Monday, January 28, 2008


Barf happens--now we can measure it

by Larry Geller

Hey—if you're planning to go hiking or camping, you'd check the weather, right? No sense going out on the trail if it's going to be mud.

Surfers have their surf reports. Those who live in cold places can check the ski forecast. Temperature, wind, clouds and precipitation are routinely translated for us into conditions on the slope.

The idea is to know before you go.

Shouldn't we have the same ability to check before embarking on an interisland ferry trip in often choppy Hawaiian waters? In this case, it's the comfort of the ride that we might be interested in.

If the sea is calm, the trip is likely to be enjoyable. Clear weather, flat ocean, no camera shake, great views. If, on the other hand, the wind is high and the waves spectacular, you'd best leave the lens cap on to protect the camera from projectile barfing. Or take an airplane instead.

One day perhaps, we'll be able to turn on the radio and check the barf index before planning a trip. The Honolulu Advertiser has documented what can happen to ferry passengers who depart in innocent ignorance of roller coaster conditions along the route.

Improbable Resarch Looking towards that day, a barf index is under development and has already received national notice on the website of Improbable Research.

Who knows, the Barf-o-Meter may be on its way to winning an Ig Noble Prize.


The index tab columns got garbled as it was posted to Improbable research. No worries. I put another comment in here in agreement with how the index and graphics can be further refined.
Feel free to run with it, Larry.

Aloha, Brad

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