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Daniel P. Arovas gets the last laugh...if he wants to

Posted on 2008.03.10 at 17:41
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: "Meats Of Evil" chant from Invader Zim Bolognius Maximus Episode
Some of you may or may not know of my less than tangential connection with the somewhat infamous Antarctica Liberation Front back at Old Nassau.  It was a joke party that ran on a platform of "law and order" that parodied, among other things, radical fundamentalist Islam, Mormonism (sorry Bob), and the Winter Olympic games.  The party, on a somewhat more serious (if you can force your willing suspension of disbelief to the snapping point) note, was pushing for election reforms in the Princeton USG. 

The top of the ticket for the ALF was held by a certain Mr. Daniel P. Arovas.  Daniel P. Arovas is now a Physics big-wig out in southern California [and was?] working on, among other things, the geosynchronous “Skyhook” orbital elevator system.  I won't say that he is superlatively diminutive, but briefly all buildings at PU except the Rock Magnetism Laboratory were named Daniel P. Arovas Hall (The nature of the lab's use had it sunk deep in the earth so its roof was only about a meter or so above the ground-making it the only building on campus SHORTER than Daniel P. Arovas), and of all my acquaintences at PU, Dan was the closest in size to the indominatable Invader Zim.  

Anyway, the ALF won most of the spots it ran for, including the presidency of the USG.  There had been another person running for president against Daniel P. Arovas.  This person railed with self-important indignation about how the ALF was destroying student government- making a mockery of it.  (We will ignore the fact that all members had pledged to resign once the legit reforms had been passed).  In a stunning precourser to the 2000 Florida elections, there was a recount, where this "other" individual mysteriously ended up BEATNG Daniel P. Arovas.  The name of this budding politico: Elliott Spitzer.  

Who knows in the all the what-ifs and alternate universes what might have happened if someone hadn't pushed the envelope and learned a little humility.  It might have made a cool episode of Journeyman (if they hadn't cancelled the series).  As it is, it looks like the Guv will have to wallow in his own vile meats of evil and may be forced to resign.

And so, I see in my mind's eye Professor Daniel P. Arovas (Phd.?) sitting in front of the TV tonight, watching the evening news, pointing at the screen and yelling the following:

(ok...Arovas has RED hair, not black...)

"I TOLD you you'd rue the day you messed with ZIM!  NOW...begin the ruing!!  I'll just sit"


(Anonymous) at 2008-03-11 05:20 (UTC) (Link)

It's "Arovas"

I'm happily tenured at UC San Diego, where I am a Professor of Physics.

My father called me today to say that Wall Street was having a big Schadenfreude party over the revelations. Said he could hear the whooping all the way from his office in Stamford.

I still have red hair.

By the way, none of us in a million years would ever have anticipated that the word "jihad" would acquire the significance it eventually did. The ALF started in 1978 -- even before Khomeini returned from France to Iran.

(Anonymous) at 2008-03-11 05:22 (UTC) (Link)

By the way

I'm a condensed matter theorist working on problems in magnetism, superconductivity, superfluidity, etc. I don't work on satellites or spacecraft, but sometimes I eat lunch with people who do.
radconpu83 at 2008-03-11 21:04 (UTC) (Link)

Re: It's "Arovas"

OMFG!!! (In order to maintain my Chaplain's decorum that's "Oh My Farting Goats!")This was the LAST person I expected to see a reply from!!! Mea Culpa oh apostle of the Divine Bruce Yam! (Note that the spelling errors have been dealt with above.) My wife (also class of '83) and I are curious as to how you ever managed to stumble upon this blog.

Pretty impressive that you can claim the red hair, as so many of the old farts (Lisse, Brians Smith, Jerries Friedman, etc.) can't even make the claim to having much of the hair. (I'm still lack a receding headline, but 10 years of working for the BCPSS and a 17yo are working on turning my hair grey...Not to long and I'll look like Reed Richards.)

