Monday, May 24, 2010

Mixology 20XX

And just in case our sole remaining reader wants to try the eight-shot Mega Man 10 theme cocktail challenge (pound one for each Robot Master you beat in the final Wily Castle, when you have to fight them all in succession!), here are the recipes, because we're huge nerds! Some of these are actually really tasty.

Thunder Wool (Sheep Man's weapon): Intended recipe--blood orange soda and Absolut citron, topped with a spun sugar cloud. Actual "make do with the ingredients we have" recipe--grapefruit soda, limeade, and Absolut citron, with a dash of sugar poured in right before you drink.
Water Shield (Pump Man's weapon): 1 pt. watermelon liqueur, 2 pt. blueberry juice, 1 pt. 7-Up.
Solar Blaze (Solar Man's weapon): we had wanted a flaming shot for this, but as Jonathan pointed out, the likelihood that we were going to get mixtures of 40-proof spirits to hold a flame was dubious at best. In the end we mixed 1 pt. sambuca and 1 pt. Kahlua with like four parts 100-proof gin to try to get it aflame, but still no dice. To this vile mixture we squirted in Louisiana hot sauce, because it had to burn somehow! Then we poured in some Bailey's, because at that point, why not? I somehow got the shot that had all the spent matches that we tossed into the mix in our fruitless efforts to light it on fire. Not recommended--make an actual flaming shot when you take on Solar Man.
Chill Spike (Chill Man's weapon): fresh crushed mint, watered-down gin, and sugar, served on the rocks, of course.
Wheel Cutter (Nitro Man's weapon): another casualty of available ingredients, this was to be heavily based on Pop Rox, but alas, all we could find were Sour Warheads. Ended up being blue curaçao and tonic water with a Warhead tossed in.
Commando Bomb (Commando Man's weapon): a shot of tequila, liberally doused with lime juice and Tabasco sauce, put in a rock-salt-rimmed glass with the rest filled up with aloe pulp. Toss the squeezed lime slice in.
Triple Blade (Blade Man's weapon): sour apple schnapps, vodka, and seltzer. It was originally going to be three shots together, but by the time we actually beat Blade Man we were all getting kind of whacked-out and needed to tone it down just a tad.
Rebound Striker (Strike Man's weapon): in the game, the Rebound Striker is a pink, transparent rubbery ball that bounces off walls. Jell-O shots!

Of these, I highly recommend Water Shield and Thunder Wool if you want a sweet, refreshing cocktail. The only other major mixological success story I would note is the Commando Bomb. The mixture of aloe and Tabasco is a very interesting flavor, but it's a good drink, and one that I think accurately embodies the explosive nature and desert theme of Commando Man.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

mr. cthonathan - one word: WRONG.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gaming for the Pre-gaming.

I'm sure that our readership has dropped precipitously, but I felt like a last update would be necessary.

Christian Kammerer, Chris Havlin, Paul Davis, Sebastian Ellefson, and Sam Feldman have been finishing off Dr Wily and his eight Robot Masters before tonight's party. At the defeat of each of the Robot Masters, they pound shots that have been designed to correspond to each of the respective weapons those robots wield.

They are now all three sheets to the wind. It is hilarious.

I have a suspicion that Dr Wily may survive the night.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Page 14, The Best Page of them ALL

Hello again, blogoholic judge Ezra here with my post-scav ReVue.

As no one was surprised to discover, the page that had folk music, recent presidential politics, the simpsons, star wars, and magic was, in fact, mine! who could have guessed. Here are my post scav thoughts on my items. First off, it turns out that a lot of the go-find-it items on my page were really hard. In fact, of the 4 go-find-its among 10 teams, there were only 7 successful completions.

229. A genuine box of Krusty O’s cereal, purchased at a real Kwik-E-Mart. [9 points]
A "real Kwik-E-Mart" is, in fact, a real thing, though they only existed in some parts of the country and only during July 2007, to promote the Simpsons movie (more here). I went to the one in Maryland and bought some Krusty O's, assuming they would be a scav item the next year. When they were not, I figured I would make it one. Only MacPierce got this item; Snitchcock and BJ gave me hand-drawn pieces of paper taped to other cereal boxes. Both teams insisted that they object they gave me was "genuine." Did you think I would not know the difference? NO POINTS!
230. Man, the course catalog makes some classes sound so boring–but after seeing the theatrical trailer for one, I totally want to take it! Pick a seemingly boring class and make a video trailer of no more than three minutes. [16 points].
This was an item I was really excited for, and I think a lot of teams had fun with it. That said, few teams got full points (though many came very close) because I had a very systematic way of looking at the trailers: First, the trailer had to be for an actual course, not just a subject. A trailer for "math" is not really what the item is asking for; a trailer for "MATH 13100" is. I did not require actual footage of the class, though I preferred it, but I liked it when teams at least staged a fake class. Just scenes of rushing through the library is not really enough to make it about a boring class in particular. Lastly, it had to actually be exciting! Snitchcock excelled in this area, as their trailer actually made my heartbeat get dangerously fast. One team made a class seem even less exciting. MacPierce did a great job of integrating boring class footage with good trailer-material.

231. A ship in a bottle. Must be Imperial class or better. [19 BBY points]
star wars! WOOO! There was a very wide variety here: Not as many points were given if you took a tiny Star Destroyer and simply jammed it into a bottle. Full points required you to emulate the classic ship-in-a-bottle idea and put something in a bottle which would (at least appear to) be impossible to get back out. Lots of teams did this creatively with foam, paper, string, glue, etc.

Snitchcock. Nice!

232. Who knew NissinTM made so many types of Cup Noodles? [1 point per unopened Cup Noodles flavor, 3 points for each flavor no other team has].
this was, I am afraid, not nearly as exciting as I had expected. Most teams got the same 5 usual flavors. I guess after 5 it becomes pretty hard to find a new one. Chicken, Chicken Vegetable, Hearty Chicken, Shrimp, and Beef are the most common. I was hoping for more "Tangy Tomato" or "Bacon Soy Sauce." OH WELL. The most different flavors was 8 - I think it was Breck? Someone on the south wall of the cloister club. Maybe Scampy.
233. Get the toothpaste back in the tube! We’ll supply an emptied tube of toothpaste at the Captains’ Phantasmagoria, along with its former contents. We’d like it back in mint (ha!) condition at Dinner on Saturday. [10p points, where p is the percentage of the original toothpaste you get into the tube]
The next time someone tells you "well, too late now, you can't get the toothpaste back in the tube!" you stare them straight in the eye and say yes you can, bitch! Because you can, as most teams proved. It just takes a little while. GASH and MacPierce both told me they had oddly soothing times with this, which I don't really understand. PS I also almost left most of the toothpaste in the Reynold's Club and was completely panicked, until I was luckily able to get them back on Judgment Morning.

234. An authentic Beatles album cover featuring at least three dead babies. [12 points].
This item refers to this. I had heard about this from my old roommate Brendan, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of music history, and had always been fascinated with the extreme weirdness of it, as well as wondering what on earth made anyone think such an album cover was in any way a good idea.

Anyway, it turns out this item is crazy rare and crazy expensive, making it all the more impressive that Snitchcock got one. I had to wear rubber gloves when holding it. As far as I could tell, the album never had another cover pasted on it and later removed, meaning it is worth about $40,000. I should have specified that I got to keep them at the end of Judgment...

Burton Judson also gave me something cool for this item - an LP of Yesterday and Today with the image directly on the vinyl. I did not know these existed but thought it was equally weird and cool. MacPierce glued photos of babies to another Beatles album. People! When I say "authentic" I do not mean "but go ahead and fake it if you want, I do not care!" we told you it was the year of the go find it, people.
236. Which nonresidential campus building has an elevator with the most out-of-date inspection certificate? Bring proof. [5 points]
As most teams discovered, this is (as far as any of us can tell) the sketchy-as-all-get-out elevator in Foster hall. It has not been inspected since September 1993 (elevators are required to get a yearly inspection). The idea for this item was thought up in the Pierce Tower elevator once when I was stuck in it.

Team Lanie had perhaps the most tragically incorrect answer, giving me an inspection certificate from 2007. Not even close, lanie. It was one of only 2 items on my page that they completed.

