Celebrated writer Nalo Hopkinson blogs
that the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction & Fantasy
, the largest publicly-accessible collection of sf/f genre books in the world, may be in danger
, in the wake of changes in the library and university administration. The archive is housed by the library system of UC Riverside
and currently hosts a biennial conference
, a lifetime achievement award for celebrated writers in the genre
and a student short story contest
. The journal Science Fiction Studies
(based at DePauw) sponsors a fellowship
to promote research at the Eaton archive.
Welcome to Al Zimmermann's Programming Contests. You've entered an arena where demented computer programmers compete for glory and for some cool prizes.
The current challenge is just about to come to an end, but you can peruse the previous contests and prepare for the new one starting next month.
Defense of the Ancients
is a MOBA (what's a MOBA?
| comprehensive history of MOBAs
) that has skyrocketed in recent years from a humble Warcraft multiplayer mod to a genre-defining megahit whose worldwide competitive bracket The International
(whose finale airs tonight) boasts a prize pool of more than $10 million dollars.
While publisher Valve is determined to help mainstream
the esports craze with helpful
noob newcomer-friendly broadcasts of the final
and a simulcast on ESPN
, the community has been dogged by accusations of hostility
and a very steep learning curve
. Luckily, you don't have to know anything about DOTA to enjoy the best thing to come out of it so far: 45 minutes of witheringly sarcastic in-game meta-commentary
] in the dulcet tones of Kevan Brighting
, the very charming (and very British) narrator of beloved metagame The Stanley Parable
. Once you're finished with that delightful deconstruction of esport tropes
, you might also enjoy perusing similar announcer packs for Portal's GLaDOS
, Bastion's Rucks
, and... a pirate
. ＤＩＧＩＴＡＬ ＳＰＯＲＴＳ!
Small Cool 2014
, Apartment Therapy's 10th Annual Smallest Coolest Home Contest (previously
), is in full swing. The first round of voting is now open and will continue until June 13th. Voting for the grand prize will take place June 17 - June 18. To be considered, homes must be under 1000 sq ft. Awards are given out in five categories:
Previous year's winners and entries:
It's under 24 hours until the Grand Final
of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest
, airing at 2100 CEST (2000 UTC, 3 pm EDT). Are you ready for the most wonderful musical event of the year? [more inside]
You've heard of dog and horse shows, but are you familiar with rabbit shows? Rabbit Fever
is a coming-of-age story that follows six competitors as they strive to win the top title at the National American Rabbit Convention - an event that draws more than 20,000 rabbits in one building, the largest mass of rabbits in the world. While adult members of the rabbit habit compete for BEST IN SHOW, the teenage enthusiasts quest for an even more coveted honor in the rabbit community - Rabbit King and Queen!
Try to win a staring game
against Dali (or a campbell's soup can or a giraffe) in this free staring game on the iPhone.
Or have characters from The Office stare at you instead, in The Office Stare Machine
Question: How good would you have to be to win an OK GO video contest? Answer: Very good indeed. See the winning video for OK Go's "I'm Not Through' here
Radio controlled electric flying has been around for a while now, but a relatively new type of indoor pattern flying
is becoming popular. Using very light electric airplanes called "foamies", F3P
can be both mesmerizing
and artistically beautiful
The Sydney Symphony
held a contest for its Facebook fans to find the best lyrics for the Carmina Burana
. The winner - Ode to Sleep Deprived Parents
"Entering into one of the fiercest competitions in existence, I found art."
Sixteen mushers. 120 dogs. An adventure across one of the longest mushing trails in the world: the Beringia, a dog sled race stretching 683 miles across eastern Russia. Twilight on the Tundra [more inside]
A chance of a lifetime for aspiring filmmakers: Kevin Spacey
stars in three scripts from the Jameson-sponsored First Shot contest. In the phenomenal The Ventriloquist
a ventriloquist and his dummy are having a hard time relating to each other and humanity; in The Envelope
, a Russian man's hobby fulfills his purpose; and in Spirit of a Denture
a mild-mannered dentist faces off with a difficult patient.
