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Posts Tagged ‘football’

Happy Superbowl!

February 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Well the pre-game madness has already started, though we are still about 5 hours from kickoff.

I’ll be rooting for the Packers. Mainly because the Steelers beat the Seahawks (my team) in the Superbowl a few years ago. Thus, I hate the Steelers.

A variety of psychics have been making their predictions. Probably the most accurate prediciton, however, would be Gamespot running a simulation game between the Packers and the Steelers in Madden NFL 11.

Unfortunately, the Steelers won that simulation. But thankfully as anyone in science knows, simulations rarely, if ever, match actual results. If somehow they do match then you get a lot of attention. Somewhat similar to psychic predictions. But that is a topic for another time.

So, Go Pack!

Go Seahawks!

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

QWest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. Via Wikimedia Commons

I’m a Seahawks fan. I know I’m from Canada, but the Seahawks have been my time for years.

Last week, something really cool happened. The Seahawks beat the defending Super Bowl Champs the Saints. But the crowd also did something awesome.

Seattle’s home stadium is known to be the loudest in the league. More false start penalties per game (an average of 2.2 per game) occur at Qwest Field than any other stadium.

After Marshawn Lynch’s incredible touchdown run, the noise from the stadium registered on a seismometer run by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, mounted about 100 yards away.

In about 20 minutes, the Seahawks play the Bears in Chicago, so no home field advantage. I still predict a Seahawks win though!

 

We’re Gonna Crush ’em! Then We’re Gonna Analyze The Data!

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Concussions are a major problem in all contact sports, and the NFL is turning to technology to help understand and prevent these injuries.

A pilot program is being set up in which accelerometers will be placed in the helmets of players to measure the force from these impacts, the Washington Post reports.

The program will also put accelerometers into mouthpieces and earpieces to get a larger data set to the force experienced in different parts of the head.

The biggest problem in understanding exactly what type of hit causes a concussion is the variability. Said Kevin Guskiewicz, a committee member and chairman of the department of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina,

We are currently not where we’d like to be in understanding what an 80-G impact means relative to a 40-G impact. . . . My point has been all along if we don’t start somewhere – like now – we’ll never know,

The data could not only help players learn to better protect themselves, but also lead to the development of better helmets.

There is a helmet which has been in development for about 8 years, called the Gladiator, which reduces force of impact by 20 – 25 percent. Beyond that, however, no new developments are on the horizon.

I love it when sports and physics intersect in a post.

Minnesota Blizzard From Spaaaaaaace!

December 14, 2010 1 comment

Blanket of Snow covering South Dakota, southern Minnesota, eastern Iowa, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and Indiana - Click to Enlarge (Courtesy: NASA/JPL)

On Saturday December 11, 2010 over 40 cm of snow fell in the Minnesota area. NASA’s Terra satellite captured this awesome image of the snow.

This is the same storm that caused the Metrodome, home of the Minnesota Vikings to collapse.

This forced the Vikings to play their game in Detroit. It didn’t work out so well for them…

The Adventure of Links: Sept. 20, 2010

September 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Health

Bad news for geeks. Teens with bad acne are more than twice as likely to develop mental health problems.

Good news for geeks. Popular kids get the flu first.

Yet another psychological study which tells us stuff we already knew.

Banning CFCs seems to have worked, and the ozone layer should be restored by ~2050.

“Just let me finish this level…” Video game addictions are on the rise, and data may suggest they relate to attention problems.

What to do if you cut off a body part. Remember, the greatest treatment is prevention.

Belly Armor, clothing designed to protect your in utero baby from completely harmless non-ionizing radiation, now being sold in the US. Fear really does sell. Terrible.

An increase in Canadian air quality could be linked to less smog from the U.S. due to the economic downturn.

Physics and Astronomy

Amazing panoramic photo of the Northern Lights. Taken from the Northwest Territories, Canada.

They have books now for all types of dummies. Enter “String Theory for Dummies”.

The Canadian government censoring publically funded researchers. This information, in my mind, belongs to the public and they should have full access to it.

Woohoo! Yahoo! Calculates pi to the 2 quadrillionth digit.

I’m a big proponent of mixing entertainment with science in order to teach kids, and heck even adults! Behold, the Science of Football.

