Any mom assigned to carpool duty for youth sports practice has an appreciation for the pungent power of damp athletic gear. While the shirts and shorts get immediately cleaned in the washing machine, other equipment like bags, helmets, gloves, shoes are normally relegated to the garage whey they continue to stink and collect potentially dangerous bacteria. But fear not, sensitive noses, a fancy dryer from Shock Doctor promises to freshen the most foul.
Weight loss is a money making industry. And where money can be made, gambling will occur. So from pre-wedding bets to company-wide pools, people are putting the forks down to avoid forking over cash. As belly-betting becomes the latest fad in the health care industry, its critical to ensure winners emerge fairly and accurately. The results of March Madness pools aren't calculated with a slide rule; nor should your weight be measured using the counterweight balance from 1974 in your company's gym.
Few things in sports have changed less than bowling shoes. From the color schemes to the odor spray, they're as constant as stale bowling alley hot dogs and, um, 'uniquely' qualified bar staff. But, what about the balls?
While ten pounds has remained ten pounds, little else has been maintained. The impact of technology has received plenty of coverage with regard to golf, swimming and tennis, but achieving a perfect game in bowling over the past 30 years has also become less of an art and more of a science. In homage to the good old days, the Professional Bowling Association (PBA), hosted the first ever Geico Plastic Ball Championship, where competitors rolled with identical decades-old balls. We offer a brief review for those heading to the lanes next weekend and hoping to impress a date.
We don't get many opportunities to write about bobsledding. And while the U.S. Men's team winning the four-man bobsled championships yesterday for the first time in 50 years sounds newsworthy, it's not quite the standard hook for Popular Science readers. But the captain of that winning team, Steven Holcomb, nearly quit the sport last year with a degenerative eyesight disease, until he found a novel eye surgery -- and we're not talking Lasik here. Bobsled here we come.
Checking your tire pressure might save you a few cents on gas, but the technology behind rubber meeting road is a bit more critical in F1 racing than in commuter frugality. Professional teams have long collected data on tire pressure and air temperature through sensors on a tire's valve stem during a race. But these sensors are susceptible to "heat soak" from the rim, and brakes and were unable to measure the critical temperature of the actual tire carcass.
In 2007, Dwight Howard donned a Superman cape before leaping to victory in the slam dunk competition. In an attempt to defend his title this weekend (he came in second), Howard topped his own theatrics by entering a phone booth for his annual costume change. The basketball player-cum-superhero returned to the court to dunk, not in a regulation 10-foot basket, but in a 12-foot-high hoop.
While it's natural to attribute such supernatural feats to Howard's freakish physical stature -- or perhaps to the cape around his neck -- it was actually the skintight clothing beneath the cape that produced the boldest and most easily quantifiable performance enhancement. An undergarment described as, not clothing, but equipment, the Adidas Techfit Powerweb contains carefully placed strips of thermoplastic urethane that stores energy like a spring, and lets athletes release it on their villain of choice.
You’ve likely seen athletes chewing on them, spitting them out or sticking them in their helmet. But a high tech version of what seems part mouth fetish and part tooth protector has performance enhancing capability according to data from Pure Power Mouthguard. Research conducted at Rutgers University (funded by PPM) claims some impressive, nearly unbelievable, physical improvement from just wearing the guard. Wait till WADA gets a hold of this one.
What makes a perfect push-up? Depends on how many people are watching. But at least one company thinks they have the answer, and named their company accordingly. The Perfect Pushup has been selling its namesake device for several years: two rotating hand grips that allow a more biomechanically natural exercise. The only problem was that founder Alden Mills (a former Navy SEAL) didn't count on people like us.
We didn't want to write about it. Seriously, we didn't. Sure, Michael Phelps has digital technology, the 24-hour news cycle and precision blown glass to blame for his plight but we're better than that.* But when US Swimming went and suspended Phelps for two months for, ultimately, acting his age, we felt compelled to write something. The 'Science' part of Popular Science restricts us from condemning the insanity of the punishment (note, however, they did nothing following his 2003 DUI).
What do you buy for an avid cyclist that's already spent a fortune on the latest weightless bike, wireless cycling speaker, and a lifetime supply of yellow Livestrong bracelets? How about a shirt full of water? Camelbak's wearable hydration system is a sleeveless skintight shirt with a 2.1-liter (72-ounce) jug of water secured on your upper back (it should work for running as well).