Why I Prefer Music to Physics

Picture IMGP2415_1.sized.jpg Did you know that “quantum vortices have been observed in alkali Bose-Einstein condensates that seem strikingly close to those exhibited by traditional anisotropic superfluid such as 3He” ?

Neither did I.

And quite frankly I wish I still did not.

Anyway, last Sunday was party time in Yoyogi. Despite a last minute downgrade of the weather forecast, we decided to go through with it and make the best of it (we already had the sound equipment ready and figured it made little sense to cancel at that point).
The weather was indeed far from ideal and not so engaging for an outdoor party, but thankfully remained dry most of the day.

After the usual organizational bloopers without which a party is not worth being called a party, we eventually got everything set-up in our back-up spot, a few hundred feet from the original spot, which had turned out to be already claimed by rather stingy fellows. We then proceeded to get the party started and act as if the ominous grey skies above us were on their way out.

As it turned out, Park Security has much less patience for any form of amplified music as we had hoped (hopes based on previous experience, but then again: one should never rely on occasional lapses of lenience from the gods). After being shut twice, trying to wait it out (the park’s security supposedly goes off-duty at 4), we did what we should have done from the beginning and moved to the outskirts of the park… roughly 20 feet from the “official” park entrance, and just in front of a sign strictly forbidding the use of any amplified music instrument within the park.

The new spot turned out to be much more welcoming and, beside a small and courteous visit from the police a bit later (they only gave us a small warning and asked us to keep it down), we were able to crank the music up for good and until the end of the day. Of course, rain started falling in the meantime, and the temperature, which had not been so high to start with, fell even lower along with the night.

By this description, those who weren’t there might draw a rather horrendous picture of that afternoon… but actually, it turned out to be a kick ass party in the end:
Rain did not stop us and before the first serious drops had even touched the ground, we had wrapped everything (including the dj) in transparent plastic sheet. With a few people seating under the surrounding trees and the rest keeping their position on the exposed dancefloor, it nearly seemed like nobody had noticed the rain.
It’s always nice to see a group of people getting together and dancing in the middle of nowhere. But when that group of people keeps dancing until the very end, completely oblivious to a rain that goes from drizzling to pouring and back, believe me, it does make your day!
I would not trade 5,000 people in a club in California or Ibiza for the couple dozen people who shook their ass under the rain until the very last record on Sunday…

We have just uploaded a few pictures and some really neat movies, go check them out here and don’t hesitate to leave comments! (Update 2006: Gallery removed)

Also, chances are high that we will do it again. Although this time we will probably opt for a more sound-friendly location (still outdoors, of course). July would be the month, no day has been fixed yet. If you wanna be kept informed about our future parties, just add your name and email there (we promise we won’t use it for anything else!).

Ok, time to go back to quantum vortices… you might not hear too much from me until next month, but if everything goes according to the plan, and once I’ll have gotten school out of the way, I might even have cool stories and pix from Europe to put here.

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