Sports as an art form

As per definition, art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, – producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” With this said, me as an artist; but also as an athlete, I believe that one can call certain moments in sports “art”. It is certain that it is not the same type of art as per say music or paintings. Nevertheless, the human creative skill is there. We are taking various creative decisions every step we take.

In addition, certain people can consider these moments of brilliance to be beautiful. Moments in which the player does something thought improbable, even impossible. A very interesting player in soccer history is Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, also known as Ronaldinho. In his prime, the man was sheer magic with the ball. He seemed to have a deeper understanding in the physics of it. The way he manipulated it, it looked as if the ball was an extension of his body. He used this to his advantage when performing complicated moves and skills with incomparable fluidity, which gave him an edge over his opponent. Currently, a man with similar affinity to the ball, but with less fancy skills, is Lionel Messi. Even when shooting the ball these people make magic happen.

In sports, even when the players aren’t the most skilled, are able to produce emotional responses from the viewer.  Be it anger from seeing an unfair play, or hope and passion to see a player giving it their all to win. Sports are a way for some to relief powerful emotions. The beautiful aspect of it is that we, as human beings, can be so empathetic as to share the player’s emotions by simply watching them. At the same time, as a player one can feel the support of the outside people pouring into the field. This is why I believe that sports can be a form of “art”.

Self-Filling Water Bottle

Being out exercising in the wilderness can be fun, especially with friends! Rock climbing, hiking, biking, hunting… even just being at the beach is a good way to get exercise and catch some rays. However; being outdoors in the sun also takes a toll on your health, especially if you don’t stay hydrated. Bringing a water bottle with you is a smart idea if you plan on being outdoors for hours at a time, but there’s always the issue of running out of water and being left dehydrated and more vulnerable to exhaustion and heat stroke. Luckily, a startup company called Fontus might be able to help!

Fontus, an Austrian-based startup company, is developing a new water bottle that fills itself using the water vapour from the air, filling the water bottle gradually by using condensation. It’s supposedly able to produce 0.5 litres of water in a single hour. The water bottle will be released in 2 different models – the Airo and the cycling-specific Ryde – but it’s not yet available on the markets because the water bottle is still in development. Concerns such as dirt contamination, bugs, and dust getting into the water is something that should be looked into. This shouldn’t be too much of a milestone, however, because Fontus was a finalist to receive a Dyson award in 2014 for it’s solar-powered water filtration device.

The Austrian government just granted Fontus more funding to continue development on their water bottles, and Fontus plans to launch the product and make it marketable to the public in March, 2016 by using a crowd-funding campaign. Product validation tests are still in progress, and Fontus hopes that the crowd-funding campaign will help pay for said tests.

Here’s a video showcasing the award-winning prototype:

Technology in the NFL

This Sunday, February 2, will mark Superbowl XLVIII(48) at MetLife Stadium in New York. It will be the second time in 20 years two #1 seeds meet in the finals. Seattle Seahawks versus Denver Broncos. Bruno Mars will perform the Half-Time Show and millions upon millions will have been spent on 30 second commercials. The NFL considers itself the world’s most innovative big-time sports enterprise, so with the Superbowl this weekend we take a look on how the NFL uses technology to ‘enhance’ and shape their sport.

The NFL was the first league to cash in on the potential of broadcast television in the 1950s and 60s. Their understanding of television became instrumental in surpassing baseball’s popularity and in becoming the powerhouse of American sports. Their broadcast deals rank among the most valuable in the world.

Today practice has become analysis. HD Video with multiple viewing angles have made a great impact on strategy. Coaches will be seen on the sidelines covering their mouths with a clipboard, talking into a wireless headset to their QB or their ‘eye-in-the-sky’, to prevent the other teams  ‘eye-in-the-sky’  from reading plays. Nowadays, when a player is cut from the team they don’t hand in their playbook, they hand in their iPad.

Players are often seen looking up at the Jumbo-tron after each play to see what went wrong or right.

Players are often seen looking up at the Jumbo-tron after each play to see what went wrong or right.

Currently on center stage for the NFL, lies the issue with concussions. The NFL is actively looking for ways and treatments to help athletes with concussions and to prevent them. Concussions have proven to have a long-term effect on mental health. Kevlar helmets are something they are looking at. Also, Reebok and MC10 have created a sensor chip that will display green, yellow, or red when a player is hit. If red is displayed the player is taken off the field to be assessed.

Often criticized as slowing the game down, and taking away the human element of the sport, instant replay can be a hot topic amongst traditionalists. From 1998-2008 there were 22,780 replay reviews in 2,536 games and only 916 of those reviews were reversed. Although, unfortunately for traditionalists, replays here to stay. The idea that the refs on the field have to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to a play that everyone in the stadium and at home can see, goes against the integrity of the game.

As technology continues evolving sports, enjoy it in its current form.

Take my advice, I don’t use it anyways.