It’s a Wonderful Uniform

If it fits, prevents chafing, and does not distract from the game, then a uniform is probably OK. But is OK enough? Should we aim higher? Whatever else you think of him, Steve Jobs could probably have designed thrilling athletic uniforms, or at least browbeaten a staff into doing so. But there aren’t many mavericks, lone wolves, or kooks in sports apparel design these days. Uniforms are probably designed instead by committees—much as the uniforms of flight attendants and soldiers and Shoney’s waitresses are probably designed by committee—or designed by an individual and then rounded out and…

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The Beautiful Calculations of Synchronized Swimming

Some sports make immediate sense. Like running. We can easily imagine how certain sports came to be: A caveman leaps across a stream, and the long jump is born. Escaping a hungry lion, an African narrowly clears a high branch before rolling into a small cave, and there you have the first high jump. Two cavalry units meet in a fierce battle of keep-away, thus inventing polo. But other sports do not mimic natural activities that your average homo sapien might take up on his own — sports (like basketball and cricket) where the rules, fine points,…

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