Article: How Reebok Is Tackling One Of The Sports World’s Trickiest Problems

Football Helmets Banging Together

Reebok Skullcaps

How Reebok Is Tackling One Of The Sports World’s Trickiest Problems | Co.Design | business + design.

While playing football and many other high contact sports come with its risks,  I think this is definitely a step in the right direction. To be able to measure the impact of a blow to the head and to be warned about the severity of its impact allows coaches and players to take action. It is not a mere ringing in the head but the skullcap can PROVE that the red flag should be raised.

An interesting point that the author mentioned, too, is the psychological side effect of wearing these skullcaps. Everyone was playing more cautiously! There was fewer head banging and less rough play, at least in the upper torso to the head region. The skullcaps serve as a psychological sign that says, “Watch it now! You should be cautious of the blows your head is absorbing from just one tackle.”

Now, we can take this one step further. We can say that the players may just be playing more cautiously than before because the skullcap is new. They don’t normally wear these skin-tight fabric on their heads. Once the novelty wears down, I’ll be interested to seeing if this psychological sign will still be in play. Maybe at that point, the skullcaps will truly be seen a valuable gear all athletes need to put on as they “suit up.”

This Is Your Brain on Silence – Issue 16: Nothingness – Nautilus

“Silence is a resource,” it said. It could be marketed just like clean water or wild mushrooms. “In the future, people will be prepared to pay for the experience of silence.”

Finland has begun a campaign to rebrand their country for tourism’s sake. The idea? SILENCE as a valuable commodity. It cannot be found everywhere, and it is by this definition that makes silence worth acquiring.

Stop and think about this. We are surrounded by noise 24/7, and yes, even at home. Silence is intangible and limitless. New hip meditation “shops” sell silence to help folks relax. Noise cancelling headphones sell for god-knows-too-much.

The article then turns to talk a little about the underlying physiological explanation for why our brains are always on alert to detect sound in our environments. Even when it is silent, our brains are noisy and in search for external stimuli. This article was a great read.

“Yet to her great surprise, Kirste found that two hours of silence per day prompted cell development in the hippocampus, the brain region related to the formation of memory, involving the senses. This was deeply puzzling: The total absence of input was having a more pronounced effect than any sort of input tested.”

Source: This Is Your Brain on Silence – Issue 16: Nothingness – Nautilus.

A letter from Chancellor Dirks: Nelson Mandela

Something to remember about today

Dear Campus Community:

Today, the UC Berkeley campus mourns the loss and celebrates the life of Nelson Mandela. We are all part of a global community united in grief and reverence for a man whose clarity of moral purpose and extraordinary perseverance brought freedom to the oppressed, hope to the hopeless and light to all the dark places where human dignity struggled to survive. We pause to not only mourn but also to reflect with gratitude on the good fortune we had to witness all that Nelson Mandela accomplished and exemplified.

At Berkeley we also remember the special ties that will forever bind our campus to this man and his movement. As we know, the Bay Area was the epicenter of the American anti-apartheid activity due, in no small measure, to the passionate engagement of Berkeley students.  In 1990, on a worldwide tour after serving 27 years in prison, Mandela spoke to a crowd of 60,000 at the Oakland Coliseum. During that speech South Africa’s future president specifically cited our university’s “Campaign Against Apartheid” as having been particularly significant in hastening the end of white-minority rule in his country. That recognition highlights what is, in my opinion, one of Berkeley’s proudest moments.

Today, I am also thinking about something Nelson Mandela said that goes to the heart of who we are and what we stand for as a university: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” With that in mind, I have asked our academic leadership to begin working on a Spring event that will celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life and extend his legacy through an exploration of, and discussions about his historic accomplishments.

Words alone cannot pay adequate homage to an extraordinary life that so deeply altered the course of history. We can truly honor Nelson Mandela only through our ongoing individual and collective efforts to ensure that every man, woman and child reaches the final destination on humanity’s long walk to freedom.

Nicholas B. Dirks