I'm writing an article for HowStuffWorks about artificial muscles (known in the field as electroactive polymers, or EAPs). The International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) held their Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) Conference here in San Diego this week, and on the first day they had an arm-wrestling competition between a human and a trio of EAP robotic arms. Panna Felsen, a local high-school senior, defeated each arm in mere seconds. RoboCop, look out! So who is this super-human? Well, it turns out it doesn't take much strength to overpower artificial muscles, but check this: Felsen designs robots, she gets straight A's in half a dozen AP classes a year, she teaches ballroom dancing, she's been a competitive swimmer for eight years, and she builds "EXTREME SAND CASTLES!" Plus, look at that headshot. Modeling can't be far behind. How do I console myself? I consider she's probably much uglier in real life. Besides, I heard the Internet subtracts 20 pounds. Ego spared!
UPDATE: After finding more photos of Felsen on the Internet, my hypothesis has fallen. She is genuinely attractive (for a 17-year-old of course...) Ego crushed!