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You had to have seen this coming, right?

A compilation of people fucking up the ice bucket challenge. (Mildly NSFW).
posted by empath on Aug 20, 2014 - 147 comments

look, Mum - no hands!

"YouTube user Now 夠了沒 has broadcast a genius method of putting on pants.
It is one that forgoes the often irritating and time-consuming use of hands.
No doubt this is why the internet was invented."
(Buzzfeed link - includes animated .gifs & embedded video; soundtrack: "The Final Countdown") [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 6, 2014 - 23 comments

350-year-old photographs

Tim Jenison had a theory that Joseph Vermeer had made used of particular lens technology to make his paintings almost photo-realistic. To test this, he recreated the setting of The Music Lesson from scratch, harpsichord and all, and even recreated the theorised lenses using 17th century tools. For someone who doesn't know how to paint, he sure did a good job.
posted by divabat on Jun 15, 2014 - 86 comments

How well can you spell?

How well can you spell? is a spelling challenge from the Washington Post. Just click on the misspelled words. [more inside]
posted by zardoz on May 30, 2014 - 112 comments

For Egypt's Startups, Unstable Government Is the Least of Their Worries

Egyptian startup culture vs. Silicon Valley: how to lock down bugfixes & VC funding in midst of military takeover? Via
posted by infini on Feb 28, 2014 - 4 comments

How good is your English vocabulary, really?

In a move sure to delight MeFites everywhere, Ghent University in Belgium has created an online, almost arcade-game-like test of word knowledge which is almost BS-proof. Know the word? Press J. Don't? Press F. But don't lie! You will be punished.
posted by grumpybear69 on Jan 29, 2014 - 332 comments

Making Your Own Fun

A tumblr collecting unusual ways to play videogames.
posted by zamboni on Jan 14, 2014 - 22 comments

Nic On Dud

In the tradition of the 1939 novel Gadsby, Toronto rapper Andrew Huang (previously) recorded a hip hop track entirely devoid of the letter E.
posted by mannequito on Nov 15, 2013 - 22 comments

Convoy Conquest!

Tireless eaters Jenne and Miko set out to try every restaurant along San Diego's Convoy Street. (via Projects) [more inside]
posted by threeants on Jan 5, 2013 - 19 comments

"The data that we actually used."

Rosalind.info is a website with bioinformatics problems inspired by Project Euler (previously, previouslier.) [more inside]
posted by lizarrd on Dec 8, 2012 - 21 comments

Not After Eight

A new initiative recently proposed by the Royal Canadian Mint proposes to create the MintChip, a digital currency that’s similar (to BitCoin), but is backed by the Canadian government. Aiming to become “the digital equivalent of the coins we use every day,” in the Canadian Mint’s own words, the MintChip will target micro- and nano-transactions conducted both online and offline, whether at the physical point of sale, on mobile devices, or among peers. Via
posted by infini on Apr 20, 2012 - 37 comments

Get Ready to Play Tag

Tag Challenge! "The infamous Panther Five has pulled an audacious new heist: they’ve stolen the world’s 3rd most expensive jewel, the Adly Diamond, from the Overholt Showroom in Washington, DC. Now they’ve split up and fled—dispersed to five different cities. We’re offering a reward to help find them. We’ll release their mugshots here on game day: March 31, 2012."

If you can get a team together that can cover these 5 cities, then you've got a shot at $5000 (USD).
Washington, DC | New York City | London | Stockholm | Bratislava [more inside]
posted by juliplease on Mar 12, 2012 - 28 comments

The Thin Wall Challenge

Hi, my name is Ryan, and that sound you're hearing is my neighbors back there doin' it. Welcome to The Thin Wall Challenge. (MLYT) (mildly nsfw)
posted by Evernix on Mar 8, 2012 - 122 comments

I'm gonna sit write down and write twenty-four letters...

A Month of Letters is a challenge with two parts: mail something (anything!) every day the post runs in February and respond to every letter you get.
posted by naturalog on Feb 1, 2012 - 23 comments

Twilight of the Yahoo-Yahoo Boys

You may have never heard of them, but they definitely have your email address. They are the Yahoo-Yahoo Boys; the young Nigerian men who cut wide swaths of cash by preying on the naiveté of moneyed Westerners vis a vis their dreaded 419 emails. ...But if you check your spam folder right now you might notice that it is slightly lighter these days. That's because it's been a tough week for Nigeria’s most infamous internet enthusiasts. Due to the week-long strike action that took place in response to the government’s decision to remove a national fuel subsidy, it has become increasingly difficult for the Yahoos to extract funds from their “clients”. [...] The Yahoos' disposition towards #OccupyNigeria is also worth paying attention to because 419 culture is essentially a street-level microcosm of the institutional corruption that has plagued Nigeria for the past forty years. And although the Yahoos are often blamed for distorting Nigeria’s image abroad, they've also become part of the cultural fabric.
posted by infini on Jan 22, 2012 - 26 comments

A long way to go to lose

Here is a video playthrough of The Legend of Zelda without a sword. It is possible to get right up to the last boss without one, although it requires knowing a lot of tricks. That is exactly what mev1978 does in his playthrough, without dying. And then he does it again in the second quest. First quest (1:61:31) - Second quest (1:13:18) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 26, 2011 - 33 comments

Villians spotted at Melbourne University!

