Miami Beach, 2071. Two tourists, Gina and Tina, are standing outside the laser rope at the entrance to Plato, the newest "it" club on Collins. The bouncer looks them up and down. "IDs, please," he says. The girls beam them over. The bouncer hands them back two molecular pens and presses a button that illuminates a hologram in front of them. "You have 30 seconds to successfully complete this quiz," he says. The questions range from "What's the 123rd element in the periodic table?" to "Briefly describe the cultural and technological ramifications of the Peloponnesian War" — tough, but Gina and Tina are prepared, having downloaded the answers into their earrings two hours ago. When they finish, the hologram turns green and the rope momentarily disappears. Woody/Andre holds the door, and they're in. In one corner, two half-naked Russian guys are playing chess, and one looks to be playing the Benko gambit to counter the other's fianchetto. In another corner, two Matt Damon lookalikes do trigonometry on an old-fashioned dry-erase board, while their friend declaims openly about the influence of David Foster Wallace on post-postmodernist poets. In short, Gina and Tina's cerebellums are soaking-wet. How did Miami turn into this paradise of intellectualism?
When scholars look back, they'll probably point to the founding of [email protected], the hip cocktail party the Miami Art Museum throws every third Thursday of the month between 5 and 8 p.m. For just $10 (free for members, hint, hint), young Miamians can tour the museum's current exhibit, swap equations in the VIP lounge, or just look professorial on the loggia while listening to live music and sampling the gourmet appetizers. Of course, there's alcohol too (for a small donation). After all, this is Miami we're talking about, and sometimes even geniuses need liquid courage to seal the deal.