a high-speed voice to contemplate

dromology = citius, altius, fortius, copiosus?

McLuhanesque Probes

Students in my sport marketing class were asked to write a short probing aphorism on professional sport, sport marketing, advertising, or any of the other issues we discussed during the semester that incorporated the ideas and style seen from Marshall McLuhan. Almost none of the students had even heard of McLuhan at the beginning of the term, much less read his work, yet only a few short months later some great probes were written. I have included a selection of the best ones below, with the authors' permission:

"Modern sports stadia are the new Santa Croces, but now Stendhal would need twice the aspirin."

– Rob Costigan

"Since the Roman times, gladiators have always drawn crowds. Today, though, square box substitutes for round Colosseum and the thumb is used for the on/off button rather than pointing up or down."

– Luke Kotyk

"The one who holds the ball is to be represented with power, or else the ball becomes irrelevant."

– Christina Karbanyk

"The legs of technology are no longer walking leisurely down an old country road; instead, they are now speed walking on a treadmill in Silicon Valley."

– Marijke Daye

"Bodies were once the powerhouse — energy utilized and manipulated to serve our society. Now we breed physical strength for visual appeal and hard work is left to innovations we mentally create. This shift from physical/mental society to a purely intellectual society will shape future generations in a whole new form."

– Laura Rennie

"Direct marketing is the casual sex relationship of the 21st century. You are only going to get out of it what you put in."

– Jacqueline Acomb

Sports-War Spasm

Sports stories rarely make it into the index of blogs at Blogdex, but today 9 of the top 50 links are about Pat Tillman, the man who gave up a career in the NFL to become a U.S. Army Ranger and was killed in action yesterday.

Sadly, this is treated by the North American media as a sports story (yes, Canada covered it the same way). Of course, this is because it is perceived as the ultimate sacrifice: not only giving up one's life for service in the Army, but leaving a Pro Football Career to do so. In doing so, it elevates the professional athlete even higher in the subconscious of the consuming public — that is, being a pro athlete must be a pretty big damn deal if there is such a media-spasm after one soldier's death.

To be fair, many of the commenters in the blogosphere have pointed out that every single casualty in the war is the heart-breaking epitome of the ultimate sacrifice — not just Tillman's. It is just unfortunate that the aftershocks felt from this spasm are likely to strengthen the NFL and its jingoism, despite the fact that by all accounts Tillman didn't want a big deal made out of his decision.

Trial In Error

Mark Roberts, the man who permeated the membrane to streak the Super Bowl in February, goes to trial June 21 on a misdemeanor trespassing charge.

The Star-Spangled Banner

A reminder to myself: I learned O Canada in elementary school and The Star-Spangled Banner watching American sporting events on television.

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Of course, the in-stadium fireworks before major sporting events that punctuate "And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air" are truly spectacular.

Bod Pod

Today's Kubrickian photo is of the Bod Pod, a device for measuring and tracking body fat and lean mass using patented air displacement technology, brought to you by Life Measurement, Inc., whose mission is "to enhance human health and performance by providing the world's best measurement instruments."

Courtesy of LMI

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Courtesy of Space