The annual Melbourne University Puzzle Hunt is back - and this time they need your help fending off villians with your puzzle-solving abilities. Anyone from anywhere in the world can compete in teams of 1 to 10 people (or you can see the puzzles for yourself and play at home). [more inside]
posted by divabat on Apr 10, 2011 - 7 comments

Zigguraticity, Pyramidality

College Bowl was an American tradition for more than 50 years: two teams of four players each, who are read a toss-up question which anyone could answer alternating with a bonus question which only the team which got the toss-up question could answer. It was officially cancelled in 2008, due to a variety of factors. A strange new format dominates its successors: pyramidal quiz bowl. [more inside]
posted by curuinor on Mar 11, 2011 - 61 comments

Advance Market Commitments

Inducement Prizes -- Best known for the Ansari X Prize, the DARPA Grand Challenge and the Clay Mathematics Millennium Problems, inducement prizes have a long history, but their recent successes have led to increased government interest, viz. challenge.gov, and resulted in the development of vaccines, thanks in large part to the work of Michael Kremer.* [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 6, 2011 - 8 comments

Tambal byuyun, no es fácil!

Linguistics Challenge Puzzles! (Difficulty ranging from green circles to double black diamonds...Friday fun for all!) [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Aug 20, 2010 - 34 comments

The $600 Billion Challenge

"Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett are asking the nation's billionaires to pledge ... at least half their net worth to charity, in their lifetimes or at death."
posted by grumblebee on Jun 16, 2010 - 145 comments

Perfect Balance

Simon Dyson was the winner at the Dunhill Links Championship, but Manuel de los Santos may have made the biggest impression at the pro-am event, which was played on St. Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie. De los Santos, 25, is a former baseball player who lost a leg in a car accident and picked up golf in 2004, after moving from his native Dominican Republic to France. He plays to a 3-handicap without the aid of a prosthesis.
posted by netbros on Oct 12, 2009 - 4 comments

Senese Challenge From the BBC

Challenge Your Senses
posted by blue_beetle on Jul 31, 2009 - 24 comments

If an artistic director has quantified the dream of theatre on a spreadsheet, they are dead already.

Monologuist Mike Daisey has a beef with the way theater is made in the United States: . He's made that beef the substance of one of his monologues, How Theater Failed America. Now, Todd Olson, Producing Artistic Director (scroll down for bio) at the American Stage Theatre Company in St. Petersburg, Florida, has beef with Daisey, too. Olson says: balance my budget, wretched actor miscreant; Daisey says: bring it. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Apr 20, 2009 - 50 comments

A Weekly Illustration Challenge

Illustration Friday is a weekly illustration challenge. A topic is posted every Friday and then participants have all week to come up with their own interpretation. Check out the illustrator interviews. Here you'll find motivations, processes and styles, with links to the fine contemporary artists. From MeFi's own annathea. [via mefi projects]
posted by netbros on Mar 14, 2009 - 4 comments

They did what with what?

Top Gear Challenges: Some highlights include Bugatti Veyron vs. Eurofighter, Range Rover vs Challenger 2, and Nissan GTR vs. Bullet train (part 2) [more inside]
posted by jourman2 on Feb 16, 2009 - 41 comments

"Brave & Bold"

Showcase of finalist designs from the 2009 Michelin Challenge Design (not Design Challenge, for some reason). Among the expected uber-cool entries by big automakers, several interesting concepts from independent designers, including a stackable "metro cell" vehicle (Korea), solar-cell semi (Hungary), and a luxury-cruising buggy (USA).
posted by adamms222 on Feb 12, 2009 - 10 comments

So you're a tough guy, huh?

"The safest most dangerous taste of physical and mental endurance pain in the world"
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 4, 2009 - 51 comments

What is the largest prime factor of the sum of the favorited comments from all fibonacci-numbered MeFites?

"Project Euler is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve. Although mathematics will help you arrive at elegant and efficient methods, the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems."

Started in 2001 as a sub-section of Maths Challenge, it has since grown large enough to become its own entity. It now boasts over 200 problems, many of them insanely difficult. [more inside]
posted by mystyk on Oct 13, 2008 - 31 comments

I've Been Saying That Shit For years

The Colbert/McCain Green Screen Challenge
posted by Xurando on Jun 28, 2008 - 43 comments

The tantriks chanted their “Om lingalingalingalinga, kilikilikili….”

