A patrol with a great team, the GLA, Part 2

Just so you know, I had put over an hour into this post before my computer decided that it had enough of my drivel and spontaneously shut down. It was disheartening.  I will now save often.
The cops went into the diner and I had half an instinct to follow them in. I wanted to ask them if they knew they scared us. I wanted to ask them if they knew of us. I wanted to buy them lunch. I wanted to ask them what they thought of us. But we decided to “Let the cops go.” That’s a switch, huh?
We continued to travel along previously uncharted areas. Actually, it was a different end of Washington Blvd. that we just hadn’t been before. Sometimes we took breaks.
Everyone was doing their part. I tend to take the lead and keep up the pace, since I walk fast. Often, Misery White is side-to-side. We’re also there for public relations and diplomacy. She’s also so quick to spot nuances on the street. People in a situation or someone to immediately help. At the rear, we keep our brute force and tactics. Razorhawk and Blue. Typically, we’ll have Arctic Knight somewhere in the middle, ready to go with his Mad Martial Arts Skillz as he sees fit, but he couldn’t make it for this mission. I don’t think we gave him enough heads-up about it. Communication isn’t one of our strong-points and Minnesota is a bigger state than you might realize. Both metro and urban distance.
So we’re walking down Washington Blvd,, and being waved at, honked at, stared at and also being asked the cool standard questions by people. Everyone is responding so positively to just us being there. But it’s the frequency of it that has me realizing that walking down a street in daylight is so much different than walking down the same street at night. We also ended up waving at at least two sets of police officer who were making arrests. They waved back.
We met a lot of people. Some curious and others in need. If they were in need, Blue was at the ready with food and water for them. He carried the supplies and was always at the ready with them for anyone in need.
Razorhawk was always kind to the street-folk with a listening ear. I don’t think they could believe that this “Big-tough-wrestler-guy” would take the time to listen to their troubles. He has that kind of heart. That’s part of what makes him so invaluable on the streets.
We met a lot of people, had some photos taken, with our permission. It became night.
And just when Blue was asking if we needed to buy more supplies, we found a middle-age couple in the plaza and in real need. They were sleeping on a bench that night. Misery and Blue passed out the last of their supplies to them and gave them her pamphlets and cards.
They were so grateful for what I think was maybe so little. And they hoped it wouldn’t rain. They had nowhere to go.
As we walked out of the area, out of supplies to hand out, it began to sprinkle rain. We decided to head back to my car. By the time we pulled out of the parking garage, it was pouring rain. I know that each and every one of us was thinking of that loving couple we met on the park benches.
God Bless Them.
AFTERMATH: The books…
So the next day, I’m telling a family member, who knows all about me being Geist, about the patrol. After awhile I ask her about the detective series that she thought I would enjoy reading. So I’m like, “Hey, maybe tonight I’ll start reading that first Jack Reacher book. Where is it?” She says, “Oh, it’s in a bag in the trunk of my car. I’ll go get it.” And I hesitantly say. “Wait. Uh… no it isn’t. I gave those away. I thought you put those in the trunk as part of my donations to the shelter.” She was livid for a minute and says, “No, I didn’t. Those were supposed to go to a family friend.  They were promised. I never said you could take the books in the trunk. I didn’t say anything about books.”  She calmed down, understood my over-chartibleness and we’re hoping that the family friend will forget all about the promised books. Or I’ll be doing some apologizing.  ;|