237. There’s only one name for the member of your team playing “Can’t Touch This” on that trapezoidal string instrument: M.C. Hammer Dulcimer. [16 points]
The hammer(ed) dulcimer is a very lovely instrument, though locating one was harder for most teams than I had realized. Also, "can't touch this" turns out to be a way more boring song than I realized. That said, this was one of the few very strongly pun-based items, and given that it had little more to stand on than the strength of the pun, I think it went pretty well. I liked Snell Hitchcock and (I think) Scampy's versions the most, as they actually seemed to have worked on arrangements for the song that sounded good on the instrument (as opposed to just playing the melody). No one completed this item is hammerpants, which i think we can all be sad about. I also liked the team (breck?) who made a cardboard dulcimer with rubber bands, which I initially assumed would be terrible, but then they were actually stretched out to the exact right tensions such that you could pluck them all in order and it played the melody of the song. Also, GASH had a non-hammered dulcimer (a very different instrument) that had gotten very out of tune, and ended up playing this weird minor-y version of the song that I actually liked a lot.
238. A scale model of the soon-to-be Bibliodome, the crown jewel of the UofC Library System. Make sure to include the vast and sparkling dome, the spacious reading room, and the deep underground cavern housing every book created by Man and the occult tomes no human can read without going mad. The troll tunnels and mole-men caves are a must, and while you’re at it, include a hand-cranked model of the robotic book-fetching arm and any other details you see fit. But there’s no need to electrify the metal frame–we want this model to be perfectly bird-friendly. [57 points]
First off, lots of thanks to Judge Cynthulu for vastly improving this item. Originally it was just a model of the Bibliodome on an egg (as that is the perfect space) but Cynthulu suggested that we ask for a crazy dungeon type thing, which made the item so much more fun. The UC Library system, actually, got really excited about this and would love to see your photos of the models (or, if no one wants them, have the models themselves) for possible display somewhere. I think that's really cool and I'm glad teams made such awesome items that the Library got involved in Scav.

Full points on this required all or most of the requirements in the wording - lots of teams just did some (skipping, say, the trolls or the mole-men). They were awesome in their own ways but not full points. MacPierce, which wisely elected to have an old friend of mine complete this item and fill it with jokes only the two of us would understand, had their tunnels extend farther out underground than just under the library itself, which I liked. Snell Hitchcock had a particularly nice one. Blint had a particularly lame one. When they say that no matter the item, some people will try to do it with pvc, duct tape, card board, and saran wrap, they are correct.

239. James Cameron’s Avatar in thrilling 1-D! (Make a video of no more than 2 minutes) [7 points]
This was one of my favorite items. I never saw Avatar but I am pretty sure I have figured out the plot. I think that made this item more fun, not less. Ideally, this video would have sound and perhaps even recognizable story elements, but they were all fun. Snell Hitchcock opted to make this a far less creative project than I had wanted, and just condensed the entire movie down to a particular "average color" for any given moment of the film. That wasn't as much fun, I guess. GASH had a good repeating .gif with a legend of scenes below it, Blint had a nice one including censoring some of the more graphic 1D scenes (considerate!). MacPierce had a two slide powerpoint with no sound and it didn't work very well and no one could explain what was happening in it.
241. A ticket from the 50th annual UofC Folk Festival. A ticket from the 1st annual UofC Folk Festival. [1 point for the 50th, 50 points for the 1st]
The Folklore Society at the U of C (and its annual Folk Fest) is the other longstanding tradition I've been involved with as a student. This past February we put on the 50th annual Folk Fest and as I learned more about the history of the early years of the fest, I wondered if anyone still had kept their tickets from the first year. I thought it would be really cool to see them. And then I thought, if you want something to get done, the best way to do it is to ask a scavvie. So I did, and it worked! Blint and Max P both got me tickets. The other teams failed to even get a ticket from this year, which should have been pretty easy. Anyway, it was really quite special for me to see something so important from the history of the Folk Fest. If the people on Max and Blint who got these tickets don't have to return them, I'd love to talk about giving them to Special Collections to preserve as part of University history.
Also, I'm really glad two teams got them, because I didn't actually know what they looked like so luckily I was able to match them against each other.
242. Play “Lean on Me” on that crutch you turned into a flute. Play “Smell Yo Dick” on that hot dog you turned into a flute. [15 points].
Anyway, I originally just wanted a crutch that could be played like a flute as in this classic video. But Grace wanted a hot dog that was played like a flute, so we chose appropriate songs for each and made them one item. Turns out that lots of people can play the crutch flute, no one can make or play a hot dog flute. So perhaps I should have kept this as one item....oh well. No one got full points because no one got the hot dogs to make music, but if you got the crutch flute, you got more than just half points. Worst completion by far - the only item to earn a goatee from me - was Blint, who thinks that a pvc pipe = a crutch, and humming a tune = playing it on an instrument. NOPE!
243. Add, remove, or change a single letter in any item on this year’s List and complete the newly created item. (Note: the original item remains unaffected by this.) [5 points]
I love this item! I think it was the last one I thought of. Lots of people seemed to have a lot of fun with it. What I got:
-The stuff dreams are made of --> The Stuff Creams are Made Of (people turned in milk) (2x)
-TBA --> TEA (2x)
-A door. a bull --> A Door. A Ball.
-A door. a bull --> A Door. A Bell.
-The Shore Has Eyes --> The Whore Has Eyes (in which a scavvie convinced me, quite well, that he was a whore, and then pointed out that he had eyes, which he did)
and my favorite by far,
--Berkelium Nissan --> Berkelium Nissin, which was a cup of Nissin soup from my previous item that had been altered to be Berkelium flavored. That is just layers and layers of puns, people. Amazing. That was from Blint, I should say that they do not only earn mustaches from me.

All of these got full points. I just wanted people to go through the list and think creatively and everyone did it, which was great. Also, thanks to MacPierce for not going with their original idea, which was "Trinitite --> Trinitits"

244. The Judges are a jaded, cynical bunch, with no joy or magic left in their lives. Change that by performing a magic trick at Judgment that completely fools a Judge. Make it good; he’s a clever fellow. [4 points]
This item was, I'll admit, strongly influenced by Tricky's Three Card Monte item last year. I've been into magic for years and years, and while I haven't gotten to perform as much as I'd like in the last few years, I still remember a lot and like to think that I can at least figure out how most (close-up) tricks work, if not replicate them. I was genuinely curious if people could fool me. As it turns out: They can't (in general). Most teams, I hate to say, didn't put a huge amount of effort into this one (with exceptions that I will note soon). That's fine, it was a low point item. That said, you can google around for really easy, really impressive magic tricks, some of which I am sure would have worked.

One team did fool me though: Blint. First, one of their teammates went across the room, to be summoned later. Then they had me pick 5 cards at random from a deck of cards, of which 1 I kept and 4 were given to the performer. Then the person across the room came back, and by looking at the four cards in the performer's hand, figured out the identity of my own card. I was momentarily stunned by this performance, and though I had ideas about how it might work, I couldn't get them to fit together in any nice way. They offered to do it again (violating a key rule of magic!) and I took them up on the offer. After the second try I had a much better sense of what was happening, though a few questions still lingered on. I gave them full points, and for Judgment purposes ignored the second performance. Well done.

Runner up was MacPierce, who, though they did not fool this 7 time attendee of Tannen's Magic Camp, clearly had the most ambitious routine and probably the one that would have best fooled someone not staring intently at them trying to figure out their secrets.

I apologize, as I did in person, for being kind of a jerk with this item. I really did want to hold people to high standards - that's the point of the item, to make it a really good trick - but I also figured that after someone performed a trick, they'd want to know whether it fooled me or not. I hope that was a correct assumption. Anyway, in all cases but Blint's, I had to tell them no, and explain exactly what they had done. One team which I will not identify (but I know who you are!) tried to tell me I was wrong, and that, in fact, I had been fooled. This ploy was useless and slightly irritating. Only one team performed the dreaded "3 piles of 7 cards each" trick that is the bane of every serious magician, told by some lame audience member "HEY! I know magic, watch THIS!" Because then they will always start by making 3 piles of 7 cards each.

Anyway. I apologize if I was mean to you about this item. I guess I apologize if I was mean to you at all about anything but if I was, it was probably about this item.

245. 4a3l3n3p2e2ibcdgkorsuw [7 points]
Ah, the coleslaw item, a favorite of every Scav Hunt! This year's puzzle was based on a puzzle on the webcomic Dinosaur Comics (read it! every day!) that became known as the Qwantzle. It came out on my birthday! Anyway, the idea is that it is a simple anagram, where the phrase you are given tells you how often each letter appears in the final solution. So "4a" means that there are four As in the answer. So the expanded version of the anagram is AAAALLLNNNPPPEEIIBCDGKORSUW (the letters are in alphabetical order arranged by frequency). (oh also Ryan North did not invent this puzzle, it's just the first time I saw it). Anyway, no one ever solved the puzzle he put up (you can still try to figure it out and get some free shirts!) so I decided Scav would need an easier version. In this case, I liked the idea that it would be a hard puzzle, but made slightly easier if you decided that one of the words would have to be "coleslaw," as many teams noticed.

