The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I . a .. - . go
ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHN OQUIST
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
It's like when you crave tur-
key. You eat it and you eat it
and you eat it, but you still
- ROBERT BENJAMIN, a 67-year-old former col-
lege professor at Vanier College in Montreal, com-
paring his addiction to sadomasochistic sex clubs in
New York with eating turkey
"It's time to send him
back to Germany from
where he comes from.
You want to know his
original name? It's
- MOHAMED AL-FAYED, the father of
Princess Di's former lover, about Prince
Philip of the British royal family, who Fayed
believes conspired to assassinate Di
They still play the
In A's amusement halls,
pinball wizards remain
Walking down the stairs of Pin-
ball Pete's from South University
Street, the initial effect is sensory
overload. Your eyes and ears are
bombarded by a nonsensical med-
ley of flashing neon lights, beeps,
boops and animated voices.
When your vision begins to
adjust, individual games stand out
from the tightly packed collection
- the white-water rafting simu-
lator or the zombie apocalypse
first-person shooter. Each one
seemingly, or literally, beckoning
to customers, "Play me! Play me!"
One staple of the arcade, though,
doesn't garner as much atten-
tion as its flashier neighbors. The
arcade's namesake games: the pin-
As gamers battle ninja oppo-
nents, or watch a heavyset middle
school boy play Dance Dance Rev-
olution for the fifth time in a row,
the pinball machines stand mostly
untouched in discreet rows at the
back of the arcade.
But for a devout few, the arcade
is called Pinball Pete's for more
than just the sake of vague nos-
talgia and alliteration. They're
players of all ages whose devotion
to pinball hearkens back to a time
before Xbox. A time when Pinball
Pete's had four locations in down-
town Ann Arbor. A time that was
the golden era of pinball - the
Andrew Fischer, a 40-year-old
Ann Arbor resident, came to Pin-
ball Pete's last Monday to play his
favorite of the arcade's 12 pinball
machines, the one featuring Elvira,
Mistress of the Dark.
"If your play doesn't last that
long, she makes comments," Fisch-
er said of the game's recorded
commentary voiced by the provoc-
atively rmocking Elvira.
Fischer, who is a mechanical
engineer, said he's drawn to pin-
ball for the physical action of the
game. While he has a Playstation
at home, he said he returns to Pin-
ball Pete's because digital games,
including computer pinball, don't
have the mechanical element that
requires a sense of physics to get
the ball to do what you want in a
"Most of them usually fail in the
way the ball plays," he said.
over the decades since Pinball
Pete's opening, Fischer has wit-
nessed the progression of arcade
culture, as well as the rise and fall
of pinball. Fischer recalls how a
decade or two ago Pinball Pete's
had several times as much business
"Because it's tree."
- JOHN TRIPLETTE, a man from California, on why he made more than 27,000 calls on his cell
phone to 911 beginning in May. When his calls were answered, Triplette would start muttering,
making noises with his body and pressing the beep tones. He was charged with a misdemeanor
as it does now and often held pin-
ball tournaments. Also, Williams
Manufacturing Company, the
one-time leading pinball machine
maker that has since suspended
production, was on top of the game
with its "Twilight Zone" and "The
Addams Family" machines.
"There's been a lull for years,"
Fischer said. "Williams was mak-
ing better and better games and
they kind of stopped making them
because of videogames."
c as the technological mar- said, 'No'," Linden said. "But the
tion of pinball machine day after that they called and asked
turers might be, the real me to work for them."
is the new generation of Working at Pinball Pete's, Lin-
nthusiasts who fell in love den learned how to repair pin-
ame in its death throes. ball machines, which led him join
Linden, a School of Educa- an online community of pinball
or who collects and trades connoisseurs by purchasing and
sachines, rediscovered his repairing broken-down machines
on for the game at Pinball to trade with other collectors.
st year. "It's a small group, but it's a
ne back the next day and tight-knit group," Linden said.
they were hiring and they See ABOUT CAMPUS, Page 8B
with a g
Three things you can talk about this week:
1. Kosovo's independence
2. The dangers of drag racing
3. Spring Break 2009: Cuba
And three things you can't:
1. The slow unraveling of Kwame Kilpatrick
2. The clout of superdelegates.
3. Book22.com and its
Christian sex toys
rBY THE NUMBERS,
Number of digitized books the University library has made available
online through its Michigan Digitization Project
Total number of volumes in the library that will eventually be
Number of book pages viewed online every month through the
University's MBooks program
Source: University of Michigan
. - I ^ I i . .
Charles "Ego" Trippy
The great thing about the Internet
is that it allows the unwashed-yet-
tech-savvy masses to spread their
ideas and opinions on a global scale.
That's also its problem. Websites like
YouTube have given avoice to people
like Charles Trippy, a twenty-some-
thing with terrible hair who calls
himself a "viral video creator" and
brags about his 110,000 friends on
Apparently unsatisfied with those
achievements, Mr. Trippy decided
to make the longest YouTube video
of all time. The website restricts
submissions to 100 megabytes, but
Trippyused compression software to
post a video about nine hours and 15
Thevideo shows amostly unevent-
ful day in the life of Trippy. He opens
a DYD and then watches it. He taunts
his dog by reflecting a light on the
wall. He leaves his home to buy some
booze and returns to drink it with
Because of a glitch, you can't fast
forward through much of the video,
meaning you have to watch the sec-
ond half straight through if you want
to see it.Butsomethingtells methat's
not the point. What matters is that
the video has given Trippy 250,000
ego boosts - one for every person
who has clicked the link.
See this and other
YouTube videos ofthe week at
THEME PARTY SUGGESTION
Rooftop Eclipse - Tonight marks the beginning
of the first lunar eclipse of 2008. In order to show
solidarity with the science community, you should
dust off your telescope, meet up with some star-
gazing friends and find a choice rooftop. While
you're waiting, you should reminisce about past
eclipses while nursing a glass of Chardonnay.
Classy, we know. But it'll heighten your senses as
you watch earth cast its shadow over the moon.
Throwing this porty? Let us know. TheStatement@umich.edu
treshmen and Sophomores, are you looking for a summer internship?
Would you like to take a step towards bolstering your resume?
Do you wan to work with the coolest people on campus?
Teachers of Color
Learn Meet Discover
about the faculty, the variety of'
experiences students, and teaching
and benefits of administrators positions
teaching in an from Metro available in
independent Detroit and independent
school. Ann Arbor schools.
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STUDY OF THE WEEK
Kids who breathe dirty air may have lower lQs
Kids who live in areas with high amounts of traffic pollution score
lower onIQ tests and other exams measuring memory and intelligence
than children who are exposed to cleaner air, according to a study pub-
lished in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The researchers examined 202 Boston children ages 8 t o 11 who were
already involved in a study of maternal smoking. They looked at the
children's exposure to black carbon, which is emitted in the exhaust of
cars and trucks.
The study concluded that the more exposure children get to black
carbon, the lower they scored on intelligence tests. On average, heavy
exposure caused a 3.4-point decline in IQ. The carbon was also found to
have detrimental effects on children's vocabulary and memory,
Traffic pollution may cause inflammation and oxygen-related dam-
age to the brain, according to the study's researchers.
- BRIAN TENGEL