Monday Morning Open Thread: Because of Wow

For this brief moment, let us celebrate the wonder…



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?

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Enjoy Summer While You Can!

(h/t commentor Mary G)

(Actually, that’s Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Yankees fan… and Aaron Judge, Yankees player. I had to look him up, to be sure.)

Okay, okay, political junkies…

You be the referee

What do you do as a referee if you hear this?
Read more

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Congratulations, USWNT

CBS New York, “USWNT World Cup Parade: NYC Readies To Celebrate U.S. Women’s National Team”:

Ticker-Tape Parade Planned For USWNT World Cup Champions Wednesday, July 10, at 9:30 a.m. (EDT)

Roaring crowds of enthusiastic fans are expected to pack Lower Manhattan Wednesday morning to celebrate the World Cup champion U.S. Women’s National Team.

The U.S. woman will be passing through the Canyon of Heroes.

The sidewalk along Broadway is decorated with names of the United States’ greatest athletes.

Fans will gather to celebrate the American women capturing their record fourth World Cup championship with Sunday’s 2-0 win over The Netherlands…

But it’s not all about celebrating for the women on the team. It’s about delivering a message as they fight for equal pay.

“I think that this win changes the conversation [from] ‘do we deserve it’ to OK, how are we actually going to get the action? What are we going to see from FIFA, from U.S. soccer, from the sponsors?” midfielder Kelley O’Hara said.

According to Nielsen ratings and other streaming services, here in the United States, Sunday’s match ranked as one of the highest-rated soccer telecasts in history. It drew bigger ratings than the 2018 men’s World Cup final…

Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe, who won the Golden Ball as best player of the tournament and the Golden Boot as top scorer, spoke out on Good Morning America on Tuesday.

“Go watch your team. Watch the national team. Watch your local club teams. I think that there’s a part in this for everybody to do,” she said…

If you click on the link, there’s instructions on how to livestream the event, “Free access – no sign up.”