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U. Chicago's Epic Scavenger Hunt Is Back For 2012

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the maybe-fun-just-took-some-zombie-poison dept.

Education 56

gotfork writes "The world's largest scavenger hunt, covered in previous years on Slashdot, is now taking place at the University of Chicago. The competition is fierce: in 1999 one team build a working breeder reactor in the quad, but only won second place. Items on this year's list include your appendix in a jar (210), a disappearing spoon made of metal (105), a chromatic typewriter (216), a xyloexplosive (33) and a weaponized Xerox machine (83). Check out the full list here (PDF). Not bad for the school where 'where fun comes to die.'" Does your school have any equivalent annual hijinks?

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MIT (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39958315)

See Mystery Hunt, the Bad Ideas Competition, anything that happens in the East Campus courtyard during rush.

No one has 'build' a working slashdot editor.. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39958439)

Maybe they could add that to the list?

Re:No one has 'build' a working slashdot editor.. (1)

gotfork (1395155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39958545)

Oops- too bad there is not a way to fix typos after the fact.

Re:No one has 'build' a working slashdot editor.. (2)

kdawson (3715) (1344097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39958821)

Eat my nads, and eater! :P

-KD

Re:Editor is wrong word. (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39959163)

I ain't completely sure what to call them, but they do not function as an editor.

They may approve submissions, but they don't edit them or even check the links.

I'd like to see what the Xerox machine uses (4, Funny)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39958509)

...for toner.

Anthrax?

Re:I'd like to see what the Xerox machine uses (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39959473)

How weaponized are they talking about? There are lots of highly toxic substances that exist in a powder or crystalline form and would kill you if you breathed in enough of them. Or, for that matter, simply removing the air filter from a laser printer could potentially put enough toner into the air to pose a fire risk in a small enough enclosed space....

Re:I'd like to see what the Xerox machine uses (3, Interesting)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39959557)

Hmm. I was going to weaponize it in a much more mundane fashion: Balance it on a windowsill.

Re:I'd like to see what the Xerox machine uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39961563)

How weaponized are they talking about?

You're supposed to turn it into a siege weapon, not a bio hazard.
Siege / construction is part of it most years.

Re:I'd like to see what the Xerox machine uses (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963257)

Oh, well heck. That's bloody easy. Step 1. Build a trebuchet. Step 2. Load the Xerox machine into the trebuchet. Step 3. There's no step 3!

Re:I'd like to see what the Xerox machine uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39959749)

Scan image.

Machine "copies" image onto wall. In bullet-hole form.

Re:I'd like to see what the Xerox machine uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39960623)

I'd like to see them use a metal spoon that disappears after it rips out an appendix & puts it in a jar. That'd be all over youtube.

Re:I'd like to see what the Xerox machine uses (1)

issicus (2031176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39961029)

it shoots out infinite copies of Barbra Streisand's face.

Re:I'd like to see what the Xerox machine uses (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39961071)

::ducks as tracer rounds fly over his head followed by lawyers::

Re:I'd like to see what the Xerox machine uses (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962153)

I'd like to see the fully automatic that fires tracers and lawyers. That thing ought to be in violation of the Geneva convention!

Re:I'd like to see what the Xerox machine uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39964067)

Whatever you do, don't fire your lawyer in a heated moment.

So excited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39958513)

ScavHunt are the four most fun days of the year for me. I'm playing remotely this year, but I'm still having a blast.

I've learned to do so much that I otherwise would not know. Arduino, soldering, FORTRAN, welding.... ScavHunt has made me a better person.

Better person, eh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39958591)

ScavHunt are the four most fun days of the year for me. I'm playing remotely this year, but I'm still having a blast.

I've learned to do so much that I otherwise would not know. Arduino, soldering, FORTRAN, welding.... ScavHunt has made me a better person.

Better than if they had you guys, I don't know, helping out at a homeless shelter, picking up trash along the side of the road, helping shut-ins, and others that could really use some kindness in their life?

Sigmund Freud was once asked why he has a scowl on his face all the time. He responded, "It's because of my disgust with humanity."

I know what he means now.

Re:Better person, eh? (4)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39958677)

Find a way to turn that into a scavenger hunt and you may have a point, otherwise, shove it up your ass.

Re:Better person, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39958693)

Unless you're doing all of that on a regular basis, shut the fuck up.

Re:Better person, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39958749)

You make me scowl, you preachy, demanding, enslaving, wretched puke. I'd wager that you don't do any of those things either, just whine about your pet problems and call for the destruction of other greater problem solving and greater productivity, while at the same time never learning or growing out of your rotten spiral of childishness.

Re:Better person, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39959181)

For a few days three out of four years I participated in the scavenger hunt. It was great fun! Moving that boulder was memorable ;)

Countless Thursdays I volunteered at a local food pantry west of campus. That was depressing. Again countless Sundays I volunteered in a math program for local school kids.

