Around the Web
Deadly Cricket: This week Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died from haemorrhaging around the brain after being hit by a speeding ball on the neck which severed an artery. Cricket is universally considered a gentle game, which makes the death of an international player even more devastating for the legions of cricket fans around the world. Cricketers wear a helmet to protect the head from the ball that can be traveling up to 160 km/hr (100 mph). In this case the helmet did not extend to cover the area where he was hit, though I am sure it will create discussion on whether the helmet design can be improved, and scientists will look for alternative ways to protect the player and look for ways to improve the player's reaction and response to such deliveries. This very rare and unfortunate accident highlights the dangers of competitive sport, and the importance of protecting players from head injuries. Science has played a great part in improving player safety in all sports, and it will need to continue. In this case the cause and effect was brutally clear. In the case of many other sports where prolonged collisions are resulting in head injury, more convincing evidence is required to make the changes, though hopefully not any more deaths. We often think our sporting heroes are invincible. They are not, that is why death in sport hits us hard.
Blood Sports: A short lived kickstarter project was promoting a modified video game controller that drew blood from the player's arm each time they lost. It is not surprising that it was quickly taken offline. However the idea has potential. Think of the interesting data you could collect from the blood samples, like sampling athletes during a sporting contest. Encouraging our youth to donate blood can only be a good thing too. See more on this blood sport.
Beautiful Fitness Tests: What fitness tests would you do on Miss World contestants? Bizarrely the 2014 Miss World contestants took part in a sports day, and were tested on the beep test, as well as doing 60m sprints, 400m relays, a long-jump, and took part in a tug of war competition. I would love to know what they scored on the beep test. See more about their sports day.