When did the Olympics start? I think it was a few weeks back but it’s starting to feel like months.

I have to admit that I watched a fair bit of the opening ceremony but since then I’ve just seen updates in my news feeds or on telly. I’ve never been a big Olympic Games watcher but I think I’ve seen less than ever this time around and I think I know why.

The format is tired.

Yes, there have been new sports added over the years and some older, less interesting sports removed, but it’s essentially been the same for such a long time.

The ancient Olympic Games were held from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. After that the idea was pretty much rested until Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894. Sure, there were a few attempts at reviving some sort of games related to an Olympic theme along the way but they didn’t really come to much.

I reckon it’s time to freshen things up. Let’s create a mashup of the Olympics and MasterChef.

MasterAthlete. I think it’s got a great ring to it and the possibilities are endless.

We’d start with three judges including two professional athletes and an acclaimed sports writer. Then hundreds of amateur athletes would battle it out for the honour of becoming MasterAthlete 2016. The MasterAthlete would win $250 000 and the opportunity to train alongside some of the greatest professional athletes in the world. They’d also be given a monthly column in Muscle & Fitness Magazine.

Contestants would talk endlessly about their ‘sports dream’ and about ‘doing this for their family’ (even though the competition would mean they’d have to be away from their family for several months). They’d talk about the pressure and just how far they’d come on their personal ‘athlete journey’.

Week by week the black active wear would come out as contestants fought to stay in the competition during the elimination rounds. The very best would be dressed in white active wear and compete against a professional athlete for an immunity pin which would entitle them to a generous head start in their next race.

The mystery box would bring added excitement as the athletes would have no idea what sport they’d have to compete in until the box is lifted. “When the lid came off and I saw the speedos, I was terrified. My specialty is weight lifting, so to know that I’d have to go up against the others in the pool really set my heart racing.”

We’d shed a few tears as our favourites left the competition because they’d left an element out of the triathlon. “It wasn’t until we got to the finish line that I looked around at the other contestants in their clip cloppy shoes and realised …… I’d forgotten to do the cycle leg”.

Imagine contestants arriving in the Master Athlete stadium to hear the judges tell them that they had to go from one side of the city to the other. “You’ve got an open sports locker. Get there any way you like. You can combine swimming, cycling, jogging or canoeing, but remember that in today’s challenge, running must be the hero of the event. Your time starts …… now”.

So there’s the basic concept but I think we need to push it just a little further. What other ways can you think of to create MasterAthlete? Let me know in the comments section of this post. I think we’re onto a real winner.

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Wiggles Bite Down on Suarez


I get the feeling that a certain incident at the World Cup will keep coming back to bite Luis Suarez.

Looks like the Wiggles think so too. Check out their very funny video.

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What does the spleen do?

Forget about asking what the fox says. These Harvard medical students want to know what the spleen does.

I’m guessing that part of their training is still coming.

(via 22 Words)

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My Research Project


I’m often amazed at some of the research that is carried out around the world. I’m even more amazed that someone is putting up money for some of the studies that get reported in our media.

How do our stomachs digest animal bones?

Why do Bedouins wear black in the desert?

Does relaxing make you fatter?

Do ethicists steal more books?

These are just some of the questions that have caused research projects to be undertaken. You have to ask the question, did we really need a study to discover that under money strains, some older adults will turn to alcohol? Was it really necessary to run research just to find out that traumatic brain injury frequently causes headaches? Apparently that’s just what we needed.

I love the fact that the University of Chicago made the important announcement some time back that ‘big’, ‘tall’, ‘little’, and ‘tiny’ are all words that promote important spatial skills. That was part of a study of the cognitive development of 1 to 4-year olds.

Did you know that dog fleas can jump higher than cat fleas? It’s true. Research proves it. How about the research proven fact that rats can’t always tell the difference between Japanese spoken backwards and Dutch spoken backwards? Do you know that there’s even been research to discover why woodpeckers don’t get headaches?

My Research Project

So here’s the deal. I’ve just started two weeks leave. While I enjoy my job I really, really enjoy annual leave.

I would like to conduct some research to discover whether working 4 weeks a year and having 48 weeks a year as annual leave, instead of the other way around, would increase productivity. Now, don’t jump to any conclusions. The results aren’t in yet.

I need to find a scientific body or government department to fund my research. They would need to cover my wage for the weeks away from work as well as expenses. I would need to travel overseas with my family for much of the year to get the true vacation experience. I will then be more than happy to write up my research and travel to science conferences around the world to present the findings. Anyone know of any decent funding bodies?

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Sabotaging Your Job Prospects

If your job interview is going well, keep it to yourself. It’s probably best not to phone your parents half way through the interview to tell them how it’s going. Strange as it may seem, that’s juyst one of the crazy things that have happened in recent interviews.

British Recruitment Specialist company, Robert Half, recently released some fascinating research regarding job seekers. They named the top seven blunders from job interviews they’d researched. I wonder if you can top any of these.

1. One person brought his mother to the job interview and let her do all the talking.

2. A job applicant went to an interview with a cockatoo on his shoulder.

3. The candidate sent his sister to interview in his place.

4. After answering the first few questions, the candidate picked up his mobile and called his parents to let them know the interview was going well.

5. One candidate sang all of her responses to interview questions.

6. When asked by the hiring manager if he had any questions, the candidate replied by telling a knock-knock joke.

7. One candidate handcuffed himself to the desk during the interview.

It’s always helpful to be honest during your interview but can you be a little too honest? A few responses in interviews would suggest that sometimes it’s best to remain silent.

When asked by the hiring manager why she was leaving her current job, the applicant said, ‘My manager is a jerk. All managers are jerks.’

In response to the hiring manager’s offer to answer questions about the position, the job seeker replied, ‘What happens if I wake up in the morning and don’t feel like going to work?’

When asked what motivated him, the job seeker replied, ‘I’ve got a big house and a big car and a big credit card balance. Pay me, and I’ll be happy.’

The applicant told me he really was not interested in the position, but he liked that we allowed for a lot of time off.

Have you ever had a weird job interview? Has it ever gone horribly wrong for you or have you been interviewed by someone that has just left you scratching your head? have you ever heard of strange things happening in interviews?

On the other hand, what are your top tips for people going for a job interview? Have you found anything really helpful when searching for a job? I’d love you to share your comments.

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