Wanted: Contest Ideas

image A new book about hoaxes has just come out. A Treasury of Deception: Liars, Misleaders, Hoodwinkers, and the Extraordinary True Stories of History's Greatest Hoaxes, Fakes, and Frauds by Michael Farquhar. The publisher (Penguin) sent me a free copy to help promote the book--which means that we get to have another book give-away contest! The winner gets the book. However, I can't think of a good contest to have (my brain is just too tired right now). I'm inclined to do another urban-legend/hoax haiku contest, since that was pretty fun last time. However, I thought I'd take suggestions first. If anyone can think of a fun contest, leave your suggestion in the comments. Otherwise, in about a week, I'll do another hoax haiku thing.


Posted on Wed Jun 01, 2005


Of course, some of us have incredibly old computers that are too rubbish to run photoshop, but why should that stand in the way of illegality?
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Fri Jun 03, 2005  at  05:07 AM
Well, I was thinking about this last night, and a thought occurred to me - since not everyone has photoshop or web skills etc, maybe we should leave that out.

How about the contest be trying to post up a hoax that has occured, but =that has never been posted on MOH before, in blog or forum=. Of course people would have to post a reference or references on where they found it. Alex could then pick the most obscure or funniest one.
Posted by Winona  in  USA  on  Fri Jun 03, 2005  at  09:30 AM
Why not have a contest to come up with a contest to give the book away. The winner gets the book.
Posted by RogueTRex  in  Woodlyn, PA  on  Fri Jun 03, 2005  at  02:56 PM
I've got another idea. People send Alex a digital photo of themselves. Alex posts them all randomly on a page. On this same page he posts the screen names of the people who sent in the photos. The contest would be to match the screen names to the pictures. The member who got the most correct matches would win the contest. After the contest is over, Alex matches the proper screen names to the photos. I think it would be fun to see what everyone looks like. And, it wouldn't require expensive or illegal photo editing software.
Posted by BugbearSloth  in  earth, 3rd planet, sol system  on  Fri Jun 03, 2005  at  05:17 PM
As for "expensive/illegal/unavailable" software, the term "Photoshop" has become a generic verb, meaning, 'to digitally edit a picture'. Before Photoshop one sometimes used to say "CorelDraw" or "Paint" as such verbs.

So: To Photoshop != To Edit With Adobe Photoshop

Most systems have some basic graphic editing programs, and if you want a good one free you can get GIMP, or a few others.
Posted by Splarka  on  Fri Jun 03, 2005  at  08:17 PM
As mentioned, it probably would skew those with photoshop-type skills/software above others with genuinely good ideas. Or encourage folks to steal already 'shopped works.

I have no such skills, but do have Photoshop 3.0 (Piltdownman age & was ~$10 on e-bay), but can barely remove red-eyes.
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Sat Jun 04, 2005  at  08:47 AM
ok~ so the ebay thing could be risky. But finding the strangest thing for sale on ebay wouldn't be bad.

The photoshop thing would be difficult for everyone to participate in.

If you liked the haiku thing, how about doing an anagram poem. Everyone must write a poem with the first letter of each line spells out the title of the book: Deception.

(for those of you confused. If you were to write a poem about a fish it might look like this:

Fin covered, human faced, swimming
In the coi ponds of asia
Should we consider government
Heredity experimentation?

(ok, so there was absolutely no rhyming in this. I didn;t work on it...I just typed it out. So... extra points for rhyming!)
Posted by redmond  in  southern usa  on  Sat Jun 04, 2005  at  11:44 AM
"... since "Deep Throat" came out of the closet this week ... I think we should come up with a new name for the person who will eventually narc out George W. Bush ..."

How about "Deep Colon Polyp"?

No, wait, I've got it! Deep Pretzel.
Posted by Big Gary C in Dallas  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Sat Jun 04, 2005  at  12:08 PM
Here's my idea, which I think is very au courant:

A contest for the best miraculous (or not) apparition of somebody on an item of food. You'd have to use real food, but otherwise technique would be up to the contestant. Entrants could chose between sending the actual food item to Alex (no fair mailing something runny or smelly, though) or submitting a photograph of it. Who manifests him/her/it self on food and how would be up to each contestant.
Posted by Big Gary C in Dallas  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Sat Jun 04, 2005  at  12:12 PM
The person who creates the most convincing "Virgin Mary on a window pane / crying / on toast / water stain" wins.
Posted by Anonymous  on  Sun Jun 05, 2005  at  06:46 AM
PHOTO A FAKE! take a hoax photo of any type you want but you can NOT use computer graphic manipulation. The most convincing and realistic untainted photo wins!
Posted by Rob  in  N.Yorks UK  on  Sun Jun 05, 2005  at  01:28 PM
I like the haiku idea or maybe a rhyme. With the rhyme you could give the opening line and judge the resulting rhymes.

The problem I see with a best "hoax site" or a photoshop contest is that these require skills that not everyone has. Just my humble opinion.
Posted by Myst  on  Sun Jun 05, 2005  at  05:20 PM
Raoul the name, and I have THE RAP... It's all about Hoaxes, and that is NO CRAP... You take the great, big LIE, and right before you EYE, you put them all together, and it FALL INTO YOU LAP... You take the lying and the HoaxaNuts and put them all together, mix the lying and the HoaxaNuts, and then you feel better...okay, so don't get me started...ha ha ha... Rrrraoul
Posted by Raoul  on  Sun Jun 05, 2005  at  06:18 PM
Out of interest, is the contest going ahead soon Alex? Sorry if I'm disturbing your writing with a looming deadline. grin
Posted by Chris 'Crispy' Philpot  on  Thu Jun 16, 2005  at  01:46 PM
Well this contest died...
Posted by RPGLand, formerly Ozymandias  in  Madison, Wisconsin  on  Sun Dec 04, 2005  at  04:26 PM
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