The Future Of Week

After Covid-19, what's the future of stadiums look like?

For some of the biggest sports leagues, it remains unclear what their future holds.

Mark Leech/Offside/Offside/Getty Images

As part of our Future of Week (read Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday), I’ll be exploring the future of stadiums today.

For some of the biggest sports leagues, it remains unclear what their future holds. The NFL currently has its 2020 fall season planned as normal, but it is now weighing some potentially big changes to accommodate social distancing. “I don’t know if it’ll be a one-third-filled stadium, a half-filled stadium, or whatever,” a source with knowledge of the league’s plans told the Washington Post.

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for April 16, 2020. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox.

There’s a long list of upcoming sporting events that have been called off or pushed back because of the coronavirus. The Tour de France, originally planned to start on June 27, has been pushed back until late August. The Tokyo Olympics, which was planned for July 24, is now scheduled to be held in 2021. It’s a historic decision, the first time something other than war has prevented the Olympic Games from taking place.

This loss will be felt on many fronts, including a huge financial toll for sports leagues. For women’s soccer clubs and the Women’s Champion league representing top club teams in Europe, the financial hit will be particularly acute. As a recent New York Times article noted, “The fate of the Women’s Champions League remains unclear. The question is not just when, but if, it will be played.”

Yet, the future of stadiums isn’t all bleak. Many stadiums are now being used as hospitals to accommodate more coronavirus patients. Now that’s what I like to call — no pun intended — stepping up to the plate.

I’m Greta Moran, your interstellar guide to all of Inverse’s latest science and technology stories at Inverse Daily.

Coronavirus resources from Inverse staffers

ASTRONAUTS, TAKE HEED! — Science has revealed what life in space does to your brain. In 2005, NASA astronaut John Phillips reported a worrying symptom: Onboard the International Space Station (ISS), his vision had changed. Orbiting 254 miles above Earth, the world had become blurry.

Phillips was the canary in the coal mine. NASA tested other astronauts’ vision, finding that the majority suffered similar changes. In fact, they appeared to have changed in the structure of their eyes.

These initial investigations were just the first signs of an unfortunate truth: Spaceflight changes the human body. And that includes astronauts’ brains, a new study suggests. It reveals that long-duration spaceflight may fundamentally alter the amount of fluid in the brain. It could also affect brain volume, the results suggest.

These changes appear to last beyond the return to Earth — so the damage may be permanent. Click here for the story on how space alters the brain →

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NOW INTRODUCING — Apple has a new iPhone on the market, and it’s a better match for the budget-conscious consumer.

The iPhone SE costs $399 yet packs the latest A13 Bionic processor, just like the $999 iPhone 11 Pro. It could outlast its rivals thanks to Apple’s long-term software updates, which tend to give its older phones a new lease of life thanks to security and feature boosts. The SE could work out to $80 per year over a five-year lifespan.

Apple’s reputation in this area isn’t perfect, though. The firm was fined this year for secretly slowing down older phones where the battery couldn’t maintain high processor speeds. Here’s everything you need to know about the new iPhone →

Need an iPhone accessory? Check these out:

THE FUTURE DINO-DRONE — When drones become dinosaurs? For drones, the final frontier may be in the very ancient past.

Researchers are encouraging those looking to create the next generation of flight to seek inspiration from pterosaurs, 600-pound flying reptiles that coexisted with dinosaurs. They did things that birds today could only dream of.

“There’s a lot of really cool stuff in the fossil record that goes unexplored because engineers generally don’t look to paleontology when thinking about inspiration for flight,” says first author Liz Martin-Silverstone. Read up on the future of drones →

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HELLO, TERMINATORS — These Terminator-styled muscles are powered by lithium batteries. Artificial muscles could be the next frontier for combat veterans and those recovering from amputations.

Researchers at MIT have, for the first time, designed artificial muscles that are for untethered use. Say hello to the Terminators.

While still in the early stages of development, free-roaming, energy-efficient muscles like these could be used to create ultra-small drug delivery pumps and who knows, maybe even human-like cyborgs in the decades to come. Read up on this new, exciting frontier of artificial limbs →

More on artificial limbs below:

MENTAL HEALTH IS PHYSICAL HEALTH — About half the time, depression goes untreated, sometimes because of social stigma or perceptions that depression is a personal failure, experts say. But a new discovery could change all that.

In a recent study, researchers discovered that tiny proteins in the brain called tubulin play a pivotal role in depression. Zeroing in on tubulin could help clinicians identify who could become clinically depressed — before they show any symptoms.

This finding suggests there may be clear biochemical hallmarks of depression and tells patients “it’s not just in your mind, it’s in your brain,” the lead researcher says. Read on for insight into depression’s chemical origins →

More on future depression treatments:

Meanwhile …

  • Elon Musk said Tesla would fight COVID-19 with new ventilators. They never came.
  • Before COVID-19, Tinder was a hot mess. Now it’s just a mess.
  • Rockstar report confirms GTA 6 and hints at bold “Project Americas” scope.
  • Winds of Winter can fix Dany’s character by answering one major question.
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