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July 1998 EXTRA!

Egg drop goes Hollywood:
Shells fell pell-mell, kids did well

Their budgets weren't eggstraveggant, but the mini-moguls of Bixby, Bridge, and High Peaks schools showed their creativity as they competed against UCAR staff in the 12th annual NCAR/Bixby Egg Drop Contest. This year's theme was cinematic, in honor of the ineggscapable Titanic ("Titanegg").

"Godzillegg" (left) is among the entries calmly awaiting their fate atop the ML roof.
Near-instant replay! "Godzillegg" takes a dive. MPEG video (780 KB)
QuickTime movie (1 MB)

Egg-drop founder and science teacher Paulette Middleton moved from Bixby to Bridge this past year, prompting the expansion of the participant pool. A fourth-grade class from High Peaks, located at Martin Park Elementary, also joined in. There was even a home-school entrant this year (Ian Eckart, who teamed with his mom Kathy).

Squinting into a searing May sun that threatened to fry anything left on the sidewalk--yolked or not--the audience of kids, parents, staff, and other egg-drop fans got their money's worth.

Above: Father and daughter take in the drop. Below: As temperatures ap-poached the nineties, egg-drop observers tried hard not to crack.
Near-instant replay! See "Eggeltrina's Wild Ride". MPEG video (910 KB)
QuickTime movie (1 MB)

Providing a cooling counterpoint to the heat was a simulation of the North Atlantic: a 20-by-25-foot sheet of black polyethylene that served as the landing pad, with a few styrofoam-bergs along its edges. A "Titanegg" lifeboat stood as sentinel as the event unfolded. A total of 52 entries plummeted to the ML driveway with satisfying thumps, gentle plinks, or crowd-pleasing splats.

Tim Barnes and Ron Lull braved the summerish sun for their announcing duties.

"You'll have to excuse their informality," egg-drop egganizer Rene Munoz (Education and Tour Program) told the crowd as she introduced emcees Ron Lull (HAO) and Tim Barnes (ETP). "Because of the hot weather, we told them they could leave their tuxes at home."

The first nine entries were all from Bixby and all Titanic-themed (including a lifeboat, an iceberg, and "Emily Jobe's Treasure Chest"). Like the ship itself, none survived with its cargo intact. However, the students' luck soon turned sunny side up. Meanwhile, Lawrence Buja (CGD) had his seventh win in seven tries with his recycled entry "The Decline and Fall of Large Vector Computing," and Food Services gave the crowd a smashing surprise with a foil-encased watermelon (the enclosed egg survived, too).

Does Gene Siskel ever have to do this? Judge Chris Knoetgen disposes of an entry that fell flat.

There were echoes of last year's Mars/Pathfinder focus in this year's drop. Two Bixbyites submitted Mars-inspired entries, and in the audience was Red Planet aficionado Carter Emmart. The long-time CGD staffer is leaving NCAR and Boulder this summer to design a flight simulator for New York's Hayden Planetarium.

One of the more surreal moments in egg-drop history occurred with "Baby Lillian," a larger-than-life model wrapped in pink swaddling that challenged the egg-retrieval skills of judges Dawn Ashley (UCAR) and Chris Knoetgen (FSS). Post-landing, as observers squealed and squirmed, Debby and Chris tried open-heart surgery and decapitation to retrieve the egg safely stowed inside Lillian. "The doctors are working feverishly," commented one observer. When the autopsy was over, Chris and Debby found that Lillian had indeed died of a broken shell.

The drop's climax came from left field--or, rather, fell into the field on the left of the A tower. "Seven-Twentegg-Seven" was built by Bridge students Eric Byrd, Robert Culp, Ryan Evans, Ian Moritz, and Dustin Stanton, in the tradition of gargantuan SCD Pit Crew entries of years past. Spilling out from its wreckage was a bountiful supply of candy, swarmed on in short order by kids in the audience. After the credits had rolled and the results were tallied, the students had come out on top once again--55% of their entries were unscathed, compared to NCAR's 33%. And to think: we couldegg been a contenda. --BH

Rudy and friends: Long-time NCAR cafeteria staffer Rudy Montoya (second from left) departed NCAR in May; his last day on the job was egg-drop day. Joining him at the drop are (left to right) Will Spangler, Cathy Halvorson, Madelynn McCowan, and Bob Dattore. In honor of Rudy, "Egg Salad Sandwich a la Rudy" made the last of its three egg-drop appearances. Below: The group reacts with dismay to the crack-up of "Egg Salad" cargo.

Near-instant replay! Food Services serves up "Egg Salad Sandwich a la Rudy."
MPEG video (1.2 KB)
QuickTime movie (1.3 MB)

And the winners are . . .

Most Eggological:
Chris Armstrong, Bixby, "Alvin II"
Doug Lindholm, RAP, and son Chris, "Eggpollo 13"

Most Eggonomical:
David Balchinski, Bixby, "Mars Rover"
Barb Bailey, CGD, "Untitled"

Most Eggscellent:
Caitlin Smith, Bixby, "La Coeur de la Mer (Heart of the Ocean)"
Ren Tescher, RAP, and Bixby friend J. P. Gallo (son of Inger), "Godzilleg"

Euphoria reigned with each thumbs-up awarded by the judges.

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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu

Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall