Archives April 2010

Kick-Ass: A Response to the Bystander Effect

Originally posted:
By Cilien Hanna
Kick-Ass, a movie currently in theaters directed by Matthew Vaughn, speaks of teenager David Lizewski, played by Aaron Johnson, who becomes weary of the passive response to the crimes he sees around him.  His reaction is to order a green, skin-tight leotard, complete with mask, and become a crime-fighting superhero.  In the ensuing adventures, which are clearly over his head, he makes some friends, saves some people, and even develops an arch enemy, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse.  David wonders in the film why, with all the comic books out there, no one has tried this before? But he’s wrong, there is actually a multitude of people, sans super powers, who have donned masks and capes, and stood guard over their respective cities.  In fact, there is even a superhero registry, if you can believe it.  There are some that work solo, and some that are part of larger guilds or societies, like the Black Monday Society who patrol the streets of Salt Lake City, Utah in groups, as reported by the Real Life Superhero Project.  But they are not just crime fighters.  There are some, like Terrifica, whose purpose is to watch over bars and clubs in New York City to ensure that women walking home under the influence are not taken advantage of.  According to the New York Post, some, as an added bonus to their crime fighting, even clean up graffiti, pick up trash, and hand out food to the homeless. Though all of these superheroes have costumes, not all include masks to hide their faces, and some proclaim their real names unconcernedly.  Except for a couple, most, unlike their comic book counterparts, do not have any stated arch enemies.
The film is not all adolescent fantasy angst, and does have a more grisly story line, provided mostly by the father daughter team of Damon and Mindy Macready, played by Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz.  This duo go on a gruesome vengeful killing spree that uses some more technologically advanced gadgets; more in line with what Batman would use.  This does contribute a more interesting twist to what would be, otherwise, a trite story line; but it isn’t enough to elevate the film above okay status.  Overall, it’s moderately entertaining, and deals with the superhero idea in a facetious manner that is more intelligent than most other movies.
It becomes clear in the film that there are a profusion of people who need help, more than one teenager can handle, especially if he has any sort of life.  But really, is this necessary?  Do we need masked strangers jumping from the shadows to taser hooligans and bullies?  It seems necessary because there is a rabid passiveness that has developed, especially in urban areas, that has allowed people to simply walk by as crimes are committed and conclude that it is none of their business; not even bothering to call 911.  This is usually referred to as the bystander effect, and there are several notorious examples of the phenomenon, like the rape of a high school girl last year which was marked by several onlookers who not only did not do anything, but actually filmed, some laughed, and others even participated, according to an article by ABC News.  In a crowded subway in Philadelphia one rider attacked a sleeping passenger with a hammer another.  Even when there is no immediate danger, people do not feel compelled to act.  An Associated Press article expounds how a homeless man was stabbed as he tried to help a woman being assaulted, and ended up dying on the sidewalk as people walked by and even took pictures.
The bystander theory states that the amount of help expect from a bystander is inversely proportional to the number of people there.  Meaning, the more onlookers there are, the less likely any of them will help.  There can be two reasons for this, as explained in a paper by Peter Prevos.  One is called diffusion of responsibility, and basically proposes that the more bystanders there are, the less responsible any one of them feels to help.  Bystanders believe that someone else will take care of it.  The other theory is explained by social norms.  When there is a group of people, their behavior is guided by the behavior of those around them.  So, in a crowd, everyone looks to everyone else as to what is the acceptable behavior standard . . . if no one else is helping, they’re not going to help.  The fact that good Samaritans can be sued after performing a good deed, as happened in California, doesn’t help excite the feelings of compassion in passersby.  Still, the responsibility of protecting neighborhoods shouldn’t rest solely on the shoulders of a few masked crusaders.  There should be an intrinsic level of responsibility to, at least, report crimes in progress, if they are afraid to act.  Some websites claim that just knowing about the bystander effect will make you less helpless to its effects.  Others, like Imagine Today, proclaim that, to break a crowds passiveness, you should shout out specific tasks to specific members.  People are more apt to respond to directions given directly to them.  You have now been armed with knowledge that should help you make your city safer.  And if that doesn’t work, you could always look-up your local superhero for assistance.

