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Mir and Free Tacos

By Seumas in MLP
Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 04:19:52 AM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

TacoBell is offering to give every American a free taco if Mir lands on a 40'x40' target in the pacific. Some marketing geek must be giggling like a school girl about now.


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Mir and Free Tacos | 48 comments (33 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
The most amusing part. (4.57 / 7) (#2)
by Seumas on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 12:11:23 PM EST

The part I found most amusing about the entire page is the fact that TacoBell has purchased an insurance policy in the event that they should have to pay out on this one. I guess you can insure anything these days...?
I just read K5 for the articles.
Of course... (4.33 / 3) (#15)
by Cironian on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 04:12:28 PM EST

The only thing an insurance company is interested in in these cases is a way to calculate the probability for this to happen. In this case its a lot more simple than what usually goes on there; just take ((size of target / size of probable impact area)*cost of the taco action) plus a certain percentage for the insurance company to turn a profit and you have the amount that has to be paid. Its far more difficult to calculate the chances of a house burning down which has to take stuff like local weather conditions, age of the house and its inhabitants, gas lines, proximity to fireworks companies and all that into account.

You can even get insurance for things that dont really have a negative effect on yourself so for example I can get money if Bob Dimwits house on the other side of the globe gets flooded.

[ Parent ]
Insurable interest (none / 0) (#44)
by Merekat on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 11:06:47 AM EST

You can even get insurance for things that dont really have a negative effect on yourself so for example I can get money if Bob Dimwits house on the other side of the globe gets flooded.

I don't think so. I'm not an insurance agent but I do remember learning that the principle of insurable interest applies to anything you want to insure ie. you have to suffer (financial) loss if there is loss or damage to the insured item. Quick summary here.

Maybe insurance companies *might* let you take out a policy but I don't think they are obliged to pay out.

This entire concept reminds me of the free Krustyburgers/Moskow Olympics Simpsons episode. I guess marketing saw that one and decided they needed insurance<g>
I've always had the greatest respect for other peoples crack-pot beliefs.
- Sam the Eagle, The Muppet Show
[ Parent ]

Last time I talked to my agent (none / 0) (#47)
by error 404 on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 06:00:53 PM EST

she said I could buy insurance on anything.

But what the company would be obligated to pay on was limited to documentable losses that I personaly suffered.

From the way she described it, it sounds like unpayable insurance is sold rather frequently, mostly in the form of over-insurance. But then, she might have just been selling her service to me...
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

when? (3.00 / 1) (#3)
by alprazolam on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 12:12:08 PM EST

when's this supposed to happen? will we be able to see it at all?

Sure You Can! (3.00 / 1) (#7)
by greyrat on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 12:25:42 PM EST

Drive your convertible out north and east of American Samoa. Watch for it out the drivers side of the windshield. #;^)
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

[ Parent ]
Nahhhhh.... (3.00 / 1) (#13)
by minusp on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 02:57:50 PM EST

I'm going to the commissary and get some good binoculars, then head over to the Pago Yacht Club for some drinks with little umbrellas...
Remember, regime change begins at home.
[ Parent ]
I like their stock exchange tag... (4.50 / 6) (#4)
by Per Abrahamsen on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 12:13:05 PM EST


heh (4.70 / 10) (#5)
by scorbett on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 12:16:00 PM EST

If it lands on that stupid annoying Taco Bell dog ("yo quiero Taco Bell"), I'll buy them a taco.

Good thing it isn't America (3.00 / 7) (#6)
by Seumas on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 12:18:49 PM EST

It's a good thing Mir isn't being dropped by the Americans. We'd probably end up hitting a Japanese trawler. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the implication that the odds of hitting a little boat in the middle of a massive ocean with a submarine are insanely 'astronomical'!)
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
I agree (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by onyxruby on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 06:44:18 PM EST

I must agree, better buy my tuna now.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

*Splutter* (none / 0) (#43)
by Smiling Dragon on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 12:08:47 AM EST

<Grin> I came _this_ close to spraying my monitor and keyboard with L&P (Kiwi fizz drink) when I read that. Bravo! hehehehehe

(What a bad luck story though eh?
SAILOR: We lost the boat boss, got hit by a space station.
BOSS: What? Again?!?

-- Sometimes understanding is the booby prize - Neal Stephenson
[ Parent ]
counter offer (4.40 / 10) (#11)
by eLuddite on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 02:05:29 PM EST

I'll give the Russians Malboros and toothpaste if Mir lands - hard - on that little chiuaua dog.

God hates human rights.

dog (3.00 / 1) (#23)
by Refrag on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 08:34:59 PM EST

Don't you people know that the dog is gone? Taco Bell changed ad agencies and the dog stayed with them. Now Taco Bell has the annoying geeks.


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

the dog stayed with them? (none / 0) (#28)
by Seumas on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 06:43:35 AM EST

Actually, if I recall, the dog died back during the Godzilla marketing craze. I'd hate to see the poor pooch today, if the advertising agency kept the little rat.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
dog (none / 0) (#48)
by Refrag on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 01:24:25 PM EST

I didn't mean that the dog actually stayed with the ad agency. I just meant that Taco Bell couldn't use the idea of the dog, the idea stayed with the old ad agency.


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

How likely is this? (4.25 / 4) (#12)
by theboz on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 02:09:57 PM EST

Does anyone here have a clue of how likely this is to happen? I have the feeling that I have a better chance of getting electrocuted by a blue donkey than Mir hitting their target.

Also, since Mir probably won't hit the target, what are they going to do with it? Leave it floating out there in the water indefinately?


