Category Archives: sports

Surfing the world’s biggest waves

When I was in Hawaii I became fascinated with the surfing culture, and curious about why so many people devote their lives to it. I’d probably understand more if I ever tried it, but that’s not going to happen. Yet I can get an idea of its allure when I watch videos like the ones […]

Do crows instigate cat fights?

In lieu of Readers’ Wildlife Photos today (I have a comfortable backlog), please watch these three short videos and tell me what’s going on. In all of them, hooded crows (Corvus cornix) are associated with vicious cat fights.  And while the third video purports to show a crow “breaking up” a cat fight, that’s simply […]

Alex Honnold free-climbs El Capitan

I haven’t yet seen the movie Free Solo about Alex Honnold, arguably the greatest rock climber in history. For Honnold is a “free soloist”, climbing without ropes or any gear beyond his shoes and chalk bag. That means if he falls, he’s dead. This New York Times video recounts the making of that movie, which premiered in […]

Animals eating pumpkin (and sports lagniappe)

Halloween will soon be upon us, and we’ll get lots of videos of animals eating pumpkin. You see it here first, with animals nomming pumpkins last year at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. The YouTube notes: Several of the animals at Brookfield Zoo near Chicago enjoyed Halloween treats on Friday. They included the western lowland gorillas; Hani, […]

Kenyan runner sets amazing marathon record in Berlin

I once thought that two hours for a marathon (26.2 miles) was beyond the limit of human achievement. No more. In the Berlin marathon today, Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge, 33 years old, ran that distance in 2 hours, 1 minute, and 39 seconds, breaking the world record by a full minute and 18 seconds. If Kipchoge […]

Serena Williams: child vs. champion

Reader Jon sent a one-minute video of Serena Williams as a little girl (already great at tennis) and at the U.S. Open. John said “this is good for a commercial”, but it’s made by Nike and looks just like a commercial. Regardless, it’s really good. Jon’s take: Caution: might make you tear up. This is good […]

Italian soccer player suspended for making blasphemous remarks (to himself)

As the BBC Sports news reported yesterday (click on screenshot), Italian soccer player Rolando Mandragora was suspended for one game for making “blasphemous remarks.” The thing is, nobody heard them: they were spoken to himself, and authorities deciphered what he said by reading his lips on videos. The crime? Mandragora insulted both God and the […]

Our World Cup contest winner (and boot lagniappe)

Reader Jack Dostal won our World Cup contest even though he didn’t get the winner (he got the closest, though). Jack dropped by the lab today on his way from North Carolina to Iowa, and I gave him his prize, an autographed copy of WEIT with a soccer-playing cat drawn in it, wearing Belgium’s team […]

FIDE may nix Tunisia’s World Chess Championship because it won’t give visa to 7-year-old Israeli chess champion

About a week ago I called attention to the fact that Tunisia banned the 7-year-old Israeli girl Lial Levitan, a young chess wizard, from playing in the upcoming International Chess Championship simply because she was Israeli. Regardless of what you think of Israeli’s politics, there’s no justification for punishing a young girl who wants to […]

7 year old can’t compete in chess championship because Tunisia prohibits Israeli players

If you think Israel is an “apartheid state,” then what is Tunisia? For that country has just banned a 7 year old schoolgirl and chess champion, Liel Levitan, from competing in an International Chess Championship (presumably the competition for juniors), because she’s Israeli. And her dream is to become a world champion. “Just a few […]