A patrol with a great team, the GLA, Part 1

Saturday I headed north to patrol with some of my teammates of the Great Lakes Alliance. First, I headed to a medium-size college town where Blue and Misery White reside. Blue had planned a drop-off at a food shelf that closed at 11:30 a.m., so time was an issue. My drive was about an hour, but thanks to taking a turn that my GPS didn’t recommend, I had to do some high speeds on some dusty gravel roads to get back on track. Too bad the car had just been washed. Oh well… Only I can get lost with a Garmin.
I wasn’t too late and when I arrived at their apartment, I knew that it was the right one because there was a Spider-Man doormat at the base of the stairs leading up to their place.
Blue was all geared up and ready to go. Miz offered me some homemade chocolate chip cookies. I rarely eat cookies and find sweets easy to resist, but these were wonderful and I had to have more. I was quickly addicted. (Gotta get that recipe.) I was partly in-gear and finished off the rest pretty quickly. It was hot that day. Really hot. I didn’t even consider wearing the coat. It was Geist-lite weather. As I awkwardly worked on putting on the gauntlets / bracers, Blue offered to help me. I kind of overreacted and said “No!” a little too loud. I said, “I’m sorry, Man. But this is part of the ritual for me. This is me getting in the right mind-set to prepare myself for what we’re about to do. This is what I need to do on my own to be a better person. The best person I can possibly be.” Which isn’t saying much, because in regular life, I can be kind of a jerk and I know it. But a step up is still a step up, y’know?
Blue had a huge box of groceries that he and Miz had stockpiled and I had a couple of bags of the type of food that can go a long way. Blue and I headed out, leaving Miz to attend to other things. It was time for some guy-talk. Blue had a lot of questions about how I’ve been. He worries a lot. He’s a good friend. He doesn’t need to worry about me, but he does anyway. We swapped some stories and advice on the way to the food shelf.
When we got there, there was a nice lady arranging and stacking things. Like a lot of Minnesotans, she didn’t seem too shocked to see two costumed goofballs carrying loads of food. If I remember right, she asked if we wanted a receipt and we said, “No, we’re Real-Life Superheroes.” She said, “I thought so! I think I’ve seen you in the Star Tribune.”, indicating to me. Which is odd, because I don’t think I’ve ever been in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. We headed back to Blue’s and Miz’s place for a fantastic lunch with them and Miz’s very hip, smart and cool teenage daughter.
Then Blue had some training for me. We went out to the yard with Miz’s daughter and between the the two of them, they demonstrated some escort, handcuff and takedown tactics while allowing me to inflict a lot of pain on Blue. Good times… And good info from Blue, who clearly knows what he’s doing in the field, despite his regressive, but charming sense of humor.
We hit the road to meet up with Razorhawk. In RH’s driveway, we spent some time chatting, dispelling superhero gossip and experiencing the increasing Minnesota heat. Did I mention it was hot?
We got to Minneapolis in the mid-afternoon and went to a family shelter, People Serving People, where we dropped off toys and huge stacks of comics for the kids, clothing, and a bag of books that was in my trunk. I didn’t know what the books were doing in my trunk, but figured that they were donatable. More on that later. The security guard recognized us from previous visits. That’s always nice.
Then, we immediately headed to a known homeless camp under a bridge. There was no one there, but Misery White left some nice donations for when they would return. She also had some very cool fliers made up of the phone numbers and locations of various social services in Minneapolis. She continued to pass these out throughout the day. What a great idea!
From there, we walked to areas we hadn’t been before. It was daylight and we had people honking, waving, cheering and asking us about ourselves. And then, Miz said, “Geist!” And I turned back to see that two police cars had rolled up on us. The cops were getting out in a hurry. I stammered something that might have come out like, “Hi.” Misery stepped forward and cheerily said, “Hello, officers! How are you?” At that point, they said, “Fine, thank you.” and walked through the door to the diner that we happened to be standing next to. THEY WERE TAKING A BREAK FOR LUNCH.  Razorhawk said, “Y’know, sometimes I think we’re all too paranoid.
(To be continued.)

Real Life Superheroes

Originally posted: http://blogzilla2010.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/real-life-superheroes/?like=1  on November 15, 2011 by

