Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Ig Nobel prices, and Japanese buffet

On Saturday my parents' friends Volodya and Lyalya picked me up and brought me to see Ig Nobel Prizes' informal lectures, for which I am extremely grateful. I've known about the existence of those for a while, but it never occured to me that I can visit the event in person, but it was indded in Boston, and open to the public.

It was unbelievably funny. The details can be found on their homepage, but the most memorable speakers were the guy who found a case of homosexual necrophilia in a mallard duck, a guy who invented karaoke and a group of guys who found that herrings communicate by farting. The latter research was partially sponsored by Swedish Navy who occasionally take farting herring for Russian submarines.

We also got to taste the most expensive beverage in the world, which is Luak coffee. It is made by passing coffee beans through the digestive system of a feline animal called luak, which lives in Indonesia. Tasted like any other coffee to me, but then I am not much of a coffee drinker.

Lyalya's and Volodya's daughter Masha was in the car with three of her friends. They have just started the same high school from where I graduated 14 years ago. I listened to their conversation and was thinking that people's social life does not really change that much between 15 and 30. Or maybe they are just exceptionally nice teenagers. The school has not changed that much either, from what they say.

It was Lyalya's birthday, and at night we went to a Japanese buffet restaurant called Minado in Natick. Great food, all you can eat for $26 or so. Good sushi. Lots of other stuff too, but I like sushi much better than any other Japanese food, and besides their hot food was not very onion-allergic-friendly. Had some dessert later at their place. All in all, great evening. Even their kids are very nice and pleasant to talk with, as opposed to most kids.

There were also some other friends there. Was good to see all of them. They waved hands and made a lot of noise, got very excited about GPS, and I almost taught one of them some of Juha "Watt" Vainio's bad boys' songs.

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