Archive for ‘Games’

July 23, 2021

Glicko Score

Elo rating system

The Glicko rating system and Glicko-2 rating system are methods for assessing a player’s strength in games of skill, such as chess and Go. It was invented by statistician Mark Glickman as an improvement on the Elo rating system, and initially intended for the primary use as a chess rating system. Glickman’s principal contribution to measurement is ‘ratings reliability,’ called RD, for ratings deviation.

Both Glicko and Glicko-2 rating systems are under public domain and found implemented on game servers online (like Pokémon Showdown, Chess.com, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, and competitive programming competitions. The formulas used for the systems can be found on the Glicko website.

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June 14, 2021

Marathon Course-cutting

Rosie Ruiz

Marathon course-cutting occurs when runners complete less than an entire course of a marathon before going over the finish line. The standard length of a marathon course is 42.195 kilometers, about 26.2 miles. Course-cutting may be intentional or unintentional and can be achieved by various means.

When done intentionally, course-cutting constitutes cheating. In 1904, Frederick Lorz rode a car during the Olympic marathon in St. Louis. Many marathon runners consider course-cutting to be worse than doping, considering that dopers are at least trying to run the entire race.

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December 20, 2020

Hottest Chili Pepper

Chile Pepper Institute

Ed Currie

Especially among growers in the US, the UK, and Australia, there has been a competition since the 1990s to grow the hottest chili pepper. Chili pepper species and cultivars registering over 1,000,000 Scoville Heat units (SHU) are called ‘super-hots.’

Before the early 1990s, there were only two peppers which had been measured above 350,000 SHU, the Scotch bonnet and the habanero. California farmer Frank Garcia used a sport (an unusual growth) on a habanero to develop a new cultivar, the Red Savina, which was measured at 570,000 in 1994. At the time, this was considered to represent an upper limit of chili pepper hotness.

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August 17, 2020

Level Playing Field

The World Is Flat

In commerce, a level playing field is a concept about fairness, not that each player has an equal chance to succeed, but that they all play by the same set of rules.

In a game played on a playing field, such as rugby, one team would have an unfair advantage if the field had a slope. Since some real-life playing fields do in fact have slopes, it is customary for teams to swap ends of the playing field at half time. A metaphorical playing field is said to be level if no external interference affects the ability of the players to compete fairly.

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July 1, 2020

Chief Wahoo

Chief Wahoo

Chief Wahoo was the primary logo of the Ohio-based Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Cleveland Indians. As part of the larger Native American mascot controversy, it drew criticism from many people including Native Americans, social scientists, and religious and educational groups, but remains popular among many fans of the team. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and Indians’ owner Paul Dolan announced that Chief Wahoo would no longer appear on uniforms or stadium signs following the end of the 2018 season. The team’s primary logo is now a block ‘C.’

The logo was last worn by the Indians in a loss to the Houston Astros on October 8 in the 2018 American League Division Series. News outlets noted the irony of the logo’s final appearance being on Indigenous Peoples’ Day/Columbus Day.

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May 23, 2020

Venatio

Marcus Fulvius Nobilior

Venatio [ven-ah-tee-oh] (‘hunting’) was a type of entertainment in Roman amphitheaters involving the hunting and killing of wild animals.

The event was introduced by Roman General Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, who celebrated his Greek campaign in 189 BCE by celebrating games where gladiators would fight lions and panthers. He was possibly inspired by Alexander the Great’s purported pastime of pitting lions against both men and dogs.

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April 20, 2020

Dueling Scar

Academic fencing

Dueling scars have been seen as a ‘badge of honor’ since as early as 1825. Known variously as ‘Mensur scars,’ ‘the bragging scar,’ ‘smite,’ or ‘Schmitte,’ dueling scars were popular among upper-class Austrians and Germans involved in academic fencing at the start of the 20th century.

Among university students, it was seen as a mark of their class and honor. It is an early example of scarification (body modification) in European society. The practice of dueling and the associated scars was also present to some extent in the German military.

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March 27, 2020

Jump Rope

Double Dutch

Jump rope is a tool used in the sport of skipping/jump rope where one or more participants jump over a rope swung so that it passes under their feet and over their heads. There are multiple subsets of skipping/jump rope including: single freestyle, single speed, pairs, three person speed (Double Dutch), and three person freestyle (Double Dutch freestyle).

In freestyle events, jumpers use a variety of basic and advanced techniques in a routine of one minute, which is judged by a head judge, content judges, and performance judges. In speed events, a jumper alternates their feet with the rope going around the jumper every time one of their feet hit the ground for 30 seconds, one minute, or three minutes. The jumper is judged on the number of times the right foot touches the ground in those times.

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March 23, 2020

Beer Distribution Game

Bullwhip effect

The beer distribution game (also known as the ‘beer game’) is a role-play simulation developed by MIT Sloan School of Management in the 1960s to reveal information sharing failures and typical coordination problems of a supply chain.

This game outlines the importance of information sharing, supply chain management, and collaboration throughout a supply chain process. Due to lack of information, suppliers, manufacturers, sales people and customers often have an incomplete understanding of what the real demand of an order is.

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March 2, 2020

Second Wind

runner's high

Second wind is a phenomenon in distance running, such as marathons or road running (as well as other sports), whereby an athlete who is out of breath and too tired to continue suddenly finds the strength to press on at top performance with less exertion.

The feeling may be similar to that of a ‘runner’s high.’ Some scientists believe the second wind to be a result of the body finding the proper balance of oxygen to counteract the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. Others claim second winds are due to endorphin production. A second wind phenomenon is also seen in some medical conditions, such as glycogen storage disease type V.

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February 6, 2020

Chuck Taylor

Chuck Taylor All-Stars

Chuck Taylor (1901 – 1969) was an American basketball player and basketball shoe salesman/product marketer who is best known for his association with the Chuck Taylor All-Stars, which he helped to improve and promote.

Most American basketball players wore Chuck Taylor All Stars between the mid-1920s and the 1970s, and the All Star was the official shoe of the Olympics team from 1936 to 1968.

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January 21, 2020

Fuck, Marry, Kill

Ipsative

Fuck, Marry, Kill is a social forced choice question and answer game in which one person poses three names of people known to the other, either of people known in their personal lives or of celebrities, and the other person then has to decide which of the three they would like to have sex with it, which one they would marry, and which one they would kill.

A 2009 ‘Wonkette’ piece suggested that the rules of the game included an understanding that the player can not have sex with the person they marry, and that the person they do choose to have sex with, they can only have sex with one time. The game has existed for decades, and has found its way into popular culture.