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May 2004

Spring fling goes primordial:
Cave dwellers emerge for party

You know it's Spring Fling when you see your co-workers wandering around dressed in leopard-print tunics carrying femur bones. On May 7, staffers shed their roles as scientists, administrators, engineers, programmers, and more to show their primitive sides show in response to this year's "Dinosaur" party theme.

The event at Center Green drew hundreds of staffers and family members for a lip sync contest, live comedy, food, music, and a chalk-drawing contest for kids.

This marked the third year that Dan Ziskin of the Employee Activities Committee (EAC) hosted the annual event. "This year I wanted to do something nice and sassy for you," he announced before the lip sync contest. "So I hired a comedian."

Nancy Norton, a local comedian with Vox Feminista, indeed made partygoers laugh between lip sync acts. "I've never been around atmospheric researchers before, but I do like the atmosphere here," she said. View video clip.

Six groups entered the lip sync contest. The Past Judges, who were exactly what they sounded like, opened with cavemen and women dancing around a fire and throwing candy to the crowd. The current judges gave their predecessors a participation award. View video clip.

COMET then won an accuracy and technical merit award by demonstrating the best way to teach basic arithmetic for different learning styles. By holding up signs with numbers at appropriate moments, they choreographed their performance to "Figure 8" from the 1970s Schoolhouse Rock educational series that used to air during Saturday morning cartoons. View video clip.

Next came CGD, which decided to soothe anxiety about the upcoming reorganization by affirming that NCAR divisions won't go extinct like dinosaurs. To the music of "Consider Yourself" from the Broadway musical Oliver!, the lip syncers eagerly welcomed representatives of different divisions into the new, all-encompassing Sun, Weather, and Climate Lab, where everyone would up satisfied. Judges gave the group a humor award. View video clip.

CGD was followed by Stealth COMET, which won an award for artistic merit by performing "White Collar Holler," a song by Stan Rogers that compares programming computers to building a railroad. View video clip.

Next came F&A, live from Rock Vegas, performing to the Flintstones theme song and winning the costumes and set category. View video clip.

And finally, EO topped off the contest by bringing Stone Age realities (floods, meteor showers, dancing green dinosaurs) to life, choreographed to the playfully edited lyrics of artists ranging from Bob Dylan to Wierd Al. EO took the cake-or fish, that is-when the judges gave the group a singing "Billy Bass" fish as grand prize for the contest. View video clip.

During salad, lasagna, and chocolate brownies, the band Chicago Skinny entertained the crowd on the lawn outside Center Green while kids drew on the sidewalk and partygoers perused NCAR Science Store items.

"I was thrilled by how smoothly the Spring Fling came together," says Dan Ziskin. "Congratulations to the organization for being such good party people." Led by Dan, EAC organized the event with extra help from Gail Rutledge. Eron Brennan managed sound and the Food Services team served up an excellent buffet. • Nicole Gordon

Also in this issue...

Shielding the Pentagon

Streamlining the NCAR Science Store

Wilmot “Bill” Hess

Cooling us off

Short Takes

Mentoring Latina students

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