Your point was what exactly?

Oh and the breeder reactor did its thing in an Upper Wallace dorm room, not on the quads.

Re:Better person, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39959269)

I had better disclose I (the fellow I am replying to - myself) is a different AC.

Re:Better person, eh? (1)

BobNET (119675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39961753)

I haven't done any of those things, but the Lions Club I'm in had its major annual fundraiser last night. We spent Monday and Tuesday evenings setting up chairs and tables, then worked our asses off last night. Most of the money we raised will probably go to dog guides [dogguides.com] and/or a camp for dialysis patients [lionscampdorset.on.ca] .

Am I allowed to use my Arduino now?

Re:Better person, eh? (1)

gameboyhippo (827141) | more than 2 years ago | (#39965737)

We Christians like to do stuff like that too. We call it Jesus juking. For example, "It'd be great if people had as much excitement about sharing the Gospel as they do the scavenger hunt..." Judas (the guy who betrayed Jesus) was great at this sort of thing, too! "Why did you pour that expensive perfume when we could have used it on the poor?"

Naked Mile (3, Interesting)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39958539)

The U of Michigan used to have a "naked mile" at the end of each school year. I seem to recall it was mostly the Crew team that started it but everyone was welcome to join in on the run. It was fun to watch and used to have a huge crowd turnout, but the school and city shut it down for some reason - liability? exploitation? I dunno, this sounds a lot more fun than a scavenger hunt.

But being that the school year ends at the end of April and Michigan's been known to have April snow showers, sometimes the turnout is on the smaller side. [youtube.com] [mostly SFW]

On the small side? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39958851)

In what sense?

Or is that where the (mostly)SFW comes in? :-)

Re:Naked Mile (1)

pulski (126566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39958901)

The still shots for the related videos, however, are a bit less work safe.

Re:Naked Mile (1)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39959161)

Sorry, you're completely right. How DID I miss that? : )

Re:Naked Mile (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39958997)

we had something similar in finland, after one year the route was altered to not go to the police academy anymore though... unisex saunas too, so screw you michigan.

Re:Naked Mile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39959243)

The scavenger hunt was fun, too bad about the party poopers at your school :( I don't know if UofC still does it, but when I was there they had Kuviasungnerk. We did calisthenics before dawn, then went to lake Michigan and 'coaxed' the sun out, part of that was skinny dipping in the water, not many chose to do that though. Later in the day was the Polar Bear Run through the quads, dressed in undies, at the most. This we did in January, in Chicago, it was fun too :)

Re:Naked Mile (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39959623)

Penn State still has such a "race".

Re:Naked Mile (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39960039)

The university of chicago has a similar deal every year (unrelated to the scav hunt)

Re:Naked Mile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39961739)

To be fair, the University of Chicago's Polar Bear Run is only about a quarter mile, but it's a quarter mile naked in JANUARY.

Extra Points! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39958599)

If the students can find the Second Amendment hidden somewhere in the city.

I remember when the geek compound did! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39958601)

I was a summer intern at the /. geek compound back in '97. They set up something similar. You had to photograph yourself doing shots of jaeger, wearing cowboy neil's dirty underwear on your head, getting a +5 insightful for a goatse pic, sucking off hemos, etc. Lots of fun until the pink eye outbreak from Neil's skidmarks. Jesus, I still have night sweats over that.

Rule number 7 (3, Interesting)

ultraexactzz (546422) | more than 2 years ago | (#39958907)

From the rules: "7. A Good Time. For a good time call (202) 762-1401." ...Did we just Slashdot the Navy?

Re:Rule number 7 (1)

Dr. Gamera (1548195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967375)

You know you're a geek when you get the joke immediately because you recognize the number.

For a couple of days after we change the clocks in the spring and fall, the usual minute-long recorded message at the USNO Master Clock is shortened to thirty seconds, presumably because they are essentially getting slashdotted at those times.

Rule #10 missing harmony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39959175)

There in an absence of harmony in Rule #10 (Road Trip Rules) It could be amended thusly;

Upon spotting and employee of an adult entertainment industry who manifests physical characteristics of a person who may have considered birth control as an undo hardship on personal liberties and subsequently may have considered and dismissed abortion as a countermeasure, one must punch another occupant of the car and proclaim "Moetus Foetus Boetus!". Other orders may be more applicable. Such as "Boetus Moetus Foetus?" or "Boetus Foetus Moetus!", but in all honesty I don't know, I don't speak old Italian.

I once was an item in this hunt. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39959315)

About 20 years ago, they needed a UofC unicycler.

I qualified

University of Massachusetts - Lowell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39959481)

Equivalent annual hijinks? I got to sleep and eat annually. But then I had put our noses back to the grindstone, before I headed off to my second job.

