Visit to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit and for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Space Center Olympics, 2016. Theater Imaginarium.

The Space Center Olympics.
Showcasing Expertly Honed Skills Essential for Survival in the Space Center Culture

     The 2016 Space Center Summer Games were held in Pleasant Grove this week.  The International Olympic Committee would have sent their best wishes had they know.  There was a press mix up at The Troubadour's world headquarters; a mix up we deeply regret.
      The Space Center staff (athletes), uniformed in the colors of their starships, gathered in the Magellan for the opening ceremonies.

     Mr. Williamson was invited to hum the anthem, after which the flame was lit (thank you to whoever provided the simulated candle with LED flame. Open fires are not permitted in the school).  A paper crane was tossed into the air symbolizing eternal peace and goodwill to all simulators.  Two minutes of handshaking and back patting was initiated by Conner Larson followed by five minutes of trash talking initiated by Nicole VandenBos. The escalation to spitting, scratching, and kicking (Andrew wearing his Cowboy Cal cowboy boots) forced the suspension of the opening ceremonies by the judges.

Event 1:  The Dark Room Laser Challenge      

     Each of the four teams sent two expert crawlers and leapers (those who leap well, not those with biblical maladies) into this competition.  A laser obstacle course was set up in a darkened room. Points were earned by not setting off the lasered alarms and collecting four objects strategically placed throughout the room to present the greatest challenge for our experienced contestants.  Jon Parker was photographed maneuvering through the course. Jon is well known in Space Center circles as an experienced crawler.
     "That surprises me," Jon's mother said when she saw the picture. "He was the last of my children to crawl. As a matter of fact, he was the last in everything except crying. He'd keep it up until he got his way."  

The athletes got to survey the obstacle course after the competition.  "I'm surprised anyone survived this!" Jordan commented.  Erin was pleased hearing that, for she was one of the survivors. 

     Mrs Lorraine Houston was the chief judge and point tabulator.  Mr. Porter kept the master tally. I counted no less than five offers of bribes from various athletes. Mrs. Houston turned down their money, their pleas, their remindings of favors waiting to be collected, their car keys, and even promises of a first born child. "I love children, don't get me wrong," Mrs. Houston explained. "But I wouldn't be interested in YOUR child. I know YOU too well."   

Event 2:  Decoding    

     The next event was the Decoding Challenge.  I gave each team a coded message from the USS Voyager's first mission (Winter of 1990) Epsilon.  I don't remember which team won. I'm amazed how many have the traditional Voyager decoding font memorized. 

Event 3:  Typing   

     Speed typing was the next challenge; a skill needed by any flight director or second chair worthy of his or her salt.  Some of those keyboards were burning. I was afraid the event would trigger a fire alarm. Erin needed first aid when her fingers jammed into each other causing minor sprains. 

Erin's fingers at the end of the typing competition.
Eris is fast!

Event 4:  Hall Scooting. A Strange Competition with roots originating to the Space Center's first decade.    

     Hall Scooting is the term I use for this bizarre event. I believe they called it "fishing".  Athletes 'scoot' back and forth across the hall on their sides. It's like doing laps in a swimming race.  Dizziness is a common side effect. Vomiting can be another. 


Event 5:  Testing of the Palate

     Blindfolded athletes were given various liquids to taste and identify in the first round of this event. This was the tamer of the two rounds.

     The stomaching of the sauces was the challenge of the second round of palate testing. Mr. Porter scoured the internet to find just the right sauces for the competition. The unsuspecting innocents were invited to the table to feast on pizza with special sauce.

     The photo above was taken the moment the sauces were revealed. Natalie A., shows what everyone was feeling inside. Nicole VandenBos was ready. Isaac was completely innocent, being raised in a family of good upstanding, honest Christian folk, the thought of purposely making a person sick was a bit too much to grasp. He quickly learned.  Jake was wondering what the fuss was.

     Mrs. Houston was kind in doling out the sauces. A few drips here and a few drips there was all the torture she was willing to dispense.  Mrs. Houston would never have made it in the medieval torture business.  Her idea of putting someone on the rack would be to serve a delicious plate of ribs. 

     My idea of "have a little sauce with your pizza" was more "have a little pizza with your sauce".  The reaction to my generous helpings of Wasabi sauce is graphic as seen in the top four photos.  That special bond of trust I once had with the Space Center staff is shattered. It was a dark side of Mr. Williamson they'd not seen before.  Letting my true personality emerge through disgusting sauces was a blessing for me.     

Event 5:  Guess that Quote
     Sorry, no news on the Guess the Quote competition. I was on a Little Caesars pizza run.

Event 6:  Dodgeball / Bombardment
     Sorry, no news on the Dodgeball / Bombardment competition. I was run out of the building upon threat of tar and feathers for what I did to their fair tastebuds.  I went home having done what I set out to do - cover the first 2016 Space Center Olympics and show through my actions that good people can do terrible things :)

Mr. Williamson


Post a Comment