In the annual competition sponsored by the Institute of Physics, the San Francisco Bay Area topped Austin for the fourth consecutive year to win the coveted “honorary parallel universe” title.
In presenting the award, theoretical physicist Brian Greene called the Bay Area’s submission “three heads and six shoulders” above entries from Austin, Portland and New Orleans. Greene praised the Bay Area’s visionary “Be Who You Aren’t” campaign for capturing the essence of the landscape multiverse, which relies on quantum fluctuations dropping Calabi-Yau shapes to a lower energy level, thus creating a pocket with a different set of laws from the surrounding space.
“The Bay Area rocked it,” said Greene. “Within 18 months, the Bay Area could turn a conservative farm girl beauty queen into a booted misandrist or a Chevron petroleum engineer into an environmental terrorist. Clearly, the Bay Area has the vibe, radical history and infrastructure to create and maintain its own universe.”
Austin’s mayor, who requested anonymity, admitted her city’s “Keep Austin Weird” campaign has grown tired. “At this point, we’re an economic engine like Houston or Dallas but with a slightly better soundtrack. Still, I’d like to encourage Bay Area residents who age out on weird to consider Austin as a real-world reentry point or place to recharge your batteries.”