50 Years Later, Newport Swings With ‘Real Jazz’

“Fifty years later the Newport festival …celebrated itself from Friday to Sunday in Fort Adams State Park on Newport Harbor. It could be argued that jazz, in one form or another, has been as much accepted in social and commercial life as it ever will be; the only issues left are aesthetic ones. This year Mr. Wein decided to leach the smooth jazz and pop from the festival and present what he thinks of as ‘real jazz.’ The festival wasn’t going to put on makeup anymore.” (New York Times)

Why Puerto Rico has its own team

How the insular territory made it to Athens: “Following the lopsided 92-73 defeat the Puerto Rican men’s basketball team handed the United States in Athens Sunday, many Americans were shocked. Not only did the U.S. team lose for only the third time in the history of its Olympic competition, it lost to a commonwealth of the United States. How can Puerto Rico, whose residents are U.S. citizens, field its own Olympic team?” — (Slate Explainer)

Top Athletes May Be Running Into a Tall Hurdle: Themselves

“In some of the most basic ways imaginable – how fast people can run, how high they can jump, how far they can throw – the march of progress has stopped. The track and field athletes competing in Athens Olympic Stadium over the next week and a half may well struggle to match the performances of their predecessors…

In more than a century of Olympic history, only world wars, by killing millions of people in their athletic prime, had previously caused this kind of stagnation.

So its return has inevitably raised the question of whether human beings are finally approaching the limits of physical accomplishment, after decades of unfulfilled predictions about such limits. Many athletes and coaches, and some scientists too, say the answer is probably yes.

To others, however, a less natural explanation is more likely. At least some of the record performances from the 1970’s and 80’s owe themselves to the miracle of drugs. Only now, after a decade of more effective drug testing, do athletes seem to be catching up to the steroid-aided results of the past, many Olympics watchers say.” (New York Times)