Justin Bieber is holding a contest to find the best "Girlfriend" version of his hit "Boyfriend". This girl has clearly already won—both the contest and our hearts. [more inside]
The Eurovision Song Contest 2012's first semi-final begins tomorrow at 3 PM EST (12 PM PST). Watch it online
, and listen to the songs (below the jump). [more inside]
CBC Radio's Day 6
is holding a contest
to break, in one sentence, all of Elmore Leonard's 10 writing rules.
SLYT: Brenda Hewlett: 5'3", 59 years old, has never held a hockey stick before. At an Akwesasne Warriors hockey game, however, she finally did hold a hockey stick in an attempt to win a new Ford truck by shooting a puck at a goal from 114 feet away. You probably see where this is going. [more inside]
- the turkey-shaped Jell-O mold annual competition. David Byrne is a returning participant.
(Past winners/entries: 2010
, and where it all began: 2005
Amp Radio Calgary
's controversial "Breast Summer Contest Ever", which provoked complaints to the Ad Standards Council and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, has awarded its prize
of $10,000 towards breast augmentation surgery to Avery Mitchell, a 23-year-old transgendered woman. Mitchell received 76% online votes in the contest, supported by notorious "boobies"-loving website FARK.com
is an adorable toddler with a rare and terrible medical problem: West Syndrome
, a.k.a. infantile spasms. Her father Mike has been active in the online Special Needs community, chronicling her story for years now at his blog Marissa's Bunny
. Last year, his readers raised almost $30,000 through a ChipIn fundraiser to offset the costs of Marissa's neurosurgery. As a sort of 'thank you', and with the help of matching funds from his employers, Mike offered to give away and/or raffle 40 iPads
to the special needs kids of his blogger friends, to be used as assistive technology devices for many of their non-verbal kids. This follows on the heels of several other iPad raffles
he's held in the past year.
Guess what happened next. The Special Needs Parenting blog community is on the case: Ellen Seidman
(and her commenters), Rob Rummel-Hudson
, Sarah and Joyce Hely
, Shannon Des Roches Rosa
and others are putting together the pieces right now.
(previously on MetaFilter: the unravelings of Kaycee Nicole, JT LeRoy, Kodee Kennings, Alexa DiCarlo, and Amina Arraf)
Create a game. The game can be of any theme or genre you desire, but there is one restriction: You're creating a 'new classic,' like Chess, Tag or card games. So, create a game to be enjoyed by generations of players for a thousand years. Prize:
$1,000 to the winning entrant, to be announced and awarded January 1, 2012." Daniel Solis
' Thousand-Year Game Design Challenge
. [more inside]
The Eurovision Song Contest 2011's first semi-final begins at 2 PM CST. Watch it online.
It's that time of year again! Time to vote for the 2011 Name of the Year
! This year's contestants include such heavyweights as Col. Many-Bears Grinder, Ebenezer Noonoo, Yolanda Supersad, RexAchilles Imperial, and La'Peaches Pitts. [more inside]
The International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge 2010
- "Researchers are generating mind-boggling volumes of data at exponentially increasing rates. The ability to process that information and display it in ways that enhance understanding is an increasingly important aspect of the way scientists communicate with each other and—especially—with students and the general public. That's why, for the past 8 years, Science and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) have co-sponsored annual challenges to promote cutting-edge efforts to visualize scientific data, principles, and ideas. This year's awardees
span scales from nanoparticles to colliding galaxies, and from microseconds to millennia."
The Story Beyond the Still
began with a film by Pulitzer Prize winner Vincent Laforet
who was given a still image to interpret into a short film shot with the Canon 7D
. This film became the first chapter in the Story Beyond The Still contest
which also ended on a still photograph for contest goers to interpret into the next chapter of the story. This pattern continued for another six user-generated chapters with each chapter winner continuing the story by interpreting the previous chapter's ending still image. Now, a year and over 275 submissions later
, the contest has come to a close and the final chapter is complete
and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Google is known to ask the following question in job interviews: In a country in which people only want boys every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country?