Alas, no one got the answer I was expecting. The "right" answer was "Coleslaw in a pink and purple bag," which I'll admit isn't all that exciting or interesting, the idea was just that you wouldn't get points if you thought "well, coleslaw is probably involved, so let's just give him coleslaw and hope for the best."

ALMOST MAJOR NEGATIVE POINTS to the team whose internal discussion -don't ask how i know this, judges are like santa claus - included the idea (I'm paraphrasing) "Well, every year there is an item where you have to fill a sock with coleslaw and hit a judge with it. So let's get that ready and then do it when the judge comes by." That only happened once, guys! It wasn't even on last year's list!

Anyway, so as I said, no one got this completely, so I gave Many Points to teams that came up with decent anagrams which a reasonable person might think were correct, and then did that thing. So for example, MacPierce anagrammed the lovely "Drink an appealing Pub coleslaw," but then didn't actually drink an appealing coleslaw from the Pub. I think the only two teams to get this fairly well were Blint, who had a phrase I don't quite recall including a crown and skulls, and Scampy.

Scampy made a wonderful anagram with "plan a coleslaw kidnapping, rube" which has the added benefit of assuming that the writer of the item is insulting the reader for being a rube. Anyway, during Saturday Night HQ visits, I was separated from the rest of the Judges and told that I had to see an item upstairs. I took the futuristic shiny New Dorm elevator to a random room, whose owner, smiling evilly the whole time, then closed the door, told me I could consider myself kidnapped, and handed me a tub of coleslaw. It was a thoroughly surreal and enjoyable experience. Scampy: Good job, and the reason I kept bugging you about this was because I wanted you to give me the exact anagram you used, to see if it was "we found an anagram, let's do this item" or "hey, it has the words coleslaw and kidnap so let's do this and hope it's right." Luckily it was the latter.

In the future I will try not to make this so hard, or figure out a better way to give clues.

247. The Mondale Family Cookbook, courtesy of the 1984 Mondale for President Committee. [13 electoral points]
This being the year of the go-find-it, this is in fact a real thing. It is the one cookbook my mother gave me when I moved into my apartment, and I have never made anything from it. It is weird. Not only because Walter Mondale went by the odd nickname of "Fritz," which I had assumed was only used if you were a) mocking a German, and b) it was World War One. Also, there's a creepy teenager on the cover.
actually i guess there are two creepy teenagers on the cover.

Anyway, point is, I thought that this book was just full of so much RIDICULOUS that it would be fun as an item. I don't know if that is true; as it is, only one team got it. That would be BJ, who also had it signed by Joan Mondale! That's pretty great. Some other teams had made up ones, photos of teammates with copies (partial points) and faxed copies, but nothing gets full points like having the item there. Well done, BJ, well done.

Anyway those were my items! I also had the Pizza Hut / Taco Bell event (which ended up on DCitron's page) and then there was the Disney Princess event on my page, but was totally the child of one Judge Wildcard Goodall Davis. I hope you guys liked the items, even though they turned out kind of hard. I probably could have dropped one or two and people would not have cared. I am most happy about the Avatar 1D and the add/remove/change a letter items, those went really well. And the Bibliodomes! Those were great.

Also I hope the road trip people liked the road trip. I'm really lucky that I got to help plan it and I had a blast and I hope you guys did too. Everyone else: If you are looking for a totally awesome way to spend the fourdays that is just as much fun (or more) than being in Hyde Park, consider Road Trip. It's unlike any other road trip you will go on, unless you go on a different Scav Road Trip.

More generally, I want to thank all the Scavvies for making this hunt so great. You may have heard me say this already, but without you guys all you have is a bunch of overly clever judges with a long list of weird things and a whole lot of beer. You guys are the ones who take our crazy ideas and do them. It's really an amazing privilege to be a judge, because you can literally dream up a crazy idea (none of my items were actually from dreams, but they easily could have been) and have people make/do/find/perform them. Scav can literally make a dream come true. Think about that.

This was, as you probably know, my first year as a judge. I don't really know what I am doing with my life after this but I hope I can come back and judge again. Scavvies are great people to hang out with and work with, and I count just about all my good friends among your wonderful ranks. Scav on--
--Judge Ezra.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Page 13 Postmortem

Before I begin the item by item breakdown, I just wanted to say that this year, my fifth Hunt, was the best I've ever had. I also wanted to add that of the many items that I had the privilege to Judge this year, there were exactly zero egregious fakes (I didn't draw any goatees or ingest any non-food items this year), which is more than anyone could ever ask for. Everyone who presented me with items did so with honesty and fun, and I really appreciated that. It made the Hunt more fun for me to see that people were putting their hearts into it, and I hope that you all had more fun because of it.

Item 212: A fully working padlock, demonstrably openable, to be delivered to the Judges at 3 pm on Thursday in the Reynolds Club South Lounge. [6 points]
Everyone (except for Lanie and T-Rex) managed to complete this item on time. Many formidably unhackable locks were submitted, but none more so than MacPierce's nobody-is-going-to-pick-this-lock lock, a combination lock that relied on the vertical and horizontal manipulation of a toggle rather than dialing a wheel.

Item 213: Perform a bel canto rendition of "Inside the Particle Storm" by Dark Tranquillity. Then perform a death metal vocals rendition of "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" by Giuseppe Verdi. [12 points, 5 bonus points if the same vocalist performs both songs
This item turned out better than I could possibly have hoped for. I had great fun listening to people attempt to exercise the full range of human vocal styles. All of the entries were either great or, if not great, bizarre and entertaining. MVP: Breckinridge. Team Breckinridge had instrumental accompaniment for both of their songs. For the bel canto, one of their team members wrote out a full piano and vocal arrangement and provided me with the sheet music to follow along with. Their completion of the item was far above and beyond what was asked for. It was wonderful to see their team put a ton of time into perfecting this item just for the sake of having fun and doing something well, not just for getting points. This, along with the sheet music was easily among the best things I saw at Judgment this year. MVP: BJ. Ms. Buras from BJ also came up with her own classical arrangement for the bel canto part of the item. Her rendition of the song is different from Breckinridge's and is also a lot of fun.

Item 214: Oh no! One of those dastardly Judges has absconded with a jarful of your points!
For those of you who don't know the punchline yet, the only thing inside the jar was a red herring (which was only a red herring and not a real clue). I got a really terrific facepalm from Sam Bloom when he heard about the red herring. Each jar handed out had been marked by the Judges' fingerprints. The intent was for each team to lift the prints from the jar and then, by handing the Judges items (or booze), fingerprinting the Judges and determining who had touched the jar. MVP: No team actually completed this, but team BJ came awfully close. BJ did almost everything right, ignoring the red herring, finding the prints, and handing the Judges beer during HQ visits in order to get their fingerprints. The only Judge who touched their beer during the visit happened to be the one who took their points, but they were unable to successfully make that connection. In the car afterwards a few of the Judges thought it was strange how BJ acted when we didn't drink their beer, but shrugged it off saying, "there's no way they're that clever." It turns out that they are that clever! So close and yet so far: During the Breckinridge visit, while I asked their captains about Item 214, Anya appeared out of nowhere to hand everyone cups of pudding. I (who had stolen the points from Breck's jar) took one, put my fingerprints all over it, and put it back in the tray, thinking that the surprise pudding could only be a clever ruse to trick us into revealing the answer to 214. Unfortunately, immediately after I put the cup back Anya went around to give the pudding to her own teammates instead of the other Judges...

Item 215: Deliver a message to the Judges stating just how much you love them using a computer program compiled from fewer than 100 lines of obfuscated FORTRAN.
I received a lot of great entries for this one, and I'm glad teams put so much effort into it. MVP: Team The GASH. While their entry was not the most confusing and impenetrable, it did use character manipulation to produce a fun result: The user entered the name of one of the active Judges (for example, "Leah") into the program and received as output: Leah, Leah bo-beah!/Banana-fana-fo-feah!/Mi my mo meah/ Leah!

Item 216: Jeff Smith's Bone illustrated deck of cards. Dave Sim's Cerebus illustrated Diamondback deck. Sergio Aragones's Groo the Wanderer card game. Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo RPG. Vintage only.
These four things are all merchandise associated with important black and white independent comics that began in the 80's and 90's. I have tried unsuccessfully to find each of these myself, but since this is the year of the go-find-it I thought it appropriate for other teams to find them for me. MVP: Team The GASH, the only team that made it possible for me to hold any one of these, the Usagi Yojimbo RPG, in my hands . LVP: Team The FIST, who misunderstood the phrase "vintage only" and handed me a deck of cards with photocopied panels from Bone taped to them.

