The large got larger. The small got smaller. The weird got weirder. When you look at sporting achievements over the last decades, it seems like humans have gotten faster, better and stronger in nearly every way. Yet as David Epstein points out in this delightfully counter-intuitive talk, we might want to lay off the self-congratulation. Many factors are at play in shattering athletic records, and the development of our natural talents is just one of them.
TED talk, 14:53
posted by srboisvert
on May 1, 2014 -
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 1, 2012 -
T. Boone Pickens and other wealthy, elderly Oklahoma State alums decided to participate in a scheme named "Call of a Lifetime", where they would allow the university to take out $10 million life insurance policies on them. What could go wrong?
posted by reenum
on Oct 7, 2012 -
Clearing the Bar Is the Easy Part: [NYTimes]
"Mark Hollis is a pole-vaulter, and while he and his competitors here feel significant pressure as they compete for a place on the Olympic team, the anxiety they experience just trying to get their equipment to meets is sometimes even more excruciating."
posted by Fizz
on Jun 23, 2012 -
The historian Taylor Branch, who in October published a lengthy excoriation of the N.C.A.A. in The Atlantic, comparing it to “the plantation,” was only the most recent voice to call for players to be paid. Like most such would-be reformers, however, he didn’t offer a way to go about it.
That’s what I’m setting out to do here. Over the last few months, in consultation with sports economists, antitrust lawyers and reformers, I put together the outlines of what I believe to be a realistic plan to pay those who play football and men’s basketball in college. Although the approach may appear radical at first glance, that’s mainly because we’ve been brainwashed into believing that there’s something fundamentally wrong with rewarding college athletes with cold, hard cash. There isn’t. Paying football and basketball players will not ruin college sports or cause them to become “subcontractors.” Indeed, given the way big-time college sports are going, paying the players may be the only way to save them.
- Joe Nocera, Let's Start Paying College Athletes [more inside]
posted by beisny
on Jan 2, 2012 -
Serum hemoglobin is related to endurance running performance. Smoking is known to enhance serum hemoglobin levels ... alcohol may further enhance this beneficial adaptation.
A recent paper
by Kenneth Myers in the Canadian Medical Association Journal
reviews the potential benefits of smoking for endurance atheletes. [more inside]
posted by nangar
on Nov 26, 2011 -
Here's the deal: If you don't play for, or you are not an employee of, the team in question, "we" is not the pronoun you're looking for.
"They" is the word you want.
is the most overused term in sports.
posted by The Gooch
on Oct 20, 2011 -
Embarrassment alert: some would say Channel 4 hired the wrong man
(Youtube) to host live coverage of the Athletics World Championships. The consensus
seems to be that Channel 4 are to blame.
posted by nthdegx
on Sep 4, 2011 -
The Aeronautical Pentathlon Has Six Events—and Flying Doesn't Count. Aeronautical pentathlon—which inexplicably has six events—is a riff on the modern pentathlon at the Olympics. Created 63 years ago, the military pilots' version has pretty much flown under the radar.
And though the sport is based on flying, the nonflying parts of the competition determine the winner. While it is exclusively practiced by air forces, it was always excluded from the military Olympics—called the World Military Games—until last month's event in Rio de Janeiro.
... and the home team wins
. [more inside]
posted by caddis
on Aug 18, 2011 -
In 2006, Joss Naylor ran 50 miles up and down seventy Lake District
fells, ascending more than 25,000 feet in 21 hours. Not his best performance, but to be fair, he was 70 at the time.
Cumbrian shepherd Joss Naylor
(warning: Youtube link; Cumbrian accent, impossibly adorable sheepdog) is one of the greatest British athletes most people have never heard of, and perhaps the greatest competitor ever in a sport most people have never heard of either: fell-running. [more inside]
posted by reynir
on Nov 20, 2010 -
just won the PBA Tournament
(warning automatic video starts with this link). She is one of the first female professional athletes to ever win a prominent national sporting event against the best males in the sport. Interesting article
questioning why she isn't being given more national recognition.
posted by bove
on Feb 25, 2010 -
US Pole Dance Championships 2009
(no nudity, but possibly NSFW) It’s significant to understand that pole dancing is not stripping. This misconception prevents pole dancing from becoming something every woman should be able to enjoy. Pole dancing is a sensual athletic dance form that demands coordination, flexibility and physical strength.
Like the Jane Fonda workout combined with Cirque du Soleil.
posted by ColdChef
on Apr 20, 2009 -
My eensy-beensy alma mater
in eastern Wisconsin currently has the only undefeated men's basketball team
in the nation. This is not just in the NCAA, but in the NAIA as well. It's a Division III team, and its only loss this season didn't count--it was to Division I UW-Madison in an exhibition game.
Like most Division III schools, Lawrence offers no athletic scholarships whatsoever. Its immediate past president, Richard Warch, in a 1987 speech at the NCAA national convention, controversially called for abolishment of all athletic scholarships.
posted by gillyflower
on Feb 24, 2006 -
On sunday, Rush Limbaugh commented that Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, was overrated and was only seen favourably by the media because they want to see a black quarterback do well. McNabb responded
, and earlier tonight Limbaugh resigned
from his post on ESPN's pre-game show. N.D. Kalu, one of the Eagle's defensive ends, offered this choice quote: "He speaks well, he's well-read, but he's an idiot."
posted by The God Complex
on Oct 2, 2003 -
Great feat, but not a great athlete.
Let the Cyclist bashing continue.
As a follow up to the pointless Bicycles and cars don't mix
column, Ron Borges over at MSNBC
wonders if Lance Armstrong is even an athlete.
He says Athletes must do more with their bodies than pump their legs up and down. For his money, being the greatest athlete in the world involves strength, speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, mental toughness and the ability to make your body do things that defy description.
Anyone who has ever been in a bike race (Road or MTN) knows it does indeed take all that and more. Anyone who writes about sports, rather than participating, would of course have no clue it takes more than moving your feet up and down.
posted by Blake
on Jul 26, 2002 -
Run faster, jump higher.
What happens when you cross stilts and pogo sticks? The next 'extreme sport' on the verge of the big time, or a new and fun way to really injure yourself?
posted by KnitWit
on Mar 29, 2002 -
Gymnast vaults into gender-equity flap.
"For more than two decades in Massachusetts, boys have been allowed to compete on girls' teams (and vice versa) if their school doesn't have a team for their gender. But everywhere else in the region, they're still banned."
posted by idiolect
on Mar 16, 2001 -