Science Uncovers Key to Penalties

23 June 2002


As the everyone goes footie mad for the world cup, researchers at the University of Greenwich have been using a computer to analyse video clips of footballers taking penalties. They found that football players subconsciously give out physical clues about which way they are going to kick the ball. This of course gives the goalie a chance to anticipate the direction of a forthcoming penalty shot. So what's the secret? According to the Greenwich team, it's all in the angle of the shoulders! When a right-footed striker shoots to the left, his left shoulder dips further towards the ground, than when he shoots to the middle or to the right. His standing leg will also lean further to the left than for a shot in the opposite direction. Similarly when the shot is going to the strikers right, the left shoulder dips and the left leg leans out, but the angles are smaller. A detective playing goal-keeper can read these signals to plan his save!SCIENTISTS UNCOVER THE CURE FOR BAD BREATHThe science of bad breath is neither glamorous or sexy, but just to make sure you are fully up on the spectrum of research, here's an update to help keep you minty-fresh ! Scientists in Minneapolis have been investigating the phonomenon of "morning breath", commonly experiences as the sensation the something has died in your mouth during the night. The researchers tried several treatments to try to curb this, including brushing the teeth with toothpaste, brushing the tongue, eating breakfast, gargling hydrogen peroxide and taking breath-freshener tablets. Of these treatments, eating breakfast and tongue-brushing were reasonably effective, but tooth-cleaning and breath-fresheners were not. Sadly,the only really successful cure was the hydrogen peroxide treatment - soemthing that would not be advisable to try every day ! So to get rid of your morning breath attack the Weetabix, or get scrubbing at your tongue - "clinically proven to reduce the incidence of bad breath" !!


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