The University of Chicago has an ongoing winter event -- started by Jewish students to spoof the Rabbinic propensity to debate almost anything -- The Annual Latke-Hamentashen Debate.
As you probably know, latkes are oil-fried potato pancakes and are the traditional food eaten during Hanukkah, and hamentashen are the triangular cookies eaten during Purim.
Since 1946, the University of Chicago has hosted a debate over the central question: Latke or Hamentashen, which one is better?
The debaters use their field of experience to examine the issue. An architect might argue the case based on the aesthetic pleasure of a circle over a triangle. A mathematician might base an argument on the proportions used in their respective recipes. One person even constructed an argument based on the Feminist perspective.
My friend Brian has given a lecture there. He based his argument on the sonic qualities of Latke vs Hamentashen, waving each one in front of a Theremin.
Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Latke-Hamantash_Debate
It gives some examples of the various diciplines that have been brought to bear on this cosmic question:
- Professor Wendy Doniger of the divinity school, in a carefully footnoted paper entitled "The Archetypal Hamentasch: A Feminist Mythology", asserts that hamentaschen are a womb equivalent, and were worshipped in early matriarchal societies.
- Professor Alan Dershowitz, during a debate at Harvard University, accused the latke of increasing the United States' dependence on oil.
- When he was President of Princeton University, Harold Tafler Shapiro argued the hamentaschen's superiority by pointing out the epicurean significance of the "edible triangle" in light of the literary "Oedipal triangle."
- Michael Silverstein, professor in anthropology, linguistics, and psychology, argues that it is not mere coincidence that the English translation of the letters on the dreidl spells out T-U-M-S.
A collection of many of the presentations has been published
The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate
excerpt at: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/100235.html