Winners of the IgNobel

Have you seen the 2003 winners of the IgNobel Prize? Interesting stuff:

Lal Bihari, of Uttar Pradesh, India, wins the Peace prize "for leading an active life even though he has been declared legally dead; Second, for waging a lively posthumous campaign against bureaucratic inertia and greedy relatives; and Third, for creating the Association of Dead People."

The IgNobel for Economics goes to Karl Schw"rzler and the nation of Liechtenstein, "for making it possible to rent the entire country for corporate conventions, weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other gatherings."

And, my favourite: the IgNobel for Physics goes to Jack Harvey, John Culvenor, Warren Payne, and others of Australia, for their report "An Analysis of the Forces Required to Drag Sheep over Various Surfaces."

Past winners are also listed, like the winner of the 2000 IgNobel Peace prize: the British Royal Navy for "ordering its sailors to stop using live cannon shells, and to instead just shout 'Bang!'"

My writing output may slow down a bit for the next couple of days as I'm taking the time to catch up with a number of other projects. There are a few articles that have been long delayed on the Transit Toronto website which I hope to have uploaded later tonight. Then there is the Trenchcoat Farewell Project. So, if I go quiet on you, please be patient.

I will tell you about yesterday, though. After going out (via transit) to Waterloo's Chapters, Erin and I returned home by bus and spent some time waiting for our transfer at the Kitchener Transit Centre.

For all our diversity (or, rather, Toronto's diversity; Kitchener has a definite Eastern European flavour, with hints of Chinatown thrown in), one thing that Erin misses most from Omaha is the presence of a Mexican community. I've been to Omaha, and I've seen the areas that go completely red, white and green for the Cinqo de Mayo, and I've had knock-your-socks-off-good Mexican food. To say that Taco Bell is a pale immitation is to insult pale immitations everywhere. But it's true: the Toronto area has just about every nationality you can find, and you have a wide sample of ethnic foods to choose from. A good Mexican restaurant is harder to find.

Erin did, however, spot a Latin American food store immediately south of the Kitchener Transit Centre; a little hole in the wall beside a Middle Eastern convenience store. Going into it was like entering another world; it was surprisingly crowded, with everybody speaking Spanish. There was ethnic produce, and fresh spices. We got what we needed to make excellent tortillas, paid the cashier and left.

Kitchener-Waterloo is nowhere near as diverse as Toronto, but its diversity is increasing. We already have signs of a definite Chinatown, and the ethnic food sections of our larger grocery stores are growing. For me, it's an exciting time; I look forward to the developing multi-cultural city of Kitchener.

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