as evidence that Earth has been visited by Extra-terrestrials – But this factual piece of historic evidence should NOT be ignored.

Like many other ancient texts around the world, this ancient piece of evidence appears to tell an amazing story, one that could potentially change the way that we look at ourselves (past, present and the future), our history and the entire Universe!

It’s believed that this ancient piece of documentation, which in fact isn’t a papyrus actually, offers the earliest proof ever of flying saucers on planet earth – The Tulli “papyrus” is a translation of a modern transcription of an ancient Egyptian document.

The Pharaoh that ruled over Egypt was Thutmose III and according to this intriguing ancient text, this mass UFO sightings happened back in 1480 BC. At this time this incredible event was recorded in history as a day of significant importance – the day that something unexplainable and shocking occurred.

Please see below an actual translation into the above text pictured:

“In the year 22, of the third month of winter, sixth hour of the day […] among the scribes of the House of Life it was found that a strange Fiery Disk was coming in the sky. It had no head. The breath of its mouth emitted a foul odour. Its body was one rod in length and one rod in width. It had no voice. It came toward His Majesty’s house. Their heart became confused through it, and they fell upon their bellies. They [went] to the king, to report it. His Majesty [ordered that] the scrolls [located] in the House of Life be consulted. His Majesty meditated on all these events which were now going on.

After several days had passed, they became more numerous in the sky than ever. They shined in the sky more than the brightness of the sun, and extended to the limits of the four supports of heaven […] Powerful was the position of the Fiery Disks.

The army of the King looked on, with His Majesty in their midst. It was after the evening meal when the Disks ascended even higher in the sky to the south. Fish and other volatiles rained down from the sky: a marvel never before known since the foundation of the country. And His Majesty caused incense to be brought to appease the heart of Amun-Re, the god of the Two Lands. And it was [ordered] that the event [be recorded for] His Majesty in the Annals of the House of Life [to be remembered] for ever.”

This ancient old text was translated by many leading historians and scientists and is probably one of THE most important pieces of evidence of Ancient Aliens visiting earth – perhaps they have never actually left Earth?

They have been with us for a very long time – Art by Raphael Terra @http://ufoartist.blogspot.co.uk/

This simply amazing historical event was described as being silent, but with incredible views of mysterious flying disks highly reflective, shining like the sun. According to this ancient text, the departure of the otherworldly visitors was marked by a mysterious event, as fish rained down from the heaven, almost as if some kind of unknown force affected the surroundings!

This ancient text clearly does not mention whether the ancient Egyptians did actually establish contact with these otherworldly Beings, but it is nonetheless an extremely important day in planet earths history – that is for both humanity and the ancient Egyptian Civilization at the time of this incredible event.

One VERY important thing to remember is that the Ancient Egyptians were extremely experienced and rather gifted astronomers, and it was by the year 1500 B.C, that they were already experts in this field, which means that they would not have mistaken these “fiery disks” with some kind of strange astronomical or weather phenomena – they would have described an astronomical phenomena in a completely different way. It is also rather important to remember that in these ancient documents, the “fiery disks” are described very clearly as they changed directions in the skies above the people who witnessed them, so it is very clear that we know that these objects didn’t fall, but remained in the Egyptian Sky

this is not normal for an astronomical event (obviously).

In order to truly understand this ancient text this evidence would ideally need to be studies again in more detail. But isn’t it interesting that the original papyrus is gone!? But guess what people, top Researcher Samuel Rosenberg has already requested from the Vatican Museum an official opportunity to examine this mysterious/unknown important document, but the reply he received pretty much confirmed that ‘somebody’ does not want ANY interest shown in this key area and he had a response of:

The Papyrus Tulli not property of Vatican Museum. Now it is dispersed and no more traceable.” Said the VATICAN museum.

It’s time to dig up the TRUTH from our past.