Item 217: Put the Kindle back in kindling. It doesn't need to be completely gutted and ruined by fire, but we do want to see your Kindle cheerfully ablaze.

So, it turns out that the Kindle didn't actually get its name because we can burn all of our books now that a booklike electronic reader is commercially available, but that should be where the name comes from. No team was brave enough to trash their expensive electronics, but team Max P had the courage to pour inflammable liquid on the back of their Kindle (proudly displaying page 1 of Farenheit 451 "It was a pleasure to burn" on the front) and light the surface on fire.

218: Everyone knows the one about the Higgs boson and the clown walking into the bar, but when was the last time you heard a really good HIPS joke? Compile department-specifc jokes from as many different academic departments as you can. Faculty should tell jokes about their own departments and they should be recorded on video so we can all enjoy them.

I got a lot of great entries for this one, and it sounded like people had a whole lot of fun doing this. In totall teams submitted at least a hundred different jokes, including jokes in ASL and Mandarin. I'm still waiting for the videos to come in, but I have provided Max P's videos below for people who would like a sample. MVP: Both Snitchcock and BJ managed to find the most jokes, with 23 jokes each.

219: Bring documents proving that the notorious Prawo Jazdy is one of your teams members.

Over the years, Prawo Jazdy has racked up dozens and dozens of traffic offenses in English speaking countries like Ireland. The trouble is that Prawo Jazdy means nothing more than "driver's license" in Polish. The IgNobel prize for literature was awarded last year to the Irish police for awarding more than 50 traffic tickets to a Mr./Mrs. Jazdy. A number of teams thought that I wanted a fake ID with a team member's name replaced by Prawo Jazdy, I was hoping for teams to track down an actual Polish driver's license. MVP: If I recall correctly, BJ was the only team to give me an actual polish driver's license instead of a poorly made fake ID. LVP: The Judges intercepted and internal communique from one of the teams where the person responsible for this item asked for help: "Is there anyone who knows someone named Jazdy?"

220: Pop a balloon inside another balloon. Both balloons must have taut surfaces. Do not violate the topological integrity of the outer balloon.

I honestly thought that this had a correct answer: use a concentrated light source to heat the inner balloon without heating the outer balloon. I was surprised that of the many teams that completed this no team used that method, and that many teams came up with ingenious ways to accomplish this. Team Snitchcock filled the outer balloon with liquid which made it possible to put extra pressure on the inner balloon so that it would pop if one squeezed the outer balloon properly. Team Scampi used a chemically coated needle to pierce through both balloons but form a seal as one withdrew the needle from the balloon. Nicely done!

221: A dress tailored to fit the University of Chicago's 1971 homecoming queen, to be modeled by her or a close relative at Judgment.

For those of you who don't know the story, the 1971 homecoming queen was a refrigerator. There is a picture of me with the lovely ladies here:

222: Construct a functioning solid-state transistor from scratch.

The solid-state transistor is one of the most important inventions of the 20th century. It has allowed for the development of switches, digital electronics, and fast, space-efficient storage and processing of data. The best thing about it, however, is that pictures of the original looks like it was made out of paper clips and scotch tape. In other words, it looks like something that was made for Scav Hunt. MVP: Snitchcock. Very few teams got very far with this one, but Snitchcock was able to definitively demonstrate that they had created a digital FET switch from scratch. MVP: Breckinridge. Their device did not work as perfectly as Snitchcock's, but it did demonstrate nonlinear current flow.

223: Scavenger Hunt-Themed ScrabbleTM tableau: Use exactly one complete set of ScrabbleTM tiles to compose a single-sentence ode to your team's magnificence.

A Scrabble Tableau is a fun little exercise that I have seen completed in honor of the champions at big tournaments. There were a lot of good entries, but I don't remember any specific ones at this point. If you have one from your team, please get it to me if you can.

224: It is said that only love could pick a nested pair of steel Bramah locks. Without love, a full two days of work was necessary. This means that you'll have more than enough time to safely pick any of the locks located in plain sight in front of the Reg, beginning at 4 pm on Thursday.

I was really surprised when a small crowd of people showed up at exactly 4 pm and eagerly charged the place where the locks had been put up, crowding and elbowing one another out of the way to be the first ones to reach the locks. I (as well as the representative from BJ) honestly thought that nobody could possibly succeed and that most of the locks would remain obstinately attached to the chain. I returned an hour later after Elephant Polo to see that of the 13 locks only 4 were left. I remain very impressed. MVP: Macpierce. Not only did one guy bring us the nobody-is-going-to-pick-this-lock lock (the only one to remain uncracked come Sunday), but he apparently broke through no fewer than 7 locks before anyone else noticed what was happening. Very impressive.

225. Demonstrate Action Units 2 and 29, and while you're at it wiggle each of your ears, one at a time. [18 points]

Facial Action Units are isolated muscle movements of certain parts of the face. 2 is raising the outsides of your eyebrows (only used in Kabuki). 29 is a jaw thrust, a motion significantly easier than 39, which is nostril contraction. Admittedly, there was a typo on the list, and it took me a while during Judgement to realize that the typo was there. We will do better next time. MVP: Do you know who can contract his nostrils? SamPH.

226. A soap bubble in the shape of a platonic solid. Bubble solution only, no wire frames. [7 points]

This turned out to be really cool, as people used straws to control the size of each bubble in order to optimize the shape of their platonic solid. MVP: Scampi, who were able to set up and show me both a tetrahedron and a cube in less than a minute.

89. Ride the rails with the roving little Jollyball and see the sights of the country of your choice.

This was like a dream come true. Thank you all for making this Judge extremely happy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Page 11 Reflections

Scav 2010.

First of all, congratulations to Snitchcock for the hard-fought victory, to all the other teams that made it so close, and to the Cabal for keeping the dream alive. It was a great hunt. I got to see a bunch of old friends, met wonderful new people, and saw some amazing things. Anyways, let’s get to the items.

Item 178: 2010: The Year ScavHunt Made Contact. . . with the future! Prepare a lockbox that will serve as your team time capsule, to be displayed in the Scav trophy case until 2061: ScavHunt Odyssey 3. This box should contain: (1) messages to the future, (2) a food item you think will remain edible, (3) an object with receipt costing less than $10 that you think will gain the most value, and (4) a bottle of wine that you think will age well. Please note that half your points for this item will be awarded now and half by the cyborg Judge Cabal of the far-flung future to any remaining participating teams still active. You know, should the world survive 2012.

Notes: I think that one of the things we all look for in life is a little permanence. My high school is about to be torn down. I’m not one who forever looks to the past, but I did take some kind of solace in the idea that my name would be spray-painted up in the drama-basement, along with all the others that had walked through those doors for a long time. I wouldn’t say this item was directly influenced by that fact, but I sure as hell wanted Scav, the other school organization that means so much to me, to proclaim “Hey… we’re going to be doing this for a long time.” Anyways, until Haley’s comet comes in 2061, these things will be chilling out in the Scav trophy room. I’ll be there when they’re opened, hope you are too.

Best/Worst Item Completion: While I don’t want to spoil things for the future cabal, let’s just say some teems will be happy with their $10 worth of gold, their excellently preserved honey, and their fine bottle of Bordeaux, whereas others will be pissed off with their bottle of water, their already-smushed Twinkee and their bottle of Boone’s Farm, a drink which, let’s remember, has an alcohol content so low, it can legally drive in most states.

I also gave teams the option to spend two points now in exchange for a fifty-point Scav savings bond, maturing in 2061, an option four teams took. I look forward to seeing what havoc that causes to Point-Bot 6000 in fifty years.

179: A hollow-face illusion self-sculpture.

Notes: Hollow-face illusions are inverted facial reconstructions that cause you to think the impressions are popping out at you, the main effect being that their gaze is able to follow you around the room. I first came into contact with them on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney World. Very cool.

Best/Worst Completion: I have to give it to Max P., whose emoticon inspired work was not only quite illusionary, but also creepy as hell. Worst goes to South Campus who gave me a piece of tin-foil. Not a piece of tin foil in which facial features were obvious. A piece of tin foil. Sigh.

Item 180: Bacon + Erdos number

Notes: A Bacon number is how many films connect you to Kevin Bacon. An Erdos number is how many paper collaborations connect you to Paul Erdos. It turns out that while there are some good candidates for both, PHD candidate Borja Sotomayor has the lowest Bacon + Erdos number of 8.

