There is a crisis in Argentina due to foreign dancers' increasing proficiency in the tango, allowing them to defeat locals in important competitions.
L'equip petit - "... if one day I score, I'll be so happy that I'll fly."
"Challenge: 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]
PBS's excellent weekly news magazine, Need to Know, explains why European broadband speeds are racing ahead of the USA. Britain now has 400 broadband suppliers with service available for as little as $6/month. Bonus: Harvard's Berkman Center reports on broadband supply trends around the world.
"Dom DeLuise,the comedian, was implicated in the following unseemly acts in my mind’s eye: He hocked a fat globule of spittle on Albert Einstein’s thick white mane and delivered a devastating karate kick to the groin of Pope Benedict XVI. Michael Jackson engaged in behavior bizarre even for him. He defecated on a salmon burger and captured his flatulence in a balloon." How Joshua Foer trained his brain and became a world-class memory athlete. [more inside]
Donnie Moore was the California Angels' relief ace in 1986. After he gave up a home run that began the Angels' collapse in the ALCS, Moore's life and psyche steadily deteriorated, until he committed suicide in 1989. Steve Hofstetter wrote about Moore and the divergent paths taken by other athletes in similar situations.
The Price of Altruism - George Price, a (troubled) father of group selection thru his discovery of the eponymous Price Equation, has a rather interesting biography... [more inside]
"The Szpilman Award is awarded to works that exist only for a moment or a short period of time. The purpose of the award is to promote such works whose forms consist of ephemeral situations." This years winner is Treebute to Yogya. The organisers also maintain a blog and an encyclopædia of ephemeral works.
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]
Law professor Susan Crawford takes a moment to explain to all of us why we should be wary of Verizon's decision to suspend FiOS rollout across the country and the resulting likely domination of the high-speed internet access biz by the cable companies in a short (for a legal journal) paper in the Yale Law and Policy Review. [more inside]
In today's example of kids smarter than you and I, Wired follows the exploits of two teens competing at the International Olympiad in Informatics.
How Low Can Your Logo? "We are testing your capacity to willingly create that which you spend your entire life trying not to create: the worst logo ever." Read the brief or jump straight to the gallery.
Royal Navy Field Gun Competition 1997: Take it apart and put it back together, again and again, and fast. A history of the event.
Badass Japanese Precision Walking Competition. Craziness starts at 1:45, and just gets better from there on.
Trailblazers is a live web surf event where you can show off your PRO surfing skills.
No keyboard, no google, just pure links! At the event, the participants use a prepared computer with a modified browser: the address bar is removed and each click on a link is tracked by a counter. The goal is to get from one website to an other one by just clicking on links. The winner is the one who had to click the least links. TRAILBLAZERS is a project by Theo Seeman, an interface design/new media student at the Merz Akademie in Stuttgart, Germany. That’s also where the first event took place. One of the missions was to browse from http://imdb.com to http://thepiratebay.org, an other was to browse from http://web.mit.edu/ to http://icanhascheezburger.com/. The next event will be at ARS Electronica in Linz, Austria, September 3rd. Check out this video.
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!
Competition Competition 2010, at Architizer is an entirely new kind of architectural award that chooses its winner from the un-rewarded competition entries of 2009.
The Gardens will put in place a pervasive garden ambience and quality living environment from which Singapore's downtown will rise, and steer Singapore to the forefront of the world's leading global cities. (via)
(all links possibly nsfw) This weekend, Jay Cutler tries to win back from Dexter Jackson the greatest prize in professional bodybuilding - the title of Mr. Olympia. [You may have heard of one of them.] [more inside]
"It's a human drama thing." This is a documentary film about a group of people in Texas who enter a competition to win a new "hardbody" pickup truck, merely by keeping one hand on the truck the longest. (via Kottke via waxy) [more inside]
"And I Refuse To Forget," the three-minute sci-fi thriller from 21-year-old director Nuru Rimington-Mkali, has won the grand prize in the Filmaka feature film competition. Judges include Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Neil Labute and many others. For his efforts, Rimington-Mkali wins the director's chair of his first feature film, to be produced by Filmaka. (Lots of other great stuff on Filmaka, too.)
Ubuntu 8.04's Hardy Heron has recently perched on millions of desktops worldwide, but what does the future look like for the darling of the open source world? Now entering a new 2-year art developent cycle, Ubuntu's continuing quest for "pure, unadulterated, raw, visceral, lustful, shallow, skin deep beauty" has begun again in earnest. Bleeding edge desktop effects [youtube, music] are already creeping into the official distribution and the community is eagerly awaiting the new graphical look, promised as a ground-up re-imagination in the next release, Intrepid Ibex. Watch this space.
A hirsute appendage of the upper lip, with graspable extremities. The perfect moustache grows only on the upper lip. You may choose a pomade of wax to assist in daily maintenance. In the early stages of growth, before the moustache is properly trained, you may choose to use a moustache cup in polite soup-eating company. After months of patience, you will be entitled to join the brotherhood, compete at national and international level, raise money for charity and serve your country in the most difficult circumstances.
Layer Tennis. Head-to-head graphic artist competition!
The Solar Decathlon is a just-completed competition in which 20 teams of college and university students competed to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house. View a photo gallery or take video tours of the homes. Inhabitat has been blogging the event - here's their view of Germany's winning entry. [more inside]
Sports Acrobatics Spellbinding gymnastics feats.
Evan M. O'Dorney, a 13-year-old speller from Danville, Calif., won the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee, with the final word "serrefine". Here is an interesting interview with the winner. Did you say my name wrong?
