September 4, 2012

    Photo: Will Clayton/Flickr

Pistorius Complains Rival Had Unfair Advantage

200m winner used longer blades

How did Oscar Pistorius set a world record in the preliminaries of the 200m yet not win gold at the 2012 Paralympics? Tall blades, according to the South African. Pistorius entered the final stretch of Sunday’s 200m final with a sizeable lead, only to be caught and passed before the finish line by Brazilian Alan Oliveira.

After the race, which marked the end of the Blade Runner's undefeated streak, he complained that Oliveira’s longer prosthetic blades gave him an unfair advantage. "Not taking away from Alan's performance—he's a great athlete—but these guys are a lot taller,” Pistorius said, “and you can't compete [with the] stride length." The International Paralympic Committee regulates maximum leg length using a formula that considers the runner’s wingspan and ulna length. Oliveira has experimented with longer blades for a while, but never felt comfortable with them until earlier this year.

Steve Haake, a professor of sports engineering at Sheffield Hallam University, responded that Pistorius doesn't have a leg to stand on in making that claim. "Just making the legs longer ... doesn't necessarily make Oliveira quicker. In any case, if you look at Oliveira, he actually took more strides, which means a shorter stride length. It was that that won him the race," Haake told Reuters.

Pistorius himself was accused of using unfairly long blades in 2004, and the IAAF briefly barred him from running against able-bodied athletes on the basis that his prosthetics created an unfair advantage.

Via Slate


Foothills east of Salt Lake     Photo: Edgar Zuniga Jr.

Utah Hiker May Lose Leg After Fall

Shortcut landed him in drainage tunnel

A man who spent four days in a drainage tunnel in Utah after falling in and sustaining a compound fracture in his leg could lose the limb. Daniel Samuelsen fell 50 feet down the pipe while attempting to take a shortcut during a hike in the foothills east of Salt Lake City. After screaming for help for hours and waiting a further four days for rescue, Samuelsen splinted his leg with a piece of wood and managed to scoot out of the lower section of the tunnels, which deposited him by the side of a road. "I was near tears when someone finally stopped ... I was so happy to see somebody who cared about me to stop and realize I needed help," he said. Doctors at St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City, where Samuelsen is being treated, said the broken leg is infected and may need to be amputated.



Fruit Nuts Yogurt

Greek-style yogurt with fruit, honey and nuts     Photo: Amy Stephenson/Flickr

Study: Organic Food No More Nutritious

But found to carry fewer pesticides

Organic foods are no more nutritious than their non-organic counterparts, according to a new study. Researchers at Stanford University reviewed the nutrient content in both organic and non-organic produce, grains, meat, and dairy products. Despite being 30 percent less likely to carry trace levels of pesticides and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, organic foods weren't any more nutritious. “There wasn’t any strong evidence to support the idea that organic foods are significantly healthier,” said Crystal Smith-Spangler, the study’s lead author. Organic foods now make up 4.2 percent of all retail sales in the U.S. for a total of $31.4 billion. There have yet to be any large-scale studies assessing the overall health benefits of organic products.

Via CBS News