Friday, November 27, 2009

Dawn Wells Potato Peeling Video

Would this work on a rutabaga?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

On to new horizons: the Himalayan foothills

In an exciting and unexpected development, ARSI President for Life Obie MacAroon sent the following dispatch from Santiago, Chile, on September 1st:

"Our search for the tropical rutabaga will now shift to the Himalayan foothills, where several promising discoveries have recently been reported by a Uzbeki botanical research team funded by a major grant from the ARSI Rutascience Foundation in Forest Grove. The tropical Terai region of Nepal will be the focus of our initial investigations. While our collection of spores from the Andes awaits further DNA analysis (photo) at ARSI's lab complex, we'll be moving our search back to the northern hemisphere."
In honor of the occasion, President MacAroon has declared:


As of this writing, President MacAroon and his team are en route to Kathmandu via chartered jet. Check back regularly for updates on the progress of this ambitious effort.

PHOTO: Electron microscope of
the enhancer detector line of a tropical rutabaga suspect highlighting the mushroom body neurons.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

President for Life MacAroon returns to ARSI's expedition in Chile

In honor of the safe return of ARSI President for Life Obie MacAroon III to his expedition in the Chilean highlands,
the Board of the Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute (ARSI) has declared:


Last week President MacAroon was released from jail in Pintodos after being taken into custody on a fugitive warrant from the U.S. based on allegations of tax fraud that his team of Chilean lawyers described as "completely bogus." The release was effected as soon as cash payments could be arranged for certain "routine fees" to local officials.

While the human-rights community awaits additional details concerning this unfortunate misunderstanding, we are pleased to report that the ARSI expedition will immediately resume its intensive search for the legendary tropical rutabaga (Brassica napobrassica tropicales).

PHOTO: Police and curious onlookers outside the
Pintodos jail await Obie MacAroon III's release.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

ARSI's 55th Anniversary!

Tuesday, June 16th, is the 55th Anniversary of ARSI's founding by Obie MacAroon, our mentor and continuing inspiration. Appropriately enough, the ARSI Board of Directors has declared June to be INTERNATIONAL RUTABAGA MONTH.

Celebrations at ARSI's headquarters complex in Forest Grove have been temporarily placed on hold due to an inexplicable lack of contact with Obie MacAroon III, President for Life, from his expedition's base camp at 16,400 ft. / 5,000 m. in the Chilean Andes.

In his last email transmission via satellite on June 2nd, President MacAroon mentioned threatening late-fall weather, including thunderstorms and high-altitude rockslides. The photograph (above) was taken the previous week during a brief clearing period.

MacAroon and his team of rutabotanists also reported progress in their search for the elusive tropical rutabaga, including an abundance of airborne rutabaga spores in the vicinity of the camp.

The Rutabagan will be updated as soon as we receive further news from the expedition in Chile.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Tropical rutabaga discovered, at last?

The Board of the Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute (ARSI) has declared:


Writing via satellite email from his advanced base camp on Bolivia's Machacamarca plateau, ARSI President for Life Obie MacAroon reports:

"Thanks again to ARSI's Board for this unprecedented honor."

"I am very pleased on this occasion to report that, on April 27th, a team of ARSI rutabotanists found a single specimen of an exotic root vegetable (left) that bears a significant resemblance to the familiar rutabaga. It was located in an alpine meadow on the slopes of Illimani at 17,253 ft. / 5,260 meters, not far from La Paz. The tuber's color and cylindrical shape may not instantly evoke the rutabaga, but the odor and texture of the flesh are nearly identical. Small tissue samples have been sent to ARSI's labs in Forest Grove for DNA analysis to determine whether this discovery could be the fabled tropical rutabaga,
(Brassica napobrassica tropicales)."

"Finally, with only 45 days until the celebration of ARSI's 55th Anniversary, I have written a personal letter to my friend President Barack Obama and suggested that this would be an appropriate time to draft a proclamation suitable to the occasion. I'll keep you posted on the response."

PHOTO: President for Life Obie MacAroon III (Copyright 2009)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

It's National Rutabaga Month!

