When was the last time the newspaper said anything as nice about your local science fiction club president as the Daily Mail wrote about the Cambridge University Science Fiction Society’s “Chairbeing”?
Alexander Guttenplan’s encyclopaedic knowledge, modesty and calmness have made him the sensation of this year’s University Challenge as well as a surprise heart-throb.
Guttenplan became a TV celebrity when he led Emmanuel College, Cambridge to the finals of a BBC2 quiz show by answering questions about Greek philosophers, Latin mottos and web comics.
I’ll bet fielding those questions seemed a breeze after Guttenplan deciphered his own club’s cryptic list of “CUSFS Vice-Presidents”. A sense of what might be going comes from the only line written in clear:
We determined the final six by dropping small pieces of paper down the central space of `E’ staircase, New Court, St John’s in a sort of gravitational Pooh sticks.
Would the rest be as entertaining if I really understood them?
[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster for the story.]