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Are the Paralympics a celebration of superhumans, or a modern freakshow?

Check out this commercial put together by Paralympic organizers who are trying very hard to cast the Games and its athletes in a completely new light. Rather than framing Paralympians as being somehow deficient or inadequate, they're now being portrayed as elite athletes endowed with superhuman capacities. » 8/30/12 1:00pm 8/30/12 1:00pm

The Chemical Brothers turn Olympic cycling into Tron

For the 2012 Olympics, British electronic stalwarts The Chemical Brothers composed "Velodrome," a theme song (unsurprisingly) for London's sweeping Hopkins Velodrome. And between each of the velodrome's sessions, design firm Crystal CG International has created a music video depicting a race between two Tron-like… » 8/07/12 1:50pm 8/07/12 1:50pm

Eight years after the Athens Olympics, some venues have been left to rot

The Greek embassy estimated that it cost Greece €8.954 billion to host the Summer Olympic Games in 2004, including the construction of the Olympic Village and several shiny new athletic venues. Since then, though, some of those venues have been abandoned, making one Olympic legacy a set of decaying structures. » 8/04/12 5:00pm 8/04/12 5:00pm

This is how you build a labyrinth out of 250,000 books

We recently told you about artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo, and their plan to erect a massive maze made entirely out of books for the London 2012 Festival. At the time, we wrote that "the construction of the maze and the visitors' participation [would be] filmed for general consumption." Well, as of yesterday… » 8/01/12 1:55pm 8/01/12 1:55pm

What is "blood doping," and why does it matter?

Any time someone breaks a record, people inevitably bring up the possibility that they had some illegal enhancements. Just yesterday, gold medalist Ye Shiwen was accused of "blood doping" to improve her performance. You may be familiar with steroids and other drugs — but what on Earth is "blood doping?" And why would… » 8/01/12 7:00am 8/01/12 7:00am

10 Ways the Olympics Could be Different in the Future

The modern Olympics have already changed a great deal since their early years. Arts events like architecture, literature, painting, and music went out the window in 1954, and many events, such as mountain biking, synchronized swimming, curling, and table tennis were added only in the last 30 years. So how might the… » 7/29/12 9:00am 7/29/12 9:00am

Jetpacks! Voldemort! James Bond! The Most Delightful and Ridiculous Images from the Olympic Ceremony

Was this the most science fiction and fantasy-filled Olympic opening ceremony yet? With director Danny Boyle at the helm, there were bound to be a few fantastical elements in his kickoff to the 2012 Olympic Games. Here are some of the strangest, most wondrous, and most fantasy-fuelled images to grace London's Olympic… » 7/28/12 8:00am 7/28/12 8:00am

Will Oscar Pistorius' Prosthetic Legs Give Him an Unfair Advantage at the 2012 Olympic Games?

Have Oscar Pistorius' carbon-fiber lower legs crossed the line between prosthetics and enhancements? And is it fair for him to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games? Scientists and sports experts alike are being drawn into the debate, as Scientific American's Rose Eveleth explains. » 7/25/12 8:30am 7/25/12 8:30am