One of the cool things about being a GeekDad is the many opportunities to teach our kids important lessons through trivia and ephemera, “finding the divine in the mundane,” as somebody once put it (I think it was me). My wife and I homeschooled our three children (and continue to do so; our youngest is now 15), and we embraced the idea that with homeschooling, the kids are always in school; every vacation is a field trip, every hobby a learning opportunity. Silver Age comics, especially Flash and Green Lantern, offer many opportunities to discuss science, even if it’s just figuring out why the “science” shown does not work in the real world.
Here’s an interesting little article about five particular comics that had impact in the real world, from opposition to racism to treatment of criminals. Read on to learn how Superman defeated the KKK and why Donald Duck is a scientific genius, among other interesting tidbits. It’s a great opening to a discussion about how little things can make a difference, and how no idea should be discounted on the basis of its source, and how so-called “pop culture” can be used in effective ways to promote the greater good (see the Superman and Popeye examples in particular).