superheroes

VCU Tompkins-McCaw Library Special Collections / flic.kr/p/27bFm2

  Malaria threatens more than half the world’s people. Yet there is still no way to immunize against it. On today’s show, why a promising vaccine developed by an upstart in the biotech scene is not getting funded. 

Plus, Levi Strauss started making jeans during the gold rush, introducing the  most iconic symbol of American style. Today’s Good Gig profiles the Levi’s in-house historian who sifts through mine shafts and dusty attics to find the stories behind every crease. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

  The Science of Superheroes

It seems like every summer, another classic superhero gets ripped from the pages of Marvel or D.C. comics and is adapted, or rebooted, for the big screen. You don’t have to be a comic book super fan to recognize icons like Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman, but what about the telepathic Nelvana of the Northern Lights?

What, you never heard of her?

Two Canadian comic book fans, Hope Nicholson and Rachel Richy, are hoping to change that with a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first ever reprint of Nelvana comics for a new generation of fans to enjoy.

via ecologypad.com

As the curtain falls on another season of superhero blockbusters, Hollywood is already hard at work re-booting  "Batman," "Captain America," and the "Fantastic Four" franchises.  More than sixty high-profile superhero films have been released since the surprise success of "X-Men" in the year 2000.

Joe Hanson points us to a more enduring source of awe-inspiring acts: nature. Hanson is a biologist who writes and hosts the PBS. video series “It’s Okay to Be Smart.”

Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

In this special edition of Word of Mouth: Girl Power Interrupted.

Wonder Women!

Mar 12, 2013
via wonderwomendoc.com

Wonder Woman has yet to be the subject of a major motion picture. Until now…sort of. “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines” is a documentary that follows the character from her Amazonian origins to that campy TV show in the 70s to her following among punk rockers, suburban girls, and even Gloria Steinem. The documentary is screening tonight at Concord’s Red River Theatre and will make its broadcast premiere on PBS’s Independent Lens series on April 15th. Kristy Guevera-Flanagan directed the film and joins Word of Mouth to talk about it.

(Photo by Chris in Plymouth via Flickr Creative Commons)

Part 1:

All that "40 is the new 30" boosterism aside, midlife is not the start of a downward spiral. David Bainbridge is a clinical veterinary anatomist at Cambridge University, and the author of several books including Middle Age: A Natural History. He believes middle age might be a pivotal part of the human evolutionary process, and potentially the most productive years of our lives.  

and

An online dating site that caters specifically to doomsday preppers. 

by Danielle Lima

Part 1: "This is what democracy looks like!" 

Photo by Bloke_with_camera, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Superheroes are heavy on the summer blockbuster schedule. A reunion of Marvel Comics “The Avengers” hits theaters in May, followed by the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. In July, we get a reboot of the Spiderman epic. The new film adaptations promise new gadgets and CGI effects to stir moviegoers fantasies of and aspirations of superpowers.