Sun March 2, 2014
Digital Life

E-Sports Reach Pro-Athletic Status, Fandom — And Money

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 11:30 am

As more money flows into the competitions, E-sports gamers are gaining legitimacy as professional athletes with honed skills.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

Online competitive gaming is increasingly mirroring the world of professional sports. E-sports are attracting hard-working teams that compete for millions of dollars in prize money.

Generally, gamers wage battles with one another using rapid clicks of a computer mouse. "A lot of it comes down to reflexes, but a lot of [it] is strategy," says David Gorman, a sportscaster for the popular e-sport, Dota 2. "It's very much like chess, except it's in real time. Almost like speed chess."

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Sat March 1, 2014

Teen Pop Idol Attracts Extra Fans To UK Soccer Match

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 10:35 am



This week, one-fifth of the biggest boy band in the world made up one-eleventh of an English professional soccer team. In a charity game, the One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson turned out to play for his hometown club, the reserve team of Doncaster Rovers.

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Sat March 1, 2014

Worldwide Attention Expected For Track Star's Murder Trial

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 11:03 am

South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius goes on trial next week for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Guardian reporter David Smith about the upcoming court case.


Fri February 28, 2014
Around the Nation

Olympian Gets Parade In Remsen, Where Ticker Tape Is Made Of Snow

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 10:35 pm



The first American athlete to win an Olympic medal in singles luge returned home last night. Erin Hamlin's thrilling runs on the ice track in Sochi earned her the bronze. She also earned a police escort past miles of cheering crowds to her tiny hometown of Remsen. It's in the foothills of New York's Adirondack Mountains. North Country Public Radio's David Sommerstein was there for her homecoming.


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Fri February 28, 2014

Should The NFL Police The N-Word?

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 12:30 pm

The National Football League is considering a 15-yard penalty for players using the N-word on the field. The Barbershop guys weigh in on that and other news of week.


Fri February 28, 2014
The Two-Way

Batman? Zorro? Lone Ranger? No, That Masked Man Is LeBron

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 1:59 pm

Hi-Yo, Silver? The Miami Heat's LeBron James in the black protective mask he wore Thursday night.
Robert Duyos MCT/Landov

Broken noses are part of the game for NBA players. Elbows fly. Bodies collide. Balls ricochet.

Beaks get bonked.

Many nights, you'll see at least one player from across the 30-team league protecting his still-sensitive schnoz with a clear plastic mask.

But not the current best player in the game.

A week ago, LeBron James of the Miami Heat broke his nose. Thursday night against the New York Knicks, King James chose a rather menacing look for his return from the injury: an all-black, carbon-fiber mask.

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Thu February 27, 2014
The Two-Way

Boom: Amazing Soccer Goal Comes On Game's First Play

Harrison High School junior Andrew Deltac blasts a kick from 67 yards out to score in the opening seconds of a recent soccer game.

If there's a quicker goal in the history of soccer, we don't know about it. On the opening kick, a Georgia high school player received the ball in his own end – and the ball didn't touch the ground again until it crashed into the back of the net, 67 yards away.

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Wed February 26, 2014
Research News

Researchers Debate Effectiveness Of Snow Helmets

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 7:43 am



Olympic snowboarder Sarka Pancochova of the Czech Republic got a flurry of attention when she suffered a nasty crash on the slopes in Sochi that split her helmet. She's OK, the helmet absorbed some of the blow. More than two-thirds of Americans who ski or snowboard now wear helmets.

But as Fred Bever, of member station WBUR reports, there are still the question about how much protection they really provide.


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Wed February 26, 2014
Sweetness And Light

It's Time To Shrink Home Plate

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:09 am

Imagine how much livelier baseball would be with a 14-inch home plate.
Alex Brandon AP

It's time to make home plate smaller. I know: That's heresy; that's sacrilegious. But there are simply too many strikeouts in baseball now, and that hurts the game, because if the ball isn't in play, it's boring.

The size of home plate was not decreed by God. Back when it was an iron plate — where the name came from — it was, in fact, round. It became rubber and a square, 12 inches to a side, but its present distinctive shape was established in 1900 — a full 17 inches across.

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Tue February 25, 2014

Oslo May Be Mad For Winter Games — But Not So Much For Hosting Them

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 8:01 pm



Norwegians love winter sports. Their haul of 26 medals in Sochi placed them third behind Russia and the U.S., a disproportionate haul. So you might think people in Oslo would be thrilled that their city is a likely contender to host the 2022 Winter Games.

But Sidsel Overgaard found that's not always the case.

SIDSEL OVERGAARD, BYLINE: It's a brisk night in Oslo, a new dusting of snow on the ground. In the city center, mittened children scrape and twirl on an outdoor rink, torn up by a day's hard use.

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