7/25/16: bompelns and olympics

Megan Greenwell proposes in the August 2016 issue of WIRED that we do away with Olympic host cities (who almost always lose money, and often end up with structures that may lie fallow post-games) and instead make the games truly global by allowing countries to become hosts for specific events. Imagine if Rio, or another South American country, were the home for beach volleyball, or if swimming were handled in Australia? I’d allow each country to choose one sport for each Olympics, first-choice given to the country that won gold, and then working its way down the rankings until everything is assigned. As Megan puts it: “Imagine the party in Nairobi if the Olympic marathon were run in Kenya, which is home to many of the best distance runners in history, but where residents have never had a chance to see their record-setting countrymen in elite competition.”

Also in that issue: the jargon watch for bompeln, which is a German word for new stoplights installed in the pavement, so that “‘smombies’ (smartphone zombies)” don’t walk into traffic. I’d like to think people aren’t that stupid, but sometimes technology evolves so that people don’t have to.

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