They Blinded Us With Science

Saturday was the largest Ship of Fools show ever. We were the opening act of the 2006 Indiana Science Olympiad at Purdue.

How big is that? Let me put it this way: if you computed base 10 logarithm of the cardinality of the audience and rounded the result to the nearest integer, the answer would be 3.

Or, if you’re not a mathematician, think of it this way: the audience was on the order of 1,000 students (mostly grades 7 – 12), teachers, and parents, give or take. An audience so big, we performed on stage at Elliott Hall of Music, a venue of size comparable to Radio City Music Hall. Elliott is big. [Editor's note: How big is it?] It’s so big, it has its own Wikipedia entry.

(On the otherhand, so do quarks, so maybe Wikipediahood isn’t a good measure of size. But I digress.)

The show went incredibly well. The audience was possibly the most enthusiastic and energetic we’ve ever had, both in terms of total enthusiasm as well as per capita. For example, there’s a crowd warm-up we often do called “More Waffles Please,” intended to get the audience willing to yell out suggestions later on. Basically, you divide the audience into thirds, and each group shouts one of the warm-up’s eponymous words whenever the MC points to them. Normally, the audience starts off pretty timid, and it takes a few tries before you build up a decent volume.

This show? First try and they’re good and loud. And they kept that energy throughout the show.

The audience volunteers who came up on stage for a couple of the games also did a fantastic job. Heck, the boy who came up to be a word bank in Hesitation even delivered the closer! (As in, the line you end the scene with, because you know there’s no way you’re going to top it.)

Of course, that’s not to say that the Fools themselves didn’t go a great job too. We had a couple video cameras running to record the show, and I really hope they came out well. There was a third camera (which I don’t think was actually recording) being used to project the action on stage up onto a big screen above it. I’m told that I loomed so large on it that it looked a bit like Attack of the 500 Foot Jesus Paul up there.

However, my sources indicate even this show won’t hold a candle to what’s coming up on Friday!

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Quote of the Week #85

I know nothing about evolution. Neither do I care anything about it. To be very frank with you, gentlemen of this House, I don’t see but one good feature in this thing, and that is that it will gratify the monkeys to know they are absolved from all responsibility for the conduct of the human race.

Sam Ervin Jr.

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