Communication: A RLSH Necessity

You know you’re living right when young people ask you for career advice. In a days time two aspiring members of the real life superhero ( RLSH ) movement approached me- the first on line ; the second by phone.
This is an unexpected bonus to living my dream come true: advising others how to do the same… in their own way. Last year saw me regularly e-mail; chat and talk with fellow RLSH.
I’ve communicated with some of the big names in the Movement. I’ve done the same with not-so big names and people from related groups. As of this writing I haven’t personally met any RLSH but look forward to that footnote in my history. While most of us are solo acts, communication assures success as individuals and as a subculture. I know only too well the highs and lows of visionary living. Toss in this unconventional take on concerned citizenship and there’s a definite need for dialog.
This Movement is too precious to hoard to ourselves. Having experienced its scope I know the temptation to be latter day Lone Rangers. Alot of us are the only RLSH within respective city limits. My hope is we’ll reach out not only to each other always to more conventional concerned citizens. Whether you’re a cyber crusader or actually get out publicly, building rapport helps get the job done. Our impact grows with the amount of relationships created. We’re a broad coalition of very creative ( sometimes cantankerous ) folks who use fiction to leverage fantastic results from ourselves and everyone we meet.
Any real life superhero checklist would be woefully incomplete if it doesn’t include communication as an absolute necessity.
Communication is a super power unto itself, comforting fellow RLSH and inspiring fellow citizens to become champions in their own right!
NADRA ENZI AKA CAPT. BLACK promotes crime prevention and self-development. [email protected]  ( Pay Pal account ); (912) 272-2898 and

Real Life Superheroes Aren’t Always Costumed!

Long before I thought real life superheroes ( RLSH ) could actually exist I contented myself in the exploits of exceptional people without fancy names or outfits.
My list of real life superheroes is always growing and accommodates diverse folks like Alexander Dumas; Toussaint L’Ouverture; Booker T. Washington; Frederick Douglas; Theodore ” Teddy ” Roosevelt; Douglas McArthur; the Tuskegee Airmen; George Patton; Harry Truman; Paul Robeson; Hosea Williams; Joseph Lowery; Medgar Evers; Noble Drew Ali; the Honorable Elijah Muhammad; Malcolm X; Muhammad Ali; John F. Kennedy; Robert Kennedy; Benjamin Hooks; Colin Powell; Clarence Thomas; Earl Winthorp De veaux ( maternal grandfather ); Gloria Evelyn Wilson DeVeaux ( maternal grandmother ); W.W. Law; Sam Jones; Adeeb Shabazz and others. They may not have the same politics but they inspire me nonetheless. Inspiration comes from many directions and I’m always on the lookout for it. The real world can drain the heart of wonder. It can be a depressing place made even more so by todays headlines. That’s where studying great lives famous and not-so-famous helps self-motivation keep going.
Wesley Autrey is one not-so-famous real life superhero who leapt onto a New York subway and shielded someone who’d fallen onto the tracks with his own body! As heroic as when service members throw themselves on enemy grenades to save their comrades-in-arms, I always reflect upon Autrey’s astonishing courage.
Google his name and give your spirits a much needed treat:
Someone like him and everyone mentioned boldly says just how great we can be. Wesley Autrey and the others remind the world real life superheroes aren’t always costumed!
NADRA ENZI AKA CAPT. BLACK promotes crime prevention and self-development. (912) 272-2898; [email protected]  ( Pay Pal address ) and

Crimefighting For Purpose Or Profit?

