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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -