Daredevil Month: Real-Life Daredevils?

Posted: March 11, 2015 in Comic Book Study
Tags: , , , , , ,

Daredevil’s “radar sense” is real! Image taken from cinemablend.com

Welcome to Day Two of Daredevil Month everyone! Yesterday, I talked a little about Hell’s Kitchen’s defender within the comic book realm, and today we’ll be taking a look at a few individuals who, through a special talent, advanced software, or amazing abilities, may or may not be DD in disguise in the real world.

Ben Underwood

Born in 1992, Ben Underwood was diagnosed with cancer by the age of two that took his eyes a year later. Despite this setback, Underwood was taught by Daniel Kish on how to use echolocation, the same thing bats and dolphins use to hunt and maneuver in their environments. With this, Underwood began to learn to get around without the use of a cane.

Using just this series of clicks he creates with his mouth, Underwood has accomplished tasks such as skateboarding, playing sports like basketball and football, and even playing video games. No seriously, check out 2:22 in the video below, where CBS documented Underwood and his amazing talent.

Sadly, Underwood’s cancer returned and took his life on January 19. 2009.

Daniel Kish

The Stick to Underwood’s Matt Murdock, Kish is considered a master of human echolocation, having lost his sight at one year old and later teaching himself this talent. Dubbed a ‘real-life Batman’, Kish has accomplished such feats as mountain climbing and bike riding. He’s also the first completely blind person to be a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, as well as a holder of a National Blindness Professional Certification.

When he’s not inspiring scientists to experiment and try to understand human echolocation, Kish runs classes on how visually impaired people can use this human echolocation to “see” the world around them.

Ashish Goyal

There’s a few differences between Goyal’s story and Underwood’s. For one thing, Goyal isn’t completely blind; he can still see light and shadows but not much else. For another, he’s a trader for a major company on Wall Street.

The man, who lost his eyesight at the age of 22, has software that reads him things on-screen (like em-ails, texts, etc.) and sounds “like gibberish” to an untrained person. Goyal is able to easily understand this “gibberish” moving at rapid speeds and respond quickly. What’s more impressive is his understanding graph information. Since the software can’t translate what’s on a graph, he has to imagine what the graphs have on them, and he is always right.

Want to be like Daredevil too? Practice echolocation. Some, like acoustic expert Juan Martinez at the University of Alcalá de Henares in Spain, claim that, “Two hours per day for a couple of weeks are enough to distinguish whether you have an object in front of you…Within another couple weeks you can tell the difference between trees and pavement.” In short, just practice your clicks and eventually you too can be a Man/Woman Without Fear. As said in the linked article:

To master the art of echolocation, all you have to do is learn to make special clicks with your tongue and palate, and then learn to recognize slight changes in the way the clicks sound depending on what objects are nearby.

I hope you enjoyed this latest entry into Daredevil Month. Did I miss any other real life Daredevils you thought should have been included in this list? Want more details on how to be Daredevil? Leave a comment, or send me a tweet with that widget on the left, and maybe you could subscribe to the Comic Books vs The World Youtube channel while you’re at it. I hope you continue to enjoy Daredevil Month!

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