Monday, March 01, 2010

Snow Day

Brooklyn: The Boids.

Confetti Rainbow Polymers, Controlled Chaos, and Free Hot Chocolate
Near perfect fun after our record breaking snowfall. Sharing Prospect Parks slopes with hundreds of future little winter Olympians, each of them intently perfecting their own version of the Double McTwist 12. 
 Very little crying and no permanent head traumas to report.
Brooklyn Downhill Ingenuity: Fresh Direct boxes, kiddie pools, garbage can lids,  black plastic  mortar mixing pans with proprietary rope handles.

Every conceivable store-bought sledding device known to Manchild also present. Inflatable Freezeseeker Sno Tubes, High-Density Polyethylene Eurosleds, Rock 'n' Rip Saucers in Day-Glo colors, Snopedo Bodyboards, old school wooden toboggans, all plunging head first down the slope like synchronized penguins, my seething flockmates and I.
The highly coordinated movements of sledders are among the most fascinating phenomena to be found in all of nature. Our group seems to take turns and maneuver as a massive single unit, changing direction almost instantaneously. Such mysterious movements are a prime example of emergent behavior
"The behavior is not a property of any individual, but rather emerges as a property of the group itself. There is no leader, no overall control, instead the 'flocks' movements are determined by the moment-by-moment decisions of individual sledders, all following simple rules in response to interactions with their neighbors on the hill."

Older dudes passing down the three basic rules of safe-sled flocking behavior.

Separation - steer to avoid crowding ones neighbors.
Alignment - steer towards the average heading of ones neighbors.
Cohesion - steer to move toward the average position of ones neighbors.

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