Monday Morning Open Thread: Wonderful

The best quote I’ve seen was in USAToday“Simone Biles sets the standard in gymnastics and maybe any sport you can name”:

“She’s incredible,” [Coach] Landi said. “You don’t want to look at (the medals), just. We were here to do the job. The goal is to hit four out of four, every day, day after day… “

Heck, most days I’m satisfied if I can hit three out of four. Some days, I settle for two — okay, one — plus some earnest efforts…

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Mandatory political content, for the hard to please:








Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Overcast, Chance of Tantrums

Your morning awesomeness.

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Your morning awfulness…


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Friday Morning Open Thread: Here’s Hoping for A Quiet Weekend…

*Especially* that Florida, and our beloved Floridian Jackals, will come through Dorian as unscathed as possible!

Who’s got plans for the last official weekend of summer?

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Other snippets:


(Sorry, Raven, I know you’d prefer we not bring up football here)








Monday Morning Open Thread: Because of Wow

For this brief moment, let us celebrate the wonder…


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And a slightly belated Eid Mubarak! to our Muslim readers…








Insane in the Membrane

A new study shows that the midbrain is the “canary in the coal mine” for brain injury, and 2/3 of the players get injured:

Data collected from 38 University of Rochester football players before and after three consecutive football seasons were analyzed for the study. The players’ brains were scanned in an MRI machine before and after a season of play, and the football helmets they wore throughout the season were equipped with impact sensors that captured all hits above 10g force sustained during practices and games. Race car drivers feel the effects of 6 gs, and car crashes can produce brief forces of more than 100 gs.

The analysis showed a significant decrease in the integrity of the midbrain white matter following just one season of football as compared to the preseason. While only two players suffered clinically diagnosed concussions during the time they were followed in the study, the comparison of the post- and pre-season MRIs showed more than two-thirds of the players experienced a decrease in the structural integrity of their brain.

The research team also found that the amount of white matter damage was correlated with the number of hits to the head players sustained, and that rotational acceleration (when the head twists from side to side or front to back) was linked more strongly and more consistently to changes in white matter integrity than linear acceleration (head-on impact).

“Public perception is that the big hits are the only ones that matter,” said senior study author Brad Mahon, an associate professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University and Scientific Director of the Program for Translational Brain Mapping at the University of Rochester. “The big hits are definitely bad, but the public is likely missing what’s causing the long-term damage in players’ brains. It’s not just the concussions. It’s everyday hits, too. And the place to look for the effect of such hits, our study suggests, is the midbrain.”

Our tolerance for amusement that injures seems pretty high (guns are a great example), but why would any parent who has a choice want their kid to play football?