May 11, 2003
The University of Chicago is, this weekend, having the world’s largest scavenger hunt. It lasts four days, and includes a fantastic assortment of goals to be reached. Over 300, this year.
Some of this year’s gems are:
- A #1 pencil. [8 points]
- Immortalize a despot on beanie baby form. Must include appropriate nametag/poem. [18 points]
- The Comma Sutra Prepare positions for all punctuation! [22.3 points]
- Arabic alphabet soup. [28 points. 10 bonus points if you can spell out “Welcome to Jamaica, mon. Have a nice day”]
- We give you a number. You give us the Shakespeare sonnet. From memory. No, you don’t have to memorize all of them. Just the ones that coincide with jersey numbers of Brewer’s legends inducted into the Miller Park Walk of Fame. [37 points. 9 bonus points if the Judges can read along in Rapanuian]
- Gold, frankincense, and myrrh. [12 points]
- Present the Judges with the name of a restaurant near Hyde Park where a Judge can then dine there on that restaurant’s “‘lobster’ stuffed with ‘tacos.&rsquo&rdquo Points awarded based on quality of the entrée. [19 points] This is, of course, a simpsons reference.
- First, a mask of Richard P. Feynman out of chalk. Second, deliver a demonstrative Feynman lecture on kinetics using nothing but a chalkboard and the mask you’re wearing. Surely, we must be joking! No. [41 points]
- One member of your team to do a handstand while wearing a helmet affixed to as many of those cups that make a sound of a bleating sheep when turned over as posible. [5 points per bleater]
- Explain string theory using only sock puppets. The Judge must understand. [19 points]
- Build a working Erector set model of the reproductive system. [69 points]
The full list is here. And some lists from previous years.
The contest gained international attention in 1999 when some students built a working breeder nuclear reactor for the contest. (This was, luckily, before the War on Terror. Incidentally, due to said War, last year’s contest included: Passport stamped by all thre Axes of Evil. [333 points. 33 bonus points if it also contains a stamp from “occupied territory” )
Last year, the antics of the scavenger hunt were chronicled for all time in a feature leangth documentary (available here).
I ordered it.
You’ll all have to watch.