Fun/Funny

Germans know how to party, as will be demonstrated by upcoming Oktoberfest. But an enterprising German has also come up with a bacteria which, he claims, should be able to clear the smell of beer and bratwurst. Will it work? I doubt it, but it’s just cool we’re trying stuff like that.

My two most hilarious heroes, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, are hosting “conflicting” rallies in Washington, D.C. next month. The Rally to Restore Sanity and the Keep Fear Alive rally will be held on Saturday October 30th. If you are in the area, its sure to be a lot of fun.

Spray on clothes. Seriously? Seriously.

Body heat from a Paris subway station is going to be used to heat a public housing project nearby. Those warm-blooded French…

Luke Skywalker’s replacement hand may not be too far off in the future. Scientists are developing so-called “robotic skin”.

Using dog poop to light dog parks.

Physics of the Vuvuzela: Update!

July 4, 2010 1 comment

In a previous post, I talked about the physics of the vuvuzela. That annoying trumpet at the World Cup which has gotten so much press lately.

I discussed how they work, why they are so loud and why they are so annoying. And why filtering the sound from the TV broadcasts would be very difficult to implement.

But, in the infinite ingenuity of the human race, one New York video producer has found an brilliant and awesome use for the vuvuzela.

BP CEO Tony Hayward

Adam Quirk is apparently raising money to hire 100 vuvuzela players to play out front of BP headquarters in London for an entire day.

The stunt is intended to remind BP that they have some shit to do, and shouldn’t be dragging their feet. The oil spill is now the worst in the history of the Gulf.

This idea with the vuvuzelas is brilliant. They have gotten so much attention lately that this story will surely garner some attention, assuming they can raise enough money. And of course, vuvuzelas are just friggin annoying. So hats off to you Adam Quirk, give those morons what they deserve.

Why It Pains Me to Watch the World Cup

July 3, 2010 Leave a comment

This is usually a science blog. But with the World Cup on, I think I’ll digress…

I’m from Canada, but my grandparents come from Holland. So you’ll find me walking the streets in my Oranje jersey during the World Cup (take THAT Brazil!).

Football (or ‘Soccer’, as it is called in my homeland) is a physically intense, strategic sport.

It requires teamwork, thoughtful planning and well-timed execution. I have the utmost respect for the endurance and pressure faced by soccer players from all nations.

Between World Cups though, I don’t watch a lot of soccer. Its not a very popular sport here, and by the time the World Cup runs  around, I start to wonder why.

Unfortunately, it only takes about 10 minutes of watching the first game in the group stage to remember exactly why.

Sit around a pub table with a group of Canadians while watching soccer, and this is what you’ll hear:

“Ugh, what a baby!”

“He called THAT a foul!?!”

“Get the hell up! He barely touched you!”

“What the hell is he crying for?”

Canadians are tough. Thats not me being arrogant, its a fact. Look at Steve Nash in the NBA. How many other basketball players would play when their face looks like this?

And how about hockey? That just speaks for itself.

So we can’t stand it to see people diving, falling, and crying. Its a sport. Grow up and be a sportsman.

Whats even more frustrating is FIFA, which doesn’t want to do a damn thing to fix the sport. How bout 2 referees? Nope.

And now with those two really controversial goals for England and Mexico, people are screaming for video replay. But what is FIFA’s response?

They say it will interfere with the “flow” of the game, because soccer is a game that “never stops”. Bullshit!

Maybe the clock doesn’t stop, but the action stops probably just as often, if not more so, than in hockey. The ball goes out of bounds, some moron decides to showcase his diving skills, players ignore the play and throw up their arms at the referee trying to get a phantom handball called. All this interferes with the “flow” of the game, and no one seems to care.

The play stops all the time, so your game is no better than anyone else’s. And for a game like soccer, it would only take 15-20 seconds to check the replay and see if the ball crossed the goal line, or if the attacking player was offside. These are obvious calls on a TV monitor, but are very difficult for a single referee and his assistants.

So FIFA, please do what you can to improve your game. Because we in Canada are huge sports fans, and we appreciate the good things about your sport. But my god, quit diving and play the freakin’ game!