Batman ne peut pas planer.

Batman ne peut pas planer.

baat-maan nuh puh pah plah-NAY. Click below to hear this.*
Batman can’t fly.

As parents have been telling their bathtowel-draped two-year-olds perched on tabletops and bookshelves for years.

Sticking to the sports theme (that was yesterday), let’s move from flying along on a bicycle to flying, period. Can Batman fly?

Some students at the University of Leicester, England, say no. They should know, since they are in physics. Here’s a link to a Le Monde article reporting their published study.

Everyone knows that Batman doesn’t have wings that he flaps. He has a cape, and he soars from one place to another, just as a hawk soars on the air currents above the marsh just south of here. That’s why, in French, we say planer (glide, soar) rather than voler (fly).

But Batman’s cape is too small, say the students of physics. He may soar, but he will crash-land. And since he is not made of the same stuff as Bugs Bunny, he will not bounce back.

Interesting, given the current passion of movie-makers for designing even their most fantastical creations in strict consistency with their constructed reality. Think Game of Thrones, think Jane Austen movies. Apparently researching the required size of Batman’s cape flew under their radar.

*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s