Dr Nick Owen MBE PLUS

Working in and on the Business of Cultural Education

Day Five of the Basketball 2.6 Challenge: the flight of the bumble ball.

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Q: What’s orange, striped and has all the aerodynamicity of a cottage loaf?

Q: What hovers in the air, tremulous, unsure of its destination or how it’s going to get there?

Q: what looks like its about to soar to the sky only to fade gracefully into the waiting arms of a fisherman’s net?

AAA: no, not a bumblebee but a basketball.

The two objects have much in common apart from the capacity of one to bounce heartily over your head when waiting for it to come to a stop and the capacity of the other to commit Hara-Kiri if it ever feels ever so threatened.  Having said that, bumble bees rarely sting; much like the basketball which also rarely drops itself easily into the awaiting net.

They say that the chance of being stung by a bumblebee can be reduced by avoiding provoking them or making them aggressive. They also say that taking ones temper out on an recalcitrant basketball never ends happily for either you or the ball.

They say that it is important to be calm when working with bumblebees. This is equally true for basket balls.  There is no point whatsoever in waving your arms at the bumblebees, or indeed waving your arms around whilst throwing the ball.  This will only end up in the ball breaking a kitchen window, bouncing over the fence to the neighbour’s garden or worse.

Whilst they also say that you should not touch or try to hold bees, the opposite is true of basket balls.  You have to pick up one, you have to hold it in the right configuration, and you have to let go at the right time, with the right pace, with the right follow through and the right air of optimism.  Otherwise, that too will end in tears.

The only difference between the bumblebee and the basketball is that bumble bees live in hives and the basketball tends to migrate around the house, depending on where you last left it and forgot about it. 

Meanwhile, here are some statistics, gathered together into the safety of a spreadsheet.  You’ll note a new metric: the FeelGood Factor.  This represents the ratio of Near Misses to Total Attempts, and given the relationship between this emergent athlete and his wilful bumbleball, is a hugely motivational statistic that means for the moment at least, the bumbleball is unlikely to find itself speared onto a garden railing any time soon.

DayAttemptsNear MissesBasketsEffort (Baskets/ Attempt)Baskets/ Minute (BPM)FeelGood Factor
1N/AN/A8N/A0.308N/A
2194N/A150.0770.577N/A
31898720.0110.0770.460
419010770.0370.2690.563
5192105110.0570.4230.547

You can find out why I’m involved in the 2.6 Challenge – and how you can help – here.

Author: drnicko

Cultural Architect

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