And no. None of us would have predicted the world as turned upside down and screwed up in quite the way it is now.

I was just reminiscing (sp?) about that first USG meeting. Spitzer trying to put on a brave face and gesticulating at the assembly with Muller's cap pistol. Poor Michelle W. walking up to me all somber faced as I blocked the door with MacLowe's Copper African sword and telling me that if I valued our friendship at all, I'd get out her way. (I did, partly because there was still a quorum even if she left.)

And so the worm turns again. Dang, there will be so many that might be embarrassed to show their face at reunions this year...SIGH!
(Anonymous) at 2008-03-11 21:39 (UTC) (Link)

Re: It's "Arovas"

I was googling "Antarctica Liberation Front" to find an entry from Virginia Postrel's "Dynamist" blog from a few years back, where she mentioned the ALF in connection with Spitzer:

I wanted to send the link to my dad, who was having a Schadenfreude moment over the Spitzer scandal.

At any rate, there were only five hits in the search (which betokens ill for the Continent of Destiny), and your blog was one of them.

By the way, who the hell are you? Conrad? (You can find me on facebook and send a message. My students have dragged me into the facebook world. If my guess is correct, I have a picture of you in my facebook photo album -- a shot of the Princeton Inn College intramural (or inn-tramural) ice hockey team.) You can also find my email through the UCSD Physics department web page.


(Anonymous) at 2008-03-14 14:08 (UTC) (Link)

By the way...

Spitzer was outgoing USG chair when I ran. My opponent was Kevin Dougherty, whom, I recall, I implied was having sex with a wildebeest in a candidate interview with the Daily Princetonian. Kevin very narrowly won the election for USG Chair (by 6 votes out of more than 1500 cast), but overall we took three of the top posts, including the Vice Chair position, which meant that John Muller was running the meetings.

Spitzer was of course quite dismayed over the outcome, having to turn over the reins of the USG to a bunch of lunatics like the ALF, but I remember that Dougherty took it all with aplomb. There were some insufferable self-important types running against us that year, but it wasn't Spitzer, but rather a reform group called something like "Undergraduate Action." Their moralizing message points were completely drowned out by the silliness of the ALF campaign, and they were trounced.

I'm stunned and somewhat saddened by Spitzer's fall. The Prince interviewed me the other night for a story about Spitzer and the ALF, but I didn't feel like dumping on Eliot. My dad's observation, though: "I am sure you were much kinder to him than he would have been if you were client #9."

radconpu83 at 2008-03-14 15:20 (UTC) (Link)

Re: By the way...

Thanks for setting my errant memories straight. For some reason I had Spitzer and not Dougherty in my moind as taking the thing with some good humor. I guess that makes Elliott even less of a empathetic figure.

I too am of mixed negative feelings about the whole thing. My big question is along the lines of "Yeah, she (the "Expensive Courtesan" as Mr. Gygax would have put it) is really pretty...but I cannot fathom spending that amount of money for one night (not to mention over the long haul) of sex with her, or pretty much any other woman. Maybe it's working on a public school teacher's salary for all these years that makes this so sureal.
(Anonymous) at 2008-03-14 21:11 (UTC) (Link)

Re: By the way...

John Muller reminds me that Spitzer was elected USG chair as a sophomore. He was succeeded by John Frank, who was succeeded by Kevin Doherty. I ran against Doherty. I don't know how John still remembers these details. My brain has turned to shit.
radconpu83 at 2008-03-14 23:22 (UTC) (Link)

Re: By the way...

Guess those sorts of things were more important to him...I have vivd recollections of strains, bruises, toe luxations, and my hang over from when the PCs plied me with PIC zombies the night I was DMing and ended up giving experience points for the most trivial things suggested by them ("I lace up my boots extra tight" " OK...150 epxerience poins..."
(Anonymous) at 2008-08-23 04:54 (UTC) (Link)


I'm new here, just wanted to say hello and introduce myself.
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