Probability (4.25 / 4) (#17)
by whatnotever on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 04:51:35 PM EST

Target = 40'x40' = 1600 sq ft.
Splashdown Zone = 3,726 miles x 124 miles = 1.3 x 10^13 sq ft. (http://www.spaceviews.com/2000/12/09a.html)

Pretending I know something about probability, we can say that it is less likely that it will land towards the edges of the zone. So by my amazingly scientific calculations, this cuts the effective area by 80%. (Yes, that is amazingly conservative ;-)

That all comes out to about 1 in 1.6 billion. Taco Bell has pretty good odds.

Now, it will also be coming down in multiple pieces. This would change things, but the Taco Bell statement uses the word "core" *repeatedly*. So they can probably weasel their way out easily enough if something small hits it.

All in all, we ain't gettin' no tacos. However, I would still be wary of blue donkeys if I were you...

[ Parent ]
On the other hand... (none / 0) (#45)
by fluffy grue on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 11:31:56 AM EST

If the target were hit by a piece which is colored burnt orange, Taco Bell could just get the US Government to pay for it.

Pity that Mir's already down, though. It's no fun to speculate about the subjunctive.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

well I voted it up (4.00 / 6) (#19)
by rebelcool on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 05:46:41 PM EST

because its funny and interesting, and I would never have known about it unless I read this.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Can I have..? (3.00 / 1) (#22)
by mystic on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 08:03:02 PM EST

CmdrTaco instead?

No chance at all (3.00 / 1) (#25)
by bjrubble on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 12:21:21 AM EST

The target will be anchored10 miles off the coast of Australia. I figure the chance of hitting this target is just imperceptibly smaller than the chance Mir misses the ocean entirely.

Oh, I guess that is something of a chance after all, isn't it?

TACOS FROM HEAVEN! (none / 0) (#33)
by MachineSquad on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 10:51:12 AM EST

I just about peed myself with pleasure after reading about this yesterday... and then I realized I was Canadian and miss out on my free taco... oh the humanity!

If Mir does "ring their bell", Taco Bell will be paying out $193 200 000 worth of tacos... just think of the hey day anti-diarrhea medecines will be having.
Seriously though, we're gonna need some liquor.

Marketing gimmick, yes +1 (none / 0) (#34)
by mpawlo on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 12:31:21 PM EST

+1 one for the great marketing gimmick and the laugh I just had. This was indeed stupid, but very funny. Do you have to be an American citizen to get the taco or is it enough to be in the country to collect it?
Look at the high-res photo (none / 0) (#35)
by hardburn on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 03:48:18 PM EST

If you look at the high-res photo here, you can clearly see a "Valid for US residents only" printed on the lower-right corner of the target.

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

[ Parent ]
Isn't it supposed to break up? (3.00 / 1) (#36)
by hardburn on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 03:51:05 PM EST

Isn't Mir supposed to break up into several smaller chunks upon re-entry? If so, and it just so happens that some golf-ball-sized wad of chewing gum that was holding one of Mir's rocket boosters on hit the target, do we still get the taco?

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

The Core (none / 0) (#41)
by Smiling Dragon on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 11:52:42 PM EST

They said if the *Core* of Mir hits the target, whatever Mir's Core is... Any guesses?
-- Sometimes understanding is the booby prize - Neal Stephenson
[ Parent ]
Smokedot (4.20 / 5) (#37)
by Keslin on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 05:14:21 PM EST

This link really needs to be posted on Smokedot. It's glaring evidence of the widespread use of wonder weed in the US. How else could the marketing department at Taco Bell have come up with this one?

I have this image of two twentysomething creative types in the marketing department at Taco Bell, sitting around after work, sucking on a bong and watching a horseshoe-throwing match on the Country Music Channel. "Hey duuuude, I just thought of something man..."

-Keslin, the naked nerd girl.

Brilliant (none / 0) (#38)
by YelM3 on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 06:35:45 PM EST

Even if the debris did hit the target, it would probably vaporize and/or melt it immediately, and Taco Bell could deny the bullseye and keep their 240M tacos.

This whole thing sounds to me like something out of the Simpsons, and while that is somewhat amusing, it's also kind of disturbing.

I wonder how many fish/dolphins/killer whales will get stuck in this thing and die?

Oh no... (4.66 / 3) (#39)
by elemental on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 06:40:02 PM EST

I can already see the "All your taco are belong to us" sites that will pop up if this thing actually gets hit...

I love my country but I fear my government.
--> Contact info on my web site --

Free Mexican Food is Dangerous (none / 0) (#40)
by Wah on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 05:53:02 PM EST

Just ask the Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers. Reunion Arena in Dallas had a deal where if the Mavericks got 100 points and won, all the fans got a free chalupa. With the game out of reach, and the fans chanting "Chalupas, Chalupas", a couple Mavs players decided to push the team over the century mark. Which tipped off a tussle with the team taking the theatrical thrashing to heart. The love of Mexican food is the root of all evil.
Fail to Obey?
Random Thought... (none / 0) (#42)
by Smiling Dragon on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 11:58:33 PM EST

I wonder if anyone will be silly enough to go park a boat there in the hopes of getting "Free Tacos Here"...
"Hang on, I can see something coming in... uh oh..." *BLAM*


-- Sometimes understanding is the booby prize - Neal Stephenson
Alas, no tacos (none / 0) (#46)
by sacnuggets on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 02:32:25 PM EST

Sorry, but I'm sure you all know that we don't get free tacos because Mir missed the sign. Anyway, I checked out Taco Bell's website afterwards and read their statment about the event. I found that the company took this a little to seriously. On the site, they said "We captured the imagination of people around the globe and re-focused attention on one of the most miraculous events in space travel." Come on, what imagination, people wanted free food, sheesh. Give me a break!

Mir and Free Tacos | 48 comments (33 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
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