There is no spoon (3, Informative)

midgetpoker (1148901) | more than 2 years ago | (#39960083)

The disappearing spoon should be easy, there's a classic prank of making a teaspoon out of gallium (or a gallium-tin or gallium-indium-tin alloy) where if you put the offered spoon (which is solid at room temperature) into your tea, it melts.

Re:There is no spoon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39961061)

Metallic Sodium. That is all.

Re:There is no spoon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39964077)

Yeah, sure. Go ahead and get me some, if it's so easy.

Re:There is no spoon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39969723)

Dude, you can order gallium from Amazon.

347. A sonnet composed in C (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39960289)

347. A sonnet composed in C that, when compiled and run, prints a haiku to the standard output. Just as no great poet would ever write an unnecessary word, every variable and expression in your code must be essential to the program’s proper functioning. [10 points

ongoing search (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39960779)

103) find a well-educated voter that votes democrat.

Voter (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962211)

Not on the list, but you know what is?:

91. A card-carrying Republican faculty member of the Humanities Division. [5 points]

For the list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39961115)

Another for the list:

A link to the list that isn't broken.

I knew it! (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962203)

And people said I was crazy for holding on to an old AOL disk. If someone needs it for the hunt, I will provide it ... for a nominal fee, of course.

Your appendix, in a jar, at Judgment. [34 points] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962295)

As far is I can tell you only get 34 point for your appendix in a jar.

Re:Your appendix, in a jar, at Judgment. [34 point (1)

Alranor (472986) | more than 2 years ago | (#39964917)

I'm pretty certain that's a rule.

include your appendix in a jar (1)

RNLockwood (224353) | more than 2 years ago | (#39965699)

No one's going to get that one, my appendix is still in my thorax, I'm going into hiding, and I'm armed.

Bah! Scavenger Hunt and Kuviasungnerk (1)

DaKong (150846) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966179)

Both the Scavenger Hunt and Kuviasungnerk, the "awesome" winter festival, are constructs, complete fictions created by the University of Chicago marketing droids so they have something to put in prospectuses for applying students. During all my time there, six years for undergrad and master's, I neither knew nor heard of (remember, it's a small school with very few degrees of separation) even 1 human who participated in the Scavenger Hunt and only 1 human who did Kuviasungnerk. (Kuviasungnerk, btw, is where you get up at 5am in the depths of January to run to the shores of Lake Michigan and do calisthenics. I mean, who wouldn't be all over fun like that?)

There were only two events with even a soupcon of fun in them, and those were Sleepout and the Lascivious Ball. Sleepout was where people pitched tents on the main quad in order to be present when they announced registration for hard to get classes via the shoutout system. The Lascivious Ball was a dance where you went dressed in lingerie, skivvies, or basically as little as possible. The university killed Sleepout, claiming it was a fire hazard, and the Lascivious Ball after rumors leaked out of professors hooking up with students.

And that was why fun died at the University of Chicago.

You missed out, man. (1)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967563)

Yes, I know, the saying that U of C is "Where the squirrels are more aggressive (and better looking) than the women!" and all of the other T-Shirts, but I've not been to a more fun campus since.

Where else can you walk out across the quads at 4:00 a.m. on a major university campus after a night of hard research work and stumble into the middle of a medieval melee with swords and armor being carried out in a language that you don't understand, complete with torches? (Old English? High German? Didn't know, didn't speak it.)

Where else can you spend a weekend with fellow students driving around America like maniacs (driver's seat) while doing research through piles of travel guides and almanacs to find the random stuff on the scav list (passenger seats)?

Where else can you expect the barista at the campus coffee shop to know more about Sartre, Gadamer, and Hegel than the philosophy Ph.D. candidates and more about applied linear dynamics and combinatorics than the math majors?

Where else can you get drunk with the major authors of major monographs at a bar *under the campus* with an on-the-wagon bartender serving over a hundred beers and ridiculous prices ($2.00 a bottle for things that cost $12.00 a bottle int the store when I was there), and ultimately take them home crying on your shoulder after you've argued about the finer points of their research for several hours?

On the other hand, at its worst it's also a stuffy, pompous, judgmental, hyper-competitive place.

But I can say that if you thought it was boring or unfun, you just weren't trying. I had a blast at U of C, and that was as a stuffy old graduate student!

I did scav hunt in 2004 (1)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967419)

as a graduate student at U of C. It was madness. We hit 10+ states in a borrowed truck. There were drunkenness, nudity, minor violations of the law, vandalism to competing ivy-league campuses, elaborate ruses to move large crowds, a statue of elvis, and and any number of other things involved over (IIRC) just the course of a wild, no-sleep-possible weekend, and all in pursuit of items on the list (i.e. it wasn't just random debauchery, though the nature of the list started to make it feel that way).

It was one of the better (and more exhausting, and more risky) moments in my life. The sort of thing bound to make parents and administrators talk about the need for a ban, and the sort of thing that alums are likely to use to encourage their friends and family to attend U of C if they get the chance.

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