The Weekday Ramble is a daily dose of sports, music, culture, and more from Rambling On founder Erik Ritland. For more information check us out on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or at our website.
Wednesday July 1, 2015
Our second #FunFacts feature of the week. Topics include a super basketball team, a super natural occurrence, and the question of who was the first superhero.
Everybody loves the Supersonics
The Seattle Supersonics were one of the coolest team in the NBA. They had a sweet name and their lime green jerseys are probably the best of all-time, perhaps only behind the old school Houston Astros.
As most people know, their stupid owner Clay Bennett moved them to his hometown of Oklahoma City because the stupid people in Seattle didn’t understand what a professional sports team does for the community so they refused to fund a stadium. The Sonics were contracted in 2008, having won one NBA championship (1979). At least they stuck around long enough to have superstar Kevin Durant spend his first season there.
Should the NBA grant Seattle another team, which is pretty likely, they will again be called the Supersonics, as Bennett was contractually obliged to give up the name and insignia when he left town. At least there was some justice in that whole crummy situation. If only Minnesota had thought of that when the North Stars left.
Superdebate* about superheroes
Who was the first superhero? Short answer: nobody knows, or at least nobody can agree on it.
The authorities on such matters say it was Superman, who debuted in 1938, but many notable figures with superhero-like traits were around well before then. Spring Heel Jack, created in 1867, was a villain who became a crime fighter that had a disguise, a secret lair, and special gadgets. The lead character of The Scarlet Pimpernel in 1905 was a hero with a secret identity that is said to have paved the way for Bruce Wayne. The Shadow, The Phantom, and something called Mandrake the Magician also pre-dated Clark Kent by a few years.
However, none of these characters made much of an impact. The superhero genre didn’t take off until Superman was created and it probably would have died without him. So long answer longer: Superman was the first important superhero, the few who could be characterized as such before him essentially paving the way for his creation.
Supernovas, or the explosion of a star, are the most powerful explosion known to humans. The event is so intense that it briefly outshines the entire galaxy that it explodes in. It is so bright, in fact, that it takes weeks, and sometimes months, for its brightness to fade away. Waddya know, science can actually be kinda cool.
*intentional for the bit
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He was also Lead Staff Writer for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik's music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.