Jolie Lassen
Do you think superheroes exist? No?
But in America a real subculture of so called heroes do exist. There are men and women wearing costumes, adopting pseudonyms and doing good deeds. The Real Life Superheroes. They act anonymous and selfless and try to make Americas streets a bit more secure and the world a bit better.
They bridge the gap between the fantastic and the practical.
They combat crime, hand out supplies to the homeless, comforting the sick or just cleaning up their neighborhood.
Of course The Real Life Superheroes have no supernatural power. They have tear gas, taser, a bit of self-defense and the will to change something.
But who are these modern heroes? Everyone could be one of them. They are every kind of people – clerical assistants, doctors, streetworker, politicians or ex-junkies. It is irrespective of the sex, the profession, the status or what ever.
Their actions serve as reminders. People have blinded themselves to simple principles and goodwill. They lost their readiness to help others.
The different Superheroes focus on different actions and locations.
Terrifica for example is roaming the streets, clubs and bars of New York. She got her tear gas, mobile phone and camera with her and. The thirty year old woman with blond hair and red battle dress wants to defend young woman against violation of men. In case of doubt she uses her camera to be able to proof the criminal act.
Geist acts in Minnesota. He is there where the police just no longer get. He appears out of the blue, doing good deeds and disappears again. He helps the homeless, victims of violence and homeless animals.
Thantos is a sixty two years old Superhero helping drug addicted people in the streets of Vancouver. He shares out blankets, clothes and food wearing a green mask, a black trench coat and a tie with skulls.
The Real Life Superhero Project first should make people recognize this new breed of activism and altruism. But more and more people get interested and the scope and purpose expanded very fast.
Due to the financial crisis many people lost a lot of money, their jobs and even their homes. Their desire for security increases.
In the middle of instability and political uncertainty those heroes offer a bit stability to the people. There are those benefactors in disguise who dispread optimism and confidence through their brave. That is – as it seems – what America needs right now.
It started as a gallery exhibit but it became the base of something much greater. The Real Life Superhero Project is a living community which inspires the general public to be part of the positive flow to change something in the world we all have to live in.
Thereby they could become more active, more involved, stronger and a little bit more “super”.
Their gain is to help the poor and underdogs and to make other people help too.
The Real Life Superheroes have a website where they explain the world who they are, what they do and what they want. At the end there is that one sentence we all should keep in mind. “And hopefully, you will come to realize that it doesn’t take a cape to go out and help someone, just the desire to become an active force in your own life, and see how that can affect others.”
So, do you think superheroes really exist? It doesn’t matter how we call them it’s about what they do. We all are able to be a kind of superhero. So why don’t we start?
Today there are twenty nine of those Real Life Superheroes in America. Maybe even tomorrow there will be more.
Let’s find the hero in all of us.

Costumed superheroes visit Granite Falls, Willmar to commit anonymous good deeds

Originally posted: http://www.wctrib.com/event/article/id/81136/

Real-Life Superheroes, from left, Geist, Arctic Knight and Blue, paying a visit to the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar. The trio also visited the Granite Falls Manor in Granite Falls and brought supplies to hand out to the homeless in Willmar. (Tribune photo by Anne Polta)

Real-Life Superheroes, from left, Geist, Arctic Knight and Blue, paying a visit to the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar. The trio also visited the Granite Falls Manor in Granite Falls and brought supplies to hand out to the homeless in Willmar. (Tribune photo by Anne Polta)

By Anne Polta, West Central Tribune
WILLMAR — There was a slight commotion as three costumed men strode into the lobby of the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter Wednesday morning.
“Hi, I’m Geist,” said one of them, shaking hands with a family visiting the Willmar shelter to see the dogs.
The trio left an assortment of gifts at the front counter — cat food, dog food, food and water bowls, a litter pan and some cash. “Keep up the good work,” Geist called out as they departed in an unmarked car for their next stop.
Who were those masked crusaders?
Don’t ask for their real names because they aren’t telling. The three belong to Real-Life Superheroes, an international organization of citizen volunteers who don make-believe superhero personas to commit good deeds.
This much they’ll reveal: Geist is from Rochester and has been a Real-Life Superhero since 2007. Blue, from Granite Falls, and Arctic Knight, from Burnsville, joined Real-Life Superheroes about a year ago.
“We come from all different walks of life,” Geist said. “We all have our various reasons for doing this.”
Action, not talk, is one of the motivators, said Blue. “Apathy is our main enemy.”
The superheroes, who don’t share their identity with anyone other than a few trusted individuals, were traveling Wednesday as they usually do — on their own time and their own dime.
Their first stop was at the Granite Falls Manor in Granite Falls, where they left cookies, crayons, paints and other craft supplies. Their next stop was the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar, after which they planned to patrol the town in search of homeless people, handing out socks and candy bars.
Their superhero activities are many and varied.
They spend time with terminally ill children, work with the homeless and help out with community causes. When heavy rain flooded towns in southeastern Minnesota last fall, Geist loaded a truck with supplies and delivered them to the stricken communities. Blue promotes safe driving awareness, putting up posters during the holiday season festooned with red ribbons that can be torn off and placed as a reminder on someone’s car.
Some of their actions are more risky. One of the things they do is paint over gang graffiti, a move that’s not welcomed by gang members. Real-Life Superheroes in the U.S. and abroad also have aligned themselves with law enforcement as citizen patrols for preventing and reporting crimes.
Don’t some people think the Superhero costumes are goofy? “If they do, that’s fine,” Geist said. “If we can bring a smile to someone’s face, how good is that? When we go out and find homeless people, when we hand them food and supplies, it doesn’t matter.”
It’s attention-getting for a cause, Arctic Knight said. “People are going to be inspired.”
Tari Evenson, manager of the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter, said she and the shelter staff didn’t know about the Real Life Superheroes’ visit until that morning.
“They called us and said they were going to stop by with some donations,” she said. “I wish we had more superheroes.”

