Revenge of the Nerds

It's a war, but so far no one's gotten killed.

The student government at Emory University (search) in Atlanta on Monday declared war on Washington University in St. Louis (search), responding to apparent vandalism on both campuses.

Fliers printed with the words "Emory S---s" were dropped on the Atlanta campus over the weekend, and the same phrase was spray-painted on buildings, according to articles in both The Emory Wheel and Student Life, the Washington paper.

Meanwhile, Washington students woke to find graffiti reading "Wash U Girls Are Ugly" and "George Washington Is Dead."

Emory Student Government Association President Amrit P. Dhir (search), clad in a military uniform, promptly dissolved the elected legislature and proclaimed himself "Supreme Leader," with the requisite dictatorial powers.

"Emory University was suddenly and deliberately attacked by ground forces from Washington University," Dhir, flanked by black-shirted, helmeted members of the SGA's Department of War, declared. "In a community where scholarship and peace once existed, we are now faced with a terrifying shadow of war."

Dhir went on to say that Washington U. was "a terrible, terrible place," with "no identity, no integrity and, I am told, terribly unattractive women."

The Washington U. paper responded with an editorial that accepted Emory's challenge, then went on to declare war on Harvard for good measure.

The whole drama seems to be a somewhat lame attempt to foster school spirit at Emory.

"Wash. U. and Emory are very similar and have a very similar undergraduate population," Dhir admitted in an interview last spring. "Neither have a rivalry. There's some apathy."

Both schools are renowned for high academic standards and less-than-stellar athletic programs. Emory students are proud to say their football team has never lost a game — because it doesn't exist.

It's not clear who trashed either campus. E-mails suggesting a "road trip" to St. Louis have been found in Emory's computer system, but it's possible both incidents may have been self-vandalism — after all, the campuses are a 10-hour drive apart.

In any case, the Washington University Student Union (search) has failed to respond in kind, and doesn't look like it will any time soon.

"I don't disagree with the cause of school pride," President David Ader told, "but this method is not exactly productive."

Noodle Company Targets Interstellar Market

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese instant noodle maker will be shooting a far-out commercial.

The TV spot for Cup Noodle instant ramen will be filmed on the International Space Station (search) station next month. A hungry Russian cosmonaut will be making the sales pitch.

A high-definition camera is to be sent to the space station in a couple of weeks.

The filming will be directed from Russia's Mission Control Center outside Moscow. The Japanese space agency said the camera will be left aboard the space station in hopes it will be used for future commercials.

The Cup Noodle ad is set to air in November in Japan.

— Thanks to Out There reader Don W.

NATO Allies Quarrel Over Frozen Rock

OTTAWA (AP) — Canada and Denmark called a truce this week in a dispute over Hans Island, but neither is renouncing its claim to the wind-swept patch of Arctic rock.

There has been widespread speculation that the two governments may have their eyes on future claims over northern fishing grounds or access to the Northwest Passage, should global warming make the route more viable.

The uninhabited island, the size of several city blocks, sits in the Kennedy Channel of Nares Strait between Canada's Ellesmere Island and Greenland, which is controlled by Denmark.

Canada insists the quarrel is not about the surrounding waters, noting the boundaries of the continental shelf between Ellesmere and Greenland were agreed on in 1973.

Canada's defense minister, Bill Graham (search), rankled Danish officials by making an unannounced visit to Hans Island in July. Canada formally protested the planting of Danish flags on the outcrop in 1984, 1988 and 2004.

Canada's Foreign Minister, Pierre Pettigrew (search), who met with his Danish counterpart during a U.N. summit over the past week in New York, said yesterday they agreed to keep each other informed about any activities around the tiny island.

However, neither side budged on ownership of the island.

Real-Estate Board Priced Out of Own Town

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Sky high real estate prices in this resort city in the mountains have driven yet another business out of town: the Aspen Board of Realtors (search).

The board was renting an office at the Aspen airport because of the cost of real estate in the city, where even a small house can cost $1 million.

Now, the board has purchased a spacious office in Basalt, 10 miles from Aspen, said Brynne Kristan, executive vice president of the board.

Kristan said the board had hoped to own its own office in Aspen.

"We thought we'd be real estate owners ourselves," Kristan said.

Scores of businesses have moved out of town in the past decade because of the high cost of real estate and commercial space.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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