Sports --and "X" Sports
(last worked on: June 24th, 2018)

Celebrating the ample challenges and peak experiences to be
had from traditional (non-contact) sports and recreations.

* I suppose it's quests for a thrill/rush and attention that make a person place her/himself at great risk and (over time) certain injury --perhaps of a life-long debilitating nature.

How does this fit into a society which insists upon automobile air-bags, special child restraints, child-safe toys, safety measures and warnings at every turn? Where's the outrage when extreme sports are telecast to inspire mimicry by impressionable youth? Or should I just accept it that we live in an "idiocracy", and simply try to minimize my own exposure?

* What are parents thinking (!) when they buy their kid a BMX style bicycle?

A person wakes up bored and empty ("what to do?!"), sees a video that celebrates and glorifies some idiotic adventure, then over a cliff he goes --perhaps to realize camaraderie with fellow participants, or (for the moment) to become the focus of popular attention.

There's been focused awareness upon "BMX" and regular type bicycles going way back. A medical study done in 1985 ("BMX compared with ordinary bicycle accidents" by C M Illingworth) pointed out that ordinary kids' bikes (plus childish behavior, plus our insane systems of traffic) resulted in a daily harvest of serious injuries comparable to BMX stunt riding. It's my perception that rates of injury have only increased since then.

For some common references among us, a few examples (followed in order from the web page:

> http://emgn.com/entertainment/pushing-limit-14-extreme-sports-killing-people-every-year/

* "Base jumping": "1 death in 60 participants". (But that looks like spongy data. Maybe they meant 1 in 60 participations? I'll try to run this one to ground.)

* Underwater cave diving: maybe 20 times as hazardous as normal diving. This is an example of --what might well be a legitimate (amateur or professional) pursuit --of discovery, knowledge, mapping, or simply marine beauty. Of course: it could also be done stupidly --for the perverse thrill of taking risks.

* Mountain climbing: Ah come on: there are plenty of high place vistas to safely visit in this world and few if any discoveries yet to be made by personally climbing to high altitudes. Send up a drone, a balloon, or fly up in a helicopter --should you have some kind of a high altitude research project.

* Horseback riding: Even without adding in steeple chasing (now called "cross country"), horse riding beats motorcycling for injuries. Add in this kind of competition and the rate of casualties goes up by 100x. And then there's the poor trusting horse --who brakes a leg and might well have to be put down. What moral idiocy!

Take this link for a run-down of today's needless hazards in the name of "sports".

What a crazy culture we live in!

* Dr. Vani J Sabesan did a medical study:

> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4555583/

--of extreme sports injuries which was based on data for injuries (just those formally reported, of course) --over a 12 year period between 2000 and 2011. They totaled out at 4,000,000 injuries(!) --despite that the study was limited to just the 7 Winter and Summer Olympic "X games" type sports. Of that total, 452,000 were serious head and neck injuries. Skateboarding, being so affordable, common, parentally and municipally supported, did most of the damage (129,000 head and neck injuries).

We must be accumulating an inventory of life-long disabled youth.


"Bull leaping" on the ancient island of Crete (before 1100 BCE)

While today's sporting events seem rather tame when compared to ancient traditions of grisly arena sports, when compared to what passes for today's civilized cultural values (the Trump administration excepted), "X" and contact sports strike me as being very much out of character.

(We don't know if bull leaping was a sport, a religious practice, or maybe an astronomically based art/cultural theme, since the text of the Minoan language (Linear-A) has yet to be translated.)

* There are so many better things to do: