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The Phenomenon Of Thrill-Seeking Sports

by Bruno Deshayes on 16 Feb 2017 permalink
After bungee jumping, mountain biking, parachuting what will people think of next? What is the motivation behind all this?

Is people self-esteem so low that if they don't make it to the Guinness Book of Records they feel like a nobody? Has reality TV challenged the weak that they are indestructible? Are people so bored stiff with their lives that they want to finish with a bang?

The amount of injuries in sport is a worrisome trend - not just for star players but for mundane fans who make the bulk of knee replacement surgery. Just like dentists who invest their earnings in shares of candy and chocolate manufacturers, orthopedics surgeons might be shareholders in sport fixtures and TV channels.

When sport met marketing and money, sport ceased to be sport. Instead it is a trend setter, an arena where champions are made and worshipped, a religion of achievers for achievement's sake, a cosy fraternity of eternally young folks who produce wealth for themselves, their doctors, coaches and their sponsors.

Our forefathers moved from an agricultural society to an industrial society. We in turn have moved from a service industry to an entertainment industry. Marketing used to be about finding out what people really want and giving it to them. When that became overcrowded in every market segment the next stage is to create your own market niche out of nothing.

Sport is the perfect playground for this. Create your own sport and promote it until you get a critical mass of followers. Connect a kite to a surf board and call it kitesurfing. Aficionados spare no expense in buying up the right high-tech gear to be seen in the right places with the right crowd.

If you end-up in hospital then you will have the right story to tell and you may ask your boss to sponsor the next event.

Bike riding is a prime example where an ordinary bike costs $150 but an impressive cycling machine can tally over $10,000 and it does not even have a rear vision mirror!

Like other religions sport is a way to keep your mind off the problems you can't tackle (like a divorce, a lingering court case, a disabled child) and allow you to live in a made-up world where you can make your own rules.

The only problem is that is never satisfies. Even those who make it to the pinnacle of their endeavour do not stay there for very long. Why so many star players fall into drugs, adultery, gambling, match fixing or else? Is that really the role models we want to show our children who do sport at school? Should professional sport be banned so that those champions can also have a regular job like the rest of us and donate their sponsorship fees to charity?


There is a smell in the air...

by Bruno Deshayes on 03 Nov 2016 permalink
Some impending technological breakthrough has just come to my attention. After 3D movies the major studios are just about to release scented movies.

The recording and digitization of odors is based on a DDO (dynamic dilution olfactometer) feeding into a chemotopic map similar to the one we have in the brain.

The magnitude, flavour and duration of the smells are then played back through special transducers which release the aroma into the surrounding air just like a loudspeaker vibrates the air around you.

Think of the possibilities. For a Western movie you could smell the gun powder when shots are fired, the aroma of a stew cooking on a coal fire or the perfume the starlet is wearing for a close-up.

Many industries are lining up to take advantage of the technology. Now you can buy cheese, wine, perfume by mail-order.

Sanitation systems can be programmed to counter-balance your exact flatulence to clear the air whether you just ate baked beans or mashed potatoes.

Marketers are attracted in droves to this sweet smell of success for the market is huge. Even the army is considering it for psychological warfare where the enemy would be overcome with the pungent smell of rotten eggs or else.

Doctors could use the technology to diagnose stomach ulcers or rotten teeth. Lovers could email each other their body odor aka scent of a woman.

Cooking recipes videos could explain precisely how to saute onions to perfection.

Law enforcement agencies can calibrate their breath analysers to screen offenders who go past legal limits.

What about cost? Would such a system be a bit on the nose? After USB flash drives disguised as novelty earrings women will love to wear an ODD (olfactory digital dispenser) and dial a different perfume for different times of the day. The perfume bottle will never go dry but admittedly the batteries will go flat unless you recharge overnight. We are already used to that for our mobile phones. It is a given.

Tobacco addiction could take a turn for the better as smokers could enjoy the smell of tobacco without inhaling the fumes. Just like people wearing earphones to avoid disturbing others in a crowd you can wear a PSD (personal smell dispenser) to sniff glue, cannabis or your favourite drug - undisturbed.

No doubt some portals will allow you to download your scented ecstasy - for a price. Yet again, what would disillusioned folks do to numb their boredom?

For me I write science fiction for a living and if I got you baited until now, then my writing style works.


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