In Running, Age Matters Little
Success in running is not just a mental feat, it's physical, too. And the good news is that science backs up the cliché that age doesn't matter, or at least doesn't matter that much.
What's the Latest Development?
Researchers at the German Sports University in Cologne have found that age differences among marathon runners have little influence on how fast they can finish a race. "That might explain in part why the running world is growing, and growing older. The number of runners who finished marathons in the United States, where 7 of the world’s 15 largest races took place last year, increased to 507,000 in 2010 from 25,000 in 1976." Preserving one's athletic ability late into life is generally a question of nutrition, moderation and discipline.
What's the Big Idea?
Contrary to what seems apparent, athletic ability need not drop off dramatically in old age. When it comes to running, having the appropriate gear is almost as important as living healthily. "Arguably the most important tool to keep you running over the years is appropriate shoes." Koen Wilssens, who runs a chain of running shops, "estimates that 50 to 60 percent of people wear the wrong type of running shoe. ... The right shoes won't guarantee you first place, but the wrong shoes guarantee you a short-lived running career."
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.