To promote the October 7 series premiere of CW’s new series The Flash, a S.T.A.R. Laboratories Mobile Research Unit was sent out to various locations across Southern California! The first stop was the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where we had the privilege of checking it out.
— The Flash (@CW_TheFlash) September 27, 2014
On Saturday, September 27, we were getting ready to head out to the USC (University of Southern California, for those of you unfamiliar with the acronym) football game, when I saw the above tweet about the STAR Labs Mobile Research Unit. I had heard that it was going to be at Long Beach Comic Con the next day, and was a little bummed I’d have to miss it, so when I saw that it was going to be at the Coliseum that very same day on the day that we happened to be going to the football game (we usually only go once per season since I graduated and no longer have access to the cheap student section tickets anymore), I got pretty excited and declared that finding “The Flash” (which is what I took to calling it since the alternative is such a long title) would be our mission for the day!
Upon following the link provided in the tweet, the information stated that the truck would be in the “Trojan Fan Fest Tailgate Area.” Once we found this area, we walked all around it and didn’t see any signs of the Flash. I was just about to give up, when we walked just across the street from the designated area and I looked up and saw “STAR Laboratories Mobile Research Unit” on the side of a truck! We had thought there might be a long line, but there was no wait at all, and the “research assistants” we’ll call them, were practically begging people to come in! There were only 2 other people in it at the same time we were, so we easily got to try out everything.
As we walked in, we were handed a card, which we were supposed to scan as we tried out each activity. The first thing we saw upon entering was a water faucet running, with a strobe light on it, so that it looked like the water was dripping very slowly. A research assistant explained that that’s how the Flash sees things. At the next activity, several monitors were scrolling a sentence at different speeds: 200 WPM, 400 WPM, 600 WPM, 800 WPM, 1000 WPM, 1200 WPM. You were supposed to see how fast you could read the sentence. I think the fastest I could comfortably read it was 800 WPM, but it started to lose me at 1000 WPM.
At another station, you were supposed to see how fast you could hit buttons in relation to each certain section that lit up. Then there was a station where you were supposed to sit down and follow a light with your eyes or something? I wasn’t really clear on what to do, and when I sat down, I was waiting for something to happen, and kept looking around, but never saw anything. Then it played back a short video of my response. I guess you were supposed to see how fast you could look from the beginning to the end of a beam of light that started slightly to your left and ended slightly to your right, or vice versa? Still not sure about that one, and it wasn’t really explained very well to us.
Next there was a black tube that you’re supposed to stare into so that it measures your pupil’s response to the light inside of it. After that was a station where you shoot a soft nerf arrow at your partner, who stands against the wall and tries to dodge or knock the arrow away. Josh had me go first, and I was able to knock the arrow away. Then I went three times and hit him all three times! They had us wear eye goggles for safety. The final station was a button that you try to press with your hand as many times as you can within a certain allotted time. The first time I pressed it 14 times, then I tried again and got 13. I guess my hand got tired.
Then that was it, and we exited the research unit. At this point, we saw the front of the display, which we hadn’t seen yet, and got to see Barry Allen’s evidence board! So that was pretty cool.
It probably took about 10 minutes to try everything. All in all, it was a fun way to promote the premiere of The Flash, but it wasn’t so exciting that I would have wanted to wait in line for it. It was free and something cool to do while waiting for the game to start, so I can’t complain!
Afterward, you got to go online and check out your results, using your special code on the card they gave you. You can see my results here: http://starlabsresearch.com/YB60 and I have also posted the pictures below. There were supposed to be two more pictures, but the scanner wasn’t working for the shooting station, and I think I had used Josh’s card for the light up button pressing station.