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Spider-Man Article Puts Kakalios in the Spotlight


An op-ed article in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune written by Professor James Kakalios about the physics of Spider-Man has caught the attention of the Associated Press (AP)

As well as the AP, it also drew attention from many other news agencies including The London Times, CNN, BBC Radio and the CBC Radio show "As It Happens." The original commentary uses physics to settle the long-standing debate around the death of the "Spider-Man" character, Gwen Stacy in 1973. Apart from appealing to true fans of the "Amazing Spider-Man" comic book, the commentary rode the media whirlwind surrounding the new movie. The article also makes reference to a Freshman Seminar that Kakalios built around physics problems from the world of comic books.

Interest in Kakalios and his Science in Comic Books course has moved beyond a tie-in with the "Spider-Man" movie and has been sustained by the novelty of using super heroes as a tool to teach physics. The AP article has also become a favorite with internet readers, appearing in the top ten e-mailed stories by Yahoo News and the New York Times Online.

Kakalios said that he is pleased by the positive reaction to his article, but is feeling a bit over-whelmed by the sudden attention. "I am starting to root for (Star Wars) Episode II to knock Spider-Man off the front pages," he said.

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