One phase of my stealth ” real life superhero ( RLSH ) ” activities before the Movement was keeping tabs on suspects and/or declared fugitives. Information gathered was forwarded to the appropriate agency. As a dutiful bounty hunter earning rewards drove this alongside civic duty. I’m not opposed to catching criminals for pay; law enforcement does it every day. Opponents of bounty hunting should be able to magically make policing pro bono and watch officers surge to resign!
RLSH normally don’t fight crime for profit. Many feel it’s anathema to the Movement’s overall altruism. Others reply any monies accepted should be used to fund homeless outreach or equipment needs. Real life superheroes, overtly or covertly, have access to information police would find interesting. As a RLSH whose background includes bounty hunting and security consulting I’ve made a living from what we usually do for free. Reconciling the two is easy, because I genuinely enjoy contributing to public safety. The bulk of my efforts, stealth and openly RLSH, is freely given.
Deciding whether crime fighting should become a revenue stream is a personal choice. I fight crime for a purpose: to help people help themselves become safer and alternately, persuading criminals to become their higher selves. Self-development is an even more effective crime fighting strategy than patrolling and even RLSH-inspired community coalitions ( RICCs ). The worst crime in my ” Crime ISN’T A Civil Right! ” conversations and presentation is working against being your better self. That’s what drives my activities past, present and future.
Money’s nice, but the above reasons are reward enough for me and real life superheroes generally. We fight crime for a higher purpose not merely for profit!
NADRA ENZI AKA CAPT. BLACK promotes crime prevention and self-development. (912) 272-2898 and

Faster Healing by Biomatrix
By Adam Sinicki
Healing is a basic function of the human body and a process that falls under the umbrella term ‘anabolism’. Any anabolic process in the body essentially consists of the repairing and rebuilding tissue using the amino acids in our food and is the opposite to ‘catabolism’ which is any process that instead burns food (generally carbs or carbs stored as fat) in order to give the body energy. Other than healing, anabolic processes include growing, replacing cells and building muscle among other things. As we know there are certain ways to improve the speed of those things, so it stands to reason that we can increase and speed up our body’s ability to heal too and become less-hairy versions of Wolverine.
The first thing you need in order to encourage your body to heal more quickly is sleep. Sleeping is important as it enters our body into an ‘anabolic state’ (wakefulness on the other hand is considered a ‘catabolic state’). This is when our bodies will do the majority of their building, repairing and maintenance and this is increased by greater production of growth hormone among others chemicals in the body. This is why for bodybuilders it’s so important to get a lot of rest as well as working out, but for someone recovering from a cut, a bruise, a break or anything else then this is also just as important.
There are also other ways to increase the amount of growth hormone in the body. Bodybuilders for example take a synthetic form of growth hormone directly which can not only help to heal wounds but even turn back some of the effects of ageing. This product is not without its side effects however and is banned in many countries and states for that reason. Fortunately many drugs, such as GABA, offer a milder approach, helping the body to produce more growth hormone naturally (GABA also gives the user deeper sleep for other beneficial effects).
Other ways growth hormone production can be increased don’t require any supplements or ‘products’ at all. One of the best methods for example is actually to work out or to go sprinting, while even a boiling hot shower can help give the body a rush of the hormone.
Another hormone that increases the repair and building of tissue in the body is testosterone, which is partly why men are more muscular than women. Again it is possible to take testosterone enhancing supplements which help the body to produce more natural testosterone and include things such as tribulus terrestris and 6-OXO. At the same time certain foods can also help you produce more testosterone (while avoiding others does so indirectly by decreasing oestrogen), as can exercise again and interestingly sex.
Once the body is put into this anabolic state it then needs to have access to the tools used to repair the joint. This means mainly amino acids which are found in proteins and recombined to form the protein that makes up our own body. As such in order to heal, grow or build muscle the body needs to have a good supply of amino acids. If you’re recovering from an injury then, eating a lot of meats and taking a protein shake could help (or just an amino acid supplement).
Similarly your body also uses many vitamins to repair various problems. Vitamin E applied topically or consumed orally for example is great for damage to the skin, while calcium is important for rebuilding bones, cartilage and tendons. Taking a multi vitamin is one of the best ways to cover all bases.
Other miracle drugs either exist or are on the verge of existing. These generally revolve around giving the body new cells which it can use in order to repair its own tissue. One place this is found is in horse placenta which has useable stem cells that are being used in sports to turn back the clock on many old injuries. Another is extra-cellular matrix found in pigs which is potent enough to help grow back the tips of fingers by encouraging the body to prevent healing and to utilise its own satellite cells for repair.
Other products promise to help improve the appearance of wounds after the fact. One great product that actually does what it’s advertised to do is ‘Bio Oil’ which uses a different delivery system to get vitamin E, collagen and other vital vitamins, minerals and substances right into the injury.
Of course your ability to heal will depend largely on the wound, and on luck, and these tips will only help to a degree. However if you really want to give yourself the best possible chance of a full recovery, it certainly can’t hurt to try (and if it does, then you know how to heal yourself).