How to be a superhero

Originally posted: http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2011/04/how-to-be-a-superhero.php
By James Heffernan – [email protected]
Former Spider-Man actor provides motivational address at Apple Blossom
WINCHESTER — As a soft-spoken, undersized farm boy growing up in Minnesota, Tom Schenck would shine a flashlight under the covers at night and live vicariously through the pages of comic books, whose larger-than-life heroes not only kept him entertained, but also taught him strong values.
“It wasn’t just their power, their superhuman strength, their X-ray vision. … They did what was right when it was important to do it,” he said. “They didn’t hesitate. They had courage. They had tenacity. And they never gave up.”
Those are lessons that Schenck, now an acclaimed motivational speaker known as “Tom Terrific,” says can be applied to one’s personal and professional life.
“If it’s the right thing to do, and it’s the right thing to do now, do it, whether it’s in relationships, with colleagues or in business,” he advised a group of about 300 local business leaders Wednesday at the Valley Health Fast Forward Business Luncheon on the campus of Winchester Medical Center.
Schenck said his first true superhero was his mother, a teacher who set an example for him and his six siblings with her quiet strength, wisdom and unwavering devotion to people. With her as a guide, Schenck would go on to become a straight-A student, champion collegiate wrestler — just missing the 1980 U.S. Olympic team — Ivy League graduate, master body builder, wellness expert, national sales champion and headmaster of a private school for autistic children.
As a young actor in New York, Schenck landed his dream job portraying Spider-Man for Marvel Comics. The promotional role would take him around the world and instill in him the importance of being a real-life superhero, not just for himself, but to others.
Just as Spider-Man has a nemesis in the Green Goblin, everyone has villains in life in the form of adversity, Schenck said, but they can be crushed by attacking each day with gratitude, passion and action, he said.
“All of you in this room can be superheroes,” he said. “You all have some combination of talent and skills that makes you unique. And the world needs you.”
But first you have to train to be a superhero, he cautioned.
The first stage involves finding and reconnecting with the people who believe in you and inspire you, whether they be a family member, a friend or a teacher. The second stage consists of identifying your superpowers and honing them. The final stage, and the most important, according to Schenck, means becoming someone else’s superhero — what he calls “guardianship.”
Just being a positive force is “absolutely intoxicating” and will draw people to you, he said.
And in an age when consumers have come to expect less, businesses and organizations can set themselves apart by going out of their way to create a bond with their customers and make them feel appreciated, he said.
After the talk, Schenck signed copies of his new book, “The Superhero Factor.”
Randy Collins, president and CEO of the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, one of the sponsors of the event, said Schenck’s message is timely in what for many has been a difficult business climate.
“If they maintain a positive attitude and they look from within, they have all the skills they need to succeed not only in life, but also in running their businesses,” he said.
Jacqueline Post, with Valley Health’s Occupational Health Services, agreed.
“I think we got some nice tips on how to attack our villains in the workplace and in life,” she said.
“And don’t wait,” added Aimee Price, regional safety manager with Greatwide Dedicated Transport in Front Royal. “It pays to deal with your villains right away.”

