We Owe People Books!
I'll be honest: I'd rather skip this round-up of winners from last Friday and instead post some of your photos taken with random celebrities. So far, I've seen readers posed with prominent people from President Obama to The Fonz. Can't wait to see what else comes in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before we get to the next batch of winners, let me extend my thanks to our wonderful intern AndrÃ©a Fernandes for helping sort through all the submissions (among many other ongoing projects). I'm not sure we have grading powers over her this semester, but the fine folks at Chestnut Hill College might need to find a letter higher than 'A.'
The envelope(s) please...
Tonight's winners range from absurdly funny to brilliant to heartbreaking/touching. You've been warned.
Challenge #1: Travel Advice (Winner: Joe)
Rather than a travel tip, per se, here's something funny to look for. If you're ever in the Atlanta airport security line there is a glass case full of actual items confiscated when passengers tried to carry them on. It's an example of what not to do, if you will. At the bottom of the case is a full-size chainsaw. The strange thing is that hardly anyone even notices it or finds the humor in someone "˜accidentally' forgetting to take their chainsaw out of their pocket before going through security.
Challenge #2: Evolve A Word (Winner: Meg)
It kind of bothers me when people misuse the word "ironic"; particularly egregious is the song, in which the only ironic thing may be "a no smoking sign on your cigarette break" (which is, of course, hilariously ironic). My friend and I realized, however, that there was no good word for these coincidences that we wanted to call "ironic," so we coined a portmanteau of sorts: "nironic"- not ironic. The noun, of course is "nirony." The word works rather well and several of my friends have introduced it into general circulation; it's even in my Apples to Apples deck as both a red and a green card. The evolution of the word "nironic" helps us retain the integrity of the word "irony" while keeping the unusual quality that near-ironic circumstances often have; it protects against over-use while creating a distinct class of meaning.
"Nirony," in my understanding, is not simply a statement of something as is. It is not the absence of irony but the word you use when something seems kind of ironic but really"¦isn't.
Challenge #3: Your Superpower (Winner: EMStoveken)
The Dry Delivery "“ I can spout absolutely nonsense with a straight-faced deadpan delivery that gives instant credibility. Some things of which I have actually convinced people:
"Linnea Quigley has been in ever Hollywood movie since 1976"
"Bill Clinton was the saxophonist on 3 Mighty Mighty Bosstones albums"
"The guy wearing the hat on the back of a $2 bill is Adam Weishaupt, founder of the Illuminati"
"The TV show Bosom Buddies was actually based on Tom Hanks' early days in LA living in an all women apartment complex"
Challenge #4: Invent Your Own Scholarship (Winners: Michael Collofello & Sarah Jowett)
There should be a scholarship geared towards "adult" or "returning" students. Many adults are already dealing with the usual stresses of adult life like: mortgage and other bills, kids, working in a job you already hate, loosing your hair. Also, returning to school can be a daunting experience. What if they're not smart enough? What if they're not "cool"? What if they're older than their professor? Any financial assistance to these individuals would be welcome and encouraging.
To take the tagline from mental_floss, it would give them the opportunity to "feel smart again." In fact, it should be called the "feel smart again" Scholarship
For the record, I am an adult who has returned to college, and between school and mental_floss, I really do "feel smart again."
I have always wanted to start a scholarship program in my late husband's name who died at 23 five-and-a-half years ago. At the time he died, he was going to a local community college for computer science so I wanted to honor his dedication by starting a scholarship for young dads at the same school.
Scholarships given would include a combination of cash (that's always good, hah), school supplies like a backpack, pens, pencils, notebooks, etc... if applicable, either a monthly bus pass or monthly gas cards. Along with this would be help in applying for any other financial aid they might qualify for but aren't aware of.
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I'll be emailing the winners tomorrow about claiming your prizes. Thanks to everybody for making judging so difficult!