Last year we challenged you to build the next generation of connected devices. Six months later, the best teams and projects from around the world battled for the greatest prize of all: the respect of their peers and a trip to space. This year, we’re issuing a call to hackers, engineers, makers and startups from all over the world, to focus their creative efforts on nothing less than solving serious issues facing humanity.
Prizes this year include a trip to space on a carrier of your choice, a laser cutter, a builder kit (pcb mill, 3d printer, cnc router, bench lathe), and tours of CERN in Geneva or Shenzhen in China. New this year is a “Best Product” award. Show a production-ready (and ideally, open-source) device and you can win $100,000 in addition to being eligible for the other prizes.
Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But, the deadline for our Arduino Contest at Instructables is approaching right fast: Entries are accepted until this Sunday, Nov 15, 2009, at 11:59 PM PST.
Why enter? To show off your cool stuff! Also, you could win a Meggy Jr RGB handheld gaming kit, or an Arduino Mega or other nice goodies, so don’t you want to come out and play?
Official contest rules are here. The basic entry requirement is that you make a project that involves the Arduino IDE in some way, and you can already check out many of the great projects entered. Woo!
We’ve seen a lot of great Arduino Halloween projects out there this year. A few of them have been submitted to our Arduino contest over at Instructables, and we’d love to see more. The entry deadline is Nov. 15, so you’ve still got time to send them in.
Speaking of contests, the Make Halloween contest deadline is here. Quick, get those microcontroller projects entered before midnight on Nov. 3!
Over at Instructables, we’re sponsoring an Arduino contest with prizes including Meggy Jr RGB kits. The rules are simple: use Arduino in your project! And by Arduino, we mean any project involving the Arduino IDE in some way. (And yes, you can use your Meggy Jr RGB or your Peggy 2 for this contest.) We look forward to seeing your projects and would love to see them in the flickr auxiliary, too.
Two weeks ago, after observing the bizarre search suggestions that ask.com gives for searches, we launched a little contest (which we have run a little late in posting the results of). Here are the results in our several categories:
Winner: “how do i go“, which ask.com helpfully expands into (among other variations), “how do i google someone.” Submitted by Josh Gurian.
This was the hardest category. There were too many to choose from. The depressing entries struck various notes depression because very unhappy people are querying the search engine, but also because of the terrible grammar issues, and genuinely scary things that one would hope no one ever searches for– both self-destructive and frighteningly ill-informed.
The idea of choosing a “winner” for questions like these is rather stomach turning– but labeling them losers won’t help either.
In our post on Monday, we noted that when you search at ask.com, you can get inappropriate and even frightening suggestions about what you might want to search for. What we have realized since then is that this is hardly an isolated example– In the comments we have even seen a few examples (like the one pictured above) that were arguably more frightening than the one (“how do you”) than the first one that we found.
This seems like an as-yet untapped resource of sarcastic humor. And we want to tap it. So, what bizarre search suggestions can you tickle out of that web site? It’s contest for one week, starting today.
How to enter: Upload your screen shot to the Evil Mad Science Auxiliary pool on flickr (free registration required, etc.) on or by November 13. Your entries must be reproducible. We will be judging in five categories: most ironic, most insightful, most depressing, worst grammar, and the funniest. Please tag your entry for the category or categories that you think it qualifies for. (Tags: ironic, insightful, depressing, grammar, and/or funny)
Up to five winners will be picked by November 17. Each winner will receive the glory of their name being listed as a winner and the corresponding scorn of programmers at Ask.com. Each winner will also get something that could actually be construed as a prize: a permanent forwarding e-mail address with your choice of name @evilmadscientist.com!
One hint: While the search results (at first glance) appear remarkably unfiltered, they are in fact filtered– but only on a conservative definition of “naughty” keywords, not on content in general. If you play with the search terms you’ll see that pretty quickly.
Update: It looks like uk.ask.com gives a different set of suggestions. We are ruling that these are fair game as well!
As we mentioned before, the deadline for the entering the Phylm contest is 12:00 am (GMT) May 1, 2007 extended to May 14, 2007, which is rapidly approaching. That leaves you just one weekend two weeks! We know that many people work better under a deadline, so our challenge to you is to make this your weekend project. We’re sure you can put together a two and a half minute film featuring physics over the weekend. So, let’s see your submissions!
Videos will be judged on clarity, accuracy, and creativity. The winner will receive a check for $100 (US) to be dispersed in June 2007. Once again, you can watch the video announcement at YouTube or (embedded) here:
“Phylm,” pronounced as “film,” is a portmanteau built out of the words “physics” and “film.” It’s also the name given to a new award, The Phylm Prize, aimed at spurring interest in physics and the educational use of new media. Translation: it’s a YouTube contest for physics geeks!
We’ve been invited to sit on the panel of judges for the contest, and so we’ll be looking forward to seeing the submissions. Videos up to two and a half minutes long featuring physics will be judged on clarity, accuracy, and creativity. This year’s winner will receive a check for $100 (US) to be dispersed in June 2007.
You can watch the video announcement at YouTube or (embedded) here:
We are guessing that many of you, our fine readers, already have an interest in physics and/or new media, so get started already! Let’s see your submissions! And don’t let the word “educational” intimidate you– educational propaganda is a highly appropriate diversion for evil mad scientists! (Besides, you could probably use the cash for your world domination scheme.)
Here’s some info from the rules on what kinds of things the clips can contain:
A critique/analysis of the physics presented in a fictional work. For example,
could the bus in Speed have made “the jump,” or how strong would Spider-Man
have to be to throw a car that far?
An analysis of physics as revealed by the examination of a real-world video clip.
For example, what forces does a gymnast experience during his routine?
An explanation/presentation of some physics concept or theory. For example, what is the conservation of energy?
Submissions are due by 12:00 am (GMT) May 1, 2007. We’ll be waiting.
We had a lot of fantastic entries in our supercapacitor contest! We now have a Grand Prize winner, two Second Prize winners, and a number of honorable mentions. A big thank you to everyone that submitted entries!
The Grand Prize (ten supercapacitors) goes to Stephen Kupiec, for his winning entry, “Supercap Project Luxeon V Throwie”:
A Luxeon V LED driven off of a LuxDrives 3021 buckpuck has been sporadically putting out a very short bright flash every 15-30 min on my desk startling coworkers. But it hasn’t been connected to power in over a month. The buckpuck has been harvesting power from 220 microfarad electrolytic capacitor which is in the circuit as a power line conditioner. Given a 1 farad supercap coupled with a very low (10000:1) duty cycle flasher circuit, a very distracting flasher could be made.
We selected this entry both for its originality, as well as for taking advantage of the low internal resistance of the supercaps.
Two second prize winners will get five caps each:
Chad Norman‘s entry is funny enough that it’s hard to read with a straight face:
Dress them up, adding little tiny bits of plasticine/playdough and dress them all up real purdy like. Then, using stop motion techniques, animate an epic saga of romance, death, intrigue and action with the supercapacitors as the actors.
From Mike Saz comes another very practical idea for using supercaps:
Mod your wireless mouse. They’ll soak up a day’s worth of juice in seconds, and you can stop buying AA’s, or worse, nicads.