James Bond, Julia Roberts…and STLE

James Bond, Julia Roberts…and STLE

Astrene, Thomas T

Have you registered for STLE’s 2005 Annual Meeting & Exhibition, May 15-19at Bally’s Las Vegas? The April 22 Early Bird registration deadline is quietly sneaking up, so the time to make your plans is now. Last month, STLE mailed a 48-page Annual Meeting brochure and registration materials to 7,000 industry professionals. You also can access the unabridged contents of the brochure and register online at www.stle.org.

STLE last visited Las Vegas in 1999 and set records for attendance and number of technical presentations. Enthusiasm is running high for this year’s meeting, too. More than 300 technical papers will be presented in Las Vegas, a 20% increase from last year’s meeting in Toronto. STLE is also offering seven world-class education courses, and we expect more than 80 top industry suppliers at the trade show.

The STLE meeting has me thinking about all things Las Vegas, so I spent a few minutes tooling around the Internet for some relevant (and, in some cases, not so relevant) items. Consider:

Las Vegas is about more than gambling. The city’s climate, entertainment offerings and low cost continue to make it a favored meeting locale.

Las Vegas has 22 major trade shows booked through the first quarter of this year, each of them expected to attract at least 10,000 attendees. Among those organizations: Snowsports Industries of America, the World Shoe Association and the National Association of Television Program Executives.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) estimates those shows are expected to attract more than 800,000 total convention attendees to Las Vegas. LVCVA also places the collective non-gaming economic impact of Las Vegas’ first quarter at more than $1.1 billion.

With a total attendance of about 1,500, STLE’s Annual Meeting is a bit more modest than those shows. Still, I’ll put the collective IQs of STLE members against the Television Program Executives any day of the week.

Speaking of TV, it’s hard to turn on your set these days without seeing Las Vegas prominently displayed. NBC just renewed its hour-long drama, “Las Vegas.” CBS debuted “Dr. Vegas” last year, and NBC offered the animated series “Father of the Pride,” based on the feline menagerie of Siegfried & Roy. Discovery featured a documentary series titled “American Casino,” and Fox offered a reality show, “The Casino.”

Maybe STLE can get in there with a special on Las Vegas and lubrication engineering. Anyone know what kind of lubricant they use on slot machine tumblers?

2005 is an opportune time for STLE to return to Las Vegas. The city marks its 100th anniversary with a yearlong string of events and celebrations.

Interesting enough, the exact day of the Las Vegas centennial, May 15, is the first day of STLE’s Annual Meeting. The city was incorporated on May 15, 1905. The major event that day will be the cutting of, at 130,000 pounds, the world’s largest birthday cake.

Other events include parades, air shows, food and folk music fests, a film festival and the largest fireworks display in the city’s history. For those of you with significant others, 100 couples will be wed under one canopy in june.

For more information on events surrounding the Vegas centennial, log on to www.lasvegas 2005.org

One Las Vegas Web site lists the Top 10 movies about Las Vegas as: “Viva Las Vegas,” “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Honeymoon in Vegas,” “Casino,” “Bugsy,” “Very Bad Things,” “The Godfather Part II,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” “3,000 Miles to Graceland” and “Showgirls.” Whether you prefer the 1960 or 2001 version of “Ocean’s Eleven” depends on whether your tastes run toward Frank, Sammy and Dean or George, Brad and julia.

What, no “Diamonds Are Forever?” Don’t they know lames Bond and Las Vegas go together like proper lubrication and prolonged engine life?

You can reach Tom Astrene at tastrene @stle.org

Copyright Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers Feb 2005

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