Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Gastro-Physics of Dietary Anti-Matter

"People watch," next time you’re in the grocery line. There’s always someone with carts that bulge with every conceivable kind of diet food. Flats of turkey bacon prop listlessly against the fat free half & half and Olestra cookies. At first glance, this is clearly someone who is completely health conscious, diet minded, and watching what they eat.

But peek beneath the basket to the lower rack – where you normally find dog food, kitty litter, and other toxic chemicals – and you will see the case of Pepsi or Mountain Dew. Diet foods and junk foods in the same cart might suggest mental illness, a slippage into delusional optimism, or some other form of brain rot.

However, unbeknownst to the rest of us, these folks are actually brilliant physicists, only disguised as profoundly confused shoppers, so as not to attract any attention. They throw you off their trail with very characteristic behaviors, like chasing a candy bar with a Diet Coke.

Yes, we can now release the fact that these scientists are members of the little know branch of their field known as Gastro-Physics, and they are actually testing a high-level theory regarding matter and anti-matter. Just as matter can be annihilated by anti-matter, they will show how calories can be eliminated, erased, eradicated, exterminated, and just forgotten about altogether if you consume them within their Universal opposite.

Oreos and low fat milk cancel perfectly, and M&Ms are vaporized into the next astral plane when thrown into a trail mix bag with a few Spanish peanuts.

Sorry for the dive into the rigors of this phenomenon, but the calorie cancellation must happen within a certain time frame, if you are serious about blipping away that ingot of taffy you just ate.

It’s like your mother explained, logically, that swimming after you eat a baloney and cheese sandwich at the beach will make you drop like a rock to the bottom of the ocean, unless you wait the required 30 minutes or so.

In just the same way, Gastro-physicists indicate that full cancellation can only take effect if the diet product smashes into the junk food within 7.45 minutes. These guys are brilliant.

So the next time you see cleverly disguised Gastro-Physicists conducting their experiments in your grocery store, don’t sneer. They’re not as daft as they seem.



Monday, October 11, 2004

History of the Oktoberfest

The Royal Wedding12th October 1810

Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on 12th October 1810.

The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event. The fields have been named Theresienwiese ("Theresa's fields") in honor of the Crown Princess ever since, although the locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the "Wies'n".

Horse races in the presence of the Royal Family marked the close of the event that was celebrated as a festival for the whole of Bavaria. The decision to repeat the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest.

The Oktoberfest continues in 1811
In 1811 an added feature to the horse races was the first Agricultural Show, designed to boost Bavarian agricultureThe horse races, which were the oldest and - at one time - the most popular event of the festival are no longer held today. But the Agricultural Show is still held every three years during the Oktoberfest on the southern part of the festival grounds.

In the first few decades the choice of amusements was sparse. The first carousel and two swings were set up in 1818. Visitors were able to quench their thirst at small beer stands which grew rapidly in number. In 1896 the beer stands were replaced by the first beer tents and halls set up by enterprising landlords with the backing of the breweries.

The remainder of the festival site was taken up by a fun-fair. The range of carousels etc. on offer was already increasing rapidly in the 1870s as the fairground trade continued to grow and develop in Germany.


172nd Oktoberfest 2005

Today, the Oktoberfest is the largest festival in the world, with an international flavor characteristic of the 21th century: some 6 million visitors from all around the world converge on the Oktoberfest each year.

And since the Oktoberfest is still held on the Theresienwiese, the locals still refer to the event simply as the "Wies'n". So "welcome to the Wies'n" means nothing other than "welcome to the Oktoberfest"!



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