The Board of the Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute (ARSI) has declared:


Writing via satellite email from his advanced base camp on Bolivia's Machacamarca plateau, ARSI President for Life Obie MacAroon notes: "I am humbled and honored once again by our Board as we move ever closer to our goal of a confirmed discovery of the elusive tropical rutabaga (Brassica napobrassica tropicales)."

PHOTO: The Obie MacAroon III Nanotechnology Center, nearing completion at ARSI's vast laboratory complex near Forest Grove, Oregon - Rutabaga Capital of the World Since 1954.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

ARSI: A new presence on Facebook

ARSI is pleased to announce that our new Rutabaga Studies group on Facebook has been enthusiastically received. The group, open to all Facebook users, offers the following mission statement:
Dedicated to the preservation and expansion of rutabaga agronomy and culture through science, art, cuisine and athletics. This is the official Facebook representative for the Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute (ARSI), located in Forest Grove, Oregon, USA -- the Rutabaga Capital of the World Since 1951.
At a press conference in Peru, ARSI President for Life Obie MacAroon III stated: "We are pleased to take yet another step towards expanding ARSI's outreach efforts in every corner of the planet."

In response to persistent questioning from reporters, President MacAroon vigorously denied rumors that he had awarded himself a $62 million bonus from stimulus funds obtained by ARSI under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. "My actual bonus was less than half that amount," he declared. "Furthermore, my attorneys advised me that I had no choice but to give myself the bonus due to a pre-existing contractual obligation."

Sunday, March 01, 2009

2008 Curling Championship: The Vociferous Cruciferous Choir

If you need further proof that the 2008 Rutabaga Curling Championship was the best ever, despite the arctic conditions, take a look at the brilliant and spirited performance of the Rutabaga Chorus by the hardy Vociferous Cruciferous Choir in Ithaca, New York. (For those with a high-speed connection, it works best in High Quality, with "Smooth Video" selected.)

Choir member Tad Brennan, who reports that he "
discovered the long-lost lyrics in the archives at Cornell University's Rare Manuscript collection," gives us the opportunity to sing along:
"Rutabaga! Sport of the odder Ithacan natives. The rutabaga curled nearest the cone is winner of our sport, and of first prize. [Repeat refrain forever and ever]. Fling that thing! The sport of sports. Root of roots, and sport of sports. Rutabaga!"
Tad says that he's "the tall guy in the back row wearing the Carhartt coveralls, bow-tie, and cummerbund."

High Commissioner Steve describes how his many followers can find him in the video:
"When the camera pans off to the right onto the stage soon after the song begins there are 2 of us up with the cowboy hat/poncho (Peter MacDonald our emcee) and jacket/top hat/crazy ear muffs/enhanced side burns. On our own website we hope to soon have a cast of characters section so you can get more of a feel for the event."
Congratulations once more to all our good friends in Ithaca, and a special tip 'o the hat to Diane Petunia, Commissioner Steve and Tad Brennan.

PHOTO: Perfection! A sliced rutabaga showing the special qualities prized by rutabaga curlers everywhere: a spherical shape, extreme density and variegated color. This specially-bred specimen, measuring an impressive
9.86 on Mohs hardness scale, could only be cut with a diamond-studded industrial saw. [Wikimedia Commons]

Saturday, February 07, 2009

New U.S. Stamp commemorates Obie MacAroon I

ARSI takes great pleasure in announcing, in cooperation with the U.S. Postal Service, a new 8-cent Commemorative Stamp in honor of Obie MacAroon I, our Founder and ongoing inspiration.

The new stamp will be issued in a limited edition on April 1, 2009.
The familiar portrait of Obie MacAroon was painted by celebrated artist P.W.C. Magillicuddy in 1954. It shows our Founder at the very moment he conceived the Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute and its complex of laboratories, now located outside scenic Forest Grove, Oregon.

MacAroon was born on June 16, 1904, at the family homestead near Trout Lake, Washington. As a child of five, he began to explore the intricate world of horticulture in the rutabaga patch adjoining his humble one-room cabin. Entirely self-educated, he went on to conduct experiments in rutabaga hybridization that attracted the attention of several neighboring farmers.