Item 181: Butter that can cut through a hot knife.

Notes: Originally, this was “Butter that can cut through Bread”, but in my absence it was changed to the above. Anyways, most completions of this item focused on the heat of the knife… warm it up enough till it’s in a melty stage, then break through it with a frozen stick of butter katana-style. Good times.

Best/Worst Completion: BJ was the only one to do it with a metal knife which involved some pretty serious torching. Contrarily, Snitchcock’s completion, as presented by my good friend and yours, Richard Tobias Ruiz, consisted of pouring some melted butter onto a shard of dry ice: something that is not a knife, pretty much the opposite of hot, and failed to cut through it, as the liquidy butter solidified almost immediately upon coming into contact with it.

182: Catalonian Auca Depicting the 12 Stages of UofC Life.

Notes: Auca’s are comic works, with panel counts in multiples of 12, usually depicting the lives of saints. That’s really all I have to say about this one.

Best Completion: All of them were awesome, as have been all the creative writing items I’ve ever managed to get on the list. I’ve got to give best completion to Ramya’s from Snitchcock. Scan that, and get it online now, alright?

183. Your headquarters are already pretty okay, but we all know that a true enclave of heroism requires one particular item: a six foot tall penny. Or are you just a cowardly and superstitious lot?

Notes: As the wording should make clear, Batman has one of these in the Bat Cave. I hope they become a part of someone’s apartment decoration. It adds so much to the Feng Shui.

Best/Worst Completion: With all due respect to Snitchcock’s Two-Face coin and Max’s Octo-Lincoln, I have to give it to the Steel Wheat penny of BJ’s. They let me call it in the air. That’s all you need to know. Worst goes to GASH, who had Sam PH do his best circle imitation while saying “I’M A PENNY!”… That got a marker goatee.

184: Start up a copy of Super Mario Brothers 3. Put the sound on mute. Your jazz quartet will be performing all the music and sound effects the Judge should need. [30 points]

Notes: I really, really like this one. Originally this item just had any video game theme, but it was suggested to pick a specific one so we wouldn't get ten variations on the Tetris theme. When I heard it was Super Mario 3's 20th anniversary, I went with it. Turned out to be a good choice. The general path I took through level 1-1 was as follows: forward to get the mushroom and leaf, fly up to get the 1-up, fly over to the pipe to go to the underworld to get the coins there, go up the pipe to the regular level, go back a little to hit the P-block, straight out to the finish. Did I mention this rocked?

Best/Worst Completion: I really can't choose. So many different quartets, so much awesomeness. Should I take the big-band flavor of BJ? The funky improvisations of Snitchcock? The Dueling Violins of Breck? Seriously, I'm just reduced to saying "This was awesome." You wish you got to judge this one.

185. A Marian apparition on a car windshield, composed of bug splatters.

Notes: In the original form, this was a dust-streak art item, converted by the cabal into a bug-splatter art item. I wasn’t really comfortable with the idea that at least one team would interpret this into going out and getting a bunch of bugs to kill for this item, so I said at the captain’s meeting that I wanted this to be a “Go Find It”, if possible. The torrential rains pretty much ruined that idea. One of the few true failure on the page, but I gotta give it to anyone who attempted it.

186. Social life is hard at the UofC. It's difficult to demonstrate your evolutionary fitness, even if your body structure shows you are clearly able to produce scores of offspring. However, now is that time when the Northern American Scavvy goes into heat. We Judges will be waiting in the bushes with binoculars as your plumage-bedecked hopefuls spray their pheromones, prepare a nesting ground, and perform a mating dance that would make Jack Hanna proud.

Notes: My original conception of this item just had every team member sporting some plumage at judgment, until the Cabal told me to rewrite it to include a mating dance. I think I planned on someone editing it before it reached the list. After being sprayed with Orange Juice "pheromones" during the en masse completion, it quickly became an object lesson on how assumptions make an ass out of u and mptions. Anyways, I hope video of this gets posted somewhere, especially the frenetic Australian commentary of Judge Ian and I.

187: Utilize Rabelais's favorite choice of all torcheculs, arsewisps, bumfodders, tail-napkins, bunghole cleansers,and wipe-breeches for its intended purpose. [12 points, but only if you feel in your nockhole a most wonderful pleasure]

Notes: The inspiration for this item is a question from the excellent British Panel show, QI, which is a show that every scavvie will like. In his satirical treatise on the subject from which the wording is a direct quotation, Rabelais said that a goose-neck will give you the best wipe.

Best Completion: Really, I was pretty lose on the standards with this one, but I have to give it to Snitchcock for doing it with an actual goose-neck, presumably the one from the rest of the goose they served us for dinner Saturday. They did, indeed, feel in their nockhole a most wonderful pleasure.

188. For the Emperor! A small-scale recreation of Perlia's tribute to Ciaphas Cain, Hero of the Imperium!

Notes: Confession: I’m not actually a Warhammer 40k player, but I do enjoy the Ciaphas Cain series of novels by Sandy Mitchell. The main character is Ciaphas Cain, a political officer in the fascist empire of The Imperium who, despite his cowardly nature and attempts to get as far away from trouble as possible, keeps ending up becoming more and more of a hero by complete accident. The interposition of such a blatantly comedic character in such a grim-dark universe makes for much hilarity. The tribute referred to here is a clock that features a figure of Cain decapitating an orc every hour on the hour.

Best Completion: No one gave me the converted cuckoo clock I was hoping for, but I applaud Max P. for submitting an actual working clock, though Snitchcock definitely had the best lil’ Cain figure.

189. A paperclip menagerie.

Notes: Animals made of paperclips. Who says there are no simple explanations?

Best Completion: BJ, if only for how they used their paperclip goose for that Rabelais item. That takes guts.

190. Falsely shout “THEATRE!" in a firehouse.

Notes: I had forgotten that this was a reference to a Steve Martin routine, until Judge Citron reminded me. Anyways, let's give a big hand to the 55th street fire station! Thanks for playing along, guys.

Best Completion: BJ, who actually got two firemen to complete the item for them. I briefly considered being a jerk and giving the two points to Team Fireman, but hey, I'll let it slide this time.

191. If you wanted the Judges to like it, you shoulda put a ring on it. During the judging of this page, a single Scavvy should be flashing the following rings: Class, Championship, Signet, Purity, Archery Thumb, Mood, One (to rule them all, of course), Green Lantern, -PopTM, and one containing the largest precious gem you can find. That's ten, so don't go all “The Mandarin" on us.

Best/Worst Completion: This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Best completion goes to Snitchcock, the only team to legitimately complete both hands, with the particular highlight being the 2005 Colts Super Bowl Championship ring. There’s a great photo of me just looking in disbelief at it. Worst completion goes to any team that I had to have the following dialogue with: “So… you only have the class ring.” “Yep.” “You don’t have the Ring-Pop?” “Nope.” “The candy easily bought or shoplifted from any drug-store nationwide?” “Nope.” “...huh.”

192: Darn. With Scav going on, you forgot to do your reading for class. You're really screwed if the professor calls on you. Good thing you showed up in your ghillie suit.

Notes: Ghillie suits are the suits of faux-foliage worn by hunters/snipers in forest environments. Kind of a low-key class-interruption items, but I think it was the only one on this year’s list, which is a shame.

Best Completion: Best goes to the teams that got an actual suit, and didn’t just tape a bush to their shirt, but also to BJ’s, which was made of unneeded Doc posters and discarded copies of The Maroon. Believe me, you could blend in anywhere on the UofC campus with that thing.

Scav Olympics

3. P-p-p-poker race! You've got to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em, but you should always run. The deck will be split among five stations; you will have to visit each to pick up a full hand. Highest five-draw hands takes first, second, and third. Standard rules apply. Mum mum mum mah.

Notes: One of the general themes I kept returning to over the hunt was the statement "You guys think the judges are three steps ahead of you, when we're only two." Having to tell the two dudes shivering in full Gaga-apparel that nowhere in the item did it actually state one would gain any advantage by affecting her style of dress in 40-degree weather, was a Saturday highlight.

6. You spin me right 'round, baby, but hope you do it the longest. Bring your top top for a Beigoma battle for the ages.

Notes: I want to take this moment to rant at MacPierce, who tried to pass a plunger pushed through a trashcan lit as a legit top, even when it was clear it couldn’t spin. They seemed to be personally angry at me that, even, against my better judgment, I let them compete in the event, that it wouldn’t turn for more than two seconds before slumping over.

