Putting the bobsled track to good use during summer

Thursday, 23 July, 2015

What to do during the summer months, when there’s no snow on the local bobsled track? Ride your mountain bikes along it, of course.

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Basketball games at Gordon Dam are just a little bit different

Friday, 10 July, 2015

Think I might spend some of the weekend shooting a few hoops… from the top of the Gordon Dam, in the south west of Tasmania, to a hoop some one hundred and twenty five metres below, as Perth’s How Ridiculous crew did recently.

How long do you it’d take to figure out the shot, the world record basketball shot at that, for sending the basketball through the hoop at that sort of distance?

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An earlier four minute mile than Roger Bannister’s?

Tuesday, 5 May, 2015

Former British athlete Roger Bannister officially ran the first four-minute mile in 1954. Stories however abound of people in England achieving the feat during the eighteenth century.

Given these people were often running as part of a bet, or a gamble, Peter Radford, a retired sports science professor and Olympic bronze medalist, contends their times, that were sometimes reported in news publications of the day, would have been quite accurately recorded, as relatively large sums of money were at stake.

But Radford argues that at the time of Parrott’s run, agricultural chains would have been able to measure the distance to within a few inches. And, by the late 18th Century, the best watches were extremely accurate. Even a watch that lost five seconds a day could still time a mile to within a second. Crucially, the culture of wagers gave everyone a strong financial incentive to get it right. “The two parties agreed that there hadn’t been any advantage taken by one side over the other,” Radford says. “It’s not like a diary entry where somebody said, ‘I did so and so’ and they could make up whatever they wanted.”

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The two hour marathon? Give it time and it may well happen…

Tuesday, 21 October, 2014

For a long time athletes strived to run a mile in less than four minutes, and finally, in 1954 Roger Bannister succeeded. Now marathon runners are eyeing up what is possibly a far more ambitious goal, to run a marathon in under two hours.

If though the trend is a long distance runner’s friend, then it is something that may happen in about sixteen years, if time reductions, especially noticeable since 1998, continue as they have.

Running a marathon, being a distance of twenty-six point two miles, in a time of exactly two hours, or the merest fraction less than, would require covering a mile every four minutes and thirty-five seconds. I wonder who will be the first person to achieve this particular milestone?

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Ok, so you can run, but can you properly imagine a person running?

Wednesday, 15 October, 2014

Well, this is embarrassing. People have been running for what, tens of thousands of years, but we, the same people, still don’t how to properly depict, or even imagine, this physical activity?

Wilson also points out that there’s a huge difference between asking someone to strike a running pose, and asking someone to run. “The only thing your postural systems cares about is staying upright, maintaining balance,” he says. “Running is about dynamic balance; maintaining balance as your mass moves. This is why we run in a contralateral pose – that’s how you balance out all the various forces and preserve your upright posture. Posing as if running is static balance.” In other words, the body asked to pose and asked to run is acting on two very different requests.

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If we’re in New York City, we must be in cricket country

Monday, 25 August, 2014

Considering parts of the United States were once a British colony, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn that there are one or two Americans who play cricket. What might be news though is the surge in popularity that the game is currently enjoying stateside:

Cricket’s profile is growing in the US thanks to the rising influence and size of the Indian (and to a lesser extent Caribbean) diaspora. It is an official high school sport in New York City. ESPN, which estimates that there are as many as 30 million cricket fans in the US, actually aired an Indian Premier League match on live television earlier this year. It regularly streams matches online and the audiences are solid.

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Why do golfers needs hole in one insurance? You’d be surprised…

Monday, 11 August, 2014

Apparently smart golfers take out “hole in one” insurance. Far from being lucrative, ace shots can prove to be expensive for the player in question, as they are expected to buy celebratory drinks for everyone, absolutely everyone, in the vicinity.

The concept of hole in one insurance may baffle the uninitiated, but to many it is a wise precaution as golf tradition holds that anyone who scores a hole in one should buy drinks back at the clubhouse for his playing group – if not everyone present. In Japan, many give extravagant gifts to friends and family after scoring a lucky ace.

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This is how we made cricket balls in 1956

Friday, 25 April, 2014

I would expect automation features in the production of many cricket balls today, but dare say there’d be people still making them entirely by hand, the way they were sixty years, or more, ago.

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Here’s the sort of golf shot we all want to play

Wednesday, 8 January, 2014

Never under-appreciate the skills you will acquire playing mini, or crazy golf… they proved more than useful for British web developer Matt Wheatcroft during a recent Par 3 tournament.

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The Well of Death, it’s enough to literally drive you up the wall

Friday, 11 October, 2013

Northern Indian city Allahabad is home to the Well of Death, a circular arena like structure where the drivers of motorcycles and cars ride their vehicles on its (vertical) walls.

Motorbikes are one thing in the confined space, but then cars are added to the mix. But keep watching. Then the drivers, of both types of vehicle, go hands free. But wait, those aren’t the only tricks up their sleeves…

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