Sunday, April 30, 2006

The End of the Sidewalk


I found the end of cable television the other night. That point where the channels disappear and you fall off into a Shel Silverstein-like precipice. It was the national paintball championship on ESPN2. I have had the pleasure of playing paintball just once - at a bachelor party. Right before the first round of combat, a teammate (and veteran of the game) asked me if I had played before. I answered no, so he shot me in the stomach at point blank range and said, "It won't get any worse than that, so don't be a pussy." Fantastic good times! But I must admit, it's quite a business model - it's not too much money to enter the paintball "grounds" or rent a gun. Where they get you is the ammo. They charge up the wazoo for the actual paintballs, and they sell them by the thousand. I left the grounds bruised and battered and out $120. Looking back, the whole scene is ripe for someone's PhD thesis. But watching it on television, it lacked the full tilt adrenaline, the chaos, and most of all - the painful welts. Oh well, I guess it's back to bowling.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

You Learn Something New Every Day...

...like the fact that space time is flexible. And if something can happen, it will. That's my Cliff Notes version of the Murphy's Law explanation on the workings of universe given by Sean Carroll, everybody's favorite theoretical physicist. He was at the Map Room tonight to kick of the Chicago chapter of Cafe Scientifique. In a mere twenty minutes he explained the birth of the universe, why Boltzmann killed himself when no one listened, and how come the beer won't leap from the floor into my cup. Good times were had by all. We had to go before the Q & A session - but that's ok, because Sean has threatened to go all Socratic on us. And if you need to know what a public radio lackey was doing there.... drinking.