Think you know the answer? If so, Steve Landsburg may be willing to bet you up to $5000. [more inside]
Google awards $10 million for “world changing” ideas
. [more inside]
Finalists for the first-ever Vimeo Awards,
culled form over 6500 submissions, these are the 45 finalist films in 9 categories.
— Fond memories of the 5K Awards resurface with this modern spin on the idea. It’s time to get back to basics — back to optimizing every little byte like your life depends on it. Your challenge? Build a web app in less than 10 kilobytes.
The day you have been waiting for all year has arrived: the 2010 winners of the Gowanus Studio Space
Jell-O Mold Competition have been announced
March Madness just got a little crazier... It's this year's Name of the Year ballot
! Names are submitted, verified to be real, then put in an NCAA-style bracket. Nohjay Nimpson might be a favorite this year, but I think Pepi Hamburger is going to be the dark horse. Voting for your favorites starts soon.
. Previously on MeFi
200 years, The Annual Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake
at Cooper's Hill, near Gloucester in England has been canceled due to health and safety fears
. (Official site
.) The BBC
devotes a section of their site to the event, and both ESPN
and The Big Picture covered it last year
. Previously [more inside]
the $1 million Next Big Thing contest, which would have rewarded a team to improve their recommendation engine. [more inside]
Voting has now closed in the NYC BigApps Challenge
, a $20,000 contest to produce amusing, interesting, or even useful apps using the information in the NYC DataMine
. Browse the eligible submissions here.
: collects e-mailed and tweeted comments on NYC cabs, by medallion or license number.
: Did the restaurant across the street pass its last health inspection?
: You tell Walkshed what kind of amenities you'd like to be within walking distance of, and the app makes you a heat map showing your most walkable neighborhoods.
: Locates nearby garages and collects social information about available street parking. Buzzes you when it's time to move your car.
Trees Near You
: Does what it says on the box.
(via Indirect Collaboration
This Saturday in New York City, a couple hundred people gathered to coat their gullets with thick, rich Christmas Joy, in the Eighth Annual Coquito Masters Contest
. Interested in trying a Coquito (aka Puerto Rico's version of egg nog
)? Here's some recipes
! LET'S GET CREAMY!
"To mark the 40th anniversary of the Internet, DARPA has announced the DARPA Network Challenge
.... The challenge is to be the first to submit the locations of ten moored, 8 foot, red weather balloons located at ten fixed locations in the continental United States. Balloons will be in readily accessible locations and visible from nearby roadways." Teams must register by December 1st and have two weeks to submit balloon locations. [more inside]
The New Yorker's "Critterati" contest
invites you to "take a picture of your pet—dog, cat, ferret, iguana, or any other nonhuman member of the animal kingdom—dressed as a character from literature, and upload it to newyorker.com by October 25th." Gallery
. [more inside]
We're all familiar with the thrilling, pulse-pounding, edge-of-your-seat spectacle that is Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
(Essay containing spoilers
), and we've all run out to buy the new Criterion Collection
DVD, and of course, we often spend our time fantasizing about what it would be like to lead the glamorous roller-coaster ride that is Ms. Dielman's life. Well, now you can make those fantasies a reality:
"In honor of the release of Jeanne Dielman on DVD, we’re sponsoring the world’s first Jeanne Dielman–Criterion Collection Cooking Video Contest. Make a video of yourself (or someone else) cooking 1) meat loaf, 2) cutlets, or 3) potatoes, and upload it as a video response to Jeanne Dielman–Criterion Collection Cooking Video Contest on YouTube."
A minister, a priest, and a rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender says, "What is this
, some kind of joke
?" Warning: autoplay on first link. [more inside]