I know that sports teams have avid followings in many cities, but I doubt there are many places whose pride and interest in a team exceeds that of the fans of the Saskatchewan Roughriders
. I won’t delve into it here—there are whole books about it
, not to mention art exhibits
—but although there are certainly people in this province who don’t cheer for the Riders or follow their fortunes (it’s fashionable among some artsy types to decry the money “wasted” by fans on the Riders, by which they mean they are as green with jealousy as the fans are with face paint: one way or the other, in ...
There’s a scene in Huckleberry Finn where Huck is attempting to pass himself off as a girl, but is betrayed, in part, by the way he throws a lump of lead at a rat: “And when you throw at a rat or anything, hitch yourself up a tiptoe and fetch your hand up over your head as awkward as you can, and miss your rat about six or seven foot. Throw stiff-armed from the shoulder, like there was a pivot there for it to turn on, like a girl; not from the wrist and elbow, with your arm out to one side, like a boy.”
There’s a reason “You ...
OK, admittedly the title of this column is a bit tongue in cheek. Compared to, well, any other human being on the planet, Usain Bolt is, of course, insanely fast. (I have not personally compared my speed in the 100-metre dash with his, of course, but since I’d have to stop halfway to be loaded onto an ambulance I suspect I’d have little hope of matching him.)
But compared to the rest of the animal kingdom, Usain Bolt...or any other human...is small potatoes.
In an article entitled “Animal athletes: a performance view,” the July 28 issue of Veterinary Record did the comparison, finding Bolt would trail greyhounds, cheetahs and pronghorn antelopes, ...
While I was browsing for another Olympic-themed column idea (as promised last week) one story particularly caught my eye: a Reuters piece by Kate Kelland headlined (in the Regina LeaderPost, at least) “Scientists skeptical as Olympic athletes get all taped up.”
It caught my eye, not because it had a picture of female beach volleyball players in bikinis attached to it (honest!), but because I had seen, on the backs of some of the synchronized divers a few days ago, these weird ...
Just in time for the Olympics (and just in time for this science column), COSMOS Magazine has run an interesting online piece
by Richard A. Lovett on the history and physics of the Olympic throwing sports.
It is customary, in the column-writing biz, to be up-front about any direct personal connection you have to your topic. So, full disclosure: I was a high-school shot-putter. Sad to say, Olympic caliber, I was not.
As I heaved my eight-pound lead ball an embarrassingly short distance in my one-and-only competition, however, I did wonder who on Earth ever came up with the idea of this is a sport.
The same people who brought us ...
Basketball skills ought to run in my blood. My father won multiple provincial high school basketball championships as coach of the Western Christian College Mustangs, and my brother was both a good player and championship-winning coach himself.
But, alas, basketball and I never got along very well. I could sort of dribble (if I didn’t also try to run) and sort of shoot (as long as nobody rushed me) but it was apparent early on that if there is a genetic component to being good at basketball, I was stuck in the shallow end of the gene pool.
Still, even if I can’t play basketball, I can uphold a bit of ...
The Spring 2010 issue of Fine Lifestyles Regina
, for which I'm the editor, is just around the corner. In honour of that, here's my cover story from the Winter issue, which featured former NHL player Mike Sillinger.
Mike Sillinger holds the National Hockey League record for playing with the most teams—12 in all. He was traded nine times, another record.
All of which means that in 17 years as a professional hockey player, he moved around—a lot.
In fact, the list of teams he played for after being drafted from the Regina Pats by the Detroit Red Wings back in 1990 sounds like that old Geoff Mack song, ...
The Saskatchewan Roughriders play the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League’s Western Final this Sunday.
That simple declarative sentence contains a novel’s worth of angst for fans of the Riders (and possibly for fans the Stampeders, too, but I can’t speak about that, not being one of those LOSERS!...oops, sorry, did I type that out loud?).
Roughrider fans, often said to be the greatest in the country, are passionate about their team. They want them to win. They really, really want them to win. (Please, God, let them win!)
And yet, deep down, they fully expect them to lose.
This, science tells us, is precisely why they enjoy watching the Riders play so much.
A new study from Ohio State University has found that ...
There’s a perception that science is always reversing itself. If you don’t like what science has to say about, say, the health benefits or risks of a particular food (eggs, for example, or coffee), you only have to wait awhile until a contradictory study comes out.
That’s because science progresses in fits and starts. Researchers put forward a possible explanation, a hypothesis, for the results of an experiment. Other researchers attempt to duplicate their results and refine the hypothesis. Sometimes the hypothesis is completely discarded, and a new hypothesis gains sway.
But in the media, this slow process is seldom reported. It’s much easier to pick up on the report of a single study—particularly if it has startling results—and present the hypotheses ...