Kurt Rampton is a senior at Georgia Tech, a third year Industrial Design student, and an IDSA member (don’t actually know what it means to be an IDSA, though we’re noting the coincidence of it being in the same sentence as Industrial and Design). Assigned to “create a lamp with forms inspired by a song of your choice,” he chose “Center of Gravity,” off of I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One. If you’ve always wondered what kind of lamp we’d inspire (sounds like a Barbara Walters question), click on kurtrampton.com
A fan wrote to us recently and asked:
“Every day during lunch at my prep school I am engaged the same debate and I would like you to settle it — Who is the best of the following Simpson’s characters? Snake, Gil, Duffman, or Ralph. I am sure you will say Gil. Thank you.”
We are not only students of “The Simpsons,” but students of science, and in the science game we call this a tainted sample. (Aficionados of “Court TV” might call it a leading question.) What if we did in fact say Gil? Could we say with any assurance that this is the answer we would have offered on our own? Luckily, James had not yet seen the email, so we forwarded it to him, without the “I am sure you will say Gil.” (And without the “Thank you” to be precise.) This was his response:
This is no simple question. I’m glad the kids of today are tackling such weighty matters, especially since these are the kinds of debates my friends and I have as well. Gil is a fine recent addition and boy do you feel sorry for ol’ Gil. Duffman has really bloomed over the last few years, I love it when he breaks character, and when he makes the ethical decision to help Homer in his battle against the Isotopes. Snake (originally “Jailbird”) is a fine character, but you never really got to know him until that episode where Homer wins Snake’s car, Li’l Bandit, in an auction. But Ralph . . . now there is a character with true depth. You know his mom and dad, how he interacts with his friends, leprechauns tell him to burn things, he’s a good tapdancer, his cat’s breath smells like cat food, he’s Idaho. I point to the episode where he and Bart become friends, and of course, the heartbreaking “I choo-choo-choose you” episode. He’s versatile yet always retains this happy, pure identity. Ralphie gets my vote.