Friday, November 18, 2005

Pumpkins, Trebuchets, and Pies

While listening to NPR this morning, I experienced a very entertaining convergence. They were interviewing the winners of the annual Millsboro, Delaware, Punkin Chunkin competition. The point of this festival is to invent a machine that can hurl a pumpkin the farthest. Sounds like fun to me. Now for the convergence.

Last month, I co-chaired a pumpkin celebration event at my church. We spent the entire day with pumpkins, mostly cooking them. We also made some jack-o-lanterns. At the end of the cooking, we had about thirty people for a pumpkin-based dinner. Dinner included: pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin pie. It was a lot of fun (and also a lot of hard work).

Also, over the course of the last month, I have been somewhat foolishly obsessed with watching the movie "Timeline". The movie is based on a book by Michael Crichton. The story involves a group of modern archaeoligsts going back to 1357 France to rescue their professor, who recently made the same trip and didn't return. In the movie there is a pretty cool battle scene with numerous trebuchets tossing huge flaming projectiles at a castle.

Last night, I again watched Timeline (since it seems to be on almost every night on one cable channel or another) while making pumpkin pies for a church bake sale this weekend. This morning, one of the Punkin Chunkin competitors described his machine as a trebuchet. He lamented that their first attempt was a "pie". The interviewer asked him what that meant. He said that a "pie" is when the pumpkin leaves your machine in pieces instead of leaving it whole, which disqualifies your attempt.

Since I almost never listen to NPR, I really enjoyed falling upon this interview. There truly is convergence in the world. You don't even have to look too hard to find it.

Which reminds me of my favorite Steven Wright quote, "It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to have to paint it."

1 comment:

briwei said...

Trebuchet is one of my favorite words. One of my ren faire friends made his own trebuchet and launches soft-ish things into the crowd during faire.