Captain Ozone leads Green Power Rally

Orignally posted:
April 27th, 2010 judy
Now THIS is interesting news.
Apparently, for the past 21 years, the superhero world has had a member I knew nothing about. His name is Captain Ozone, and he has been saving endangered species, promoting renewable energy and ecological art, and teaching school kids how to become environmental activists on television.
I received a press release today that informed me Captain Ozone (“considered by many to be the most phenomenal environmental activist of all time.”) allegedly started the modern-day “real-life superhero” movement when he made his debut in 1989.
The masked superhero apparently claims to be from the year 2039 from whence he time-traveled to 1989 on a mission to save the world from an ill-fated future.
Unfamiliar with Captain Ozone, I decided to view a video documentary about his superhero achievements so as to be better informed. If you want to follow suit, click here.  I think it is worth the visit.
If you check out the video, you’ll notice that Captain Ozone isn’t as svelte as some other superheroes you’ve seen. And his high-tech equipment is reminiscent of stuff you probably watched Maxwell Smart use in the “Get Smart” TV series in the mid-1960s.
While Captain Ozone is similar in some ways to other costumed crime fighters, he is unique in others. Those interviewed in the video describe him as “an artist, a scientist, a sly jokester, and a noble defender of natural resources.” He also is oddly described as a “bean eating flatulating superhero.”
Make of this what you will.
According to the press release, Captain Ozone wants America to be the vanguard of the Green Power revolution, and he is “all for Obama’s New Energy for America plan.”
So with that said, I inform you that Captain Ozone and Environmental Media Northwest are leading what they claim will be the biggest peaceful demonstration for renewable energy ever! It is called “Green Power Rally,” and it is going to take place in many cities throughout the US and Canada on July 31, 2010.
By definition, Green Power Rally is to be an optimistic peaceful demonstration to raise public awareness and support for zero-emissions energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and hydro power.
Hung up a bit on getting to know Captain Ozone, I didn’t look into the actual rally, but you can if you like. And if you want to become a peaceful demonstrator for Green Power Rally, you can sign up here.
Oh, and if you want to contact Captain Ozone directly, you can find him on Myspace listed under CaptainOzone.

Tracking as opposed to trailing

By Thanatos
Tracking is somewhat similar and takes a larger investment in time but the results are still obtainable and in a safer procedure as well. You basically trail somebody in steps once you know where the steps are located.
I’ll explain how I tracked one individual from downtown to a location in another city here in the lower mainland.
I watched one dealer leave everyday about noon and return in a few hours with more supplies to sell. so the first couple of days I followed him as far as the sky train station.
then I waited at the sky train station and followed him on to a train. I watched him get off in New Westminster for a couple of days.
Then I waited at the New West station at the time he should be coming through. I followed him to the bus area and noted what bus he got on. Again for a couple of days to be sure of the pattern.
Next I rode the bus, making sure to be ahead of him by a few people when boarding the bus, and again noted where he got off. Then I drove around the area and looked it over. it was a older residential area. kind of quiet but there was graffiti around.
I decided to ‘stake out’ the area of the bus stop and see where he went from there. So I could hang out in the area for a while I dressed in a hard hat, safety vest and a clip board. Then I walked around the area and stopped at every hydro pole and wrote the serial number down on my clipboard. It at least looked like I was doing something.
I watched him get off the bus and walk over to a house that had caught my eye. The yard behind the high fence was full of garbage and the place looked to be lived in by about a dozen or more people.
He stayed a hour and just as I was getting ready to leave, having listed all the poles and not wanting to draw attention by just hanging around, he left and waited for the bus.
the next day I followed him from the sky train station back to downtown.
I relayed the information about the location of the house to my police contact.
I wore different clothes every time. everything from ‘street’ clothes to a suit to work clothes. You have to take your time and sometimes even start all over from the beginning again.
Also before you run out and try this it pays to practice ‘playing spy’ with friends or family or who ever. Once you feel comfortable then you might attempt it. Just remember if you think you’ve been spotted then terminate what you’re doing and approach it from a different angle.
This isn’t a comic book or a movie. This is real life and these people play for keeps.
Originally posted:

