"We have little trouble recognizing that a chess grandmaster’s victory over a novice is skill, as well as assuming that Paul the octopus’s ability to predict World Cup games is due to chance. But what about everything else?" [Luck and Skill Untangled: The Science of Success
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]
After beating the Texas Rangers on Sept. 3, the Boston Red Sox were 84-54. Although half a game behind the Yankees in the American League East, the Red Sox had a nine-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for the wild card and roughly a 99.6 percent chance of making the playoffs.
Fast forward one excruciating month
to a dead heat with Tampa coming into tonight's bitter imbroglio. Boston struggles ahead of laughingstock Baltimore by a single run until a rain delay clears the field, leaving them in the surreal position of rooting for the hated Yankees
playing down in Florida. They can only watch from the sidelines as the rival Rays, tied with Boston in the pennant race but down 7-0 against New York, roar back to life with six runs in the eighth inning and a tie run on the final pitch at the bottom of the ninth
. And then, after blowing two different strikes that would have salvaged the game, Boston loses to Baltimore
, completing what is arguably the worst late-breaking collapse in the history of major league baseball
Baseball nerd fun: Type in which team's at bat, how many outs, which inning, how many on base, and the Win Expectancy Finder
will spit out the likelihood the team wins, based on actual game data from the periods 2000-2004, 1991-1998, and 1979-1990.
An interesting example of the logical fallacy known as Coincidental Correlation
, for the last 71 years the Washington Redskins' last home game before Election Day
has correlated with the success of the incumbent president. Boy, it's a good thing in sports no one believes in silly statistics...
Alternative Olympic medal tally
from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, ranking countries by population per gold medal. (Updated daily for the duration of the games.)