What you should not do under any circumstances so long as you still possess your towel.

Those who have lost their towels should certainly panic, and may like to consult <>. Those who barely remember their towels may even like to try their hand at DJing. PANIC's sometime motto is 'Anything but cheese', and it does indeed serve as a home for a remarkably eclectic range of music - from genuine indie through punk, nu-metal, ska and dance music to (occasionally) country & western and (once) Wagner. Consequently, it also known as the Tune Asylum.

The DJ list for the a recent panic (8HT03) implied the existence of an AWK Soc, which we took to be a society for fans of Andrew WK?, rather than users of the venerable unix programming language. Either way, this seems like a brilliant idea.

Sort of engaging in some Wiki Squatting?, Niall and Tom might try writing a Panic Set List 8TT03 here.

An alternative to going to PANIC is to live in the flat above the Polar Bear on a Saturday morning - it's 'Kung Fu' at the moment, and it's been non-stop PANIC favourites for the last hour. Oh, now it's 'Angel Interceptor'; hmm, they might actually just be playing 'Nineteen Seventy Seven'; still, sounds just like PANIC.

Fittingly, Panic can be understood in a number of quite geeky ways.

Panic is like Battle Tech

You can draw a Battle Tech Analogy to Panic in that managing heat production and dissipation is crucial for success. The key method of control is of course being selective about when you generate heat; save your intense moshing for the best songs. Furthermore, you can use geography to your advantage: standing up against the intakes of the air conditioning unit gives you a cooling breeze; standing in the path of the output will give you even more, but takes you perilously far from the dancefloor.

Panic is like a fusion reactor

The aim of a Panic set is simple: to get people moshing on the dancefloor. To acheive this, it must both get people on the floor, get them moving and then keep them there until things ignite. This is in principle similar to nuclear fusion, which requires sufficient ion density, temperature and confinement time to ignite. For fusion, these requirements can be quantified as the Lawson criterion: <>; presumably, a similar measure is possible for Panic.

Furthermore, we can postulate that vodka plays a similar role to muons in a muon-catalysed fusion reactor.

Panic is like a boiling fluid

Pursuing the fusion analogy, there are obvious parallels between the behaviour of people on the dancefloor and a layer of boiling liquid. Specifically, at below-boiling temperatures, people tend to dance in small rings, similar in structure and dynamics to convection cells. However, as the temperature reaches boiling point, this structure breaks down, and people take on a more disordered and unstable configuration.

If we are to believe Stephen Baxter and various others, it is not impossible that, given a large enough dancefloor and sufficient time, these cells could actually organise themselves into a living thing, like Baxter's Qax.

According to Slash Dot?, it isn't just Baxter: Howard Rheingold has worked out a theory of 'Smart Mobs'. (see <>). Not quite the same, since not literally based on a mesh of convection cells, but similar principles. Similar principles also, of course, to the organisation of Terran life into cells separated by membranes.

Has Freezing By Boiling? ever been observed in this context?

Not by me. Possibly because i don't know what Freezing By Boiling? is. -- TA

The kind of activity sometimes noted on motorways, where people are moving around so much that you get tailbacks appearing out of nowhere. I think there was a New Scientist? report about it --TL

Thu, 19 Jun 2003 16:30:08 GMT Front Page Recent Changes Message Of The Day