After an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the Pentagon to add rutabagas to C-Rations during World War II, MacAroon moved to Forest Grove, Oregon, and planted his first commercial rutabaga crop in 1951. After three years of successful harvests, he established the modest first headquarters of the Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute in 1954.

On the 50th anniversary of ARSI's founding, a petition was filed to establish Our Founder's birthplace (left) as a National Historic Monument. For unexplained reasons, the application has languished in "administrative review status" for nearly eight years.

Reached via satellite phone at his botanical field station in the Peruvian Andes, ARSI President for Life Obie MacAroon III commented on the MacAroon stamp: "This long-overdue recognition represents a complete vindication of my grandfather's efforts, which regrettably were not fully appreciated during his long and fruitful lifetime." President MacAroon expressed understandable dismay when he was informed that the USPS has refused to share revenues from the sale of stamps with ARSI.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Results are in for the 2008 Rutabaga Curl

Our good friend Commissioner Steve gives us the following update on our favorite sporting competition:
"The 2008 International Rutabaga Curling World Championship was held in the usual Ithaca, NY Farmers' Market venue. It was perhaps our coldest Curl on record which kept the crowd size down and had many athletes reconsidering the wisdom of heading out to hurl vegetables in extreme cold. It was however one of the most exciting Curl's in our history. This was the first field with fewer than 100 athletes in many years; just over 60 curlers braved the weather.

"A separate Turnip Toss was held for athletes 8 years and younger. Many young people are attracted to our sport but are unable to handle the demands of the heftier rutabaga...a Turnip Toss offers a smaller more delicate projectile, the throw distance is significantly shorter than the 79 foot Rutabaga Curl distance; pitching distance is a function of contestants' age. Five year old Zeke Lawrence took home the coveted Gold Medal, Phoenix Uticone took Silver while Henry Toori took third place.

"In the Rutabaga Curl itself there were many no shows as teams that had trained all year were noticeably absent due to the severe weather. This created a wide open, unpredictable field. Tom Mansell, a 25 year old Cornell graduate student took home the Gold. His first curled rutabaga took a bad hop off a wooden beam and split perfectly in 2 pieces. After much discussion by referees and the Commissioner it was decided that Tom's initial rutabaga was faulty ( hollow) and a replacement rutabaga was allowed along with a new shot at the target. Tom's rutabaga both in his heat and in the final round were consistently closest to the target. Tom modestly proclaimed that "anyone could have done this" ...but we know otherwise. Ray Schlather of Ithaca took the Silver medal; his medal was significant in that he is the first athlete ever to medal more than once as he won the bronze the year before. David Kingsbury, a potter who is a vendor at the Ithaca Farmers' Market, took the bronze medal marking the first market vendor to medal in many years."

--Commissioner Steve for the Rutabaga Curl
Thanks, Steve. Obie MacAroon III and all the rest of us at ARSI extend our heartiest congratulations to you and the other participants for another successful curling event, despite the arduous circumstances.

PHOTO: A pile of ARSI rutabagas, genetically engineered to be suitable for curling and ready to roll (Wikimedia)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Message from Obie MacAroon III

Obie MacAroon III, in a text message from his winter quarters near Iquitos, Peru, writes:
"Greetings once again from Iquitos!

"This picture, taken with my satellite phone, shows the large crowd that gathered in traditional dress to celebrate my return to Iquitos after a foray into the Andes in search of the legendary and elusive tropical rutabaga (Brassical napobrassica tropicales). Despite its length (2 hours, 53 minutes), my speech was well-received by the gracious crowd.

"While our botanists discovered what appeared to be rutabaga spores at high altitude (16,200 feet) on Cerro de Pasco, the search to date has been inconclusive. We will, of course, persevere.

"A Peaceful and Happy New Year to rutabagans everywhere!"

Obie MacAroon III
ARSI President for Life
Next month President MacAroon and his expedition will move south to Bolivia's Machacamarca plateau, where local farmers are reported to be cultivating a variant of the tropical rutabaga.