Brett Zarda

Top Super Bowl Ads

A highly scientific system yields the top five most popular ads; so why don't they jive with the others?

All right, we know the Super Bowl is over, but bear with us for one more article. Last week, we detailed the most scientific method there is to pick the best Super Bowl commercial, now we figure we owed you the results from this year’s testing.

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Madden Predicts the Winner

Electronic Arts's football technology is good for more than playing around

The company that claims "It's in the game" was certainly immersed in Super Bowl week. EA Sports was busy preparing teams, educating fans, and predicting the results better than the best bettors in Vegas.

In what's become a yearly tradition, the Madden '09 simulator predicted the Steelers would win Super Bowl XLIII. As seven-point favorites, it was hardly a stretch, but the predicted score was 28-24. Actual score? 27-23. Not bad for a video game. While Santonio Holmes walked away with the real MVP, many pundits could argue that quarterback Ben Roethlisburger, who received the simulated honor, deserved it just as much.

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Staying Cool in the Crunch

The art and science of anti-choking technology

What did last night's episode of The Office have in common with the Super Bowl, other than the latter preceding the former? Did anybody notice the little gadget that beeped when Michael Scott stepped close to Stanley?

After suffering a heart attack, Stanley decided to wear a "biofeedback machine" that provided an audible alert when his stress level was rising. When our favorite boss had his employees lying on a floor and envisioning "walking through a meadow," Stanley's stress would spike whenever his superior was near.

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A Greener Bowl

Four eco-friendly initiatives at the big game

On the surface, the only thing green about the Super Bowl is the 95,000 square feet of brand new turf (at a cost of US$85,000) they require to be brought into the host of the big game (okay, come to think of it, that's not very green at all). But, the NFL is doing what they can to give the appearance of being a neutral event in the decaying of our environment.

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A Kickin' Compilation

Think you know everything there is to the drop kick and punt? Good: maybe you can help us out

As we compiled concepts for our collection of Super Bowl science, we came to a startling realization: we don’t understand kickers. Long the outcasts, we figured our lives obsessing over science would provide something of a kinship with the resident geek of the football field. But when we glimpsed into the kicking world we were plagued by uncertainty. So, to our reading public we request assistance in deciphering the king of special teams.

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The Power of Darkness

Is eye black just for show?

War paint. Fashion statement. Tradition. Advertisement. Pulpit. That's why most athletes wear black grease, or stickers, under their eyes. The vague possibility of some anti-reflective capability helping to distinguish a speeding object while staring into light seems more a rationalization for routine than a true crack at a competitive advantage. What make us so confident? In 60-years of misplaced mascara there's been one peer-reviewed study, and a couple less esteemed, that even attempted to quantify the effect of the ritual. Funny thing is, the data shows it works. Well, sort of.

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Scientists to Football Players: Give Us Your Brains

Amidst a growing body of evidence tying severe health problems to multiple concussions, researchers are tapping NFL stars for a more hands-on corroboration

Whenever rich people gather, charities flock hoping to solicit donations of time and money. But Chris Nowinski is asking NFL players at the Super Bowl this weekend for something a bit more personal. He wants them to donate their brains to science. And he’s getting what he wants.

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Doc, I Can't See 3-D!

The Superbowl is set to run 3D ads during the commercials. But if you can't see them (or if you enjoy NFL over NRL or AFL), it may be time for a checkup

While we wait for the era of live 3-D broadcasts to work out the kinks , we can rejoice at the era of 3-D advertisements. At the end of the second quarter, viewers with the appropriate set of eyewear will be treated to an entire commercial break in 3-D. But what does it mean if, while wearing the trendy glasses, you still can’t see the SoBe lizards dance around or the advertisement for the upcoming 3-D Monsters vs Aliens movie?

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Bringing the Bowl to the Troops

Originally built for classified transmissions, the Global Broadcast Service has been turned to lighter uses

While you're inhaling pigs in blankets and taking tequila shots for each touchdown, take a moment to appreciate the image you're seeing. Not the 52-inch HD screen or the 3D advertisements, but the actual game footage of a frivolous event. In the military, they refer to such images as "moral" content, footage that can help them forget, for a moment, how far they are from home.

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Txting n End 2 Unrly Fns

This Super Bowl, fans will be able to inform on their neighbors via text message

We’ve all been that guy, or sat next to that guy at the game. Maybe he really does think the ref is on his knees, but more likely he’s stumbled well over the line. But hey, you took out a second mortgage on your foreclosed house for these tickets, so you’re not about to cause a scene that’ll get you tossed or walk down 94 stairs in search of a security officer who will tell you to wait till third down is over. Thankfully, those at the Super Bowl this year can merely text for help.

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Calibrating Cheers

Technology to measure football fans' every sudden gasp and wild shout

Viewer reaction to television can be emotional and emphatic. Case in point: when David Tyree caught Eli Manning's pass against his helmet in the fourth quarter of the 2008 Super Bowl, all of New England regurgitated while New York rejoiced. The YouTube clip above plots a complex compilation of diverging biometric data from 15 devastated Patriot fans and 15 elated Giants fans. Not only did the fans react to the play, but they reacted to each replay.

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Trying Out Wearable Hydration

Brett Zarda does the Camelbak

What do you buy for an avid cyclist that's already spent a fortune on the latest weightless bike, wireless cycling speaker, and a lifetime supply of yellow Livestrong bracelets? How about a shirt full of water?

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Sport Briefs

New studies on fitness, fatness, baldness, and more

  • Other than looking good, is there any real benefit to the trend of skin-tight workout clothes? According to research conducted at Charles Sturt University in Australia, not so much.
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A Longer Gondola

From one mountain to another, on a couple of cables

There's gondolas, and then there's the new Whistler Blackcomb resort's Peak 2 Peak gondola. The modern marvel opened December 12, creating the world's longest unsupported span, which stretches 1.88 miles across Fitzsimmons Creek at a measly 1,427 feet above sea level. The full 2.73-mile gondola trip joins two mountains, providing more than 8,000 acres of ski-able terrain to the most enthusiastic bums.

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A Better Fit

Coming to a store near you: high-tech, high-speed scanning and a new degree of comfort underfoot

If the shoe fits, wear it. But making sure your shoe fits just got a bit more technical. Custom insoles have long been ordered and worn by elite athletes hoping to cure an injury, or avoid one. eSoles now plans to bring that customization the masses with an impressive piece of in-store ingenuity. In just seconds, the eSole self-service kiosk will print out a detailed analysis of your foot, allowing the retailer to offer two choices of custom orthotic.

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