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A College Football Rivalry Immortalized by Map Bunnies

For some folks, this coming weekend is all about the leftovers and department store sales. For others, it’s unlimited time to sit back and watch one college football game after another. And a lot of people take their college ball very seriously. One long-standing rivalry was even the subject of two controversial map bunnies.

What are map bunnies, you ask? In the cartography business, it’s a small piece of erroneous information (the mapmaker’s initials as a bogus street name, for example) tucked away on a map on purpose. Why? If someone else copies and attempts to sell an existing map, it can be proven that the work has been plagiarized. While it may not necessarily be obvious to the casual observer, copyright lawyers know what to look for.

But map bunnies have also been used for other reasons. In 1978, Peter Fletcher, Chairman of the Michigan State Highway Commission, was taking considerable ribbing from his fellow University of Michigan alums for the colors chosen to paint the refurbished Mackinac Bridge (green and white, the colors of—gasp—Michigan State). That color scheme had been chosen to comply with federal highway regulations, he explained, but nevertheless he felt obligated to redeem himself. He ordered a state cartographer to insert bogus towns onto that year’s official state road map as proof of his loyalty to his alma mater. Eagle-eyed navigators subsequently were either delighted or aghast to find the tiny villages of “Goblu” (Go Blue) and “Beatosu” (Beat OSU) placed across the state line in Ohio.

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Carl Court, Getty Images
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Is There a Limit to How Many Balls You Can Juggle?
Carl Court, Getty Images
Carl Court, Getty Images

In 2017, a juggler named Alex Barron broke a record when he tossed 14 balls into the air and caught them each once. The feat is fascinating to watch, and it becomes even more impressive once you understand the physics behind it.

As WIRED explains in a new video, juggling any more than 14 balls at once may be physically impossible. Researchers who study the limits of juggling have found that the success of a performance relies on a number of different components. Speed, a.k.a. the juggler's capacity to move their hands in time to catch each ball as it lands, is a big one, but it's not the most important factor.

What really determines how many balls one person can juggle is their accuracy. An accurate juggler knows how to keep their balls from colliding in midair and make them land within arm's reach. If they can't pull that off, their act falls apart in seconds.

Breaking a juggling world record isn't the same as breaking a record for sprinting or shot put. With each new ball that's added to the routine, jugglers need to toss higher and move their hands faster, which means their throws need to be significantly more accurate than what's needed with just one ball fewer. And skill and hours of practice aren't always enough; according to expert jugglers, the current world records were likely made possible by a decent amount of luck.

For a closer look at the physics of juggling, check out the video below.

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Bowman Gum - Heritage Auctions, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
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11 Timeless Yogi Berra Quotes
Bowman Gum - Heritage Auctions, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
Bowman Gum - Heritage Auctions, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

The great Yogi Berra—a 10-time World Series champion and three-time MVP—was one of baseball's best catchers, but he's remembered just as much for his wit and wisdom as his Hall of Fame career. Here are some of the quotes attributed to Yogi (who was born on May 12, 1925), even if he didn't always say them first.

1. "Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours."

2. "The future ain't what it used to be." (Yogi later clarified, saying, "I just meant that times are different. Not necessarily better or worse, just different.")

3. "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."

4. "It ain't over 'til it's over."

5. "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." (See Quote Investigator)

6. "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." (See Quote Investigator)

7. "We have a good time together, even when we're not together."

8. "It's déjà vu all over again." (See Quote Investigator)

9. "Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical."

10. "I really didn't say everything I said."

11. "Then again, I might have said 'em, but you never know."

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