Assorted Links

  1. Mitt Romney Confirms he would end US wind power subsidies -The idea being that he would “allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits.” Merits like OPEC, smoke, and depleting resources, I guess.
  2. Drone warfare: a new generation of deadly unmanned weapons– A story on the Guardian about some of the new bases and training facilities for the unmanned missile operators. According to the article, the operators do not appreciate being told that they are not courageous for their actions.
  3. Neither the Will nor the Cash: Why India Wins So Few Olympic Medals– A look in the Atlantic about why India wins so few Olympic medals (22 total all time). The most prevalent theory that it is about financial clout, combined with the lack of a safety net for the families and thus no emphasis on relatively frivolous athletics (as differentiated between competitive athletics and personal health). One of the most telling statistics is that between 1928 and 1968, India won all but two of the gold medals in field hockey, the other two going to Pakistan. In 1972, India was third, Pakistan took second, and East Germany won. In 1976 the Olympics switched to the more expensive synthetic turf fields and since, India has won one medal (a gold in 1980). The upper echelons of hockey stadiums in India are also synthetic, but I think that the idea is that many field hockey players grow up playing on grass and are therefore at a competitive disadvantage. The drop-off is a bit too extreme to call it coincidence. I suppose it should also be noted that in 1932 only three teams participated in Olympic hockey.1
  4. Endocannabinoids motivated exercise evolution– A study that was featured on NPR today wherein biologists suggest that the development of the reward receptors in the brain of animals that need sustained aerobic activity are linked to the eventual development of the aerobic capacity. Thus, human beings are hard-wired to be runners on an evolutionary level.
  5. Stunning Restaurant built inside a cave on the Italian coast-A very cool new restaurant that, as the person who linked me this article pointed out, is reminiscent of Tiberius’ villa at Sperlonga.
  6. The Olympics as Reality TV– An article at the New Yorker about the way in which NBC has seized upon reality TV as a model for women’s gymnastics.
  7. As always, comments encouraged. What else is out there?

1 As a fun fact, the first time field hockey was an Olympic sport, six teams competed–including four from Great Britain, one each for Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and Wales.