At the end of July, Americans will remember for the first time in four years that sports like steeplechase and rhythmic gymnastics exist. It's summer Olympics season! We've filled this month's Muse with sporting facts and Greek lore that will have you throwing on goggles or running shoes and sprinting to the nearest pool or track (make sure you keep them straight). In this issue, we learn how fast a mile can really be run, what physics tricks help baseball players to cheat, and why you should always hold on tight in a chariot race.
This month's Muserologist experienced some Olympic-sized terror when she braved a high-ropes course. Have you ever conquered a fear or performed a death-defying stunt? Tell us about it! Submit your own Muserology, and we might print your story in an upcoming issue.
Speaking of you, our beloved readers, why should London have all the fun? For this month's contest, At-Home Olympiad, we want you to invent your own Olympic event. Then check out the winners of our Sloppy Paleontology contest, who jumbled the bones of manatees and wolverines to create incredible creatures. Maybe they're onto something: Odds are a four-legged human would smash the 3:40 barrier for the mile.
Sportswomen of the Past
WEBSITE: They boxed, they bowled, they batted home runs, and they did it all in corsets and lace.
The Perfection Point
BOOK: Science can tell us the fastest a human can run and the highest a human can jump. Can it tell us the most doughnuts a human can eat in one sitting? Because six was too much. Ugh.
Why a Curveball Curves: The Incredible Science of Sports
BOOK: Why do some athletes succeed and others fail? Why will Pwt never quite catch Crraw, while our beloved poet-bird can loop-the-loop with the best of 'em?
CONTEST: Speed Crabwalking is a carpeted-room event. The Great Penny and Dime Spinoff requires a hardwood arena.
Just Barely Out of Reach
TOWN HALL DISCUSSION: Approaching the limits of the human body and mind.
Sixty Feet High
MUSEROLOGY: "At one point, I looked down. That was a big mistake."
Video Games WILL Save the World
TOWN HALL DISCUSSION: No, really, Mom! I swear!