The ATC Report

"In Control" - Vol. IX, No. 7

Usually we open the column with some bit that we use as a lead-in to the rest of the garbage we decide to write down. Sometimes these bits are funny (of course, we think they are all funny), sometimes not so much. Sometimes they actually pertain to the Race, usually they don't.

Until this issue, that is. Try as we might, we really had nothing we wanted to say right off the start. We tossed around lots of ideas (for instance - what's the deal with Spam, when will Hollywood ever come up with a truly new idea for a movie, full frontal nudity, etc.) but nothing really struck us as being worthy of a lead-in. Then, one of our co-workers who actually logs on to TARflies just to read our column (hey Wook, how's it going?) came up with a brilliant idea. He pointed out that we never actually say anything after the lead-in, so why worry about what to say in a lead-in? In fact, why bother with a lead-in at all? He had a point.

Here's our recap of the main events from the Race. First, we would like to point out that nobody should have been too shocked when Barry "never saw" the tree that took out his rear window and creased the tailgate of his car. Look at some of the other cars Barry has driven over the past few years:

2001 - Semi was in blind spot

2002 - Overlooked convenience store

2003 - Mistook telephone pole for freeway ramp

2004 - Failed to spot edge of cliff

2005 - Practicing for upcoming appearance in TAR9, mistook yellow and red on engine for Route Marker.

One of the things we've always liked about The Amazing Race is the fact that fans of the show can actually learn about other countries and cultures while being entertained. Take this week, for example. Shortly after arriving in Greece, Monica pointed out that, "This [Greece] is where thinking began and the great philosophers are all from here."

Perhaps you were unaware of that fact but since it was on TV it must be true, right? An internet connection, great Google-ing ability, and a little research is all it takes to determine that in 348 BC, Ellipsis (the Elder) was strolling along the beach. Humankind had, until that very moment, survived only on instinct and genetic conditioning. As Ellipsis (the Elder) was strolling along, his head suddenly filled with the image of a cheeseburger followed immediately by the mixing directions for a killer Tequila Sunrise. Sadly, Ellipsis (the Elder) knew nothing of cheeseburgers or Tequila Sunrises, since neither had yet been invented. If they had, perhaps he would have recognized the onset of "thinking". Of course, if they had already been invented, then somebody else would have previously thought of them, which would have led to the question: Which came first, the thinking or the Tequila Sunrise?

Here's an interesting sidebar on Ellipsis (the Elder). It turns out that Ellipsis (the Elder) was actually younger than Ellipsis (the Younger). This was due to the fact that they both lived in the years BC - which as everyone knows were counted backwards. ‘BC' actually stood for "backwards counting" until the year 0. At that time, someone recognized the fact that they had run out of year numbers and appended an ‘AD' to the end of the year. ‘AD' stood for "All Done". Imagine their surprise when December 31, 0 ended and they found themselves awakening to January 1, 1. For some reason, the ‘AD' stuck, and we've been using it ever since.

But we digress. Back to Ellipsis (both Elder and Younger) and the backwards-counting years. Since the years were going backwards, those folks who were born in 10 BC were actually older than those born in 200 BC, even though the folks born in 200 BC were most likely already dead. None of this would get sorted out until the Renaissance, which is French for "dude, that's some screwed up year numbering".

It's also comforting to know that Greece has produced all the philosophers throughout history. Friedrich Nietzsche (born in Röcken, Greece), Rene Descartes (born in Le Havre, Greece), Benedict de Spinoza (born in Holland, Greece), Lao Tzu (born in China, Greece), Ayn Rand (born in St. Petersburg, Greece), and Thomas Aquinas (born in Naples, Greece) all were gifts to the world from the nation of Greece.

Lastly, we would like to talk about this episode's bungee jump - or in the case of Fran, her bungee flop. First, allow us to point out that this jump was from 240-foot high platform. This means that the actual jump portion was somewhere less than 200 feet. On our Race, Steve had to make a 460-foot jump off an 1100-foot tower (which was closer to a 800-foot jump with the way HE stretched the cord). Here are some height comparisons to show you exactly how short a 200-foot jump really was:

Of course, it really doesn't mean anything and is, in fact, just another case of us whining about how our Race was so freaking tough. We will see you again next time (which will actually have been before this time if we were still in the years BC).