“If the NFL wants concussion-free football, they’ll need to redesign football.”
In the eyes of physics, a big hit on the field can be just as devastating as a car crash—or in many cases, worse. We’re expecting a mere 1.5 inches of foam and candy shell to decelerate a player’s head gently enough to prevent their brain from bouncing around inside their skull. After talking to some of the brightest minds in helmet design, helmet testing and football physics, the elephant in the room became clear: A concussion-proof helmet is a pipe dream.
“’I think that it’s true that football helmets are 85% as good as they’re ever going to get,’ Dr. Timothy Gay, University of Nebraska physics professor, writer and industry helmet consultant tells me. ‘The optimal football helmet won’t be much better than the helmet you can buy right now because there are just physics retrains on the kind of padding you can use. We have a pretty good micro, nanotechnological understanding of how materials work. And basically, there are limits on what padding materials can do for a giving thickness.’”
This is the first in a new Co.Create series called Master Class wherein top talents from various creative fields explain, in detail, how they do what they do.
Post Super Bowl XLVI: How To Make A Great Commercial. An in depth, step-by-step look at how to conceive, develop and produce a spot, from one of the art form’s top names, Gerry Graf. —->This is Part One.
Teach for America is giving its teachers mini-headsets so that they can get a classroom assist when the going gets tough. Pretend we made a football joke.
Teachers-in-training will have their very own personal angel to discreetly coach them through new lesson plans, with the same ear-bud wiring that feeds live information to NFL coaches. Teach for America is hoping that private coaching will speed up the painstakingly slow process of teacher development, allowing teachers to get both tailored instruction and the experience of being at the head of the classroom, without risking a disaster for students.
"Once a teacher understands what it feels like to be successful, it takes root immediately," Monica Jordan, coordinator of teacher professional development in Memphis City Schools,told Education Week.
The experimental group of teachers is willing, if hesitant. “I thought, what if they say something in my ear and I lose my train of thought?” said algebra teacher Cynthia Law. “And then I thought, so what if I lose my train of thought, I’ll figure it out,” Law continued, confidently, “I’m not a play-it-safe person. I’m willing for my kids’ sake to look foolish.”
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded technology is currently just used with an expert companion in a nearby room, but could easily be done from anywhere in the world.
Conceivably, the technology could allow even more exciting (and controversial) applications. For instance, Indian PhDs could one day be remote coaching AP calculus teachers, especially in cash-strapped schools forced to fill classes with unprepared teachers. This is especially likely since American educators have long wanted to use the successful math curricula of South Asian countries but lack the proper training.
How Much Energy Do We Use While Watching the Super Bowl?
GE mashed up statistics from Nielsen, the Energy Information Administration, ABS Alaskan, and the U.S. Census to figure out that the energy used to power home televisions watching the Super Bowl (over 158.5 million TVs) could power all the homes in Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and Dallas for 10 hours. We’re not suggesting you turn off the game, but it is something to think about as you bask in the glow of your big screen.
As for the game itself? Renewable energy credits are offsetting power use at many NFL venues, and the recently implemented Super Grow XLV program (a partnership between the Texas Trees Foundation and the Texas Forest Service) planted over 6,500 trees in 12 north Texas communities, marking the biggest tree-planting effort in Super Bowl history. Cowboy Stadium (the site of this year’s game) also has targets to cut solid waste by 25%, water consumption by 1 million gallons, and energy use by 20% each year. Not a bad start.