The beginnings of Badminton can be traced to mid-19th century British India, where it was created by British military officers stationed there. Early photographs show Englishmen adding a net to the traditional English game of battledore and shuttlecock. Being particularly popular in the British garrison town Poona, the game also came to be known as Poonai. Initially, balls of wool were preferred by the upper classes in windy or wet conditions, but ultimately the shuttlecock stuck. This game was taken by retired officers back to England where it developed and rules were set out.
The new sport was definitively launched in 1873 at the Badminton House, Gloucestershire, owned by the Duke of Beaufort. During that time, the game was referred to as “The Game of Badminton,” and the game’s official name became Badminton.
Infinite Jest is a 1996 novel written by David Foster Wallace. The lengthy and complex work takes place in a semi-parodic future version of North America. The novel touches on the topics of tennis, substance addiction and recovery programs, depression, child abuse, family relationships, advertisingentertainment, film theory, and Quebec separatism.
The novel derives its name in part from a line in Hamlet, in which Hamlet refers to the skull of Yorick, the court jester: “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is!”
In addition to being the title given to the fictional film central to the story, reviewers have also considered the title a “sly wink at the book’s massive girth.” Wallace’s working title for Infinite Jest had been A Failed Entertainment.
David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest is a labyrinthine mass of plot lines encompassing themes of addiction and recovery, popular entertainment, and tennis. It is a vast and sprawling novel whose challenge is not in the mere heft of 981 pages plus another 100 pages of endnotes. The challenge of reading Infinite Jest is in the linguistic complexities and stylistic experimentation for which David Foster Wallace is renowned, and more so in the intricacies of numerous narrative threads, the intersection of which don’t all become apparent until the novel’s end, and some not even then.
Set in a near future in which the U.S., Mexico, and Canada have become unified as one country known as the Organization of North American Nations (O.N.A.N.), Infinite Jest is concerned with the dissemination of a film cartridge that is so powerfully entertaining and addictive to watch that it renders its viewers incapable of any action other than repeated viewing, until eventually they die of dehydration. The film’s auteur, J.O. Incandenza is a key figure in the novel, as is his Canadian wife, Avril, and their three sons, Orin, Hal, and Mario, all of whom spend their formative years at the prestigious Enfield Tennis Academy (ETA), founded by the Incandenza’s themselves in Boston. Just down the hill from ETA, is the Ennet House Drug and Alcohol Recovery House, where other main characters in the novel, most notably Don Gately, a newly recovering narcotics addict and petty criminal, come together in their individual battles to overcome addictions to various substances.
Running is simple.
You don’t need a room full of pricey equipment or to phone in advance for a tee time. Running doesn’t even require much skill—nothing could be easier. Naturally, there are tons of rules. Not for the act of running itself, but about the code, largely unspoken, that governs behavior and informs decisions in situations that every runner encounters sooner or later: Did that driver really just cut me off, and am I within my rights to flip him the bird? What do I tell a marathoner lurching along at mile 20 like a zombie in search of brains? Here are some answers to such quandaries. None of these are rules in the USA Track & Field Competition Rules Book, because you won’t find rules there on passing gas during a group run. Instead, these are guidelines to make running a little bit happier, healthier, and more fun for everyone. Because the first rule of running is just that: Have fun.
Have Fun No other fact is so fundamental to running: Done properly, running is fun. Even when you do it improperly, running is still inherently, liberatingly fun. If you doubt this, just spend a few minutes watching a child or a dog in any wide open space. Their glee is instinctual and undeniable. I believe it was Aristotle who said, “Tramps like us, baby, we were born to run.” Enjoy it. After all, there aren’t many animal impulses that we can act on in public without getting arrested.
Expand Your Sense of Fun
As a runner, your definition of fun—which might once have included water parks, screwball comedies on DVD, and scrapbooking—must be, well, let’s just say broadened and might include:
Waking up at 5:30 a.m. to run 10 miles
Running in blistering heat
Running in the rain
Running in 400-meter circles
Feeling as if your lungs are about to explode
Paying good money for the privilege of turning your toenails black
Any combination of the above
Black Toenails Are Badges of Honor
Run long enough and you’ll wind up ruining a toenail or two. Whether it’s because your shoes are too big or too small or because you’ve run a race with punishing downhills or the toenail gods happen to be in a foul mood, someday you will peel off your socks and see black where once there was pink. Congratulations! These bruised nails are tiny trophies conferred upon you for toughing it out. Just don’t flash them in public.
Run Like a Dog
My dog, a shepherd mix named Cooper, doesn’t care where we are or what time of day it is, or even what the weather is like. He doesn’t know what his resting heart rate is and rarely bothers to wear a watch. He just loves to run. And every time he does, his face and his body telegraph one simple message: This. Is. AWESOME. I’m runningrunningrunningrunning!
The “Run Like a Dog” Workout (Including Warmup and Cooldown) Walk 8 seconds. Trot 4 seconds. Stop. Sniff. Sprint 7 seconds. Freeze. Walk 5 seconds in any direction but forward. Stare 9 seconds. Lunge at rabbit. Double back, walk 3 seconds. Urinate. Repeat six times. Collapse on rug.
Let Angry Motorists Go
I understand the impulse when a driver has just pulled out in front of you or turned directly in your path or otherwise behaved like a jerk. I know how much you’d love to slap the trunk of that driver’s car, or shout at the person behind the wheel, helpfully suggesting that he or she “learn to drive.” Or extend a certain digit in a certain direction. Do yourself—and all runners—a favor and fight that impulse. Smile. Your lashing out isn’t likely to change the driver’s behavior, and may, in fact, worsen it. For all you know, the still-seething guy may drive extra close to the next runner he sees, just to make a point. Let him go.