In New York City companies attempt to out do each other with bigger parties at "cooler" venues on a daily, nay nightly, basis. Well, in a town where cowhands and IPO'd upstarts sit next to each other at a bar washing down good ol' Texas BBQ with a local brew, during the SXSW things took a turn for the bizarre. It started out harmless enough. Scient got us all excited at their sunset soiree on the rooftop of the Speakeasy Sunday night, March 12, with entertainer Brian Brushwood. First he did some mild fire-eating tricks that warmed us up. Then he hammered a nail into his nose. After choosing Jodi Mardesich of Dr.Spock.com to pull it out, he broke a concrete block on his head. Things got really wily when he asked the two biggest guys, Brad and Eric to tie him up in a Humane Restraint Company regulation straightjacket. He got out in less than two minutes, beating Houdini's record, to cheers from EssEffer luminaries like Molly Steenson (http://www.girlwonder.com/ and Scient), Justin Hall (www.gamers.com), Captain Cursor and Adam Powell (http://www.angrycoffee.com/). Other folks I socialized with as the sun set were Will Kreth, who contributed to the Austin Cyber Scene frequently and now has his own company, Lifeset.com, John Dial of Flying Baby Multimedia and Brian Newman of Image Film and Video Center in Georgia. On my way out I chatted with Henry Jones (Fulbright & Jaworski) and Jason Kelly (Digital South) who were playing pool.