U.I.P SUMMARY – It appears that the Vatican are trying to hide away and archive this extremely piece of evidence, hidden on purpose away from the people of planet earth, perhaps hidden away in a secret archive, but why? Could it be that this piece of important evidence is that incredible and life changing that the elite and the heads of the Catholic church are SCARED about what this PROOF could cause amongst the masses.

This could be one of the most important pieces of evidence ever, and this could actually prove that the ET’s influenced the ancient Egyptian civilization as many Ancient Astronaut theorists believe? It is literally criminal that our so-called leaders are trying to hide this from us, however it is also very clear that the world leaders out there are playing games and trying to make us believe what THEY want us to believe!

THIS is such an important story and one that we can never ignore. SOME stupid world leaders LAUGH when the subject matter of ‘Aliens’ is raised – soon they will NOT be laughing, when the control starts slipping away from their hands and the TRUTH starts spilling out!

Lets not forget some of the incredible stories behind Egypt, including project ISIS and the 13,000 year old alien visitor discovered:

The Pyramids are so important to all of our history, you can feel this just by looking at them and seeing the sheer amount of energy coming from them!

The pyramids are to this day still a mystery, but a mystery that is soon about to be dragged out kicking and screaming!


10 Superhero Powers of the Animal Kingdom

In the superhero lexicon, these "sounds" usually mean our hero is winning his or her epic battle with the villain of the day. The world will soon be restored to order peace will prevail a little longer.

But in the animal kingdom, superheroes aren't as showy. When they maim an enemy or gain an upper hand over their environment, you probably won't hear much more than a quiet "ribbit." In the next few pages, we'll meet animals in our world – and some that can even survive outside our world -- with superpowers that might seem fantastic to even the folks at DC and Marvel.

So WHOOSH! On to the next page to learn more about the superheroes who protect their own little corner of the animal kingdom.

First on our list of animals with enviable powers is the seemingly innocent wood frog (Rana sylvatica). This little jumper's persona is as boring as Clark Kent. It lives in North America, up into the Arctic Circle. Most of its days are spent doing frog things like jumping and climbing. Nothing to see here.

Until, of course, the first sign of freeze.

Because as soon as these guys find their skin feeling the sting of serious cold, they freeze. The water in their bodies does indeed turn to ice, while the syrup-like liquid inside their cells stays viscous [source: Roach]. For all intents and purposes, a wood frog in winter imitates a dead frog: no organ function, no breath.

But come spring? The ice melts and the wood frog's blood begins circulating. The frog starts functioning about 30 minutes after the ice melts, no harm done.

We usually don't like to have repeats on a list, but this frog – Trichobatrachus robustus, otherwise known as a hairy frog -- deserves to share space with other superhero animals. But no young, handsome leading man would ever want to be cast in the film adaptation of this super animal's story. The male hairy frog is horrifyingly ugly and sprouts hair-like threads of skin and arteries during mating season. Because the ladies love that.

His superpower is equal parts disturbing and awesome. When threatened, the frog can puncture claws out of his toe pads, just like Wolverine. Instead of cat or dog claws made of keratin, the hairy frog's claws are bone. More disturbingly, the frog appears to have to break the bones of its toes in order to push the claw out [source: Brahic]. Put it like that, and Wolverine suddenly seems more villain than hero.

Scientists can't figure out how the bone retracts, and they posit that the amphibian is regenerating tissue to help the wound heal. Which is really all you need to know to launch a thousand nightmares: a Wolverine frog with regeneration powers.

There's a reason why Spider-Man makes for a better superhero than, say, Golden Retriever Man. Nothing against our canine friends, but spiders have the upper hand, or rather leg, when it comes to awesome biological functions and tricks. After all, it's not really a superpower to roll over and play dead.

But you know what is? Producing giant webs of shockingly strong silk to trap enemies. And that's exactly what Darwin's bark spider (Caerostris darwini) does. This species of spider weaves enormous webs that span across bodies of water, with anchor strands up to 82 feet (25 meters) long [source: Agnarsson et al.]. Such an impressive web won't do any good, however, if it falls apart when a fruit fly sneezes on it.