Anyways, to wrap up this note, I leave you with a Hunt Deleted Scene: The Firefly/Simpsons/Star Wars trivia contest ended up being about insects, OJ, and SDI, but I had written some Quiz Bowl style questions for a straight interpretation of the events. As I can’t really see them being used for anything else, here they are now:
"Titling a genus of Paleozoic gastropods, a play by Euripedes, and the first exosolar planet discovered around a main sequence star, this Greek hero was best known for slaying the chimera. Perhaps that's why Durran Haymer was impressed enough to settle him and his Lassiter there. Name the planet that Mal and the crew gate-crashed in "Trash"

(Answer: Bellerophon)

First going on the air in 1970, Barret Eugene Hansen's pseudonymous show is still syndicated nationwide. However, several of the artists he discovered have gone on to eclipse him in fame, most notably Weird Al Yankovic. Name the stage name of the Comedic DJ who is Bart Simpson's mortal enemy.

(Answer: Dr. Demento)

It is the official military rank held by such notables as Empreror Wilhelm II, King Oscar II, and Alfred Von Tirpitz. As you might guess it's the highest position in the German Kriegsmarine. Tell me the naval rank that Imperial Leader Mitth'raw'nuruodo adopted, or, as you may know him better, Thrawn.

(Answer: Grand Admiral)

The words were originally written in 1773, though the complete version would not be settled until John Newton's published it in 1779. Of the twenty competing arrangements for the work, the most well known is based on the forgotten folk song "New Britain." It's sung an estimated 10 million times annually, including at the funerals for both Mr. Spock in Wrath of Khan, and Nandi in "Heart of Gold", proving that even centuries of time can't kill it. Its message of forgiveness and reformation has made it one of the most popular religious songs of all time. Name it.

(Answer: Amazing Grace)

First used by Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel in 1838, and termed by Herbert Hall Turner in 1913 it defined as the length of an adjancent side of an imaginary right triangle, defined by the parallax angle of one arcsecond and the opposite angle as the distance between the Earth and the sun. It equals just under 31 trillion kilometers. Name the astronomical distance that confirms Han Solo was talking out of his ass when he said he made the Kessel run in less than twelve of them.

(Answer: Parsec)

Shown to enhance seedling germination and emergence in greenhouse trials, but recently investigated by European Food Safety Authority for its possible carcinogenic properties, this substance is formed by the controlled burning of sawdust then passed through a capturing and dissolving water layer. Name the condiment that is one of the main flavors in processing bacon, jerky, and hot dogs, and is one of the secret ingredients of Homer Simpson's Patented Space Age Out of this World Moon Waffles.

(Answer: Liquid Smoke)

A veteran of science fiction literature, television, film and comics, he is best known for winning the first Hugo Award in 1953 for his work "The Demolished Man." Those that followed in his genre have seen to honor him by giving characters his name: in the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon series as a pesky time traveller, in Babylon 5 as a ruthless Psi-Corpsman, and as the mechanic that Kaylee replaced. Name him.

(Answer: (Alfred) Bester))

There are two stated sources for this term. The first suggests it was modified from a term used for dark warriors in the Barsoom literature series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The second came to George Lucas while watching Japanese soap operas, and hearing the phrase that we would translate as "Period Adventure Drama" : Jidageki. Millions of people have tried to dick with their census workers by listing it as their religion, though none of them had the last name of Kenobi. Name the creed.

(Answer: Jedi)

Known by the nickname "The Supermex" and "The Merry Mex", this Hispanic athlete turned pro in 1960. His awards include five Vardon trophies, the 1971 Player of the Year, and 89 PGA wins, making him 29th of all time. He also released a video game with his name in the title, though Bart thought the fictionalized equivalent of "Fighting Golf" wasn't worth stealing. Name the golfer that was the inspiration for "Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge"

(Answer: Lee Trevino)

This person once worked as a ranch hand, wrangler, blacksmith and body guard to Howard Hughes before starting his acting career. He has had parts in such films as Cocoon, John Carpenter's The Thing, an The China Sydrome, the television series "Our House" and portrayed the classic C-Canon role of Noa Briqualon in the tv-movie "Ewoks: The Battle For Endor". Today he's best known for having Liberty Medical help with his diabeetus. Name the actor.

(Answer: Wilford Brimley)

The last ferry boat service on the Potomac is named for this confederate lawyer and general. Rising from regimental command to the rank of lieutenant general, he was the key commander of the Valley Campaigns of 1864 which included raids to the outskirts of Washington DC. Nathan Fillion claims to be descended from him, which is the behind the scenes reason how the bounty hunting character last seen as an Object in Space shares his name. Name him.

(Answer: Jubal Early)

Though the company that makes the line is best known for it's leather tanning kits and the Cabbage Patch doll, it branched out into video games, first in 1976 with the Telstar, then again 1982 with a system that sold itself on the best home version of Donkey Kong until the NES hit the scene. After the video game market crash of 1984, the company unsuccessfully entered the home computing market with an underpowered machine known as the Adam. Ol' Gil is still trying to sell them, but Springfield Elementary had better have gotten the rust-proofing as they'll rust up on ya just like that. Name the modern name of the business, formerly known as the Connecticut Leather Company.

(Answer: Coleco)

Derived from the flower of the Crocus Sativus, it was originally discovered during extensive artificial selection of it's host plant. It is most likely to be cultivated in climates where hot dry summer breezes sweep semi-arid lands, the same locales that use it the most in their cuisine. Dovonvan was mad about it in his 1966 song, though the fact that it's the most expensive spice by weight is enough to make anyone a little peeved. Name the yellowish foodstuff that shares it's name with the first-known alias of Our Mrs. Reynolds.

(Answer: Saffron)

A 1950 crime mystery film starring Toshiro Mifune and Mayasuki Mori, it won an Honorary Award at the 1952 Oscars and was remade by Walter Ritt as The Outrage. Marge said that Homer enjoyed it when he saw it, though that wasn't how he remembered it. Name the movie, perhaps Akira Kurosawa's finest, that focuses on the subjectivity of truth through multiple depictions of the same scene.

(Answer: Rashomon)

Termed by St. Albertus Magnus in 1270, though popularized by Auguste Villiers in his 1886 novel L'Eve Future, it comes from the Greek words for "mankind" and "liken to". According to the US patent office, they first went on sale as toys in the US in the late 19th century. George Lucas ditched the common prefix, perhaps as his use refers to all of its kind, not merely the human. They aren't allowed in the Mos Eisley Cantina, and these certainly aren't the ones you're looking for. Name the term.

(Answer: (An)-Droids)

Debuting in 1987, it was originally to be based on the movie "The Black Hole", but once the film bombed it was reinterpreted to its current form. Featuring Paul Reubens as RX-24, an annoying pilot robot, it replaced "Adventure Thru Inner Space" at its Tomorrowland location, and can now be found in four Disney theme parks around the world. Name the Star Wars themed flight simulator ride that makes even the most dedicated fan wish they had just stood in line for Space Mountain.

(Answer: Star Tours)

Written around 1610, scholars find this work notable for two reasons. 1. It is one of the few works written by its famed author without a previous singular historical source, and 2. It is generally agreed to be the final play written by the author as a solo work. Two planets visited by Mal and his crew are named for characters within it: an appropriate inspirations for brave new worlds that have such people in it. Name this Shakespearean play about a shipwreck on Prospero's island.

(Answer: The Tempest. The characters are Ariel and Miranda.)

Born in Caldwell, New Jersey in 1837, he became sheriff of Erie county, mayor of Buffalo and Governor of New York, before aspiring to the highest office of the land. He was the only Democrat to hold the presidency in the time of Republican domination from 1860 to 1912, and won the presidential election popular vote three times. Name the president Grandpa Simpson claimed to have been spanked by on two non-consecutive occasions.

(Answer: Grover Cleveland)

Till we meet again, people.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Page Five

A few highlights from Page 5:

74. A roentgenogram depicting the ingestion or insertion of something that will gross us out or make us giggle, dated pre-Scav 2010. If you give me anything less than the real film you’ll require such an X-ray after Judgment. [13 points]

Chris straus, aka Daddy Scav Hunt, is a radiologist at the UC Medical Center; he provided most teams with their entries, including teaching files of two halves of a dildo stuck in a rectum and (my favorite) an intact lightbulb inserted wide side first in to a rectum. Runners up included an x-ray of a dog who had eaten an entire baby bottle, and an x-ray of the hand of Judge Emeritus Colin McFaul with a length of chain embedded in one finger (owwwwww).

75. Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno 1660-1720. On campus. [90 points for a violin, 125 points for a cello, 150 points for a viola]

Nobody got one to campus, but I saw 3 Strads from five different teams (two teams found the same Strad). My favorites by far were BJ, who found a cello that I actually got to play, and MacPierce, who got me backstage at the CSO to show one off. Honorable mention to Snell-Hitchcock, who found the first Strad AND took me to a place that let me play a Goffriller (equivalent to a Strad) cello as a consolation prize. Each were amazing, and all were longer than the biggest dick we saw in Item 8 (although none longer than the dick belonging to HJ Emily Watkins, which is too large to fathom). Thanks for makin' my dreams come true, scavvies.

78. Too often, students must choose between a sick party and a night of Regenstein-induced stupor. Facilitate a Regvolution from study space to party place: make a fully-functional flask out of a free book from the Reg. [8 points]

All teams had great entries, allowing me to fulfill my mental image of a dude drinking out of a book- you could seriously take most of them to the Reg, drink from them, and nobody would notice. Megaprops to B-J for theirs, as it included not only a flask portion, but a concealed bottle opener, corkscrew, and squirty mouthwash dispenser.

81. True composers seek art in the everyday and inspiration in the sounds of their surroundings. Since my everyday is the Internet, and my surroundings pretty much only the mid- to late-’90s, I’ll need you to write and perform an operatic aria to the tune of that godawful dial-up internet sound. [14.4 points]

I was blown away by most of these- most teams had really beautifully composed entries sung by amazing singers. Especially nicely done by B-J, South Campus, and Breckinridge.

82. Alright, nerds, time to get your trivia on. It’s a Simpsons, Star Wars, and firefly trivia contest! Send up to two trivia experts to the Reynolds Club South Lounge on Thursday at 3 pm, and we’ll see whose brains are properly geeked. [σ points]

NO APOLOGIES. As many of you already know, this was actually about people and places named Simpson, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and fireflies. Mega shout out to Max P's Zach Binney, who not only figured out that it was going to be a general trivia contest, but knew (or at least guessed) a suuuuuuper obscure reference to My Little Pony.

Balloon animals are for those clowns in the social sciences! I want a balloon protein, one that both represents your chosen protein’s tertiary/quaternary structure and actively demonstrates its native function. Like a real protein, your structure should be sufficiently complex and, most importantly, do something cool (none of that occludin-β bullshit). [50 points]

Alan of the Boston faction of GASH, can your brain marry my brain? Seriously. That balloon protein was so expertly crafted that I almost cried. Other teams were amusing, often quite pretty, but lacked quality demonstrations of native function. I especially enjoyed when Cynthia walked by during my judgement of Scampy's protein, only to explain to the creator that the protein did something entirely different than what she thought it did. Also, thank you for not including any of that occludin-ß bullshit.

88. We won’t know if Jay-Z Smith’s new release is the hit song of the summer until we hear it. [12 points]

This was Ezra's item initially, but I jumped at the chance to put it on my page. Most of these were excellent; I especially liked Blint's "Sex", modifying a J.Z. Smith lecture on religious sects for an unholy purpose, and B-J's rap, including a lovely cough intro.

90. TBA

All teams that completed Item #77 (A pair of wearable, edible, vegan, assless chaps) got to complete this TBA; all teams had either 2 or 1 minute (depending on size of chaps) to eat their assless chaps off their wearer as an edibility check. BJ, with vegan rainbow fruit leather, enjoyed this; teams with chaps of collard greens or vegan paper with frosting on them, not so much.

A few lowlights from page 5:

76. When I grow up, I’m going to Bovine University! Since you’re grown up, you’ll need a sizzling-hot diploma made entirely out of beef. [9 points]

I will never again request an item that could potentially be fulfilled by showing me a 3-day-old pile of raw meat.

80. Vegemite iSnack 2.0TM. [8.0 cheesypoints]

Sometimes you should Google things. I got more cans of Vegemite with iPod headphones taped to them than I ever thought I would; this is a real thing, dawgs. A real gross thing, but a real thing.

86. You Found The Secret Drawer! [4 points]

The secret drawer is in Rosenwald, and has been for a number of years; I can't say I was disappointed by this item, actually, rather amused by the entries who had nooooo idea what this was. One team gave me a desk drawer full of thongs and condoms, which was just hilarious.

Until next year,
The Coug

Page Seven

Good call on a page summary, brodawg.

113. Christian Louboutins might scream sexy, but I want shoes that literally scream sexy with each step.

This was completely by nearly every one and hilarious every goddamn time. I was hoping someone would bother adding the red-soled style, but I was elated nonetheless. Here's a link to the only one I stumbled upon online:
And the highlight was probably MacPierce's, which was hooked up to a computer and yelled SEXY in a different scary robot voice every time.

114. I've been working on a new product that's designed to give you and other men new con dence! I'talking about my new pubic hair stencils for men. Just shave one of my stylish designs into your pubic hair and watch the ladies become intrigued! While some chicks might go for a simple downward pointing arrow, classy broads want an artiste who can transform his jungle into an intricate topiary.

I was hoping that I would get some baller-ass pube art, like how people can shave patterns into a fade on their head, but I was a little disappointed. Most people gave me stencils, no pubes. But I did horrify Grace when she had to see the pubes of someone in her house, so it was worth it.

115. The Choco Taco deceived me into thinking my icy treat would contain all the flavors of Estados Unidos Mexicanos when all it really contained was sweet, creamy disappointment. Less choco, more taco! Bring me a wa e taco shell lled with scoops of ice cream for each major element beans, meat, and all.

The winner of this goes to Scampi, whose taco was amazingly convincing (I though the crepe shell was a corn tortilla) and also unsettlingly accurate. Like, it had very strong Mexican flavors while being cold and creamy. Lowlight was Breck, where I retched with each tiny nibble.

116. Get your toes done up with your fingernails matchin'. Time to get yo' nails did with some Chicago-themed stereoscopic nail art.

Nobody did this except Snell! There were some half-attempts. I cried.

117. An illustrated Canadian Kama Sutra. One act per province. But nothing from the territories, you pervert.

Everyone loved this one, and it was super fun. Snell's was gorgeous, but Max P's was inexplicably turned into a pop up book that featured a pop-up erection larger than the book. And one of the teams had a moose, wearing sunglasses, and blowing some guy. I also loved the GASH who had Nova Scotia's "Inverted Scotsman" where a guy lies upside down, propped up funny, while a sheep blows him in a beastial 69.

118. Unboil an egg.

GASH blew me away. They showed a control egg! And time delay! Other teams did it, but none with such finesse.

119. When I was a child, I doodled in ChemDraw, arranging p-orbitals into delicate butteries. As I have grown, so have my skills at connecting carbon atoms like dots to form a microscopic view of life. But my tastes have also grown, and I want something more than daisies{I want to see a biological metamorphosis on a more macroscopic scale, using the same microscopic medium. With the addition of a single reagent, bonds change, kids grow up, and little caterpillars turn into swallowtails. All bonding must be in proper valence. Show arrow pushing.

Many teams did the boring caterpillar to butterfly thing when I was hoping y'all would branch out. Scampi knew me too well and did a pokemon caterpie-metapod-butterfree like progression. GASH, again, blew me away with some weird transformation that I didn't quite get but it went from one BADASS monster to another BADASS monster. Also, I know that everyone has at least one chem major on the team, but evidently they were not consulted half the time because there were some really screwy mechanisms.

120. A surgical kit. A wooden-handled chisel. Field glasses. An Underwood portable typewriter. Zinc oxide tape. Hydrochloric acid. My Blessed Little Pal.

I have no idea how some people did not know where to find HCl - it's easily pilfered (and benign in low molarities) or sold at hardware stores. I was hoping someone with weird Chicago connections could get me the creepy murder book, but alas. But now you know more about UChicago's fine murderous history.

121. Irish car bombs are disgusting. Who wants a drink that curdles? Bring me a room-temperature solid that liqui es into boozy delight with an additional shot. Vsolid > Vshot

Only South completed this with cotton candy. MacPierce had a better of idea of what I wanted, using jello, but it didn't work. Two words: hydrocolloidal suspensions.

123. Studies have estimated that every human body contains two to ve pounds of bacteria. We want just one pound, pure.

I was amazed so few teams tried this. For a lot of science students, getting pure bacteria is the same thing as "going to work." I think the freezer at my workplace is so full of harvested bacteria tubes that you could even approach this as a go-find-it rather than a go-do-it.

