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Quickies: Diversity in science fiction, the physics of gymnastics, and a 400 year old shark

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  1. I remember when I was in gymnastics, my height was seen as a personal failing of mine. “You’re too tall,” my coach would say, as if I had intentionally grown against her will.

    I don’t miss my coach.

  2. I don’t know if the statistics are easy to find, but a male gymnast of even 5’8″ would be considered very tall.

    Strength to weight is quite a factor. In any workout atmosphere, the ones who blast away at pullups, pushups, dips etc. are always going to be the shorter and/or lighter ones.

    Taiho and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are not going to impress anyone with the number of pullups or pushups they can do.

    My (very) average-heighted stepdaughter ‘topped out ‘ of the higher scoring activities at around 12 years old, for some reason balance beam was the last one.

  3. Yup, gymnasts are typically quite short. It’s true of all gymnasts since, not surprisingly, the same physics apply to everyone regardless of sex. Height gives you an advantage in basketball which is why, typically, basketball players tend to be quite tall. In gymnastics, your height works against you and thus elite gymnasts, typically, tend to be fairly short. :-)

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