The Great Tantra Challenge - "On 3 March 2008, in a popular TV show, Sanal Edamaruku, the president of Rationalist International, challenged India’s most “powerful” tantrik (black magician) to demonstrate his powers on him. That was the beginning of an unprecedented experiment."
posted by Burhanistan on Mar 25, 2008 - 64 comments

Straight 8

Straight 8 challenges anyone to make a 3 minute film on one cartridge of super 8 film, editing only in-camera, with a separate original soundtrack. The best of each year is shown at Cannes Film Festival. [Some NSFW videos] [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Dec 22, 2007 - 14 comments

13 shot venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha with extra white mocha and caramel

The Most Expensive Drink at Starbucks.
posted by dhammond on Dec 21, 2007 - 65 comments

See answer key on back.

It's Saturday night. You're here browsing on the internet. Why not do something intellectual for a change? [more inside]
posted by flatluigi on Dec 1, 2007 - 27 comments

Become the Mainstream Media

Start Your Own News Web Site The Knight News Challenge is awarding up to $5 million for innovative news web site ideas that "transform community news." The contest is sponsored by the Knight Foundation, the folks originally behind Knight Ridder news.
posted by CameraObscura on Sep 1, 2007 - 15 comments

The Buckminster Fuller Institute Challenge

The Buckminster Fuller Institute is now accepting submissions for it's new, annual design challenge contest. Submissions must be applicable with real-world technology, solving real-world problems with a minimum of ecological impact. The offered prize is $100,000, on par with some of NASA's challenges. ( Buckminster Fuller on Wikipedia, and E2 )
posted by loquacious on Jul 20, 2007 - 9 comments

Simple But Challenging Games

Here are a few simple but challenging games: Ladybug, Boomshine, & Tama
posted by jake3456 on May 19, 2007 - 20 comments

Dusty desert breakdown

The Penitent Yanks are a team of Americans driving a school bus 3, 600 miles from Plymouth, England to the Gambia. They're part of the 2007 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge, an annual road rally to benefit charities in Gambia. Their bus has broken down in the Sahara, and they need help.
posted by chinese_fashion on Feb 14, 2007 - 2 comments

Think...about the bad things

Perhaps you'll recall DARPA's Grand Challenge where autonomous vehicles competed in a off-road race for $1,000,000 but most barely made it off the starting blocks? Yeah, well, they are doing it again this year for $2 million this time. Just one thing: Don't bet on Princeton. [last two links .MOV]
posted by Ogre Lawless on Oct 8, 2005 - 18 comments

Euler? I never even met her!

Project Euler is a running contest of programming challenges to hone your algorithm skills. "Each problem is designed according to a 'one-minute rule', which means that although it may take several hours to design a successful algorithm with more difficult problems, an efficient implementation will allow a solution to be obtained on a modestly powered computer in less than one minute."
posted by Wolfdog on Aug 20, 2005 - 11 comments

Block that Vote!

Ohio Poll Challengers Blocked Okayed. Keep track of all the other last-minute fraud here.
posted by mwhybark on Nov 2, 2004 - 56 comments

9 designers, 9 cities, 9 chairs

Un-Fold. (quicktime clip) City Magazine asked 9 designers, from 9 cities across the world to design a chair in 90 days. Oh, and it had to fit in a FedEx box. Pics and more about the designers and the project.
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 18, 2004 - 26 comments

plop plop fizz fizz - champagne chairs

What makes for a great champagne chair? Design Within Reach sponsored a holiday contest to design a chair constructed from the cork and wire cages of champagne bottle. Judges had a difficult time deciding from the 400 entries that poured in. (via Buzz.)
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 19, 2004 - 7 comments

Album Cover Challenge

Album Cover Challenge. The challenge is this: there are sixty album covers - some better known than others, but none willfully obscure - from which the artist and title information has been removed. Can you identify all the albums and provide the missing information? [via Travelers Diagram]
posted by soundofsuburbia on Oct 12, 2003 - 60 comments

Make-your-own-thingy-type-of-post

The challenge was to take the top 3 most emailed photos on yahoo and create a hopefully amusing story about the sequence. I reserve the right to refuse a disturbing picture, this includes any pictures of celine dion.
posted by magullo on Jul 10, 2003 - 12 comments

Build me a robot...

Grand Challenge The research arm of the US Department of Defense, DARPA, is sponsoring a $1 million winner take all contest to build a completely autonomous vehicle which can navigate a roughly 250 mile course in the desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas in under 10 hours. Teams from Caltech and Carnegie Mellon have formed, though anyone is allowed to enter.
posted by split atom on May 13, 2003 - 8 comments

Oubapo America

Oubapo America is a project to identify and explore constraints in Comics. It is the American cousin of the French Oubapo project which shares the same goals. Example: "Draw a comic that is 26 panels long where each panel features in some way the corresponding letter of the alphabet". If this sounds familiar, you may be thinking of Oulipo.
posted by vacapinta on Aug 3, 2002 - 6 comments

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