124. Whenever I get a gift in nested boxes, opening each diminishing box makes my hopes diminish as well. Wouldn't it be great to have my hopes increase with successive boxes, each larger than the previous? Four box minimum.

Totally awesome! The best were the two that used foam/sponge rather than paper because that allowed the inner boxes to basically spring out into a bigger shape. Snell gave me... plastic bags inside of each other. It was weird.

126. A single emoticon which expresses the feeling upon nding out that your mother has been diagnosed with bromyalgia, which you do not consider to be a real medical condition, though you genuinely love your mother and believe she su ers pain, but you also suspect that it is the result of a long-term opiate addiction. Up to four characters.

It was hilarious watching you all bullshit why your two-minute emoticon exemplified all of these complex emotions. Loved it.

127. Since you've got such an extraordinary head of hair, you should do something extraordinary with it. Make a Nagi Noda critter from rooted human hair.

This was also totally awesome when it was done at all. I remember seeing an aardvark (looked more like a groundhog, but was still awesome), an elephant, a cobra, a pheonix, and a weird dog thing. I think my favorite was the aardvark because it used no external support (wires, etc.) and still looked great.

Please keep emailing us your youtube accounts and files too! We don't get to see items on other pages, so putting your stuff online lets us show off how great you are to each other.

Post-Scav wrap-up and Page 4

First of all, I had an amazing time at this year's Hunt and I want to thank every judge, Scavvie, falconer, and foam monster who made it possible, and especially HJ Emily and the team captains, without whose leadership none of this would have happened. Second of all, I thought I'd post the results here because no one else has yet:
1. Snell my Hitchcock
2. BJackstone and Max P (tie)
4. MacPierce
5. Scampy
6. Breckinridge
7. The Blintstones
10. Team Lanie
and finally, with 0 points,
11. A T-Rex Ate My Team

Also, some highlights from page 4 of this year's list, which I judged:
  • 57. A colossally abundant number of chocolate chip cookies, served by an untouchable number of people with a deficient number of limbs. [An almost perfect odd number of points.] This item had a trick to it; colossally abundant, untouchable, deficient, and almost perfect are all types of numbers in mathematics or whatever. As the majority of teams figured out, you could complete this item by having 2 people with a normal number of limbs serve me 2 cookies. The FIST, however, either didn't notice the odd wording or neglected to Google it (perhaps their dank subterranean HQ lacks internet?) and served me over 130 cookies. Truly a colossally abundant number by any definition...except the actual one; there are no colossally abundant numbers between 120 and 360. I gave them the point anyway, since technically if you give someone 130 cookies you are also giving them 2 cookies.
  • 59. [...] Turn a urinal somewhere on campus into the William Rainey Harper Monument and Urinal. [18 points] I wrote about two of the best monument/urinals earlier, and a couple other teams also completed the item respectably. Scampy, on the other hand, built me a human-size robot statue that pees when you pour water into its mouth.
  • 64. Zeno's Pair-o'-Dicks. Wigner's Friend with Benefits. Buridan's Ass. Create your own porn adaptation of a famous thought experiment or philosophical problem and show us the opening scenes. [11 points] This was one of the items I was most excited to see, and I was a little disappointed by the lack of variety: 4 teams came up with variations on "Schrödinger's Pussy," 2 teams used Einstein's twins paradox, and 1 team used "the Kuntian Revolution." My favorite of the ones I saw was Scampy's special relativity video, which was both pornographic and educational!
  • 65. I can't understand all your highfalutin' talk! Overset a two-leaf spread in the latest outgiven of Cosmopolitan into Anglish for me. [8 points] First of all, congratulations to Snell-Hitchcock, the only team to receive full points for this item. Their translation of a two-page article on things to do with your breasts was flawless. Several other teams gave me translations with a lot of mistakes and received partial credit. And then there was Max P, who apparently did not take the time to look Anglish up on Wikipedia:
me: Do you guys have item 65, the Cosmo article?
Page captain: Oh, you mean the one translated into hick?
me: Huh?
Page captain: The one translated into hick. [affects hillbilly accent] You know, where they talk lahk this?

Monday, May 10, 2010

10 Lessons Learned From Scav 2010

1. Being a judge is WAY more fun than being a captain. Seriously, people. WAY more fun.

2. If you have dreams that you're too lazy to fulfill, put them on your list; Scavvies will do the work for you! 5 different teams showed me Strads (the same violin twice, the same cello twice, and another cello), and I got to play one of them, fulfilling a serious lifetime desire. Thanks to BJ, GASH, Snell-Hitchcock, Max and MacPierce for makin' my dreams come true.

3. As stated earlier by Cynthia, Mama Shaq. Mama Shaq. Shaq's your mom: that's a fact!

4. If you ask for ham, you'd better ask for bread, mustard, lettuce, and mayo.

5. The amused, self-important feeling I got after thinking I successfully faked an item as a Scavvie is surpassed significantly by the glory of scrawling a goatee on someone's face.

6. If you're an RA and a judge, make sure not to judge your house's team's page at the same time as a judge who has lots of pube- and genitalia-related items. 'Nuff said.

7. After seeing more dicks than necessary, a few observations: 1) it's really hard (ha!) to get a boner in the same room where you had Sosc, and 2) HJ Emily Watkins has the biggest cock on campus.

8. Nobody likes 8.

9. Never give away any of your items to other judges. You'll miss them, and your heart will be full of broken dreams (... and candy!)

10. Call. Your. Mom. !!!


To close this year’s Hunt, here are some tips for next year. A year of bickering and learning English grammar taught me to be a better Scavvy, which I will never go back to because they smell weird in large numbers.

1. Read the rules. They are useful, I promise.

2. Read the items. This sounds obvious, but in the midst of an all-nighter fueled by Venom, it really isn’t.

3. If quality is a function of time, get those items judged first. Or get tons of photos of the before. I just wish that I had eaten my choco tacos in their heyday instead of after they had melted into a puddle of goo.

4. Do not be too afraid to talk to us because interactions before judgment can benefit everyone. For example, it was only after we heard that several teams could not complete the museum item that Leah checked, only to find that it was taken off display.

5. Stop calling me Margaret.

6. Try to have the people who completed an item be there to explain or leave a written explanation for items that may warrant it. I often had questions which were answered with, “The guy who did this isn’t here.”

7. Use serving utensils for the dinner. It weirded me out how much food was handled with bare hands. Nuts and cookies? Ok, yeah, sure, fine – I would prefer a spoon or tongs but I can suck it up. But trying to serve me portions of wet, meaty entrée with your fingers was gross.

8. Mama Shaq. Mama Shaq. Shaq’s your mom. That’s a fact.

9. Sometimes a nail is just a nail.

10. I am not impressed by your bullshit. Any of it. Maybe this is just a tip for my page.

Anyway, hope to see you and maybe your dicks next year.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

This is not a clue... or is it?

I just returned home after the HQ visits and am delighted to say that I saw many wonderful and amazing things. It appears that people are having fun with this year's Hunt.

One of the most exciting moments for me occurred when I visited the Breckinridge HQ. While I was asking their Captains about item 214, one of their team members came out with a tray of pudding cups and began handing them around to us Judges...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

HSH MM10 Update #4

C-Bass used C-Bomb to kill Blade Man, which was pretty easy, despite the fact that Blade Man not only uses blades to attack you, but is in fact a giant blade himself. WOOT FOR C-BASS!

Now that we've started to collect the powerful weapons from each robot master, the game is getting easier. Chris - who quite frankly was itching to take on Blade Man himself, and was the first to get to Blade Man - was able to take on Strike Man pretty easily. He was highly susceptible to the blades that Blade Man gave us. Strike Man is a giant baseball who throws baseballs at you.

And then in basically no time - while I was writing this post, in fact - Christian beat chill man! It was also very easy, as expected, you could use Solar Man's weapon to get him pretty fast.

Now Christian made it to Nitro Man - the last one! for the first time. Wish him luck!

update: That was quick: Nitro man is no more. Wily's Castle, here we come! We are going shopping for energy tanks etc now.

this photo is almost identical to the last one but whatever

more update: Oh shit! Mega Man has roboenza! And the medicine making robot is gone! Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!! WILY!!! I KNEW YOU WERE BEHIND THIS!

more update again:
Apparently Wiley's Castle has a feature where these pinkish squares that get possessed, essentially, with the ghosts of old enemies from Mega Men 1 - 9. So you have to figure out which current weapon would work best against this former enemy. It's wacky! A sample planning conversation: "that's tornado man...from mega man 9. You used the plug ball to kill him, 'cause he floats we should use....T Wool? Or R-Striker again?" --Chris and Christian