So scientists decided to test the spider's silk strength, and they found that the strands were twice as tough as any other silk studied and 10 times stronger than Kevlar [source: Agnarsson et al.]. It can take incredible amounts of kinetic energy before breaking, so no measly insect can escape the spider's web.

7: The Reluctant Superhero

Tardigrades, otherwise known much more adorably as water bears, are plump, little animals about a quarter to half a millimeter long [source: Goldstein and Baxter]. In fact, they even have their very own phylum. These microscopic invertebrates might live in your backyard they love moss and beach sediment. They'd prefer to stay away from extreme climates, thanks very much. So what makes these tiny, quiet guys so super?

They've got a superpower they'd rather ignore. While they don't like extreme climates, tardigrades are shockingly adaptable to the craziest environments on the planet -- and off. We're not talking "can survive at the bottom of the ocean" here: We're talking can survive pressures more than six times those found in the deepest ocean. We're not just talking boiling temperatures we're talking water bears surviving 300 degrees F water (149 degrees C). Their biggest accomplishment? Tardigrades can survive in space, a place not known for its abundant life [source: Simon].

How do they do it? A superpower called cryptobiosis, wherein the water bear dehydrates and can live for years with very little metabolic function [source: Clegg]. When in contact with water, the little guy rehydrates and comes back to life.

Nothing screams "superhero" like regenerating body parts. It's one of the cooler things about characters like Wolverine and Deadpool. Your head is beat to a pulp by the Hulk? Grow it back already.

And it's not just the stuff of comic book fantasy. The planarian (family Planariidae) is a harmless-looking flatworm that lives in bodies of water around the globe. But don't dismiss this squirmer as nothing special, because if you were to cut off any part of the planarian -- or split it down the middle, cut it into pieces, or any other combination -- each part of it regenerates into a whole new planarian. You can take one measly cell of the planarian and it will develop into an entire flatworm, which really deserves all-caps in comic book tradition because it's AMAZING [source: Krulwich].

Even cooler? It seems to have a superpower memory. One study "taught" a planarian to be attracted to light (which they're naturally averse to). The researchers than guillotined the worm and waited for a new head to grow back. And guess what? The worm with a whole new head and brain kept the attraction to light: The new brain had old memories [source: Shomrat and Levin].

The Cyclops of the piscine world, an archerfish (any one of the family Toxotidae) can target and hunt an enemy with serious precision. But while Marvel's Cyclops shoots optic blasts from his eyes that knock out nemeses, an archerfish has an arguably less elegant weapon of choice: a finely aimed stream of spit-out water that can take down villains.

What's so extraordinary about a spitting fish? Consider this: The archerfish hangs out at the surface of a body of water and is looking up at an insect above the water. The archerfish has to somehow compensate for the refraction of the water and the angle it's shooting at, since the fish don't hang out directly under their prey [source: Dill].

What happens is an impressive feat: The archerfish aims its jet so carefully that a tiny insect is struck prone, and the aquatic sharpshooter is there to catch it at the direct landing spot. ZAP, indeed.

4: The Brawniest Animal Is a . Beetle?

No list of superheroes would be complete without an example of sheer brute strength, like the Hulk's bulging muscles ripping through his shirts. Or perhaps your mind jumps to the unrivaled brawn of the male horned dung beetle Onthophagus Taurus?

Well, maybe it should. Because the dung beetle is actually the strongest animal in the whole dang world, able to pull 1,140 times its own body weight [source: Courage]. And I can't even do a pull-up.

But our dung beetle hero becomes even more of an action star when you hear why he's so strong. It's his insatiable sexual appetite (or just the biological need to breed) that necessitates such burliness. A female dung beetle excavates under dung to create a cozy spot for mating. If more than one male enters the love den, the brutes must lock horns and push, pull and otherwise force the weaker competitor out [source: Courage].