Weird, Wicked Weird: Bidding adieu to another weird year, part 2

Published Jan 08, 2011 12:00 am | Last updated Jan 08, 2011 12:00 am

Zombies. Superheroes. Psychic sex.
Need we say more?
Today, the second half of the Weird, Wicked Weird annual wrap-up.
Hanging up their capes?
The streets of L-A may soon be down two superheroes.
Significant, because there were only two to start.
Slapjack and Dreizehn are thinking of moving on.
The twenty-something boyfriend and girlfriend have been, separately, dressing up in costume for years, maintaining secret identities and patrolling the streets for scofflaws or people in need of a hand. They met through the online Real Life Superhero movement. Slapjack is local; Dreizehn settled here earlier this year.
Since spring, they’ve walked Twin Cities streets in the wee hours several nights a week.
They approached the Sun Journal in the wake of the popular “Kick-Ass” movie that made, in their opinion, doing what they do look just a little too easy. (Though both go out with protective gear like batons and electrified brass knuckles, Dreizehn has been threatened, beaten up and hit by a car in the line of uber-Good Samaritan duty.)
Before the story ran, both families weren’t aware of the pair’s extracurricular activities.
No dots have been connected, says Slapjack. “As far as I know, nobody really has an idea.”
They started cutting back on the nightly excursions this fall. Moving, packing, working and superheroing can take its toll, he said.
Slapjack said he isn’t sure how soon he and Dreizehn will resume patrols in their new, bigger city, a city that could include, for the first time, other costumes.
“It’s like going to a new school; you lose all your friends,” he said. “If you’re part of a club or something you have to go join a new group of people and kind of learn their ways.”

The Watchman’s charity toy drive

WHEN: Saturday, December 11, 10AM-4PM
WHERE: Fuel Café, 818 E. Center Street
The Watchman is collecting toys, art supplies, and money for two charities- the Gingerbread House in West Bend and the Meta House in Riverwest. Donations can also be made online until December 10 at the Great Lakes Alliance’s website: www.wix.com/glhg10/gla2010
Contact: Tea Krulos
[email protected]
Milwaukee, WI-December, 1, 2010- You’ve probably read an article about him in a paper or heard people talk about him. Maybe you’ve even seen him on the streets of Milwaukee. Now you can not only meet Milwaukee’s Real Life Superhero, The Watchman, but you can help him with a heroic mission- donating toys and art supplies to charity.
Saturday, December 11, The Watchman will be in person in front of the Fuel Café (818 E. Center Street) from 10AM-4PM collecting donations of cash, art supplies, and (new) toys. Online money and in person cash donations will be used to buy additional toys and art supplies and everything will be delivered in person to two charities the following week.
Those charities are the Gingerbread House, located in West Bend, which provides toys to low income families who can’t afford to buy gifts for their children and Meta House, a rehab center for women and their children, located in Riverwest. Meta House has also cited a need for art supplies for their various art programs.
This is the third year The Watchman and his Great Lakes Alliance teammates in Minnesota are participating in a holiday charity mission. Fundraising will be open online on the team’s site, www.wix.com/glhg10/gla2010, until December 10. The online funds will be divided between Milwaukee and the Minnesota heroes, who will be donating to People Serving People, a shelter in Minneapolis.
This year Watchman has the additional support of Milwaukee author Tea Krulos (who is writing a book on real life superheroes) and fellow Milwaukee real life superhero Blackbird (who is helping with the mission, but won’t be at the drive, due to his mysterious nature) and other volunteers on hand to help out. In a comic book reversal, The Watchman is shining a batsignal to the public, hoping people will stop by and donate gifts for these great charities and share the holiday spirit.

Milwaukee GLA Toy Drive

Date: December 17, 2010
Where: People Serving People.
614 South Third Street  Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415
From Razorhawk:

The GLA toy drive is taking monetary donations at our site www.glhg.info there is a donation button on the left side of the screen. All donations recieved will be split between the Minnesota and Wisconsin branches of the team. We are accepting donations up until Dec. 10th as the Minnesota group consisting of Geist and I, hopefully Legacy and Celtic Viking as well will need to deliver the toys to People Serving People on December 17th.


