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The Universe IV - Part I

For the last four years, our very own Rudy Speerschneider, Ice Cream Maker Extraordinaire and amazing artist, has created a very special ice cream flavor for us called The Universe. It's become a beloved tradition that takes us on an exploration of the universe through ice just three short years he’s led us through the discovery of the big bang, the expansion of the universe, and helped us look closely at planets.

This year we are exploring the stellar explosions! The Universe IV is a trip to the fourth dimension. Not only is this our fourth year making The Universe but the ice cream itself is a study of fours. It was created and designed in the fourth dimension, using four dimensional technology.

This year, Rudy has graciously agreed to guide us through our discovery of The Universe with a four part blog series all culminating with a very special event at our NW 23rd shop this Thursday evening from 7-9pm.

Rudy will be at the shop, scooping his masterpiece, answering questions and autographing limited-edition Universe zines. So, just sit back and let Rudy be your guide to The Universe - enjoy!

The Universe IV: Ice Cream in Space. By Rudy. PART 1

As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration began preparations for their Apollo space mission in 1968, they made sure the first astronauts in space had everything they needed on board to survive the total and spectacular disembodiment from Earth. They had an oxygen supply to last 11 days, the use of hot and cold water, spacesuits to keep them warm and safe, and…ice cream for dessert, of course.

Although the astronauts had to make slight adjustments to their daily routines and learn how to walk in zero gravity, their preparations paled in comparison to the extreme training and physical transformation the Ice Cream had to undergo for this historic voyage.

Since there were no freezers on board, scientists had to freeze dry the Ice Cream so that the astronauts could reconstitute it later with water (i.e. their saliva) into a sweet creamy treat. The hope was that this would at least give the brave astronauts a minute or two to remind them what it was like to be human, to be on Earth, to go out for ice cream.

Well, that is, in theory.

The first chomp into the crunchy chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavored ice cream sandwich shot out confettified crumbs which quickly floated up and into the vacuous air surrounding them. These solidified drips of flying ice cream were nearly impossible to sweep up, as they presented an immediate threat of tumbling into the sensitive computery, which could generate problems the human astronauts preferred not to discover.

The astronauts quickly chased down any remaining bobbing crumbs with their slow motion hands and gaping mouths, and wrapped the remaining ice cream back up and stored it away. …Except that one tiny crumb escaped the debaclerous affair. It went fluttering out of their groundless vision and quietly found its way through a small crack in between two instrument panel boards.

The tiny particle of powdery Ice Cream drifted within the bundled circuitry, bouncing off the rubber hoses and copper pipes lining the inner skin of the tiny space capsule. As if on a mission itself, the nugget of edible foam dove into a stream of pressurized air and squeezed its irregular and fragile form into yet another gap which fed into a ventilation duct leading out into the great dark expanse… There, it paused for a bit…seemingly unsure of what to do with its new found freedom, in a newfound world.

It slowly motioned back towards the cold and unstirring capsule and cuddled upon a rivet, and stuck there like a balloon on a static electricized head of hair. It seemed as though it was tethered by an invisible string, which slowly stretched out, slacking and taunting, held close by the gravity of the spaceship, like Pluto to the Sun.

Eventually, the aloof rocketcan let go of the minuscule satellite, as though the dwarfed object was no longer relevant enough to be considered a part of this small rag tag galactic act, and the piece of scrumptious dessert was sent off, to fly, forever, into the blind and silent void. Wednesday (January 27) morning will bring Part II of The Universe IV blog series!