Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How does altitude affect the World Cup teams?

Some of the stadiums are at a fairly high altitude, while others are not:

Whoever wins the tournament will have switched from altitude to sea level and back again at some point.

The key message for the World Cup, then, is that teams need to take into account transition, acclimatisation and tactics. Players will need to adapt to changes in altitude, especially the effect this has on the flight of the ball. Teams that use high altitude to their advantage - or that are already used to switching from low to high altitude - will profit. That points to a win for a South American team.

Read the full article at New Scientist.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Photos of San Francisco by locals and tourists in Flickr

Eric Fischer cleverly used the geotagging information in Flickr to distinguish between locals (blue) and tourists (red) and then plotted the data. It is fascinating to look at unexpected red clusters trying to work out what they are.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

John Lanchester on the difference between complaining and moaning

From the New Yorker (full text not available):

Visitors to Britain are rarely able to grasp – sometimes after decades of residency – the vital distinction its inhabitants make between complaining and moaning. The two activities seem similar, but there is a profound philosophical and practical difference. To complain about something is to express dissatisfaction to someone whom you hold responsible for an unsatisfactory state of affairs; to moan is to express the same thing to someone other than the person responsible. The British are powerfully embarrassed by complaining, and experience an almost physical recoil from people who do it in public. They do love to moan though.