Friday, February 26, 2010

Training for the Summer Olympics

The Closing Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics take place on Sunday and I haven't talked at all about sports this month. However, since there are robins and cherry blossoms and daffodils outside right now*, I'm going to talk about running! Or, specifically, running equipment, because that's a little more science-y. I also want to throw out the idea, quickly, before I start on the links, that we don't have enough sci-fi featuring athletes. Protagonists always seem to be detectives or military or Average Joes™.

Let that idea inform your thoughts on the following.

There's the AlterG treadmill, reviewed at BoingBoing, which allows runners to run in lowered gravity. While they're on it, they could be using Dance Pants**, operating an mp3 player with their kinetic motion. Stop running, stop the music.***

For anyone needing to breathe in our polluted Earth atmosphere (or an alien one), there's the CAIR Air Helmet and the Oxyfit backpack****.

And of course, we can't forget the Paralympics. Gizmodo has a long essay on prosthetic limbs, disability, and fairness and equality for athletes. TED has a video on a similar subject, by the author of the article:

I was going to give you more links, on things like racing bikes and pole-vaulting, but all my links about bikes are for recreation and/or electric, and pole-vaulting didn't even register on my radar. Also, all my boating links seem to be about yachts, so that'll be a post in itself sometime, same as the futuristic bikes.

See you Wednesday!

* Jealous, anyone?
** Gizmodo
*** I hate running and I still kind of want those.
**** Gizmodo

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