Transitioning From Web Developer to Comic Book Author:

#Raptors: With #Science (and #Chainsaws)

Every blue moon there’s a comic that really speaks to modern culture. Atomic Robo (written by Brian Clevinger and art by Scott Wegener) fills that gap for me at the moment. I mean, Nikola Tesla invents an immortal AI robot who grows up to kick ass with Carl Sagan (on one particular adventure). But the real kicker for me is in Vol 4, Revenge of the Vampire Dimension, with the introduction of Dr. Dinosaur (AKA Lord Raptor) who explains how he will dismantle Atomic Robo:

Raptor with Science (and Chainsaw)

Atomic Robo - Vol 4 - The Revenge of the Vampire Dimension 3x4 -Â With Science!

  • Sorry I know this is off topic, but I would like to hear about your experience with polyphasic sleeping. This is something I am highly considering doing myself. 

    • I wrote an essay on it when I started experimenting: — that has the basic set of info. As for my experience, I lasted 16 days, had amazing dreams–but I couldn’t keep it up for social reasons. The difficulty decreases after the first 2 weeks–so I apparently crossed the hump, but when you MUST take a nap now and you are at a dinner party or in a movie theater it kind of puts a damper on your social life. I think the 28 hour day might be more effective–though it’s not a sleep reduction technique so much as a time optimization (gives you that patch of free solitude while everyone else is asleep and extends your days into 10 hours asleep and 18 hours awake. I’ve got two variations of the 28 hour day in Google Calendar, shared as public calendars if you are interested–visual here:

      But I would say that polyphasic overall is not the promise-land of sleep optimization that people like to believe. The science as I understand it is that, after your body adjusts to the cycle, each time you take your 20 minute naps, you basically jump straight into REM, completely skipping the NREM stages, which are highly necessary for your brain to take a break from being bombarded by neurotransmitters–that’s the main benefit of sleep that keeps us all from becoming psychotically depressed.

      The Everyman cycle is the variation I tried (3 hour core sleep, then three 20 minute naps throughout the day) was a fun experiment but I’ll probably never do it again–partially because I lack the opportunity I had when I was younger (now I have a 3 year-old so I can’t dictate anymore that I MUST sleep now) and partly because I just don’t believe it’s healthy. However, from what I’ve read, it seems that it IS more healthy to split the same number of hours of sleep into different parts (which is why I like the split variation of the 28 hour day)–so if you are going to sleep 9 hours per night, you are more cognitively healthy if you split that sleep up into three 3 hour naps than if you take it in one 9 hour chunk. However, that doesn’t mean it’s just as healthy to take three 2 hour naps (which is where polyphasic takes things too far).

      But again, that’s all just my readings of the research. Be a scientist, test your own hypothesis and maybe you’ll come up with more info :)

      • Interesting, thanks for the reply. I actually read up on the essay you wrote. (that’s actually what led me here) and after further research i’m not so sure about polyphasic sleep anymore. If I need NREM sleep so badly I fear it may put a damper on my cognitive functioning. I was planning on using the extra time to good use studying physics, German, calculus, and a whole plethora of skills, knowledge, and talents I wish to possess. However, if I can’t think straight while I am awake I might as well spend that time sleeping. 

        I am a bit disappointed though, I have heard a lot about the 20-minute dream that seems to last for an hour or more. The dreams that seem so real you forget where you are when you wake up. To be honest that was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to experiment with polyphasic sleeping, I wanted to experience those dreams first hand. 

        Perhaps one day, when I have enough money to do whatever I want, and am not tied to a scholastic college schedule (or that of a job for that matter) and won’t need to do any mental heavy lifting perhaps I may experiment with polyphaisc sleeping. Here’s to hoping my artistic talent gets a bit better that I may document my dreams in full detail.

    • er… actually, the 28 hour day is 8 hours of sleep and 20 hours awake :)

  • I love Atomic Robo.  It’s one of the few comics I missed when I killed off my comics blog and stopped reading.