Real-life gadgets for real-life superheroes

Originally posted: http://www.gizmag.com/real-life-superhero-gadgets/16862/
By Ben Coxworth

Rochester, Minnesota's Geist, with his stun baton

Rochester, Minnesota’s Geist, with his stun baton

Yes, there are real-life superheroes. And no, we’re not just referring to firefighters, paramedics, and other heroic people who we’re used to seeing coming to the rescue of others. We’re talking about costume-wearing, identity-concealing, cool-name-having people who fight crime, pollution, or other evils in their own communities, on their own time, and at their own risk. Many of them actually patrol the city streets, ready to intervene if they see trouble brewing – and being ready includes having the right tools. Given that none of these people have Bruce Wayne’s budget, however, their gadgets tend to be less like Batmobile clones, and more like… well, read on and see for yourself.

Off-the-rack items

Some of the gear carried by Geist

Some of the gear carried by Geist

First of all, there are some household products that are popular in the RLSH (Real Life Superhero) community, including flashlights, first aid kits, mobile phones, cameras, and zip ties, to use as handcuffs. When it comes to preparing for physical confrontations, some not-so-household ready-made devices come into play, such as Kevlar vests, body armor, pepper spray, and telescoping batons. Moving up the ladder to the realm of “Is that even legal?”, a few RLSHs carry tasers, wrist rocket sling shots, and blast knuckles, which are shaped like brass knuckles and deliver an electric shock. Interestingly, we could only find one superhero who said they carry a firearm.

The Eye’s Custom Gear

The Eye, and some of his custom gadgets

The Eye, and some of his custom gadgets

Just as Spiderman is known for his web shooters and Wonder Woman for her golden lariat, so many RLSHs are known – at least within their community – for their custom-made gadgets. One in particular is The Eye, a kind of Dick Tracy-esque superhero who watches over the streets of Mountain View, California.
“Being a professional electronics tech from way back in my history, and being born and raised in Silicon Valley, I take great pleasure in the creation process, the sub-system testing, the final result, and a device’s final effective usage in the field,” he told Gizmag. His mostly light-based doo-dads have a decidedly steampunk appeal, and include things such as…

  • The Wrist Blaster: a wrist-mounted and -activated camera strobe, which temporarily blinds assailants when fired at night (a similar device, The Eyeluminator, incorporates a five-LED flashlight)
  • Finger Devices: these include a finger-mounted butane torch, laser pointers, and the Dragon’s Eye Ring, which contains a high-intensity white LED
  • Sonic Screamer Tube: this one uses the electronics from a personal body alarm, transferred into a sound-concentrating steel tube
  • Laser Wand: a toy Harry Potter wand, retrofitted with a 95mW green laser module – useful for pointing things out to the police, or letting troublemakers know they’re being watched
  • The Nightmare Cane: inspired by a cane used by TV vampire Barnabas Collins, it sports an LED light, rare earth neodymium magnets for picking up metallic objects, a retractable claw hand for grabbing other items, and a video camera mount for peeking over obstacles

Master Legend and the Master Blaster

Orlando, Florida's Master Legend, with his Master Blaster cannon

Orlando, Florida’s Master Legend, with his Master Blaster cannon

Over on the Southeastern U.S., Master Legend patrols the streets of Orlando, Florida. One of his trademark gadgets is a handheld cannon known as the Master Blaster. “The Master Blaster will shoot so high in the sky you won’t see it come down,” he told us. “It can also blow a hole through a door. I can put anything in it that fits.”
He also uses custom body armor plates made from steel plating, and a closed-ended steel cylinder that slips over his hand and forearm, which he calls the Iron Fist. According to Master Legend, the device is capable of hurting somebody, or smashing a door down – not that he necessarily wants to hurt anybody. “Scaring someone is better than beating them up” he said.

