Archive for October 1st, 2003

Beware the Pink Cadillac


An insurance industry study shows that, despite their reputation as
safe, friendly vehicles, pink cars are the most likely to be involved
in accidents, at 25%.

Personally, I think this is largely due to the fact that owners of pink
cars are more likely to be on drugs or in need of psychiatric help.

The safest color? Sky blue, with a less than 10% reported accident rate.


Kickass Kickoff Party


Hong Kong restaurant in Harvard Square, site of the sure-to-be fabulous
kick-off party
for BloggerCon, has a long and storied past as a dark
and private rock under which Harvard students can creep when they need
to disappear without leaving campus, as well as a bottomless bowl of
greasy faux-Chinese cuisine and high-octane, bizarrely garnished rum-based

30 years ago the Hong Kong was my hangout, and it hasn’t changed much since then. The dining area was downstairs and completely unknown to our crowd,
who either ordered take-out or, more often, retired to the bar at the
top of a narrow, smoky, multiply-twisted stairway lined with red velvet
and gold gilt. I remember that during my undergraduate days my regular
refreshment was something called a
which consisted of
4 kinds
of Rum mixed
with sugar
and coconut milk and served in a seemingly real split coconut. I went
there often enough that I was considered a regular, and if Jimmy the
bartender was working my Smirk was on the bar before I had time to sit down.

The popular competitive drink, of course, was the Zombie. When the occasion
called for a macho drink-off, rounds of Zombies were ordered. The trick
was to drink fast, in which case you could get quite a few of the little
suckers down before the motor control began to fade. For the truly ambitious,
assaults on the legendary Scorpion Bowl Record were not unknown.

amazing piece of work was designed to be consumed by a MINIMUM of
4 functioning
adults, and featured chunks of suspiciously difficult to identify fruit
floating in a huge bowl of rum, clever ceramic miniature palm trees
and grass-skirted hula girls watching the action from around the rim,
and a small reservoir of 191 proof rum aflame with a cold blue chem-lab
glow in the cone of a tiny ceramic volcano in the middle of the rum pond.
finish one of them, I believe Howard Kaiser is the
I saw
a second,
a 350-pound
speed freak, so he hardly counts.

I tended to avoid these juvenile drinking contests and usually sat quietly
at the bar with my Virago Smirk. At the time, I was working part-time
for the University, driving one of those cute red Harvard Shuttle Buses
on its appointed rounds around campus. Almost every night I would take
my "dinner break" at the Hong Kong, sucking down Virago Smirks and chatting
up Jimmy about the issues of the day. After three or four of the delicious
coconut drinks it was back out on the mean streets of Cambridge to finish
my route.

Of course, eventually I got busted. Maybe it was the 35-foot bright
red Harvard Shuttle Bus continually parked askew in 3 or 4 of the resident-only
spaces on Bow Street outside of the restaurant that gave me away. I responded
to my removal from the Shuttle Drivers Corps with a shrug. More time
to spend at the bar, I figured.

So Friday night should be full of memories for me, as I try to order
my first Virago Smirk in 25 years. I hope some of the other attendees
will stop me if, after a few of those delicious suckers, I try to drive
home in a Shuttle Bus.

MBA Return on Investment


this months publishes an innovative ranking of the 50 best
MBA programs in the US. Unlike uber-ranker US
News and World Report
(which unfortunately since last year charges
for access to its rankings, and for which I excoriated
), the Forbes
list does not measure retention, reputation or test scores. Instead it
evaluate RETURN

The idea is simple; it costs upwards of $225, 000 (in tuition and fees)
to get an MBA from an exclusive university like Stanford or MIT, much
less for state schools like UMass. Considering average starting and continuing
salaries for graduates of each school, which ones will allow graduates
to recover their investment the quickest?

It also includes a list of the top non-US Business Schools, which I
have not seen at US News or anywhere else.

Forbes Magazine.

Hell On Earth, And Beyond


TAMPA — The leader of the rock band Hell on Earth said yesterday that
an onstage suicide will be conducted during a private St. Petersburg
this weekend in defiance of a new city law designed to stop the act.

”The show will go on,” Billy Tourtelot said. ”It will be available on
the Internet, and it will be in the city limits” of St. Petersburg.

Earlier in the day, the St. Petersburg City Council unanimously approved
an emergency ordinance that makes it illegal to conduct suicide for entertainment
purposes or to host, promote, or sell tickets for such an event.

The Tampa-based band, known for such outrageous onstage stunts as chocolate
syrup wrestling and grinding up live rats in a blender, announced earlier
this month that the suicide would take place during a show at the State
Theater in downtown St. Petersburg. But the theater’s owner promptly
canceled the band’s appearance. Another venue also turned away the event.

Tourtelot, 33, said the suicide show will be played Saturday before a
”select few people” at an undisclosed location in St. Petersburg and
be shown live on the band’s website. He would not disclose details about
the terminally ill person or say how the person planned to kill himself.

the Boston Globe