Saturday, March 10, 2007

Are we the Sharks or the Jets?

I'm back safe and sound in my humidity laden paradise. Denver grew on me and I could see us living there if the right opportunity presented itself. Some overall impressions of Denver:

Everyone has dogs.

The men are sensitive. Every conversation between two men I overheard had to do with weddings or babies.

Denverites (?) like their food. I've never seen so many restaurants in my life. There is a free bus that runs up and down the mall downtown and at every stop, the street name and the restaurants are read off. I totally dug it.

One place we went to, upon Mo's insistence, was Wynkoop Brewery. Apparently a local favorite that came highly recommended from Rachel Ray. Since none of the grad students I was traveling with had any preference and just wanted to drink after presenting, it was a perfect choice. After a round of drinks, we made our way to the pool tables. One, set off in the corner away from the other tables, grabbed our attention. It was a "right-angle pool table" and I had a hell of a time finding a picture to show you guys:



Anyway, not every physicist plays pool, but every physicist knows how to play pool. I don't generally play due to my horrific hand-eye coordination but I know how to set up shots and calculate the important angles. However I was more than happy to watch my fellow grad students while planning to plow my way through and obscene amount of alcohol. A little while later, I was approached by two guys I had graduated with from the University of Minnesota. One is currently at Stanford, the other just got his Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara. I usually bump into one or both of them at these conferences since our research is all in the same subfield. Needless to say though, hanging out with them gives me a bit of an inferiority complex since I always need to remind them what the name of my research institution is. Anyway, I was feeling torn so I'd hang out with them for a drink and then go back to my Florida people. Over my fourth (or fifth?) drink I confessed my feelings of inferiority to my Florida friends who became slightly beligerent and defiant about the whole thing. When my Cali friends wandered over to see how long the Florida people were going to hog the right-angle pool table (they weren't interested in a linear pool table apparently), one of the grad students said, "We'll play you for it!"

Like I said, every physicist knows how to play pool, so this challenge became somewhat of a pissing contest for both parties. First, the official rules of right-angle pool had to be established, incorporating the fact that the 2 ball was missing. The game was played out with the fervor and intensity that can only be present when reputations are on the line. Which party can better calculate the starting, grazing and final angles of an elastic collision in an inebriated state? I can't say for sure that the Floridians could accomplish it better, but we clearly wanted it more. Mo won with a perfect final sinking of the 8 ball as we erupted in cheers and she was picked up off the ground. Then, we gave the Californians the table for the rest of the night.

6 comments:

Runner Girl FL said...

Did J make the Cali Physicists wear the rack? That was always a thing when we played.

Hurry FL Physicists!! I'm so proud of you guys.

lefty_grrrl said...

You nerds have the most fun.

It's not fair.

e.b. said...

That really is so funny....

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Sounds like you had a lot of fun, I wish I had been there!

Scott said...

I googled Denverite, and that seems to be the winner over Denvertonian. I used to love playing pool, but I have gotten in more bar fights than I care to admit to as a result. It becomes very important to win, especially after the first pitcher. And the whole who-was-next thing causes problems too.

Working on being around more...

minnesota blue said...

Ya Scott, miss reading you!