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Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine Hardcover – August 25, 2011
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Like a true costumed hero, Zehr masks learning in the guise of pop culture enthusiasm... a perfect source to learn about the history of Iron Man and the strength and limits of the human body and brain.(www.whatistechnoagain.com)
Zehr's university-based research includes neuroplasticity, akin to neural rewiring, associated with exercise training and rehabilitation. This expertise, combined with Zehr's childlike curiosity and proficiency in martial arts, makes Inventing Iron Man―along with Becoming Batman before it―a fascinating exploration of human potential.(Christopher Wanjek LiveScience.com)
A unique and much recommended read for anyone with an interest in the reality of super science.(Midwest Book Review)
Highly commended to all who enjoy a look into the world of superheroes―but science nerds will like it, too.(Steven King The Pilot)
The character of Iron Man represents a compelling and culturally popular interpretation of what may be possible in the future with enhanced prosthetic devices.(Choice)
A fine pick for science fiction and science holdings alike.(Midwest Book Review)
Back in the sixties, when I first dreamed up the concept of Iron Man, I thought, 'What if a man had a suit of armor, like the knights of old―but modern armor that housed all sorts of miniaturized, technical weaponry? Such a man would seem to be the ultimate superhero.' At first, I didn't give much thought to what that suit of armor might mean to the man inside―how it might affect his body and/or his brain and subtly blur the line between human and machine. But now, almost 40 years later, E. Paul Zehr has tackled that very subject. Inventing Iron Man is his fascinating vision of the real-life implications of my original concept.(Stan Lee, comic icon and creator of Iron Man)
E. Paul Zehr, surely one of the coolest of professors, has done something interesting, enlightening, and maybe just a bit quixotic. He has built a bridge between the fantasy science of superhero comics and the eyes-front innovations of real-life technological innovators. It is a primer on what's possible now and what might soon become possible in our world and what Iron Man's been up to in his.(Dennis O'Neil, Iron Man writer and editor)
This wonderful book lays out... the only true way to see the Iron Man―as a prosthesis... a book that educates and delights. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.(from the foreword by Warren Ellis)
About the Author
E. Paul Zehr is a professor of neuroscience and kinesiology at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and the author of Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero, also published by Johns Hopkins. For more information about finding your inner superhero, visit www.inventingironman.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now the author of that book is back with another investigation into the possible and impossible, and this time he's adding another layer to the inquiry: human and machine. E. Paul Zehr, who so kindly provided me a review copy of his latest work (on sale October 1), has chosen Iron Man as his sophomore course of study, and he follows through with as much curiosity and passion as his first. Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine uses Tony Stark's original and remodeled suits as a launch point to answer countless questions about man and his capability to connect with complicated machines and to investigate how close to current technology those wondrous armors are.
The questions lead the reader down paths of neuroscience and kinesiology (the study of human movement) to possibilities of flight, the myth of multi-tasking, the effects of substance abuse, the damage sustained by prolonged biological interface with a machine, to the long-lasting effects of subjecting the human body to a second exoskeleton that does all the major work for you.Read more ›
The author really puts a lot of thought into this question and gives scientific proof of what is and what is not possible. Just like he did in his previous work, Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero, which I also highly recommend that you read.
I realize that this review is rather brief, but there really isn't a whole lot more that I can add after reading some of the earlier reviews.
Creator of numerous books and DVDs.
To have such success and longevity, a character has to maintain their humanity so that the audience can identify with them. Iron Man is able to do this better than other characters for two reasons - first, because the human, Tony Stark, can easily be separated from the machine and second, because Tony Stark is a very human character - a mesh of exaggerated flaws and charm.
When the audience attempts to identify with the character they inevitable ask themselves, could I do that? Could I (assuming I was a genius billionaire) become Iron Man? In the new book Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine, E.Paul Zehr attempts to answer that question from the perspective of someone that is both a professor of neuroscience and kinesiology and a comic book geek.
This is the second time Dr. Zehr has examined, via a book, such a question. A few years ago he wrote a book called Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero. It too, incidentally, is a great book.
Imagine, for a moment, the challenges of creating and being Iron Man. What are the questions you would ask? This is how Zehr attacks the problem. Can a machine emulate the actions of a human? Can a human interface with such a machine?Read more ›
Mr. Zehr's expertise in the nerosciences enables him to shed light on the key technology that could make an Iron Man suit possible: the brain-computer interface. Mr. Zehr takes us to laboratories to learn about cutting-edge research in this field to assess what might be possible today and tomorrow, including how long it might take a determined individual like Tony Stark to master control of such a suit. Comparing and contrasting Iron Man with real-life adventurers such as 'Jet-Man' Yves Rossy, Mr. Zehr sheds light on the inherent dangers of inhabiting a robotic exoskeleton. Through this enlightening discussion, Mr. Zehr helps us gain a deeper appreciation both for the comic and modern physics, firing our imaginations about what the future might hold in store for us.
I highly recommend this fun, engaging and informative book to everyone.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Inventing Iron man: a good book for those interested in the possibility of 'powered exoskeletons' and related devices. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Viorel P.
Inventing Iron Man explains the ways in which an iron man suit that interfaces with the human body could be created. Read morePublished on September 29, 2013 by Harrison Bartlett
We have actually purchased several copies of this book, not so much for content, but for the idea of it. Our engineering friends have definitely enjoyed it.Published on September 18, 2013 by W. Smith
Very technical and well researched. Because of our limited technology and human frailty, the book leaves you doubting if such technology will ever be possible. Read morePublished on June 20, 2013 by Michael DeLeon
an intriguing, well written book. i've only read the first 2 chapters, but I don't see it slowing down. Read morePublished on October 17, 2012 by Professor
As a casual fan of Iron Man, I was intrigued by this book but found the volume of information a bit daunting. Read morePublished on July 21, 2012 by Stephanie
I ordered this book for my son, who is an Iron Man fan based on the recent Marvel Movies. He (as a 15 year old) recognizes that the science behind Iron Man is a bit less than... Read morePublished on June 21, 2012 by Dennis Witmer
This is a fun and informative book. How often as a youth, I daydreamed the possibility of being a superhero like one of those in my favorite comics. Read morePublished on March 15, 2012 by Daniel Lee Taylor
It has to be stated at the outset that this book is far more oriented towards science than comic books. Read morePublished on January 19, 2012 by Robert Moore