Evidence Collection

By Thanatos
If your going to collect evidence remember, most anything you collect is not going to be admissible in any court of law. However it can be used by police to establish what is referred to as ‘probable cause to suspect a criminal activity and investigate’.
If you are going to collect evidence and want it to be useful you have to follow rules and procedure as best you can. you want to be able to prove, to the police if to no one else, that you took the correct procedure on collecting it. this allows them to be able to say that evidence was given to them by a trusted source of information. that’s you.
in another thread is a breakdown of a simple evidence collecting kit. you don’t need everything all at once to get started. read up on proper procedure, found all over the internet and apply it to what you do.

First set up a proper system of keeping track and logging the evidence. you should be able to tell police where you got it, when, how and how was it handled after collecting. being able to show pictures and logs and notes goes a long way to convincing police how professional you are trying to be. trust me, it helps.
Get a separate book to keep track of anything you collect. also keep good notes on all of your activities.

I picked a very loud cover so it wouldn’t get left out. the black envelope is what I use to transfer evidence to my police contact.
Who says we can’t do things in style and still look good?

Forum discussion:

Gossip as hot as an Eyjafjallajökull ash plume

Originally Posted:
UP IN THE AIR: Real-life Portland superhero Zetaman is catching international attention with his blue-and-black spandex and do-gooding ways. Since he was first profiled in WW (see “The Adventures of Zetaman,” March 5, 2008), the Z-man reports he’s been contacted by producers from France and Hollywood, and recently signed a development contract with Beverly Hills-based Bogner Entertainment. Cable channels have expressed interest in taking his locally produced TV show at to a wider audience, Zetaman says, and he’s also partnered with Lionsgate to promote the new movie Kick Ass on his website,

Jewish Superhero, Protecting the Weak

Originally posted:
April 19, 2010, 6:30pm
By Shoshana Olidort
Chaim Lazaros is a real-life superhero. Several nights a week he transforms into an alterego named Life. Donning a black domino mask, fedora and skinny tie, he stuffs a backpack full of drinks and snacks, and patrols the streets of New York City while distributing the life-saving goods to the homeless.
Life, 25, is one of half dozen real-life superheroes in New York, and 250-300 worldwide. In 2007, he and Ben Goldman, 23 — who goes by the moniker Cameraman and who documents the superhero movement on a video camera — founded Superheroes Anonymous, an organization that provides support for the real-life superheroes who dress up in costumes and walk the streets, protecting the vulnerable and warding off crime.
Each superhero takes on a unique role. Chris Pollak “Dark Guardian,” 25, rallies against drug dealers in Washington Square Park, while Arjuna Ladino, 42, and Shanti Owen, 50 — an engaged pair of relationship counselors known collectively as the Transformational Warriors — dress up in patriotic spandex outfits and spread the word of love.
Life, who wears tzitzit and covers his head, says he draws on the Jewish values he was raised with — his parents are Chabad emissaries in Framingham, Mass. — while performing his superhero duties. As a peyes-sporting kid in a New England suburb, Life says he learned early on to be comfortable with “looking different” and with having people look to him as “a symbol of something.”
In addition to garnering publicity, the costumes that Life and his cohorts wear serve as a reminder. Each time he puts on his costume, says Life, “I have to say to myself now I’m a superhero, I have to have higher ideals… I’m not just Chaim.”