The National Football League took in $13 billion in revenue in 2016, nearly three times as much as the NBA and 37 percent more than Major League Baseball. The NFL’s commissioner and chief negotiator, Roger Goodell, the guy reviled by Tom Brady and network television CEOs alike, made a salary of nearly $32 million in 2015, not including his massive expense account.
With the big money dangling like a gold ring on a carousel, you would think nothing could stop kids from wanting to reach for that ring. Nothing except Mom and the American Academy of Pediatrics, who want to prevent children from getting head injuries.
Concussions have come out of the shadows of X-rays and into the light of functional MRIs and PET scans, where the damage from repeated head trauma can be traced. Parents realize that no amount of money can stop the shaking from Parkinson’s disease or cure Alzheimer’s and related cognitive disorders that can result from multiple concussions.
In 1859, Richard C. Carrington, a British astronomer, observed and recorded a major geomagnetic solar storm that produced a white light flare. The next day, "auroras could be seen in tropical latitudes and telegraph systems all over the world, starting to shock telegraph operators, operating while unplugged, and igniting the telegraph paper," according to a recent public interest report by the Federation of American Scientists.
The author of the report, Robert Coker, a former aerospace engineer for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, says solar flares are known to have detrimental effects on satellite operations, GPS systems, hi-frequency airplane communications, navigation, and for good measure, the electrical power grid.
Coker calls sun flares and other electromagnetic disruptions space weather events. Minor events occur almost yearly, he says, resulting in GPS disruptions and rerouting of aircraft. More significant events occur once a decade, with extended local outages. …
How many of the Ten Commandments can the average person name? Almost no one aces this test including respondents in a survey by Kelton Research who were able to name the seven ingredients in a Big Mac, but not recall the commandment, “thou shalt not kill.” Yet the Ten Commandments are the equivalent of a social contract that informs our legal system, our civil behavior, and our love and respect for God. The Commandments are shared by Jews and Christians, but other religious groups subscribe to many of the same principles. So why can’t we name them all? I believe it’s because we can’t hold more than 7 independent objects in short term memory—a proposition that was proved scientifically in 1956 by George Miller, then a professor at Harvard who wrote the seminal paper, “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information.”
Miller is known as the father of cognitive science, and I often wonder how he would apply his magical…