Neuroeconomics - What? I'm always interested in why people make decisions. How many times have you seen an opponent who otherwise seems completely rational act entirely irrational. Apparently, this is a human trait and it confounds economists. For a while there was a thought that certain animals would make better investors and game players than humans. Well, the decisions of poker players or guys who make online sports betting decisions can be equally as irrational.
So basically, the neurologists and economists got together and started comparing notes on what happens in a huge system (on a macro level) and inside one person's head (probably as micro as you can get). Here's a cursory overview. Definitely a topic I'm going to read a little more into when I get time.
TED Talks - while I'm trying to appear brainy, I'm in love with TED talks. For the last year I've downloaded their talks onto my iPod and watch them before going to sleep most nights. If you have varied interests you should check out a few on their site on topics that appeal to you. After that I advise subscribing to their podcasts and watching/listening to every one you get. It is rare for them to not be interesting on some level. Granted you at times need the ability to look past political agendas but often you don't.
Floyd Landis - the Jose Canseco of cycling. He learned a few things from Lance Armstrong but misapplied them. Step one take P.E.D.s. Step two deny, deny, deny until you are blue in the face. He forgot step three don't get caught. After getting caught, denying forever, he's coming clean and saying he did it. Not only is he singing he's trying to drag Lance down with him. Obviously, he's just jealous that Lance got away with it and he didn't.
I personally don't have any hang up with snitches, if you cheat, or break the rules or the law, that's your responsibility. So what if somebody tattles on you... you shouldn't have cheated. Here, though clearly it's just a bitter man. That rubs me the wrong way a bit. But Lance Armstrong has long been an embarrassment to America. Ever listen to how he can't help but evade questions and tip his hands that he's guilty. He said something recently like "We like our story..." Really? Your story? A story isn't quite the truth. If you parse most of his interviews there is always a thin trail of honesty in there that reveals the guy cheating his ass off. There are these verbal microexpressions (to use a Joe Navaro poker term) that qualify statements that shouldn't need qualifying.
Yeah, I know that's an unpopular opinion but Armstrong is no different than Bonds, Clemens, or Ben Johnson. Somewhere along the way we became East Germany and China. That's a shame, we used to stand for something in the world's eyes. Everybody else was cheating but we were clean. The East German women looked like linebackers and sometimes we could still overcome them. Then the athletes started making too much money.
One of my favorite sports icons is Michael Jordan, who made a lot of people who liked Basketball betting a lot of money. Anybody watch the progression of his physique? He went from lithe slasher to borderline body builder when he realized that was what he needed to stay on top. Granted he's a Bo Jackson like athlete so maybe that was all naturally earned but I've always suspected that rapid body transformation had some help. Sorry to bash another American icon.