Gringo Manaba

Adventuras y Fantasias or Fantastical Adventures


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Archive for October 3rd, 2005

Even Einstein Had a Sence of Humor

Posted by glasscastle on 3rd October 2005

Those wacky geeks at Harvard and
MIT are at it again. In parallel with the august Nobel Prizes in Sweden,
every year they award what they call the "Ig Noble" Prizes in Cambridge.
Last year’s recipients included two sociology
professors who found a link between country music and suicide; a physicist
who figured out how Hula Hoops stay up; a former police officer who co-invented
and patented the comb-over; and a 17-year-old who conducted what is believed
to be the first scientific test of the "five-second rule" —
the popular dictum that says it is okay to eat food that has fallen on
the floor if you pick it up within five seconds.

The 2005 Ig Nobel Prize

WHEN: Thursday, October 6, 2005, 7:30 pm.

(Note: the pre-ceremony concert and the webcast begin at 7:15)

WHERE: Sanders
, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
(Info about how to pahk your cah near Hahvud Yahd)

WHAT: The 15th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. Ten new Ig Nobel Prizes
were awarded in categories ranging from Physics, Medicine and Chemistry
to Literature and Peace. The new winners traveled to the ceremony, at their
own expense, from several continents. The Prizes were handed to them by
a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel Laureates, all before a standing-room
only audience of 1200 people. Full details and action pictures will appear
in the Nov/Dec 2005 issue of the Annals
of Improbable Research

WEBCAST: The ceremony will be webcast live, here at Details will be announced here a few days prior to
the ceremony


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Comic of the Day

Posted by glasscastle on 3rd October 2005

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Ghosts of Oktoberfest Past

Posted by glasscastle on 3rd October 2005

in 1970, a 17 year old Dowbrigade rolled into Munich with about as much
of a clue as a kumquat in a supermarket.

We were coming from Vienna,
where we had thoroughly trashed the up-scale apartment of a rich maternal
aunt who was in the states at the time. The place was on Einsteinstrasse,
in a swanky district of neat, well tended apartments and gardens. It
was the first time we had been on our own in a foreign city, with a
whole apartment at our disposal.

We dimly remember a party that went on for quite some
time, and a band of gypsies who sort of took up residence afterwards.
With no cooking experience at that point, we experimented. Our experiment
making french
which involved potatoes and boiling oil, was a disaster.  Luckily,
we were able to put out the flames before the police or fire department
were called.

Shortly after the fried potato incident, we decided
we’d seen enough of Vienna, and headed for Munich on a whim.  We
had a couple of hundred bucks, and a chunk of red Lebanese hashish the
size and shape of the two-inch heels on our Frye boots. We had never
heard of the Oktoberfest.

Our ignorance didn’t last long. In Munich, in the fall,
its hard to miss the Oktoberfest. Public drunkenness becomes dir rigueur
for three weeks. Although alcohol has never been near the top of our
list of substances of choice, our natural instinct is to fit in with
the local culture (undoubtedly a large part of our successful career
as an anthropologist), and we were soon well into the spirit of things.

On our first night in town, at a Beerhall on the Oktoberfest
grounds, we met Koch Blackmun, who introduced himself as Richie Haven’s congo player.  We
were actually out back of one of the Oktoberfest Beerhall, a circus-tent like ale emporium, filled with hundreds of long tables and thousands of enthusiastically drunk tourists. We were taking a break, puffing on
our pipe, when a bald, beatnik-looking black  guy stuck his head
around a corner, raised his eyebrows in a fake-innocent, quizzical gesture,
accompanied by a subtle double sniff, and said, "Whatcha got there, Ace?"

Koch was 15 years our senior, riding around Europe on
the money he made for Haven’s last album, and we hit it off immediately.  After
the Oktoberfest, we traveled together for about a month, a Black beatnik
and a Jewish freak bombing around Bavaria on a vintage BMW. Plenty of
places wouldn’t serve us, but we didn’t much care. It was an education,

The point being, we still have strong memories of the
Oktoberfest, and that period in our life.  We aren’t alone. Aunt
Mary hasn’t spoken to us in 35 years. And every time we read a news story
about the Oktoberfest, our thoughts drift back…

A gang of teenage boys who dressed as police officers
to body search female visitors to the Munich Beer Festival have been
arrested. The fake cops pretended they were looking for hidden weapons
as they ran their hands over the bodies of women they singled out.

But they were caught by the real cops after women complained about the
intimate searches. The three teenagers face charges of sexual assault,
indecency and impersonating a police officer.

from Ananova

And finally, to show our deep respect for German inventiveness
and engineering, this welcome development in drinking technology:

A beer mat that calls for a refill when the pint is
almost empty has been invented by scientists in Germany. The electronic
beer mat was created by computer scientists Andreas Butz of the University
of Munich and Michael Schmitz of Saarland University.

Beneath the cardboard surface is a small, flat baseplate which conceals
pressure and acceleration sensors that react to the weight of the glass
and the position and movement of the coasters. The microsensors then
pass on this information via radio link to the bar, where the signal
is picked
up and decoded by a waiting computer.

The customer can speed the order up by "flapping" the beer
mat, and can order more beers by using a stack of mats to express the
number of drinks ordered.

from Ananova

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