Concussions, Back Problems, and Odd Statistics

Jonah Lehrer has a big article at Grantland on concussions in high school football that paints a fairly bleak picture: The sickness will be rooted in football’s tragic flaw, which is that it inflicts concussions on its players with devastating frequency. Although estimates vary, several studies suggest that up to 15 percent of football players […]

World Cup Wrap-Up

I missed the first 15 minutes of yesterday’s World Cup final because it was inordinately difficult to find a tv showing the game at BWI airport. There are tvs all over the place, but they’re all locked into playing a pre-recorded loop of CNN programs, without even a news ticker that could give score updates. […]

Semi-Final World Cup Open Thread

I was under the impression that the World Cup semifinals didn’t start until tomorrow, but I was wrong about that. So here’s a hastily-posted Open Thread for discussion of the games. Will Uruguay manage to carry the honor of South America into the final game? Or is South America doomed to be the Big East […]

World Cup Update

The last two days of group play were kind of disappointing, with two games (Brazil-Portugal and Spain-Chile) barely being contested in the second half, as the teams involved were sure to advance, and just sort of kicked the ball around idly in the middle of the field until the clock ran out. In a just […]

Important World Cup Updates

The US managed to survive yet another appalling lapse of officiating and beat Algeria 1-0 on a goal in stoppage time. Simultaneously (in some frame of reference), England beat Slovenia 1-0. With South Korea advancing yesterday, countries with current or forthcoming editions of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog are 3-0 when it comes […]

Last Chance for World Cup Success

Three European countries, France, Germany, and Spain have suffered embarrassing World Cup losses. The French team in particular has appeared to be in complete disarray. Their combined record to this point is just 2-3-1 (W-L-T). What do these three countries have in common? None of them have purchased translation rights for How to Teach Physics […]

World Cup Weekend

Friday’s games showcased everything that makes international soccer maddening for Americans to watch: dreadful officiating, lack of scoring, and annoyingly conservative strategy. The referee in the Germany-Serbia game handed out cards like it was a poker tournament, with the result that, in the second half, every time two players got within about a meter of […]