WADA announces HGH blood tests for Olympic Athletes, despite reports that the hormone has no effects
By Brett ZardaPosted 04.04.2008 at 2:43 pm 3 Comments
If cheating doesnt help you win, is it still cheating? Probably. But, if cheating doesnt help you win, should anybody care? The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced this week that it has purchased thousands of kits to blood test athletes for HGH in advance of and during the Beijing Olympics. Yippee? Not so much. While major news organizations have been hailing the breakthrough, they've also been ignoring an article published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine that suggests HGH doesnt actually help cheaters win. The article reviewed 27 studies over the past 40 years and found nothing but a cosmetic enhancement as a result of HGH. The research is consistent with testimony to Congress from a panel of experts, including Dr. Richard Perls with whom we spoke in February.
A new, cheap, helmet retrofit may be the key to averting concussions
By Brett ZardaPosted 04.02.2008 at 3:40 pm 0 Comments
Shrink the field, add hockey-like walls and serve cheaper beer. The triad has been a model of survival for the Arena Football League but also led to more than its fair share of concussions (on the field, of course). Its players' susceptibility to blows made the league a natural fit for helmet manufacturer Schutt to test its Shockometer—a retrofit designed to warn medical personnel of a potential concussion.
Sports tech takes a step backwards with Adidas's latest sneaker launch
By Brett ZardaPosted 04.01.2008 at 1:00 pm 1 Comment
The only thing better than new technology is old technology. Add the term "vintage," price it at a premium and watch us geeks drool. Generally, sports technology isn't old enough to go retro; Adidas begs to differ with the return of its 1984 Micropacer shoe.
Predating today's growing pedometer obsession by two decades, the Micropacer was the first shoe to implant a microchip in the big toe area, which registered steps each time the wearer pushed off.
digg_url = 'http://digg.com/design/Can_a_Swimsuit_Be_Too_Good';
Even we didnt guess it would be this good. When I wrote last month about Speedos latest swimsuit—an extremely high-tech full-body wonder—three world records had already been broken by LZR-clad swimmers. Coincidence? Maybe. But, after eight more records fell in the past month, the suit is causing some serious waves.
Thanks to advances in fluid mechanics, "futbol" may become even more fun to watch
By Brett ZardaPosted 03.20.2008 at 12:26 pm 1 Comment
In its raw form, d3o looks like slime and molds like Play-Doh, but take a hammer to a clump and it changes to a stiff rubber. This curious substance introduced itself in the 2006 Olympics as a safety lining for the Spyder skiing suits, and that same year, d3o's protective ski hat won PopSci's Best of What's New Award.
Our ace reporter sleuths out the secret electrolyte formula that keeps Maria swinging
By Brett ZardaPosted 03.17.2008 at 6:34 pm 0 Comments
Over the years, researchers at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) have tested hundreds of elite and recreational athletes to better understand hydration. A few months back they stepped on court to analyze the sweat of the worlds fifth ranked womens tennis player, Maria Sharapova. Tiger Woods went through a similar regimen in creating his own custom Gatorade formula, with fancy flavors set to launch this month. Ongoing tests on NFL and NHL players offer similar personalized suggestions on what to drink and when.
An innovative coaching system gives Nike and Apple a run for their money
By Brett ZardaPosted 03.12.2008 at 1:16 pm 2 Comments
Nike is to Apple, as Adidas is to . . . Samsung? In the race to make people run, Adidas is gaining steam with this week's European release of miCoach. Like the iPod-based Nike + system, at the heart of miCoach lies a Samsung phone that similarly follows your progress and motivates your workout.
The phone wirelessly tracks data from a chest strap heart rate monitor and a stride sensor that hooks onto your laces (an advantage over Apple's system since it lets you keep your sneakers). Workouts are built and analyzed on a full-service website complete with graphic data and recommendations for your fitness objectives.
Rugby is the latest game to follow a growing trend of 3-D broadcasts
By Brett ZardaPosted 03.12.2008 at 12:29 pm 8 Comments
This is probably the first and last reporting on rugby youll see from Popular Science, but when you broadcast a sport live in 3-D (while serving alcohol) some coverage is deserved. On Saturday, a select group of executives got to watch the battle between England and Scotland in three dimensions on a movie screen in West London. For the English in attendance, the extra-vivid depiction of a 15–9 loss to the Scots likely required additional pints, but more importantly spoke to a larger trend in making live 3-D broadcasts a reality. The 2007 NBA All-Star game was similarly telecast in an extra dimension for a few privileged viewers last year while U2 even offers their first 3-D concert to cost-conscious fans via video.
Soccer's governing body surprises its fans and partners by opting for extra refs instead of higher tech
By Brett ZardaPosted 03.11.2008 at 5:32 pm 7 Comments
In an unexpected move, the International Federation of Association Football, soccers governing body, this week pulled the plug on plans to implement a state-of-the-art scoring system. Instead of introducing the dual technologies—a sidelines camera and in-ball chip—officials have opted for a decidedly low-tech solution for better determining whether a goal was scored: two additional linesmen.
More forgiving raceway barriers are a great idea—but Jeff Gordon's recent crash revealed that not all tracks are properly using them
By Brett ZardaPosted 03.07.2008 at 2:10 pm 1 Comment
Its likely that the death of Dale Earnhardt has saved lives. From head restraints to stronger frames, significant action has been taken since the NASCAR stars passing to protect other drivers barreling around walled-in tracks at 200 mph. At the top of the list of developments was the SAFER Wall (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction), developed at the University of Nebraska.