Today I Learned…

…what one one-hundredth of a second looks like.  If you haven’t seen Michael Phelps swim the final in the 100m butterfly, find it and watch it.  See if you can find a video with a super slow-motion shot of the very end between Phelps and Serbia’s Cavic.

Do it.

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Today I Learned…

…about this guy who can’t get fat:

Mr Perry, 59, can eat whatever he likes – including unlimited pies, burgers and desserts – and never get fat. He cannot put on weight because of a condition called lipodystrophy that makes his body rapidly burn fat.

He used to be a chubby child, but at age 12 the fat dropped off “almost over night”. He initially tried to eat more to gain weight, but it had no effect. Mr Perry, of Ilford in Essex, endured a decade of tests before the illness was diagnosed. It finally emerged that his body produces six times the normal level of insulin. Doctors have admitted that the condition would be a “slimmer’s dream”. (from http://www.oddee.com/item_96473.aspx — check it out for more weird medical conditions, like the girl who is allergic to water and the small boy who doesn’t sleep.)

Also, I learned today that apparently the US “Womens” Gymnastics team (when I could be arrested for looking at them the wrong way, they’re girls) is living on the edge.  Injuries and mis-steps abounded tonight in team qualifiying, and they have their work cut out for them if they want to fend off the Chinese “women” (even YOUNGER!  Like, against-the-rules young, apparently) and defend their gold from Athens.

NOTE: Some have requested that I post the actual algorithms that I learned to solve the Rubik’s Cube, as outlined in yesterday’s post.  When I’m positive that I have all of them memorized, I will post them, along with links to pages I found helpful.  They will be edited into the original post, but I will post a note letting you know that they’re there and linking to it.

Today I Learned…

…that China can put on one hell of a show, and that we’re all screwed.

EDIT: Now that the ceremonies are over, and I can concentrate, I’ll write a little bit more about my impressions.  First, for the record, I LOVE the Olympics.  I basically live in front of a television for as long as I can while the Games are on.  Second, you’ve heard of “raising the bar?”  Well, the Chinese just took the bar and launched it into orbit.  Those were the most ridiculously great Opening Ceremonies I’ve ever seen, and frankly I’m not sure how they can be topped (although my erstwhile Canadian friend Dan seems to think that Vancouver has a shot — I don’t buy it).  Just impeccably done, creative, beautiful, awesome in the truest sense of the word.

If you didn’t get a chance to see them, try to find some video of it on NBC.com — it should be available soon.