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Epigenetics in Feast, Famine: How Well Grampa Ate Could Impact Grandkids

Epigenetics (prev) is the study of changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype, caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. David Epstein, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated has written about this topic for his book The Sports Gene (not as reductive as the title might suggest), but cut the chapter because the material he researched was so new as to require that he "caveat the writing rather heavily." Instead, he shared his chapter How an 1836 Famine Altered the Genes of Children Born Decades Later on IO9. You can read or hear more about the book in a half-hour segment from NPR's Fresh Air, opening with a story of Jennie Finch, a softball pitcher who "just whiff[ed] the best hitters in the world." (Related video clip: FSN Sport Science - Episode 7: Myths - Jennie Finch, on the force of fast baseball vs softball; ends with smarmy teaser for a "sex test")
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 27, 2013 - 13 comments

From Maine to San Diego

Shunned by New York's bachelorette population after handing out one too many gift baskets, Derek Jeter loses his confidence with the fairer sex and retreats to Springfield a broken man. There he finds a kindred spirit in Moe, the only man on Earth lonelier than the heartbroken Captain...The two leave Springfield to start a holistic living clinic in North Haverbrook and are never heard from again. The New Springfield Nine: If Mr. Burns had to re-staff the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team with a lineup full of present-day players, who should he choose?
posted by mannequito on Mar 6, 2013 - 8 comments

Prepare for intense levels of decency.

Instead of kicking the shit out of a team that had just been formed out of kids who'd never played the game, didn't have a full set of equipment, and only loosely understood the rules, Roncalli High School's JV women's softball team forfeited the game in order to use the time to teach the new team how to play, then took up a collection to help them buy equipment and hooked them up with a former coach to help advise the program.
posted by Pope Guilty on May 29, 2010 - 69 comments

The Ultimate Act of Sports(wo)manship

The Ultimate Act of Sports(wo)manship "It kept everything in perspective and the fact that we're never bigger than the game. ... It was such a lesson that we learned—that it's not all about winning. And we forget that, because as coaches, we're always trying to get to the top. We forget that. But I will never, ever forget this moment. It's changed me, and I'm sure it's changed my players." [via SportsFilter]
posted by terrapin on Apr 29, 2008 - 42 comments

I'm gonna get on my knees and pray, we don't get fooled again.

Clinton in planted questions row. The US presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, has criticised her aides after she was accused of taking pre-arranged questions at a rally in Iowa. A case of meet the new boss, same as the old boss?
posted by Tommy Gnosis on Nov 12, 2007 - 74 comments

no talent AZ clowns in 11th place!!

Young But Legal, Shays Lounge and the Swinging Johnsons, and Pete Sessions and the Wicked Kitten Militia. This year's battle of the bands losers? No, it's just a small selection from the roster of the Congressional Softball League. Some of the teams even have their own blogs.
posted by jessamyn on Jun 17, 2004 - 4 comments

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