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Things I've Found 44 (I've Red-Lighted in the Drag Race of Life)—3/24/2005

by Mark Rose

Ah, drag racing. There is no other sport in the world that makes your heart pound, literally, with the thumping bass of a finely tuned internal combustion engine exploding from 0 to 300 miles per hour in less than 5 seconds. Whether you do it mainstream (http://www.nhra.com) or you like the old alternative kinkier version (http://www.ihra.com), it is a sport for all ages, genders and colors. What other professional sport do you know that has had a top champion over the age of 55 (like Eddie Hill in Top Fuel), a top champion who happens to be female (Shirley Muldowney, Angelle Seeling, et al.), and where color never matters (half of the Pro Bike contestants are black). Other fun facts about drag racing (cribbed off an old email, now lost) include:


-- A stock Dodge Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to drive the dragster's supercharger.


-- In order to exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate an average of over 4G's. In order to reach 200 mph well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8G's.


-- Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence.


-- The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.441 seconds for the quarter mile (10/04/03, Tony Schumacher). The top speed record is 334.65 mph (2/12/05 Tony Schumacher).


-- Putting all of this into perspective: You are driving the average $140,000 Lingenfelter "twin-turbo" powered Corvette Z06. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch down a quarter mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the 'Vette hard up through the gears and blast across the starting line and past the dragster at an honest 200 mph. The "tree" goes green for both of you at that moment. The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot down hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums and within 3 seconds the dragster catches and passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a quarter mile away from where you just passed him. Think about it: from a standing start, the dragster had spotted you 200 mph and not only caught but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320-foot-long racecourse.


-- That, folks, is acceleration. Ah, drag racing.


Do you get those stupid spam emails with odd headers? You know what I'm talking about, things like: Hot Busty Naval Chix Inspect Their Portholes and V*1*A*G*R*A 4 LES!. Well, now you can get them put onto a T-shirt! http://www.spamshirt.com/ Send them a spam header you like and they'll make you a T-shirt for $25, or buy one of their own.


What's better than a hot plate of bacon? How about a beautiful woman coming to your house, cooking it, and serving it up to you....er, among other things? That's the premise behind this site: http://www.baconwhores.com/ (presumably a joke, but what the hey).


Hey, remember how we discussed the possibility of buying the rights to name a monkey in one of our previous issues? SOLD! for $650,000 no less. To an anonymous bidder who won't tell us what he or she is going to name the monkey, but the second-place bidder was Ellen DeGeneres. Go ahead, write your own joke.


I call SHOTGUN! That means I get to ride in the passenger seat, right? Well, maybe. You do have to read the 56 Amendments to the Official Rules of Calling Shotgun to make sure you get the seat and can fulfill the necessary requirements: http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/~starbug/shotgunguide.htm. Now if you shout MIR!, well, you can ride up there if you want.


Crazy-Ass Game of the Week: Drunk Man Walking! This game's all in German, but it's easy to play and an absolute hoot: http://www.wagenschenke.ch/. Drunk man starts wobbling down the street. Move your mouse left and right to keep the man upright and walking. My first try was a lovely 54 meters. The highest I've heard was 82 meters. Give it a shot. (From the Penn State Nittany Lion)


Want to join the Marshmallow Peeps Fan Club? Show your Peeps Pride! http://marshmallowpeeps.com/


Send a telegram to someone who has passed away. Of course, your messenger also has to die and he or she has to go to the right location: http://www.afterlifetelegrams.com/AFTERLIFE/ (Reason #65,785 why I'm in the wrong business.)


Here's a guy who paints and sculpts match heads into, frankly, rather amazing results: http://www.davidmach.com/sculpture/sculmatchframes.htm


Child Named Diot Coke, But Not for the Reason, or Even When, You Think: http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2628349 This strikes a chord because some of my own ancestors had names like Remembrance, Permelia and Thirza. And oh yeah, the little cousin Dokterpepper we never talk about.


Ex-Monty Python member Graham Chapman loved games of all types. He invented a board game in the 70s, and now Alien Menace Productions plans to release the game. The goal: have a life and die. http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/4500.html And supposedly, they're still working on it. Alien Menace's home page is here: http://www.alien-menace.allthingsfun.net/. Check out their Sucking Vacuum game.


I think we'll end on the Sucking Vacuum note. It doesn't get much better than that. Until next time then!...