Artisteroi – Just tell him what you need

Some of Artisteroi's creations[

Some of Artisteroi’s creations[

Unlike The Eye and Master Blaster, the gadgets that Artisteroi makes aren’t for his own use. He has a degree in mechanical engineering, develops engineering software for a living, and has become one of a select group of people whom other superheroes turn to when it comes to getting devices made.
He is currently chief engineer on the Iron Rad suit project, in which several RLSH “gadgeteers” are collaborating on developing a sort of real life Iron Man suit. Mega-Rad, one of their fellow superheroes, is funding the project. According to him, some of the key features of the suit will include ballistic protection, light weight, strength amplification, sensory enhancement and non-lethal weaponry.
“Iron Rad is a bid to function in reality as a full time superhero, actually rescuing people, disrupting violent crimes, and doing some form of outreach toward the next generation of people (who could become bad guys) to try and help motivate them to become constructive and awesome members of society instead” he told us.
Right now, the suit is still largely on the drawing board. “All the parts of the Iron Rad suit are essentially existing tech that we intend to repurpose and shoehorn together into one system,” Artisteroi said. “We are just finishing up the ideation phase and beginning design and prototyping.”
Some of Artisteroi’s recent projects have included a fog gun, and a fighting staff that folds down into a compact carrying case. He is currently working on the Mega Claw, a spring-loaded mechanical hand for use in Iron Rad, that will be controlled by Mega-Rad’s own hand via cables attached to a control glove.

Putting it all to use

Monterey, California's Mega-Rad, and his kangaroo-leg-like powerbocks

Monterey, California’s Mega-Rad, and his kangaroo-leg-like powerbocks

It’s obviously a lot of fun acquiring and/or fabricating these gadgets, but… do they actually end up seeing any use?
According to The Eye, absolutely. “My cane, the Fedora Light, the Eyeluminator, and the Dragon’s Eye ring are common-wear items, that I wear/use some combination of on every night patrol,” he said. “The Laser Wand I once used to spook some public park vandals away, by scanning it near their location.”
“As for the more offensive but legal items that I often carry, that I did not create, such as stun guns and pepper spray and such, I certainly hope I never have to use them, but am glad they are there if needed… I am always more pleased when my photonic, self-created devices are able to diffuse a situation before it escalates.”
Geist, a RLSH based out of Rochester, Minnesota, told us “I use a cell phone, flashlight and a can of gray spray paint all the time. The spray paint is to paint a neutral color over gang graffiti, thus reclaiming the neighborhood for the people and not the gangs. It’s supposed to be a lethal insult to the gang (meaning they have the ‘right’ to kill you for doing it.).”
“I’ve not used my offensive or defensive weaponry and prefer I never do. I’ve talked down a lot of tense situations using diplomacy and reason. I’d really prefer that everyone just goes home and sobers up, rather than anyone going to jail.”
Artisteroi believes that the consumer products such as flashlights and body armor find use quite often, but the more exotic stuff – not so much. “That is a good thing, really,” he added. “The real world is a lot more stable than the chaos of the comics. If we had to use these expensive tools all the time, being a superhero would cost a fortune.”
Special thanks to the administrators and forum members of Real Life Superheroes.org for their help with this article.

First of all, there are some household products that are popular in the RLSH (Real Life Superhero) community, including flashlights, first aid kits, mobile phones, cameras, and zip ties, to use as handcuffs. When it comes to preparing for physical confrontations, some not-so-household ready-made devices come into play, such as Kevlar vests, body armor, pepper spray, and telescoping batons. Moving up the ladder to the realm of “Is that even legal?”, a few RLSHs carry tasers, wrist rocket sling shots, and blast knuckles, which are shaped like brass knuckles and deliver an electric shock. Interestingly, we could only find one superhero who said they carry a firearm.
Some of the gear carried by Geist

