Do not be swayed by all those muscles and that vigorous bounding around. It turns out that athletes, despite their superior physical condition, may be more susceptible than nonathletes to such minor infections as coughs, fever and sniffles. And most vulnerable are swimmers and track and field performers.
The fault lies with the traditional "warmup," says German Internist Dr. Karl Franke in the Medical World News. The common practice of bundling in sweat suits until just before the event upsets the heating function of the athlete's capillaries—small blood vessels of the skin—so that they no longer adapt to temperature change.
Thus, when an athlete wriggles out of his sweat suit, his legs and thighs cool quickly, circulation is upset—and cold and flu viruses move in. The best way to avoid all this, says Dr. Franke, is to warm up, coldly, in the same way that one will participate. It may not be as comfortable at first, but there is nothing quite as healthy as going forth to battle with well-adapted capillaries.
Kenya's answer to Tibet's Abominable Snowman is the slothful Nandi bear. A recent spate of sheep stealing has revived his legend, the natives being convinced he lives on sheep and human heads, which he snatches off as people pass under trees. In fact, in the dense forests of the Nandi district, 200 miles northwest of Nairobi, the natives walk around with cooking pots on their heads in the hope that the bear will remove the pots and go away, happily thinking he has their heads. Another native belief is that the bear speaks three languages and joins in tribal conversations while hiding behind trees. Then he jumps out and beats the tribesmen with a big stick.
Many European settlers have also reported seeing the bear, which they claim walks upright and looks rather like a giant spotted hyena. However, according to most zoologists, the Nandi bear is merely a large animal normally seen after wild parties.
THE UNFIT GLOVE
No sooner do we reveal the existence of a golf glove loaded with metal pellets, which is supposed to give a golfer 75 more yards off the tee (SI, Aug. 15), than along comes the Balancer, a bowling glove with a one-pound weight sewn into the palm, which is supposed to balance the swing of a 16-pound bowling ball and tumble at least 20 more pins a game. We trust someone will put an end to all this before it gets back to boxing.
THE "WE WIN" ISSUE
One final word about the recent World Soccer Cup. Instead of betting on England (no sure thing), you should have put everything on the one team that functioned according to form—the post office.