Peak Performance is a website featuring dozens of articles on just about every aspect of sports science, including large sections devoted to cycling, swimming and sports psychology. Some of my own favorites deal with the beneficial effects of Omega-3 fatty acids, the Chinese government’s plan to dominate the Olympics, Veronique Billat’s 30-30 running workouts and how to increase growth hormone levels naturally.
Win £500 from the Royal Society of Chemistry (or a place on a Chinese science undergraduate course) if your math skills are up to it.
Make Bjork's next music video. She'd love for you to take a stab at making the video for Innocence (streaming music on her myspace page), if you're up to the challenge. Lyrics. Previously.
In September 2006 the largest known prime number, a 9.8 million digit number, was discovered. If you find one over ten million digits you can win US$100,000 (of which you get to keep $50,000). No maths is required - just download the software and you're away. Warning: it takes about a month to run one primality check so some patience is required. Look out though Cooper and Boone look like they might beat you to it.
NASCAR as an example of a meritocracy with equal opportunity for all. While frequently maligned for it's relatively primitive technology (excluding safety ), the total lack of mechanical resemblance (other than appearance) of the "stock" cars to the brand they represent, soap-opera-slash-professional wrestling story lines, and being ripe political target for both the right and the left as well as marketers, it is a strong cultural force. The entrance of Toyota (likely to surpass GM as #2 US automaker in the near-future) into NASCAR (with the hopes of "winning on Sunday and selling on Monday" in the heartland) and the cheating scandal currently unravelling highlight an important concept woven into NASCAR's culture. [more]
The Harvard University Worklife Wizard, created by an international team of journalists, economists, and statisticians, is Barbara Ehrenreich's wet dream. It's also a fantastic resource that has flown pretty much under everyone's radar. The Worklife Survey drives the constantly-revised, constantly-refined Salary Comparison Tool, which is always hungry for more data about employment from around the world. And when they say they want data from everyone, they mean it-- there's even a VIP Salary Checker that pits the wages of the Yankees against those of the Red Sox. (Plus if you take the survey, you can apparently earn a chance to win a trip to South Africa). Personally, I love the Workplace Horror Stories (and there's a competition there too). I can't look at a nail clipper the same way now.
Baseball Race. "[A]n online application that allows you to view any Major League Baseball season, split by league or division (even wild card races), as an animated, date-by-date race between the various teams you choose."
It's the Privacy International Stupid Security Competition 2006. Human rights group Privacy International (who also hand out annual Big Brother awards have launched the 2006 Stupid Security Competition. Following on from 2003's awards (also here) where everyone from T Mobile UK, the Australian Government to Philadelphia International Airport won with displays of idiocy, what will the results of the past three years of press and government hyperbole and lies, amongst many other things bring?
Much like synchronized swimming or a standard drill team, a book cart drill team requires coordination and panache and is complicated enough to warrant its own manual. This year at the 2006 American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans, the winners of the “golden cart” in the Second Annual Book Cart Drill Team Competition were the city’s very own Tulane University “Booked on New Orleans”, (YouTube video, no sound) who had only started rehearsing 6 weeks prior and had practiced in the formerly flooded basement of the library.
The 2006 winners and nominees in the first International Color Awards offers a broad sampling of work from some of the world's finest professional and amateur color photographers. View more from Erwin Olaf, Photographer of the Year in the professional category.
The World Challenge aims to find individuals or groups from around the world who have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level. It could be you or someone you know. ( via bbc)
The Catseye - similar to Botts' Dots, [Wikipedia talk] is in the final 10 for the Great British Design Quest.
23. It's like Flickr, a lot like Flickr--and maybe better. Better at some things. Stories. Upload limits. The layout. Ordering prints. They are doing things from the beginning that Flickr worked a couple years to figure out in the first place. Flickr of course is way ahead of 23 in numbers (people and money). Does it make sense to challenge that lead? (And to do so with an overt knock-off?) If 23 provides a better service, should they lose out for being second to the party? How can they pay their debt of gratitude to Flickr for being the obvious inspiration and an open-book instruction manual, and should they? When does the flattery of imitation become legitimate--or illegitimate--competition? Notice in the terms they claim ownership of the concept and the design. Can 23 apply for any of the street cred Flickr may have given up in favor of being Yahoo!ed? Is it reasonable to expect better work from a scrappy upstart than a happy sell-out? Can two successful photo sharing sites co-exist, or join forces? Is there enough community to support more than one good one?
Art of Science Competition 2005 - A gallery of images celebrating the aesthetics of research at Princeton University. (via Amygdala)
One key games. Retro Remakes, a reverse-engineer gaming siteand One Switch, an accessibility site, have launched a competition for the best game that can be played with a single key. There's still time to enter, and some entries have already been posted to the forums.
Competition gave rise to the robber fly, to trap-weaving tree ants, an ‘homosexual’ fungus, robot jockeys, logic-checking software, and to custom-made brass knuckles.
The 2nd Annual Greatest Story Never Told Contest: a multimedia storytelling competition whose name speaks for itself. Some of the entries are shockingly depressing (QT link here.) Others are disturbing, yet funny. Some are just cute, and some have seen the blue before.
Mustaches For Kids - the 6th Annual NYC Mustaches for Kids Holiday Mustache Growing Contest and Fundraiser is back. Exciting fundraising competition. (see also Seattle chapter)
Miss Plastic Surgery There is now a beauty contest in China where those who have had augmentation can compete for a prize. Will the losers end up on the Internet(s)? This is more main stream with TV shows around the profession (Nip / Tuck). PLay the Nip/Tuck game. No worries, reality TV is here for us so we can then we can compete to be cut up.
Fused space. Exploring the impact mediascapes - the mobile phone and wireless networks - will have on the ways we inhabit localities.