Category Archives for Smart & Swift

Exceptional podcast: This week’s “Only A Game” from NPR

Good listening

I didn't know the back story of the lefty, ex-baseball player, Governor Gavin. 

My wife is a big fan of LeBron James too. She talked with him in Beijing in August 2008 while at the Olympics in a neighborhood setting. The podcast goes into the news about LeBron's statements about the NBA and its China dealings too. Humm.

Biggest point to be made about these statements of China, Hong Kong and the NBA include the fact that those in China can't even see Twitter. Twitter.com is a blocked URL from all of China. So,the tweet from the Houston GM was never seen by citizens inside of China.

Show notes: OCTOBER 18, 2019

Gov. Gavin Newsom, Black Sox Scandal, LeBron Faces Criticism

Gavin Newsom says he would not be the governor of California if not for college sports. So why did he decide to sign a law that challenges the entire NCAA system? Also this week on Only A Game, LeBron James is facing criticism for his response to Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey's tweet. 

Thorny issue of women and girls sports and the inclusion of trans athletes

Noel Plum's video insights

The debate over women's sport and the complex and thorny issues of what place trans-women and those with intersex conditions have within sport has been heating in some circles. Comments by celebrated athletes such as Martina Navratilova, Sharron Davies, Dame Kelly Holmes and Paula Radcliffe have shown considerable push.

In this video, Noel covers some recent events and tries to explain the present problem, thought to be completely unsolvable. The present labels of "men's" and "women's" sports events look need an alternative model moving into the future. Expect to see many efforts in the future on how to work to and to discuss various models.

Video hopes to deal with objections.

Abandon the model of dividing sport into "men's" and "women's" categories by

  • Re-label the "women's" category explicitly as the "female" category. 
  • Disband the "men's" category. 
  • Create an "open" category for anyone: male, female, man, woman or non-gender binary.

Bill Price posted on Facebook and calls this a meta issue

The topic is sure to affect all in sports, regardless of the level and age groups. He contends that the solutions presented so far by the IOC, NCAA, USA Swimming, and the IAAF (to name just a few) don't address the real scope of the problem. He posted that coaches "need to develop a deeper understanding of why this issue is causing such a ruckus, and why some are concerned about the future of sport."

Plenty of discussions swirl about on the YouTube page as well.

Other Links to research:
  • Caster Semenya takes gender rule challenge to sports court 
  • LGBT group severs links with Navratilova over transgender comments
  • Sharron Davies: Former British swimmer says transgender athletes should not compete in women's sport
  • Sports stars weigh in on row over transgender athletes
  • Why calls for athletes to compete as a homogenized group should be resisted

Brain Scans and treatment plans

Great presentation!

He developed a passion for medical imaging. 
As our professors used to say: "How do you know, unless you look?"
Here's a scan of a 15-year-old boy who felt down a flight of stairs at the age of three. Even though he was unconscious for only a few minutes, there was nothing mild about the enduring effect that injury had on this boy's life.
When I met him at the age of 15, he had just been kicked out of his third residential treatment program for violence. He needed a brain rehabilitation program, not just more medication thrown at him in the dark, or behavioral therapy which, if you think about it, is really cruel.
To put him on a behavioral therapy program when behavior is really an expression of the problem, it's not the problem.
Researchers have found that undiagnosed brain injuries are a major cause of homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, panic attacks, ADHD, and suicide.
We are in for a pending disaster with the hundreds and thousands of soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afganistan, and virtually no one is looking at the function of their brain.
...
Our work taught us that people who do bad things often have troubled brains. That was not a surprise. But what did surprise us was that many of these brains could be rehabilitated.
So here's a radical idea. What if we evaluated and treated troubled brains rather than simply warehousing them in toxic, stressful environments?
In my experience, we could save tremendous amounts of money by making these people more functional, so when they left prison, they could work, support their families and pay taxes.
So after 22 years and 83,000 scans, the single most important lesson my colleagues and I have learned is that you can literally change people's brains. And when you do, you change their life.
You are not stuck with the brain you have, you can make it better, and we can prove it.
My colleagues and I performed the first and largest study on active and retired NFL players, showing high levels of damage in these players at the time when the NFL said they didn't know if playing football caused long-term brain damage. The fact was they didn't want to know. That was not a surprise.
I think, if you get the most thoughtful 9-year-olds together, and you talk about the brain is soft, about the consistency of soft butter, it's housed in a really hard skull that has many sharp, bony ridges, you know, 28 out of 30 nine-year-olds would go: "Probably a bad idea for your life."
But what really got us excited was the second part of the study where we put players on a brain-smart program and demonstrated that 80% of them could improve in the areas of blood flow, memory, and mood, that you are not stuck with the brain you have, you can make it better on a brain-smart program.
Reversing brain damage is a very exciting new frontier, but the implications are really much wider.

Fantastic rehab news. However, let's step up the preventative measures.

Rather than working so hard on the back end, so as to fix a traumatic brain injury, let's change the course of life and better realize how to prevent injuries.

Let's play healthy games where head injuries are far less common.

Grading each other’s character in a team setting

Quote from the article: "There’s no in between."

So, players get "0s" or "1s". Really?

Even in the US political elections, it is stupid to have the votes that we present citizens / voters. Winner take all. Rather, how about percentage voting?

Could be 0 to 1 in .1 steps.

Wondering what are the 20 (?) traits in the survey?

The 20 character traits the program values:

  1. work ethic, 
  2. confidence,
  3. respect,
  4. trust,
  5. commitment,
  6. desire to win, and
  7. desire to improve.
What would you measure and ask about?

Leave your reply in the comments below.

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