Digestive Cookies

Hyperreality: LeBron gets his own flava

Wardrobe Malfunction: FCC levies record $550,000 fine on CBS

What is Truth?: South Korean gymnast "wins" gold medal back home

Olympic Shuffle: 5 new sports up for inclusion; others on block

Lost Productivity: Fantasy sports costing U.S. businesses $37 million per day

Non-Structure

Anne Galloway is In Search of Play: "So what would a non-structural approach to play look like? What is the space of play? How can play serve as a method of critical inquiry?"

(Celeb-)Reductionism

Just finished William Gibson's Virtual Light, and I will have to admit that of his novels I have already read (which also include Neuromancer and Idoru), it is my least favourite. However, a motif that weaves its way in and out of Gibson's work is the nature of celebrity, and I wanted to capture a sample of it from Virtual Light that I found quite interesting:

Separated at Birth was a police program you used in missing persons cases. You scanned a photo of the person you wanted, got back the names of half a dozen celebrities who looked vaguely like the subject, then went around asking people if they'd seen anybody lately who reminded them of A, B, C … The weird thing was, it worked better than just showing them a picture of the subject. The instructor at the Academy in Knoxville had told Rydell's class that that was because it tapped into the part of the brain that kept track of celebrities. Rydell had imagined that as some kind of movie-star lobe. Did people really have those? Maybe Sublett had a great big one. But when they'd run the program on Rydell in the Academy, he'd come up a dead ringer for Howie Clacton, the Atlanta pitcher; he didn't remember any Tommy Lee Jones. But then he hadn't thought he looked all that much like Howie Clacton, either (p.94).

Connected ramblings:

ESPN.com's Here's Looking At You

Access Control and Security Systems: a trade mag look at the introduction of facial recognition technology to the 2001 Super Bowl

On Entering The Matrix

On motion capture technology, from the documentary for the making of the videogame Enter The Matrix: "The cameras can't see the actors, or the set, or anything but the little sensors that we place on them."

To return to Benjamin, instead of the actor responding to a live audience, or being judged directly by the camera, the actor essentially disappears, save for a few strategically important nodes of light.

Media-Net Fodder

Notes from last night's Monday Night Football tilt between Minnesota and Philadelphia:

Speed

Equipment has improved from the days of leather helmets to the space-age, air-injected techno-helmets that exist today. Hitting has gotten harder, collisions more violent, and the league wealthier. As we retreat more deeply into the (false) security of our pods, we tend towards increasing speed — and cybernetic control.

Intertextual Celebrations

Donovan McNabb: the moonwalk

Terrell Owens: dunking the ball and hanging on the rim

Panauralism

Inverting KGB secrecy into ABC spectacle, Minnesota's Randy Moss is wired for sound, bringing panauralism to sport.

40

The image-sign for this season is the #40 of Pat Tillman, the Arizona Cardinal turned Army Ranger who was killed in battle, yet will live indefinitely on videoscreens and football helmets around the United States.

Flip Side of the Sports Media Coin

At one point, TV drove videogame innovation: think instant replay, commentators, and picture-in-picture features coming to your favourite game titles.

Now we have videogames driving TV innovation: think 1st-and-10 line, Michael Jordan's use of "bullet time" technology to re-create his famous dunk, and ABC's skywire camera that runs on pulleys and wires above the gridiron to plot any co-ordinate on the field.

The key distinction today is that of simulation: 1st-and-10 simulates a line that is painted on the football field; the other technologies simulate the virtual cameras that allow for "impossible" shots to be taken.

Canonized

What is it like to know that you are potentially having your own death videotaped in the name of sport?