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].
NOTE: THE SECOND PART OF THIS ITEM IS GRACE'S FAULT. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.
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.

http://www.futureofthecookbook.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Mondale_Cover.jpeg
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.

1 comment:

  1. I remember years back i had the coleslaw item coded into the MSI's enigma machine (note this was the second occurrence of said coleslaw item, noone got the first). This is when i learned that you can take things too damn far, because scavvies don't know German my favorite being that one team actually immediately recognized the clue as an enigma machine code, went to MSI translated it and thought it came back gibberish, in actuality it was just German. the disappointment on their faces for coming so damn close was pretty hilarious. (one team did bring me sauerkrat though, so uh good for them)

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