But don't discount feebler beetles: These smaller guys can walk faster and sneak in to the tunnel easier -- and they even have higher testes mass to make their encounter more likely to result in impregnating the female [source: Knell and Simmons]. Who's super now?

3: Sea Snake? Nope. Lionfish? Nope. Octopus? Yep.

Look no further than Thor's nemesis, the shape-shifter Loki, as the doppelganger for our next super-powered animal. And to call this tricky sea creature a clone is right on.

The mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) was first discovered in the late 1990s, where they live on murky seafloors around Indonesia and the Great Barrier Reef. And let's get one thing straight: Many members of the octopus family change colors or even skin texture to ward off predators and hunt. But no other octopus besides the mimic actually impersonates a wide variety of sea life to scare away danger [source: Roach].

From sea snakes to lionfish, the mimic takes on poisonous personas to keep enemies at bay. Researchers even believe that the mimic octopus decides which animals are most suitable to imitate at any given time based on what the threat appears to be [source: Norman et al.]. Within seconds, the mimic octopus can morph into all sorts of toxic sea creatures as it guards against predators on the ocean floor.

2: Naked Mole Rat to World: 'Who's Laughing Now?!'

Most superheroes don't get to bask in the glory of recognition from their communities many live double lives, of course, or the public simply misunderstands their motivations. Batman doesn't get the keys to Gotham. Spider-Man doesn't always get a hero's welcome in New York.

But the amazing naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) -- an animal with a superpower immune system -- was named Vertebrate of the Year in 2013 by Science magazine. Now don't be too outraged you lost out to a mouse-sized, hairless, bucktoothed competitor. These unnerving-looking creatures very much deserve the honor.

That's because instead of immunity to radiation or injury, the naked mole rat seems to be immune to cancer [source: Poppick]. And their superpower makes them a boon to scientists desperate to know more about the disease and how it affects humans. They've already discovered that mole rats have a peculiarly heavy form of the substance hyaluronon between tissues that seems to impede the creation of tumors, and that mole rats seem to build proteins spectacularly well -- both factors that could play into why their lifespan is around 30 years, nine times longer than mice [source: Poppick].

Hairy frogs with Wolverine claws, naked mole rats that don't have to worry about cancer -- must be nice, you might think. Animals get all the cool breaks when it comes to super abilities. But hold up. We humans -- while maybe not Vertebrates of the Year -- deserve some recognition for our own superpowers. Some seemingly innocent friends, neighbors and colleagues might actually be superheroes in our midst.

Consider that water districts employ some people with extremely heightened senses of smell or taste to sample water for quality. Then there are those folks with such abnormally sensitive hearing, they might actually suffer from it: Hyperacusis might be terrific when you want to hear a spider skitter across the floor, but it sure isn't great when sounds are so amplified that normal levels of noise seem intolerable [source: Weiss]. And let's not forget our friends with synesthesia, a condition where people experience one sense in a couple different ways: for instance, you might feel a certain sound or musical note is blue, or associate letters or numbers with colors.

It gets better, though, for us mere mortals: Scientists now believe that our senses don't have to stay fixed. How about "tasting" images, for example? BrainPort is an investigational device that uses a camera to record a visual image. The visually impaired user puts a sensor in his or her mouth, where microelectrodes tickle the tongue in a pattern, translated from the digital electrical images of the camera. The user essentially learns to "see" and "read" objects in a room (as well as their movement, shape and size) like a Braille display on their tongue [source: Wicab].

Author's Note: 10 Superhero Powers of the Animal Kingdom

As a non-superpowered human, I find the idea of "tasting" images very exciting. More thrilling, however, would be the invention of claw-like bones that could pierce through my toes or fingers whenever I needed to impress someone at a cocktail party or frighten my own villains.


Watch the video: Ταξίδι στο διάστημα - 3D Ταινία στο Κοσμοθέατρο


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