~ Posted by James Manning, August 23rd 2012

At the beginning of August three of our editors watched Mary Kom at London’s Excel Arena in the first ever women’s Olympic boxing competition. Since winning her bronze medal, Kom has been awarded a total of Rs. 180 lakh (around £200,000) by various Indian bodies. The government of her home state of Manipur has also granted her two acres of land at Meitei Langol village for the boxing academy she runs with her husband Onler—an improvement on the hardship Rahul Bhattacharya described in his profile of Mary, whose father had to sell the family cow to fund her early career. She’s already announced that in 2016, at the age of 33, she’ll be going for gold in Rio de Janeiro. 

Earlier this month we blogged that the "shop-soiled circus" of Premiership football could learn from the amateurism of the Olympics. Jasper Rees’s description of the Premiership as “grotesquely over-capitalised” was backed up this week by a report from the High Pay Centre, which said that wages for top footballers have increased by 1,500% over the last 20 years, compared to a rise of 186% in the average British wage. Clubs now spend 70% of their turnover on players’ salaries, up from 48% in 1997.


NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity—which we blogged about earlier this month on the day it landed—has been settling into its new home by spinning its wheels and zapping rocks. It’s also sent back picture postcards of the “desert plain, caramel-smooth and windswept-empty”, as Oliver Morton described the Martian terrain in our January/February issue. Yesterday it took its first test drive, travelling 23 feet, and soon it'll be heading, at a rate of around ten metres per day, towards the mountain which had no name when Morton wrote his column, but which now has two—Aeolis Mons and Mount Sharp.

James Manning is an intern at Intelligent Life