Some of the gear carried by Geist

A Hero in All of Us

supersuperdaraOriginally posted: http://volumeone.org/magazine/articles/1695/A_Hero_in_All_of_Us.html/page/1
international group the Real Life SuperHeroes
by Eric Larson
Marco Rascón Córdova has always felt a calling to stand out. And for the past 20 years, he’s answered it in a most peculiar fashion: by patrolling the working class neighborhoods of Mexico City in cranberry-red tights and responding only to the name, “Superbarrio.”
One glance at him – overweight, middle-aged, and by all means slower than a speeding bullet – and it’s clear that, by traditional standards, he’s far from super. But to Córdova, “traditional” isn’t the kind of hero he’s going for. In fact, he’s not looking to beat criminals to a pulp at all. He’s striving to protect the rights of the working class through organized protests and petitions, all the while donning his brightly colored get-up. And the best part? He’s not alone.
Over the past several years, dozens of inspired people across the globe – representing both the early-twenty-something and near-senior segment – have tied capes to their necks and set out to do good for the public. Look up to the sky: here come the Real Life Super Heroes. (Holy new phenomenon, Batman!)
Before I continue, I think it’s important to note how widespread this occurrence actually is. In September of last year, an official Real Life Super Hero project was established serving as a meeting ground/alliance for emerging heroes across the globe. According to the website, more than 150 individuals are currently in action, serving both publicly and privately. Meetings and conferences are continually held across the country to share ideas and teach strategies to old members and newbies alike. In short: this is the closest thing to the Justice League this world will ever see.
Within it, the personalities and “powers” are unique to each hero involved. Take Angle Grinder Man from England: lanky with shoulder length hair and a baby blue onesie, he works pro bono on the streets of London by cutting the wheel clamps off paralyzed vehicles. Then there’s Terrifica from New York City, who prowls the downtown bars to keep inebriated women from getting taken advantage of. Polar Man from Canada shovels driveways for the elderly, and Recycle Boy teaches children the importance of being resourceful … and the list goes on.
A particularly intriguing hero is SuperSuperDara, hailing from Brazil. Similar to most RLSHs, she deems public service one of her greatest contributions. To SuperSuperDara storytelling is the best weapon to teach children about the dangers of sexual abuse.
“(It’s) a serious problem, which leads to psychological scars that will last forever,” she told me. “I try to warn children and make parents, educators, and community members aware of this paradigm shift they need to do.”
A day in the life of our Brazilian hero involves visiting schools and reading aloud her favorite story, Segredo Segredîssimo, which, according to her, strongly reiterates the importance of sexual abuse awareness. Her contributions are well-received by her community, and her tweets are regularly followed by congressmen and popular Brazil-based magazines, she said. Her ultimate goal is to make a radical shift and teach protection techniques to the younger generation.
“Changing paradigm is necessary in Brazil, and in order to do so a superhero is required,” she said. “Mere mortals couldn’t do such a thing.”
Now with all these people across the globe standing up to serve their communities, I’m forced to ask: why not Eau Claire? Sure, the city’s been named one of the safest places to live in the country, and the biggest crimes I’ve seen in my four years of residency have been petty at worst. (To the thief of my patio chair: the hunt continues.) But as these RLSHs have proven you don’t need invisibility, inhuman strength, or even web-shooting wrists to be considered super. Volunteering and displaying pro social values in any atmosphere are steps in the right direction. The project stems much deeper than a group of adults who spent too much time with comic books as kids; although, as some have stated, the reading material was definitely an inspiration.
INTERVIEW: Rochester Superhero Geist
Of the more well-known heroes from the RLSH alliance is Geist from Rochester, Minnesota. Although relatively new to the league, Geist has managed to make his name quite well-known. His costume, which he describes as “green Space Cowboy-chic,” is as bizarre as it is badass. I was able to get in contact with him via e-mail a few weeks back. Here’s a snippet of my ventures into his mind:
Volume One: So, Geist – how long have you been doing this?
Geist: I became active as Geist, doing charitable missions and crime patrols, in April of
V1: That’s cool. What was it that inspired you to pursue something like this?
INTERVIEW: Rochester Superhero Geist
Of the more well-known heroes from the RLSH alliance is Geist from Rochester, Minnesota. Although relatively new to the league, Geist has managed to make his name quite well-known. His costume, which he describes as “green Space Cowboy-chic,” is as bizarre as it is badass. I was able to get in contact with him via e-mail a few weeks back. Here’s a snippet of my ventures into his mind:
Volume One: So, Geist – how long have you been doing this?
Geist: I became active as Geist, doing charitable missions and crime patrols, in April of
V1: That’s cool. What was it that inspired you to pursue something like this?